Saturday, 23 July 2016

Double chocolate banana bread, great way of using overripe bananas.

Dark and foreboding.... this is just the case, rich in chocolate flavours, you would swear it contains alcohol (it doesn't !) dense, moist and or so very moreish.

We've all experienced the guilt of overripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl becoming progressively blacker and blacker, this recipe solves that dilemma. Based on a recipe by Smitten Kitchen this is an easy recipe and is an excellent way of using those manky bananas to their best effect.

What you need

  • 3 very ripe bananas - mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted), or coconut oil. Cool slightly
  • 3/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chocolate essence( I get mine from Bakery Bits)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup plain flour (would probably work gluten free, but I haven't tested as yet)
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa (I always use Green and Blacks)
  • 1 pkt of dark chocolate chips / chunks
You will also require a 2lb loaf tin, oil sprayed and base lined. I prefer to use loaf tin liners

What you do
  • Pre heat your oven to 180c
  • Mix the mashed banana and butter, sugar and egg, essence in a large bowl or use a mixer.
  • Sieve in the flour, bicarb, cocoa and salt and fold until just mixed 
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and the scoop into your prepared tin
  • Level the top and place in the pre heated oven
  • Bake for 55 minutes or so until risen and tests cooked when a skewer inserted into the loaf shows its cooked through
  • Cool for 10 -15 minutes in the tin on a wire rack and then remove from tin and allow to cool fully.

We are linking up to several challenges this month

      We should Cocoa, theme this month is Anything Goes, hosted this month by Tin and Thyme.

            No waste food challenge hosted this month by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Lancashire Cook Book - review and giveaway

Lancashire is a county famous for its warm and friendly welcome and now increasingly its amazing food. Meze publishing have worked with a range of chefs and food producers from across the county to compile a beautiful celebration of the amazing food that is available in my home county.

I am really lucky to have eaten at most of the venues and sampled the wares of most of  the producers and the book does a fab job showcasing the amazing array of produce that I am lucky to have on my doorstep. The compilers have also worked with and Hospitality Action, who both do great works , one is promoting visiting Lancashire (food being an important attraction) and the other working to support members of the hospitality industry who have fallen on hard times.

The eagerly awaited Lancashire Cook Book was released on June 23rd, brimming with recipes and stories from local heroes all sharing a passion for upholding Lancashire’s reputation for proper food.
This book will be number 12 in the series of regional ‘Get Stuck In’ guides by Meze Publishing, who were recently crowned Best Newcomer at the Independent Publishing Awards.

Award-winning Celebrity chef Andrew Nutter has written the foreword and his ethos sets the tone for Lancashire’s passion for first-rate local produce:
“There's never a dull moment in the life of a restaurateur but what excites me on a daily basis is the delivery of all the fabulous regional Lancashire produce - utterly inspirational - so check out the recipes"“I'm very proud to be part of the Lancashire Cook Book, firstly showcasing my flagship restaurant Nutters but secondly being able to share with you the birth of The Bird at Birtle my new gastro pub venture,” he says.
With his brill and wild garlic pesto recipe, Nutter shows how Lancashire is mixing up innovation with tradition in the most delicious way, and Preston City BID manager Mark Whittle shares his enthusiasm:
“Preston city centre has a vibrant and evolving restaurant scene; we are delighted that it has been recognised and showcased in this fantastic publication.”
BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden contributes his Jacob’s ladder recipe and Chadderton’s very own Simon Wood also features fresh from his 2015 MasterChef win and the release of his first book At Home with Simon Wood.
Lancashire’s independent food scene leaps off the page with entries from traditional pubs and fine dining restaurants including 2015 Good Hotel Guide’s ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ winner The Inn at Whitewell and the folks at The Catford Inn who landed themselves ‘Tourism Pub of the Year’ 2015.

Not to mention a plethora of local retailers throughout Saddleworth, Chorley, Bury and Clitheroe, such as Huntley’s Country Store whose very own Tom Wood won 2015 ‘Butcher of the Year’, the award winning Butlers Cheese and many more including Browns Butchers whose owner Chris Brown had this to say:
“At Browns we can’t wait for The Lancashire Cook Book to be released. We feel this is a wonderful stepping stone to the heart of Lancashire and what it truly offers. Being involved is a fabulous experience.”
Ian O’Reily at Gazegill Organic Farm feels just as passionate about the book’s release:
“We have always been passionate about local and sustainable food and to have this great cook book reinforces our love of local whilst highlighting the oasis that Lancashire is for food outlets and destinations, there can be few counties that can produce just about every ingredient you could wish for and at unbeatable quality.”

From Bashall Barn Farm Shop’s braised blade of beef to twice-cooked confit of duck with rabenda jus at Samlesbury Hall; Lancaster lemon tart at Barton Grange Garden Centre to blood orange cheesecake at The Yellow Tree Inn; The Lancashire Cook Book promises to deliver something for every palate.

