Posts Tagged ‘banana cake’

  
Be warned!

This cake is seriously meant for a very busy someone who craves for something adjustably sweet, fresh, fast, tasty, home-baked and more importantly, if that someone is in possession of some blackened bananas lying in the kitchen somewhere.  My advice is “Do NOT thrash the bananas!”

That’s exactly what happened to me recently.  With the warmer temps of late, fruits lying in my kitchen untouched, started to scream out to me.  

Eat me, or else…!

Yep… That’s exactly what my 3 bananas reacted. The smooth yellow peels turned almost black!  

  

See, I’m not as attractive now, but I’m definitely sweeter than my yellow alter ego“.  LOL!

Easy Peasy

While I was making this cake, my mind flashed back to a recent weekend when I had some friends over for lunch at my house. After hearing their feedbacks on how little time they could spare in their kitchen, running after toddlers and literally getting involved with the busy extra-curricular activities of their young kids, I could swear that this cake is made for that category of Mums *wink*

By the way, I have passed the stage of running after hyper-active toddlers and being a chauffeur for very young kids , but I AM still a busy Mum to 2 quite demanding teen-aged boys, working full time every work week through weekend. Damn, I needed that occasional treat of sweetness, adjustable sweetness, that is! Energy!

I was so glad I chanced upon this Banana Cake or Bread recipe from Joy of Baking dot com.  

If you like bananas and Banana Cake like me, this recipe is definitely a keeper! I promise! Scout’s honour!

Recipe inspired by Stephanie Jaworski of JoyOfBaking.com
Dry Ingredients –
  • 230g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 150g granulated white sugar (adjustable, of course)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  
Wet Ingredients –
  • 113g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  

 Method – 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 177 deg C.
  2. Grease spray a 24 x 10 x 7 cm loaf pan. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the wet ingredients with a whisk and then a rubber spatula.
  5. Lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter as we do not want to end up with tough rubbery bread/ cake.
  6. Pour batter in baking pan. Depending on your oven, bake the bread for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 
  7. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes before cooling it further on a wire rack. 
  
  
  
Joy of Baking added chopped nuts, but I left the cake as simple and naked as ever. Less is more 😉

Honestly speaking, there are 3 things I LOVED about this cake.
  1. It’s technically hassle-free, ie, with no stand or hand mixer required. Only a whisk and a rubber spatula.
  2. The batter is lightly mixed, which cuts down laborious hours in the kitchen.
  3. I know this is one of the cakes I have made that my guys would enjoy eating, meaning I would not end up eating the cake myself and feeling guilty of being paunchy. In simple words, I hate food wastage😄

Conclusion : It’s fast and simple to make! It took me less than 15 mins to weigh, sift,  mash, whisk and mix the ingredients to a cake batter, while the baking time depends on your oven. Honestly speaking, the cake would be just right baked for 45 minutes in my oven. I baked this one for 50 mins, while the original recipe indicated 55 to 60 mins. 

  

I’m linking this post to #CookBlogShare 15 which is guest-hosted by Angela from Patisserie Makes Perfect this fortnight on behalf of Lucy from Supergolden Bakes.
  
I love bananas and Banana Cake is definitely one of my favourite desserts. It’s flavourful, healthy and incredibly simple to make, hence I’m linking this post to Best Recipes for Everyone May 2015 (My Favourite Dessert) organised by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom Kitchen Diary , co-hosted by Aunty Young ==>> WITHDRAWN.  See N.B

Enjoy the rest of the week!
Cheers!

N.B. I must apologise to the organisers of BRFE for the month of May 2015 for linking up this post. For obvious reason, a Banana Cake is sort of a sponge cake, hence is one of the restricted forms of dessert for the May theme. I must have overlooked that point. No thanks for being myopic 😁. My sincere apology, Aunty Young. I’ll read more carefully the next time…

At the of age of 17, he wrote his first Science book, “Schitterend!” (Brilliant!) about the Universe and the theory of Evolution. He was 18 and the youngest nominee for the Eureka. At age 21, he published his second book, “Fantastisch!” (Fantastic!) on Evolution and Neuroscience. Fantastic! was also nominated for the Eureka. By age 25, he became the author of 3 Science Books and had invented a new food model for his patients to slow down ageing and reduce the risk of ageing-related diseases. This achievement won him the title of ‘Person of the year‘ in his home country, Belgium.

 

Dr Kris Verburgh is the author of one of the most controversial books, “De Voedselzandloper” (The Food Hourglass), which is available in 9 languages.





As you can see on the coverpage of the book, the 2 triangles interlocking at the pointed tips are quick summaries of 2 pyramids (“hourglass”).  One pointing up with its hierarchical strata of foods which we should consume more of and the top half tapering downwards indicating foods we should eat less of. Not many University Professors are in agreement with Dr Verburgh’s theory. As a result, he had to resign from the University he graduated with magna cum laude.

