Banana Chiffon Cake

Since there were numerous requests for the Banana Chiffon Cake recipe, I shall obliged and hope that all of you can try this recipe. Here's wishing all a
HAPPY NEW 2009!
May the new year brings more happiness, joys, prosperity & bakings! My new year resolution is...to bake more food to sell and perfect my bakings!


Recipe extracted from Kevin's Chiffon Cake is Done (with my modification).
Ingredients:
Egg yolk batter

4 egg yolks *
1/4tsp salt
60ml corn oil
2 medium sized bananas, mashed **
30g caster sugar ^
110g plain flour
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
#

Egg white foam
6 egg whites
1/2tsp cream of tartar
100g caster sugar

Method:
1. To make egg yolk batter, combine egg yolks, salt, oil, banana and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Fold in flour and bicarbonate of soda until forms batter.
3. To make egg white foam, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until mixture forms soft peaks.
4. Gradually add in sugar, beating at high speed until frothy and stiff peaks form.
5. Gently fold beaten egg white foams into egg yolk batter until thoroughly blended.
6. Pour batter into ungreased 9" tube pan. Bake in preheated oven at 170C (@) for 45mins or until cooked.
7. Remove from oven, invert cake onto wire rack until completely cooled.

Notes:
* Original recipe uses 6 egg yolks. I used 4 because I want the cake to be really soft & fluffy. Using 6 is also good.
** Original was 170g banana puree. I suspect mine was lesser. Based on previously baking experience of this recipe, with 170g banana puree, you probably cannot fit the whole batter into a 9" pan. You might need another 3" pan.
^ Original was 50g caster sugar. I reduced to 30g as banana by itself was really sweet. You should use those very ripe bananas. They are very sweet and suitable for baking.
# 1/2tsp of banana essence and yellow colourings were added in the original recipe. I omitted these two. You can also replace the banana essence with vanilla extract. I did that sometimes. However, even if I omit the essence, the true banana taste & smell is still there. So no problem.
@ I used fan oven to bake, therefore, the temperature was set at 150C instead. If normal bake oven without fan, it should be 170C then.


This is one of the better recipe from Kevin's book. Do try it.

Breads, Tarts, Cakes.

It seems that I have been a bit outdated in updating my blog. So many stuff to update, but just so little time. Sometimes, it's just a compromise between updating blog or baking. Finally found sometime to update on what I have baked for the past few days. The bakes are not in chronological order!

Pork Floss Buns.



Banana Chiffon Cake.
After a successful attempt on Kevin's recipe, I tried it again, but this time, I reduced by two egg yolks and the chiffon is really soft & nice!



Cranberry Bread Loaves. I modified this from Alex Goh's recipe. However, it wasn't very soft. Therefore, I shall not post any recipe here.



Chocolate Oreo Tarts. I layered this tart with chocolate, then crushed oreo, then chocolate again & finally crushed oreo.


Pineapple Tarts. I baked these tarts with the ready-made dough & pineapple fillings from Gina's Pineapple Tart workshop the day before. The pineapple fillings is very fragrant & moist. The crust is however, a bit crispy. I would have much prefer the melt-in-the-mouth kind. But generally, the taste is great. I could just pop a few at one go! The recipe can be found at KC forum.



On Boxing Day

The day after Christmas, known as Boxing Day, was supposed to be back to work. Somehow, I didn't. It is also a day to open presents? Somehow, I don't have presents to open. :p

I happened to be watching a show on Channel 5 this morning at 11.30am, known as "Bills Food II". I just found out that he is an Australian chef and restaurateur, Bill Granger. He happened to be cooking "Caramel Salmon" and I thought it was pretty easy and looks very good too. So I decided to give it a try in the evening and cook it for dinner! It turned out be really good! This is the recipe from my memory and my trial & error. Hope you can try it too!


Caramel Salmon, from "Bills Food II Show" today (with some modifications)
Ingredients:

500g Salmon Fillets, cut into 3"x1"x2" approx
1 medium Red Onion (I used Salad onion), cut into strips
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tbsp Brown Sugar
8 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
4 small lime, or 2 thai lime

Some salt
Some Olive Oil (to pan fry)
Some spring onions & parsley & chilli strips to garnish

Method:
1. Marinate Salmon fillets with some salt.
2. Pour some olive oil to the pan and pan-fried the salmon fillets for about 1 min on each side. (#1)
3. Remove the salmon fillets from the pan.
4. Fried garlic, followed by onions till fragrant.
5. Add soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar to the pan. Mix well til sugar caramelised.
6. Squeeze the lime into the pan, and mix well.
7. Put the salmon fillets back to the pan and heat them up. Don't stir and mix. (#2)
8. Cooked for about a minute or so, then remove the salmon fillets and place them on a plate.
9. Pour out the sauce onto the salmon fillets, and garnish them with spring onions, parsley and chilli strips. (#3)


This dish goes well with rice, and serves six. The recipes may be adjusted to suit individual tastes, whether sweeter or more sour. My family loved this dish very much!


