Archives for posts with tag: baking

Oh my goodness. I just improvised the most amazing cake.

Best cake EVER

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Dear anat,

I am going to see you SOON OMG! And lo, there will be much baking. A and I are already poring through our recipe books and making plans for exciting stuff we can forage and eat. I can’t wait!

Here’s a recipe to tide you over. Very simple and not requiring any shopping.

Honey spice cakes

This recipe is kind of circular in its origins. A British friend tweeted about it, I begged for the recipe, she emailed it to me. She sold it as “cake in a saucepan”, but it’s really just mixed in a saucepan and cooked in the oven. For a very short amount of time, I learned! So basically, it’s a super-simple recipe that you can throw together usually with things already in the pantry, and very quickly. And quite delicious without being too fancy!

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Dear ana,

I’m sorry to hear you’re not having a very productive time of it, lately. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing? I’ve been baking frantically since the year began, it seems – for parties and barbecues and picnics and stitch n’ bitches, and… well, for every possible occasion that I can make people nom the things I’ve made :)

I’ve just gone back through all the photos I’ve taken over the past couple of months, and unsurprisingly a lot of them are of food. Most of them are worthy of reporting on, so I shall do so here.

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My dear Emily, sorry for having neglected you for so long.

I don’t really have a proper excuse or explanation for it; you know how these things sometimes happen.

Over the Christmas break I had friends here at home (as well as some family – the whole thing was kind of.. ‘revolving doors’ for a bit) and as a result spent many hours of happy domesticity cooking with people, watching Jamie Oliver shows with people, and of course, eating too much in the company of people. I must report that I we used the recipe I gave you for mulled wine to make mulled cider: it was a treat. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear ana,Banana Cake

I hear you have some overripe bananas, so I’m sharing my banana cake recipe. It hales from my childhood–I think I had some at my friend’s house (age 5? 6?), and Mum made sure to get the recipe, and it’s been made hundreds of times since.

I made another one of my own last night, after finally purchasing a thermometer for my increasingly decrepit oven. The first time I tried to use the oven after I moved into this house, the temperature knob came off in my hand; another time when I opened the door the glass panel on the front fell right off (it’s since been repaired).

At one point a few months ago I tried to cook a honey and spice cake, but within about 15 minutes of being in there the top had started to burn while the bottom remained liquid; by the time it was no longer raw I had to saw 2 inches of charcoal off the top of it.

So, upon installing the oven thermometer, I discovered that ~160°C on the thermometer = ~120° on the dial. Thus I was able to set it accordingly, and lo and behold, my banana cake turned out awesome. I forsee more baking in my future.

At any rate, here’s the banana cake recipe. Measurements are Australian (I believe there’s a slight difference in US/Aus cup & spoon sizes, I’m not sure how we compare to European measurements).

The cake itself is rather ‘mild’ for a cake, I suppose–leaning towards banana bread, but I think a bit too soft and sweet for that. But not too sweet for my tastes! It doesn’t need to be iced–the browned top sort of caramelises deliciously, it really is just perfect as it is. But don’t make the same mistake I did and take it out of the pan too soon–I ended up peeling the top and the bottom of the cake off because I didn’t let it cool for long enough. (On plus side, it meant I got to eat all those delicious scrapings aaall at once.)

Banana Cake


  • 2-3 bananas
  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • Powdered cinnamon, or any other spice you fancy–this time I also put in a wee pinch of nutmeg, and a small spoon of minced ginger

Round or square cake baking tin (NOT a loaf one!)


  1. Over-ripen 2-3 bananas. As in, as close to completely black as you have the patience for. If I end up with over-ripe bananas before I’m ready to make a cake, I freeze them. Defrost before using.
  2. Beat together:
    125g butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
  3. Mix in:
    The 2 or 3 mashed overripe bananas
  4. Add:
    2tbsp milk
    1&1/2 cups SR Flour
    good pinch cinnamon (and/or spices of choice)
  5. Cook for 30-45 mins in moderate oven (150-170 celcius) or til springs back then test with skewer. I find the colour is a good indicator; it should be golden brown (see pic).
  6. Let stand for a couple of minutes, turn out & cool on wire rack.
  7. NOM

So, now I know the oven is working, I have plans for all the things I’m going to bake! I’ve been using Evernote to clip recipes I want to try so I can read them from the iPad when I’m in the kitchen; the only problem is that I can’t adjust the text size on the fly in Evernote on the iPad (which seems a huge gap in functionality–I just want to zoom a bit! Note to self: submit feature request).

Here are a few of the ones on my to-bake list:

Also, as I’ve become a bit more cluey about cooking in the past year or two, it’s occurred to me that this banana cake recipe is pretty standard; I could fairly easily substitute some ingredients for others and experiement–e.g. zucchini and chocolate cake, pear and honey cake, etc etc, om nom nom.

Baking ahoy!