Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ba-ba-na cake

The title is not a type-error, it's how my little zak pronounces banana. Don't know where he learnt it, but we are finding it difficult to correct him to say "Ba-Na-Na" cos he would say it right after we corrected him, but reverted to his 'Ba-Ba-Na' version again after a while.

Following my earlier post, i finally got the time (& energy) to use the left-over & over-riped bananas to bake into a simple & tasty banana cake. One recipe down from my very long **Must-Try Recipes. I hardly do any baking on weekday these days, as i find it very tiring after reaching home at around 9-10pm. And routinely, my boy wants me to lie down beside him to either read a book or sing songs to him before his zzzz. Although his daddy loves to be the one doing it, my boy refuses, "Daddy cannot read storybook, only mummy!" "Daddy prepare milk milk, mummy cannot!" See how 'pitiful' we are, being 'commanded' around by this little 2-year old kid!

Ingredients/ Method
(Adapted from My Kitchen - with slight modifications)
170g butter
250g sugar (reduced from 325g)
90g unsweetened plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1.5 tsp baking soda
325g bananas, mashed (about 3 big bananas)
323g cake flour, sifted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 tsp vanilla essence

*Above recipe is 1.5 times of the original.

1. Preheat oven to 175 deg C. Grease 2 loaf pans.
2. Cream butter and sugar until mixture is light.
3. Add eggs in 5 batches and beat well after each addition.
4. Dissolve baking soda in the yogurt, and add it into the butter mixture. Add in vanilla essence. Beat well.
5. Stir in mashed bananas. (The mixture looks very watery at this point of time, but will turn out fine when the flour is added)
6. Fold in cake flour.
7. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 45 mins or until skewer inserted comes out clean. (As i baked 2 loaves at the same time, it took a further 8-10mins before the cake is ready.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fresh fruits in abundance

I've got few punnets of blueberry and a punnet of strawberry a week or 2 ago at ntuc as they are really cheap and looks absolutely tempting and fresh! Actually, we should count ourselves lucky to be able to get fresh fruits at very affordable prices here in S'pore. Recently, I learnt something meaningful about the prices of fruit i.e. no matter how much the price of fruit may be, we should think of the efforts, care and time that the farmers have put into growing the fruit and eventually sold to us. This would make any pricey fruit or food worth every cent being paid for. Agree?

Anyway, the strawberry were used to make Strawberry jellyhearts cheesecake last week, using the left-over cheese mixture from this. The Strawberry jellyhearts cheesecake
is one of the first few recipes i tried out when i started this humble blog of mine. Looking back, i've been blogging for 15 months and counting ;-)

What am i going to do with the blueberries? Thought of searching a new recipe to try out but is too lazy to do so, and end up i use the same recipe i tried many times but with different condiments and slight modifications. Being lazy, i even skip the step of lining the cake pan as i thought that the non-stick cake pan will turn out alright! Not until i try to unmould the cake, i flip & flip & flip & the cake came out NOT in one piece! The pictures here does not really show as i've 'patched' them for the photo-shot. Very important lesson learnt - don't be lazy, must always line the cake tin!

Oh yes, there's something that made me & T very happy this week! My little zak is finally willing to use the potty... doesn't this call for a celebration being a big milestone ;-)

Ingredients/ Method:

225g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
85g butter
130g sugar (reduced from 170g)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup non-fat unsweetened yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
80g fresh blueberry, floured

1) Preheat oven to 180 deg and lined loaf tin.
2) Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
3) Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Dribble the eggs slowly about 1 tbsp at a time, beating constantly for about 2 mins.
4) On LOW speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined. Beat in 1/2 of the yogurt. Then beat in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining yogurt, and vanilla essence. Finally beat in the remaining flour mixture.
5)Lastly, fold in the fresh blueberries.
6) Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 40-50 mins till skewer inserted comes out clean.
7) Cool in pan for 5 mins. Unmould and cool completely.

Now, there are 4 big ripe bananas sitting in my kitchen, waiting to be turned into something else!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Princess Cake

I've seen a few bloggers baking princess cake and thought this is a splendid idea for my little cousin who turned 9 last saturday. She's as adorable and pretty as the princess, and very obedient and well-behaved for her age. Although she's only 9, my little zak has to call her 'yi-yi' (aunty) as my uncle (her dad) is the youngest and my mum is the eldest in the family. I think it's pretty common in my parents' generation, but not ours. Our generation may not even get to see the off-springs of our child, because of all the late (or no!) marriages and late child-birth. Hopefully this trend will change.

Anyway back to the Princess cake, it did brought many wows from my relatives, and most importantly the birthday girl likes the cake very much! Hurray to my successful 'copy-cat' cake too!

I had some difficulties shaping the princess gown as the steamed moist chocolate cake was rather soft when i cut it, and the dress actually looked 'fatter' than i wanted it to be. It was when i was about to prepare the cream that i realised i had only very little left-over whipping cream in the fridge! Where's the other carton of whipping cream!!! Either get my busy T to buy for me, or to rush down to nearest PH at AMK?? But I'd only a few hours to the birthday party, and T was simply too busy to be away from work! No choice, no choice, i just had to make do with whatever is left -- just slightly more than 300gm for the entire cake. Just have to think of how to apportion the whipped cream to sandwich the 4-layers cake, and to decorate the princess dress. The layers were slabbed with the ever-so-easy nutella + whipped cream, and the dress was whipped cream + red colouring. In order to prevent the cream from melting, having to stay at room temperature for around 3 hours, i added 3 tbsp of icing sugar to the whipping cream.

Sunday, August 2, 2009