Saturday, 23 February 2013

Banana Cake (Gluten & Dairy free)


It's Mattie here.  It's my 9th birthday tomorrow.

Yesterday I asked if we could make some banana cake. Mum had bought 2 bags of bananas as they were a bit squidgy so reduced in price, but needed to be used up. A lady on twitter asked if we were going to take a photo so I thought we could make it to go here on our blog. Thank you to Marie Fraser @this_isme_marie for the idea.

It's a very easy recipe, you don't need many ingredients so have a go.


Ingredients (What You Need)

5 medium bananas
8oz of Gluten Free self raising flour (We only had plain flour so used that with 2tsp Gluten free baking powder added) You could use normal flour too, the amount remains the same.
6oz Sugar
4oz Sultanas
2 eggs

Other things you'll need. A mixing bowl. A potato masher or fork. A small bowl or cup to break eggs into. A loaf shaped baking tin. Some grease proof paper. note; if you don't have a loaf tin you could make them in muffin cases, just half the cooking time, or use a normal cake tin.

Method (How to make it)

Firstly heat your oven to gas mark 4 or 180'c

Peel your bananas, and put them into your mixing bowl. But watch out for cheeky monkeys!

Uh Oh !
And if they come, make sure they don't eat too many


And if they do, find out where they are hiding the rest...

Found him!

When you have your bananas peeled, and in your bowl it's time to mash them. This is easiest with a potato masher, but can be done with a fork. Be careful as the bananas get slippery and then its easy to slip with the masher.

Next you need to add the sultanas, sugar and the eggs. Break the eggs carefully into a bowl first to make sure there isn't any shell in with them by mistake!


Next sift and stir in the flour, making sure it is well mixed

Right, last thing is putting it into the oven. Firstly you need to put grease proof paper into your tin. We find that if we screw the paper up into a ball first then pen it out again, it sits flatter and more easily into the tin.

Pour your mixture into your tin like this.

Put it into the oven CAREFULLY for about an hour.

When it is done it should be golden brown, probably slightly cracked on the top and if you put a small knife in it shouldn't have mixture stuck on it when you take it out.

This is what mine looked like.

A note from mum - This cake is great for lunch boxes, bananas give a good energy boost. It also freezes well, so if you are only going to use a bit at a time then you could slice it and freeze it. It keeps well too.

Thank you for reading this. If you have a go at making this banana cake then we would love to see your pictures. You can email them to us if you like and then we could put them on the blog.

Bye for now


Ethan, Reuben. Jacob and Joel Bean too.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Get Ready, Get Set, Garden

Hello Everybody

We hope you have a had a good half term? We have been very busy. We have been to our new allotment, there is a lot of work to do there

We have been out with our friends

We have baked a bit, played a lot and started sorting seeds.

This picture is of some cucumbers that we planted two weeks ago

We wondered if anyone would like to have a go at gardening with us?

We were thinking of having a best scarecrow contest over the Easter holidays, a tallest sunflower competition and also some other lets plant.... things? We can also show you how to make a wormery!!

First of all we need to start saving some junk type bits and pieces.

We have been saving some insides of toilet rolls, we are going to use them to plant peas into. When they have grown a bit we can then put the toilet rolls into the ground as they are compostable. So its time to start saving yours, and as your friends and family too as well.

You might soon have as many as Mattie.

Mattie has been using his to  play with too.


You could also ask around if anyone is throwing out old clothes so that you can have some ready to make your scarecrow.

So here is a rough list of what you will need to find over the next week or two

Pea Planting
Toilet roll insides
Pea seeds

Sunflower growing
Sunflower seeds, we are happy to share ours with anyone local to us.

Old clothes, like trousers, shirt, gloves, also something you can use to make a face and head, maybe an old pillow case? We saw some cheap ones at the charity shop this week.
You will also need other bits like straw to make your scarecrow, but we will write more about that in a few weeks.

We would like to know if this post has been interesting or not so we can work harder to make it better for you to read.

Mum says sorry that the photos aren't very good but we haven't got a camera anymore, it got broken a while ago and we have been using her phone instead.

Thank you for your time

Ethan, Reuben, Mattie, Jacob and Joel Bean

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Valentines Biscuits

Hello again everybody

As it is Valentine's day tomorrow we wondered if you might like to make some valentine's biscuits?

These ones are easy to make, yummy to eat and cool to give away.

We use this recipe to make gingerbread men too.


