Monday, November 24, 2008

Today, I... friggen tired.

It's been a while since I slogged so much in the kitchen on a SUNDAY. It's SUNDAY, people should be relaxing, putting their feet up on a SUNDAY. But.. no.. somehow, inspired by some unknown factor, I set out and did all these things today:

Brunch: Ricotta Hotcakes

...followed by

Afternoon baking session of: Butterscotch banana cake

...followed by

Dinner: Lasagna (click here to see my dinner)

and to top it off. I blogged... not only once! but twice today(!)

Heck that's heaps more in one day than I have done in the 6 months!

What's wrong with me???? could I be sick?? *places palm on forehead*
No, I don't have a fever....

Perhaps.. it is a start of something... or could it be.. the return of...INSPIRATION?

A bit premature maybe... but... one can hope.. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Nevertheless, I am very proud of myself today. I made some thing old and some thing new. *nod nod*

Me old boss has been down with the cold/flu for the last few weeks now and the poor guy's a wreck. When I saw him last week he asked when I was baking for him again. I said "sure... How about Monday? Tell me what you feel like eating and I'll make it for ya."

After some deliberation, he said "Banana cake. I like banana cakes."

I said: "Ok. No problem boss. Banana cake it is."

Now here, lies my problem. I'm not a big fan of the 'nanas unless it was a deep fried and dripping with oil. (read: banana fritter) I've only baked something 'banana-y' once and it was a "Banana and oat muffin" that's in my blog archive somewhere. One of those, I made last year and should've been posted over a year ago but hasn't surfaced the blogosphere. (What to do? What to do?) One of my girl friends swears by the combination of bananas and blueberries. I've had the loaf that she bakes fairly often. It's not bad. But it's a bit sweet for my taste. I could ask her for the recipe...

But then I figured, if I was P and I've been hankering from some good old banana cake, I'm not sure I'd be very happy it was 'contaminated' with some blueberries, no matter how good they (the cake) are. I thought it was best to look for something a little more old fashion.

Butterscotch banana cake

So I went and looked up friend google. Trolled through tons of recipes but found that most of them were a bit.. umm... lacking. I envisioned my banana cake to be.. caramelly, with a soft and moist texture, a little bit of nuts on the top and fragrant - banana fragrant that is.

Only one problem. I saw P on Friday, I said I'd deliver on Monday. 2 days is not enough to ripen the bananas to the ripe and sweet banana-y fragrant that I was after. (Read: London doesn't do (sell) ripe bananas at the shops.) There was no way I was going to get sweet ripen bananas and I was going to have to compensate it someHOW..

The HOW came in the form of this recipe.

Butterscotch banana cake

Butterscotch Banana cake
adapted from this recipe here


Butterscotch Bananas:
150g caster sugar
250g banana flesh, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
25ml water

100g caster sugar
175ml sunflower oil (I used Rice Bran Oil instead)
2 large eggs
150g plain flour
75g spelt, rye or wholemeal flour (I used wholemeal flour)
2 level tsp mixed spice (I used all spice)
2 level tsp baking powder
½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda
50ml plain yoghurt

a handful of walnuts (optional)

Butterscotch bananas
  1. Peel and cut bananas into 1 or 2 cm slices.
  2. In a saucepan, bring to boil caster sugar and water.
  3. Cook over high heat until the sugar turns to a dark/red caramel.
  4. Add the bananas, butter and vanilla, and simmer until the bananas become soft, mushy and becomes a part of the caramel. The mixture should be thick now.
  5. Remove from stove and set aside to cool.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced oven)
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin. Approx 20cm long.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs until mixture is thick and airy.
  4. Mix in the bananas and the yoghurt.
  5. Sift the flours, spice, baking powder and soda together (two or three times)*
  6. Fold flour into the banana mixture.
  7. Pour into tin.
  8. Top with chopped walnuts.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
*The recipe suggests that the bran should be poured back into the flour mixture at the end the sift. I found out the hard way that this may or may not be a good idea. Depending on whether you like finding bits of wheat in your cake or not.

Butterscotch banana cake

The verdict:
Soft, moist and slightly fragrant banana cake. Just how I imagined it to be. The butterscotch/caramel flavour makes up for the lack of fragrant as the bananas were not as ripe as I'd wanted them to be.
A traditional yet slightly special banana cake.
I might just grow to like this banana cake thing. =)

Butterscotch banana cake


K and S said...

love banana cake, this sounds delicious, nice to see you posting :)

Manggy said...

Yay! Welcome back I-Ling! Bananas and butterscotch truly are a match made in heaven. I have an abundance of overripe bananas here, and quite a few recipes lined up, whether I like it or not! Ha ha ha :)
You could hasten the ripening of bananas by placing it near a gas hob/ any source of natural gas :)

ilingc said...

Kat: Thanks Kat :) I am hopeful. The inspiration dried up for a while and the laziness took over. But perhaps with the approaching holiday season, things might take a turn :)

This cake's actually quite nice. My explanation didn't do it much justice. I should rewrite it actually.

Manggy: Hello Manggy! Thanks for the wb wishes. I hope I'll hang around a bit longer this time ;)

B & B = :) You've got that right!

My mum used to say that if you throw unripened fruits into the 'rice' bin it'll ripen up.. eventually.. but I didn't feel like throwing bananas into my almost empty rice bag. LOL. Thanks for the tip! I'll try that with the remainder of my bananas!

NJ_La said...

where is mine?

Sophie said...

Yum, bananas and butterscotch, what a delightful pair! I'm imagining a banana covered in butterscotch, but I like the idea of having it in bread form! Delicious :).