Welcome to my first series of posts entitled ‘Edible Gifts’. This year our family has decided to make the majority of our holiday gifts to make them a little more personal (and affordable to boot!).
Making all of your gifts can seem daunting, especially if most of them will be edible. You want to make sure all your hard work isn’t wasted on food that goes off before it’s given OR you find yourself in the kitchen crazily cooking a million things in one day.
This year I’ve planned out when to make what based on what can be frozen as either a final product or as a dough, which helps me cut down on stress, and allows the gifts to stay fresh and delicious.
To start I decided to make a type of tea cake. This cake is one that I had often while living in London at the Crypt Cafe under St. Martin in the fields (before they renovated). What I always loved about this cake (other than the fact that they were always baked in beautiful bundt or loaf pans giving them each unique beautiful shapes) was that this was not your stereotypical cake. It wasn’t that sweet, it was airy and sort of dense at the same time (I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s how memory works isn’t it!).
I thought of my sister’s banana bread and thought if I added fruit, and decreased the amount of flour by a smidge.
It was fantastic! The addition of the fruit really helped lighten the bread. I baked each of the breads in small bundt and loaf pans.
This is what you need;
My sister’s banana bread recipe
1 cup chopped frozen cranberries
As I said, I cooked these little cake breads in mini bundt and loaf pans as I thought it would be beautiful to give as gifts and it stayed true to my memory of my Crypt Cafe tea cakes!
Since I made these earlier than I was going to give them, I decided to freeze most of them (I confess to eating one myself).
To freeze cakes first wrap them in plastic wrap, then in foil, then put in a ziplock bag. This helps keep out any freezer smells, prevents freezer burn and helps keep the cakes in the same state so when they are defrosted they taste moist and fresh. (Fun tidbit-if you order a birthday or wedding cake from a bakery, they often bake the cake ahead of time, then freeze and defrost in order to ice and decorate!)
These cakes will make up a part of several gifts for the holiday!