Saturday, July 20, 2013

A much healthier Banana Sponge Cake!



I've found a much healthier, fluffier and tastier banana cake recipe and couldn't resist sharing it! It has the texture of store bought but minus the oily feel some can have. I do especially like the round pan version too as it doesn't crack on the surface compared to the ones I bake on loaf pan. Why I said it's healthier as it uses vegetable oil (less too since 80 ml only) instead of butter.

But of course, this recipe as compared to my previous post on " simple banana cake recipe without a mixer" found here requires more work and a mixer. I was also rather confused with the steps at the mixing part initially so had to read a couple of times to make sense out of it! The outcome is still worth the effort. Family and neighbour love it. Will definitely use this recipe again.

Recipe as below :-
Ingredients:
(makes one 8" round cake)

3 large eggs, room temperature
100g caster sugar (original recipe uses 150g) - (I reduced further to 80g)
250g to 300g bananas (3 large ripened bananas, cut into chunks)
150g cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
80ml vegetable oil (original recipe uses 100ml)
20ml milk (I used low fat fresh milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Method:
  1. Grease (with butter) and flour sides of an 8" round pan, line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve together cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Sieve the flour mixture twice and set it aside.
  3. Place vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, set aside.
  4. Place eggs, caster sugar and bananas in a large mixing bowl. With an electric whisk, whisk the mixture at Low speed for a few seconds (to break up the bananas). Change to medium-high speed, and whisk the mixture till it becomes thick, pale and triple in volume. This should take around 7 to 8 mins. The batter should leave a ribbon like trail when the paddle is lifted. Test by lifting up the whisk/paddle, and draw an '8' with the batter. The number should stay for a few seconds. Turn to Low speed again, and beat for another 2 mins. This is to stablise the air bubbles in the batter. (Note: do not over beat the batter...it is not a good thing if the '8' doesn't disappear.) (Not sure if it's because I used a single whisk, my '8' disappeared within a second. I extended the whisk time a little but still couldn't get the '8' to stay for a few sec. I did not whisk longer since the batter volume seemed to have tripled) 
  5. Sieve over the flour mixture in 3 separate additions. Each time Fold In the flour carefully with a Spatula, making sure there is no pockets of flour being trapped at the bottom of the bowl. Do not stir the batter with the spatula, it will cause the batter to deflate too much.
  6. Pour a small portion (less than 1/3) of the batter into the mixing bowl in Step 3. Fold in with the spatula until the oil mixture is fully incorporated into the batter.
  7. Pour the mixture in Step 6 back into the rest of the batter (Step 5). 
  8. Fold in the batter with the spatula making sure the mixture is well combined. (By now the batter could be deflated by about 20% or so as compared to Step 4).
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, the pan should be about 3/4 full. 
  10. Bake in preheated oven at 160 degC for 40-45mins or until the surface turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (The edges of the cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.) Remove from oven, unmold and leave to cool (inverted) on a cooling rack. (Mine was still rather wet when I did my toothpick test so I up the temp to 170 degC and baked another 10 min before the test passed)
Recipe source: adapted from Happy Home Baking which she has adapted from Wen's Delight.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Year of Snake CNY 2013 craft

 
It was Shiranne's School's CNY craft competition and I'd decided (last minute!) to let her participate as she had requested and I didn't want to disappoint her. She mentioned that some of her classmates have been submitting their crafts and also asked when would she start doing hers. So in the midst of busy schedules, I'd made an effort to finish the craft with her in 3 short evenings. When I was a SAHM, we could finish such craft in a day! 
 
All our materials were readily found at home since there wasn't time to shop for them. Materials used :-
- toilet/napkin rolls
-red packets
- thick papers (for the top/base - as I did not have red thick papers, I got Shiranne and her big sis to cut red packets to smaller pieces and paste over them, something like collage)
- glue, scissors
- ribbon for handle
- heart shape washi tape (which i bought from "Typo")
- wire
- googly eyes.
 
Shiranne helped as much in the cutting, glueing and pasting. Efforts paid off her she got 2nd prize for the competition. I hoped this will give a little encouragement as she has been rather unwilling to go school this year. 
 
Anyway, also wanted to share that I was inspired to use washi tapes to make the snake from Corinna Wraps on her twist ties project. It turned out really cute! (twist ties picture adapted from her blog)
Washi Tape Twist Ties
 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Home-Baked Green Peas Cookies

 
Chanced upon a blog post with picture of the Green Peas Cookies that looked tantalizing enough for me to read further on the recipe. The recipe looked simple so I decided to give it a shot.
 
The green peas snack took me quite some time to look for initially. I was looking for the non-coated ones in NTUC, Cold Storage and Giant but only found flour coated, wasabi coated and garlic coated ones. So in the end, I settled for the flour coated.
 
As I did not have any stone type pounder or coffee grinder, I used my mini wooden type pounder and grinded my peas for more than an hour. My hubby helped and the grinding gave him a perspiring good time! We would definitely go for the green peas powder the next time we bake the cookies again. I found out that Cold storage at Centrepoint sells and somebody blogged that Sun Lik sells it too. For  those who has effective grinder, it would be still good to grind as you can control how fine to grind. If you want the tiny green specks to be visible in the cookies and  have a little crunchiness, do not grind too fine. Personally like the visible greens specks on the cookies!
 
My girls loved to help though it took much longer for us to complete. We managed to spend a good afteroon with this.  We spooned up some of the mixture and flattened between the baking sheets with the rolling pin. My mixture did not form a smooth dough that detaches from the mixing bowl, but do stick when compressed between sheets. For smoother dough, can add a little more oil. I didn't want to add too much oil for health reason. Mine still cuts easily with the cookie cutter.
 
The cookies tasted good though not melt in the mouth type. I'm glad to be able to munch into some of the green peas nibblets.   
 
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen blog and made reference from Happy Cup
Ingredients: (Mine yielded about 60-70 cookies)
120 gm green peas, snack type (grinded) (I bought Tai Sun's Coated Green Peas 140g and grinded the whole pack while eating some as we grind)
100 gm icing sugar (I reduced to 60gm)
¼ tsp salt
180 gm plain flour
100 gm vegetable oil

Glazing: (I omitted glazing coz didn't like the brownish look on top)
1 egg yolk
½ tbsp milk

Methods:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, bring together all ingredients and mix until a dough is formed.
  2. Roll out dough between two sheets of plastic, about 1cm in thickness.
  3. Cut dough with cookies cutter and place onto baking tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Glaze with egg yolk mixture.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven at 170ÂșC for about 15 mins or until the surface is browned.
  6. Cool completely on rack before storing.