Sunday, November 7, 2010


I bought Nigella Lawson's most recent book Kitchen when it came out, but haven't dived into it with as much enthusiasm as some of the great bloggers I follow, I'm hoping it's (or I'm)  a slow burner.  That said I can't wait to try the sweet and salty crunch nut bars she cooked on her programme last week, but have to wait until I have enough people in the house to eat them all in one go - otherwise I know where any leftovers would go (straight onto my hips!!!!)

I am amazed that all the loaf cakes in this book, well all the photos of the loaf cakes in the book show cakes that  have sunk quite a lot - I thought it might be interesting to see if the recipe caused this or was it perhaps an editorial decision (to make the cakes more approachable) or some other reason.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

I baked the Coconut and Cherry Banana Bread from Kitchen, and am happy to say that there was no "sinkage"!!  Of course, I fiddled a bit with the recipe, I replaced the cherries with some cranberries and chocolate chips.  The texture was excellent, the coconut added an extra dimension.  The banana, cranberries coconut and chocolate were an excellent flavour combination.  It was a lovely "everyday" type cake, nice to have in the cake tin but without the risk of it being demolished in one sitting! 

Cranberry, Coconut and Chocolate Banana Bread

125g                     butter
4                           medium bananas
150g                     caster sugar
2                           eggs
175g                     plain flour
2 tsp                     baking powder
1/2 tsp                  bread (bicarbonate of ) soda - sieved
100g                     desiccated coconut
75g                       cranberries
50g                       chocolate chips

Line a 900g  (2lb)  loaf tin with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 170 C

Melt butter in a large saucepan., then remove from the heat.
Beat the sugar into the cooled butter.
Mash the bananas and beat into the butter and sugar mixture.
Beat in the eggs.
Fold in the flour, baking powder and bread (bicarb of) soda.
Add the cranberries, coconut and chocolate and fold until everything is well incorporated.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until bouncy on top.
Allow to cool for ten minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

As you can see this mixture made one loaf and 4 muffins.

The lovely (and hugely talented) Megan over at  Foodalution  paid me the great honour of passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to me some time ago - my son has recently given me a "how to move a tag" lesson and therefore I am delighted to accept and to be able to pass it on to some  of the wonderful blogs that I enjoy reading.

I believe that I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass the award onto 7 blogs I admire.  So here goes:

1.  Other than food and cookbooks, I would spend all my money on books (novels) and C.D's (can't be doing with i-tunes!!!)

2.  I have recently returned to Yoga, and am loving it.

3. I badly need a new oven - but only like shopping for food, books and music so have been putting the purchase on the long finger!!

4.  I am a member of two book clubs and am contemplating joining an on-line one - just not sure when I will be able to find the time to read all those books!!

5.  I love reading about people who become self sufficient (or even partly self sufficient) and would love to be able to follow suit - just not enough to do all that weeding!!!!!!!!

6.  My perfect holiday is spent in a beautiful place with wonderful restaurants (surprise, surprise!!) with not a sun lounger in sight!

7.  My house is filled with musical instruments (and I mean filled!!) and I can't play one of them :-(

I am delighted to pass this lovely award on to the following blogs, I look forward to each new post from them and am pleased to recommend them to you.


In an embarrassment of riches I have another award to be grateful for (thank you so very, very much) The Art of Being Perfect  and  Cath at  Dunn to Perfection, both wonderful bakers (pop over to their blogs you will be impressed, very impressed!) have paid me the complement of granting me this award - thanks so much.

This time all I have to do is nominate 15 great blogs I have discovered and enjoy and inform them of this - easy peasy!!!  (If I have left anyone out I am truly sorry and please leave me a nasty comment!!!)

All of these blogs are worth a visit - you'll thank me!!!


Unknown said...

gawd bless you ... FABULOUS pictures of the cakes by the way and I agree with you, they probably use those sunken ones to show how 'real' Nigella is... now, I really like Nigella and have all her books (except for this latest one) and i've been watching the show with relish... but somehow this week it just really smacked of that 'fake' Nigella... it's all about her going to the supermarket and her having friends around to her fake house and quite frankly I wanted to squash her face into that delicious looking squink risotto... but, rant over, her salty choc bars did look incredible and I was thinking a topping of home made caramel and they'd be perfect for the 'we should cocoa' challenge?... and breathe...

Sommer said...

congrats on the awards!

wow the banana bread looks so scrummy and moist and everything delicious!

Unknown said...

Thanks so so much I will pass it on as soon as I have a second x x x

Chele said...

I haven't laid my grubby mits on Nigella's book yet ... Santa might be bringing it my way if I am a good girl!
Congratulations on both of your awards and thank you very much for passing one on to me - chuffed to bits ;0)

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

MMmm, I haven't seen many episodes of this series but I have made salted peanut biscuits from her Domestic Goddess Book and they were gorgeous. Here -

Well done on baking better cakes than Nigella! Your cake looks lovely and I like your adaptations.

Thank you so very much for mentioning me- really kind of you!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Thanks so much for the award. I will also have to ask my son how to move it. Just saw Nigella live today on qvc shopping selling her latest book. She had tons of food and all of it looked amazing. Your cake looks yummy.

freerangegirl said...

Thankyou so much for mentioning me! The cakes look fab, I often find Nigellas cakes dense and squidgy but these look lovely! I d love to bake more cakes but like you I need more takers or i end up finishing them off - definitely no good on the hips!

Choclette said...