6oz/175g self raising flour                              
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp sugar
2oz/50g butter
3 tbsp syrup

If you need to make a gluten free version add gluten free flour, same quantity and a tsp of xanthan gum if you have some, it's not essential but makes the biscuits less fragile.

Swap the butter for Soya margarine if you need a dairy free option too

Other things you need

2 baking trays
Biscuit cutters
Rolling pin
Small saucepan
Mixing bowl

Method (How to make them)

Pre heat oven to Gas5/190'c (Pre heat means getting it warm before you start)

Grease a couple of baking sheets by rubbing some butter over the baking sheet, this stops the biscuits sticking

Weigh out your flour and put it into your mixing bowl with the sugar, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon. (These are called the dry ingredients)

You can use flowers?

Battle of flower v flour


In a little pan carefully and slowly melt the butter with the syrup, this will get very hot.

Pour the melted mixture from the pan into the bowl with your dry ingredients and mix well.

You should now have a 'dough', where it has all stuck together in a ball, if it is a little too soft add a small amount more flour

Roll out on a floured surface to about 4mm thick and cut with heart shaped cutters (Or whichever shape you fancy)

Pop onto the baking sheets. If they have stuck to the surface a bit try sliding a butter knife underneath them to loosen them a bit.

Cook for approx 8-10 minutes but watch them carefully as they can over cook quite quickly

Remove from oven (carefully) Then leave them on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack, if you move them too quickly they might break, and a broken heart isn't a good thing.

Ice if you like.

We hope you enjoy making these, they are hard not to eat all in one go!

Thank you for reading

Ethan, Reuben, Mattie, Jacob and Joel Bean

Here is a picture of some we have made before.



Hello Everybody

Sorry that we have been gone for so long. We have been busy with lots of different things and will fill you in on some of those over the next couple of weeks.

This is just a quick post to say hello to our followers, friends and people that we don't even know.

 Please leave us a comment if you can.

We are cheating a little bit with this post. As it is pancake day we thought you might like to have the recipe for making yummy ones, but as we haven't made ours today yet we have pinched a recipe from our Mum's blog.

We will post photos of ours later!

Here is how to make them....

Pancakes are made of basic ingredients, cooked in a basic way and are basically fool proof... unless you start pancake races with your neighbours, toss them high enough to stick them to the ceiling or forget that you have left one cooking in the pan... fool proof.

The origins of shrove Tuesday and pancake day are to use up stores of fats, sugars and flours before Ash Wednesday when you fast for lent... I personally couldn't give up any of those things for lent, but shall be making pancakes never the less!

What you fill it with is up to you, mine will be stuffed with ice cream, sliced strawberries and topped with homemade butterscotch sauce, yum!


4oz/100g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 pint milk
pinch of salt
small knob of butter to fry with


Put the flour into a mixing bowl, with the salt
Put the egg into the milk and whisk together
Pour the milky mixture a small amount at a time into the flour, mix really well to get a smooth batter
Pour into a jug (To make easier pouring into frying pan)
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, melt the butter, add enough batter to just about cover the bottom of the pan very thinly
Its cooked when it starts crisping at the edges and slides in the pan, toss, flip, or carefully turn over to briefly brown the second side

If you enjoy the American version try these...

Cinnamon and Raisin Pancakes (Gluten and dairy free recipe) Or use normal flour and butter


5oz/125g Gluten free plain flour (I use doves farm) or normal plain flour
1 heaped tsp sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder
50g raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
100ml soya milk or normal milk
1 egg
A small amount of soya butter to fry in or a knob of butter


1 Put all of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl

2 Measure the milk into a jug, add the egg and beat together

3 Pour the milky mixture into the dry a mix a small amount at a time and mix well, to prevent lumps

4 Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and melt the butter

5 Spoon out the mixture a small amount at a time, you should be able to cook 3 at once

6 Stir the mixture before spooning out more each time as the raisins will sink a little

7 When the pancakes start to get small bubbles they are ready to turn over

8 Cook on the other side for 20-30 seconds

9 Either eat on their own, hot or cold, or serve with toppings of your choice, Mattie had honey and blueberries, but maple syrup, plain yoghurt or a small squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of sugar work well too


Looking forward to getting back to writing, nagging mum about making things and would like to know if there is anything you would like to see us bake or grow

Bye for now

Ethan, Reuben, Mattie, Jacob and Joel Bean

P.s Will be posting a recipe for Valentines biscuits tonight or tomorrow