Monday, January 14, 2013

Banana Chocolate Cake


香蕉蛋糕是我喜爱的,如果看到好的食谱一定会bookmark起来。家里一向来都有买香蕉的习惯,除了生吃还会加进燕麦里。每次买都是一大串,都会 吃不完,我会把过熟的香蕉收藏在冷冻库里用在烘焙。当我看到这个香蕉巧克力蛋糕,我马上被吸引了,加上Rima的赞不绝口,我怎么能错过!

Well back to my bake, this cake was baked at July. Banana is the fruit that will always appear in my home, we will usually buy once  a week. Beside eating it, we will add it into the oatmeal for our breakfast. However the bananas always come in big bunch, so the supply is always higher than demand. Thus almost every week, there will be over ripen bananas for me to get rid which I will keep in the freezer for future baking.

So there is not surprise that whenever I see any good banana recipes, I will bookmark it and this banana chocolate cake went into my To Bake List immediately cos of the the rave from Rima.
Dunno why, when eating this cake will make me think of kuih lapis lol. I find this cake is so much suitable preparing for CNY, I have already planning to bake some to give away, I believe they will sure gonna love it heeheehee....


I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

Recipe from Bisous A Toi.

Ingredients : (for 8" square cake pan)
200g margarine + 1 tbsp butter (I used 200g salted butter)
200g palm sugar (guala melaka)
6 egg yolks
2 egg whites - whisk till stiff peak
200g flour (I used cake flour since I have plenty of stock)
2 tbsp full cream milk powder
1/4 tsp salt (I omit)
100g dark cooking chocolate - chopped (I used both chopped chocolate and chocolate chips)
3 medium-size banana (600g) - mashed (I used 400g)
1/4 tbsp double acting baking powder 
2 drops of banana essence (I used vanilla extract)
adequate raisins, almonds, cherries or cheese for topping (I used sultanas)


Method
1. Preheat oven 175C, line and grease the pan
2. Beat butter and sugar till light and pale in colour
3. Add in egg yolk one at a time and continue to beat till well incorporated.
4. Fold in sifted flour, milk powder and double acting powder
5. Gently fold in stiff egg white and continue to mix till well combined
6. Lastly add banana essence or vanilla extract.
7. Pour batter into baking pan and sprinkle with currants or cherries or almonds or just cheese or sultanas according to taste
8. Bake for 35 minutes or till done.

Verdict?
The cake texture is rich, compact, tender and moist, very delicious. Banana and chocolate is a perfect couple, with the palm sugar added extra fragrant to the cake. This is one of the cake that dear husband given high marks since he is not a cake person, he even requested to bake for his office staff. This is a thumb up recipe, definitely a keeper.

蛋糕有种扎实的口感,味道很香浓,很湿润,非常好吃。香蕉与巧克力本是绝配,加上椰糖独特的香味,真的很赞!







Thursday, January 10, 2013

Apple Cake



当 在11月份拿到女儿的成绩单时,顿时感到晴天霹雳!没想到她的成绩退步得这么严重,除了英文考得还不错 (其实也是退步了,她应该可以考得更好), 华文与数学考得好差,只比及格好一点点:(. 本想狠狠的"教训 "她一顿,可我其实也有错,自从她弟弟出生后就严重忽略她,学业也让她“自生自灭”.... 所以选择好好的与她沟通,告诉她需要找补习老师,还有我也会尽量抽时间帮她复习,让我们一起努力使成绩进步!

When I got dear daughter's report book during November, I really got a shock, didn't expect her result to be so bad. Except for her English which she scored quite good (actually I expected better result since she is quite advance in this subject), her Chinese and Math are very bad, only slightly better than pass :(. Thinking to "teach" her a good lesson but after all, I am guilty for it. Ever since I gave birth to little kicker, I have neglected her totally, everything she is on her own including study. Thus, I chose to have a good communication with her, told her that I will look for tutors for her for these 2 subjects. At the same time, I will also try my best to spend times with her to revise the school work.


在这学校假期里,我帮她复习华文, 这才发现自己的华文也是退步好多,好像都还给老师了lol. 说与认字还不错,写与汉语拚音就好差,所以妈妈我也须要赶快努力加油,不然教她的同时还得花时间找字典哈哈哈.... 所以我有空时会用华语在我的部落格,只能有空时因为写这一小段就花了我好长的时间,还差点放弃lol!

