Weekend Cooking: Chocolate-caramel-banana upside-down cake (Cake Keeper Cakes)

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I’m not a fan of soft bananas, once they go a little spotty, it’s off to the freezer they go (or sometimes the husband might eat them – he’s not as fussy as I am!).

I tend to make a chocolate banana cake from Bill Granger  but after borrowing Cake Keeper Cakes from the library, I wanted to make this Chocolate-caramel-banana upside-down cake (recipe here. Also check out Malaysian food blogger Kitchen Flavours, who has tested out quite a few of the other recipes, and it was via her blog that I first heard of this book). It’s been ages since I’ve made – or eaten – an upside down cake, and never one with bananas in them. It sounded simple and just delicious, and perhaps more importantly, I had all the ingredients at hand.

Well sort of. The recipe calls for three ripe bananas, to be sliced and placed at the bottom of the cake tin. There were only two bananas hanging from my fruit basket, but there were an additional two bananas in the freezer, and frozen bananas are just too liquid and squishy to be sliced when thawed out. So I made do with my two soft ripe bananas and simply defrosted the frozen ones, mashed them up and added them to the cake batter.

It was great! It might have been the addition of the frozen bananas (or not) but there was a nice fudge-y texture, and it was moist and at the same time, not too heavy. The caramel on top with the bananas was a nice touch.

This recipe is a keeper! And there are plenty of interesting cakes such as a black pepper spice cake and a coca-cola chocolate cake. I like the way she uses spices, such as ground cloves, like this orange and cranberry snacking cake.

Cake Keeper Cakes is written by Lauren Chattman, who has also written Cookie Swap!; Local Breads with Daniel Leader; Bread Making: A Home Course; Crafting the Perfect Loaf from Crust to CrumbThe Gingerbread Architect with Susan Matheson; and From Basic to Beautiful Cakes and Dessert University with Roland Mesnier, and Cool Kitchen.

 

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Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

 

Weekend cooking: Pandan chiffon cake

The husband will be in Chicago for work on his birthday next week. Boo! And had to work all this weekend from home too. Double boo!

So in a bid to make this weekend a little better, I decided to make a pandan cake as an early birthday treat! It’s quite a bit of work so I’ve only made it a few times. Plus the lack of fresh pandan leaves (also known as screwpine) means I use pandan essence and pandan paste. Tastes fine to me but some might say it isn’t authentic enough.

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This time I went with a new recipe which I found on a Singaporean food blog. It was quite fascinating to see how the recipes compared side by side but in the end I went with the one he recommended. And yes, it has 9 egg whites (and 6 yolks)!! Not for the faint hearted. And I wouldn’t recommend trying out this recipe without an electric mixer of some sort! Luckily I have my trusty empire red Kitchenaid and it whipped up this egg whites in no time. The cream of tartar and sugar helped stabilize it but as I’ve learnt from the Great British Bake Off, it’s easy to overwhip your whites especially when multitasking (in my case, watching over wee reader). Those whipped egg whites rose to glorious stiff peaks! And when I combined them with the rest of the batter, folding them in was quite a task. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite fold them in properly and my cake has spots with flecks of egg whites (Mary Berry would not be pleased).

Still it turned out to be a light, airy, monster of a cake! I kept turning on the oven light to check on it, as I was afraid that it might overflow! Luckily it rose just nicely above the tin, making for a very high cake.

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I was quite pleased and the husband was thrilled. Wee reader, though, with his wheat and egg allergies, has still never eaten cake!

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs.