Monday, 7 November 2011

Healthy Breakfast Breads - Banana Walnut Bread & Apricot Bread

Bread is one of my greatest loves in life. I have no idea why. I like to see bread, smell bread, buy bread and eat them! Baking them however is a challenge for a novice like me but....

One day...

I baked a banana walnut bread - yes, it is a loaf bread but definitely not cake-like. Full flavored and dense - just the way I like it...

But I was still not satisfied. I wanted to bake REAL bread - those that needed yeast and rising. And so...

Another one day...

I baked another bread... the apricot bread. This time, the entire process took me 3+ hours but i am so happy with the results.

Banana Walnut Bread (adapted from Women's Weekly)

  • 400-460 g mashed banana (overripe bananas)
  • 180 g brown sugar (original recipe called for 220 g)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 40 g melted butter
  • 125 ml plain yoghurt (original recipe called for buttermilk)
  • 90 g mulberry molasses (original recipe called for treacle)
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 150 g self-raising flour (i used cake flour)
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (i used cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80 g walnuts, toasted and chopped (not in original recipe)
  1. preheat oven to 180DegC. Grease 14cmX21cm loaf pan; line base and long sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm over sides
  2. combine banana, sugar, eggs, butter, yoghurt and molasses in a large bowl. stir in sifted dry ingredients (do not over-mix). spoon mixture into pan.
  3. bake for 1 hour. stand bread in pan 10 mms before turing, top side up onto a wire rack for cooling

Apricot Bread (adapted from Good Housekeeping)

  • 450 g bread flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25 g unsalted butter, diced and plus extra to grease
  • 75 g dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tsp instant dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp mulberry molasses
  • milk to glaze
  1. put flour in a large bowl
  2. add b the salt and rub in the butter.
  3. stir in the apricots and yeast
  4. make a well in the middle and gradually work in the molasses and about 225ml hand-hot warm water to form a soft dough. Knead 8-10 min until smooth and then transfer dough into a greased bowl. 
  5. cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 1/4 hrs until double in size
  6. punch the dough to knock back, then divide in half. shape each portion into a small, flattish round and put on a well flour baking sheet.
  7. cover loosely and leave to rise for another 30 min
  8. preheat oven to 220degC and put a large baking sheet on the top shelf to heat up
  9. using a sharp knife, cut several slashes on each round and brush with a little milk (i must be so hungry that i totally forgot this step and went immediately into step 10.)
  10. transfer the two doughs onto the heated baking sheet. bake for 15 min, then reduce temperature to 190DegC and bake for a further 17 min until bread is risen and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. cool bread on a wire rack.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Oreo CupCakes

moving house is a lot of work. i wasn't in time for halloween and i also could not find halloween oreos in Singapore. Modified the halloween oreo cupcakes recipe from gingerbread bagels a little (love her foodblog!) and came up with normal oreo cupcakes. 

it is just less the color; still creamy and oreo-licious....

Oreo Cupcakes (adapted from gingerbreadbagel)

2 cups -------------------- plain flour ( i used cake flour too)
1 1/2 cups ---------------- sugar
2 tsp ---------------------- baking powder
1 tsp ---------------------- kosher salt ( i used normal salt)
1/2 cup ------------------- shortening, softened (i used buttercup luxury spread)
3/4 cup ------------------ whole milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp -------------------- vanilla extract
7 Oreos, ground into coarse crumbs
4 cups ------------------- icing sugar
1/2 cup ------------------ unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup ------------------ shortening, softened (i used buttercup luxury spread)
1/2 tsp ------------------- vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ------------------- kosher salt
3 1/2 oz ------------------ heavy whipping cream (a little more than 1/3 cup)
10 Oreos, ground into fine crumbs
1. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt using an electric mixer
2. Then add in the shortening (the shortening should be very soft, almost melted), milk, eggs and vanilla extract and mix to low speed to combine. (about 1 minute) You don’t want to over mix the batter. Set the batter aside.
3. Put 7 Oreos in the food processor and grind them up into coarse crumbs. Throw them into the batter and fold them in.
4. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Using an ice cream scooper (i didn't use that), scoop the batter into each cupcake liner.
The cupcakes should be filled about 2/3 of the way. Make sure you don’t overfill them!
5. Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then take the cupcakes out of the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack.
Cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, mix together the shortening and butter for about 3-4 minutes on medium high speed.
3. On low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add in 1/2 cup at a time.
4. Once all of the powdered sugar is added, increase the speed to medium for a minute or two.
5. Slowly add in the heavy whipping cream on low speed. Then increase the speed to high and mix for 10 minutes. (no discount!)
Set the buttercream aside.
6. In a food processor, grind up 10 Oreos into fine crumbs. Add them to the buttercream and fold them in.
Assembling the cupcakes:
Put the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip. Pipe the buttercream onto the cooling cupcakes. Or you can simply frost them with a small spatula or knife.