Friday, January 30, 2009

ULTIMATE BANANA CAKE


I used to bake my Banana Cake Following an original recipe, until
one day I decided to adjust the recipe to my taste and waste.
Recipe can be used as cupcakes also


serves 12
Ingredients
2 eggs well beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk (if you are out , use yogurt or even squeeze couple drops of lemon juice into the milk it works)
1/4 cup vegetable oil + 1/4 cup of apple butter (Optional ,original recipe 1/2 cup of vegetable oil) (the apple butter brings the flavour of the banana)
1 cup of mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups white sugar (I use half white and half dark brown sugar)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda (sifted with the flour)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Preparation:


Preheat oven to 325F degrees, spray a loaf pan or bundt pan with non stick spray oil , or line your muffin tray with cupcakes papers.
beat the eggs then add the sugar and continue beating
add the buttermilk, oil, apple butter and bananas mix with a spoon
add the nuts, salt and spices to your sifted flour. Mix by hand until well combined.
pour into your prepared pan, and bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes depends , on your oven, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

p.s.: the cake come out darker than the original recipe .

Note: for the bundt cake pan, I made a recipe and half to fill my cake pan.








PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGES ROASTED PEPPER & ONIONS


A simple , quick and delicious pasta meal, prepare it for your next dinner


serves 4
Ingredients:
6 Italian Sausages (you can choose either hot or medium- I mix the 2)
4 red peppers
3 big onions
half head of garlic
sausages and veggies out of the oven

Preparation:

Wash the peppers and slice them and put them on a tray with either siltpad or parchment paper,
cut your onions in half and slice them, and add them to the peppers, don't peel the garlic, add one table spoon of olive oil in small cup and brush your veggies and roast them in the oven .
while the veggies are in the oven, work on slicing your sausages by emptying them from the casing then slice them 1/2 cubes, using a non stick frying pan, without any oil or grease, add your sausages to the hot pan, and let them cook on medium heat, then will start cook and render all the fat , it will take around 10-15 minutes for the sausages to drain all the fat. and at the same time the veggies are getting roasted in the oven, take them out and move them to a clean stainless steal pan add the sausages over them, and return them to the oven for another five minutes.


The sauce is cooking..... You can even using the above as stuffing for a nice sub!!!

start boiling your pasta water, add enough sea salt to salt the water.

take your sausages from the oven and back to your stove, add one can whole tomato (28oz) break it with your hand or a knife to help releasing the juice. Let the sauce cook on medium heat, taste for seasoning. As soon as the sauce thickens its done to serve over your pasta.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My First Daring Baker's Challenge

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Tuiles are thin waffers , you can shape them desired, but you have to work quickly, as soon as they come out of the oven because they dry fast. For my first challenge I tried the butterflies , they looked very cute. Since I was baking a Double Chocolate Cake/Cup Cakes I thought the butterflies will be the best compliment on top of the Chocolate Ganache.


Tuiles - I






Recipe:
Angélique Schmeinck

Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes,
waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.1/4 ounces sifted all purpose flour1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
Preparation:

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.Alternative Baking:Either un-glutenize the batter given substituting the flour for any nut meal or oat flour, or as an alternative use one of the following batters
Note: I prepared the above recipe and kept it in the fridge for three days, to prepare my templates, I was thinking of using a plastic cover as a templates, then I remembered that I bought couple of plastic cutting boards from the dollar store and never used them, they are thick enough to trace a template and better than a plastic cover and here are the results:

Template:
draw the design you like and then trace it with a marker


















then use a sharp knife to cut it .

Double Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

NOUGATINE


Nougatine Plate filled with Chocolate Ice cream and home made peach Compote
From Michel Roux: Finest Desserts

5 1/4 cups / 500 grams sliced almonds(or 4.1/3 cups/500 grams slivered almonds)
3.1/3 cups / 660 grams sugar
4 tbs / 60 grams butter (optional)
2 tbs oil (vegetable, sunflower, peanut)
Makes 2.3/4 lbs/1.2 kgs
(This is the yield of the recipe given in the book, feel free to downsize!)
Preparation time: 25 minutesPreheat oven: 180C/350F

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned. Cook the sugar in a heavy based saucepan over low heat, stirring gently and continuously with a spatula, until it melts to a light golden caramel. Add the almonds and stir over low heat for 1 minute, then stir in the butter until completely absorbed. (This is not essential, but will give the nougat an added sheen) Pour the Nougatine onto an oiled baking sheet.
Shaping: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable. Work with one piece at a time, of a size appropriate to the shape you want. Roll out each piece on a warm, lightly oiled baking sheet or lightly oiled marbled surface. It is essential to work quickly, since the Nougatine rapidly becomes brittle. Heat the Nougatine in a microwave oven for a few seconds only to soften it if needed.
Roll the Nougatine into the appropriate thickness for your desired shape, but never thicker than 1/8 inch or 3 mm. Quickly cut out your chosen shapes using cookie cutters, or the blade or heel of a chef’s knife. To mold the Nougatine, drape it very rapidly over the mold so that it follows the shape and contours. Leave until completely cold before removing from the mold.Or, cut out and using your fingers or a knife, push in to folds or pleats… use as a basket, twirl round a knitting needle..
Nougatine based shapes can be made two or three days in advance, Keep them in a very dry place and do not fill with something like a mousse more than 2 hours prior
to serving.

Note: I used half of the recipe, and I divided the caramel in half working very quickly before it sets , in one pot I added the nuts leaving the second pot without nuts, I spread the nuts on a silt pad sheet and poured the caramel on top, immediately i lifted the disks and dropped them over the back of round bowls to take the shape when set. see the above picture.

the pot without nuts was easier to shape and warm again.


when I warmed the first pot with the nuts it crumbled, and I had to use them for decoration over my desserts.


I made small disks of Nougatine and filled them with ice creams and fruits. the crumbled Nougatine I used them to decorate my desserts.