Sunday 22 December 2013

Singapore Style Noodles

Asian style noodles are probably one of the easiest things to make and are regularly my back-up meal if I don't have time to think of anything else. But I have to admit my recipe is pretty formulaic. Noodles...check. Prawns...check. Broccoli, mushrooms, pak choi...check, check, check. Throw in some onions, garlic, ginger, chillis, five spice, oyster sauce, soy sauce and thai fish sauce and there you have it, house noodles at Chez Singla. But when I go to a Chinese restaurant, or on the very rare occasion we get a take away, we tend to opt for Singapore Noodles. I guess it's because they seem a bit exotic and given the number of ingredients they seem to have in it's not a dish I have ever thought of making at home. Until earlier this week. My aim wasn't to create an exact replica of a Chinese restaurant Singapore noodle dish, as that would involve much thinner and crispier noodles, which I don't really love. More than anything I wanted to bring the Singapore noodle flavour into my classic noodle dish. The flavour that N describes as 'smokey'. Believe it or not that flavour is achieved by the use of none other than curry powder! Bizarrely, even though I have a drawer stocked full of Indian spices I actually had to go out and buy curry powder specifically for this dish. That's because when I cook Indian food I use all the spices individually as I find it gives you a better control over taste (and my mum would laugh at me if I didn't)! The rest of the recipe is very similar to my standard noodle recipe so it is amazing how just the use of one ingredient can change the flavour so much. I have to say my version of Singapore noodles actually tasted pretty authentic, and served with stir fried broccoli in garlic sauce it actually made me feel like I was sitting in my favourite Chinese restaurant. The problem is, if I keep re-creating the restaurant experience at home I doubt N will ever take me out to dinner again!

Singapore Style Noodles
(serves 2 | total prep and cooking time approx 45 mins) 


  • 2 nests of fine egg noodles
  • 1 large egg
  • 200-250g cooked jumbo king prawns (whole or chopped)
  • 1 chicken breast - cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion - finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves - finely chopped 
  • 2 inch piece of ginger - finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small chilli - de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions - sliced
  • 1 red pepper - diced
  • 5 mushrooms - finely chopped 
  • Any other vegetables e.g. Chinese lettuce - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese rice wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • Drizzle of toasted sesame oil
  • Groundnut oil for frying
  • Sprinkling of coriander
  • Cook the noodles in boiling water for approx 2-3 mins. Drain and run under cold water. Keep aside in a colander to cool, tossing occasionally so they don't stick
  • Heat some groundnut oil in a wok
  • Whisk together the egg, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of the curry powder in a bowl. 
  • Place the egg mixture in the wok and scramble.  Remove from the pan and set aside
  • Heat a bit more oil and fry the chicken pieces until cooked. Set aside with the egg
  • Heat a bit more oil and add the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan. Fry for a few minutes and then add spring onions, red pepper, mushrooms and any other vegetables. Stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the prawns and the cooked chicken and mix well
  • Add the soy sauce, vinegar, five spice, and  and remainder of the curry powder stir well
  • Add the noodles and scrambled egg and toss everything together with the coriander
  • If you like the noodles crispy you can cook it for a bit longer
  • Ideally eat with chopsticks, unless of course you're really hungry like me then use a fork!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Celeriac Soup

Celeriac. Often referred to as the unsung hero of the vegetable world. I had heard so much about it, with every celebrity chef these days making celeriac mash or celeriac puree or some such thing, but to be honest it had never even occurred to me to buy one. But then last week I opened my organic vegetable delivery and there it was. Staring up at me from deep within the box was without a doubt the ugliest vegetable I have ever seen. So how would I describe a celeriac...

Well to be blunt, it is brown, knobbly, odd shaped and slightly hairy. Sounds like a treat doesn't it! But don't let that put you off. A root vegetable similar to turnip, celeriac has a light peppery celery-like flavour with a slight hint of nuttiness. As well as making it into mash or puree it can be thinly sliced and fried to make vegetable chips or roasted with parsnips or butternut squash. With N's scepticism at trying new things I thought the safest and simplest way to try out this vegetable was in the form of a soup. My veg box also contained some lovely fresh spinach so I though this would make a great pairing. And some pancetta gave it a bit of texture. It turned out to be a delicious, hearty dish perfect for a cold wintry evening. If you want to make it even more creamy add a dollop of cream or swirl in some yoghurt.

