Friday, July 11, 2014

Banana cake with Passion fruit glaze

Two weeks ago, there was a passion fruit sitting by itself in the fruit-basket. It was nearing old age, by which I mean it was starting to get all wrinkled and would soon be too ripe to use. I knew I had to save it but what can you do with just one passion fruit? My mind was instantly drawn to a picture of a cake covered with a yellow icing, dripping over its sides and studded with the black of those crunchy passion fruit seeds. It was perfect. I had to make it!
Having duly hunted out the recipe book I read through the ingredients for the banana cake and the icing, I realized I wouldn't have enough passion fruit pulp for the icing. I would have to make a smaller cake. Then I realized this would be the perfect occasion to try the banana cake from my Little Cakes recipe book. So I went for it and here is the result.

Let me ask you, does this look like Passion fruit Icing to you? No. That's because it isn't my predicted icing. It's a passion fruit glaze. And how did the icing turn into a glaze? I'll tell you. Having made the icing I thought it was a little too thick to cover the cake so I impulsively added a bit of warm water. The icing became instantly too runny and I was out of icing sugar to make it thick again. I was extremely disappointed because I was hoping to create a cake that looked as good as the one in my recipe book. It was one of those you feel like a complete failure. But then I remembered this particular quote of Julia Child's.
"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure.In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."
So I figured, what-the-hell! I'm glad I didn't throw away the failure of a passion fruit icing, which I will now refer to as a passion fruit glaze (even though it doesn't involve any cooking), because it completely transformed the banana cake into an incredibly moist, sour yet sweet delight!
The banana cake is moist, dense and firm.It really is a small cake packed full of flavour as the book promises.

Banana cake adapted from Little Cakes

156g (1 1/4 Cups) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
80g/3 oz soft,unsalted butter
50g (1/4 cup) sugar
50g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp banana essence)
2 tbsp buttermilk (I substituted with 1 tbsp plain yogurt and 1 tbsp milk)
1/2 cup mashed, overripe banana

Prepare a 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a large bowl and stir to combine.
Cream the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, creaming continuously until fluffy.Add the eggs one at time, beating well between each addition. Mix in the flavouring.
Stir the buttermilk into the mashed banana.
With the mixer on medium, add in a third of the dry ingredients followed by a third of the banana mixture. Repeat this until all the ingredients are added (make sure you beat thoroughly after each addition.)
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: Overripe bananas give the best flavour.

Passion fruit Glaze

100g icing sugar
1- 1 1/2 tbsp passion fruit pulp
1 tbsp warm water

Mix everything together, adding the water drop by drop until you get a slightly runny but still spreadable consistency.(you may need to add less or more water than stated in this recipe)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Beginning - (Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Here I am, two weeks into my last ever year of school. The last year I get to be a kid, fool around, hang out with my friends; basically continue with my irresponsible existence. After this year, who knows what life has in store for me? I sure don't.

It's also going to be the hardest and most demanding year of school I've had yet. In a few months I'm going to have to study like my life depends on it, and believe me, it will. But for now I'm happily enjoying my slowly yet surely diminishing free time and anticipating a certain opportunity to gain some exciting new experiences.

I made these chocolate chip cookies two weeks ago to take to school, but I was too busy and sometimes too lazy to post the recipe. This was the first time I had made choc chip cookie in a while, so I wanted to try something different. I chose Nigella lawson's recipe because it used melted butter, which is easier than creaming the butter and sugar so these cookies don't take a lot of time to make.

The resulting cookie was pretty good,,,,, fudgy,  yet with a crispy exterior. my friends loved them!
Get the recipe here.I'm not going to write it out because Nigella explains it pretty well.

I added a tablespoon of cocoa powder to make the cookies a little more chocolate-y but you don't have to. That is entirely up to you. I always tend to gravitate towards extra chocolate. The more there is, the better!
I don't like the chocolate chips we have in the supermarkets here in Sri Lanka. I never use them. For these cookies I used 300 grams of dark chocolate chopped up into little pieces.
Enjoy :)