Saturday, March 04, 2017

Fragrant, Moist and Delicious Banana Cake - Recipe As Requested

Those following my instagram would have noted my 'countless' experiences with banana cake and while i believe there's still room for improvement, some relatives and friends have been asking me for my recipe and i had delayed for far too long! 

Here're the ingredients needed and i need to credit the banana cake posts from two blogs, Bakericious and Travelling Foodies, for inspiring this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Large Eggs - 4
  • Caster Sugar - 150 grams 
  • Bananas - 315 grams
  • Fresh Milk - 4 tablespoons
  • Vanilla Paste / Extract - 1 teaspoon
  • Cake Flour - 220 grams
  • Baking Soda - 0.5 teaspoon
  • Baking Powder - 0.5 teaspoon
  • Salted Butter - 85 grams


Instructions as follows:

Step 01 - Preheat oven at 160 degrees celcius (top and bottom)

Step 02 - Mash the bananas using a fork. Don't be too greedy and increase the amount of bananas; i did once and the batter was too heavy. Stick to at least 315 grams and not more 325 grams. 

Step 03 - Crack the eggs and whisk them at medium speed (at least no 5 on Sensonic Stand Mixer). Gradually add in the caster sugar in batches to ensure a thorough mix.

Step 04 - Continue with the fresh milk and vanilla paste / extract. My personal preference is extract / paste over essence and from the start of my baking life, the brand i used is nielsen massey. If you ask me, i would go for vanilla paste rather than extract for two reasons; paste is more aromatic and you can find speckles of vanilla seeds.

Step 05 - Throw in the mashed bananas and let the stand mixer do the work for the next ten minutes! 

Step 06 - While waiting for the mixer to complete its work, melt the salted butter; boil a pot of water, switch off the gas once the water boils and then put another pot that has the butter, over it. The brand of butter i like is the hokkien-vulgar-sounding Lurpak! 

Step 07 - As the butter is working to become liquid form, please make use of your spare time to sieve the cake flour (brand: blue jacket) with baking soda and baking powder. Sieve twice! 

Step 08 - Grease your cake pans / tins using butter or the baking spray.

Step 09 - When you are done, take a look at the stand mixer; the batter by this time would have ballooned to a thick consistency.

Step 10 - Batter has to be at the ribbon state as shown above.

Step 11 - Mix in the sieved cake flour + baking powder + baking soda in three different batches. You may consider four batches for a more even mix. Impatient individuals may baulk as you couldn't rush through this process; too fast and the flour will fly all over the place and you also get a lot of bubbles in the batter.

Step 12 - Ensure all traces of flour are mixed in as the much thicker batter gives you the false impression that everything has been mixed in.

Step 13 - Melted butter would be our next step.

Step 14 - Slowly mix in the butter and make sure no streak of oil remains! Check by using your spatula to scoop from the bottom of the bowl as the oil usually remains there. You wouldn't want the shock to see all the hidden oil appearing when you are pouring the batter into the cake pan!

Step 15 - Pour the completed batter into the baking tins / cake pans from a height of 30 centimeters and tap the tin / pan to eliminate bubbles.

Step 16 - Place the tin / pan into the heated oven for forty minutes; now, there's the option on adding in extra slices of banana and walnut brittle and you may take out the tin / pan to put them after ten minutes when the top has somewhat hardened up to take the extra "load".

Step 17 - Cake is ready when the inserted cake tester comes out clean! But don't be too excited to remove it from the tin / bake; do it only when the cake has cooled totally! I made the horrendous mistakes (not just once) of removing it in haste and the entire cake collapsed.

Step 18 - Ready for delivery to my sister's mother in law. :) 


Notes:
The type of bananas matters and for those living in Singapore, please get your bananas from those fruit stalls in the wet market. They taste much better than the supposedly famous brands sold at NTUC and Cold Storage. p.s. always ask for very ripe bananas. 

Honestly, the time taken to bake the cake is dependent on many factors and the ones often overlooked by inexperienced bakers like me would be the size of the cake pan / tin and also the oven temperature which may be inaccurate (mine deviates about 10-20 degrees celcius). Hence, the best gauge is to invest in an oven thermometer (for accuracy) and an inexpensive cake tester.

Personally, i like the banana cakes in muffin cups as they take so much faster to bake and you don't have the hassle of washing the greasy cake tin / pan later. Texture wise, they are also fluffier than their cake form. 

For my benefit - a picture of the ingredients needed for the banana cake so that i can refer to it whenever i need to bake. More eco-friendly since i can pull it out straight from the web, just like the jenny cookies taste-alike

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