Hummingbird Bakery Banana Loaf

photo

I loovee baking with bananas, and in my opinion, banana bread, banana muffin, or banana cake actually tastes better the day after it’s baked. My overripe bananas usually end up in a baking tray, transformed into a batch of banana muffins. I’ve already posted about my staple banana muffin recipe here. It’s foolproof, and it’s very good. My blog wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t post about my favourite banana loaf recipe. It’s from Hummingbird Bakery, my food heaven in Notting Hill, London. You could find the original recipe in this book.

Here in Jakarta, brown sugar (I mean the real, imported, brown sugar) is rarely available in the supermarket and the price is very expensive. That’s why sometimes I use palm sugar instead. If you use palm sugar, your banana loaf will be darker (you could see at the photo above), and “stronger”. The brown sugar version, IMHO, gives a milder taste.

 

Ingredients

  • 270g soft light brown sugar/palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g bananas, mashed
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 140g unsalted butter, melted

 

How to Make

  1. Grease a 23x13cm loaf tin and dust with flour, or line the tin with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Put the sugar and eggs in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the mashed bananas.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and ginger to the sugar mixture. Mix it thoroughly until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the egg mixture. Pour in the melted butter and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Makes 8-10 slices

Bananamisu

bananamisu

This recipe is basically my tiramisu recipe with a little twist 😉 . I replaced the cream cheese with banana puree. Why banana? Because in my opinion, banana puree has, more or less, same consistency with cream cheese (and simply because I am so bored baking banana muffins when I have ripe bananas around 😀 ). And what goes together better than banana and chocolate? That’s why I substituted the coffee mixture with chocolate mixture for the lady fingers’ dipping. I call this as “Bananamisu”. It’s an abbreviation from Banana-Tiramisu anyway 😀

Try using very ripe bananas because this is a “no-bake” recipe, so you want the sweetness of ripe bananas in your Bananamisu.

Ingredients

For Bananamisu:

–       250 gr mascarpone cheese

–       250 gr very ripe bananas (It’s about 2 to 3 bananas)

–       250 ml whipping cream/double cream

–       ¼ cup icing sugar, or to taste (It depends on how sweet your banana is)

–       ½ tsp vanilla extract

–       28 pcs lady finger biscuits

–       unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

For Chocolate Mixture (for dipping):

–       4 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder

–       4 tbsp of icing sugar

–       2/3 cup of boiling water

–       2 tsp rum essence (optional)

How to Make

  1. Whip the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while preparing the next step.
  2. In a separate bowl, lightly mash the bananas with ¼ cup icing sugar to make banana puree.
  3. Mix well the mascarpone, whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Add the banana puree and mix until smooth and well combined.
  4. Mix 4 tbsp cocoa powder, 4 tbsp icing sugar, rum essence (is using) and boiling water in a separate bowl until cocoa has dissolved.
  5. Dip both sides of the lady fingers into chocolate mixture. Remove the lady fingers quickly (as they get soften really quick) and arrange the soaked lady fingers in bottom of your prepared dish.
  6. Spread enough amount of cheese and banana mixture to cover the lady fingers.
  7. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers depends on how big your dish is. Just remember that you have to have the cheese and banana mixture on top of your layer.
  8. Dust the top layer (cheese and banana mixture) with cocoa powder.
  9. Cover and refrigerate at least 8-10 hours to let the flavors blend.

Note

This bananamisu won’t last long though you keep it in a fridge, because it contains “no-bake” fresh banana puree.

