Spiced Banana Cake, with Ginger.

So, we have a ‘Banana Cake’ thing going on at the mo,
(more details of why & where in due-course)
but for posterity, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients for our Spiced Banana Cake, with Ginger;

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1.25ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 2.5ml Salt 
  • 75g Unsalted Butter (If you’ve salted butter don’t add the salt above)
  • 150g caster sugar (for a different dark cake, use dark sugar!)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • About 4 bananas (~450g if weighed with skin)
  • Mixed spice
  • Crystallised Ginger – chopped.


  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease & line with baking paper a small loaf tin.
  3. Mix the flour, bi-carb & salt together.
  4. Peal and mash the bananas.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  6. A little at a time, mix in the eggs and some flour mixture.
  7. Add as much mixed spice and chopped crystallised ginger as you fancy.
  8. Stir in the remaining flour and mashed banana.
  9. Pour into your lined tin & bake for 60-75 mins or until a knife comes out clean.
  10. Cool for a few minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.


As mentioned, the reasons for our Banana Cake adventures will be released in due-course.

For other cobbled together recipes (many Cornish), search ‘recipes’.


Easy Lemon Drizzle Cake

Easy Lemon Drizzle Cake:

Cream together:
4ozs marg
6ozs sugar

Mix into the above:
2 eggs
6 ozs SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tablespoons milk
rind of one lemon – (need lemon juice later)

Line small loaf tin* with drop of oil then greaseproof paper

Bake ’bout 45mins at about 180 degC

While cake’s still hot, make a syrup of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of icing or caster sugar (or any sugar to be honest – dark brown is also great).
Pour over cake while hot and still in tin.

Take out of tin after 10-15mins.
(Can be topped with melted chocolate!!)


*For the cake pictured I doubled the recipe, used a big round tin and cooked it for about an hour (cover with foil if it starts to burn)


Apple bake…

After a rainy summer’s day yesterday today the sun shone and the garden needed a bit of tlc. The rogue apple tree was straining under it’s load of fruit and so baking had to commence.

Can’t pretend to know what I am doing but we made a random flapjacky type apple creation and an apple traybake type cake. I can’t even remember what we put in to the flapjack, oats and honey and stuff – total guesswork. But here’s the Apple traybake Cake for the record…

Peel and roughly dice about 500g of apples and mix with lemon juice to stop browning.

Mix the ingredients below butter, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well until smooth. 

250g cubed softened butter

280g caster sugar

A dash of vanilla extract

A shake of mixed spice to your liking

350g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

Spread some of the mixture into a prepared traybake tin. Sprinkle half the apples over the top of the mixture, then add another layer or 2 of mix & apples… top with demerara sugar.

Bake for ~50 mins at 160C fan 160c fan.

Cool for 10 mins before you turn out of tin and cut to your liking.

Boom, with ice-cream… Summertime!



Let them make cake.

Cake, in a post-cake world.

This year I have found the emotional narratives of spring and specifically the Easter festival specifically vibrant. Like when you can’t see properly ‘cause of bright shiny stuff.

Even when you spend years meandering with deconstruction, experimental creative thinking, and the post-postmodern full-emptiness of current enlightenments, our past colours our world, (thankfully). Our upbringing, the stories and things at the hearts of ourselves reinforce our world whether we want it or not. Emotional narratives pull us strongly.

When I try to ignore some of the more imaginative and cakey ideas our culture entertains, I scrabble for somewhere else to place value. God said, “forgive them, they know not what they do”. I may not know what we do, but I think we still need to do stuff, or else there’s not much left. As August said, “If you don’t like where you are just picture where you want to be.”

Some of the pictures we live with make it more worthwhile. The stories we tell, and the rituals we enjoy, the treasures we cherish, the stuff that binds us to others … often it does not make total sense. Often we don’t know quite why we do what we do, but we need to do it, and let it be. We may not always agree with seemingly trivial warm and fuzzy stuff, but perhaps its these seemingly unimportant things that we need, to let us all be.