I have to admit I am loving my vegetable and fruit box delivery. It has pushed me to think outside the box and experiment with some new flavours and recipes. I have a couple of cards offering a free trial box so if anyone is interested email me your address to and I will pop one in the post to you.

Celeriac and Spinach Soup
(serves 4 - total prep and cooking time 40 mins)

  • 1 med-large celeriac - peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • Approx 100g fresh spinach - cleaned and chopped (or 5-6 cubes of chopped frozen spinach)
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • Small pack or pancetta (optional)
  • Handful of fresh chopped parsley
  • Tablespoon of cream or yoghurt (optional)
  • Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes
  • Add in the chopped celeriac and stir
  • Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the celeriac is soft. Stir in the spinach and parsley and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth. Transfer back to the saucepan
  • In a small frying pan fry the pancetta for a few minutes until cooked and crispy and add to the soup
  • Stir in the cream or yoghurt and serve with black pepper

Monday 28 October 2013

A Mathematical Vegetable

I like most foods and will eat almost anything, but the one vegetable I can take or leave is cauliflower. It tastes bland and produces a slightly dodgy smell while you cook it. Every now and again I feel like I should give it another try and I look up some recipes, but the only ones I can ever find have it smothered in cheese, I think that says a lot! The problem is it is in season at the moment which means it regularly makes an appearance in my vegetable box. A few weeks ago I had a beautiful orange cauliflower. A friend of mine suggested a recipe for cauliflower couscous. It worked well. I blitzed the cauliflower in a food processor till it resembled couscous and then pan fried it with spring onions, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, and some herbs. I kept it a bit crucnhy for texture. I was elated, I had finally found a way to make cauliflower that I actually liked. It was a great accompaniment to some fish and meant we could have a carbless dinner for a change.

Then last week there was yet another caulifower in my box. Only this wasn't just any cauliflower, it was probably the most amazing vegetable I have ever seen. If you've ever seen it before you will now what I mean. It's called a Romanesco cauliflower. This beautiful vegetable forms a logarithmic spiral where each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This repetitive pattern continues at several smaller levels forming something called a fractal. It amazes me how nature can produce something so mathematical and so astounding.

The minute I saw it it reminded me of the scaly skin of a dinosaur. A friend compared it to an alien! It looked so fantastic I couldn't bear to put it through I chopper and turn it in to couscous. I had to find a way of keeping the florets whole. I ended up adding some to my French fish soup and throwing a few in a stir fry. I think they would also make a great vegetable side dish particularly at Christmas as the florets look like mini fir trees! I wonder if it will still be in season then...

I still have some left so I am on the look out for some other ways to use it. If you have any suggestions for this wonderful mathematical cauliflower please do leave me a comment. Or if  you have any other cauliflower recipes that don't involve masking it with melted cheese I'd love to hear them!

Thursday 17 October 2013

Muffins for an Autumn Day

Autumn.  It is without a doubt my favourite season. I'm not exactly sure why though. At the moment the only way I can describe the days are generally cold, wet and dreary. But there is something about the way the nights draw in and the leaves change colour that makes saying goodbye to summer a little easier. And on the rare occasion that we get a sunny day, like today, it reminds me why I love it so much.

The other great thing about the season is the variation in fruit and vegetables that becomes available. Normally I buy whatever I want whenever I want it, that's the beauty of supermarkets. But I am vaguely aware of how many miles my produce has travelled and how fresh it really is. And there is something very special about eating things grown on our home soil and supporting our local farmers. For this very reason I decided to sign up to receiving a weekly organic fruit and vegetable box. So far I am loving it. I have had so much fun finding new recipes and coming up with new ideas, especially because N is a creature of habit and often reluctant to try different things. My only real complaint is the boxes always seem to contain a cabbage and some apples! I guess it's because they are seasonal and grown abundantly in the UK but the cynic in me is convinced it's because they are cheap!

