Monday, May 28, 2012

The Most Fabulous Banana Cake

I have always time and time again mentioned that I loved baking with bananas. They make such a great addition to desserts and are so easily available in this part of the world. This particular banana cake comes from one of my favourite cook books and it is a moist, dense cake that keeps well even after one week.

Because of the humid weather here in Singapore, I would usually place my unfinished cakes in the refrigerator after 2 or 3 days.  This cake kept extremely well and I just needed to thaw it slightly before having a slice with my morning or afternoon coffee.  It was that delicious and truly well worth it being called "The Most Fabulous Banana Cake Recipe"

banana date 1

banana dare 5

The Most Fabulous Banana Cake Recipe
Adapted from "Mix & Bake" by Belinda Jeffery
Serves 12


225g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 - 4 very ripe banana (about 1 cup), mashed
340g castor sugar
2 eggs
125g unsalted butter, room temperature cut into small chunks
100ml buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For topping:

2 ripen bananas, slice thinly for topping (optional)
1 Tbsp castor sugar


1) Preheat oven to 180C. Butter and line a deep 26cm ring tin or 2 loaf tins

2) Put the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate sode into a food processor and whiz for about 15 seconds. Remove and tranfer into a bowl.

3) Add the bananas to the processor together with the eggs and sugar.  Whiz for 1 mintue.  Then add the butter and whiz for another minute until thick and creamy. Now add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and pulse in quick on/off bursts.  The add the flour and again mix it in with quick bursts, scrapping down the sides once or twice.  Do not overmix or cake will be tough.  Add the chopped walnuts and give it a quick stir with a spatula.  Scoop batter into prepared tin and smoothen out.

4) Optional: Place the sliced bananas on top of the batter and sprinkle with sugar.  B

5) Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes.  Do not open the oven during baking time or the center may sink.  Cool cake completely before unmoulding.

banana date 2

banana date 3

banana date 4

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spanish Chicken Casserole

This particular casserole makes a great dish for family gatherings or when you have friends around.  The unusual flavours of this cassrole and somewhat reminded me of a tarjin because it had the citrus taste of the lemon juice.  I made this over a Sunday weekend and had it with crusty bread which was just nice to mop up the gravy.  I froze the remaining left overs.



Spanish Chicken Casserole
Serves 4
Recipe Adapted from Women's Weekly


1 Tbsp olive oil
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thigh cutlets
1 large onion, chopped finely
4 medium potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup roasted pine nuts
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
Salt and black pepper to taste


1) Preheat oven to 180C.

2)  Heat oil in a large flameproof casserole dish, brown the chicken in batches and set aside.

3) In the same pot, cook the onions until soft.  Return chicken to the dish.  Add potato, nuts, stock, wine, juice, garlic, all the thyme and basil and half of the parsley. Bring to a boil.

4) Cover the dish and place in the oven to cook for about 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper.

5) Once cooked, add the remain parsley, stir and dish out.  Serve with greens and crusty bread.




Saturday, May 5, 2012

Passionfruit Souffle

I have now been baking for over 5 years now and I can't believe that I have never made a souffle before in my life plus eaten it only once in my entire life.  Amazingly it is such a simple recipe, typically made up for three to four ingredients only.

So when I had leftover passionfruit I was very tempted to use it in a dessert.  However I knew I would be busy over the next few weekends and decided to scrap the pulp out and freeze it.  So when it came time to actually put the souffle together, I was really excited.  I knew souffles have a tendency to deflate very quickly and as such I set up my camera and props to be ready to snap away when the ramikins were taken out of the fridge.  Luckily I was able to take my shots before they deflated out on me.



Passionfuit Souffle
Recipe Adapted from ""
Serves 4


2 tsp soften unsalted butter, to grease
1 tbs caster sugar
3 egg whites, at room temperature
70g caster sugar
180g passionfruit juice, seeds removed (about 3 - 4 passionfruit)


1) Preheat oven to 180°C.

2) Brush four 250ml (1-cup) ovenproof ramikins with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar, shaking off any excess.

3) Use an electric beater to beat egg whites in a large clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Add extra sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition until well combined. Continue whisking until sugar dissolves.

4) Use large metal spoon to fold passionfruit into egg whites. Spoon in dishes. Use flat knife to smooth tops and place dishes on baking tray. Run a thumb around inside rim of dishes in souffle mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.


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