Sunday, 28 July 2013

Staples: Cakes

During this year of busy-ness I have come to notice that our family is flowing on well established routines. This allows us to put our mental effort into tasks that need it.

This observation of our routines has allowed me to notice that we have a number of recipes that are our 'staples' the ones that we know off the top of our heads.

For us they are ones that can be made in bulk, frozen and are reasonably healthy, not too sweet and lunchbox friendly.

I thought I might share with you some of our staples each week and this week I'm going to start with cakes. The cakes that the cookbook opens to automatically as the page is covered in ingredients from being cooked so much.

They are not fancy cakes, just the sort that we always have in the freezer and are nice to put out in afternoon tea or lunchboxes or is someone pops over. We make these 2 at a time and they all freeze well.

Banana Bread (Stephanie Alexander's Cooks Companion)

125g softened unsalted butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana (ripper the better - we freeze our ripe bananas so there is always some ready for a few cakes)
Few drops of pure vanilla
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (I also add some ground ginger)
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 
½ cup buttermilk or ½ cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Butter a loaf tin, then line base with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, mashed banana and vanilla. 

Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture, alternating with buttermilk. 

Spoon into tin and bake for 45 mins – 1 hour or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. 

Date Loaf  (egg free)

1 Cup Dates, chopped
1 Cup Brown Sugar
60g Butter, cubbed
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 3/4 C Self Raising Flour Sifted
1 Teaspoon Bi-Carb Soda
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence

Have the oven pre-heated to 180c and get a loaf tin well greased and ready to go. 

Put dates, sugar, butter and boiling water in a bowl, stir and leave it to sit until all the butter has melted. 

Add sifted flour, vanilla and bi-carb. Stir well - it will froth and rise so stir fast, put in your waiting pan and get it straight into the oven. If you take too long it wont rise as much. This is also why it is important to have everything ready to go. 

Bake for 40 to 45 mins. Its ready when tester comes out clean.


Pumpkin Bread (sweetish not savory) (wheat and dairy free)
- Jude Blereau's Wholefood Baking

255g Pumpkin grated
1 Tablespoon Rapadura Sugar (or brown)
2 Tablespoons Pepitas
1 Cup Wholemeal Spelt Flour
3/4 Cup White Spelt Flour
1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon of Mace
3/4 Cup Rapadura Sugar
1/4 Cup of Pepitas, roughly ground
1/2 Cup Sultanas
2 Eggs
1/2 C Oil - Macadamia is nice
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

Preheat oven to 175 C and grease and line a loaf tin.

Mix the Tablespoons of papitas and rapadura sugar in a small bowl and put aside. These will be used as the topping.

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add the grated pumpkin and mix with your fingertips to ensure that all of the pumpkin gets coated and there are again, no lumps.

In another bowl mix together all of the wet ingredients. Combine with the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Transfer to loaf tin and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 70 mins or until tester comes out clean.

I hope you enjoy!

I also just realised this is my 100th Post!!!! 

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