So this week my fruit bowl contained an awful lot of apples. And as they are not my favourite fruit I had to find a way of using them up. Normally I'd make a crumble but I find it's too much for just N and I to eat so I thought I'd make something that could be distributed. I decided to make some apple and cinnamon muffins. I had some raisins in the cupboard so I threw those in for good measure. I looked at a few recipes to get some ideas and then made one up based on the ingredients I had at home. A lot of recipes said to grate the apples but I found cutting them into chunks makes the muffins much more interesting and the taste of apples more noticeable. I invited a friend round for a coffee and we ate them warm, straight from the oven. The warmth of the cinnamon and the juicyness of the apple gave me a feeling of comfort from top to toe. If autumn could to be described by something edible then this would definitely be it.

Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin Muffins
(Makes 12 | Total prep and cooking time approx 50 mins - 1 hour)
Melted butter or margarine (optional), for greasing
300g plain flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
120g golden caster sugar
2-3 medium apples, cored, peeled, chopped
125g seedless raisins
125g butter or margarine, melted, cooled
2 eggs, lightly whisked
185ml milk

 - Preheat the oven to 180 degrees- Grease a 12 hole muffin tin or line with cases- Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a large mixing bowl.- Stir in the sugar, apples and raisins until well combined- Whisk together the butter, eggs and milk until well combined. Add this to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon until the ingredients are only just combined. Make sure to not over mix- Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tins- Sprinkle each with a little sugar on top- Bake for approx 20 mins until golden brown and cooked through. Check that a skewer comes out clean to make sure they are done.- Cool for a few minutes before transfering to a wire rack  

Monday 7 October 2013

A Taste of the Coast

Some of the best dishes I cook have been inspired by things I have eaten on holiday. This summer N and I decided to have a staycation. We drove down to Sandbanks to spend a few relaxing days by the coast.Walks along the beach, hours of reading books in a cafe (far too cold to sit on the balcony sadly) and long leisurely dinners of fresh seafood. Bliss.

One of the restuarants we went to was a very trendy place called Club Shore. If you've ever been to Sandbanks I am sure you know of it, from talking to people it sounds like it's the place to be! We managed to book an table right by the window so our dining experience was accompanied by an unrestricted view of the sun setting over the sea. The view was beautiful and with the sun warming my face through the glass I honestly could have sat there forever.

The special of the day was crab linguine with chilli and lime. I'm not a big fan of crab. I find it a bit bland and if the only way to make something taste good is for it to take up the flavour of something else I personally can't see the point. But it came highly recommended by the waiter so we tried it. I am so glad I did otherwise I would have missed out on discovering one of the easiest and tastiest dishes I have ever made. The linguine at Club Shore was made with white crab only which makes it look very elegant. The first time I made it at home I did the same and it tasted great.  But then someone suggested I use brown crab as well, as although it is a lot cheaper and hence food snobbery made me turn my nose up at it the first time, it really does turn this great dish into a fantastic one. It doesn't look as good but what it loses in aesthetics it makes up for in flavour. I now make it with a mixture of brown and white crab and throw a few prawns in to add some texture. This dish is quick and delicious and makes a regular appearance on our dinner table. I ration it to once a week as if I let N have his way I'm sure he would request it every night!

Crab Linguine at Club Shore
Crab Linguine Chez Preeti (not as beautiful but very very tasty!)
Crab Linguine with Chilli and Lime
(serves 2 | Total prep and cooking time less than 30 mins)
- Olive oil
- 120g dry linguine
- 100g brown crab meat
- 100g white crab meat
- 150g cooked king size prawns
- 1 lime - squeeze the juice out of half and keep other half for garnish
- 2 sping onions - chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
- 1 small chilli - finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 125ml white wine
- Cook the linguine according to the packet instructions
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic and the spring onions until softened
- Add the chilli and stir for a few moments
- Add in the brown and white crab and the prawns.Stir well
- Add the white wine and cook on a high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes until most the wine has evaporated
- Stir in the lime juice and the parsley
- Drain the linguine, reserving the cooking water
- Add the linguine to the crab mixture and stir well. Add a little of the pasta water to loosen the dish and mix well on a low heat.
- Serve with a simple salad and a wedge of lime

Saturday 24 August 2013

A perfect 'pick-me-up'

The translation of the word tiramisu is pick-me-up. What an apt meaning for such a beautiful dessert. It is also known as the Tuscan trifle, which again describes it so perfectly. The mixture of the layers you get when you dig that spoon in all the way to the bottom is like heaven. Sponge soaked in bitter coffee laced with the taste of almonds and balanced perfectly by the sweet creamy marscapone custard. My mouth is watering as I type this.

