I am back at it with the healthy baking.
A few weeks ago I posted about these sugar free Banana Breakfast Bars, which are pretty fab if I do say so myself.
Once again we ended up with a few slightly over ripe bananas and I thought I’d have another go at a sugar free baking.
This time I bring you virtually sugar free blueberry muffins.
These are not as sweet as the breakfast bars turned out to be, but what can you expect from baking without sweeteners, hey.
All you will need:
2 very ripe bananas
250g Self raising flour
125ml Vegetable Oil
A drop of Vanilla extract
4 tbsp of Honey/Agave/Maple Syrup (optional)
1 tsp Biocarbonate of soda
2 tsp Baking powder
A sprinkling of granulated sugar and desiccated coconut
Start by pre-heating the over to 200 degrees (fan). Mash your bananas in a medium sized bowl, then add the water, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla and honey. Stir until combined.
Sift together the flour and baking powders, before adding it to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined and then pop in the blueberries.
Divide between 12 muffin cases, then sprinkle over a little granulated sugar and desiccated coconut (this should add a nice little textured top to the muffins) and pop in the oven for 20 mins or until the tops are that golden brown.
Obviously these aren’t going to be exactly like your traditional blueberry muffins, but by virtue of them being sugar free blueberry muffins, it means you can have two, right?
It’s a bit of bad timing on my part that I’ve got two cake related posts in the same week. That’s my bad but I think it can be excused because CAKE, right? The first was the professional cake for when you need a super tasty treat and you can read all about it here. This cake is some of my own making, so don’t mind the shake-y hand icing, but it was baked with speed after work, ready for the work bake sale the next day. And coloured pink to match the cause – Breast Cancer Awareness.
Here in the UK the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I think it’s difficult to find a family or group of friends who haven’t been affected by cancer and it’s a cause close to my heart. Every year 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer – that’s the equivalent of one every 10 minutes. My office had a Pink Day and a bake sale to raise some support for the charity. Sadly this bought me to the realisation that I own absolutely-God-damn-nothing pink. That must be rectified sharpish. So instead I baked a few little pink cupcakes and if you want to give some support to you can do so right here.
I don’t think I have ever lived in a place where literally every culinary need and desire is pretty much taken care of. In Bristol you can find such an array of cuisines that even the fussiest of eaters can find something really good. It almost makes me long for the days when Pizza Express was the only place in my repertoire and budget. St Nicks market in the Old Town is a lunch time delight for the hard working people of Bristol. Under the glass arcade is an abundance of stalls all serving the freshest of food from falafel, to sausages, to flatbreads and hummus.
But what about if you need something a little sweeter to get you through the afternoon back at the office? This is where Ahh Toots come in to save your sweet tooth from a miserable afternoon. They’re nestled amongst the other stalls, they have a cart full of different flavoured cake. They have some really unique creations such as Croissant cake (sign me up right here) and even an ombre cake. They cater for intolerances with a selection of gluten free choices and each is decorated so beautifully it makes you wonder how they can slice into them every day. They have a small seating area if you’ve got some time to sit and watch the hustle and bustle of St Nicks market or just take your cake to-go and watch the office jealousy unfurl.
If like me, you often spend your lunch times running around dealing with errands that you CBA with after work, and then enjoy a sorry looking sandwich back at your desk, then maybe you’ll be looking for a little summin’ summin’ at the weekend? Harbourside market takes place every Saturday and Sunday and they seem to have expanded slightly in recent weeks. Included in this mini-expansion is The Big O Donut Co. selling, you guessed it, donuts! They have a slightly different Polish dough recipe which I’m not sure how it makes them different, but the proof is literally in the pudding. The blackberry and almond was pretty damn tasty.
This post was mostly produced out sadness at the loss of the Bake Off (what am I supposed to do with my evening now!) but if there are any other places I should take my sweet tooth for a visit, just lemme know…
In the UK it’s currently the time of year where you can spend the majority of your evenings outside in the open – providing it’s not raining of course. But with it being light until at least 9pm, there’s not really any excuse not to take the opportunity while it’s here.
Except… now there’s a huge reason to ignore the evening light, get yourself home and settle in on the sofa. And that’s Bake Off season. Yes, the GBBO is back and I’m as excited as I am every summer. There’s cake, there’s Paul and his icy stare, Mary Berry being all cheeky. And the ultimate duo of Mel and Sue as the cherry on top, full of fresh witty cake puns. At University it was an official night ‘Bake for Bake Off’. Every week we ate cake and we watched cake. Now unless I’m super organised, I don’t think I’ll have time to bake on a weekly basis, but to ring in the new series I thought I’d make a batch of little almond-y biscuits and share them with you.
For those with a keen eye, you’ll notice that the recipe I’m using here is actually for some very chocolatey biscuits, but unless it’s an actual piece of chocolate, I’m not too hot on the flavoured kinds. So for now I’ve substituted the cocoa for some ground almonds, and I think it might actually be worth it!
Since starting full time work I’ve really learned to savour the weekends. In those two days you aim to do everything that you would have normally fitted into your free-as-a-bird, loose scheduled student weeks, which can sometimes prove tricky and you find yourself running around, crazy-lady style, when really you should be taking it a bit easier! Then, every so often you get an extra special weekend – THE BANK HOLIDAY! A glorious extra day off to do whatever you may please with.
This weekend happens to be the Easter weekend, with which comes a Friday and a Monday off work. In honour of this I decided to spend the majority of my Good Friday in the kitchen. I’m not usually one for super time consuming bakes with lots of proving or resting needed in between stages, I like to get in there and have a nice freshly baked result shortly after. But what with it being Easter then Hot Cross Buns where definitely necessary!
Having just said that I don’t really do baking that involves lots of rising and kneading and resting, these buns included all of those but really it wasn’t that much faff! I used a recipe from here, and I have to say for a first time I feel that don’t look too bad. They definitely look homemade, and more on the rustic side but altogether not too shabby. But the test truly comes with the first taste which although was vaguely Hot Cross Bun like, could have been better had I remembered to add in the egg. And the sugar…(oopsy!) At least I’ll know for next time and until then I have a nice batch of unique, slightly spicey bread rolls!