Tuesday, 12 October 2010

TSR Bakers October Bake - Monkey Bread

Yes, yes, I know it's long past the beginning of October and I did bake this well over a week ago, but I just haven't gotten round to writing it up. Going to work whilst still suffering the dregs of flu is no fun and it's been as much as I can bear to do to just flop through the door and curl up into a foetesian ball on the sofa and lament the fact that I didn't win the Euromillions last week.

So October's TSR bake is the inscrutably named Monkey Bread, a neither fish nor fowl affair, as I wouldn't really count it as bread and it lacks anything vaguely monkey related such as bananas, and was sort of chosen by Procrastibaking and the recipe is here.

Whilst a little involved, though by no means difficult, it is certainly worth it. Sweet, buttery, warm and doughy, it reminds me a little of me.

On my travels around the infonets, I've discovered that Lakeland stock a tin designed just for monkey bread, recipe included! Perhaps if I'd won the Euromillions I could afford such frivolities...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Chocolate Banana Muffins for an autumn day

Finally on the tail end of the flu. Now I just have a horrendous cough that forces me to get up at night, the result being I've had a grand total of about 12 hours sleep in the past 3 days. Fell asleep on the sofa at 8am this morning after getting up at 6am after 2 hours sleep. Ergh.

I can tell I'm on the mend though, because when I did get up I felt like eating something other than the obligatory tea and toast that I've been surviving on for over a week, and better yet I felt able to bake something easy. Mr. Tart's very generous mum bought us some presents earlier in the week to cheer us up and I got 3 baking books, one of which is Nigella Lawson's new book, Kitchen, which is full of lots of lovely recipes I can't wait to try and this recipe for Chocolate Banana muffins is taken from it. Warm, soft, sweet and chocolatey with an air of being nourishing, combined with a milky cup of coffee, these certainly hit the spot for my flu addled senses. They're also super quick and easy to whip up. I think it took me longer to separate the paper cases than it did to weigh out and mix the ingredients.

Chocolate Banana Muffins
Makes 12
3 over-ripe bananas
2 eggs
125ml vegetable oil
100g soft light brown sugar
225g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoons of best quality cocoa powder (under no circumstances using drinking chocolate,- doing so will summon the devil)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and line two 6-hole muffin trays with paper cases.
Mash the bananas with a fork into a rough, slightly chunky paste, and whilst continually stirring add the eggs, sugar and oil and combine. Then add the flour, bicarb and cocoa powder and stir until just mixed. Don't over work otherwise you'll end up with tough, chewy muffins. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes. Eat straight from the oven warm. They'll also keep for a couple of days in an airtight container, and can be easily revived by popping them in a warm oven for a few minutes.
As it was a beautiful sunny autumn morning today, I went and sat outside in the garden to enjoy these muffins. This time of year is the absolute best for me. It's still just warm enough to sit outside with a cardigan on, but it's suitably cool to feel cosy. I'm lucky enough to have a cobnut (relative of the hazelnut) tree at the end of my garden which is dropping its fruits everywhere. Every few seconds there was a clack or tock as the nuts dropping on the table or the paving. I've started to gather up the nuts but there just seems to be thousands of them! Plus moving a bit too fast at the moment makes me dizzy, so this may be a job for when I'm fully recovered.

At any rate, the garden was beautiful in the soft autumn sunshine so I tried to capture some of it. I'm sure the garden also smells lovely, but I have no sense of smell at the moment. Enjoy!

One of the carrots still growing, the aptly named Autumn King variety. This one has tomorrow's sunday lunch written all over it.

eXTReMe Tracker