White Chocolate Strawberry Tiramisu

strawberry tiramisuMy son had his 2nd birthday last September. Oh how fast time flies, how fast he grows. For me, he is forever a baby 😀 He had already entered preschool since last August, so it was his first birthday bash at school. I wanted something personal to be the goodie bags, something sweet like..cakes! (well, the only thing I can do is baking of course, I am no good at crafting or whatsoever :D)

At first I wanted to make cute, personalised cupcakes, but it would take so much time (for me). Since I started to work again, it was not an option to make fancy cupcakes for the goodie bags. So I decided to make cake in a jar.. and the next question was.. what kind of cake? I thought my tiramisu would be easy to be made (since it requires no baking!), but hey.. not every parents would let their kids to eat cakes using coffee as one of the ingredients. That’s why I came up with this recipe. It used the same amount of lady fingers, mascarpone, cream cheese, and whipped cream, but I substituted coffee with homemade strawberry juice and also used sliced strawberries within layers. I also used melted white chocolate to give the cake “extra” flavour (in the other hand, I cut down the amount of sugar :)). My mom called this cake as a “strawberry cheesecake” because it tasted like one. But I prefer to call it “tiramisu” because it contains lady fingers and mascarpone cheese. Well, you may call it whatever you like 😀

Ingredients

–       200 ml strawberry juice (I prefer homemade strawberry juice since it is so easy to be made. You just need to chop 250-300 gr strawberries, blend them with small amount of water until smooth. Pour the strawberry juice into a pan and heat until it starts bubbling. Put enough sugar and water to juice as you like.)

–       250 gr strawberries, thinly sliced

–       250 gr mascarpone cheese

–       125 gr cream cheese

–       250 ml whipping cream/double cream

–       125 gr white chocolate, melted, room temperature

–       4 tbsp castor sugar

–       2 tsp vanilla extract

–       28 pcs lady finger biscuits

–       sliced almonds (optional), roast them in moderate oven to give extra flavor and “crunch”

How to Make

  1. Whip the whipping cream with sugar and vanilla extract until it forms stiff peaks (I prefer to make it “stiff” because it will be mixed with “runny” melted white chocolate). Refrigerate the whipped cream while preparing the next step.
  2. In another bowl, mix well the mascarpone and cream cheese.
  3. Mix together the cheese mixture, whipped cream, and melted white chocolate until well combined.
  4. Dip both sides of the lady fingers into strawberry juice. Remove the lady fingers quickly (as they get soften really quick) and arrange the soaked lady fingers in bottom of your prepared dish.
  5. Spread enough amount of cheese mixture to cover the lady fingers.
  6. Arrange sliced strawberries to cover the cheese layer.
  7. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers depends on how big your dish is. Just remember that you have to have the cheese mixture on top of your layer.
  8. Sprinkle the top layer (cheese mixture) with sliced almonds (if using), or you can decorate the cake with sliced strawberries (just like I did in the photo).
  9. Cover and refrigerate at least 8-10 hours to let the flavors blend.
the goodie bags

the goodie bags

No-bake, No-egg, No-alcohol Tiramisu

Who doesn’t love tiramisu? This sweet treat is my family favorite, including my 2 year-old son. Considering the ingredients of shop-bought tiramisu (raw eggs and rum), which are not very suitable for little kid, I tried to make it myself using no eggs and no alcohol. Turns out this is the easiest way to make tiramisu since it requires no baking whatsoever 😀

If you find that using coffee in tiramisu is too “strong” for your kids, simply substitute it with chocolate milk. I will put my little note in each ingredient if you want to make it “more” kid-friendly :D.

 

Ingredients

–       200 ml strong brewed coffee/espresso, room temperature (If I make the  tiramisu for my kid, I substitute the coffee with 200 ml of chocolate milk.)

–       2 tsp rum essence (I don’t use any alcohol in this recipe, but sometimes I want the “flavor” of rum, so I use essence instead. If I make the tiramisu for my kid, I’ll skip this ingredient.)

–       250 gr mascarpone cheese

–       125 gr cream cheese (I like to combine mascarpone and cream cheese because I like the tangy taste of cream cheese. Mascarpone is quite bland for me.)

