Tag Archives: easy

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.

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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.