 

I did not buy Dr Kris Verburgh’s “Science” book, but I bought “De Voedselzandloperkookboek” (The Hourglass Cookbook), authored by Pauline Weuring based on the young doctor’s scientific theory of nutrition in slowing down the signs of ageing through what we eat, and losing weight in the process.




 

By the way, there is a catch. According to Dr Verburgh, he says, diets do not work and what does is educating oneself about what to eat with knowledge that is readily available. What we eat determines how fast we age. Basically, discovering thefountain of youth‘ is to avoid the typical diseases of ageing, which is anything from loss of eyesight to heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer or osteoporosis. 

 

Quotes from Kris Verburgh, MD

 

If you want to have the health benefits of healthy food, you have to do it your whole life. Not just for a period of time, but always

 

We can add more than 10 years to our lives if we know what foods to eat and which ones to avoid. That would keep us healthy well into our eighties

 

Ageing is a very complex process. We know that the rate of ageing is influenced by our genes and our environment and more specifically by how and what we eat. Powerful interventions that slow down the ageing process will come to see light in the coming decades. For now, the most potent tool at our disposal to impact the rate of ageing is our diet“.

 

Cakes and sweets should be replaced by dark chocolate and nuts

 

The Food Hourglass will show you how to immediately identify what is healthy and unhealthy food, and how to replace unhealthy foods with alternatives“.

 

 

Fountain of Youth

 

When I flipped through the pages of The Hourglass Cookbook, I saw a cake recipe!!! What’s a cake doing there? I exclaimed!

 

But then I realised it’s not an ordinary cake. It’s a cake recipe based on Dr Verburgh’s “fountain of youth” theory. Very interesting indeed.  No sugar. No flour. No butter. No milk.  Erm…how to make a cake without all the basic essentials?  Well, of course, the young doctor has the answer and the result? 

 

This! 



 

I made this healthy Banana Bread or Cake and was surprised at how moist and delicious the cake remained on the day of baking and subsequently. Anyway, the cake was gone in less than 48 hours! It was really light. I have made the cake twice already and was very pleased with the result both times.



 

Due to copyright, I am not listing the measurements of the cake. If you really want the recipe, leave your comment with a valid email address and I will get back to you personally or for readers who know me, please pm me😉


The ingredients used in the recipe are as following –

  • Bananas
  • Dates
  • Eggs
  • Almond meal or flour *
  • Baking soda
  • A pinch of Salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven
  2. Combine the mashed bananas and dates in a bowl
  3. Beat the eggs with salt until light and fluffy 
  4. Fold in the almond meal or flour and baking soda
  5. Grease the cake tin with some baking spray
  6. Pour in the batter and bake in the pre-heated oven
  7. The banana bread is cooked when a toothpick pricked in the middle of the cake comes out clean
  8. Cool the cake on a cooling rack before cutting

*Almond meal or flour is a result of ground almond nuts (with or without skins respectively) which is the healthier option to a normal cake flour



 

Note: For more variations, you may want to add pure chocolate chips or chopped pecan nuts

 

Obviously the sweet taste from the cake came from the bananas and dates.  Very natural and healthy options, indeed. 







 

Oh by the way, I think I’m feeling young already.  Yay! Ha ha…!

 

According to Wikipedia, a popular Flemish TV chef said his diabetes is stabilized due to the Food Hourglass theory and he claims to have lost almost 8 kg (17 pounds) as a result.

 

Honestly, I am fascinated by the theory, but I have some issues. I do love a good steak with fries, an oven-baked pizza, a bowl of spagbol with lots of grated mozzarella, cupcakes/ muffins, cakes (chiffon, pound, Sarawak kek lapis), and the “bad” list goes on….

 

Oops! There goes my fountain of youth! LOL!

 

BUT… I will not stop baking this light and gorgeous Banana Bread.

 

I’m linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up (March 2015 – BANANA) event organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids)and Mui (my little favourite DIY) and hosted by Faeez of BitterSweetSpicy.

 



 

Homemade Mondays week 123 hosted by Sarah of Frugal by Choice, Cheap by NecessityAubrey of Homegrown & Healthy and Kelly from The Sustainable Couple 

Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking



Cook-Your-Books #21 @ Kitchen Flavours 



Tasty Tuesdays with HonestMum



Have a great week!

Cheers!

According to Wikipedia, rice is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia. For this, I cannot argue with the fact that the rice cooker is one of the most, if not, THE most indispensable kitchen equipments in Asia.