Well done on two more awards - not surprised, you have a fab blog. I was doing lots of head nodding when reading your 7 things. I miss my book club, maybe I should join an online one.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Thank you for the award and congratulations on winning both of those. That cake looks sooooooo good!

Unknown said...

Congratulations! How awesome :)

Rose H (UK) said...

Congratulations on your awards! Another great recipe to drool over too...if I baked all the ones that look so fabulous, I'd be stuck in the house as I couldn't get through a door - lol!
Thank you so much for mentioning me on your list, I'm honoured :o)
Best wishes
Rose H

Danielle said...

Congrats on the award! And thanks for mentioning me on your list(: And that bread looks delicious!

Jutta said...

BG congrats on your awards - you deserve them! I love reading your blog. And thank you for passing an award on to me.

I have made the salty crunchy bars from Kitchen and they are amazing, and so easy to make. I am so glad Nigella cookbooks do not have calorie counts on recipes, how scary would that be?!?!

I wonder about the photos of the cakes in Kitchen too. I have made the chocolate orange loaf and it came out perfect. Maybe they were aiming for a homely look.

Unknown said...

Wow, congrats on a fab cake and those lovely awards. Great to read the seven things - I think an online book club is an excellent idea, shall we start one?!

Unknown said...

I've been eying that cookbook....I'll have to add it to my wish list for the holidays. The bread looks wonderful.

Thank you so much for the award :)

. said...

Congrats for your awardS! the cake looks great!

HanaĆ¢ said...

Congrats on your awards!! Your bread looks wonderful. I too hate "singages". Wondering I can leave out the coconut w/o any issues. Will have to try and find out, I guess. Last but not least, thanks for the award. I will proudly add to my blog :o)

Karen said...

Congrats on the two awards, and thank you so much for passing one on to me!
The banana bread sounds delicious with those lovely additions of cranberries, coconut and chocolate. I'm sure this wouldn't last long in my kitchen.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I love Nigella, I saw her on Oprah years ago when she first entered the American market and ran out an bought her book! Thank you so much for the blog award! That was so sweet of you! Have a great day!

My Little Space said...

Thanks so much for thinking of me! I am truly honoured and appreciate it. That's very kind of you. And congrats on your successful baked. I'm sure that's the biggest gift ever. Hope you're having a fabulous day.
Blessings, Kristy

Jemima said...

Hi BG thank you very much for the award! I will be busy cake decorating tomorrow night and out on Thurs so will post about it at the weekend! x

Joyti said...

Ooo, congrats on the award. And that rendition of banana bread sounds so flavorful and delicious and pretty unique.

Unknown said...


The bread looks amazing...:)


Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I felt the exact same way about Nigella's holiday cookbook from last year. I had literally waited for it to come out for over a year and by the time it did I was so disappointed - so many of the recipes felt like ones I'd seen before from her and others just didn't excite me. Oh well - looks like you found a lovely enough recipe from this one. Love the additions you threw in - delish!

Rhonda said...

I wondered too about Nigella's sunken cakes in this book, and was looking at the choc orange loaf in particular, so I'm glad Jutta had a go and it rose well! But I must try the coconut cherry banana loaf next, your's looks great! ..and congratulations on your awards!

Brownieville Girl said...

Thanks a million each and all.

Dom, genius idea!

Sommer, it was nice and moist, although I'm still looking for banana bread/cake prefection!!

Chele - I'm sure Santa will do the business!!

HTBP - my pleasure :-}

PDNFTA - those cookies look great (but not as good as your son!!). I'm sure my cake didn't taste better than Nigella's!!!!!!!

FBMKW - bet she didn't have any sunken cakes on that display!!

FRG - Sorry about the temptation!!

Choclette - thanks. Lily organises a lovely bookclub, might be worth a look:

Jacqueline and Tassie, thank you both.

Rose - think I'm probably due a few slightly more healthy posts!!

Danielle - thanks.

Jutta, I actually haven't come across anyone who's "Kitchen" cakes did sink - funny!
Totally agree on the calorie count .... I'd just have to tipex them out!!!

Kitchen Maid - Lily has an excellent one (and MUCH less work joining then starting one!!!!)

Danielle, I do think it's worth getting - Nigella is just such a good writer.

Thanks Cath.

Hanaa, I'd say that you could substitute ground almond for the coconut, actually I think that would be really nice!

Karen - the non-chocolate cakes usually last longer here!!

OBCS - she really does come across well on TV, although she had an afternoon chat show for a short while in the U.K., she didn't get into her stride on it at all.

Totally true Kristy.

LC, my pleasure.

Indie and Dr Sameena, thank you both.

Miss M&P, fingers crossed that we'll grow to appreciate the books!!

Rhonda, I look forward to reading about your non-sunken Nigella loaf cakes!!!

Julie said...

That cake looks wonderful! SOunds like an interesting combination. Congrats on your awards!!

Catherine said...

Your blog is fantastic, congratulations on the awards, well deserved!

I have a question on this recipe, the ingredients list calls for 2 eggs but they don't appear in the methodology? Mine was already in the oven (along with 12 mini muffins from the leftover mix!) before I twigged that the eggs were missing. The mix did seem a little stiff but the cake turned out beautifully, although it did sink slightly, and I think maybe the fact that I threw in an extra banana might have kept it moist without the eggs. Maybe you could let me know for next time.

thanks so much and congrats again

Brownieville Girl said...

Oh Catherine, I am so sorry - have edited the recipe now. Can't tell you how glad I am that your cake turned out well - despite me!!!!

Sorry again.

Thanks Julie:-}