Friday, 28 July 2017

Banana Cake Recipe

I'm back with another easy recipe for you to try. This is one of the husbands favourites. Banana Cake! 

I make these in individual sized shapes then pop them in the freezer. One can be taken out in the morning, before work and it will be defrosted by lunch time (put them in the microwave for a few seconds if you like elevenses). They also serve as a cooler for your lunch box, which is handy.
I have a heart shaped cake tin with 6 individual hearts which is the perfect size for this mixture but an ordinary muffin tin would work too. If you prefer to make one big cake instead of lots of individual ones, use a loaf tin, just remember to bake it for a little bit longer.
This recipe has more of a pudding texture rather than being light like a sponge. It is delicious with a cup of tea in the afternoon and is AMAZING with custard!

2-3 bananas (2 medium sized or 3 small bananas)
55g Softened Butter
130g Self-Raising Flour
100g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Baking powder
1tsp Vanilla Essence (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 160'C fan-forced/ 180'C with no fan/ 350'F/ Gas mark 4.
Grease your cake tin. You might find it helpful to very lightly dust the greased cake tin with flour too, as we wont be lining the tin. Make sure you shake any excess flour out.
Mash the bananas in a large bowl. 
Add all other ingredients and beat until well combined. I find an electric hand mixer indispensable here. 
You will see lumps in the batter. Those lumps are banana and are perfectly fine. If you see any other lumps of butter or flour, mix them in.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before placing each into individual freezer bags and freeze until needed. Alternatively, enjoy them while still warm with generous lashings of custard. 😋mmm

This recipe is great for using up over-ripe bananas. If you only have one banana you might need to add a little milk to the batter to get a loose dropping consistency.

What you can't see in this pic is my husband waiting for me to finish photographing them, saying "Can I have one, yet?", "Can I have one, now?", "When?... Now?"

This is one of the easiest recipes, ever!! Try it and let me know how you get on.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Sewing Around The Bend

How to deal with tight curves when sewing? Pin, pin, pin!

I don't often use pins when I sew. I usually use wonder clips or just hold the pieces together with my fingers as I sew. There are times though, when pins really are essential.

This week I had to sew a straight and long rectangle onto a curved shape.

Look at this tight and narrow curve. Thaaat's pretty tight 😨😬.
Fabric can easily slip and stretch as it moves under the presser foot on your machine or leave you with little puckers when sewing around curves like this. ~I've had plenty of experience with that! *sigh*
I really don't like having to use my seam ripper and re-sew things. Ain't no one got time for that, as they say. Better to take the time to ensure the pieces are measured and cut out accurately and held together in the right places before sewing, to save on all of the teeth grinding frustration of unpicking later.

Using plenty of pins will hold the fabric pieces in place at tricky curves and a bonus is that if the pins are horizontal to the seam they will go through the machine so you don't have to unpin as you sew, which allows for maximum stability as the fabric passes under the needle. Whoop.
Just sew carefully and make sure the needle will pass over the pins and not catch on them and break. ~I've done that too. 😄

The trick to sewing curves is to sew sloooow and stop to adjust the fabric and smooth out any bumps with your fingers regularly. Another tip is to manoeuvre the fabric in front of you so it is straight and parallel with the foot before it passes under it. Sew a few stitches at a time and stop, manoeuvre the fabric around so it will pass straight under the foot, repeat. That way you can keep your seam allowance accurate.

The down side to using pins is all of the pricked fingers you get as you wrangle the fabric pieces around the machine and focus on the seam and pins in front of you and get bitten by a pin sticking out from the back. Ouch. Or does that just happen to me?

Have you got any tips for sewing curves? Share in the comments if you have. I'd love to hear them!