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My non-sinking Banana Cake

I’ve had several very favourable comments about this receipe, so looks like it’s worth a post.

In the past, I have found that the banana element tends to sink to the botton of the loaf making it not just bottom-heavy but also too moist underneath and too dry on top. So, I was delighted to come across this recipe for a lovely, light but tasty loaf.  I will include notes about what I use and how I do things just in case this makes a difference.


110g Butter (I use slightly salted)

170g Sugar (I use granulated)

225g self-raising Flour

2 eggs

3 medium bananas


Heat the oven to 180C.  Prepare a 2lb loaf tin (I use a non non-stick tin and line it with baking parchment (I think greaseproof will stick to the cake) but I imagine a non-stick buttered tin would do as well). Mash the bananas with a fork – they should be a smooth consistency perhaps with a few small lumps. Cream together the butter and sugar (I’ve done this both by hand and in a mixer; both seem to be fine). Add the eggs and mix in well.

Combine the banana sludge and the cream/butter sludge and mix in the flour. The consistency should be gloppy.

Scrape the mixeture into the prepared loaf tine and baked in the oven for 40 mins initially. Then turn the oven down to 150C and bake for another 25-30 mins until a sharp knife or skewer comes out clean. Do not over cook or the top will dry out a little too much. It’s worth checking after 25 mins.  Incidentally, I use a fan oven.

Turn it onto a cooling rack, remove the baking parchment carefully and leave to cool. Cut generous slices and enjoy.

As with the deliciously light scones in the last post I have failed so far to take a picture of this cake. It’s becoming a habit!

If you try this, do leave me a comment and let me know what you think.


Karren Brady shoot for New Business Magazine

My second shoot for New Business Magazine was for a feature article on Karren Brady – until now probably best known for her time at Birmingham City but now part of The Appentice BBC program and recently appointed to Vice Chairman (sic) at West Ham United.

We hade just 20 minutes together before she was interviewed by the magazine editor for an editorial feature – an interview that was captured on video. When the next issue of the magazine is published you should be able to find the video on their web site.

Simple sets ups were used and Karren was wonderfully co-operative. I am delighted with the results.

If you are not familiar with my work, do visit my web site.


Phil Ripley - Love the new blog design Martin, it’s looking great! Congrats on the shoot with Karren Brady – lovely images.

Sorry Delia, I have left you

As a Bedsit Batchelor of the 80s, I relied on Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. It was, and still is, a classic; I learned many of the basics, kept myself alive and even entertained with some credit (or maybe they were being nice; who knows).

Although in time I progressed to many other cookery books, as a creature of habit I have continued until just a few days ago with her recipe for Scones.  The results, I can now admit, were always a bit disappointing.

With marriage to Elisabeth came Good Housekeeping Cookery and another chance to explore variations with only limited success.

You see, what I wanted were scones with height, lightness, flakiness and cooked through without burning too much on the outside.  Not much to ask.

A few days ago, Google found me two really useful sites. The first was a recipe variation I had not seen before: addition of eggs and use of plain flour (which is counter intuitive) and, the taste inspiration, vanilla extract.  The second was a series of tips for making perfect scones and the key is to not think “cake” but think “pastry” (yes, I know it’s a bread really).

The results were fantastic, my only regret being that I failed to take a photograph (bit embarrassing really) – but next time I will post an image.

So, here they are:  The recipe and The Tips.

If you do bake them please leave a comment and let me know how you get one. If you think you have a better receipe, do let me know.

Next up: Cup Cakes.


Francesca and Gene’s Wedding at Wotton House

I loved photographing this wedding at Wotton House Hotel – the fabulous venue near to Dorking in Surrey. The ceremony room is stunning – all columns and original deep windows.

Once outside, the grotto is irresistable for a photographer (well, this one anyway) and the grounds are lovely.

The cake was made and decorated by Gene’s parents and stunning it was too.

Great day, lovely couple, bride fashionably late.

(Their pre-wedding shoot can be found here.)

Wotton House Weddings

Wotton House Weddings

If you are not familiar with my work, do visit my web site.


Nick Jenkins of shoot

I was asked last week by the editor of New Business Magazine to take some shots of Nick Jenkins, the founder and MD of – the hugely successful online card retailer – for an editorial feature. They were looking for something a bit different and suggested that we went up the the Millenium Bridge. All shots were taken in a 45 minute window, including a seven minute walk to and from the bridge.
If you are not familiar with my work, do visit my web site.