Christmas Gathering

We had another gathering on Christmas Day with our long time friend. They are my spouse's polytechnic friends. So they had known one another for at least two decades! There were three families altogether. Both the families have two children each. We had roasted turkey, honey baked ham and pizzas for dinner. I made carrot cake as requested by one of the girlfriend, and chocolate tarts. They were quite impressed with the desserts I bought over.

The children had fun playing with one another, while the husbands enjoyed themselves drinking red wines. As for the wives, we sat around and chit chat, talking about our school-going children. Since all of us had children, we hardly have chance to gather. So when we meet, we will eat & be merry, we will ended up going back late. By the time we left their house, it was already 1.30am on Boxing Day! It was really fun, eating & drinking & talking! I had to drive the family home as my husband had too much drink!

The Carrot Cake recipe was from Yochana's blog. This recipe is really easy, and it's definitely a keeper.



The Chocolate Tarts were of course, my usual recipe.

Rain is falling...


Rain has been pouring since early morning on Christmas Eve. However, it has not dampened my mood to bring to my twins out for my dept's Christmas Eve breakfast buffet in town. I woke up early and excited about bringing the kids out. Their eldest brother was not, he has gone to stay with his maternal grandparents. So, it's twins & mummy bonding time!

Back in the afternoon, I baked some sardine buns to be brought over to my parents' place for my sisters. I also made some dessert & cheesecake last night. Dinner was chilli crab bought by my dad. Instead of turkey, we had chilli crabs. Quite an unusual way of dining for Christmas Eve! Anyway, have lots of fun during this festive season!

Mixed Fruits Mousse. Bottom layer is almond sponge cake, followed by blended mixed fruits with whipped creams topped with chocolate ganache.


New York Cheesecake from Allrecipe. This is the best NY Cheesecake I found. Decorated it with a dope of whipped cream & mini mandarin orange. This recipe is a keeper.


Sardine Buns. Used the usual sweet bun dough. Stuff them with sardines.



Recipe for New York Cheesecake from Allrecipe (with some modification)
Ingredients
10 digestive crackers, crushed (estimated)
20g butter, melted

450g cream cheese
150g white sugar
90g milk
2 eggs
115g greek yogurt
1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
15g plain flour

Methods

1. Preheat oven to 175C. Grease a 8" springform pan. (I usually lined my springform with aluminmum foils).
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
4. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate.
5. Mix in yogurt, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
6. Bake in bain marie in the oven for 1 hour.
7. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking.
8. Chill in refrigerator until serving

Orange Yogurt Cake


I was told by Yuri that Greek Yogurt taste something like sour cream and creamier than normal yogurt. Since I love sour creams in my cakes, I decided to buy the Greek Yogurt and start baking yogurt-related cakes. I found this not-so-difficult recipe from Happy Home Baking-Low Fat Orange Yogurt Cake. As it's not a low fat yogurt being used, it's actually Orange Yogurt Cake for me.

I bought a bundt pan and can't wait to use it. So I baked this recipe on a bundt pan. It sure looked good though! The smell of orange that filled the kitchen was really wonderful! I loved the look and the smell of the cake, though I have not tried it yet. I hope it will be good...

Early Christmas Celebration


We had an early Christmas celebration this year, on 20th at my sister's place. Each of us were to prepare some food for the celebration. For me, it was Chicken Pie & Opera Cake. I had my first try at Opera Cake. Initially I wanted to use the recipe from Foodaholic. However, I changed my mind and used the recipe from my friend's. Didn't turn out to be as good as I expected, probably because my almond sponge was a bit too thick. Luckily, the overall taste was pretty too, the thick almond sponge somehow made it "chewy" and nice. I'll try this cake again. Perhaps, make the almond sponge thinner, and the creams thicker!

These were our menu for our family X'mas celebrations.

Starters
Mixed Fruits Salad (made by youngest sister)
Fresh Sashimis & Fish Roes (bought by 3rd sister)



Main Courses
Lamb Stew wtih rice/toasted country bread (made by my elder sister)
Chicken Puff Pie (by me)




Desserts
Gingerbread House (sponsored by my sister from the previous day workshop)
Opera Cake (by me)
Tang Yuen (by my mum)




Drinks
Earl Grey Ice Lemon Tea (made by my elder sister)


After dinner, we sat around to chit-chat, and sang "Twelve Days of Christmas"! It was a whole lot of fun!

Using the same ingredients I used for my Chicken Puff Pies, I baked Chicken Mushroom Buns. It was really nice and soft! Yummy!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all!

Gingerbread House Workshop


Yesterday, I attended a Parent & Child Gingerbread House workshop with my eldest boy, and my sister with her elder boy. It was held at Creative Culinaire. It was really fun, but tiring. The Gingerbread house that we made were so big that it cannot be fitted into any box! We used the 12" by 12" cake board as a base, and built the house up slowly. It was truly a wonderful experience! It just shows the creativity of the children & the adults. My nephew was truly a very creative boy!!

