Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

My favourite meal of the day has always been breakfast. The funny thing is, I rarely eat it. Working full time in London means waking up at ridiculous o’clock each morning, and rushing out the door so I don’t miss my train. By the time I finally get around to eating something it’s usually about 10am, and involves lukewarm soggy toast while I stare blankly at my computer screen. The fact that I rarely get to sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast makes it all the more special when I actually do get to.

My ideal breakfast always involves something sweet.  It’s what I grew up with back in Canada, and one of the things I miss the most in the UK.  Traditionally UK breakfasts aren’t sweet like that ones I grew up with, but finding pancakes, waffles or french toast on brunch menus is increasingly common. When I was a kid my favourite breakfast was homemade waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It’s still my favourite today, although it’s something I rarely have because let’s face it – they’re really not that good for you.

 

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Lately I’ve been trying to find healthier breakfast options that still satisfy my sweet tooth.  I was thrilled to come across a recipe for healthy coconut banana protein pancakes from Becs at Lay The Table. They’re simple, naturally sweet, and surprisingly filling. They’re also dairy, gluten, wheat and sugar free!

I think my favourite thing about these pancakes was the Hey Boo Coconut Jam topping that Becs recommended to be put on top of the pancakes. Coconut jam!  Seriously, where has this been all my life? The coconut jam isn’t sugar free, but I figured a little sugar would be ok considering there’s none in the actual pancakes themselves.

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

I scaled back the recipe and made a few changes, including the addition of some desiccated coconut because I absolutely love coconut. The more the better!

I’ve made these pancakes a few times now for my son and I, and we love them – especially with the coconut jam and some fresh berries on the side.

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Yield: Makes 4 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Milk (optional)
  • 1 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Natvia Sweetener (or other sugar free alternative such as Splenda)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients together using an electric hand blender until well combined. The batter will be thicker than normal pancake batter, but still spreadable. If you think it's too thick you can add a tablespoon of almond milk to thin it down a little.
  2. Pre-heat a non-stick pan on low - medium heat, and allow the batter to rest until the pan is hot.
  3. Coat the pan with non-stick cooking spray*, and pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot pan. Because the batter is thicker than normal pancake batter, use a small spatula or spoon to help spread it around in an even circle. Cover with a small pot lid to help seal in the heat and cook the pancake evenly.
  4. Once the pancake begins to turn an even golden brown colour flip it over to cook the other side. Replace the lid, and cover until golden brown on the bottom and cooked throughout.
  5. Repeat the above steps until all of the batter is used.
  6. Serve the pancakes with fresh fruit, coconut jam, lemon curd, or maple syrup.

Notes

* Coconut oil or butter can also be used, but I found my pancakes turned out best with the non-stick cooking spray

http://www.madewithpink.com/2015/04/coconut-banana-protein-pancakes/

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Easter Mini Egg Caramel Pavlova

Easter mini egg caramel pavlova

A couple of years ago I visited the inaugural South of England Food & Drink Festival. It was one of the best foodie days out my husband and I had ever had. The atmosphere was so family friendly, the food stalls were great, and the indoor country market was full of local organic suppliers.  While we were there we met a couple of local organic egg farmers.  We couldn’t believe what great value their organic eggs were, so we went home with a few dozen which we quickly used up.

As the weeks passed by we completely forgot the name of the egg farmers (and the name of the food festival!), so we really had no idea where we could go to purchase more of their eggs.

Fast forward a couple of years, my husband and I were at watching Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on TV.   They were featuring a segment about food that goes to waste because supermarkets won’t sell it.  And all because it’s just a little bit funny looking!  Jamie and Jimmy visited an organic egg farm in Sussex that sold tiny little pullet eggs (these are the tiny first eggs hens start laying) to the public because the supermarkets won’t buy them because they’re too little. My husband realised that the egg farm that they were visiting just happened to be the same egg farm that we bought our eggs from at the food show a couple of years earlier.

The Macs Farm pullet eggs

Success! Thanks to Jamie & Jimmy we were able find out that the egg farm was only about a 40 minute drive away.  A few weeks later we headed down to The Macs Farm to buy some eggs!  There are several different grades of eggs that The Macs Farm sells.  The majority of the eggs they sell to the public are the imperfect ones that the supermarkets won’t buy. Eggs that aren’t uniform in size or colour, or ones with wrinkly shells (which I’m told are laid by older hens).  They also sell grade A eggs which are the same ones that you can buy in the supermarket.  We ended up purchasing about 12 dozen eggs that day because they were such good value. Yes, 12 dozen! Did I mention we go through a lot of eggs???

