Two of my passions, hiking and sweet food. A friend of mine has a love of both so I thought it would be nice to let her share here some of the sweet delights of her pre hike baking. Take it away Sheena!
From the desk of Sheena Findlay
My name is Sheena, I travel the World for my job, so when I’m at home I love to walk, bake, socialise and generally keep myself fit by doing Pilates and Yoga. I took up walking on a fairly major scale last year. I joined a local walking club and haven’t looked back. But one thing became apparent, I needed to eat more to keep my stamina up, so I took up baking again. I’ve always enjoyed making cakes but haven’t really made any, seriously, for a few years; I really did not need the extra calories! These days I bombard either my fellow walking buddies or my work colleagues with sweet treats.
The Banana Loaf
I decided to bake a banana loaf, my take on the Bakewell Tart and some oat and raisin biscuits. The banana loaf is more of a cake in all honesty. It serves 8-10 and can be frozen un-iced.
140g/5oz butter, softened
Plus extra for the tin
140g/5oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
140g/5oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
50g/2oz icing sugar
Handful dried banana chips, to decorate
Heat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the eggs with a little flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and bananas. Pour in to the tin and bake for about 33-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp water to make a runny icing. Drizzle the icing across the top of the cake and decorate with banana chips.
Tips: I like to use Lakeland loaf tin liners, they work a treat and saves having to butter your loaf tin. I also found that the cooking time that was given in the original recipe was for 30 minutes. Having made this a few times now I have had to extend the cooking time by at least 10 minutes. My suggestion would be to keep a keen eye on it after 30 minutes. Banana chips are not that easy to come by, but I believe you can buy them in Holland and Barrett. None of my local supermarkets stocked them.
This recipe is from Good Food magazine.
My take on a Bakewell tart
75g/2_oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
140g/5oz butter, softened
140g/5oz golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
75g/2_oz ground almonds
175g/6oz mixed dried fruit
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tsp mixed spice
6 tbsp cherry jam
175g/6oz marzipan, cut in to small cubes
50g/2oz icing sugar, to decorate
25g/1oz flaked toasted almonds
On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Lift the pastry over your rolling pin and use to line a 20 x 30cm rectangular fluted tart tin, leaving a rim of overhanging pastry. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas 6. Line your pastry case with baking parchment, then fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes, remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is golden and biscuity. Leave to cool.
Reduce the oven to 170c/150c fan/gas 3. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Stir in the flour, almonds, dreid fruit, half the zest of the orange and the spices. Spread the jam over the tart case, then dot the cubes of marzipan over the top. Pour over the cake mixture and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 35 minutes until golden and risen. Leave to cool in the tin.
To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick, smooth icing. Drizzle the icing over the tart, top with the flaked almonds and the remaining orange zest. Cut into squares to serve.
This recipe is supposed to serve 15 but I think it would serve considerably more. All depends on your appetite.
Again this is adapted from a recipe courtesy of Good Food magazine
Oat and Raisin Biscuits
125g unsalted butter, softened
150g light brown muscovado sugar
1 large free range egg, at room temperature
1 tbsp full fat or semi-skimmed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
150g porridge oats
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4. Put the butter and sugar in to a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until pale and fluffy in texture. In another bowl beat the egg with the milk and vanilla extract until just combined, then beat into the butter mixture. Add the flour, raisins and oats to the bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Put heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto greased baking sheets, spacing well apart to allow for spreading. (Bake in batches if necessary). Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned around the edges.
Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool and firm up on the sheets for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Store the biscuits in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.
This recipe is from The Great British Bake Off – How To Bake.