I lost the motivation to bake.
There, I said it.
I haven’t really made any cakes or cupcakes in a while. Maybe it’s the lack of motivation, procrastination, moving to a smaller apartment (and hence a smaller kitchen), or all of the above. I felt uninspired, and no energy to exert any effort in baking.
Until last month, when Mr J gave me a birthday present in the form of a cake decorating class: Sweet Sessions with Cakes by Cliff and Lime Tree Bower. I knew I was going to enjoy the class, but I didn’t realise how much I was going to love it. Cliff and Helen were so knowledgeable in all things cake and florals – from the technical, to the artistic, to giving us creative freedom to just do whatever we wanted with the decoration. We covered the basics: how to make your own swiss meringue buttercream, the right temperature, the right tools to use, cutting, layering, and assembling. Wiring florals, choosing which ones are appropriate for cake decorating, taping, and then decorating. I had so much fun that it made me super excited to getting my hands dirty again with flour, butter, and buttercream! Thank you so much Cliff and Helen for your patience, generosity, and energy! Really enjoyed the class, and am looking forward to attending more!
There is something comforting when baking on a Sunday afternoon, while the sun is setting in the horizon, and after all your house chores have been done and dusted. It’s also usually on a Sunday when Mr J puts in a request for baked goods – banana bread, apple cinnamon muffins or simple scones. I would often share his cravings and would happily oblige, and half an hour later, voila. Freshly baked goodies out of the oven, in to our mouths, washed down by a nice cup of tea.
This is my go-to banana bread recipe, because it’s simple, easy to bake, and just utterly delicious. I also like the fact that it’s a fuss free recipe with maximum impact. No need for any fancy gadgets, or hard to get ingredients. Just straight forward ripe bananas, waiting to be turned into something magical.
What are your Sundays like?
Donna Hay’s Banana Bread
Recipe from here
3 – 4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
125ml olive oil or vegetable oil
260g brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Prepare your loaf tin.
- In a bowl, combine the mashed bananas, oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and cinnamon to the bowl. Mix together but do not over mix.
- Pour onto prepared tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
- Cool for a few minutes before slicing. Best served toasted with some luscious Pepe Saya butter.
It is baby season amongst my friends, and I love it.
I am surrounded by the most gorgeous, happiest babies and I am absolutely enjoying being the dedicated “Auntie” to not one, not two, not even three babies. Last count, there are about 7 little munchkins in our circle of friends, with one coming very very soon.
With kids means celebrations. Baby showers, births, christening, birthdays. Being around these munchkins literally makes me feel young inside and out – and I am loving it. In the current hostile climate that we live in, being around children shifts my mindset to that of simple happiness and innocence.
This Vanilla Cake with a Brownie Fudge Centre & Vanilla Ombre Cake Frosting was a request from my friends whose son was christened last month. Of course I had to go OTT with the brownie centre because I can, and my love affair with bunting topping hasn’t died down. Plus, I discovered this fantastic baker and cake topper maker from Etsy – Sugar Creations by Sera – who made the cute elephant topper in record time. Thank you Sera for your promptness & for helping me patch up poor little Dumbo who needed some minor surgery after losing a few pieces in transit.
I used this White Cake Recipe from my previous post – http://sugarlace.com/2014/06/white-cake-with-ombre-buttercream-double-row-bunting/.
The baby elephant topper from Sugar Creations by Sera.
And the remaining batter, I made into 12 cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting with animal toppings for the little ones.