Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category


Four-seed banana bread

November 6, 2009

As the chill takes hold and we’re all starting to go into hibernation mode, I thought this would be a good time to make something comfy and warm to snuggle up with on the sofa – lovely, lovely banana bread.

Four seed banana bread

Four seed banana bread

There are many recipes floating around for banana bread, and I’ve tried a lot of permutations, but this is by far the best. Because bananas are naturally sweet, there are some recipes without sugar – they are ok but not amazing. I say, in for a penny, in for a pound; get some sugar in there and make it not just ok, but damn good! As well as enhancing the bananas’ sweetness, the brown sugar gives the freshly baked loaf a light, almost crunchy crust. Slice carefully through the warm loaf and you get the moist, sweet bread that’s ready to eat.

Yes, I do add seeds to a lot of my recipes, but I reckon if you can get away with it, do it. They add goodness and protein and give you licence to eat cake with impunity…

Recipe for four-seed banana bread

200g self raising flour
50g wholemeal self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g soft light brown sugar
100g butter
75g raisins
1 tbsp linseeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
4 bananas, mashed (fresh or frozen)

Get a large bowl and add the sifted flours, baking powder and salt, then mix in the butter and sugar, either rub it in with your fingertips, or – much easier – mix it all up in the food mixer. Whisk up the eggs, bananas and vanilla with a food mixer or by hand, and carefully fold into the flour mixture, finally adding the raisins and seeds.

Pour the mixture into a large silicone loaf tin, or a greased and lined metal tin, and cook at 175°C for  1 hour. Do the skewer test after and hour; it should be golden on top when it’s ready and a little moist inside, but if the skewer’s too sticky, turn the oven down to 170°C and give it five more minutes.

Tip: I usually make a large loaf and a little one too, in a small loaf tin. This is a really good gift for someone, or an alternative to the bog standard wine if you’re invited round for dinner etc.

© Katheryn Rice 2009


Banana and blueberry crumble

October 18, 2008

When I make crumble I tend to make extra topping and freeze it away for when Mr Rice and I fancy a quick pudding fix. One Sunday we were feeling particularly sweet-toothed and could think of nothing better than a lovely crumble. So I dug out the frozen crumble mix and had a look around at the fruit available. 

Ok, so all we had were some frozen blueberries and some nicely ripe bananas. I think cooked banana is delicious and under-rated, so I thought I’d give it a go, combined with some low-GL antioxidant-rich blueberries for a little extra colour and flavour.


Banana and blueberry crumble

Banana and blueberry crumble



It worked fantastically well, the bananas took on that softer, creamier texture and a subtle, deep flavour, which means there’s no need for butter with the fruit. The blueberries added sweet little kick. The great thing about this pudding is that it’s so easy and tastes amazing…

Recipe for banana and blueberry crumble
300g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3 bananas, ripe is best
100g golden caster sugar
100g wholemeal plain flour
80g oats
50g golden caster sugar
50g demerera sugar
100g butter, chilled

Throw the blueberries into a 7-9 inch pie dish, then slice the bananas into the mix, add the sugar and combine well. Level out the mixture in preparation for the crumble.

To make the crumble, grind the oats until quite fine, but still with a bit of texture, then add them and the sieved flour into a large bowl. Then chop the butter into the mixture into inch-size pieces. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and then add both sugars. Rub the sugar in until it is completely blended.

Pour the crumble onto the fruit mixture and then cook at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the crumble is golden brown. Serve with fresh custard.

© Katheryn Rice 2008


Peach Melba Crumble

September 22, 2008

As we head into autumn, crumble is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day. The combination of peaches and raspberries is usually found in other deserts, but it works fantastically with the sweet and crunchy crumble too. Top with creamy custard or fluffy vanilla ice cream and tuck in!

Peach melba crumble

Peach melba crumble

Recipe for Peach Melba Crumble
4 ripe peaches, diced, skin on
200g fresh raspberries
50g brown sugar
3 knobs of butter 

100g wholemeal plain flour
80g oats
20g flaked almonds
50g golden caster sugar
50g demerera sugar
100g butter, chilled

Mix the diced peaches, raspberries and brown sugar together well, then transfer into a 7-9 inch pie dish. Add the knobs of butter just under the top level of fruit and make sure the top of the mixture is level for the crumble.

