The world of baking and food through the eyes of an American in London

Posts made in June, 2011

Grilled Banana Bread

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 in Book Review, Bread, Cake, Fruit | 12 comments

Grilled Banana Bread
I made Grilled Banana Bread Sandwiches as finger food for my cupcake party. I really enjoyed this. The maple cream cheese spread is fantastic. I made a big batch and used the leftovers on bagels in the morning. 
Grilled Banana Bread
They tasted great warm right off the pan with some cold cream cheese slathered on. Make sure the bread is firm otherwise it will fall apart when it heats up in the pan.
Grilled Banana Bread
The idea is from the newly released The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches sent to me by Quirk I love the idea of a dessert sandwich! I really enjoyed this book. It makes the boring sandwich fun again!

 In England sandwiches get a bad rep because they tend to be quite boring and mainstream like Pret. I’ve already made the famous Pittsburgh sandwich The Primanti.

There are plenty of other dessert sandwiches and the other ideas range from a simple PB&J to the funny Spaghetti Sandwich and to more worldly sandwiches like a Vietnamese Banh Mi. I am absolutely making one of the breakfast sandwiches from this book next!

Banana Bread Sandwiches
one loaf of banana bread makes enough to serve a party

Banana Bread
adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

270g light brown sugar
2 eggs
200g mashed banana
280g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
140g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chips or nuts (optional)

Vanilla Maple Cream Cheese spread
adapted from Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

200g full fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 bananas sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease a loaf pan (or line with parchment paper). In a large bowl beat together the sugar and eggs until combined. Add in the mashed bananas.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger to the sugar mixture. When all combined pour in the melted butter and beat until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips or nuts if desired.

3. Transfer batter to the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour until skew inserted in middle comes out clean.Once cooled cut into slices.

4. Make the cream cheese spread by stirring together the cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup until combined.

Grilled Banana Bread

5. When ready to serve butter both sides of the bread and place in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove and spread cream cheese on one side and top with a few banana slices.

6. Store any leftover cream cheese in a sealed container.

It might be useful to make the banana bread the night before planning to serve so it has time to cool down before slicing.

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Carrot & Stick Online Bakery Review

Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 in Yummy Places | 6 comments

Carrot & Stick is a newly launched online bakery serving Southeast London and Kent. They offer cake pops, cupcakes and cookies in over 20 flavors. Carrot & Stick sent me 3 cake pops to review.

The bakery is American owned and the cake is made from old family recipes. The pops are available to order online for £1.75 for orders of 3 dozen (minimum) and available for £2 at Montpelier Cafe in Blackheath and Biscuit Cafe & Ceramics Studio in Greenwich.

Chocolate fudge chick cake pop. I really liked the little candies that made up the eyes and limbs of the chick. It gave a nice texture contrast to the soft cake. It’s also very cute!

The cake was nice and soft inside and not too wet. I’m not a fan of cake pops that are mushy inside. This one had a nice balance. It was chocolate fudge flavor but it lacked a good chocolate punch. The only negative of all the pops I tasted.

Pink spotted lemon cake pop. This pop had the best flavor of the three. The lemon was nicely present but not too over or under whelming. The white chocolate coating was just right too.

Carrot & Stick sent me a photo of the peanut butter cup pop as I managed to squish the one they dropped off at my office. This was my favorite decorated pop. I love the simple little slice of Reese’s peanut butter cup on top as it looks like a little slice of pie!

I would definitely pick up a lemon pop from one of the cafes if I was nearby over a cake pop from Starbucks. I had no problem eating all 3 cake pops in one sitting!

I’ve not yet purchased anything from an online bakery and Carrot & Stick are also my first online bakery review.

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One More Slice: Giveaway Winners

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Giveaways | 3 comments

Last week I reviewed One More Slice and New Holland Publishers were kind enough to let me giveaway 2 copies! I asked what’s everyone’s favorite crumble? Apple and Rhubarb were the most popular.

I chose 2 winners using The two winners are Loz and Kitchen Therapy! Make sure you email me with your UK mailing address so I can get your copies in the post!

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Cake Shooters

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Cake, Party | 2 comments

Cake Shooters
I made these to serve at my brunch and any fun party isn’t complete without a few shooters! I filled mine with cake rather than the tequila and vodka from my college days though.
Cake Shooters
The idea is simple. Instead of being filled with liquid or only jell-o the disposable shot glass is filled with cake spiked with alcohol, a spiked jell-o layer, another cake layer and then finally topped with a swirl of buttercream and topped with a candy of your choice. 
I took the idea from Booze Cakes a book filled with cake and booze (obvious)! Quirk books were kind enough to send me a copy. I hope to find the time to make something from the book for 4th of July!
Cake Shooters
I picked up the plastic shot glasses at The Dollar Tree while I was in Arizona. I made a non alcoholic version (for those that were preggers) using the frozen layer I saved from my Peggy Porschen cake and a tube of white decorating icing that Dr. Oetker sent me a few weeks back.

The cake recipe makes two 8 inch cake rounds. I only had 8 guests so I made about 20 shots which only used half of one cake. I froze the rest to use for cake pops at a later date so it doesn’t go to waste. The recipe could easily be halved. 

Cake Shooters
adapted from Booze Cakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs liquor of your choice (I used vanilla vodka)
3 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Jell-o Layer
2 boxes Jell-o
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup liquor

Gummy bears or worms
Buttercream, homemade or store bought (I used a tube of read and white wilton swirl for the spiked shooters)

1. Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two 8 inch cake rounds. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and slowly pour in the milk. Stir in the vanilla and liquor.

2. Fold in the flour, salt and baking powder. In a small separate bowl whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold the whites into the batter.

3. Fill each round and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.

4. Make the jell-o. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the gelatine until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Stir in the alcohol and then pour into a dish and refrigerate until completely set.

5. To assemble use a shot glass as a cookie cutter to cut circles out of the cake. Split each cut out in half if thick. Do the same with the jell-o. Fill each glass with a layer of cake, then a layer of jello-o and another layer of cake. Top each glass with a swirl of buttercream and a piece of candy.

Enjoy! I wonder how many it takes to get buzzed?

Make sure to check out the Cupcake Cocktail I served and check back later this week for the rest of the goodies I made for the party.

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Cupcake Cocktail

Posted by on Jun 26, 2011 in Beverages, Party | 8 comments

Cupcake Cocktail
I invited a few friends and a few of my blogging friends over for a dessert themed brunch last Saturday. I thought I’d better serve a cupcake cocktail to top it all off! It was supposed to be a cupcake martini but I don’t own any martini glasses!
Cupcake Cocktail
I bought a bottle of Pinnacle whipped cream vodka while I was in the US. I wish I’d been able to find the cake vodka though. I topped off the drink with some brightly colored sprinkles! Sprinkles or frosting on the rim would also be a nice touch. 
I bought a cocktail shaker and jigger to measure everything. 
Cupcake Cocktail
makes 1 cocktail
50ml vodka (Cake or whipped cream vodka if you can get your hands on it. Vanilla vodka would also do.)
50ml milk
50ml single cream
1 tbs white cake mix
sprinkles for topping
Ice cubes
1. In a cocktail shaker mix the ice, vodka, milk and cream and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and top with some sugar sprinkles. 
Enjoy your liquid cupcake! Thanks to my girlfriends for coming and to Andrea, Sarah and Jayne.
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