–       250 ml  whipping cream/double cream

–       8 tbsp castor sugar

–       28 pcs lady finger biscuits

–       cocoa powder

 

How to Make

  1. Whip the whipping cream with sugar until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while preparing the next step.
  2. In another bowl, mix well the mascarpone and cream cheese.
  3. Mix together the cheese mixture and whipped cream until well combined.
  4. Add the rum essence (if using) into espresso, mix well.
  5. Dip both sides of the lady fingers into coffee mixture. Remove the lady fingers quickly (as they get soften really quick) and arrange the soaked lady fingers in bottom of your prepared dish.
  6. Spread enough amount of cheese mixture to cover the lady fingers.
  7. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers depends on how big your dish is. Just remember that you have to have the cheese mixture on top of your layer.
  8. Dust the top layer (cheese mixture) with cocoa powder.
  9. Cover and refrigerate at least 8-10 hours to let the flavors blend into that classic tiramisu taste you know and crave.  Don’t eat it right away, because you’re going to be disappointed.  Give it time to make the magic happen!

Creamy Oreo Pie

oreo pie

Hey there! Been away from the blog for almost a year :(. Has anyone missed me? 😀  Okay, I promise to myself that I have to post at least one new recipe for a month. Let’s see if it works!

Today is my kind of perfect day to “end” the weekend. Waking up slowly, late breakfast, nothing to do, DVD marathon, and yes… lazy weekend baking! And what I mean “lazy” is making good use of the fridge and having a wonderful dessert on the table with no baking required 😀

I found the original recipe here, but since some of the ingredients are rarely sold in Indonesia, here I made my own adjustment.

 

Ingredients

36 Oreo Cookies, divided from the cream filling

1/4 cup (56,7 gram) butter or margarine, melted

250 gram Cream Cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream/double cream

 

How to Make

  1. To make the pie crust: Crush 24 cookies to form fine crumbs, mix with melted butter until blended. Press this mixture onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate the crust while preparing filling.
  2. Chop 8 of the remaining cookies, set aside.
  3. Whip the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while preparing the next step.
  4. Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes if using electric mixer).
  5. To make the filling: Mix together the whipped cream, cream cheese mixture and chopped oreo cookies, stir gently until blended. Spoon this mixture into the prepared crust.
  6. Refrigerate the pie for 2 hours or until firm.
  7. Halve remaining 4 oreo cookies and insert (cut-edges down) into top of the pie.

 

Note:

I found that the filling is a lil too much for the pie crust. Next time I will double the amount of the crust and use bigger pie plate.

Perfect Pancakes

pancakes

I’m pretty sure that every family has its own pancake’s recipe. But have you been satisfied with yours? Still looking for a wonderful, fluffy, and thick pancakes like the shop-bought ones? Well…your quest ends here! 😀 Café-style american pancakes will be served straight from your own kitchen!

Pardon me for not posting any photos of these beautiful pancakes. I’m always late to capture those pancakes as husband had already eaten them all 😀  I’ll post some photos if I make a batch for brekkie.

Note: I’ve updated this post with yesterday’s photo of our breakfast pancakes. 😀

Ingredients

  •  400 ml buttermilk. If you only have regular milk, you can substitute the buttermilk with this mixture: Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar to your milk. Stir, and let it stands for about 15 minutes.
  • 3 eggs, separate the whites and the yolks
  • 250 gr plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 30 gr sugar
  • 50 gr unsalted butter, melted

How to make your beautiful pancakes

  1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Sift this mixture.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another.
  3. Beat the yolks until you get a pale batter.
  4. Add the buttermilk and baking soda into the yolks, then fold them.
  5. Add the sifted flour mixture and the sugar to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter.
  6. Whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks, and fold them gently into the batter.
  7. Add the melted butter into the batter, and fold them until everything is combined.
  8. Let the batter stands for half an hour before it’s ready to use!
  9. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes. Wait until the top forms bubbles, then flip the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden as desired.

Enjoy while they’re still warm. Call me old-fashioned, but I have to have a real maple syrup pour over my pancakes. Nothing can beat it!

