October 31, 2023


It was the usual story.  Three bananas in the fruit bowl, past their best and whispering "cake, cake" every time I passed by.

I fancied making a banana cake that I hadn't made before and the recipe comes from a little book called "Cakes and Slices".  It's one of those compilation cook books where no one person lays claim to the recipes. 

The cake was a bit of an ugly duckling (very craggy) but very easy and quick to make, and yummy all the same!  I took it to our walking group for the "debriefing" so was able to see how it cut and to taste a slice.  It was very good and I made a second one for a cake stall at a local event where it sold well.

Although it was in principle very easy, I've given it two stars in the faff factor as I find chopping chocolate and walnuts rather tedious!


3 ripe bananas, mashed

170g caster sugar

185g self raising flour

2 eggs

3 tblsp light olive oil or sunflower oil (I used groundnut oil)

3 tblsp milk

100g dark chocolate, finely chopped 

90g walnuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4.  Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin or use a paper liner.  A 20cm round tin would also work.

In a large bowl, mix together the banana and sugar.  Sift the flour into the bowl.  Add the eggs, oil and milk and mix well together.  Stir in the chocolate and walnuts.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Cool in the tin for five minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cuts into 8-10 slices.


Some time ago I made some raspberry turnovers which were delicious (you can see the post here).  In fact I made them several times, taking them to various events where they always went down well.

With a pack of puff pastry lurking in the freezer I had a yen for making them again, looked up my post about them and referred back to the original source; a blog which you can see here.  There I found a really good idea in the comments for making them using apple compote and apple slices.  "Now there's a thing" I thought and, rather than go out and buy some raspberries, I decided to give it a try.  We always have apple compote in the house as we have it most days on our cereal or porridge.

At first I put two wedges of apple onto each square of pastry but soon realised that there was too much filling so removed one wedge from them all.  By the time I had done this the compote was already spreading and every one frankly looked a soggy mess.  Thinking this experiment was not going well and the turnovers were likely to turn out like a dog's dinner I put them in the fridge to chill and firm up a bit in the hope that they might be rescued.

They turned out fine, much better than expected, and definitely worth baking again.  Leftovers had lost a bit of their crispness by the next day but were still delicious.


1 pack of ready made, ready rolled puff pastry
12 tsp apple compote
1 - 2 small eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
milk and demerara sugar to finish
icing sugar to decorate (optional)


Take the pastry out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature well before using, at least half an hour.  Pastry that is still chilled will crack when you unroll it.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Unroll the pastry and cut in half along its length.  Cut each half into squares of equal size. (The number of squares will be determined by the dimensions of your sheet of pastry as it’s important that the squares are exactly square and not oblong.)

Put a teaspoon of compote and one wedge of apple on a square, slightly off centre.  Dampen the edges of the square and fold it diagonally over the filling to form a triangle.  Press the edges together then seal by pressing a fork into the pastry along the edge.  Repeat with the rest of the squares and make three small slashes in the top of each triangle.  

Brush each puff with milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar.  Arrange the puffs on the baking sheet with a little room between each for spreading and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan while the puffs are chilling.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  The compote will leak out a bit but this adds to the charm of the puffs!

Serve as they are, slightly warm or cold, or dusted with icing sugar or decorated with a zig zag of icing made with lemon juice and icing sugar if you like.

Makes approximately 12 turnovers, depending on the dimensions of your pastry sheet.