Tag Archives: pineapple

Angelique’s Banana Bread

This is a gluten-free banana cake I put together for a friend of mine.  It’s a nice, easy cake to put together, and good for afternoon tea, as it’s solid, but not too sweet.

I must admit, I had my doubts about this cake initially.  You see, I used quinoa flour, and I used a different brand from usual (McKenzies, if you’re wondering), and it turns out that this particular brand has quite a strong taste.  I could still detect it in the final, baked recipe, which was annoying.  But in fact, it grew on me pretty fast, and I actually rather like it.  Though not enough to use the same brand next time.

Looking around, it turns out that quite a lot of people don’t like quinoa flour.  If this is you, don’t despair – more rice flour would work.  Alternatively, I note several food writers suggest ‘heat treating’ or toasting quinoa flour before use – apparently the trick is to spread out your quinoa flour on a baking sheet and bake it at 100°C for two hours.  I’ll be doing this next time – quinoa is a useful flour because of its high-protein ways, and this is an advantage worth keeping.


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2 over-ripe bananas
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup (approximately one drained tin) crushed pineapple
1/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp gingerbread spice mix, mixed spice, or ginger
1 cup rice flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder

For the icing:
250 g light cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups icing sugar


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Recipe: Pineapple & Lime Pectin Jellies

I’m all jellies all the time right now – ten batches so far this weekend, and two more to make – so I fear that all the recipes you’ll be seeing around here will be confectionery-related.

Here’s an invention from yesterday which turned out very well, I think.  I apologise for the paucity of illustrations – I was really focusing on getting the jellies made rather than recording the method for posterity!  You will have to imagine for yourself what my kitchen looks like when I am hacking apart a pineapple in it…

Pineapple is traditionally a poor choice for jelly making – the fresh fruit contains enzymes which break down gelatine, and leave you with Pineapple Goo, as I have learned to my cost.  But pineapple also contains a fair bit of pectin, so for once, the vegans win out over the omnivores, because *their* pineapple jellies actually work!  The flavour of these jellies is mellow and fresh rather than tangy, and not too sweet – the lime is a background flavour, but is mostly there to make sure there is enough citric acid going on.  I really like these.


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1 smallish pineapple
20 g pectin
50 g + 350 g white sugar
1 lime
175 g glucose syrup
15 g citric acid solution (I will explain all below, just buy citric acid for now)
caster sugar, for dredging

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Recipe: Carrot Cake With the Lot (or do I mean banana cake?)

decoratedI have this favourite carrot cake recipe which is full of glacé fruit and spices and all sorts of goodies.  And then I have the Green Kitchen cookbook, which has a carrot cake recipe which is sugar-free and full of spices and even more fruit and all sorts of other goodies.  I couldn’t decide which to make for (yet another) birthday party, so I decided to cross them and make them both at once.

A sensible person would probably have decided to do this by averaging the two recipes out somehow.  Not me.  I added the spices together to make it *extra* spicy (nobody ever puts enough spice in carrot cake), and then gleefully decided that if one recipe had dates and glacé fruit and raisins and pineapple and the other one had dates and banana, we should definitely have all of those things.  The recipe narrowly escaped having hazelnut meal in it, too, even though I don’t like hazelnuts, just because there was an open packet sitting there, looking inviting.

Then, having filled the cake with glacé fruit and ginger, I virtuously turned around and made the batter sugar-free.  Because that makes sense.  I spent quite a lot of the cooking process, in fact, giggling and throwing up my hands, exclaiming “I have no idea what I’m making!”.  This amused Andrew no end, which is probably why we are still married, because it’s an intrinsic part of my cooking process and I suspect it could get quite annoying…

My favourite bit in the whole process was the part where I looked at my date-banana-maple-syrup-oil-pineapple-spice-flour-egg mixture and realised I had created a really nice banana cake batter, to which I was about to add a world of carrots and fruit, potentially wrecking the consistency entirely.  So this, O my readers, is an extra special recipe – it came from two cakes and it produces two cakes!  You can stop the recipe halfway and make a virtuous and sugar-free banana cake, or you can continue the merry madness and have Carrot Everything Cake!  The choice is yours.

Choose wisely.

Your Shopping List (which can basically be summarised as ‘all the edible things’)

12 fresh dates
3 ripe bananas (no need for them to be over-ripe, but if that’s what you’ve got, that’s fine too)
4 tinned pineapple rings
1/2 cup canola oil, or any other not terribly strongly-flavoured cooking oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp mixed spice (I used the Gewürzhaus Apple Cake Spice mix, which is just heavenly)
NB: stop here if all you want is banana cake
4 carrots
300 g mixed glacé fruit, such as apricots, peaches, pineapple, pear, orange, or really anything but ginger or cherries
75 g glacé ginger
125 g raisins
For the icing
400 g cream cheese (half full-fat and half light makes your life easier, and also provides a modicum of virtue to the situation), or use a dairy-free mock-cream cheese such as tofutti
100 g honey
zest of 1 small lemon; juice of half a lemon

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Recipe: Hummingbird Cupcakes

These are the hummingbird cupcakes I made for a recent wedding.  By request of the bride, they contained tinned apricot, which is not something I’ve seen in hummingbird cake before, as well as nuts, which are a traditional part of the recipe, but one I normally skip.  By sheer tiredness on my part, they are also somewhat low fat, because I forgot to put oil in the first batch.  When I added it to the second batch, I found that the cakes tended to erupt and weren’t as tasty anyway, so I decided to skip it when writing it up.

These cakes are lovely – fruity and tangy and light and luxurious all at once, with a suitably decadent cream cheese icing.  If you want to know how to make the toffee spikes I used as garnish, I recommend visiting Brave Tart, who provides an excellent description of the process.  Have a look at the comments, as they contain more information – I wound up using styrofoam to stick the toothpicks into, which is excellent, but you do need to weight it with something, or it will tip over and all your beautiful spikes will fall onto the floor…

This writing up will be slightly approximate, as while I did write down what I did, my notes were a bit cryptic, and I haven’t had the opportunity to make these cakes since the wedding, so there is a little guesswork involved.  Especially as I know full well I kept on putting more fruit in.  I’ve adjusted the recipe to allow for this.  It is, however, a very forgiving recipe – I’ve made it several different ways – and it will work just fine so long as you don’t do something silly like forgetting to put in the eggs…

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330g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp bicarb of soda
330 g brown sugar
120 g shredded coconut (much nicer than the desecrated kind, so use this if at all possible)
150 g macadamia nuts, chopped
150 g glacé fruit (pineapple, apricot, ginger) chopped
250g tinned apricots
300g tinned crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups banana, a bit past ripe, mashed (this was about 3 bananas)
3 eggs
250 g cream cheese
250 g light cream cheese
160 g icing sugar
zest of two lemons

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