So when I ignore most of the trinketry of Easter this year, seeing my sister’s simnel cake (from a distance, via the magic of Facetime) lights up a deep narrative. And so, we also make cake. Okay, ours is not a real simnel cake, it has a rich mix of fruits and spice and a topping of marzipan and ours has many confused disciples on the top. But it still tastes great!

So this Easter, thanks go to pictures, stories and stuff that we use to colour in the spaces, join dots and make cakes in a post-cake world.

A belated happy Easter to you.



The simplest fruit cake

MixingBecause occasionally it just has to be done!

P’s homework was to follow and recipe etc and so any excuse to bake and we’re on it!

  • 350 g mixed fruit, raisins, currants, cherries, whatever’s in the cupboard
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • A teaspoon(to you liking) of mixed spice.
  • 100 g butter or margarine (we use 50/50 you can’t beat a bit of butter!)
  • 150 ml water
  • A squeeze of lemon.
  • 1 egg
  • 225 g of SR Flour


  1. Simply out oven at 150ºC and line a small cake tin with greased baking paper.
  2. Put fruit, sugar, marg/butter, mixed spice, lemon and water in a saucepan, and simmer lightly for 20 min – lid on!
  3. Allow to cool. Beat an egg and add to fruit mix then stir in the flour.
  4. Put mix into readied cake tin and bake for about 1 to 1.5 hours – depends on oven and shape of tin.
  5. Check with a sharp knife or skewer of it comes put clean it’s probably ready.
  6. Leave in tin for 15mins.
  7. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  8. EAT!

Because occasionally it just has to be done!


Chocolate (& stuff) Slices

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Feeeeeeeel good food!

A fave adaption from the Be-Ro booklet.

Cream 150g marg and 300g caster sugar till light and fluffy.
Melt 100g plain chocolate.
Separate 3 eggs.
Blend melted choc, egg yolks and creamed sugar/marg.
Sieve 250g self raising flour, 1/2 tsp of mixed spice, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt.
Stir in the above while adding 180ml milk.
Add some items of choice: mixed fruit, cherries, nuts, choc chips…
Stiffly beat the 3 egg whites and carefully fold into the above.
Pour into greased/lined baking tray and bake at 180deg for about 45 mins.
Leave in tin for 10 mins lifting out onto cooling rack.
When cooled, top with choice of topping if desired and cut to slices.



Joy! Warm and satisfying? Cool and fuzzy?

We made time today just to chill – we took ourselves and the kids to Bradgate for a stroll. Just walking in the fresh air was a great tonic against the noise of ‘daily stuff’.
With the kids it can be* easy to make any simple thing into an adventure (*given opportunity – but that’s another story). An unplanned portion of cake and a coffee helped halfway round!
Just sitting watching how the kids are growing into little people with ideas and characters of their own is grounding. Emma asked “can you see the deer?!” and P said “yes, I need a beer!” (not sure where that came from).
The clarity of the autumnal sky is striking. The seasonal adaption of nature; shrinking, slowing, fading – the moderation from the ornamentation of summer can be cleansing.
Back home we had a quick look back at some home-movie of A&P from a few years back and were reminded of the miracle of growth, and the blessings of shared experience.
Perhaps it’s difficult to summarise feelings of joy? It’s seems to be not an objective incident but a fleeting human feeling or thought that can either be embraced or ignored? Let’s just say; if you hear a breath, absorb it; if you see a wisp, grab hold of it; if you receive anything, share it, somehow!
Joy and life will not last – if it’s real, then after blooming, it may well eventually relax and rest back for a new awakening with someone else, at another time, in another place.
The tides of Mount’s bay and a private Camelot will always come and go, at least in my mind they will. It’s miraculous how they can be ‘felt’ over high fields in Charnwood. Count your blessings, name them one by one…

My only concern is that this joy seems a selfish experience, and is often not shared with others. That’s what’s missing… I feel that light, when kept to oneself is not true light but darkness. If it cannot be seen then it will not rejuvenate, it may as well die.
Ooops slipped, this post was intended to be a positive post.
Had a good walk amongst blue sky today! Hope you have too.
Happy days!