During my student days, the rice cooker was enshrined and revered as the be-all and end-all of all inventions. Being Asian, eating and self-taught cooking were the norm and being a student, money was scarce  😦

No Frills but Thrills

One of my housemates, who happened to be my roommate, had her internship in one of the law firms in Malaysia. With her well-deserved and decent student paycheck, she invested in a 10-cup rice cooker, the biggest pot she could find. My roommate is known for her generosity and by the way, that is the wittiest thing any student would and should do. The rice cooker became part and parcel of our daily bread. With our frugal students’ budget, we were never left hungry by eating smart 😉

My roommate’s rice cooker had only 2 functions, Cook and Keep Warm – nothing fancy. Although the rice cooker is “supposed” to function as a rice cooker, id est cooking or steaming rice, but lo and behold, we conjured wonders from the gadget. We have cooked many tasty meals of chicken curry, laksa, chicken rice, stir-fried water spinach, long beans, green beans, noodles and soups. A typical weekend meal would consist of steamed rice, one type of vegetable and a soup dish with meat or shellfish. The cooking was done in stages and always planned ahead. First the rice (20 mins cooking time), then the veg (10 mins cooking time) and finally the soup dish (20 to 30 minutes). Of course the easiest and fastest meal on busy weekdays was the all-in-one dish: noodles with vegetables, meat or seafood soup. Our favourite was the Tom Yum Kai-Kung noodle soup (Spicy fragrant Thai chicken-prawn noodle soup) all-in-one. No frills but only thrills in our palates. Those were the days!

Just One of the Gadgets …

Today, my rice cooker is just one of the many electric kitchen appliances in my house. I have a Soup Maker that makes a million and one types of quick and tasty soups in less than 25 minutes. There is a recipe book that came with the Soup Maker, but I never follow any of the recipes. I just create my own depending on what I have in my fridge.

Here are some of the examples of soups that I have contrived using my Soup Maker, currently one of my most utile kitchen gadgets – a blessing during cold winter period or any fleeting moments of hunger pangs 🙂

1. RCC#1_soupmaker 

I could probably make these soups in my rice cooker, but it never occurred to me anymore, because I’m no longer a student *wink*

Insanely mind-boggling challenge!

And then, I received an email from Miss B. She has invited me to participate in one of the most difficult challenges yet – baking or cooking or steaming, whatever-you-call-it cake in a rice cooker!

The rice cooker may be multi-faceted and from my testimony of using the appliance (during my student days), never in my mind’s eye would I “bake” a cake in that gadget. That’s completely insane!

But then again, I LOVE a challenge anytime 😉

In fact, I was plain curious …

You know, life is too short. If you haven’t tried out things you want to try out, you will never get to know the end result, right?

If you hop over to Miss B’s blog here, you will know why I took up her insanely mind-boggling challenge. If it worked and still works for her, why would there be any difference for me?

By the way, I’m the living proof of Miss B’s RCC creation. What I am trying to point out here is that last May, I invited Miss B and her family to our house for a simple housewarming buffet lunch, since we just moved house recently. She came to my house and brought not one, but two cakes! One of which was the rice cooker banana cake. Unfortunately I did not have a snapshot to proof, because the cakes were all gone in the blink of an eye.

It was really good – moist and buttery with the sweet taste of banana, ie, how a good cake should be. You would not have thought it was “baked” in a rice cooker!

19 years old and (still) looking great!

I have a very trusty National 8-cup rice cooker, which I had it shipped from Malaysia to Belgium in the autumn of 1995, however, I have steamed only rice in there. Chicken rice, nasi kunyit (turmeric rice), nasi lemak (coconut rice), Biryani, Pilau, pandan rice, chicken porridge and just simply, white steamed rice.

No soups, because I have a Soup Maker, remember?

No stir-fried vegetables or chicken curry or laksa or noodle dishes, because I have enough pots, pans, slow cooker, steamer and what have you in the kitchen 😉

A rice cooker cake? Not in a million years. Anyway, I have an oven and a steamer.

However, a challenge is a challenge, and the BIG question is, can my 19-year old rice cooker transcend the test?

Let’s check it out!

Cooking – Keep Warm

My 8-cupper has very basic functions. A “Cooking” function and a “Keep Warm” function with either a choice of cooking Rice or Porridge. There is no timer. No beeping sound when the Cooking button is shifted automatically to Keep Warm. I kind of know as well from experience that my rice will cook perfectly in 20 minutes or when the smell of cooked rice started whiffing and breezing in my kitchen. Mmmmm…. Heaven!

Being a complete novice to “baking” rice cooker cakes, I referred to one of Miss B’s tried and tested RCC. That’s right; it was her rice cooker banana cake! I adapted her recipe with some modifications. On her blog, Miss B indicated that the cake turned out too sweet and that she would reduce the amount of sugar the next time she were to bake the cake again. I do not like very sweet cakes; hence, I actually did NOT use sugar. Yep, I “baked” a sugar-less RCC banana cake!

