Saturday, January 31, 2009

Look What I Found...

A Surprise Birthday Slice

I found a couple of old pics from my treasure trove of memories, these here from '07 are of my Birthday cake which Baby G had gotten for me...all the way from the Hilton Kuala Lumpur! Yup he got the cake and hand carried it transatlantic (maybe not over the Atlantic seas but the I'll leave the specifics to your expert correction) home for me. *smile*

The flavor? Lusciously rich yet feathery light Triple Choc Mousse baby!!! Now that's love. :)

The Cake That Flew A Long Way Over

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Battle of the Bananas: Finale

Troops Lined Up for Inspection

If you think I've had enough of bananas for now, think again. I'm milking my great achievement, weeks of diligent toiling and determined experimentations for all its worth, shooting for overkill here. And why not? You can never have too much of a good thing, can you?

For my long suffering taste testers respite is at hand, in the form of miniature muffins, coz no decent human being can possibly resent for anything miniature, can they? Heck, you can't go wrong with cute, miniature anything for that matter. Or at least that was that I was banking on.

Mini Me's

These little puppies resemble the traditional huat kuehs we make for festive or religious occasions, although the crunchy oat and nut crumble on top and bananas in the middle gives them away. They make great gifts, and are perfect for an afternoon pick me up snack.

Next week, something different, I promise I'll try.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gone Bananas: Round 3 ... & We have A Winner!!

Unveiling The Win-nah!

Ladies and gents, folks and friends, my toiling has not been in vain. I humbly and proudly present to you, my greatest baked banana creation to date, indeed, probably the greatest the world has ever seen! Behold!!

(This is where you, my friends, gawk at Exhibit A above and gasp in jaw dropping awe. Go on, take a long moment or 20 to indulge as I bask in my moment of shameless glory. :P)

All ok? Done? Alright, calm down, settle your fluttering little heart and get your breath back in check, as I reveal my secret to this loaf of loveliness.

Black Gold

Black bananas. That's it, folks, baked to Timbuktu and back. I popped a couple of very old and ripe babies into the oven and hit on high. 20 minutes later, they come out a different hybrid.(Think of those exotic dark purple ones you see on the shelves every now and then).

If the black and burnt appearance frightens you, the insides will put you off even more. Squishy and gooey, weeping with banana juice (if there is such a thing), it looks and feels disgusting but smells like banana heaven.

Oozy Goodness

The abundance of sugars in the bananas work very well in this application. All ready to be caramelized when baked normally in the cake batter, the sugars are pushed over the edge when first baked blind and in direct heat, producing a deep and intensely rich caramel flavor and a more pronounced banana note when brought to the cake party. Unbelievable.

Sitting Pretty

Once you recover from the shock of the new texture you are feeling, scrap out the lovely and warms innards into your cake batter and continue to bake as per normal. At this point, the flesh is still warm, so watch your fingers when you handle them. They are also soft to the point of disintegrating, hence much easier to mix into the batter then when unbaked.

I saved a few bananas from the incinerator, sliced and placed them on top of the batter, decoratively, and popped them into the oven.

20 minutes later, or when golden brown and cooked through, bring them out, leave to cool and proceed to devour.

Le Masterpiece!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gone Bananas: Round 2

Hey Good Lookin'
So whaddayathink? We're making good progress eh?
I'm back with a vengeance, a new recipe and a brand new hubbahubba hunk of metal, a DeLonghi Sfornatutto EO-3835 model with 2,000 watt horse power, pivoting grill for easy cleaning, 120 minute timer for programmable cooking time, adjustable thermostat from 60 to 240 °C, internal light, automatic shut-off and ready bell, 3 cooking functions for personalized cooking needs: convection over, keep-warm setting and roasting spit, and complimentary crumb tray, wire rack, bake pan and roasting tray.

Now we're talking.

Adapted from the biblical
Cook's Book I have produced, from said oven, a decent batch of muffins which I believe should redeem myself from the shame I have brought upon my family with my previous attempt at this.

Healthy Hunk Of A Loaf

So confident was I that I made 2 batches of the recipe, one into the obligatory loaf, and the other to mini muffins, just coz I have them cute mini muffin tins and just coz I love them cute mini muffins. You will feel a little less guilty devouring 2, or 20, of these cute mini muffins then you would a hearty slice, lightly toasted and slathered with a generous helping of butter, wouldn't you? ;)

Standing Tall & Proud

I'm pleased with the way these turned out today, but I hesitate to post the recipe here, not for trying to be retain bragging rights, but coz I just know, in my cute mini muffin stuffed guts, that I can do even better.

Stay tuned. Again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gone Bananas: Round 1

Do You See?

As you can see, I've gone bananas.
Uninspiring pun aside, I have dug this old project up, posted it for all to see, and hopefully inspire some to do better than I have here. :P

Cue To The Cake!

The tiny date imprints on the pictures will reveal that they were taken some 3 long years ago, hence the puzzling looking outcome. Back in the day, the baking vessel was a humble toaster oven (read: toaster, so-not-equals-to oven) which heats up to a limited temperature (despite what the deceiving packaging and slick salesman may claim), and allows for near-to-nothing heat circulation.

The result, my friends, is a lovingly assembled mixture steaming at a low temperature, not baking at a rockin' high, and magically transformed from a hopeful cake to a dismal pudding. Refer to exhibits above and below.

Game For Banana Pudding, Anyone?

In all fairness (to me), the pudding did not taste as bad as it looked. In fact, it tasted pretty good. For A Pudding. Can't say I wasn't bitter about it, but as they say: What won't kill you will make you stronger. And determined to get things done right.

What results is a banana project, a resolution if you will, to succeed at what should be a fairly easy cake to master. In the weeks to come you will witness (with hope and good faith in thyself) evolution before your eyes, as I strive to do justice to this elementary bastion of baking, from humble beginnings to the full glory it deserves, and hopefully not go bananas in the process!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The rise of a new dawn

Rise & Shine!

It's the start of the Lunar New Year, the rising of a new dawn and hopes are abound for a bright year ahead. What better then the must-have of this auspicious day (indeed, everyday if you're a salmon lah-vah like moi), Yusheng!

Yusheng for an Auspicious Start to the New Year

More Lovely Pics For Your Feasting Pleasure :)

To Good Health
To Blessings & Joy