Honey and Banana Cupcrepes


Following the excitement of Christmas and the low of back to work blues, it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Easter isn’t close enough and summer feels like a lifetime away, but there is one celebration just around the corner, and that’s Pancake Day.

I grew up in the small Victorian town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, where the famous pancake race began. According to history books in 1445, an Olney housewife heard the church bells whilst making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan.

Because of this, Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) has already been rather a big thing. Each year the entire town gathers at the market square to watch the local wives race. With their aprons, frying pans and batter at the ready they race down the high-street, flipping their pancakes all the way to the finish line at the church. As a child my friends and I would make banners and even participate in our own mini races. The crowds would then head back to the market square where pancakes were served.

It was such a big part of my childhood so I’m always so shocked when I meet somebody who doesn’t know what a pancake race is. Equally however, I’m always incredibly proud to tell this story of my little hometown.

The classic English Pancake is my favourite, and I like to keep it super simple with a sprinkle of sugar and LOTS of lemon.  This year however, I wanted to make them a little different…enter Cupcrepes.

The pedantic people out there will be quick to point out that crepes are actually the thin French pastries, and those you see on these cupcakes are actually American pancakes. Yes, I beat you to it as I am that pedantic person, but truth be told finding a name for these was hard and Pancake Cups didn’t quite have the same ring to it.


Makes: 12 cupcakes

Preparation time: 1 hour

Baking time: 30 minutes


For the cupcakes

175g unsalted butter, softened

175g caster sugar

200g self-raising flour

4 tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

For the buttercream

250g unsalted butter

500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste

For mini pancakes

1 banana

200g flour

150ml milk

1/2 tsp baking powder

Handful banana chips

Squeeze of honey


Preheat the oven to 17o degrees and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time.

Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together then add to wet mixture until combined.

Stir in the honey.

Scoop the mixture into each cupcake liner and bake for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack then pipe on vanilla buttercream

For the mini pancakes

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz for 2 minutes until smooth

Pour out small round of the batter onto a frying pan and fry for 10 seconds before flipping over and frying for a further 10 seconds.

Continue until you have a plate full of mini pancakes toppers.

Top each cupcake with 3-4 mini pancakes, a banana chip and drizzle of honey.


Nutella Swirl Banana Bread

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If you’re ever in need of brightening up somebody’s week, bring them this loaf of banana bread. This Sunday I baked a Nutella Swirl Banana bread, for no reason other than the fact I had 6 over ripe bananas wasting on my kitchen side and I had that baking urge. I posted a photo on my social pages and got quite possibly my biggest response to a bake.

I totally understand why though, it’s one of those magical bakes which even the most amateur baker can whip up so I’m not surprised to hear it has become popular in cuisines all over the world.

This couldn’t make me happier because as somebody who hates waste, baking Banana Bread is giving bruised black bananas the opportunity to shine and backing this opportunity all the way is supermarket chain, Sainsburies.

I learnt recently that as a country we throw away 162 million bananas a year all of which are perfectly edible. As a result of these findings sainsburies are using bananas not purchased in their stores to make banana bread and I think we all need to be a bit more Sainsburies!!!

There are so many different recipes, ingredients and methods behind the perfect Banana Bread. Should you use chopped, pureed or squished banana? Wholemeal flour or plain white flour? Honey or sugar? The answer depends solely on your preference. Using honey and wholemeal flour give you a healthier alternative but if you’re adding Nutella and chocolate like I am here you’ve lost all hopes of attempting to be healthy. That being said I am all for the “Better for you” alternatives so will look at putting together another recipe that’s exactly that.

Until then I promised to post the recipe to Sunday’s Nutella Banana Bread, so for all you fans grab those brown bananas and let’s get going.

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Makes | 1 loaf

Preparation time | 20 minutes

Baking time | 40 -55 minutes


4 over ripe bananas

1 ripe banana – cut in half

1tsp vanilla essence

100g butter melted

2 large eggs

175g light brown sugar

250g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

100g dark chocolate chips

100g Nutella


Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and grease a loaf tin.

In one bowl mash together 4 over ripe bananas and melt the 100g butter in a pan. Mix the eggs and melted butter with the bananas then add the vanilla essence. Leave this wet mix to one side.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, light brown sugar and baking powder together then add the wet mix to it, stir until just combined to create your banana bread batter.

Stir in the chocolate chips and melt the Nutella down in a pan over a low heat or in the microwave.

Pour the Nutella into your batter and swirl together before transferring quickly to your loaf tin, then peel and cut the ripe banana in two and rest one half on top of the mixture. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

The remaining half of banana can be enjoyed with a few spoons of Nutella while you patiently wait.

This bread can be enjoyed at room temperature or lightly toasted on its own or with a generous helping of Nutella.


Storage

It will keep for 3 days at room temperature or up to 7 in the fridge.

If you want to make several loaves, these will freeze well for up to 6 months. I like to cut mine into slices first and wrap them in cling film, this way I can simply defrost them per slice by leaving overnight on the kitchen side or toasting it.

Let me know what you all think. I think I’ll be making more versions of this so keep your eyes peeled.