To make the crumble, grind the oats until quite fine, but still with a bit of texture, then add them and the sieved flour into a large bowl. Then chop the butter into the mixture into inch-size pieces. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and then add both sugars. Rub the sugar in until it is completely blended. Finally, stir in the flaked almonds.

Pour the crumble onto the fruit mixture and then cook at 180 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown – delicious!


Just Cupcakes

August 5, 2008

Check these babies out:



So cupcakes are getting a bit trendy these days. So I thought I’d shamelessly jump on the bandwagon and make some of my own. When it comes to cupcakes it probably goes without saying that you have to forego any concerns about fat or sugar content and just get on with using the best ingredients to get the best results. 

As you can see from the photo, icing is really what makes the cupcake, so I thought I’d go to town, and it was a nice way to pass the time as Mr Rice nursed his monumental hangover.

Recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes
125g unsalted butter (room temperature)
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
25g plain flour
3 tbsps skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Butter cream
150g unsalted butter (room temperature)
300g caster sugar 

Preheat the oven to 200ºC and put 16 bun cases into a muffin or bun tin. Then beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a food mixer until well combined, followed by the sifted flour and beat again until it’s all smooth. Then add the milk 1 tbsp at a time, with the mixer on, until the mixture is soft but not runny.

Get two teaspoons and get a heaped spoonful of the mixture on one, and carefully push it off the spoon and into the bun cases with the other until all the bun cases are equally filled. Make sure they are no more than half full or they will overflow when they cook.

Cook the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown and then let them cool fully on a wire cooling tray before you ice them.

I used good old butter cream to ice my cupcakes. It has a lovely, luxurious, velvety texture and is solid enough to cover any uneven tops on your cupcakes. Flatter tops are also the reason I’ve used 25g plain flour, so they don’t rise up too high.

To make the butter cream, just beat together the butter and the icing sugar until nice and smooth. Then you can smooth it or pipe it onto the cupcakes however you like, and of course you can add a little colour and other accoutrements too to give them the perfect finish!

I also discovered that these cupcakes were a good cure for Mr Rice’s hangover. 

Special thanks to Mr Lawrence for telling me to get on with blogging – I’ll make you some cupcakes v soon!

© Katheryn Rice 2008


Strawberry shortcake cups

July 11, 2008



Strawberry Shortcake Cups

Strawberry Shortcake Cups

I always loved strawberry shortcake when I was younger, so this is an update, with a bit of a show-off presentation. It started off as a cheesecake with a shortbread base, but then I decided to make little shortbread cups instead. This is when the silicone muffin tin came in handy, but I’ll come back to that later.


Recipe for Strawberry shortcake cups
200g strawberries
200g shortbread biscuits
50g butter
½ tin of condensed milk
4 heaped tablespoons of fat free greek yoghurt
½ tub of cream cheese

Heat the butter gently in a small pan and while it’s heating, crush the shortbread biscuits into crumbs. You can do this by putting them in a strong food bag and smashing them with a rolling pin – this is the most cathartic method, good for releasing some tension, but be careful not to make any holes in the bag, or the crumbs will go flying. You can also crush the biscuits in a blender, which is more efficient but not as satisfying.

Add the biscuit crumbs to the pan and combine with the melted butter, then line the silicone muffin tin with the crumbs, about 1cm thick all the way round. Press the crumbs down quite firmly and smooth out. I used the end of a rolling pin to flatten down the base and then smooth up the sides, but you could use the back of a metal spoon too. When you’ve moulded all the cases, put them in the freezer to set. They’ll need to be rock solid before you take them out of the tin, so they don’t break. Give it at least an hour, preferably two.

Next, add the cream cheese and yoghurt to a bowl and then beat until smooth, then stir in the condensed milk. Add the vanilla and then finally the chopped strawberries. Chill in the fridge for as long as you leave the cups to set.

