Monday, 20 February 2012

Get Your Own Banana Bread! (I've eaten all of mine!!)

How could you not love something devoted solely to testing cakes!? Honestly, this is one of my favourite little gadgets (if you can even call it a gadget!). I love baking, love trying out recipes I grew up eating. This banana bread is one of those recipes that just makes me smile. I remember bananas in our kitchen that looked like they'd been painted black, or thrown into the singed charcoal of a fire...something no one would eat or touch! And then somehow, they were transformed into the most delicious, moist, moreish bready-cake.

I have been making banana bread for many years and have come up with my own, extra super delicious, recipe. To me, the things that push this over the top are incredibly, unbelievably dark and smushy bananas (no yellow!!), using brown sugar instead of plain castor sugar (even a molasses sugar would be excellent!), and adding the slightest bit of nutmeg and cinnamon.

The last time I made this, I had a few one slice (because ladies aren't greedy!), put it in a tupper, and then proceeded to eat the entire loaf without sharing any with the Handsome Hunter! I'm a terrible wife.

...but I don't regret it...


Do you have a recipe that you remember fondly from growing up?? Have you tried to make it your own? Let me know what you've been baking/cookin' up!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Among the Porcupines

It was (and still is) one of the greatest, most honest love stories I have ever read. I found it in an antiquarian book shop hidden away on a rambling, cobbled street somewhere near the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh many, many years ago. I've passed that shop a few times since picking it up and smile every time I see it. It was written by Carol Matthau, wife of the great Walter Matthau. Valentine's Day always makes me think of that book and the steadfastness of great, big love. There is a line from that book that remains burned into my memory, the words so clearly marked in my brain. And I believe them so much. Especially when I look at my husband, and I know how lucky I am to have found him

'People grow, people change, people become different, I said to myself. I went to him. He was still a man who could quietly tell you the world. '

::Among the Porcupines:: by Carol Matthau

On that note, hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! Over at the Hunter abode, we were pretty low key as someone, no names, has contracted MAN FLU and went to bed earlier than a 2 year old. That's ok, I still managed to have quite the romantic dinner and dessert with my (other) main squeeze, Izzy. So, in the spirit of love, hearts, chocolate, and all things red and pink, I want to unveil Pinnies and Poppy Seeds in it's new home!! Drumroll pleassssse....

Nadia, from Thinking Chocolate is my fairy godmother, my penny in the wishing well. She has graciously let me hunker down in her shop to make my little buttery creations and I could not be more grateful. We are getting things organised and I'm looking forward to my first day in the shop!

As it was Valentine's Day, we combined our efforts to make some pretty awesome cookies. Here are a few pictures to show you where I'll be working and what these hunks o' love looked like!

Nadia decorated some small, all butter shortbread hearts with chocolate, drizzles of white chocolate, double dipped in luxurious, velvety chocolate and topped with fun, bright sprinkles to give the shortbread a kick!

I made some big lollipop heart shaped double chocolate chip shortbread which Nadia decorated with a coating of extra delicious chocolate and a piping of white chocolate for contrast. They were the perfect gift to show that special someone you care :)

And if that isn't enough chocolate for you, take a look at some of Nadia's incredible creations!! You can buy boxes with a mixture of your favourite flavours. Take a look!


This is going to be quite a busy month, and I'm so happy to say that I should be up and running in the Stockbridge Market by March 11th. Watch our Edinburgh!

Happy Baking!