Sian's chocolate cake

The recipe was given to me by my friend Sian ages ago, and I've made it lots of times since.
It's a lovely moist chocolate cake, which uses oil instead of butter or margarine. It keeps well .

190g plain flour
2 level tbspns cocoa
1 level tspn bicarb
1 level tspn baking powder
150g caster sugar
2 tbspn golden syrup
2  eggs [beaten]
150ml veg. oil
150ml milk

50g butter or marg
4 level tbpns cocoa [sieved]
3 tbspns milk
150g icing sugar

Preheat oven 160C/gas3/325F

Grease and base-line 2 x20cm sandwich tins.

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl then make a well in the centre and add the oil, eggs, syrup and milk. Beat it well and pour into the sandwich tins. It's a very runny batter.
Bake for 30-35 mins then turn onto a wire rack, remove paper and leave to cool.

Icing - melt the butter or marg in a pan, add the cocoa, stir well, and cook gently for about 1 minute. Then stir in the milk and icing sugar, take off the heat, mix well and leave to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Sandwich the cakes with half the icing and smooth the rest on the top.

I find this too much icing, so I only make half the amount of icing and put it in the middle.


Belgian cake

Having a good sort out in the food cupboard this morning, I found a jar of mincemeat leftover from Christmas.
I remembered having a recipe somewhere which uses it in a cake. It's an old recipe, originally cut out from a magazine, but I've tweaked it several times.

100g butter or margarine
75g dark brown sugar
150g wholemeal flour
1 tspn cinnamon
2 eggs
225g mincemeat
1 tbspn water

Preheat oven 170C/gas 3 and grease and base-line a 20cm square cake tin.

Beat the fat and sugar together till creamy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and cinnamon then the mincemeat and water.
Spoon into the tin and bake for about 30 mins till golden.
It's got a nice light texture.

I don't know why it's called 'Belgian cake'!


Honey and banana loaf

We love teabreads and loafcakes, so I made this one to use up a couple of very ripe bananas.

This recipe was given to me by my aunt many years ago, and it's delicious. I've changed it to metric.

225g sr flour
1/2 tspn grated nutmeg
100g margarine or butter[softened]
225g bananas [weighed without skins]
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
6 tbspn thick honey

2tbspn honey [warmed]
crushed sugar lumps or nibbed sugar

Preheat oven 180C/gas4/350F

Grease a 900g [2lb] loaf tin and line base with greaseproof paper.

Put flour and nutmeg in a bowl and rub in the marg. or butter till it looks like breadcrumbs.
Mash the peeled bananas and stir into the flour with the sugar, eggs and honey.
Beat it well until it's evenly mixed.
Put into the loaf tin and bake for about 45 mins. Check that the top's not browning too much, or if it is, put foil on the top.
Allow the loaf to cool then put onto a wire rack. When it's completely cool, brush the honey [which has been warmed in a small pan] over the top and sprinkle on the sugar.

This is nice on it's own with a cuppa or spread with butter.

I brought some nibbed sugar back from France, so used this on the top. I also added some mixed spice to the flour mixture as I love spice!

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