Friday, January 29, 2016

Banana Bread with Stevia

I bought Stevia last year in Tesco and it has sat in the press since, mocking me. With all this talk of evil sugar I decided to try and use it to make cake, instead of sugar. I found this page of recipes and adapted the b-bread slightly, while sticking to the American use of cups as measurements.

A loaf-tin sized cake yield 12 slices. So, for this, calories per slice are 114, sugars only 3g and a nice dollop of protein at 3g also.

The wet ingredients all together, before mixing
I have to say that this experiment does not make me trust Stevia. The Banana Bread is nice and banana-y but not sweet at all and really tastes more bread-like than cake-like, which is not what I wanted. I ended up putting jam on it to sweeten it up, which rather defeats the low-sugar purpose of it all. Sigh. Use more Stevia in the recipe or stick to sugar? The quest continues...


1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ripe banana, mashed (2 fun-sized bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 medium eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat spelt flour
1 teaspoon bread soda
1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease and/or line a loaf tin.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oil, bananas, vanilla, eggs, and milk.
  • Sieve the the dry ingredients through and mix until just combined.
  • Pour into the tin and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tin for a few minutes to set, then remove and cool completely on a rack.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I have been baking, just not blogging it - too many other things on, like a deadline for my latest novel.

One of my favourite chocolate cake recipes calls for apple sauce. I intend to make the cake on Thursday for my birthday so today I used some turning apples to make the sauce, rather than buy it. I only need half a cup so there's little point buying a jar to chuck it anon.

This makes a sweet sauce as the apples are sweet to start with.


  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped small (I used golden delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 60ml water (enough to cover the bottom of the pot)


  • Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover with lid.
  • Simmer apples for about 8 minutes or until soft  The smaller the pieces, the faster they soften. Stir at halfway mark to avoid sticking.
  • Remove from heat and mash or whizz in a blender for a puréed sauce.

Monday, November 23, 2015


For raw fans, here's a new one: Raw Luxury Christmas Cake. It's €11.99 and you can buy it here from Natasha's.

Monday, October 5, 2015


I managed to miss this when it was posted, but how lovely is the illustration that goes with it? It's by Ariella Elovic. My piece on Emily Dickinson and baking here at Tastebook.

(Cross-posted with my writing blog, Women Rule Writer).

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blended Apple Cake

'Cookers Not Eaters' sign is to warn the kids :)

My friend John brought cooking apples from his sister's house in Clare; I immediately wanted an apple cake. I was planning one with apple pieces but then saw this recipe for a blended one at All Recipes and changed my mind.

I added cinnamon and put in spelt flour because I love its dense texture. This resulted in a fairly flat cake (despite my adding baking powder). But it made a very sweet and tasty cake, perfect for the time of year. Really delicious warm!

117 calories per slice (I cut mine into nine pieces)
Blended Apple Cake


50g margarine

50g caster sugar
2 eggs
60g self-raising flour
50g wholemeal spelt flour
140g cooking apples (2 medium apples)
2 tablespoons water

1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon


Grease a square 8" tin. Line the bottom.

Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Core and peel the apples, chop finely.
Cream the marg and sugar.
Add both eggs to the mixture.
Fold half the sieved flour, cinnamon and baking powder into the mixture.
Put the apples and water in a blender and blend for a few minutes.
Add the apple mixture to the cake mixture, and fold in the remaining flour.
Pour into the greased tin.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Leave to cool for 30 minutes.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Jess Murphy's choc cake - recipe at link below

My poor neglected blog!!! I am so busy with Miss Emily promo that I haven't had time to blog here. The guilt!

Anyway, I came across this cool collaboration between two of my favourite Galway spots: Meadows and Byrne and Kai Restaurant and thought it was worth sharing.

Go here for more.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Choc chips in the mix
Oh, bananas (especially Tesco ones) why do you go rotten in jig time?? Anyway, soft, blackening bananas mean only one thing: cake! And as it's our wedding anniversary today, I thought a choc banana cake would be perfect. I found this post with a great recipe at the Friday is Cake Night blog and it is fab-U-lous. We ate big wodges of it today with soya custard, after a lunch in Kariba's, while fondly remembering our lovely wedding in New York: City Hall, sunshine, Gobo Restaurant (now, sadly, no more), carrot cake and roses.

Decorated with a stencil bought in Euro2 - one of four designs
This cake is relatively healthy as it's made with no oil or butter. Again, I have kept the American measurements, in case of disaster in the change-over to metric.

At 10 slices, it makes each slice 210 kcalories. 3g of fat per slice.

With Alpro soya custard - mmm

3 medium ripe bananas
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup self-raising flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda (bread soda, in Ireland)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
icing sugar to decorate (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
  • Grease an 8 inch round tin and line the bottom
  • Combine the mashed bananas and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir until liquidy
  • Add the apple sauce, vanilla essence and egg. Stir to combine.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix through
  • Add the chocolate chips, mix and pour into the prepared baking tin
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes
  • Cool in the tin before turning out
This day five years ago in NYC