I toyed with the idea of baking an elaborate cake for my son’s first birthday. Really I did. I even went as far as drooling over lots of beautiful cakes on Pinterest, albeit the night before.
Then I remembered I’m crap at baking. And also a bit lazy.
And that’s when I decided to buy some Smarties, make a number 1 with the blue ones, and chuck the rest on top for good measure.
The chocolate fingers were an afterthought (thank you, Google), and the cake is a Mary Berry. I used normal flour, so I couldn’t tell you what it tasted like. But it got eaten. And nobody spat it out because I’d used salt instead of sugar*.
*This happened once.
My nearest and dearest seem to be popping out babies left right and centre at the moment. I swear it’s catching. After the very girly baby shower a few weeks back I had two more to go to last weekend, which meant two lots of gluten-free cupcakes (I love Doves Farm’s recipe with lemon icing) and two more taggie blankets. I’ve just finished another new baby gift – a playmat – but I’ll save that for another post in case the new mum spots it on here before I have time to give it to her (because of course she’ll have time to sit and read my blog…)
I think that’s a total of 6 baby showers now – including my own last year – and I’ve seen some lovely handmade gifts at each one. A couple of friends are great at making nappy cakes, another made a beautiful patchwork quilt, and another a gorgeous crochet blanket. I’ve made so many taggies now that I think it’s high time I found a new ‘speciality’. I’ve started a board of crafty baby shower ideas on Pinterest, but if anyone else has any bright ideas please give me a shout!
I was going to clean the kitchen. Really I was…
Gluten-free banana loaf – looks a lot like a brick.
But then I made this. I’ve been craving banana cake (gluten-free, of course) for days, since I dreamt – yes dreamt – about eating a massive slice after an entire day of throwing up. Our little family has been struck down with the ‘flu for the past week, you see. Today, with the husband marginally better and back at work, my mother-in-law has come to the rescue and taken C for a walk so I can get on with some stuff. Does making myself a massive cake count? Probably not, but hear me out.
Thing is, all I ever do these days is clean the house. C only takes 30-minute naps, so the list of things to do – clean the fridge (overturned bottle of fish sauce: nice), vacuum upstairs, sort the mountain of washing etc etc – seems to be growing before my eyes. I get a whole hour to myself and what’s my first thought? Great – I can clean the kitchen. Well not today. Instead, I made myself some lunch and actually sat down to eat it, made a banana loaf in the space of 10 minutes, and replied to some emails while eating a massive, warm slice. The kitchen can wait – my stomach can’t.
Here’s the recipe – everything’s done in the food processor, and it takes less than 10 minutes to make.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Put 110g of unsalted butter and 110g of caster sugar in the food processor and whizz.
3. Add 2 ripe bananas and whizz again.
4. Add 2 eggs and a tablespoon of oil (I used groundnut) and whizz.
5. Add 220g of gluten-free self-raising flour (Doves Farm all the way) plus half a teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder. Whizz.
6. Add 1 packet of chocolate chips. Whizz for good measure.
7. Tip into your tin, put in the oven for 35 mins (sometimes takes longer – you’ll need to keep an eye on it) and cool on a wire rack.
The messier the better (honest).