You may have noticed on my social media that we saw the new year in over in Kerala in India. There is going to be a some more ‘what I did on my holiday’ on here over the coming months, but I am here today to talk about banana bread!
It was a busy holiday – seven stops in 15 days. But
absolutely everywhere we went, there was always a slice of banana bread to be
had! Either on the breakfast buffet, with tea in the afternoon, or both! So to
come home and be bereft of banana bread was a bit of a downer.
I’ve been making banana bread for years. The original recipe
was given to me by my friend Nic and I twiddle with it! This time, I decided to
add a touch of chocolate and cardamom – both of which were grown on an organic
spice farm we visited in Thekkady. But I definitely don’t want it to be a
chocolate cake so it is just a hint of cocoa.
This one is going to have you firmly divided – you will love it or hate it! Andrew rather un-poetically described these maple bacon brownies as meat and chocolate! I, however, think they are something of a sweet and salty sensation. And I have tried them out on a few people and the response has been brilliant!
Bacon is no stranger to having a sweet bedmate – bacon, maple and pancakes are a brunch institute. So adding dark chocolate to the mix and baking into brownies isn’t too much of a leap…is it?
It doesn’t matter how neglected it is (and it is very neglected), my rhubarb crown never fails to deliver. I have been handing it out to family and friends, and making cake – a rhubarb cake is a wonderful, simple thing.
My rhubarb is super tart which I love, but I appreciate that isn’t to everyone’s taste. So I looked around my kitchen for something to soothe and compliment it. A few wrinkly clementines caught my eye.
Ok, so I caved! My social media feed is full of Creme Egg cakes, Creme Egg cookies and Creme Egg brownies, so I couldn’t resist making my own.
A chocolate brownie is a treat. A hand full of mini eggs is a treat. A Creme Egg is a treat. So, my point is, enjoy these brownies in moderation because they are all three! I actually decided to use the small Creme Eggs which come in a bag – partially because I don’t think I could manage a whole one, and also why just put a Creme Egg in when you can add mini eggs as well! Yes, the eggs run deep in this brownie! But you know what, you can use big ones too – why the heck not!
There is so much afternoon tea around these day, that I
think many places just plop it on the menu and then serve up some sub-standard
cake and curly sandwiches in order to fulfil a need. You won’t read about those
places here. I only want to share the good stuff and Mamucium in Manchester is my latest find.
It was actually my sister who suggested we take our teenage
nieces to Mamucium – right next door to Manchester Victoria station. I was
perplexed as she isn’t one to generally have her finger on the pulse of new
foodie openings, but it turns out that she knows a pastry chef there. So all in
the name of support (yeah right, like we need an excuse to go and scoff cake!)
we trundled off on a gawd awful rainy mid-week jaunt during the school
actually part of a relatively new hotel called Hotel
Indigo. The building was much smaller that I was expecting for a hotel, but
it is nice to see that they’ve renovated an existing old one instead of
building something new and bland.
Ok, so I know that this is the second cheese-related recipe in a row. It’s just that time of year, where everything is made better by some melted cheese. You know that’s true: toasties, crumpets, pasta, pizza, risotto, onion soup… all are perfect bedfellows with cheese. Plus I have never shared a macaroni cheese recipe, so why the heck not!
I love macaroni cheese, but I don’t eat it very often because it is so OTT, even by my greedy standards. All that cheese, butter, full fat milk, pasta….if I made it every week there would be serious trouble. But macaroni cheese is a winner when done well and I hope that you agree that this has been done well. So as an occasional tea it is a real treat.