Maggie Bob Bakes: Chocolate Raspberry Loaf Cake

Do you ever buy something ‘just because’ and then have to backwards engineer a reason for your cupboard full of weird and wonderful ingredients? Yeah, me too. So after a trip to Lidl I had a bottle of raspberry syrup glaring at me accusingly from across the kitchen. Then on baking Sunday I couldn’t take it any more – I will not be judged by an impulse buy! I had to throw together a recipe to use the syrup. A loaf cake is always an obvious choice for me, but as I didn’t have any eggs in I decided to get creative so, yup, this is also vegan.

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There’s a bit more method in this than my normal “mix everything in a bowl and cross your fingers” approach, but I’ve balanced this by using a simple cup measure. I’ve included weights if you need them, but I’m a total convert to cup measures now – much less fuss. I was a little taken aback by how runny this batter is, although as you’ll see from the photos I had great fun pouring it in to the cake tin. What I’m saying is don’t worry if your mixture looks more like ganache than cake, it’ll all come out okay in the end.

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[recipe title=”Vegan Chocolate & Raspberry Loaf Cake” servings=”10″ time=”15mins prep, 50mins cooking” difficulty=”easy”]

Ingredients
Self raising flour – 1 and 1/2 cup (192g)
Cocoa powder – 3 tbsp
Sea salt – 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil – 6 tbsp
Raspberry syrup – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Cold Water – 1 cup (235ml)
Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup (150g)

maggiebob-chocolate-raspberry-loaf

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170oC and line or grease a standard loaf tin
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in to a bowl and sprinkle through the salt, stirring to distribute.
  3. Pour the oil, syrup, lemon juice and water in to a large bowl and gently whisk to combine. Slowly add the sugar and stir through.
  4. Spoon your dry mixture in to the wet, gently whisking as you go until everything is combined in to a smooth, velvety runny batter that resembles your favourite ganache.
  5. Pour the mixture in to your loaf tin and bake at for 45-50 minutes – until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Slice to serve. If you want to be really popular, do what I did and take a loaf in to work. That one disappeared very quickly.

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Enjoy, and if you give this one a try, let me know in the comments below. Also, if you think of any other syrups I can swap in for the raspberry I’m interested to experiment.

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Maggie Bob Bakes: Coconut Loaf Cake

Sometimes I just feel the need for a nice, crumbly and moist slice of coconut cake. Don’t you? Perfect with a nice cup of tea and so satisfying. Like most loafs this is a ‘low and slow’ type deal, so I tend to stick one of these in the oven on a Sunday morning and leave it to do its thing while I get some bits done (or nap on the sofa, whatever*).

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This keeps well in an airtight tin for 5 days or so, making it ideal to cut and come again throughout the week. I’ve gotten in to a habit of doing a couple of batches of baking on a Sunday to see me through the week, like a proper old fashioned housewife or something. I find the baking relaxing and it takes the edge off of Sundays, preparing some nice things for the coming days at work at least.

(*probably best not to fall asleep while you have the oven on btw. Be safe!)

[recipe title=”Coconut Loaf Cake” servings=”10 approx” time=”1hr” difficulty=”easy”]

Ingredients
4oz butter
4oz soft brown sugar
6oz self-raising flour
2oz dessicated coconut
3tsp lemon juice
2 medium eggs

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 150oC and grease and line a standard loaf tin
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl
  3. Sift the flour in to another bowl and stir through the coconut
  4. Add the flour/coconut mix to your butter/sugar mix and stir to combine
  5. Whisk the eggs with the lemon juice and gradually add this to the rest of your mixture until you have a thick batter
  6. Spoon your batter in to your prepared tin and level the top with a pallet knife
  7. Bake for 50 minutes until the top is nicely browned and an inserted skewer comes out clean

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Now the only question is, what kind of tea are you going to have with your slice?

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Maggie Bob Bakes: Chocolate Banana Loaf

Some people get a sinking feeling when the contents of their fruit bowls start to brown. Instead, I get that baking feeling! Browning bananas normally go in to my banana & walnut loaf but this time I fancied something a little different – I was in the mood for chocolate!

This was still made using basics I tend to have in (except the decoration, but that’s hardly essential. The bake on this was a little trickier – the top looks done long before the middle is cooked so you might want to stick a tin-foil hat over your cake for the last 20 minutes or so of the bake time.

Ingredients

3 overripe bananas
200g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
1stp baking powder
50g soft brown sugar
50g soft butter
1 egg, beaten
2tbsp milk
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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180, and line/grease a loaf tin.
  2. Mash the bananas up in a large mixing bowl, breaking up any large lumps.
  3. Sift in all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar) and stir through the banana.
  4. Beat in the butter, then gradually add the egg and milk until you have a thick, smooth batter.
  5. Spoon your mixture in to your prepared loaf tin and bake for 1hr – until a crust has formed on top and the middle is cooked (test with a skewer).
  6. Allow your cake to cool a little, then remove from the tin and let it cool completely on a wire rack. You can then top/decorate however you wish. I slathered on some chocolate & hazelnut spread (yup, that one) and some white chocolate stars I happened to have in the baking cupboard.

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This one is moist and chocolaty and doesn’t need spread with anything else to be enjoyed. Best served with a glass of cold milk! Do let me know if you give this one a go.

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Maggie Bob Bakes: banana and walnut loaf

Photo 10-02-2013 14 56 47

It’s only just February, and I appear to have been hit with a bit of spring cleaning fever already. I suppose this is partly due to the weather being a bit grim, leaving me stuck indoors on a Sunday, and turning my mind to cleaning and cooking. So while scrubbing down the kitchen today I found some blackening bananas and just knew I had to bake a banana loaf.

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My recipe is adapted from the one in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. I had three bananas rather than two, so I reduced the amount of butter and sugar. I also swapped some of the caster sugar for soft brown sugar (aiming for more of a caramelised taste) and chucked in a handful of walnuts.

Ingredients

50g soft butter
50g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
2 eggs eggs
3 bananas – the riper the better
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
30 grams walnut halves

  1. Preheat your oven to 180, and line/grease a loaf tin.
  2. Put everything except the walnuts in to a mixing bowl, and beat together. Your arm will hurt by the end of this! The batter should be a reasonably even consistency and quite thick.
  3. Smash the walnuts – I ground some of them down fairly fine, and crumbled the rest in to larger pieces so that I had a variety in texture. Stir the walnuts through your mix.
  4. Spoon/pour the mix in to your loaf tin and bake for 1 hour (until a skewer pushed in to the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool a little and then remove from the tin to cool completely. Slice thickly and serve with your hot drink of choice.