Cook.Bake.Eat.Write.

Posts Tagged ‘banana

I am moving to San Francisco! Left Singapore this last Tuesday and am visiting with the parents for a week before driving down to the foodie mecca that is SF! 

It’s only been 4 days, but I find myself gritting my teeth and wanting to pull my hair out sometimes what with all the constant ‘catch up’ chatting I’ve been doing. Don’t get me wrong–I missed them terribly while I was a world away in Asia. (Singapore is just too far away.)–I am just so ready to start my new life in SF and couldn’t be more excited about all the adventures that are coming my way!

Anyhow, to fill my time, I decided to do a little baking. Mind you, I have none of my supplies, no scale,  don’t have the kind of ingredients I’m used to having…and it’s not my kitchen! After a quick inventory and raid of my mom’s pantry, freezer and fridge, I came up with the idea of making  citrusy blueberry banana muffins of sorts. Not surprisingly, there are tons of recipes for just such a craving.

The recipe I chose to test out this time is from a great, little website called “Dragon’s Kitchen”. I followed the recipe (to the best of my ability anyway), though left out the sugar-lemon zest topping, and produced these:

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Upon first glance, they look more cake-y/quickbread than muffin. And upon first taste, that is what they turned out to be! Alas, this is what happens when I bake without my almighty scale! 

Here are the issues I encountered:

1) My mom only had jumbo eggs. Though I know that a large egg weighs roughly 60+g, without my scale, I had to guess (gasp!!)

2) I had to use a measuring cup to measure out the flour, which I think led to my adding too much flour. And to think–I used to SCORN metric-based recipes. It was not until I really started getting into baking that I realized how scientific baking really is and how helpful a scale is in maintaining exactness.

3) I only had 1 banana.

In any case, the resulting batter was a bit thick. Though I tried to remedy this by adding a little banana yogurt, I’m not sure it did any good in the end. 

All in all, I’d say it’s unfair of me to judge this recipe based on my results. The muffins themselves are tasty–mildly sweet and moist–however, they’re a bit too dense for me and texture-wise feel more like a quickbread than muffins.

Oh, well. Once I settle in SF and get my kitchen back in order, I definitely plan on trying the recipe again. If you decide to try it, do let me know how it goes for you!

Lemony Blueberry Banana Muffins (from Dragon’s Kitchen)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons sugar

 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease muffin tin.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the lemon rind.

3. Beat together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until blended.

4. Stir in dry ingredients until blended. Stir in blueberries just until combined. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, dividing batter equally.

5. For the topping, combine sugar and remaining lemon rind in small dish. Sprinkle evenly over the muffins.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

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This cake is really easy to put together. I ended up halving the recipe and keeping the original bake time, which in the end worked out very well. This might have to do with the fact that I used an 8 inch cake pan rather than a 10 inch as the recipe called for. Actually, I would recommend making only half if you are just making it for your family. 

The cake is dense, banana-rich and spongey. I also only had ground almonds and whole almonds on hand, so that is what I used in place of the hazelnuts or walnuts.

(I made this cake a few months back and for the life of me, can’t remember where I got the recipe from!!! I did a googlesearch but was unable to find any one similar to this one. I have feeling, however, that I adapted it from a “Hauscake” recipe out of TipTopf, a Swiss cookbook.)

Chocolate Banana Nut Cake

Ingredients

6 oz unsalted butter, diced

6 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used good-quality dark 70%)

1 1/2 cups plain flour

190 g fine sugar

1/2 cup ground walnuts (I used almonds)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 cups (450 g) very ripe bananas, lightly mashed

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans (I used almonds)

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Greased and lined a 10 inch cake pan. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler till it is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Sift together flour and baking powder and baking soda. Add sugar, ground hazelnuts, and salt. Blend thoroughly.

3. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla extract and banana just until combined. Set aside.

4. Add the eggs to the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir until well combined and thick. Stir into the banana mixture until well combined.

5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20 mins. Remove and sprinkle chopped pecan nuts over the top and continue to bake for another 25 to 30 mins until skewer comes out clean. 

6. Cool cake on rack. Serve either plain or a dollop of whipped cream.

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