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

I got this recipe when I took a short baking course years ago at Imperial Cooking School Tokyo. At that time, I didn’t know there is any difference between Japanese Style and American Style Strawberry Shortcake. When I wrote this recipe to post it in my blog, I made a little research (thank God there’s Google! :D) and found out that American Style Strawberry Shortcake is a scone or biscuit-like cake which is cut in half and then filled with whipped cream and sweetened strawberries, while Japanese Style Strawberry Shortcake is actually a layered sponge cake with strawberry and whipped cream filling plus whipped cream frosting! Sounds like Victorian sponge cake for me, but it tastes slightly different.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of Sponge Cake
  • 400 ml heavy cream
  • 50 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 200 gr strawberries
  • Simple syrup. You can make it by yourself. Simply mix ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a saucepan and bring the water to a boil, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
  • Rum (additional)

How to Make

  1. Prepare your sponge cake. Wait until it’s completely cool.
  2. Make the whipped cream for filling and frosting. Put the cream and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk them at low speed (if using mixer) until slightly thickened. When it forms soft peak, whisk the mixture at high speed until stiff. Remember, you have to keep the cream cold before it’s being whisked. Room-temperature heavy cream won’t get stiff though you’ve whisked it for hours!
  3. Reserve 6 to 10 strawberries for decorating the cake, and slice the remaining strawberries into thin slices (about 4 slices per strawberry).
  4. Split the sponge cake horizontally into 2 layers.
  5. Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate and lightly brush the surface with the mixture of simple syrup and rum (if you like). It keeps the cake nice and moist.
  6. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the strawberry slices over the surface.  Spread an additional layer of whipped cream over the strawberries.
  7. Brush the cut-side of the second layer with the simple syrup and place it over the first layer.
  8. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
  9. Decorate the cake as you like with the reserved strawberries. This is my favorite part! 😀

Basic Sponge Cake

Sponge cake itself maybe looks not too appealing. But you know what? There are MANY kinds of delicious cakes you can make by using sponge cakes as its base. Strawberry shortcake is one of them. I promise I’ll post more recipes using sponge cake later.

For first time baker, mastering basic cake recipes will help you a lot to minimize chaos and all those clutters in the kitchen. Once you’ve mastered one basic cake, you can make many variations. Your imagination is the limit.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs (remember to use room temperature eggs)
  • 85 gr confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 gr unsalted butter, melted
  • 92 gr cake flour, or low protein flour (Indonesian people can use “tepung kunci biru”)
  • 15 ml milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

How to Make

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius, line a 18 cm (7 or 8 inch) circular cake pan with baking paper, or grease the cake pan with butter, then lightly coat the pan with flour.
  2. Using your hand mixer, or stand mixer, or otherwise, your hands, whisk the eggs and sugar together, until you get a white and lightly stiff batter. Here’s a clue so you will know when to stop whisking: After whisking about 7 to 10 minutes (depends on your mixer), try to lift up your mixer from the bowl. When it’s ready, your batter will hold a “ribbon” for about 10 seconds.
  3. Gradually add the flour into your batter, and fold the batter lightly using a spatula. Move the spatula across the bottom of the bowl, then bring it back up the other side, carrying some of the mixture from the bottom over the surface. Repeat it until ingredients are combined.
  4. Add milk, vanilla, and melted butter to your batter, and fold them in the same way you fold the flour.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan (don’t forget to spread your batter evenly into the pan), and pop it into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or so. .
  6. You will know when the cake is done by touching the top lightly with your finger. It will springs back when it’s done. Or use another trick by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done.
  7. Rest the cake on the cooling rack.

Now jazz up your sponge cake and jump into this Strawberry Shortcake recipe!

Churros Con Chocolate

Do you know churros? Some people call it “Spanish doughnut”. These fried-dough-pastries are usually eaten dipped in warm chocolate sauce. Yum.

To make a churro, you need a special tool called “churrera”, which is actually a syringe with a star-shaped nozzle. Don’t have it? This is not the end of the world. You can always buy it online at amazon or ebay, or… use your piping bag with a large star tip. It is homemade food after all. What matter is a good taste, not a fancy shape. Agree with me?

