Thursday, May 30, 2013

Caramelized Banana Chocolate Tart & Banana Oat Oreo Cake

Hi folks! It actually took me awhile to decide what I should post before I go off on my long vacation. blog will be "closed" temporarily for the time being while I gather more fun, interesting stuff to share with everyone, blog or IG! Finally decided on these 2 banana recipes: A decadent caramelized banana chocolate tart which I think anyone will fall in love with and a fluffy, healthy steam-baked banana oat Oreo cake! 

First is this ultimate chocolate and banana lover dessert! I actually got this fabulous idea from Zen Can Cook. I fell in love with Zen's tart the moment I saw it! Haha! You love chocolate? Check! You love bananas? Check! You love buttery tart crust? Check!! 
Goodness, looking back at these pictures again made me crave for it! Haha! This tart is practically just chocolate with banana encased in sweet buttery crust...what's not to love?! Okay, will post my version of the recipe as I made several changes to it, here it is:

Ingredients for Banana chocolate Tart (Makes a 10")
Pastry tart shell
130g cake flour, 60g cold unsalted butter, cut small, 50g confectioner's sugar, 2 egg yolks, 1/8 tsp salt
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the cake flour, powder sugar and salt. then using only your finger tips, work the cold butter into the flour mixture. Alternatively, use a mixer to combine the ingredients till it resembles bread crumbs.
  • Next add in the egg yolks and gently work the dough but not over kneading it. Over kneading the dough will make it hard and not flaky.
  • Chill the dough in plastic wrap for at least 30 mins till ready to be used.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C about 5 minutes prior to taking the tart dough out.
  • Roll out the dough into the circular disc of about 11" diameter.  Then gently transfer the tart crust on to the greased tart pan. 
  • Gently press in the sides and make sure the edges are trimmed nicely. 
  • Blind bake the tart shell in the preheated oven for 10 minutes then remove from oven, the aluminum foil and weight. Return the tart shell in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes more.
  • Let the tart shell cool on the rack.
Caramelized Bananas
3 large ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/2-1/3" thickness
1/2 lemon juice
2 tbsp butter unsalted
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • In a non stick saute pan, add the butter in at medium low fire. Once the butter starts to bubble, add the banana slices (make sure you don't over crowd).
  • Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas and continue to cook till both sides are golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool for use later.
Chocolate Ganache:
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used 65% Valhrona, finely chopped)
4 ounces unslted butter, cubed
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
  • In a large heat proof bowl over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter till everything has melted and reaches (104F/40C). Remove from fire. The consistency should be smooth and shiny.
  • In a separate bowl, add in sugar, egg yolks and egg, mix well. Make sure you don't over beat and stir up bubbles.
  • Add in a couple spoonfuls of warm chocolate into the egg mixture. Then slowly add the rest of the chocolate into the egg mixture till all is incorporated. 
  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Place all except 8-9 caramelized banana slices at the base of the tart shell. Spread out evenly so when the tart is sliced up later, each slice will have some sweet banana inside.
  • Pour the cooled chocolate ganache over the banana slices and fill the whole tart base.  
  • Gently place the reserved caramelized banana slices on the top as decoration.
  • Bake in the oven for 10-11 minutes. The center will still be a little jittery but it is ok. The chocolate ganache will slowly cool and set.
Original recipe suggested not refrigerating the tart and served it warm. I actually did that but still kept the remaining in the fridge. I just toast it up for 5-6 minutes in the oven at 140C.
Notice that the chocolate ganache is not overly thick, just enough to cover the bananas. But trust me, it is enough to enjoy the wonderful chocolate decadence. :)) The caramelized bananas gives off this toasty nutty taste and went absolutely well with the chocolate ganache and buttery tart shell! Hope you all will give this recipe a try, it's simply wonderful!

Next recipe is a simple Banana Oat Oreo Cake which was baked impromptu. I wanted to finish up the remaining overly ripened bananas but wanted to make it into a much healthier and yet "attractive" to the kids. And there I came up with this yummy recipe...

Ingredient for Banana Oat Oreo Cake (Makes a 8X8 square)
150g unsalted butter (room temperature)
5 egg yolks
120g caster sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g oat flour (blend 100g of rolled oats till fine)
100g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder

5 egg whites
40g caster sugar
  • Cream the soft butter with 120g of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat till mixed in. Then add in the egg yolks one at a time and mix to incorporate each one after addition.
  • Add in the mashed bananas, follow by the vanilla extra, mix well.
  • Preheat the oven to 155C. Place a water bath in the oven which the square pan can bake in.
  • Sift in the cake flour and baking powder to the yolk batter. Then add in the oat flour, stir well. Set aside.
  • Beat the egg white and salt till foamy, then gradually add in the 75gm sugar until stiff. 
  • Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the yolk batter. Then continue to fold in the rest in 2 separate portions till all is folded in.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared square pan which has been greased and lined with parchment. Place as much Oreo chunk as you like on the surface. I stink some completely in while mostly on the top.
  • Bake for 38-40 minutes until the tester comes out clean. I covered the top of the cake with aluminum foil when I notice the cake was turning a little dark.

