Recipe Book Review : Donna Hay Modern Baking

This is without a doubt a very beautiful book !
A massive tome, it is a  collection of over 250 delicious baking recipes from Donna Hay Magazine, and Donna Hay Fresh.  The book is divided into 5 chapters; Chocolate ( yum!) Caramel, Toffee & Coffee ( my fav) Sugar & Spice, Fruit & Berries, and Milk & Cream. Within each chapter are sub-chapters, Quick Fix, which are quick recipes, or cheats ideas, with no more than 4-5 ingredients; and Fresh & Light, which are recipes from Fresh, usually gluten free, refined sugar free or vegan.There is something for everyone!

I am a far better cook than I am a baker. I think I lack the discipline required of a good baker, and cooking is a lot more forgiving than baking. That being said I totally relate to Donna Hays words in her introduction,  “Anyone who knows me will tell you baking is my therapy – it’s my own form of mindfulness meditation! Plus, it’s the way I nurture the people I love.”

After reading the intro I was even more excited to dive into the book. When I buy a recipe book, I like to read it from cover to cover, like a novel. Unfortunately this is not possible with this book, I find it extremely disappointing that there are no recipe descriptions and I would go so far as to say it is lacking in personality. Other than the brief paragraph introduction, and the obligatory thank you’s at the end there is no connection between the beautifully styled recipes and impeccable photographed images and Donnas Hays own words, that these are recipes she has tweaked and perfected over the years and are her favourite sweet things to make for friends, family and her children.

Despite this personal preference for more information regarding the recipe, the actual recipes are excellent.  I have already made a number of recipes from the book, and all of the recipes work perfectly, every time!

Donna Hay is the queen of food styling, and every photograph is absolutely drool- worthy, it’s worth owning the book just to look at the stunning pictures.

I had a good friend visiting from Germany, I tasked her with choosing a recipe from the already post-it tagged book.

She selected the Chocolate & Maple Banana Cake. What a good choice! It is an easy one bowl cake ( my favourite!)
I couldn’t really taste the maple syrup, and when I make it again I will leave it out and see if it makes any difference. I did not make any changes to the recipe, except to omit the dulche de leche, because I didn’t have any tinned caramel for the topping. I substituted by using  a combination of dark and milk chocolate for the ganache and it was utterly divine.
This recipe is the first one in the book, in the chapter Chocolate and it is an absolute winner.

 

CHOCOLATE & MAPLE BANANA CAKE

AuthorTaryne JakobiCategoryCakes & Tarts

 250 g unsalted butter, chopped
 335 g self raising flour, sifted
 50 g cocoa powder, sifted
 5 ml bicarbonate of soda, sifted
 220 g castor sugar
 135 g light brown sugar
 80 ml maple syrup
 4 eggs
 260 g ripe banana, mashed
 375 ml milk
For the ganache
 360 g sour cream
 150 g good quality dark chocolate
 150 g good quality milk chocolate
1

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC, and grease and line a 24cm springform tin.
2. place the butter in a large non stick frying pan over high heat. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes until melted and nutty brown in colour.
3. Transfer the brown butter to a large bowl and all the remaining ingredients.
4. Whisk until smooth but do not over mix, pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
5. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the quick ganache
2

1. Place the two chocolates in a double boiler and whisk until smooth.
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream.

To serve
3

Place the cake on a cake stand or plate and spread with the ganache.
Serve

Ingredients

 250 g unsalted butter, chopped
 335 g self raising flour, sifted
 50 g cocoa powder, sifted
 5 ml bicarbonate of soda, sifted
 220 g castor sugar
 135 g light brown sugar
 80 ml maple syrup
 4 eggs
 260 g ripe banana, mashed
 375 ml milk
For the ganache
 360 g sour cream
 150 g good quality dark chocolate
 150 g good quality milk chocolate

Directions

1

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC, and grease and line a 24cm springform tin.
2. place the butter in a large non stick frying pan over high heat. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes until melted and nutty brown in colour.
3. Transfer the brown butter to a large bowl and all the remaining ingredients.
4. Whisk until smooth but do not over mix, pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
5. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the quick ganache
2

1. Place the two chocolates in a double boiler and whisk until smooth.
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream.

To serve
3

Place the cake on a cake stand or plate and spread with the ganache.
Serve

Chocolate & Maple Banana Cake

PIN FOR LATER 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email