During the school holidays, I helped dear daughter to revise her Chinese. Then I realised that my Chinese has deteriorated a lot, seem like has been returned most to teacher hahaha... I can speak well, read well but writing and hanyu pingying really become quite bad. Thus mummy need to put in some effort as well, if not how to teach her lol. I will use my blog as my learning platform, writing in Mandarin when I have free time. This is really challenging, a short sentence took me a lot of times to complete, almost give up lol.


This cake was baked on early September 2012 when I had a lot of apples in the fridge to clear. I google for easy and good recipe and chance upon this.

Recipe adapted from Hunger Hunger.

Ingredients :
1/2 kg Granny Smiths (green apples), peeled, cored & chopped (I used red apples)
200g self-raising flour, sifted
1/3 tsp cinnamon powder
200g (or 150 g for slightly sweet n 170g for slight to medium sweet) fine sugar (I used 150g)
1 cup oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

* cut the apples pea size because that makes the texture finer and the cake holds together better.

Method :
1. Sift the flour with the cinnamon powder. Put sugar, eggs and oil into a bowl and hand whisk until creamy. Add the sifted flour, stir in the apples.

2. Pour batter into a 8"/21 cm or 9"/23 cm round tin (lined) and bake at 170 C for 45 to 50 minutes until a wooden stick plunged into the middle of the cake comes out clean.



Verdict?
This cake is soft and moist, with the crunchiness of apple cubes really tasted great.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Congo Bar



平安夜,我过得一点儿都不“平安”!儿子踢踢发高烧到40.6度,整个人像个小火炉,人非常不舒服,一直粘住我。家里有个Christmas Eve dinner, 辛好今年是potluck, 我只负责 主食以及甜点,甜点早在前一晚就准备好,主食在party的一小时前煮,很容易,不然大家都得吃西北风了lol。食物虽然很多很美味,可我因担心踢踢所以食不知味:(.

辛好踢踢的烧在第二天就退一点,第三天就完全退,然而每天还是会发烧一次,第五天才完全好。可烧退了就轮到伤风与咳嗽,到现在都还没完全康复。我也被他传染,伤风与咳嗽了快一个星期,现在又多了个病人,连我家佣人也中招。
 
I didn't have a peaceful night for Christmas eve. Little kicker's fever shot up to 40.6C, his whole body was as hot as fireplace, he was so uncomfortable that just quietly cling on me, very unusual of him. 

I had a Christmas eve celebration at home, luckily was a potluck so I only in charged of one main course and desserts. Desserts were prepared a night in advanced and I just cooked the main course an hour before the dinner started. Although there were a lot of delicious food but I didn't eat much cos too worry of little kicker, so heart pain seeing him suffering. 

Luckily his fever was subsided a bit the next day, back to normal on 3rd day but still had fever once a day until 5th day totally recovered. However his running nose and coughing started and until now, still not fully recover yet. I was spread by him, running nose and cough for nearly a week and now, added another patient which is my helper, she is down with coughing too.



This was prepared for little kicker's 1st birthday part. I wanted to bake some sweet treats for little kicker's, I can't decide between this peanut butter chocolate chips cookie cake which I love it or congo bar which got good reviews. Final decision went to congo bar simply because I wanna try out new recipe.

This is easy to bake, I baked it on the night before the party and kept in air tight container.

Recipe adapted from Bakerella.

Congo Bars
2 3/4 cup (305g) all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (150g) butter, softened
1 lb. (454g) light brown sugar (I reduced to 300g)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce (326g) package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

By mixer:
1.    Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2.    Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended.
3.    Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition.
4.    Add vanilla and mix.
5.    Add flour and mix until combined.
6.    Stir in chips and then pecans.

By hand:
1.    Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
2.    Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears.
3.    You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.
4.    Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.
5.    Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
6.    Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.
7.    Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.
8.    Bake at 350 (180C) degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

* I used by hand method and used 11" x 14" cake tray, baked for 20 mins.

Verdict?
The bar tasted a little bit too sweet for me, can reduce the sugar further if you are not a sweet tooth. It tasted nice but well, probably I had set my expectation high after reading the reviews so kind of a bit disappointed. Since I was preparing this for the party, of course I hope I can present bakes that really can impress my guests. I am much much more prefer cookie dough cheesecake bar and peanut butter chocolate chips cookie cake.  However those guests who tasted commented very delicious, I brought some to office and a lot of my colleagues actually like it too. So my guess is if there is no comparison, this congo bar will definitely score more marks.

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