Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ginger Cinnamon Banana Bread

Banana bread of any sort is always delicious and warms a house with the most amazing aromas!!

I only spent 4 days in SF and 2 of those days were spent cooking or baking. My sister has a great view with huge windows, which is perfect for baking. Bake a little, enjoy the sunshine a little, and enjoy life a lot!
My sister had 1 really ripe banana and it inspired me to make banana bread. I adapted the recipe from Lovin' From the Oven.The adapted recipe is as follows:

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

For the bread:

  • 3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • dash of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

For the swirl:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbs nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tbs ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and four a loaf pan.
  2. Beat egg and heavy cream together
  3. Mix bananas, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
  4. In a small dish, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  5. Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes. I used a 9x5 and it took 50 minutes.
  7. Cut away sides and flip onto a wire rack.
On another note, while I was in SF, Danika, Adam and I went to Cups and Cakes on 9th and Harrison. The place has only been open for 4 months. It was really cute. I decided to get the mini cupcakes so I could bring them back to Seattle to share and try.

The flavors of the day were: 1. vanilla vanilla, 2. chocolate chocolate, 3. pb & j, 4. lost in paradise (banana cake and strawberry frosting), 5. red velvet (a staple in any cupcake place!), 6. mudslide (chocolate cake with Bailey's frosting), 7. ginger pearberry (pear cake with ginger raspberry frosting), 8. cotton candy (vanilla cake and cotton candy frosting).

I was also fortune enough to taste the salty oatmeal cookie with chocolate ganache filling. The owner (who wasn't there) was at a baking competition with that tasty concoction. I hope she won!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baklava Ice Cream

I had a fabulous and sunny weekend in San Francisco. It was only appropriate to celebrate the weather by making ice cream with my sister's new ice cream maker. This is a cinnamon ice cream with a honey, walnut, cinnamon swirl.

The recipe was adapted from desert candy.
Unfortunately, I didn't read the filo dough defrosting instructions carefully, so didn't defrost the 4 sheets completely. Instead, I took the thawed outer pieces (so about 10 sheets) and just cut through a smaller area for the same effect. I think the filo dough, walnut, honey mixture was the most popular. My sister and her bf were eating it before I could put it into the ice cream.

The ice cream was great but I added ground cinnamon in the quick chill process for a more cinnamon taste in the ice cream. Save some of the filo dough mixture as a topping. Let the ice cream set for a little while before serving...although, that was quick difficult since all 3 of us dove right in after it looked thicken enough (which wasn't very thick, but we really wanted this tasty goodness).

This got rave reviews from my family and friends! Good thing we ran 5 miles the next day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kiss Me I'm Irish!

It's St. Patty's Day. It is only appropriate to have something green and delicious to post and talk about.
This is a Matcha Green Tea and Chocolate Marble cake adapted from bakerella.com. I used soy milk instead of milk, simply because I stopped buying regular milk and soy or coconut milk has been the beverage of choice.

Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake

Chocolate Mixture
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Matcha mixture
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp matcha powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Wet ingredients
3 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup soy milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease and flour (or cocoa) a 10 or 12 cup Bundt pan (I used a 13"x9" rectangular pan)
  • With a wire whisk, mix the dry ingredients for the chocolate mixture in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In another small bowl, do the same for the matcha mixture.
  • Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the creamed mixture evenly in two separate bowls.
  • Slowly add the chocolate mixture to one half of the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Then, add the matcha mixture to the other half of the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Drop alternating spoonfuls of each mixture into the bundt pan until it’s about 3/4 full.
  • For a marbled effect, gently run a knife through the two batters in a swirling motion. (Once or twice will do the trick.)
  • Bake for about 1 hour.
Some quick notes: Matcha can be found at WholeFoods in the tea section. It's kind of pricey so use sparingly. This particular recipe came out really moist, so the flour could be increased. The Matcha flavor was great, but next time I'd increase from 2 tablespoons to 3 tablespoons.

This delectable baking experience was accompanied by a hot movie date with Stephanie. We watched "He's Just Not That Into You". It was a perfectly lovely evening...and tonight! Trivia + Green Beer!