February 19, 2016 § Leave a comment
The first month of the year has passed in a blink of an eye. Gong Xi Fat Choi! Well, it is still February, isn’t it? And since the new year had passed (twice in fact), it’s now time to get serious about 2016. Truth be told, I have not been spending time in the kitchen since the Christmas break. I was traveling and as always with long respite, it was difficult to get back into the grind. With deadlines at work calling, I barely had time to myself. And before I knew it, I was on holidays again — this time, to go with hubby’s cousins and close friends to our choiced Philippine destinations. Not complaining.
Had a wonderful time showing them around and getting to know them better. But every single time a trip is over, the list of things to do pile up. Have you ever felt the need to recover from a long trip? Man!
The way I recover is to get back to my everyday ASAP. Well, baking isn’t my everyday but it is a comfort zone so I made Banana bread, an all time favorite. But not just the plain old banana bread but one that’s leveled up.
I love it because it has all my favorite things. You know me well if you know that I love candied ginger. I love it so much, I always have a pack or two in my kitchen just for anything. I’m not as much a fan as hubby is of chocolate bars but give it to me in the form of a cake, ice cream or even cookies… can’t resist that.
So. Imagine me when I came across this recipe from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Of course I had to try it. The result was a moist bread, more like a dense cake, interjected with bits of biting, sweet ginger candy and semi-sweet chocolate. It’s comfort with a kick. Addictive.
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger (Molly Wizenberg of Orangette)
6 tablespoon (80grams) unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsweetened chocolate chips
¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
1½ cups mashed bananas (from about 3 large ripe bananas)
¼ cup well-stirred whole milk plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
What You do:
- Set rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a standard-sized (about 9 by 5 inches) loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
- In a small bowl, microwave the butter until melted. Or, alternatively, put the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla and stir to mix well.. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the side as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy, but there should be no unincorporated flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
- Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
- Cool that loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip it out onto the rack and let cool.
Enjoy!! And I hope you had great Valentine’s Day!
April 16, 2012 § 5 Comments
I read somewhere that when you have old bread, make French toast.
I was away for Easter break. We hopped around the nearby islands, feasted on wonderful food but for the most part, it was lounging at the beach or on a hammock near our cottage with a good book… a perfect getaway from the busy schedule. A much needed rest, truth to tell. I hope yours was as restful as mine.
So I come home and there it was on the fridge, pitifully staring back at me. “French Toast time”, my thought balloon goes. Not that I wait for bread to go stale but days old bread make a lovely French Toast. I like mine a bit crisp on the edges but still soft and creamy in the middle. The trick is let the bread soak for a minute or 2 and cook it with a fair amount of hot oil. Adding sugar to the mixture will crisp up those edges.
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life, Burg’s French Toast is by far, the best French Toast I had ever made. So addictive I have become, I find every opportunity to make them. Served hot with butter and Maple syrup – what a way to start the day.
On occasion, I’d sub the maple with fruit jams. Equally as heavenly.
September 7, 2011 § 2 Comments
A few months ago, I hurt my back that rendered me useless for a few days. “Move around”, a friend suggested. Good advice except that with my tiny studio loaded with all sorts of junk I couldn’t really move around much. I had this crazy idea to bake – crazy because I could hardly stand up, much less bend. I did it anyway as I had longed to make some scones with the dried mangoes and candied ginger I purchased a while back. The scone recipe I learned from a high school friend, now a chef. It produced scones that are crusty on the outside but light and soft (almost creamy) on the inside.
Quite a versatile piece of cake, bread, biscuit or whatever you might want to compare it with. While some like it with tea as a snack or dessert, I prefer it with coffee for my breakfast. Whichever way you have it, there are endless combination you can do with a basic scone recipe, truth be told. I once combined dried cranberries and chocolate chips. I have in mind to try it with bacon and cheese for a savory treat someday.
Mango and ginger however, is the best combination I’ve made so far. Sweet, slightly sour from the mango, hot and spicy from the ginger – a wonderful union, I must say. Great scones aside, it actually alleviated that nasty ache.
Mango and Ginger Mini Scones
What you need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup dried mangoes, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup candied ginger, cut into small pieces
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 200˚ C
- Mix all dry ingredients.
- Add the heavy cream to get a soft dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly.
- Flatten dough to ½-inch thick.
- Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with some sugar.
- Cut into wedges and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.