Chocolate banana upside-down cake

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Hooray for half term! It’s an opportunity to catch up with friends and a chance to enjoy some of my favourite things. Today I was meant to be playing tennis but sadly the weather was against us. One of the lovely ladies I was due to be playing with loves banana cake so I decided to give this recipe, that I had seen ages ago, a try. You cannot fail with combination of chocolate and banana and it was indeed very tasty. This is a Delicious Magazine recipe. It does take a little big longer than your average banana bread recipe to make as you need to make a syrupy topping for the upside-down bananas but it does look impressive when you turn it out.
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Rhubarb & custard cake

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Today was World Baking Day and to celebrate I decided to try out this BBC Good Food rhubarb and custard cake. I had seen the recipe in a teatime baking recipe booklet I received with the April issue. Luckily, rhubarb is part of Aldi’s ‘Super 6′ and is currently only 59p – a bargain! I love rhubarb so have always got my eyes open for any baking recipes that include it. My last attempt at baking something with rhubarb was the infamous ‘Rhubarb omelette incident’. Hopefully today’s effort will banish any memories of this disaster! I’ve got some rhubarb and some custard left over so might try some rhubarb and custard muffins towards the end of the week.
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Beef cobbler with cheddar and rosemary scones

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I decided to try a savoury bake this weekend. This week was a week of birthdays at work so by the time my colleagues had munched their way through my Salted Caramel Billionaire’s Flapjack on Tuesday and then cake nearly every other day I think we all need a break next week (well until maybe Friday!)

I had seen this Paul Hollywood recipe ages ago and pinned it to my ‘Recipes to try’ board on Pinterest. After making Mary Berry’s Cottage pie with dauphinoise potato a couple of weeks ago we had some red wine that needed using up so decided yesterday was the day to give it a go. I normally fail to make a decent beef casserole but I have to say this was delicious. The recipe says to use a metal casserole dish but we don’t own one so I cooked everything in a frying pan before transferring it to a glass casserole dish in the oven. The original recipe is for 6 people but as it was just the two of us I halved the quantities to make enough for 3 (leaving a portion for the freezer). The original recipe uses malt flour and wholemeal self-raising flour which I didn’t have so just added a teaspoon of baking powder to some wholemeal flour and increased the amount of self-raising and wholemeal flour to make up for the missing malt flour.
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Salted Caramel Billionaire’s Flapjack

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This post comes with a warning. If you are on a diet, trying to avoid fat, trying to avoid sugar or trying to avoid your dentist this is not the recipe for you! This was an experiment. On our way home from Devon after the Easter weekend we stopped at a Morrisons where we picked up some Billionaire’s Flapjack (chocolate flapjack with a caramel topping). Mr Birdie then suggested I would like to try making my own. After a bit of investigation I decided to give it a go but add a salted caramel twist. This is by no means a perfected recipe as I think the proportions need a little tweaking. It went down well at work and was a revelation to my colleagues who had never tried salted caramel before. I used a 17 x 25cm rectangular baking tin however I think a slightly bigger one would have helped make the proportions better by reducing the thickness of the chocolate flapjack.
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Chococcino Cake

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This was a bake for a charity bake sale at Mr Birdie’s work. One of his colleagues, Keith Spicer, has just completed the amazing feat of walking from Land’s End to John o’ Groats for the charity ‘Sands’ (The stillbirth and neonatal death charity). Keith has a blog where he documented his walk which you can read here. Keith is trying to raise £10,000 and he has a JustGiving page where you can make a donation if you’re feeling generous.

This is BBC Good Food recipe I first made a couple of years ago to celebrate passing my Masters degree. It combines a chocolate sponge with a coffee filling which to me is a perfect combination! I have to say this attempt was more successful than my previous one (although I was slightly disappointed with how my sponges rose.) This is an easy recipe to prepare and makes the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. You will need two 20cm sandwich tins.
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