This has probably got to be N's favourite dessert. He tells me his addiction started some years ago on a family holiday to Barcelona. They were at a cafe on La Ramblas having coffee when he was coaxed into having something sweet to eat by his sister. He was reluctant as he was going through a healthy phase but he soon succumbed to the peer pressure and picked the tiramisu from the photos on the no-doubt laminated menu. And there started his love affair with this Italian dessert. N tells me that he has never had a tiramisu as tasty as the one he had that day. And boy has he tried. He orders one in every restaurant that serves it and has bought it in every supermarket we've shopped at, yet there is always something wrong with it. His usual complaint is that the taste of alcohol is too overpowering.

I'd never really thought to try making it until I saw Rachel Allen making some individual versions on TV recently. It inspired me to add some marscapone cheese on to my next supermarket delivery. I liked the thought of an almond flavour which Rachel achieved by using almond liquour but I decided that rather than risk putting too much alcohol in it I would skip the alcohol all together. I achieved the same flavour by using a few drops of almond extract. These desserts were beautiful. They took 15 mins to make and they tasted divine. N said he'd finally found one as good as La Ramblas, I suspect he was just being nice but even I have to admit they tasted pretty amazing!

Ingredients (serves 2)
70g marscapone cheese
30g caster sugar
1 egg (separated)
Bowl of strong coffee
Amaretti biscuits
Almond extract
Cocoa powder
Chocolate sprinkles
- soak the ameretti biscuits in the coffee until they soften
- place the egg white in a bowl and whisk with a hand whisk until it produces soft peaks
- place the marscapone cheese, caster sugar and egg yolk in another bowl and mix with an electric whisk
- fold the egg white into the marscapone mixture to make the custard. Add a few drops of almond extract and stir in
- in a glass put a layer of softened biscuits with some coffee and then a thick later of custard on top. Dust cocoa powder on top
- repeat with another later of coffee and biscuits and custard and top with more cocoa powder
- finish with chocolate sprinkles
- put in the fridge for a few hours to set before serving

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Recipes for a summer party

Summer's here! What absolutely glorious weather. It makes me want to do nothing but sit in the garden and drink Pimms. Sadly that's not a possibilty as even though the weather is wonderful, life still carries on. You have to go to work, chores have to be done and the worst thing of all is that I am studying for an exam! Saying that, I have had a few days off in the last couple of weeks so I really shouldn't complain.

I have been meaning to publish this post for a while now but I've just been so dazzled by the sun I couldn't do it (lame excuse eh?). However, in order to make up for my tardiness I have made this a double post with a savoury and a sweet recipe, both of which are perfect for a summer party or afternoon tea in the garden. And that is exactly what I made them for. A few weeks ago (well five weeks to be precise - ok stop judging, I told you the heat is making me slow!) we had a garden party for all the houses in the development I live in. One of my neighbours thought it would be a great way to get to know everyone. At first I thought she was completely mad! The party started off being for about 18 houses and soon enough we had invited well over 100 people! I thought it would be chaos. What if it rained? Who would bring what? But I needn't have worried, it was a wonderful afternoon. The sun came out, we had gazebos up, barbecues fired, drinks on ice and a bouncy castle for the children. My neighbours did a wonderful job organising it, so if they happen to read this I'd like to use this opportunity to say a massive thank you. I can't really take much credit for it myself, except of course for my yummy culinary contributions.

These fritters are perfect for a large party. They can be eaten with your fingers and can be served hot or cold. They are also a perfect way to hide vegetables for children who are not so keen to get their 5 a day. I have only used sweetcorn but feel free to add grated courgettes or carrots for an extra veggie boost. And these madelines are one of my favourite things to make. As a bit of a Francophile these little boat shaped cakes remind me of my wonderful holidays in France with N. And dipping them in chocolate just makes them even more luxurious!

