Chocolate Banana Streusel Muffins

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This is a bit of a belated post as I made these about 3 weeks ago. I always seem to have some overripe bananas hanging around as I’m not a fan of them when they start to go brown on the outside. This means I’m always on the lookout for recipes that will use them up. I spotted this recipe on Pinterest a couple of months ago and decided to give it a go as I had all the ingredients already. Chocolate and banana is a combination that can’t go wrong and if you add an oaty topping you can almost believe they’re good for you! I think these would be great for brunch but they will work just as well at any other time of the day with a cup of tea or coffee.

This recipe will make 8 muffins. As it is an American recipe the measurements are in cups. With hindsight after tasting these I think you could probably up the amount of banana as when I tried one the banana isn’t that strong so if you like a stronger banana flavour maybe try adding two bananas.
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Strawberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake

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My Dad has been visiting this weekend. The last time I made my Dad a cheesecake it was a bit of a disaster (forever to be known as the baked rhubarb omelette incident). I’m happy to say today’s cheesecake was much more a success. This was meant to be a Ferrero Rocher cheesecake from May’s issue of Good Food magazine. Off we went to the brand new Waitrose near us (I am worried by just how excited I was in there – they have a patisserie and you get a free coffee – what more could you want?) to purchase the ingredients. After purchasing most of the ingredients we then went to the local greengrocers where we bought a huge box of strawberries for a pound. It was then decided that perhaps a strawberry cheesecake would be a better use of ingredients. After a quick trawl of the Internet I found this recipe on the Baking Mad website for a white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake.

This recipe will serve 12 and needs a 20cm or 23cm springform tin. It’s easy to make and doesn’t take too long (I managed to make it in about an hour). It does take a while to chill (minimum 4 hours – overnight is ideal) so it will need to be made in advance.
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Carrot Cake

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I had never made a carrot cake until yesterday – shocking I know. There were two reasons for rectifying this situation. 1) On the last day of term at school we had lots of carrots left over from the free fruit and vegetables scheme for children in Key Stage 1 so I decided to grab some (thinking I’d actually feed them to the rabbit!) so I had plenty of carrots spare and 2) One of my good friends has just discovered her 6 month old baby boy is dairy intolerant. She loves cake and is missing out so I promised her I would investigate some dairy free cake recipes. After some searching on the Internet I have discovered it is hard to find dairy free cake recipes and when you do find them they require lots of special ingredients (like dairy free spread etc.) Luckily, I came across this BBC Good Food recipe that uses oil instead of butter and uses an icing made with orange juice and icing sugar rather than the traditional cream cheese frosting you might expect to find on a carrot cake.

It’s an easy recipe that only requires a couple of bowls (one for the cake and one for the icing). You will need an 18cm square cake tin, with the sides and base oiled and lined with baking parchment. (The recipe recommends using two long strips of paper crossed over making a double layer on the base.) It produces a lovely moist cake and the orange icing makes a tasty alternative topping.
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