Tag Archives: Cake

Chocolate Banana Bread

Whenever I give away my cakes, I get things like “Oh this is so you.”

And “why?”.

“It’s always in a loaf, with chocolate.”

I tried to put on a weak smile. Thanks.

It just occurred to me that the things I have been baking has been quite repetitive. When I go through the things I’ve baked, I see loaves of banana bread, marble cakes and any home baked looking cakes. I thought I needed to get out of the cycle and start challenging myself.

Hah! Back to good ol’ banana bread, with chocolate.

Its hard to pass up comfort baking sometimes.

Here’s an amazing chocolate banana bread recipe I got from Citrus and Candy.

I felt that the chocolate may have overpowered the banana a little but you can treat it as a Chocolate Cake with Banana, more than a banana cake with chocolate.
Still, a keeper, definitely. Even better if kept overnight and toasted, with some butter loving.

It is different from Bourke St Bakery’s banana cake , this one is more bread like and more suitable for toasting, oh yums!

Chocolate Banana Bread,

adapted from Citrus and Candy

195g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I omitted)
120ml canola or vegetable oil
190g light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Bananas, mashed
100g dark chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 170°C and grease a large loaf tin.

2. Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (and nutmeg) into a bowl and set aside.

3. With an electric mixer, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract for a couple of minutes until well blended.

4. With a wooden spoon, stir through the banana mash then add the sifted flour mixture and gently stir until just combined (do not over mix). Divide the batter into two portions then add the melted chocolate into one portion and stir to combine.

5. Add random dollops of each batter into the tin then grab a skewer and start swirling. (I got a little excited and swirled too much, so marbling effect wasn’t obvious).Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread has risen and a skewer comes out clean.

6. Cool on wire rack then remove bread from tin.

Orange poppyseed chiffon cake

As I grow older, I slowly got to understand my mother’s consumption habits, especially when it comes to food that she likes. And fashion too. When I was younger, she wore a lot of long sleeved top with colourful graphic prints which I thought was OTT, but now I am seeing those prints everywhere and even thought of getting one the other day. She also has a liking for anything with lace and linen (I used to question her taste for all things lacey) which I later became obsessed with for a while when I was in high school. I had no choice but to admit that “Yes mom, I now love lace too. Hey! We chose the same top!”. True story.


Not too long ago, I started to discover how wonderful chiffon cake is.

I mean, I always hear about how soft and fluffy it is and I’ve also tried it many times in my life, since young actually because it also happens to be my Mom’s favourite type of cake. So, it’s funny that I only start to like it now. That big pillow of airy cake, so light, can be boring at times and unsatisfying. That was exactly how i felt towards chiffon cake. How could my mom enjoy it so much. Perhaps its her Asian taste, preferring lighter desserts over rich creamy chocolate-y gooey brownies and cakes.

The chiffon cake that got me into this chiffon cake madness is the one from Azuma Patisserie. Everyone should try their chiffon cakes. It doesn’t need any explanation.

So I managed to get hold of a chiffon cake tin when I went back to Malaysia for my holidays. I even bought Okashi by Keiko Ishida, because I noticed her chiffon cakes recipes are everywhere. Since everyone made it look so easy, I tried.

Maybe the recipes are wrong, oven’s temperature wasn’t right, egg whites are not separated nicely and not beaten to its correct stiffness. I failed too many times. For other recipes, I tend to stay away from them a while if I fail the first time, but not for the chiffon cake. For everyone out there who failed at chiffon cakes, just keep trying.

Here, this time, I tried a recipe from the Australian Masterchef Magazine. This is the recipe which worked for me so far, but I think that is because of the higher flour content which differs from the Asian recipes.

Note for chiffon cakes:

Separate the egg whites when they are still cold (from the refrigerator) and let it slowly warm up to room temperature. I find it easier to separate them this way, if not the yolk tends to break easily. Tools must be absolutely clean as well. I rather have the cake stay longer in the oven than to take them out under cooked, because it will sink. Lastly, be patient while waiting for the cake to cool down after coming out from the oven. This will take more than an hour. You want it to be at least 85 percent cooled before removing it from the tin so that the cake is able to stand on its own and not collapse.

Orange poppyseed chiffon cake (makes a 25cm chiffon cake)

adapted from Masterchef magazine

Ingredients

400ml orange juice (to be reduced to half later)

7 eggs (separated)

330g (1 1/2 cups) castor sugar

125ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil

Zest from an orange

40g (1/4 cup) poppyseeds

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

300g (2cups) self raising flour (sifted)

1. Preheat oven to 190C.

2. Place orange juice in a small sauce pan and bring to boil over med high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes until the juice reduced by half. Cool.

3. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks and 165g(3/4 cup) sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick.

4. Combine 180ml (3/4 cup) of the reduced orange juice, oil, poppyseeds and zest in a jug. Gradually add to the yolk mixture and whisk till combined.

5. In stainless steel bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 165g (3/4 cup) of sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy.

6. Add flour to egg yolk mixture using a wire whisk and whisk until well incorporated.

7. Take 1/3 of the meringue mixture and fold into the mixture using a wire whisk. This prepares the mixture for more meringue so it is easily incorporated later on. Then, fold in another 1/3 using the wire whisk gently. Finally, pour the mixture into the meringue bowl to incorporate the final 1/3 of the meringue.

8. Pour into chiffon cake tin and bake for 10min.

9. Reduce oven temperature to 170C and bake for another 50minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

10. Invert the cake tin after removing from the oven over a wine bottle. Leave cake to cool completely (may take more than an hour).

Reducing the orange juice to about half.

Invert the cake, with the help of a wine bottle. U need a bottle, trust me. I almost flatten my cake.

Chiffon cakes aren’t the prettiest cakes. To beautify them, whip up some whipped cream flavoured with syrup or just enjoy them bare as it is.

I didn’t use the fork in the end.

Olive oil orange cake

Occasionally, I need a break from chocolate. I love chocolate like any chocolate lover out there. I can have chocolate every single day, whenever. Just on some days, I needed a lighter dessert, something spring-y, perhaps. Hey, its spring afterall!

So i chose to bake this olive oil orange cake. Originally, its meant to be topped with pistachios but, I could not find any at the supermarket ( can you believe it) so I opted for walnuts instead. I love walnuts, they are good for your hair i heard. Most of the time, I have issues with nuts in my dessert, especially in cakes. I tend to avoid cakes with visible nuts on it, I guess I just don’t like those nuts getting in the way when I am eating my cakes. This time, I just went with it. I just had to, just because the original recipe has pistachios in it and I thought an orange cake would be too plain old plain. Well, I had no problems with it but I might want to just roast and coat them with honey, marmalade or caramel next time before topping them on the cake.

It wasn’t difficult, this cake. The only part i didnt like was juicing the orange, thats all. Honestly, I chose this recipe because of the olive oil used, instead of butter or other vegetable oil but I could hardly smell or taste the difference. Probably just abit, when i open the oven doors. The taste of orange is pretty subtle as well, I definitely wanted more punch in the cake. Probably ginger to kick it up a notch? Still, its a good cake, especially with a cup of earl grey tea (again).

Olive Oil Orange Cake with Walnuts (makes two 22cm round cake)

adapted from tandteacake

(The recipe makes two 22cm round cake tin cake, but I halved the recipe for a 9inch square tin cake)

Ingredients

400g (14 oz) pastry flour, sifted
250g (8.8 oz) castor sugar
200ml (6.75 fl. oz) olive oil
4 eggs, separate the whites
Grated zest of an orange
250ml (8.45 fl. oz) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
Chopped walnuts (just to sprinkle on top)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease the baking tin.

2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Refridgerate.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with vanilla bean until fluffy. Add sugar and zest. Continue beating.

4. Add olive oil in a steady stream while still beating the mixture.

5. Add sifted flour and baking powder and fold in well.

6. Add orange juice bit by bit and mix well.

7. Fold in the egg whites.

8. Pour into cake pan and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.

9. Bake for 30 minutes. ( I only baked mine for about 20 minutes as the cake was on the thinner side)

New Classic Brownie

Since I’ve moved back to Sydney, I have been on a baking craze. I will casually browse through food blogs the night before, especially tastespotting because it has everything in a page. It is not hard at all to find something that I’d wanna bake. Then, I will be in a dilemma over which to try out and I stress myself out a little sometimes. Next morning, I will start getting my ingredients and bake.

Lately, I have been so caught up with work I do not even have the time to go through food blogs. Okay, I still go through them, but I had to stop because its such a torture to see and having the urge to bake but you know how much time constraint you have and alternating between work related tabs and food tabs on the browser can get pretty stressful and gives you the guilt trip.

