A Whole Lot of Baking Going On


I’ve been meaning to bake for a couple of weeks but haven’t got round to it for various reasons, laziness probably being the main one. However, today I was in the mood. Breadmaking with the bread machine is so easy and I soon put the ingredients together for a white crusty loaf. I had bought bread flour to try, normally I just use plain flour or bread mix if I’m doing wholemeal bread. That takes over three hours to complete the cycle so the next thing was some cake. There were a couple of bananas left from last fortnight’s shopping so banana cake was the next thing going into the oven.

I made a cup of tea to have while it cooked and as long as I was making tea I thought I might as well prepare my favourite fruit cake recipe which needs the fruit and sugar soaked in a cup of black tea. So a cup for me and a cup for the bowl. At the moment I am still baking everything in my convection microwave as I haven’t got around to having the oven fixed yet. The oven downstairs works but I’m not traipsing up and down the stairs with cake tins and all the ingredients are in the upstairs kitchen. Our long term plan is that Naomi will use the downstairs kitchen and she is gradually getting her canisters, cake tins etc here.

Once the fruit cake is in the oven I’m considering making a zucchini slice. I have a nice recipe that my friend Gillian gave me but don’t make it often because it is tiresome to grate vegetables and because the recipe takes 5 eggs. That’s a lot of eggs. However, now I have access to an electric food chopper and grater that Naomi brought up from her place so I can grate without the hassle of doing it by hand and I do have a dozen eggs. Shopping day is Wednesday so I can stock up again.

Later:

Well it turned out to be a busy afternoon as I did make the zucchini slice. Here are the results of today’s baking.

The loaf of bread is a little smaller than I usually make but I expected it to be. It will do for me and I’ll make another later in the week when Naomi is due again. I have sliced bread for toast but sometimes I like some crusty bread.

White crusty loaf

The banana cake sank a bit in the middle. I left it in the tin too long because I was talking to a friend online. Never mind, that’s what butter icing is for. This is going in the freezer for later in the week.

Banana cake with vanilla buttercream icing.

Easy Banana Cake:

This is a fast and easy recipe, very handy when you have a leftover banana and need a cake in a hurry. The original recipe comes from taste.com.au

Ingredients

  • I cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana, I used one banana for this

Method:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180/160C fan forced, spray a 7cm deep, 10x20cm (base measurement) loaf pan with oil, line base and sides with baking paper extending 3 cm above the rim.

Step 2: Sift flour into a large bowl, stir in sugar.Make a well in the centre. Add melted butter, egg, vanilla, milk and banana. Stir until just combined.

Step 3: Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out. The recipe says this can be served warm or you can let it cool. I added butter icing made from 50g butter or margarine if you prefer and about 125g of icing sugar with a teaspoon of vanilla essence but you can of course frost it with whatever you like.

Here’s one I prepared earlier.

Banana Cake

Tea Fruit Loaf:

This is a really reliable fruit cake recipe, never fails me and I intend to have some tonight. I found the recipe on allrecipes.com.au. It is the closest I could find to the one that mum used to make.

Ingredients:

  • 380g mixed fruit
  • 130g brown sugar
  • 1 cup hot black tea
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 250g sifted self raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp chopped nuts (optional)

Method:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 190C, grease and flour a loaf tin (or use baking paper it really doesn’t matter.)

Step 2: Combine the fruit and sugar in a large bowl . Make a cup of black tea and pour it over the mixture. Have one yourself while you wait for it to cool.

Step 3: Stir in the beaten egg, flour, spice and nuts if you are using them.

Step 4: Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes

Fruit cake
Fruit cake made with tea.

Zucchini Slice:

Gillian gave me this recipe when I was looking for something nice for David to eat when he wasn’t well. It looks as if it originally came from juliegoodwin.com.au. She is a celebrity chef in Australia. She became well known after winning the first MasterChef Australia.

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, grated
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 rashers bacon finely chopped
  • 1 cup tasty cheese grated
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 5 eggs beaten
  • salt/pepper

Method:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a non stick lamington tin. I don’t have a lamington tin so I used a shallow pyrex oven dish, worked just as well.

Step 2: Combine zucchini, onion, bacon, flour and cheese in a large bowl. Add oil and lightly beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste (I think I may have forgotten to do this.)

Step 3: Pour into your dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan and then cut into slices.

You can vary the vegetables, the recipe suggests corn kernels, grated carrot or shallots and you could leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version.

Zucchini slice

The zucchini slice looks pretty nice. It was still cooling when I took this photo but I tried some for lunch today and it was good even if I did forget the salt and pepper. It should freeze so I may put half of it away for later in the week.

All the photos for this post were taken on my phone and have not been edited. I just wanted to get them uploaded quickly so I could finish the post.

The measurements are based on Australian standard cup sizes. You can find metric to imperial conversion guides online if you don’t have one.

Self Raising Flour doesn’t seem as popular overseas as here in Australia. Basically it is just all purpose or plain flour with baking powder and salt already added. For example:

For each cup of all-purpose flour, you will need 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt together until combined, then use as directed in the recipe in place of the selfrising flour.May 28, 2020

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. My current housemates are Cindy, my 14-year-old Staffy-Lab X dog and Polly the world's most unsociable cat who is seven.

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