Tag Archives: Scandilicious Baking

Banana Spice Cake

Scandilicious Banana Spice Cake (8977)

Another cake recipe is on the way. One of two this week, hopefully! If I say once again that Signe Johansen’s Baking is one of my must-haves I’d be annoying you. But it is a gem. I’m still reading it through because I am taking my time with it. And one day I know I’ll be trying most of the yeast recipes. I’m still scared though!

In the meantime I think I made pretty much all of Signe’s banana bread/cakes and this is the one I like best. I made it a while ago and had it lined up for a few months. It goes well with a cup of tea if that’s your thing, or hot chocolate, which is mine. If you’re in the mood for something a little adventurous then make a good cup of coffee with a cardamom seed or two. Which brings us nicely to this recipe.

Continue reading Banana Spice Cake

Chilli Brownies

Chilli Brownies (8225)Today is Market day in Guildford. I’m not feeling too well so I decided to stay in, but that means I can show you what I brought home with me last month, which in turn inspired something I baked a few weeks ago. By coincidence, or call it what you want, I was thrown in a very entertaining Twitter conversation involving lots of people, including the lovely Signe, a.k.a. Scandilicious. Topic: Brownies. As you may know, Signe is one of my very favourite food writers. What I didn’t know is how seriously she takes brownies. Seriousness/passion scale 1 to 10 = 20. I say this in the most affectionate way, mind you. Why? Because she’s on to something. Brownies have the tendency to be way too sweet, too fudgy, too bitter, too chewy, not too chewy, too bland and too everything. To be honest brownies aren’t one of my first picks when choosing something from the coffee shop or bakery. I prefer a good muffin, though homemade ones are the best. Somehow the ones found in shops, tend to be really dry. The ones you can get in coffee shop chains I mean. But I digress.

Chilli Brownies (8215)Having said that I love making brownies at home – they are foolproof, easy, quick to assemble and therefore there’s no fuss. These are qualities that appeal to me in the kitchen. I cannot count the times I decided against baking something because of all the faff. I tend to be lazy in that way, yes, but when I’m tired the last thing I want to bake is a croquembouche. Let’s leave that to the pros, shall we?

Chilli Brownies (8219)This recipe is Signe’s, from Scandilicious Baking of course. They are seriously ooppss rich. And just for kicks I added dried chilli on top. The taste of these will take some time to develop so don’t expect to taste the full-blown effect instantly. But you will get the chilli hit by day 3. If you keep them in a cool place tightly sealed in a container, and wrapped in their own parchment paper, they will stay fresh. Mine kept for a whole week, and here I must say thankfully! Take your time with them.

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 175g chocolate hazelnut spread (in other words, Nutella!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ teaspoon or whereabouts of dried chilli flakes, for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 150ºC/130ºC convection/Gas mark 2. Grease and line with parchment paper a 20 x 20 cm square tin. Cut the parchment bigger that needed so that you have a steady hold at the sides when lifting the finished brownies. It takes a bit of extra work but well worth it I promise you.

Put the butter in a small pan and melt. Add the cocoa powder and hazelnut spread and give everything a proper mix. Set the mixture aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, break the eggs, give them a light whisk, then add the caster sugar and whisk again. Take the cooled chocolate-butter mixture and pour it in the bowl. Now add the plain flour, vanilla extract and salt. Mix everything until the all the ingredients are combined. You will now have a dark, gooey brownie mixture.

Tip the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle the dried chilli flakes on top. Bake for around 22 minutes. Around the 20 minute mark, insert a skewer in the middle. If you see some uncooked mixture on it, then take the brownies out of the oven. They will continue cooking in the tin, so please don’t overbake them. If the skewer comes out clean, you probably left them in the oven for too long.

Cool the brownies before cutting them into squares.

Chilli Brownies (8222)Chilli Brownies (8232)I told Signe they reminded me of American brownies. They are so different from the ones you get in the UK, which unfortunately tend to lack character. So I have to say this recipe wins hands down. So thanks Sig! And I look forward to seeing what you come up with next. Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, Saltyard Books, 2012.)

May I add some pics of those bought at the Market? Here they are…

Brownies from the Market (8203)

Brownies from the Market (8205)

Scandilicious Baking: Banana Bread

Banana Bread (7946)If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know how much I enjoy a good banana bread. Those who know me well can tell you that I’m continually looking for the best recipes for banana bread around. I think that I have found the best one yet. You can find it in Signe Johansen’s book Scandilicious Baking. I bought this after trying some of her recipes from her first book, which was also my first encounter with Scandi cooking. There’s no need to repeat how much I enjoyed, and still enjoy cooking from book number one. The second book, dare I say it, is even better and I’m glad I have it now because it’s a great book to have in the run up to the Christmas season. It’s a baking book after all, and for me baking is a perfect way to spend the autumn/winter months. I have also discovered a love for spelt flour!

Banana Bread (7945)Two days ago, on Twitter, I read a tweet by @akentishkitchen about Signe’s Banana Spice Cake, which I mistook for the Spelt Banana Bread recipe found on the opposite page. My mistake, but if you have the book you will know what I mean. Both recipes are next to each other, and though made with the same ingredient, they are very different. I’m sure the spice cake is delicious, but here is my take on the bread recipe. I’m sure Signe won’t mind…she’s such a lovely lady. If you have some fruit which is starting to go all mushy on you, try this. You won’t regret it. Really.

  • 3 medium bananas, ripe or very ripe and mashed
  • 100ml milk with a few drops of lemon juice, or buttermilk for that matter
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 75ml maple syrup, or golden syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 4 tablespoons porridge oats
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 170ºC or 150ºC fan (Gas Mark 3-4) and grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.

In a large bowl pour in the bananas, milk/buttermilk, butter, syrup and egg, and give everything a good mix. Add both flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and fold till the ingredients are just mixed in, and stop right there.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and with a spatula spread the batter out evenly. Bake for around 55 minutes in the middle shelf of your oven, till the cake turns golden brown on top. To make sure that it is done, insert a skewer or knife into the centre. If it’s clean when it’s out, then it’s ready.

Allow the banana bread to cool for a good 20 to 30 minutes in its tin before taking it out on a cookie rack.

Store it wrapped in kitchen foil in an airtight container and it will keep for a good three to four days. It is good. One of the best recipes I have even tried. Thank you Signe!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, Saltyard Books, 2012.)