Sweetcorn Fritters
(serves 20-30 depending on size | total prep and cooking time approx 45 mins-1 hour)
300g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
seasoning and herbs (eg. parsely)
3 eggs
200-300ml milk
2 small cans of sweetcorn - drained
1 large potato - grated
1 large onion - grated
100-150g grated cheese
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl
- Add the eggs and whisk
- Add the sweetcorn, onion, potato, cheese and herbs and mix well
- Slowly add the milk. The batter should be thick enough to hold its shape in the frying pan but runny enough to slowly drip off a spoon. You may not need all the milk, it depends on how much water has released from the vegetables
- Heat approx 1cm of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and using a large spoon place the mixture in to cook. You will need to cook the fritters in batches and will need to add more oil as it gets soaked up. You may also need to reduce the heat as the oil will get quite hot towards the latter batches
- Cook the fritters for apporximately 2-3 mins on each side until the batter is cooked and the fritters are golden brown
- Transfer to a piece of kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil
- Serve hot or cold with sweet chilli dipping sauce

Chocolate Dipped Madelines
(makes approximately 36 | total prep and cooking time approx 40 mins depending on how many batches you make them in)

6 eggs
One and a half teaspoons vanilla extract
One and a half teaspoons lemon zest
375g icing sugar
300g plain flour
Three quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder
375g butter - melted and cooled
150g bar of plain chocolate - melted

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan
- Grease the madeline moulds
- Beat the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest for 5 mins with an electric hand whisk
- Beat in the icing sugar for 5 minutes
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold. It is best to fold in batches
- Mix in the cooled melted butter
- Bake for 10-12 mins until slightly brown and springs back on touching. Remove and cool on a wire rack
- While baking, melt the chocolate in a bain marie. Once they have cooled dip the madelines into the melted chocolate and leave on baking paper for the chocolate to harden

Sunday 19 May 2013

Eton Mess - A 5 minute dessert


This has probably got to be one of the quickest desserts ever. Granted, from the photo it just looks like strawberries and cream but I can promise you there's a little more in there. Eton Mess - it's fresh, simple and perfect for summer barbecues and dinner parties. Or like me, you could just make it for a random Saturday night in when you fancy something sweet after dinner. And it really does take five minutes, which means it's great if you have people round at the last minute or if you just don't fancy spending the whole day preparing for your dinner parties. If making it for other people I would probably suggest serving it in something more elegant that a white bowl - which means I really should put some glass dishes on my wish list!

And now for the recipe. All you need is some shop bought meringue nests (you could make them yourself but trust me it would no longer be a five minute dessert!), fresh strawberries, strawberry jam and fresh cream (I used a spray can). Crush up the meringue nest into a bowl and top with a tablespoon of good quality strawberry jam or conserve. Hull and quarter the strawberries and place on top. About 5-6 strawberries per person works well. Top with cream. And that's it! It really is so simple that I almost feel like a fraud giving it its own blog post!

Monday 1 April 2013

Easter Treats

Happy Easter everybody! I hope you have all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. I have really enjoyed having four days off. I've managed to catch up with family, some friends and some house stuff as well as catch a few moments with my elusive hubby whom I seem to have hardly seen recently. The only draw backs to this weekend have been the ridiculously cold weather and the change of clocks. Both of which have made me a bit tired and a bit grumpy. To still be wearing my winter coat, wollen scarf, gloves and ear muffs in April is just a joke. In fact I donned all the above mentioned items just to go out to the garden for 5 minutes to water some plants that were looking about as miserable as I was feeling.

The good thing about the arctic weather is that it made me stay indoors a bit more. N and I managed to catch up with some chores we had been meaning to do since we moved in almost a year ago like hang some mirrors. Finally I will get to check my reflection before I leave for work, I'm sure my work colleagues will all breathe a sigh of relief tomorrow! I also managed to spend some time in the kitchen. Yesterday I cooked a lovely roast dinner for my in-laws. Roast chicken, roast potatoes and home-made yorkshire puds, just perfect for Easter Sunday. I used my trusted roast chicken with lemon, garlic rosemary and thyme, but this time I left out the new potatoes and cooked some separate roast potatoes.

