Summer fruit drizzle cake

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It seems a little ironic writing this post for a Summer fruit drizzle cake when today has been decidedly autumnal. Yesterday we picked up some cheap strawberries and I decided after months of not having the time to bake anything it really was time to get back in the kitchen. The summer holidays used to be all about baking but these days they are all about play dates and keeping two energetic 18-month olds entertained! After a quick Google I did consider making this strawberry drizzle cake but had seen this BBC Good Food magazine recipe before and thought it be a good opportunity to use up some raspberries and blackberries that were in the freezer too.
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Banana and chocolate yogurt cake

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I made this over a month ago but have only just got round to posting it – my computer wouldn’t show me images when I put the SD card from the camera in so it made it tricky to finish it. Luckily my Dad came to visit a few weeks ago and sorted it out for me – thank goodness for dads! At the time I seemed to be eating a lot of cake (although that hasn’t really changed!). I think I was making up for lost time when I couldn’t eat that much when I was pregnant or it’s all the extra calories I was burning running around after two little people (and still am burning!) I had been fancying some banana bread so when we had some very brown bananas (Mr Birdie nearly through them in the bin!) I decided it was time for some more baking. I’ve made many different banana bread recipes before and banana and chocolate is always a winning combination. This recipe would be perfect for baking with children as you use a yogurt pot to measure most of the ingredients so there’s no need for scales. It’s quite good fun measuring everything out and would be ideal for little hands who aren’t used to working with scales. It’s a recipe from Delicious Magazine.
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Lemon buttermilk loaf

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So last week when it was Shrove Tuesday Mr Birdie bought lemons. I too bought lemons (a lack of communication on my part – oops!) which meant we had a lot of lemons in the house. Luckily Jo Wheatley posted this recipe on her fabulous website ‘Jo’s Blue Aga’ (if you’ve never checked it out ‘d highly recommend having a look). I’ve said before that I’ve always had great success with Jo’s recipes and I’m happy to say this was the case again. This is a very easy recipe as you simply put all the ingredients in a mixer and mix until combined.
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Nigel’s chocolate muscovado banana cake

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If I was to count up all the cakes I have ever made, banana loaf cakes would definitely be at the top of the list. I have made a fair few such as wholewheat banana nut loaf; Paul Hollywood’s banana, walnut and chocolate chip loaf; Nutella swirled banana bread and banana and pecan fudge loaf. I think it mostly comes from my hate of overripe bananas. The smell and texture seems to take me back to childhood memories of squished bananas in the bottom of school rucksacks. There are only two things they are good for: smoothies and any form of banana cake.
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Lemon & elderflower loaf cake

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This is a recipe I spotted a couple of days ago as I was having a recipe sort-out. I am a terrible hoarder (as Mr Birdie will confirm) and hold on to all sorts of magazines thinking I might make a recipe from them one day. Periodically I go through them all cutting out the recipes I want to keep. This recipe was from a Waitrose Weekend newspaper back in March and is by Martha Collison (one of last year’s GBBO contestants). As we were off on a picnic with my university friends I thought this would be a good bake to take along as it would be easy to cut and would hopefully survive the journey intact. It would also make good use of the elderflower cordial that I made.
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Banana and chocolate bread

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One of my friends Mia, came round for dinner this week and in her honour I made this banana and chocolate bread. She is a big fan of any kind of banana cake and I had some overripe bananas so it seemed like a perfect match. I’ve said it many times before but I’ll say it again – I love the combination of chocolate and banana. This is a Delicious Magazine recipe that I spotted a little while ago.
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Banoffee coffee bread

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I’ve just started following Donal Skehan on Twitter and was looking at some recipes on his website when I came across this recipe for Banoffee coffee bread. A banana loaf cake with toffee and chocolate chips and a coffee glaze sounded like my kind of recipe. Luckily when I was in Waitrose during the week they had some bananas that were reduced to clear, so this weekend’s bake was decided. The recipe isn’t actually by him, but is by Barry Lewis.
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Blueberry crumble loaf

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Recently Mr Birdie declared that somebody at his work had made a cake that was far better than anything I had made recently. You can probably guess that this did not go down well with me! The recipe in question is from The Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Day book. Whilst looking at the recipe for this supposedly amazing cake, I spotted this recipe for a blueberry crumble loaf. I had bought some blueberries thinking I would make these blueberry and pretzel cookies but changed my mind after seeing this recipe. I had a slight issue in that I didn’t have a loaf tin which was the right size. I ignored this and used my 2lb load tin and did have some issues with it overflowing the top of the tin which then made it very difficult to get it out at the end. The recipe also only said to grease the tin and dust with flour. With hindsight, I would definitely line the tin with baking parchment.
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Seeded loaf

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In my mission to make the most of potential baking time the holidays offered I decided to make a loaf of bread. I had some Waitrose crunchy mixed seed bread flour that was open and needed using so I decided to use this to make a seeded loaf. The method I used for this recipe is based on this BBC Good Food recipe. I decided to prove my bread overnight in the fridge and altered the ingredients slightly as I didn’t have any malted, wholemeal or granary bread flour. I was very pleased with how this load turned out. In the words of Mr Birdie ‘That’s a proper loaf – you could make toast from that!’ – as opposed to previous loafs I have made before which have perhaps not risen to the occasion!
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Lemon drizzle loaf

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Oh Christmas holidays – how have you disappeared so quickly? Two weeks seem to have flown by and tomorrow it’s back to work for us teachers (to the delight of parents around the country!) I was quite poorly at the beginning of the holidays with a nasty flu-like cold and have been feeling decidedly lacklustre for most of this week but luckily have been feeling well enough to bake over the last few days. Wanting to make the most of the precious days of freedom I have been baking at every given opportunity. This was the first thing on my list. Dashing around Tesco on New Year’s Eve I spotted some unwaxed lemons that were reduced. Knowing that I wanted to make a lemon and cranberry bundt I snapped them up. I was given Holly Bell’s ‘Recipes from a Normal Mum’ for Christmas (thanks Dot and Martin!) and have recently started following her on Twitter. She posted about her 10 most popular blog posts and this recipe was one of those posts. As I was meeting up with one of my fellow teachers to do some planning I thought this might aid our brain cells and as I had my bargain unwaxed lemons that needed using it seemed like a winning combination. Plus I’ve never made a lemon drizzle cake (shocking I know!)
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