I was super happy that the cake turned out great! Gonna let the pictures do the talking instead! My kids absolutely loved the Oreo chunks and still complained that I didn't put enough in the cake!? The cake was moist and soft, and yet still light and creamy at the same time...awesomeness!
See? Moist and yet fine crumbs, heehee! I believe the egg separation method plus the steam baked version contributed a lot to the wonderful texture of this wonderful cake. Plus the oats made the cake nice and creamy after taste. And not forgetting adding oats just made this cake a little more healthier, yay! So do try it out if you have extra ripen bananas sitting around in the house.

Okay folks, really hope you all like these two wonderful recipes and try them out during this long school holiday / summer break! Gotta go pack now, I will see you all in a couple weeks later! Cheers!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Meaty Egg Rolls (Chung Kian) - MFF featuring Sabah

Happy Vesak Day everyone! Hope that you all have a great break from all the exam and hectic schedules. Well I am...that is why I can have the leisure to blog today, haha! Nothing out of the ordinary but wanted to get this post up before the end of the month for MFF. This time is the simple Meaty Egg Rolls, also known as Chung Kian (corrected by a local, haha).
I absolutely love Sabah dishes so far, haha! Easy and delicious! This was made last minute and yet it turned out fabulous. My whole family enjoyed it...well eggs and flavorful meat, what is not to love? I adapted the Happycall method from Peng's Kitchen to make the egg easy! Brilliant idea Peng!!

Ingredients for Meat Rolls (Makes 2 rolls)
Egg crepe
2+2 large eggs (I separately cracked 2 eggs each time)
1/4 tsp salt (This is for 2 eggs)
1/2 tsp mirin (optional, but I like the slight sweetness) -(for 2 eggs)
1/4 tsp cornflour (for 2 eggs)
  • Heat up the pan with 1 tsp of oil at low fire. Lightly beat 2 eggs and add in all the seasoning. Do not over beat!
  • Pour the egg batter in and cover lid. Cook at lowest heat for 3-5 minutes, and do not brown it as you want to keep the crepe in it's bright yellow colour. Do not overcook as over browning it will not look as nice.

  • Once the surface has cooked through, remove from pan. Repeat with the other 2 eggs and seasoning. Set aside for use later
Meat filling: (You can use either chicken or pork)
250g minced meat ( I bought those ready minced packaged pork, it does contain some fat)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced shallot
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 egg white
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
  • In a mixing bowl, add in minced meat and all the rest of the ingredients and seasoning. Use a pair of chopsticks and mix in vigorously till the meat is sticky and pasty like.

  • Divide the meat mixture into 2 equal portions and then spread one of the portion on one of the egg crepe wrapper.
  • Then from the meat covered side (The left side from the above pic) and roll it in like a swiss roll...tightly if possible. Then wrap the whole roll in plastic wrap and close up the opening ends. repeat the same with the other portion meat filling and egg wrapper.
  • Gently place the 2 egg rolls in the steamer and then steam at medium-low fire for 20 minutes.
  • After steaming, gently remove and let cool completely before unwrapping and cutting it up.
It was great that the texture  was just right, not tough or chewy on the meaty part. Do remember to wrap it nice and tight so as to avoid any air pockets. As you can see mine  still needs to work on that. :P Such a simple dish isn't it? It's yummy too! So if you ever ran out of ideas what to cook...this will be an perfect dish to try out. :))

I am happy to submit this to Malaysian Food Fest Sabah Month hosted by Mary Of a Pepper's Love.

Okay, got to go folks!
Hopefully I will be able to post up something before I disappear for 2.5 wks! Yikes! That's long! :P 
Have a happy long weekend my friends!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Burnt Bottom Rice Vermicelli with Pork Gravy (MFF featuring Sabah)

Hi all! Sorry for missing in action again. It's no surprise as it was the exam season and thus being the mummy and worried as always, had to be studying with my kids. :P I guess most mummies does that nowadays. :( But today was her last paper and hooray! Away are the books and time to rest and relax! As my kids are watching "Alice In Wonderland" on TV now, I can happily blog away, haha!

I finally did a dish for this month's MFF featuring Sabah! I actually cooked this dish 3 days back but had to wait till today to post it. :P Anyways, this was a great simple homey dish that I highly recommend to any mommies! Simple ingredients, simple to prep and cook and with such clear steps shown on Wendy's can't go wrong, really. Most importantly, it is delish!

