Chocolate banana muffins with streusel

September 19, 2019

Elevate your muffins with a salty nutty topping! You can make the streusel ahead of time and keep in the fridge until needed. This recipe is adapted from Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice by Malika Ameen (Roost Books, 2016).

Makes 18 muffins
For streusel:
2 tbsp sesame seeds (I prefer unhulled)
3/4 flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c roasted nuts of choice (I used cashews as they were on hand but macadamias or pecans would be excellent)

For batter:
1 3/4 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c cocoa powder
pinch sea salt
2-3 medium ripe bananas
3 eggs
1/2 c olive oil
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 muffins trays with paper cases.
In a small frying pan over low heat, toast the sesame seeds. Put in a small bowl with the flour, sugar, salt, melted butter and chopped nuts. Mix well and refrigerate.
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Mash the bananas with a fork on a plate and measure out 1 1/4 cups. In a medium bowl whisk the bananas, eggs and olive oil. Pour into the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.
Scoop 1/3 c of batter into each muffin case. Top with 1 heaping tablespoon of streusel, then divide any leftover streusel evenly among the muffins.
Bake for 15-18 min until cooked through. Let cool completely in the tins before serving.


Lemon coconut cookies

September 19, 2019

This recipe called these biscuits 'washboards', which I love, but you can shape the dough into circles too. You can replace the lemon with lime or orange. All citrus flavours go well with coconut.

Makes 32
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c coconut oil, room temperature
1 c unrefined sugar
1 egg or flax egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c desiccated coconut
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 c flour (I used spelt)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat o...

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Hasselnötskaka (hazelnut coffee cake)

September 5, 2019

This is such a simple beautiful cake, made special with ground hazelnuts and a hint of coffee. It's classic Swedish fika fare.

150g butter
1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted and ground
3 egg yolks
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c flour
3 tbsp cold espresso coffee
pinch salt
3 egg whites
2/3 c cane sugar

Preheat oven to 175C. Line a 23 cm round tin with baking paper.
Melt butter in a saucepan and set aside to cool. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and brown sugar until pale and frothy. Pour in the cooled butter and mix. Sift...
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Kärleksmums (Swedish chocolate squares)

August 30, 2019

These Swedish chocolate cakes translate to "love yums" - a quick non-creaming cake that's elevated with a ganache topping with a hint of coffee.

150 g butter or non-dairy spread
2 c flour
4 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c unrefined sugar
3/4 c milk of choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c cream or coconut cream
3 tbsp cold coffee
115g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, in small pieces
2 tbsp butter or non-dairy spread
1/2 c shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a b...

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Hastbullar (Swedish scones)

August 27, 2019

Swedish hastbullar ("quick buns") are like fancy scones. You can make them without paper cases, but the Swedish like to present their fika nicely.

Makes 12
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed (or used ground cardamom)
1/2 c unrefined sugar
100g cold butter, cubed
1/2 c chopped dried fruit (I used apricots, they used figs, anything works well)
1 egg
3/4 c milk

For the topping:
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts) or demerara/raw/turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 220C. L...
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Havreflarn (oat thins)

August 25, 2019

Here's a healthy twist on a classic Swedish havreflarn (thin oat biscuits). I've used banana instead of sugar and added toppings for variety. Sometimes chocolate is sandwiched in between 2 biscuits; I've just spread one side with chocolate, like a chocolate digestive.

Makes around 20
2 c rolled oats
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (optional)
toppings if desired: threaded coconut, black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
125g dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 175...
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Chokladbollar (chocolate balls)

August 23, 2019

I am officially obsessed with fika - the Swedish art of the coffee break. A time to take a break alone or with friends, to reflect and recharge with a coffee (or tea) and something delicious to eat. I'd like to share some of my favourite recipes from Fika by Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall (Ten Speed Press, 2015). The Swedish chocolate ball is a classic that all bakeries will make. Like most Swedish baked goods, it uses butter and cane sugar. These may look like one of those raw bliss balls ma...
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Caramelised banana cake

August 20, 2019

I've made this before but it's worth revisiting because it's an impressive upside-down cake - bananas love to be caramelised. 

Caramel topping:
50g butter or dairy-free spread, melted
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2-3 large bananas, sliced on an angle

Cake batter:
125g butter, softened (I used dairy-free spread this time)
3/4 c organic cane sugar
1 very ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 c self-raising flour (I used spelt and increased baking ...

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Vegan carrot cake

August 19, 2019

Vegan carrot cake with non-vegan icing! But you can easily veganise the icing too if you wish. The oil helps to keep this cake moist.

2 c flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 1/3 c grated carrot (250g)
1 c brown sugar or unrefined sugar
2 tbsp flaxmeal mixed wtih 6 tbsp water
1/2 c olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
optional extras: 1 c chopped walnuts, 1/2 c raisins

For the icing:
100g softened butter or non-dairy spre...
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Spiced honey cake

July 23, 2019

This is an easy one-bowl mix - you can veganise it too.

75g butter or non-dairy spread

1/2 c honey

1/3 c unrefined sugar

75g water

1 egg or 1 tbsp flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water

1 1/2 c flour (I used wholemeal spelt)

1 tsp baking soda

3 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 160C. Line a loaf tine with baking paper.

Melt the butter, honey, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.

Add rest of ingredi...

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Frances Chan loves to bake. She's also a freelance editor and has written a couple of children's books. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.

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