Is it a bread? Or is it a cake? Banana loaf – A little bit of both!

Every time dad is in town, there is always an excitement towards baking! He, like me, loves food. He however, loves when I bake more. We both have a crazy sweet tooth, and baking at home at least lets us keep a tab on what ingredients are being used.

So last weekend I tried to bake something a little different from a usual cake. I tried my hands on a Banana Loaf. Before I tell you more about the recipe, something you should know – Its not a bread. There is no yeast involvement. And its easy! really easy!

Banana Loaf, I think gets its name mainly because its baked in a loaf pan. Its ends up into this mildly sweet loaf with a subtle banana flavour. It once baked, can be used like a bread for your breakfast. Cut a slice. Toast it. Put some nutella or peanut butter. And there… perfect breakfast.

I found a lot of recipes online. But I twisted it a lot for my loaf. I tried to make it as healthy as possible

Ingredients –

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour (I think you can make both the cups whole wheat flour too, but I did not want to take the risk of getting a very dense loaf)

1/2 cup unsalted butter (most recipes ask for 3/4 cup of butter, I think you can work with even lesser than 1/2)

1/2 cup brown sugar (Again, something which depends on your taste, I did not want the loaf to be too sweet)

2 eggs

2 big ripe bananas – mashed (the more ripe, the better)

1tsp baking soda (no baking powder needed!)

1/2tsp salt

A little bit of milk (this is for thinning the batter if its too stiff. this also makes the loaf softer)

The recipe is pretty simple:

– Preheat the oven at 175 degree celcius. I worked with a 9×5 loaf pan. Worked perfectly for the above mentioned quantities. Do remember to grease the pan. Otherwise you might have to scoop out your loaf!

– Mix up all the dry ingredients together

– Cream the butter and Sugar, Add eggs, and then the mashed banana.

– Mix the dry and wet ingredients. If the batter is too thick, add a little milk

– All the batter goes into the loaf pan, and then into the preheated oven.

– And this where your patience gets tested. It takes 60-65 minutes for this loaf to be made. The lesser number of times you open the oven to see the status, the better. It will take this much time to cook fully.

– After around 60 minutes, put a knife into the loaf to see if its cooked through. People ask you to put a toothpick. but I prefer a knife as it can go all the way till the bottom. If it comes out clean – your loaf is ready!

Let it cool for a while before you attempt to take it out of the pan. If the pan was greased properly, this should be an extremely easy task.

And there you go! Here is your pretty tasty yet decently healthy Banana loaf:

Banana Loaf

Banana Loaf

Pretty ain’t it? It tasted awesome too. I am going to add things like chocolate shavings or nuts the next time I attempt making this. I think it will work beautifully!

Back to baking… Oreo Cheesecake cupcakes anyone?

After a long sabbatical from baking (for no genuine reason) I finally baked again yesterday. I needed something new yet simple to get me back in the flow. So, I hunted for lots and lots of recipes, and finally stumbled on this one:

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

I have never baked a cheesecake before. Mainly because finding the ingredients for cheesecake in Bangalore is rather difficult. Especially a good quality cream cheese and sour cream. However, in my last visit to 1MG food hall, I managed to pick up 200gms of cream cheese.

As I browsed through the recipe, I looked for the catch. Its too easy for some reason. In any case, I gave it a shot. And, this cupcake has to be in my list of best bakes! Barely any prep, a 20 minute visit to the oven and there you go – Oreo Cheesecake cupcakes are ready!

I did not make the ganache, as I was worried about its sweetness. I also baked just 6 cupcakes for the first attempt. Mind you – these 6 cupcakes took up the entire 200gms of cream cheese! heavy stuff I say.

Another plus of this recipe – No need to flour, baking powder etc. This is a 5 ingredient recipe. I adjusted the ingredients a little because of limited stock in my pantry. this is what I used :

Ingredients:

– Oreos – 10 (6 for lining, 4 for batter)

– 200gm cream cheese

– 1 medium egg white

– 1/3rd cup of caster sugar

– Pinch of salt

Pretty much followed the recipe to the point. I think I over-whipped the batter a little as even after 25 minutes my cupcakes did not look set, but post bringing them to room temperature, I just popped them into the fridge for a few hours, and they were set just perfectly.

These cupcakes are addictive. They melt in your mouth. The base oreo gives the perfect chocolate cake crust feel to the cupcake. And the cream cheese and crushed oreo combination is just brilliant! Try them! I mean it.Try them!

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

Holiday season… Dessert overflow!!

This holiday season I’ve been going a little crazy with dessert.
Not just eating it… But also baking it! Here is a little sneak peak into what I’ve been upto lately.
Baked a basic chocolate cupcake with white chocolate chips…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6b6/45571731/files/2014/12/img_2346.jpg
Then took a stroll to Cafe Max near office for a slice of their Snickers Cheesecake…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6b6/45571731/files/2014/12/img_2358.jpg
Christmas called for a massive baking accomplishment. I tried my hand on baking a Rum Cake! And what fun!! I will expand on my Rum Cake baking experience in a separate blog post, but here is a sneak peek into what the end result was-

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6b6/45571731/files/2014/12/img_2383.jpg
Shopping in Phoenix mall was incomplete without stopping at Cafe Noir for the heavenly chocolate tart

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6b6/45571731/files/2014/12/img_2409-0.jpg
And… Last but not the least, last night, on the occasion of my baby nephew coming home from his grand parents house, I baked him this little treat-
“Chocolate cupcakes topped with Nutella scoop”!!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6b6/45571731/files/2014/12/img_2412-0.jpg

Holiday season is not over yet… And I can say confidently that this dessert overflow is not over yet!! Look out!! 🙂

After Effects: Baking sessions!

I’ve spent the last one and a half month exploring my inner baker. This was bound to happen as an after effect of the cupcake workshop I took recently. However, I don’t think anyone expected the magnitude of this after effect to be this big!

This post specifically goes to all the baking experiments i did on my family and friends in past few weeks!! Thank you for being the perfect guinea pigs!

Chocolate cake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate cake with Chocolate Ganache

Yes, it started with cakes…

Vanilla cake with Chocolate Ganache icing

Vanilla cake with Chocolate Ganache icing

Then there were days when I went a little health conscious

 

Whole wheat almond cookies - egg less!

Whole wheat almond cookies – egg less!

 

Whole wheat chocolate chip muffins!

Whole wheat chocolate chip muffins!

That phase didn’t last long though

Nutella cupcakes!

Nutella cupcakes!

 

Double Chocolate muffins... One of my favorites!

Double Chocolate muffins… One of my favorites!

 

Fresh out of the oven...

Fresh out of the oven…

And then I took it to another level of crazy baker lady!

Nephew's 3rd Birthday Cake

Nephew’s 3rd Birthday Cake

Nephew's 3rd birthday cupcakes!

Nephew’s 3rd birthday cupcakes!

I am still a beginner at this, and I hope to continue with the same level on enthusiasm…

Restaurant hopping will continue to be my first love… But then desserts are my weakness 🙂