The Macs Farm pullet eggs

Buying eggs straight from the farm is much more economical than buying them from the supermarket.  A tray of 30 organic free range eggs will cost you £3.50 from The Macs Farm.  30 organic free range eggs from Tesco would cost you £9.75!

After getting home from The Macs Farm I was inspired to use some of my eggs to create a new dessert for the upcoming Easter holidays.

Easter mini egg caramel pavlova

My Easter mini egg caramel Pavlova showcases beautiful fluffy clouds of egg white meringue, sandwiched between layers of whipped cream and dulce de leche caramel, all topped off with a pile of delicious chocolatey cadbury mini eggs. And we all know that no Easter is complete without chocolate mini eggs.

Easter mini egg caramel pavlova

I really loved this pavlova.  It’s so light and fluffy, and it won’t leave you feeling overly full after an indulgent Easter lunch.  The added bonus is it’s super duper simple to make and assemble.

I used the Meringue Girls recipe for my pavlova discs, and I’ve always found to be pretty much fail proof. The key to the meringue recipe is to double the amount of sugar to egg whites.

Easter mini egg caramel pavlova

Easter Mini Egg Caramel Pavlova

Ingredients:

150g egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
300g castor sugar (must be double the weight of egg whites)
250ml whipped double cream
1-2 Tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 can Carnation caramel
300g chocolate mini eggs (half of them chopped or crushed).

Instructions:

1. Line a shallow baking dish with parchment paper, pour in the sugar and bake for about 5 minutes at 200°C (400°F) until the edges just begin to melt.
2. Meanwhile, pour the egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer (make sure it’s clean & grease free). Using the whisk attachment, whisk on low speed allowing bubbles to form, increase to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. Egg whites should be stiff enough that you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
3. Remove the sugar from the oven and begin whisking again at high speed. Add the sugar to the egg whites one big spoonful at a time. Once all the sugar is added, continue to whisk for 5 – 7 minutes, or until all the sugar is dissolved. You should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers and not feel any grit from the sugar, and it forms a smooth shiny peak on the tip of your finger.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C (200°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and trace four 6 inch circles on the paper (two on each paper). Place a dab of meringue on the bottom corners the parchment, and press down so the paper sticks to the pan.
5. Spoon equal amounts of the meringue mixture into each of the four circles. Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the meringue mixture evenly around the circle to form flat meringue discs.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the meringue discs can easily be lifted off the parchment paper with their bases in tact. Let cool completely. The meringues discs can easily be stored in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks.

To assemble the pavlova:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla, and whip until soft peaks form.
2. Spoon a large dollop of cream onto a cake plate, and place a meringue disc on top. (The cream will help to prevent the pavlova from sliding around). Spoon a thick layer of the whipped cream on top of the meringue disc, and then drop the caramel in even dollops overtop of the cream.
3. Repeat step 2 until placing the last disc on top. Spoon the remaining cream on top to the final disc, and top with chocolate mini eggs. Serve immediately.

Any remaining pavlova can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for a day or two, but the crispness of the pavlova will begin to diminish.

Easter mini egg caramel pavlova

Easter mini egg caramel pavlova

And because my Easter mini egg caramel Pavlova has chocolate mini eggs on top, I’m submitting it to a couple of foodie blogger linkups this month with the theme of chocolate.

Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom over at Belleau Kitchen

Simply eggcellent

Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavendar and Lovage, and Jane from the Hedgecombers

teatime treats

Triple Layer Chocolate Mud Cake

American chocolate mud cake

Nothing beats a good chocolate cake.  There’s just something so satisfying about slicing your fork through layers of fluffy chocolate sponge before hitting the gooey chocolate frosting centre, and then another layer of chocolate sponge.

For someone who loves chocolate so much, it’s actually been a remarkably long time since I’ve baked a chocolate cake. Probably because I order chocolate cake any chance I get when I’m out, so I try to bake something different when I’m home.

During my unintentionally long hiatus from blogging, I developed a bit of an obsession with layer cakes.  I’d go on late night pinning sprees (my layer cake board is here if you’re interested) where I came across a few different Australian Mud Cake recipes.

Before Pinterest mud cakes had always been somewhat of a myth to me.  The kind of thing you’d make in your back garden when you were a kid.  When I realised they were actually real, I just assumed it was another name for a chocolate cake. Kind of like a Devil’s Food Cake, or a chocolate fudge cake.

Chocolate mud cakes are actually a super dense and moist rich chocolate cake that’s perfect for carving. Some even say they’re similar in density to a brownie. Since they’re an Australian invention, most recipes I’ve found have Australian measurements which differ slightly from UK and American measurements.