Below are the ingredients adapted from Miss B’s RCC#4 with my adjustments in blue font.

Ingredients –

3 eggs
110g sugar (I did NOT use sugar but used about 15 dates –seeds removed and diced finely)
110g melted butter (110g butter, melted)
200g banana (I used 2 large ripe bananas, fork-mashed)
160g plain flour (I used 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour)
¾ tsp baking powder (I used 1/2 tsp as I was using self-raising flour)
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder => this was not on Miss B’s recipe (Note: this is a personal choice as I love the cinnamon flavour in banana cakes)
A pinch of salt
 
2. RCC#1 ingredients

 Method –

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
  3. Chop 15-20 dates and mash the bananas with a fork. Set aside
  4. Whisk the eggs until fluffy. Add the cool melted butter, mashed bananas and chopped dates. Mix to combine with a wooden spoon or spatula
  5. Add the sifted flour mixture. Fold to amalgamate the cake batter
  6. Pour the cake batter into the greased rice cooker pot
  7. Press the cook function of your rice cooker. In my case, the “Cooking” button.

 3a. RCC#1 cake batter

3b. RCC#1 cake batter

3c. RCC#1 cook function

I noted the time I first pressed the Cooking function. It was 8.10pm.

If I’m cooking rice, it would take about 20 minutes and the Cooking button will shift automatically to Keep Warm when the rice is cooked perfectly, but lo and behold, just after 5 minutes, my rice cooker button moved automatically to “Keep Warm

Huh? Only 5 minutes?

I dared not open my rice cooker otherwise I’d end up with a collapsed cake. Furthermore, there was no baked cake smell floating in my kitchen. I pressed the Cook function again, but it did not allow me to cook. I had to wait for another 5 minutes before I could change from Keep Warm to Cooking.

But again, after 5 minutes, the button switched to Keep Warm.

Arghhh!!!

All right it’s going to take the whole night. Miss B’s much-talk-about banana cake took one hour in her Toshiba 5.5-cup rice cooker with only 3 presses of the button, and here I am, manually pressing my rice cooker button to Cook function after every 5 minutes? No way, Jose! I did not plan to stay all night in my kitchen being a mechanical part of the rice cooker. So what I did was taking a cardboard and forcefully pressed down the button to Cook.

4. RCC#1 manual forced cook 

After 15 minutes (around 8.25pm) I smelled the beautiful banana cake smell emitting from my rice cooker. I did open the rice cooker to peep, but the batter was not quite set. I closed the lid and continued with the “forced-to-cook” operation.

Anyway, who would have thought that a cake would be cooked in 15 minutes?

Another 15 minutes passed by and I smelt something else. Nothing closed to a baked cake smell at all…. but….. Oh NO!!!

I immediately aborted the entire operation by removing the cardboard from its position, and the button shifted automatically to Keep Warm. Whether there was going to be a cake or not, it did not matter anymore *sob*

It was exactly 8.40pm when I opened the lid. The top side looked really good, but with the burnt smell (yes, B*U*R*N*T!); I could already deduce that the cake had a charred bottom. I was right!

It was soot black!

YIKES!!!

5. RCC#1_cake_bottom_soot

 

After all the effort, did I throw the cake away? Well, if you must know, I did thrash one cake in the past, if you have read my post Baking is not really my cup of tea or is it? A supposed swiss roll cake that wouldn’t roll – it was leather hard 😦 

The Dark Side and a New Hope …

I managed to salvage the good half while removing the burnt side. The good side actually tasted as gorgeous as it looked. The cake had a good height with the right texture but a bit dry because it was “over-baked” (?), and damn… the dark side!

6a. RCC#1 banana cake6b. RCC#1 banana cake

6c. RCC#1 banana cake6d. RCC#1 banana cake 

The Dark Side had a smoky, almost barbecue-flavour that I was not at all used to.  The New Hope side had the familiar banana-ey flavour with just the right level of sweetness.

Will I take this challenge again? Is there hope for a success? If this piece of cake had a pair eyes, I bet it would be gazing at me doe-eyed.

7. RCC#1 banana cake 

I apologize for the blurry snapshots as all pictures were taken at night in my dimly-lit kitchen *grin

Oh by the way, I baked another RCC. Was it a success?

Erm… my lips are sealed, but do stay tuned for my next episode of another crazy adventure in the world of RCC, a ‘fever’ that was passed on to me by Miss B. Ah-choo!! 😀

Well, as Sir Winston Churchill once said “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts” 😉

I am submitting this post to the Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 – Are You Game for It?  hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders

as well as to  Beth Fish Reads‘  Weekend Cooking: Kitchen Journals Week, albeit with a bummer 😀

 Weekend Cooking

 

Have a fantastic week!

Cheers!