So after some off days/week from flour and sugar, I finally had the time to myself, but I was stressing myself again. Why? I was so overwhelmed by so many recipes that I’ve been thinking of trying that I suddenly did not know how to pick. Choices. Reminded me about The Paradox of Choice.

It was tough, but in the end, I settled for good old brownie. I needed something familiar and quick.
After reading how awesome the brownie were and how people raved about it, I was sold. But seriously, how bad can a brownie be? And I wonder, how many brownie recipes have we all gone through and still go on searching for more? We are all spoilt with brownie recipes. So many ‘Best brownie ever’ and ‘Fudgiest brownie ever’ recipes.

Anyway, like anyone else, I am still willing to try out different brownie recipes. and here it is. A really fudgy brownie. I wished I used better chocolate, as it turned out, my cadbury 70% dark chocolate just couldn’t make it ( that’s all I have).
They are called NEW CLASSIC BROWNIES. I found the name weird at first, but then I understood. I guess its because the author made some tweaking to the conventional brownie method.

Brownie turned out to be super fudgy, crisp on the top ( how a brownie should be ). I also sprinkled some sea salt and dropped some dark chocolate chips on top before popping them into the oven.

SO here it is:

New Classic Brownie,
adapted from Anna of Crunchycreamysweet

Ingredients

113g ( 4 oz. ) unsalted butter
100g unsweetened chocolate (I used 70% cadbury dark chocolate)
225g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
60g all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F and line a square 8inch cake pan with baking paper.

2. Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler until a few pieces of chocolate are still visible. Remove from heat.

3. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla until well combined.

4. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Make sure the egg is incorporated into the batter before adding the next.

5. Add flour and fold using a spatula.

6. Whisk the batter with a mixer/wire whisk for about a minute until the batter pulls away from the mixing bowl ( I accidentally omitted this step, I think it might help in making the brownie more fudgy and chewy)

7. Pour the batter into the pan. (I also sprinkled sea salt and topped it with dark choc chips) and bake for 20 minutes.

8. While it is baking, prepare an ice bath at the sink.

9. Once the brownie comes out from the oven, gently place it onto the ice bath to stop the brownie from further cooking (so the insides remains fudgy) and let it cool completely before slicing.

Now, take a few slices and make yourself a cup of earl grey.

Mixed Berries Upside Down Cake

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I have days where I just grab my to-go bag, that red knitwear I worn so many times i lost count, the same place where i get my coffee from. I know that nothing can go wrong with those, especially when I don’t want to be stressed out by tiny little things (not that I have a lot in my mind).

Days like those calls for a simple cake. Foolproof, fast yet comforting. That’s when this cake comes to mind, bookmarked ages ago! from Heather Christo. This is my second time using her recipe and it did not disappoint. The first being a beetroot chocolate cake I baked ages ago. Nobody could tell there was beetroot in it because it was absolutely rich and yums!

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After the flip! Hidden gems mmm.

Anyway, this cake is not as straightforward and common/predictable as pound cakes. But not that special either, this cake is just those cakes that hides among the crowd but when you need them, it just appears. Actually, I just had problems with pound cakes previously. The batter curdles every single time! I was afraid this is going to happen again but luckily, the batter was being nice and it turned out well.

Love it! It’s surprisingly light and moist, with the right amount of sweetness. I think I can call this a guiltless cake? Sorry, I don’t do REAL guiltless cakes. If you want a cake, you gotta have the real cake. Full fat.

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For this particular recipe, I added mixed berries instead of just raspberries and the buttermilk definitely helped, as usual in making this such a yummy cake. Oh, remember to turn the cake over before serving so you can see those little jewels on the top of the cake! And, the recipe:

Mixed Berries Upside Down Cake,
adapted from Heather Christo

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (113g) butter, room temperature

1 cup (225g) castor sugar

2eggs

1 1/3 cup (150g) flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup mixed berries

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (176C). Prepare a 9” round cake pan with a round of parchment paper in the bottom and some cooking spray.

2. Cream together the stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, using a handheld mixer.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, and combine well.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the wet, in three alternate additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. mix until it is a smooth batter.

5. Gently fold in the mixed berries.

6. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees(176C), or until just done.

7. Let cool before turning out onto a platter and dusting with powdered sugar. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.