, , , , , , , , ,

While Mum was visiting last summer, she spoiled her Grandchildren with lovely breakfasts each morning. Made from scratch pancakes and sausage, delivered on a tray to their room, while they enjoyed their morning in bed.
I thought I had better make more of an effort to provide interesting and delicious meals in the morning – although my kids have to come out to the kitchen to serve themselves.


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F.
Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, set aside.
In an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips, and pour into prepared pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.


1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Heat oven ot 325F.
Prepare a 9 by 5 inch pan, greasing the inside with butter, or baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, ricotta and sugar, on high speed for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for one minute, after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Place on a baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Run a dull knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it is separated from the pan. Gently remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: I added 1/2 cup more blueberries than the recipe indicated – I like a lot of fruit! But it was too much batter for the loaf pan, so I made muffins with the extra.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes


3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed, light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tablespoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

In a small bowl, stir the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The streusel should feel clumpy, not sandy. If it seems dry, add more melted butter.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350F.
Lightly butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square metal cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and butter the parchment. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, vanilla and almond extract.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and egg yolk with a wooden spoon utnil blended, about 20 seconds. Using a whisk, whisk in the whole egg and salt and continue to whisk until the batter is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the sour cream mixture. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda directly onto the batter. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter, squeezing it with your fingertips to form small clumps. Bake until puffed and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it, 28 to 30 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto the rack and remove the parchment. Invert again onto a serving plate, so the streusel is on top. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. This cake is best served warm.

Recipe adpated from Fine Cooking