Store Cupboard Mango and Coconut Sponge

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As you may have gathered by now I care little for the rules given to me by a Best Before Date on a tin/jar/packet. Use by dates are different as they shouldn’t be ignored, especially in the case of meat and fish, though I have been known on some occasions to eat a vegetarian ready meal after its use by date, but do as I say not as I do! Best Before Dates are a case of using your judgment, does it smell or taste funny? Don’t use it if so, but usually a Best Before Date just means that the quality might be a little off, though tinned products rarely have this trouble. I’ve been known to use tins a year past their BBE date.

So all Best Before Dates do is prompt me into using the packets up first, so the tin of Mango in syrup in the cupboard was making me feel rather guilty. I had a think about what Mango goes with and inevitably ended up thinking about cocktails, and I had some coconut flakes in the cupboard that had also passed their BBE date, so that’s how this cake came about!

When I made this cake I used coconut flakes that I grounded up in my food processor to use, and you could do the same.

I made this cake when it was hard to get eggs due to Covid-19, so I made it vegan, but feel free to replace the oil with about 3 eggs.

Serves 8 ravenous people or 16 peckish people

INGREDIENTS

175g Vitalite Spread

175 Caster Sugar

150g Coconut Oil

325g Self-raising Flour

50g Desiccated Coconut

1 x 400g Tin of Mango Slices in Syrup

Optional – icing sugar and the syrup from the Mango

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4

Place the coconut oil in a pan and melt over a low heat, put to one side

Cream the vitalite and caster sugar together, then drain the mango tin (keeping the syrup in a bowl) and add the mango to the vitalite/sugar mix and mash together. It will looks lumpy and a little curdled, don’t worry about it.

In another bowl measure out the coconut and flour, then add to the sugar/vitalite/mango mix, then add the coconut oil

Combine well, add a little more flour if needed but it should be a wet and sticky mix

Add to a greased/lined square tin and cook for about 40 minutes, checking after 25 minutes with a skewer until it comes out clean

Optional extra – once the cake is completely cool mix the mango syrup with icing sugar (about 150g icing sugar and half the syrup or to your own desired consistency) and drizzle over the top. This will make the cake ridiculously decadent and sweet and I believe it adds something but you may prefer it without.

 

 

Gooey Date Bars

This is my interpretation of a recipe I came across on the Money Saving Expert site.

I intend for these to be a post gym snack.

MAKES 16 SQUARES

INGREDIENTS

20cm x 20cm Baking Tin

250ml Water

200g Dates

180g Plain Flour

1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

180g Soft Brown Sugar

200g Porridge Oats

180g Butter

METHOD

Cook the dates in the water over a low heat until the water is evaporated and you have soft, sticky dates.

Add all the other dried ingredients (sifted) into a large mixing bowl and then add the butter and mix together (it will be quick sticky/wet).

Add the date mix and combine well.

Press down the mixture into the lined tin and then bake in the oven for around about 50 minutes on Gas Mark 5, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool and then cut into 16 squares.

These are so good that when I had one I went to The Boy and said ‘I feel sorry for you not liking dates, as these are great!’

The Rum ‘n’ Coke Tropical Cake

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Last night whilst waiting for the boy to get his butt to bed I was flicking through/salivating over the recipes in Matt Tebbutt’s ‘Guilty Pleasures: Your Favourite Sweet and Savoury Indulgences in 130 Easy Recipes’. 

I had been thinking about doing something with a free fridge pack of pineapple I was given in a Morrison’s food delivery, and wanted to combine it with rum (after the success of my Banana, Date and Rum Bake )

Plus, as usual, I had a million bananas in the fruit bowl that needed eating.

Matt Tebbutt’s book is great, full of new and interesting ideas, and it got the cogs in my brain thinking about what delights I could combine in this recipe. Why stop at rum when I could add coke to the mix as well?

I didn’t add dried fruit to this as I go a bit heavy on dried fruit but feel free to add some, but I recommend soaking in rum for a little while first.

INGREDIENTS

50ml Rum (You will definitely taste this, as I am half pirate I can handle it)

50ml Coke (I used coke zero because it is what we had to hand, feel free to use any type and brand you like)

3 ripe bananas

220g Pineapple chunks, cut into small pieces

200g self raising flour

2 eggs

70g Demerara sugar

METHOD

Preheat oven to gas mark 5 and grease a cake tin. (I used a 22cm one)

Place the cut pineapple chunks in a bowl and pour over the rum and coke. Give a little stir.