My son told me this morning that he would like to attend such workshops again in future. Well, I also agree that we should attend such workshops in future too! Good parent & child bonding! :)


Wonder Twin Power - ACTIVATE!


Hahaha... I wonder where did this verse comes from- "Wonder Twin Power: ACTIVATE"! I remembered it was from some cartoons or shows which I watched when I was much younger. However, I just cannot recall when and what! Anyone knows, please let inform me.

Okay, this is the second round. The first round of cake was for celebration with their maternal grandparents. This round, another cake, is for their childcare celebration this morning. I baked the Chocolate Moist Cake from Kitchen Capers' Forum: Amrita's Divine Family Chocolate Cake. Somehow, I had problem folding the egg whites into the butter batter. I saw a lot of holes in my cake after baking. However, the cake was very moist and chocky this morning. I must try this recipe again. It's a keeper if I can bake it well. I frost it with chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Then decorated it with dark chocolate buttons, cocoro and white chocolates. Woah! I'm so happy with the outcome, though it's not that perfect! Such inspirations came from Mandy.


Instead of the usual goodie bags like the rest of the kids in school, I made cake pops, and wrapped individually to give away. Actually, to let the cat out of the bag, I was too lazy to buy the goodie bags and packed them. Heehee... This inspiration was from Bakerella. The children were dellighted to receive the cake pops. Anders distributed them out. The teachers were impressed by the cake I baked, and I was pretty proud. :p



No more battle of the sexes, it's "Wonder Twin Power-ACTIVATE!" :)

Christmas Cupcakes

My colleague ordered some X'mas Cupcakes for herself and for her team mates. This year, I've decided to "Think Gaia"! Therefore, the theme was "green"! As we celebrate, let's be environmental friendly! Cheers to a wonderful holiday coming up!



Battle of the Sexes!

She wants vanilla, he wants chocolate. She wants vanilla, he wants chocolate! In the end, I baked 2 sponge cakes - Vanilla & Chocolate! I'm referring to my twins' request for their birthday cake. I don't want to bake two separate cakes for them, I'd rather prefer them to have the same cake. So in the end, I combine the vanilla and the chocolate sponge cakes to have a "Black & White Birthday Cake"! With Hello Kitty design for her, and a Ben 10 design for him. I also alternate the sponge cakes and halved the cake for each of them! Heehee...;)

In the end, they're satisfied and I'm happy with what I have created specially for them! The twins will be five years old this coming Tuesday! Happy birthday to my wonderful twins-Allyson & Anders!



With some time on my hand, I baked two loaves of Cheese Bread from Alex Goh's "The World of Breads". These cheese loaves included some almond nibs. They looked real nice though!



Just for fun, I drew on the breads! ;) Enjoy!



Disclaimer: Hello Kitty & Ben 10 designs are for my own personal use, not reproduced for sales.

White Christmas


We had an old friend's gathering yesterday at one of the friend's 3-storey terrace near Singapore Expo. Initially, I was still quite ambitious to want to bake tarts, eclairs and cake. But ended up, I wasn't about to accomplish it. So I settled for logcake since X'mas is just round the corner.

I would like to make a chocolate logcake. However, as I still had some white chocolate ganache and white chocolate with orange zest in the fridge, I decided to do white chocolate with chocolate cake sheet. I grated orange zest into the white chocolate, and used my caramelised orange slices as the fillings. However, I realised something when I was frosting the cake.

Mistake #1: Don't frost a chocolate cake with white chocolate. The 1st layer of white chocolate wasn't able to cover the "brown" background. So I had to do 2 layers minimum. It's like wearing a translucent skirt without petitecoat. :p

Mistake #2: If want to frost a chocolate cake with white chocolate, you must cover the cake with a layer of whipped cream first. Then you can frost it with a layer of white chocolate without it being "see-through".



As I was out to "impress", I just had to do it nicely. So I added a little of this, a little of that. And it turned out pretty PRO! ;) I am very happy with this "White Christmas Logcake". The white chocolate was sweet, but other than that, the sugar has been reduced for everything that was added! My friends were very very impressed by the logcake, thinking initially that I had bought it, until I told them it was made by me! They still thought I was kidding, until my spouse vouched for it. ;) My efforts were paid off-they were IMPRESSED!

My New Toys - II

Finally, when my sisters were here on Saturday, they helped me to assemble my new toys! This is the finished "Cafe Display". Isn't that a beauty??

Full Display Collection

"Top Floor": #1-Strawberry tartlets, swiss rolls & cakes. #2-Cake holder: Cupcakes. #3-Mousses, Assorted Cakes. #4-Mini Assorted Cakes.


"Second Floor": #5-Assorted Flavours Puffs & Eclairs. #6-Strawberry Shortcake with Rose Tea. #7-Decorated Assorted Cakes.


"Lowest Floor": #8-Chocolate, Green Tea & Raspberry Mousses. #9-2-tier Cupcakes. #10-Mini Coffee Bundt Cake served with Coffee Latte.



Disclaimer: As I do not understand the Japanese wordings in the menu for each item, I based on the pictures to provide my closest or what I imagined them to be. :P
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