American chocolate mud cake

After planning on making a chocolate mud cake for weeks, I’d settled on trying one from one of my favourite cake books – Australian Woman’s Weekly Decorating Cakes, but then I’d read somewhere online that mud cakes can be quite tricky to master.  My fear of failure kicked in, and I ended up switching the recipe I was going to use with one that I’d found on Pinterest which claimed to be an Americanised fail proof recipe.

There’s a serious amount of chocolate in this cake, and it’s gooooood.  I’m not able to compare it to an authentic Australian mud cake, so I can’t say for sure whether this is as good or better than the original, but it was definitely good.  So good that when I bought the leftover cake into the office the next day three different people asked me for the recipe.

The original recipe calls for this cake to be baked in two 8 inch pans, but I baked them in three 6 inch rounds instead and the amount of batter was just right.  The only word of advice I’d give is that if you’re baking these in 6 inch pans, then you’ll need to adjust your baking time and temperature slightly since the cakes will be thicker and take a little longer to cook.  Admittedly I wasn’t paying attention, and forgot my cakes were in the oven so I think the texture ended up being dryer and crumblier than they were supposed to be, but they were still good, and definitely not dry.

This recipe calls for a rich chocolately sour cream frosting, but I opted to go with a chocolate butter cream that I whipped up myself without a recipe, purely because I didn’t have sour cream and I was too lazy to go out and buy some.

American chocolate mud cake

I can’t wait to try baking an authentic Australian mud cake next to see how it compares to this “American” version. If you know a good Australian mud cake recipe, or any tips on baking them feel free to leave me a comment and let me know!

American Mud Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

via Cake Paper Party

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, or 8 ounces, or 227 grams) each halved
7 ounces (198 grams) 72% cacao or more dark chocolate, chopped or broken coarsely (I used Ghiradelli Twilight Delight)
2 cups (14 ounces, or 397 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup (2 ounces, or 57 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder (I recommend Cacao Barry Extra Brute or Pernigotti)
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) strong hot coffee or hot water plus 1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups (10 ounces, or 284 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 grams) baking powder
1 ½ tsp (9 grams) baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
½ tsp (4 grams) salt

For the Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

½ cup (4 ½ ounces, or 128 grams by weight) sour cream
½ cup (3 ½ ounces, or 100 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup (5 ¼ ounces by weight, or 150 grams) corn syrup
1 Tbsp (15 ml) vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (12 ounces, or 3 sticks, or 340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (3 ½ ounces, or 100 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder
4 cups (16 ounces, or 454 grams) powdered sugar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans* with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
2. In an 8-cup microwave safe container, melt butter and chocolate. Heat butter and chocolate for 1 minute followed with 30 second intervals, whisking until completely melted.
3. Whisk in sugar and then cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Slowly add hot coffee in 3 increments whisking until smooth. Add vanilla and then the eggs one at a time.
4. In a mixer bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix with the wire beater until combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture. Once it is all added, beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and beat for 30 seconds more until smooth.
5. Pour into cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester just comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out to a cooling rack to cool completely or wrap in plastic wrap until needed. Frost and fill with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting or other icing and filling. Enjoy! *This makes 2 thick layers that can be torted but could also be baked in 3 8-inch pans.

For the Frosting

6. Combine sour cream, granulated sugar and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high power for 30 seconds to aid dissolving of sugar. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.
7. In a mixer bowl beat butter with a paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in cocoa powder on low speed until smooth and creamy. With mixer on low gradually add in sour cream mixture; beat for 30 seconds to incorporate. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until smooth and blended. Note: beating the mixture at a higher speed with result in a lighter, fluffier frosting.
8. Use to frost and fill American Mud Cake or cake or cupcakes of your choice.

American chocolate mud cake

I’m submitting my cake to this month’s Chocolate themed Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavendar and Lovage, and Jane from the Hedgecombers

teatime treats

My triple layer chocolate mud cake also uses free range eggs which you can read about in my post here, so I’m submitting it to Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom over at Belleau Kitchen

Simply eggcellent

Welcome to the New Made With Pink!

Welcome to the new Made With Pink!

Made With Pink new website

I’ve made it no secret that for the past couple of years I’ve wanted to overhaul my site by moving it to WordPress and giving it a bit of a facelift. I’d fallen out of love with my old blogger site, so much so that I couldn’t bear to publish another post on it.  Mainly because whatever I published on the old blog, meant also needing to transfer it over to the new blog.  A prospect that terrified me.  Throughout the past year or so I’ve dabbled in designing a new layout myself, and trying to understand the complex process of unlocking domains, transferring content, fixing links, and transferring name servers.  I wasn’t getting anywhere fast.  In the end, it was a thoughtful Christmas present from my husband that finally led me to hire Erika S over at Designer Blogs.  We worked together to identify the style I wanted my new site to be, and she put together an awesome mood board which was exactly what I wanted. Once we’d agreed on the mood board Erika got to work creating my site, and took care of all the content transfer stuff that plagued me for years.