Mash up the bananas and mix in the bowl making sure everything is combined.

Add the sugar, flour and eggs and mix all together.

Place in your lined/greased cake tin and bake for 50mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Immediately text the boy telling him he can take the leftovers into work so you are not tempted to eat it all.

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I was thinking of maybe doing a coke and stem ginger icing, but decided to leave it plain this time, next time I make this maybe I will.

 

Banana, Date and Rum Bake

I am a Banana fiend. They are definitely my favourite fruit. They are versatile. They give you the get up and go in a breakfast smoothie, and they can also lull you off to sleep in a nice pudding.

As a Banana fiend, and you will know from my weekly financial reviews how often I buy bananas, I sometimes end up with too many that are going from yellow to brown very quickly and with worse spotted skin then me!

So as it was Zero Waste Week this week I was determined to use up the three way past their best bananas in my fruit bowl. I wasn’t allowed to buy new bananas until I did, and I have three whole freezer bags full of my previous abundance of bananas.

(I had so much planned for Zero Waste Week but not getting our new and shiny fibre optic broadband until this week meant I couldn’t blog what I wanted to in time. Boooo!)

I wouldn’t say I understand the rules of baking, and still often look up a general recipe beforehand for inspiration or to make sure I’m not going to do something crazy like the guy in the first week of GBBO, but I am confident now that as long as you don’t go too ‘renegade’ you’ll be fine.

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INGREDIENTS

Three very ripe Bananas, the sort a wasteful person would throw away.

50ml of Rum (Yum!)

50g of Dates

50g of Mixed Dried Fruit (but if you feel like 100g of dates or something else go for it)

120g of Butter/Margarine

100g Demerara Sugar

120g Self Raising Flour

1.5 Cups of Porridge Oats

As much Cinnamon as you like. 2 tspoons is reasonable. I am not reasonable. I like cinnamon (plus it’s good for you if you have PCOS, or ‘sort of’ do like me)

2 Eggs

Approx 2 Tablespoons of boiling water

METHOD

At least 30 minutes before you get your bake on chop the dates into small pieces and add the mixed dried fruit and cover with the rum (I will warn you, this is a generous portion size) and then add a little bit of boiling water to just cover the fruit and then leave to soften.

Do the washing up whilst you wait. Or, you know, don’t. I’m not the boss of you.

Melt the 120g butter/margarine in a bowl and mash in two of the three bananas. Add the flour, sugar, eggs, 1 cup of the porridge oats and cinnamon. Add the rum soaked dried dates and fruit-liquid as well.

Mix until you have a big sticky brown mess. Oooops. I just realised what that sounds like. Sorry.

Grease a square baking tray and add the bake mix, then cover with 1/2 cup of oats (this might be too much, so play it by ear) and chop the third banana into little pieces and add on top.

The great thing about cooking bananas is sometimes they go purple because of the reaction of the potassium in them.

Cook for 40-50 minutes on Gas Mark 4. I don’t know what this is on an electric oven.

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This will go really well with custard, toffee sauce or vanilla ice cream, or all three, though I have never done that, honest! Maybe 2 out of 3, and that ain’t bad.

 

Marmite Chocolate Shortbread

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What What What!?! Marmite Chocolate Shortbread?!?

That’s right.

For Easter this year I bought the boy a Marmite Chocolate Easter Egg because I thought he would like it (this was based on his favourite breakfast which is Marmite on toast cut into soldiers which he dips into a hot chocolate).

This was his verdict on the Easter Egg.

The first taste is chocolate, which is nice. The second taste in marmite, which is nice. The third taste is a weird after taste, that is not nice.

Like me, the boy hates wasting food. So he begged me to come up with something to incorporate the leftover egg.

I figured because marmite goes well on buttery toast, then it would go well in all butter shortbread?

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The taste is, unusual, but not unpleasant. It is a lot nicer then the chocolate on its own.

It is sort of like a savoury scone, with just a tiny hint of sweetness. But you still get the creamy melted chocolate.

So if you happen to have marmite chocolate about the house give these a try.