Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Banana Bread

Did I mention I don't like summers? And that marking papers is tough enough on it's own and becomes an impossible chore in heat? Don't worry, I am not going to talk about papers and summers, because today I made banana bread, so I am ready to forget the sweltering heat and the papers for the time being.

The weather is getting hotter day by day. Bananas are available but do not stay fresh for long in this hot weather. So what better use of bananas can be other than banana bread? Flavored with cinnamon this bread is soft and yummy. It is a fulfilling as breakfast and tempting as a snack. And it is the best use of those over ripe, yet not spoiled, bananas which get wasted because no one wants to eat them.



1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bakingsoda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
1/2 cup assorted nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Mix oil and sugar. Add flour, eggs, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine. In another bowl, mix baking soda in milk and stir thoroughly. Add milk to flour mixture and beat well. Stir in bananas and assorted nuts (if using).

Bake for 50 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the top starts to brown before the bread is done, cover with foil and continue to bake. Serve warm or at room temperature. Slices of banana bread can be buttered before serving.

Happy Baking!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

American hotcakes

I was really bored the other day and did not want to make a cake or cookies like always. Going through my cookbooks, I found  "Omeletes, Pancakes and Fritters" by Family Circle. I used to make pancakes a lot but somehow this book went to the back side of my bookshelf and was forgotten for some time.

Reminding me of all the tasty and not so tasty pancakes (because I read the recipe wrong :S, my bad) I made, I picked "American Hotcakes" for the day. These pancakes can be served with berry jam for breakfast, with icecream for dessert and with caramel sauce or maple syrup as a mid day snack. I love versatile dishes :). I made caramel sauce to go with pancakes.



1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp castor sugar
pinch salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
60 g butter/oil, melted
caramel syrup , for serving

Sift flour , baking powder, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in center. Add eggs, milk and butter/oil all at once. Using a whisk, beat until all liquid is incorporated and batter is free of lumps. Cover and leave for 20 minutes.

Lightly grease a pan. Pour a level 1/4 cup of mixture at a time and swirl to a circle of about 10 cm. Cook over low heat for 1 minute or until underside is golden. Turn hotcake over, cook the other side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat process for remaining batter. Serve warm or cold with caramel syrup.

Caramel Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
Milk, as required

Put sugar and water in a saucepan. Dissolve sugar over high heat. Reduce heat and let the mixture boil without stirring until it turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and carefully add milk. The caramel will bubble up so you will have to stay careful. If the caramel begins to form lumps, don't worry as they will dissolve.

Put the sauce pan on medium heat again and stir with a whisk until caramel lumps are dissolved. Remove from heat. If you like your sauce to be on the creamy side, you can add cream instead of milk. Pour over pancakes and serve.

Happy cooking!!!