   

By the way, I’ve tried SO MANY churros’ recipes. And this one, I can assure you, is the best of all. Too bad I really forget where I get this recipe. 😦

Ingredients for Churros:

  • 1 cup/240 ml boiled water
  • ½ cup/115 gr butter (preferably salted)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup/100 gr all purpose flour
  • 3 free-range eggs

Well, this is an important note: free-range egg (or Indonesian people call it “telur ayam kampung”, have less egg white than regular egg. Too much egg whites will make your batter “watery” and your churro cannot hold its star-shaped. If you want to use regular eggs, use only 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk.

  • Cinnamon sugar, for coating

You can make it by mixing: 4 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

How to make your Churros

  1. Put water, butter, and salt into a pan. Heat the pan over low heat, until the butter melts.
  2. Put flour into the pan. Don’t worry if you get a lumpy batter. Keep on stirring until the batter is really smooth. It takes times.

    your batter has to be smooth as it can be seen at this photo

  3. Turn off the heat, and let it stands until the batter is cool.
  4. Whisk the eggs in separate bowl, and pour them, gradually, into the batter while you keep stirring until it’s completely dissolved and smooth.

    the “final” batter before it goes into the hot oil.

  5. Put the batter into your churrera or piping bag.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet. When it reaches desired temperature, squeeze out the batter into the hot oil and cut it with scissors or knife. Note: There are actually two types of churros: one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick. I like mine to be not-too-long and thick. That’s why I use a large star tip in my “churrera” (not sure if it’s the REAL churrera as the packaging box says that it is a “cookie cutter”.)
  7. Fry churros until golden brown.

    they’re getting bigger 😀

  8. Remove churros from the oil and roll them in cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately, accompanied by warm chocolate sauce.

Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce:

  • 4 oz/100 gr dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups/480 ml milk
  • 1 Tbsp corn flour (or “tepung maizena”)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar, or more if you like it sweeter

How to make the Chocolate Sauce:

  1. Put 1 cup of milk and finely chopped dark cooking chocolate into a pan. Heat the pan over low heat, until the chocolate melts.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk another 1 cup of milk with corn flour, and put this mixture into the pan.
  3. Keep stirring until it’s thickened and you have a smooth cream. Serve warm, or cold as you wish.

This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It will thicken when it cools.

Basic Muffin Recipe

I’ve posted Banana Muffin recipe few days ago, and thought that some of you, maybe, ain’t really fond of the taste of banana. So this is a recipe for you! A basic muffin recipe that you can transform into any kind of muffins you like.

This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins. She’s my domestic goddess! 😀

Ingredients:
– 250 gr all purpose flour (Indonesians can use either “Segitiga Biru” or “Kunci Biru” flour)
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
– 175 gr sugar
– 250 ml milk
– 90 ml vegetable oil
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
(the real vanilla extract is quite expensive.. You can substitute it with cheaper vanilla essence)

Modifications:

If you are in the mood of Chocolate Muffins, please add:

–       2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
(you know, the one that comes with brand like: Van Houten, Delfi, whatever…you choose.. but please, do not use chocolate milk powder..)

–       150 gr choc-chips (plus more for sprinkling later!)

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Want a super-cheesy-day? Make this Cheese Muffins by adding… :

–       150 gr grated Cheddar Cheese (plus more for sprinkling later)

Your kids are crazy about Oreo? Bake this Oreo Muffins and they love you more! Simply add:

–       150 gr Crushed Oreos (plus more for sprinkling later)

Oreo Muffins

Got the point? You can easily make ANY kind of muffins you like by simply adding 150 grams of your favorite flavor into your muffin batter. Life is simple, indeed… 😀

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200′ C, and fill a muffin tray with paper cases
  2. Measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. They are: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and your choice of flavor (e.g.: if you are making Chocolate Muffins, add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips)
  3. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug and mix. They are: milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour liquid into dry ingredients, then mix both together. Remember, do not over-mix the batter!
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases. Sprinkle your choice of flavor on top (chocolate-chips, or grated cheese, or crushed oreos, and so on…)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are risen, and springy



-makes 10-