Roast potatoes are the easiest thing to make. Just preheat some oil in an oven proof dish in an oven set to 180 degrees fan. Peel and quarter some large floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edwards. Bring these to the boil in a pan of salted water and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and shake in the pan to make them look a bit more 'rustic'. Tip them into the hot oil, sprinke with sea salt and shake them around carefully to make sure they are well coated will oil. Place in the oven for about 1hour checking and shaking the tray half way through.

Yorkshire puddings are even easier. I was planning to buy some ready made ones as I was feeling a bit lazy but fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Tescos had run out. So I made my own. They really are so simple. I just used the batter recipe from my Toad-in-the-Hole post. That quantity of batter makes 6 yorkies. Place a teaspoon of oil in the bottom of each hole in a muffin tray and heat at 180 degrees till the oil is hot. Remove from the oven and quickly pour in the batter till the case is 2/3 full. Return to the oven and cook for about 40 mins until the yorkies have risen and turned brown. You may want to increase the temperature of the oven to 200-210 degrees for 5 minutes at the end to make them crispy.

And finally, Easter cupcakes! I just used my heavenly vanilla cupcake recipe but instead of just decorating with chocolate sprinkles I sent N to the shops to buy me a pack of Cadbury's Mini Eggs. They went down an absolute treat!

And now after all that eating I guess I'd better go for a walk. Mustn't forget the ear muffs though! Roll on summer...

Sunday 24 February 2013

Chinese Sea Bass

It's so nice when people make your recipes. Last week I had text messages from three people to say they had made some of the dishes on my blog and they had all come out well. One was about the vongole, one for garlic bread and one for the roast chicken. It reminded me that I really must put something else on here even when life takes over and I can't seem to find five minutes to spare. So here it is.

My friend Kaj is probably my biggest blog fan. And as she is a 'fishitarian' I promised her some good fish recipes. This is my absolute favourite fish recipe (and Ns). It's so quick and very healthy. Have it with some stir fried veg in soy sauce and some egg fried rice (or plain rice if you're being particularly virtuous). So please try it and let me know what you think. I hope it becomes one of your favourite fish recipes too!

Sea Bass with Ginger, Chilli and Coriander
(serves 2 | total prep and cooking time 30 mins)
2 boneless seabass fillets
1/2 mild chilli - finely chopped
2 inch piece of ginger - finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons chopped coriander
2-3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan
- Place the sea bass fillets in a shallow oven proof dish
- In a bowl mix together the ginger, chilli, coriander and sesame oil
- Pour evenly over the fish fillets
- Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven for approx 20 minutes. The fish should be flaky and opaque all the way through


Wednesday 30 January 2013

Pinewood Cookery Club Charity Event (Banana Cake)

This weekend was the first time I made cakes that were eaten by people other than my family and friends! It was a scary but fantastic experience! I recently signed up to the Pinewood Cookery Club, a community club started up by a lovely couple, Roger and Lorna. It's based at Pinewood Nursery in Slough and they run regular coffee mornings and supper clubs. If you're from the area do look at their facebook site to find out about upcoming events:

This weekend they hosted a cake and recipe book sale to raise money for BucksVision, a charity supporting people with sight impairment within Buckinghamshire. As an optometrist I work with people with vision impairment on a daily basis so this is a charity very close to my heart. It was a great honour to be able to combine my love of baking with helping a great cause. I made the vanilla cupcakes I posted recentley, as well as my many times tried and tested recipe for banana cake. They both seemed to go down a treat. This banana cake is the easiet cake recipe I have ever made and it is a fantastic way to use up those overripe bananas that seem to always end up sitting on my kitchen counter looking rather unattractive! Plus it tastes amazing with a cup of tea!

Banana Cake
(prep 20 mins, baking 1 hour 10 mins)

 (the banana cake is the one in the middle, at the back!)

4oz butter
4 oz sugar (demerera works best)
8oz self raising flour (sifted)
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees fan
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin
- Mash the bananas 
- Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs. This can be done with a wooder spoon or with an electic whisk on a low setting. If using an electric whisk mix it until the ingredients are just combined but not too smooth
- Stir in the mashed bananas
- Mix in the flour
- Stir in the honey or golden syrup
- Scrape the mixture into the loaf tin
- Bake for 40 minutes
- Lower the temperature to 150 degrees and cook for another 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
- Leave to cool on a wire rack
- Enjoy with a cup of tea!