Thursday, 20 September 2012

Very Sticky Upside-down Banana Ginger Cake

Here is a banana cake with a bit of attitude. 2 whole bananas are in a cake without being mashed. 
So if you like banana, this is your cake. :)   
Making caramel is a really tricky job and I made a very sticky mess in a sauce pan the first time I tried it. Unfortunately most of the unsuccessful caramel went down the sink :(   I think the key to making a good caramel is the timing.  You need patience to wait for the sugar to melt and quick action when adding water at the right time. When you have made a good runny caramel to cover the bottom of the cake tin, you are almost there. Making the sponge is the easy bit.  

  • 200g plain flour 
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Bananas sliced
  • Caramel: 85g Caster sugar + 1 tablespoon water
1.     Preheat oven to 170 °C.  Place greaseproof paper at the bottom of the cake tin.

2.     Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.

3.     Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

4.     Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Mix everything together gently.

5.     Make caramel sauce: 
    •  Warm the pan gently over a medium heat for a few moments then place white caster sugar in the pan, still over a medium heat. Leave the sugar and keep an eye on it, until it begins to melt. After about 5 minutes the sugar will start to melt and turn liquid around the edges.  Do not stir.
    •  Give the pan a good shake and leave it again until about a quarter of the sugar has melted. Using a wooden spoon, give it a gentle stir and continue to cook until the sugar has transformed from crystals to liquid and is the colour of dark runny honey – a dark amber colour.
    •  Take the pan off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of tap-hot water – the caramel will splutter and steam so protect your hands with a cloth and take care. Stir well – you may need to return the pan to a gentle heat to re-melt any lumps of caramel that have formed. The caramel is now ready to use.

6.     Pour the caramel sauce into the cake tin.

7.     Place the sliced banana and then pour the cake mixture on top.

8.     Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes. When the cake cools down turn the cake tin upside down and gently peel away the greaseproof paper.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Lemony Cupcakes

Believe it or not, these are my first ever attempt at making cupcakes. I had never made them before.
Well... I've been baking a lot of muffins by now. I must admit almost an obsession as I kept baking muffins in the last few months. Yesterday, I ran out of vegetable oil which I believe is an essential ingredient for making muffins. I think vegetable oil gives muffins a very light fluffy texture compared with using butter or margarine. So, no vegetable oil, but I couldn't be bothered rushing to the supermarket just for that.
So, plan B... Ah.. Why not cupcakes? Cupcakes are cakes, not muffins, so they say... They have a different texture altogether. Therefore, cupcakes require different ingredients and a different method. Cupcakes need butter or margarine instead of a liquid form of fat, and more eggs. For making cupcakes, I can use an electric whisk.
Result: The texture is quite dense and very moist. They are cakes after all. They should be like that, shouldn't they?  I love a lemony flavour, so I made a mixture of lemon curd, extra lemon juice and icing sugar for the top of each cupcake.


  • 125 g Self-Raising Flour  (or Plain Flour + 1tsp Baking Powder)
  • 125 g Caster Sugar
  • 125 g Unsalted Butter or Margarine
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoon Milk 
  • Lemony mixture ( Lemon Curd + Icing Sugar + Lemon Juice )


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C  (Electric oven | Electric fan oven 160°C | Gas Mark 4) and place paper cases into a muffin tin.
  2. Using an electric whisk, food processor or wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next. Add the vanilla essence if using.
  4. Carefully fold in the flour and baking powder with a spatula.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 - 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, check to see if the cupcakes are ready by inserting a cocktail stick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes out dry then the cupcakes are done. If not, then put them back in the oven for a few minutes more. Don't overcook the cupcakes otherwise they will dry out. Lift the cupcakes out of the muffin tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Make the lemony mixture and pour on each cupcake.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Lemony Golden Syrup Muffins

Golden syrup is a kind of comfort food, isn't it? So, here are the muffins which make you feel "ahhhh". I was looking for a muffin recipe and found one in Her recipe suggests adding extra golden syrup to the middle of each muffin, but I decided to pour "lemony golden syrup" into each muffin instead. It makes the muffins lovely and moist with a hint of lemon flavour. :)  


  • 200g flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (90g) golden syrup
  • 1 dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 130 ml milk
  • golden lemon syrup (golden syrup + lemon juice) 


1.     Pre heat the oven, 200  (190 fan oven)
2.    Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
3.    Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
4.    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly mix.
5.    Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake them for 20 minutes.
6.    When the muffins are baked, poke a few holes into each muffin with a very fine skewer and pour the golden lemon syrup into each muffin.

Serve while still hot, with a cup of tea or coffee. 
They would also be great turned into a pudding with a big dollop of custard.