After an hour or two, remove the muffin tin from the freezer and very carefully remove the cases one by one. The best way is to actually peel the silicone away from the case. Carefully place each cup on a plate and then spoon in the filling and serve with a couple of fresh strawberries on the side.

If you’re not going to serve them straight away, freeze them until you’re ready, then get them out about 10 minutes before. 

© Katheryn Rice 2008


Fish and Pecorino lasagne

June 10, 2008


Fish and pecorino lasagne

Fish and pecorino lasagne


It might sound odd, but it tastes absolutely delicious. If you like fish pie and you like lasagne, you will love fish lasagne. It was supposed to have cheddar and parmesan, but I picked up pecorino cheese by mistake. Not one to trudge back to the shops, I decided to give it a go, and it worked brilliantly. The cheese sauce gives the whole dish an extra kick, and the crunchy cheese topping is the icing on the cake, so to speak! Use whatever combinations of fish and cheese takes your fancy.

Recipe for Fish and Pecorino Lasagne

1 pint skimmed milk
2 bay leaves
1 garlic clove
40g butter
50g wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp English mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh lasagne sheets
100g smoked haddock
150g cod fillet
200g prawns
50g sweetcorn
50g wholemeal breadcrumbs
300g cheddar cheese, grated
200g pecorino cheese, grated

Heat up the milk, bay leaves and garlic in a pan over a medium heat and warm to just before boiling point, then remove from the heat. Then slowly melt the butter in a separate pan and stir in the flour carefully, stirring all the time. Take the bay leaves and garlic out of the milk, then gradually add a little of the milk to the flour and butter mixture. Add the milk bit by bit, stirring all the time until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Once all the milk is added, bring the sauce to the boil, add the mustard, salt and pepper and then turn the heat off. Put enough of the cheese aside for a generous topping, then add the rest to the sauce and stir until it’s melted. Add all the fish and the sweetcorn to the sauce, then put a quarter of the mixture into the dish, followed by a sheet of lasagne and so on. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining grated cheese, and cover the top of the lasagne. Cook at 180°C for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Serve with garden peas and garlic bread.

© Katheryn Rice 2008


Blackberry and apple muffins

May 18, 2008

blackberry and apple

Muffins have been on my list of things to cook for a while, particularly as I have muffins in mind as a quick and tasty alternative to toast for breakfast in the morning. Many a time I have pictured myself grabbing a frozen muffin or two from the freezer as I run out of the door to work. I finally had a spare afternoon and managed to dig out the muffin recipe I had been saving for this very day. To top it all, I had also invested in some silicon muffin cases, mini and normal sized, so I really was all set to go…

Blackberry and apple is one of my favourite combinations, which harks back to my childhood and many memorable sunday teatimes eating blackberry and apple crumble. So I thought I would transfer this combination to muffins. And to make myself feel better that I was planning to eat these for my breakfasts, I thought I should inject some healthiness in the form of brown flour and oats, to up the protein and lower the glycaemic load. Luckily the combination works very well and they are delicious!

Recipe for blackberry and apple muffins
Dry ingredients
140g soft brown sugar
150g brown self-raising flour
100g rolled oats, blended until powdery
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Wet ingredients
85g butter, melted and just cooled
2 large eggs
200ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g blackberries
1 eating apple, finely chopped

If you have silicon muffin cases, lay them out in muffin tins (this helps to keep their shape), or just place them close together on a baking tray. I used 12 mini muffin cases and 12 normal sized cases, and also needed to use a silicon muffin tray too. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix all the wet ingredients in a jug, making sure they are well combined. Then pour the wet into the dry and carefully fold in. When it’s about half combined, add the fruit chunks and continue to fold carefully until just combined. You have to be careful not to over-mix or this will make your muffins tough and flat – not so much fun than light and fluffy ones!

Spoon the mixture into all your muffin cases and tins and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They are ready when golden brown and springy to the touch. Let cool for a bit and then remove from the cases. If you want to freeze them, let them cool completely, then wrap individually in cling film and put in the freezer in a sealed freezer bag.

Tip: If you want to make them more fluffy and less health-conscious, substitute the brown flour and oats for all white flour. 

© Katheryn Rice 2008 

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