Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Month Long Absence and Playing Catch-Up with Cinnamon Blondies

So I've only realised it's been a month since I posted up my Banana bread recipe...shame on me I know... Unfortunately life has a way of getting in front, behind, above, below and beside blogging and do its best to push it out of the way, for the better in my case.

Over the past month I've been running around the place like a dervish trying to devote my time equally between all the important aspects of my life; Ethan, my friends, exercise, baking and cooking, pole dancing and research (and get over the 'flu :P) and let me tell you it's been an exhausting yet highly fulfilling time :) (...well not the 'flu part).

If I haven;t already mentioned it I found myself a volunteer Research Assistant position with the Trinity College Neuroscience Institute and the project is really interesting; we're looking into exercise and memory using a chemical called Blood Derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDNF. The guy running it hopes to devise a rehab programme for memory impairment using exercise. I took a Phlebotomy course a few weeks ago and have become the study's official blood taker and processor (so I get lots of lab time) as well as the cognitive test administrator. It's a hectic job but I'm really enjoying myself.

My all too real (and a little scary) proper adult life aside, Ethan and I spent a lovely 2 days in Sligo camping with friends (we just got back today actually). It was a great trip despite the horizontal rain and high winds and gave us both the chance to relax after a stressful month. We camped 20 feet from the beach and between the showers we built a fire, toasted marshmallows and stargazed some of the clearest skies I've ever seen, not that that lasted very long! That being said, there's nothing better than cuddling up in what we found to be a double wide sleeping bag listening to a howling gale outside and the sound of rain pelting against the tent... :) <3

ASide from being hard at work in the real world and not so hard at work in other ways, I've been cooking a lot, focusing on the recipes of my Italian heritage and making dishes such  as Pollo alla Cacciatore, Cannellini bean soup, Home-made egg pasta and ragu and Cantuccini (when this recipe is perfected it shall be posted up here). Rest assured I have not been resting on my laurels where baking is concerned and this recipe today is just one of many that I have to share with you :)

Cinnamon Squares
Makes around 16

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 150 mls plain yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180 C, grease and line and 9" square cake tin with baking paper
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs a little at a time
Mix the baking powder flour and cinnamon together and fold into the wet ingredients
Gently mix in the yoghurt until well combined then add the mixure to the tin
Bake for 45-50 mins, or until the cake is firm to the touch
Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares

The texture should be smooth thanks to the yoghurt and creaming process and the cinnamon taste should be at the forefront but not overpowering. This recipe yields a light and springy yet rich and very moreish tasting cake square with a tender crumb and should leave your kitchen smelling warm, inviting and mildly Autumnal :)