Overall I’m super happy with my new design.  It’s so much lighter, brighter and whiter!  I wanted to keep it super simple, with lots of white, and just a touch of pale pink and grey. Now  my pictures are much larger, and really stand out on the clean white background, rather than getting lost in a sea of dark grey like they were on my blogger site.

There’s still a few niggles I have to work out, so please bear with me if something isn’t completely perfect just quite yet.

And while I did take a bit of a hiatus from blogging, I continued to bake loads of delicious treats and photograph them along the way so that I could share them with you.

Keep an eye out later in the week for a brand new post.

Easter Bunny Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Easter Bunny Cake

I haven‘t been this excited about Easter for nearly 20 years.  It’s the first year we’re in our new house, the first time we’re having friends and family over for Easter dinner, and most importantly, the first year my little boy will really understand what the Easter Bunny is!

I’ve gone a bit overboard with the Easter goodies this year.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough chocolate foil eggs to stock a Tesco Express.  When I came home last weekend with yet more Easter stuff, my husband remarked “I’ve never seen anyone with so much Easter stuff before”. I’ve got Easter baskets, Easter bubbles, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, bunny ears, bunny bubbles, chirping chicks, and tissue grass.  You name it, I’ve got it

The only thing missing was an Easter cake.  I needed something for dessert to serve our guests, and I had settled on making a strawberry pie but I knew my husband would never forgive me if I didn’t have a second option. He hates fruit. Seriously – who hates fruit?!? I wasn’t quite sure what to make, but after careful consideration I settled on the most appropriate cake choice I could – The Easter Bunny!  

Easter Bunny Cake

This was the first carved cake I’ve made, so I also had to decide on new cake recipe that was moist and flavourful, but still dense enough to carve easily. A regular sponge cake like a Victoria Sponge is too light and fluffy to carve, and would likely crumble if you tried.  I needed something with a nice tight crumb structure, so after much deliberation I settled on a cream cheese pound cake recipe (similar to a UK Madeira cake) from Southern Living Magazine.  It was perfect.  The recipe made just the right amount for my Easter Bunny cake (three 6 inch shallow rounds, and one extra deep 5 inch round, plus  a 6 inch square pan for my husband to pick at).  The pound cake carved like a dream, and allowed for me to shave off the thinnest of pieces until I got the exact shape I was looking for.

I’m not going to lie, the whole process for making this cake took ages – it took me about 3 days from start to finish (I’m obviously not a professional cake decorator lol!)  On the first day I made the icing (Malibu lemon), and baked the cakes before popping them in the fridge to firm up before carving.  On the second day I filled the cakes with the icing and some lemon curd in between each layer, and then carved the cakes until I was happy with the shape. I covered the iced cake in fondant, made all of the little flowers and Easter eggs, and then made my bunny’s ears. After all, no Easter Bunny is complete without a set of big white and pink bunny ears! On the third day I finished off the cake by making an adorable little fondant chick – complete with floral Easter bonnet, a fondant carrot, I pipped the grass onto the base, and attached the bunny’s nose, eyes, ears and fluffy tail.

Fondant Easter Chick
Easter Bunny Cake

This cake really was a labor of love.  It was a great excuse for me to bake a cake and try out loads of new techniques.  I’m most pleased with my adorable little Easter chick!  I didn’t actually stick her down to the fondant cake board, so I’ll be placing her in my china cabinet once we finish eating the bunny cake.  

Easter Bunny Cake
Easter Bunny Cake

Traditionally pound cake is either baked in a bundt or loaf pan, and served on it’s own or with a side of berries and whipped cream.  It’s a wonderfully dense and flavourful cake that goes  perfectly with a cup of tea.  I just know you’re going to love this cake as much as I did, whether you bake it in a regular cake tin, or carve it into something spectacular.

Easter Bunny Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Originally from Southern Living Magazine, 2001

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups (340g) Butter, softened at room temp
1 (8-ounce) Package (225g) Cream Cheese, softened at room temp 
3 Cups (675g) Sugar
6 Large Eggs
3 Cups (375) Plain Flour
1/8 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC). In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt together and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, and beat well (about 4 mins) but make sure not to over beat.

3.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg.

4.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until just blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

5.  Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan, or parchment lined cake tins (if using).  Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, and then remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

The cake went down a treat with everyone, and even though it was a bit of a shame to cut my little bunny’s bum off, I loved how easy it was to slice, and that I could see each delicious layer!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

For more Easter treats to bake, check out my colourful Mini Easter Egg Cakes baked inside of real eggs!