Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Caramelised Banana Chiffon Cake



This is a very soft, moist and fluffy chiffon cake which is full of banana flavour.  The addition of gula melaka (or palm sugar) gives the cake a deeper colour and a beautiful aroma.  If you have over-ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl, why not give this recipe a try?  You will love it!


Recipe adapted from:  Ellena Guan's Caramelised Banana Chiffon Cake 
Egg size:  55g each
Pan:  20cm tube pan 


Ingredients:

(A)
80g plain flour
15g rice flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

(B)
6 egg whites
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

(C)
150g bananas
40g gula melaka, grated
5g unsalted butter

(D)
6 egg yolks
45g rice bran oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 155°C.
  • Sift flours and salt together.  Set aside.
  • In a heavy based saucepan, caramelised gula melaka together with butter on low heat.  Then pour it over the bananas and mashed it together.  Set aside.
  • In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl, (using the same beater) beat egg yolks until creamy. Whisk in oil, vanilla extract and mashed bananas. Next, add in flour mixture and whisk until combined.
  • Lighten the batter with one third of the meringue using a balloon whisk. Then pour all the batter into the meringue and fold gently.
  • Pour batter into the tube pan from a height to help eliminate large air bubbles. Next, tap the pan on the bench top and then use a chopstick to go round the pan a few times to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter. 
  • Bake the cake for about 1 hour 30 minutes or until cooked. (Every oven is different, so adjust the time and temperature accordingly).
  • Remove cake from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Cool the cake completely before removing it from the pan. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting



Strawberry Sauce:
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
  • Blend strawberries and sugar until smooth. Pour it through a sieve to remove the seeds and some of the pulp.  
  • Pour the strawberry puree into a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until purée thickens.  Add in lemon juice and stir to combine.  Cook until the purée is reduced down to 1/2 cup or slightly less. Set aside the strawberry reduction sauce to cool.
    [You'd need 60ml for the cupcakes and 3 tbsp for the frosting]

Cupcakes:
(A)
200g unsalted butter, softened
80g caster sugar
4 egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
60ml strawberry sauce
red food colouring (optional)

(B)
4egg whites, room temperature 
80g caster sugar
  • Preheat oven to 170°C.  
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks, one at a time until well combined.  Beat in salt and vanilla extract.
  • Fold in flour (in 3 batches) alternating with strawberry sauce, beginning and ending with flour. (Add a drop of red food colouring if desired).
  • In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks formed, then gradually beat in sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks formed.
  • Fold meringue into egg yolks mixture.
  • Divide the batter among the 12 paper liners and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Set the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

110g unsalted butter, softened
220g cream cheese, softened
375g icing sugar
pinch of salt
3 tbsp strawberry sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds or until combined.  Then add in icing sugar and salt; beat until light and fluffy.  
  • Beat in the strawberry sauce and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Spread frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Before serving, bring the cakes back to room temperature.

Friday, May 27, 2016

One-time Proofing Soft Bread (Killer Toast)

Killer Toast
Killer Toast

It's the bread recipe that's gone viral in the social media lately - the Killer Toast and it claims to produce very soft and irresistible textured bread. Victoria Bakes highly recommended this super uber soft bread and I totally trust Victoria as she has shared quite a number of fantastic bread recipes before. Hop over to her blog for more great recipes.

If you are familiar with breadmaking, you would know the few basic steps - mixing, first rise (or bulk fermentation), shaping, proofing and baking which takes up a long time (at least in my case on cold days).  However this Killer Toast recipe skips one step in the fermentation process. One-time proofing?  Wow, that's music to my ears! You just need to knead, shape, proof and bake!   It means cutting down the number of hours in waiting for the dough to rise twice. 

Yesterday I decided to try out the famous recipe. It was a very cold day whereby the temperature dipped below 18°C indoors. I didn't record the time it took from start to finish, however, by 3pm I could sit down and have a slice of freshly baked bread with my cuppa.  

Liquid mixture:  90g eggs + 70g cream + 200g milk = 360g in total

Knead to get a smooth, silky and elastic dough that doesn't stick to the mixing bowl before incorporating the butter into the dough

To achieve the window-pane test (crucial) - the dough must be stretchy and smooth and translucent 

One-time proofing soft bread (Killer Toast)
A beautiful smooth, soft and silky dough ...

Shaping the dough

... before proofing

after proofing ...

I doubled the original recipe to make 2 loaves ~

Dry mixture:
520g bread flour
60g caster sugar
4g salt
9g instant dried yeast (increased the amount of yeast)

Liquid mixture: Total of 360g
90g eggs
70g thickened cream
200g fresh milk

60g butter, cut into cubes

  • Grease 2 loaf pans (8x4x3 in / 20.5x10.5x7.5 cm). 
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 
  • Pour in the liquid mixture and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth and leaves the sides of the mixing bowl.  
  • Incorporate the butter into the dough and continue to knead until it passed the window pane test (whereby the dough can be stretched into a paper-thin film without tearing and is translucent).
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal portions (165g each).  Flatten each portion of the dough and roll it up like swiss rolls.  Place 3 rolls in each greased loaf pan .  Cover with cling wrap and let it rise until it reaches 90% of the height of the pan.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 170°C on the second lowest rack in the oven for about 45 - 50 minutes (tent the top loosely with foil once the bread is sufficiently brown).

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