The Lancashire Cook Book retails at just £14.95 and will be available soon in all of the businesses featured in the book as well as select local gift shops, book shops including Waterstones and online at

Just a couple of points to note Dukpond - Preston is now closed and The Yew Tree, Anglezarke is currently closed due to a fire. My only slight niggle with this gorgeous book is why when Lancashire has amazing new potatoes( in fact potatoes in general) do several recipes feature Jersey royals, which are good but not exactly local.

We are lucky enough to have one copy to giveaway to a lucky reader of this blog, your prize will be sent to you direct from Meze Publishing. Just enter via the rafflecopter link

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules for giveaway

We have one book to giveaway - , this can only be posted to UK addresses and will be sent direct from Meze Publishing.

Simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget above. 
To be in with a chance of winning you must complete ALL the required fields. 
All entries will be checked and verified before a winner is announced. 
You can increase your chances of winning by Tweeting on a daily basis. 
Rafflecopter will pick a random winner. 
The competition runs until the 31/07/16
If you win, you MUST send me your delivery details quickly and within 24 hours or the prize will be passed to the next person drawn. 

Please see the Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter widget for the rules and more information.

Some content and all photography supplied by Meze Publishing. Review copy was supplied free of charge from Meze, all thoughts, opinions are my own.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Lemonade scones

Lemonade scones, a slightly unusual recipe but a scone never the less and one that creates the prefect scone for afternoon tea in a flash. Scones in my humble opinion need to be fluffy and light and no so sweet as to be cloying when served with fruit jam, this scone has it all despite containing lemonade it fresh and light and slightly scented with lemon, a perfect accompaniment to a dollop of homemade jam.

The recipe only has three ingredients (if you use a self raising flour- 4 if you use plain and baking powder) and the science bit is that the fizzy acidic lemonade activates the baking powder in the flour to give a superior rise in the oven. And rise they do, they tower as long as you don't man handle the dough too much. Some recipes also use double cream, not something I normally have in the fridge so I use creme fraiche and it works perfectly.

What you need
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 175ml lemonade
  • 175ml creme fraiche
What you do
  • Pre heat the oven to 200c fan /220c non fan
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, I use a stand mixer but you could knead together by hand
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and cut using a round cutter to desired size, I use about a 2 1/2" cutter 
  • Place on a lined baking tray and bake for approx 15 minutes until golden, the exact length of time will vary depending on the size of your scones
  • Cool on a wire rack and serve when cold with cream (clotted, double whipping , your choice) and homemade jam, curd or honey.
I have also made these scones with gluten free flour (my own mix) and they work fine, they obviously don't rise as much but they are still very tasty, more of a scone meets shortcake, they could also be made dairy free if you can get hold of a dairy free cream substitute, its already egg free so very allergy friendly all round.

Gluten free version 
I recently discovered  a half used bottle of lemonade in the back of a cupboard, past its best before date but still fizzy so  that what I used in this recipe and they turned out fine. So I am going to use this post as my link up to Credit Crunch Munch this month.

                                         Credit Crunch Munch - Fab Fod 4 All

Credit Crunch Munch is a blogger challenge created and hosted by Fab Food 4 all and Fuss Free Flavours.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Credit Crunch Munch - July 2016

                         Credit Crunch Munch - Fab Fod 4 All

We are really pleased to be hosting Credit Crunch Munch,  a fab blogger challenge this month which is exactly what it says, all you need to do to  to take part is blog about a money saving foodie idea or recipes. Created by the awesome bloggers Fab Food 4 All  and Fuss Free Flavours, here are some suggestions of ways you could take part but we are sure there are many more.
  • Dishes using cheaper ingredients
  • Cheap cuts of meat or vegetarian
  • Meals using leftovers
  • Meals using up the ends of packets
  • Substitutions of cheaper ingredients
  • Packed lunches
  • Meals that use less energy to cook 
  • Pressure cooking
  • Slow cooking
  • Faster cooking – less oven time for example
  • Batch cooking for the freezer
  • Sustainable foods
  • Food you have grown yourself
  • Meals from reduced food in the supermarket
Basically a recipe that saves money in these challenging times...... yet produces some great tasting food !

I for one want to use more of my homegrown produce from the garden to best effect, or may be what about ingredient substitutions when the cupboard is bare. If you would like to see previous month challenge for inspiration check out Helen or Camilla's pages.

If you fancy hosting later in the year please get in touch with Helen at fussfreeflavours dot com

To take part you just need to 
  • Link back to Fab Food 4 All , Fuss Free Flavours and me (Lancashire Food)
  • Complete the linky below to take part
  • Use the lovely Credit Crunch Munch badge in your post
  • And if you tweet use the lovely #CreditCrunchMunch hashtag and we'll all try to RT you.
  • The closing date is 31st July 2016
  • By entering you are agreeing to let us use an image from your entry on this site, and to pin to Pinterest.
Please be respectful of other people’s copyright when blogging recipes and give credit to the originator. But feel free to send to as many other entries as you like, let’s help everyone save money!
To enter just fill in the linky below which you can also share on your post if you so wish, its a blog hop so lets have some money saving fun.
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