Ingredients for Burnt Bottom Rice Vermicelli with Pork Gravy (Serves 2)
100gm rice vermicelli
3 eggs (beaten lightly and season with 1/2 tsp light sauce and dash of pepper)
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
150gm lean pork, sliced thinly
Marinate for the pork:
1.5 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp corn starch

3 tsp corn starch
1.5 cup water
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
salt, soy sauce and pepper to taste
  • Blanch the rice vermicelli in boiling water for a couple minutes. Rinse and set aside for use later.
  • Marinate the pork slices for at least 20 minutes.
  • Heat up the work and pour the egg into the work, making sure the fire is at medium low.
  • Gently place the vermicelli in the center of the egg and let cook for another minute before flipping the whole egg and noodle so the vermicelli will be at the bottom.
  • Cook the vermicelli for at least 5 minutes and lift to see making sure it didn't burn. Once the vermicelli takes on some golden colour and crisp up a bit, dish out on a big bowl with the egg side up, set aside.
  • Prepare the gravy, mixing everything together and making sure no lumps.
  • Now add a little more oil, and heat at medium low. Add in garlic and shallots and cook till fragrant. Add in marinated cook slices and stir to all cooked. 
  • Add in the prepared gravy and cook till it thickens.
  • Dish up the pork over the egg and scoop gravy and drizzle all over. Serve while still hot!
Doesn't this just look so homey and totally comforting to you? I am sure to make this again as my kids really enjoyed it. It is important you marinate the pork earlier so that it will be tender and soft.

A picture to show you how yummy it is inside where the vermicelli soaked up all that awesome gravy, haha! Go now, go make a bowl for yourself my can't go wrong with this. :)

I am happy to submit this to Malaysian Food Fest Sabah Month hosted by Mary Of a Pepper's Love

Okay, got to run folks, got a movie to catch! Watching Star Track "Into the Darkness" with hubs, haha! Have a great weekend all! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chocolate bread : Roped and Loaf

I just realized that I have not been posting any bread or chocolate recipe for ages! Super unlike me, hahaha! So today I shall "kill 2 birds with one stone"...a chocolate bread post, heehee. :D I found this great recipe book in the library the other and fell in love with it! There are countless recipes inside that I cannot wait to try out! Title of book is "Bread顶级风味面包书" and it is published in Chinese. Anyway, my first one will be this yummy Chocolate bread with some modification ...just to make it a wee bit healthier. ;)
One of the thing I love about this recipe is it's a straight dough method, no pre fermented dough or Tangzhong required. ;) I really love the texture of this bread, so easy to handle and yet so soft and yummy. Not to mention it is packed full of chocolaty flavor too! I had replace some of the bread flour with wholemeal flour to make it healthier, here is my version  of the recipe:

Ingredients for Chocolate Bread: (makes one 9x5x4 loaf, and 5 roped buns)
400g bread flour
60g wholemeal flour (I used Prima)
40g organic brown rice powder
7g salt
60g caster sugar
20g milk powder
15g honey
20g cocoa powder (I used Valrohna)
50g egg without shell
300-325ml water (add as per needed)
8g instant active yeast
40g unsalted butter, room temperature
50-80g raisins (depending how much u like)
80g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
  •  In a large mixer, add in all the ingredients except for water, butter and chocolate chips. 
  • Gradually add in 300ml water and start mixing. If needed, add in the additional 25ml water and continue to knead till dough is not sticky and very elastic which will pull away from the sides.
  • Add in the butter and continue to knead till it reaches window panel.
  • Cover and let proof for 1-2hrs or till dough doubles in volume.
  • After proofing, punch out the air and weigh out 600g for the loaf and the remaining dough for the buns.
  • Grease the loaf pan. Roll out the loaf dough portion into a large rectangle. Sprinkle the raisins all over the surface. Then roll it up like a swiss roll  and seal up the edges. Then fold the log into half like a skinny U shape, then take the two tips and start twisting it till it is like a twisted rope, then seal the two ends tightly. Gently lay the loaf into the loaf pan. Cover and let proof till it reaches the rim.
  • Next roll out the bun portion into a large long rectangle as well. Again sprinkle the chocolate chunks all over the surface. Then gently fold it into 3 fold like a letter, seal the edges. Then using the rolling pin, roll it slightly flat.
  • Using a knife, cut the dough length wise into 5 long strips. It will be a little tricky if your chocolate chunks are big.
  • Take one strip to shape: Take about 5 cm worth of the tip and fold it up like a U shape. Then the longer end tip and start twirling around the U until all used up. Seal the tip to the center of the dough. Repeat till the remaining 4 portions are all shaped. (Sorry forgotten to take pics this time)
  • Let dough proof till double in size. Preheat oven in the meantime to 175-180C.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes for the buns while 28-30 minutes for the loaf. I did an open loaf, so no cover. You can cover if you wish. 
  • Once baked, remove from oven and let cool completely on the rack.
I had to admit that I did not do a good job on the shaping, haha! But I still had fun nonetheless and it does look a little bit likes ropes, ya? ;) The bread still turned out soft and awesome with chocolaty taste even with the addition of the wholemeal and brown rice powder. Note that you can purchase brown rice powder in Organic Shops.
The twisted loaf also turned out great too. :) Although one end of the loaf was taller then the other, haha!
 It is almost mandatory that I show a sneak peek of the inside of the bread, haha! So again proving that healthy can be tasty as well! Yums! But no worries if you have no brown rice powder or you don't fancy wholemeal in your bread, just use 500g of bread flour. :)

Okay, that's all folks! Hopefully you all will try out this recipe as well. Happy baking all!