Gosh! To my pleasant surprise, I find our national library very complete. It has a wide collection of books, at least for the baking and cooking and food section. But, if something like baking and cooking already have a detailed collection, what can we say about other popular categories? Even better I suppose. I notice they have the latest titles that I cannot even find in fishpond.com. For those who are running out of things to do, I would strongly recommend a visit to the library. If you do not have time to read or have no intention of borrowing (lest the hassle of having to return it), it is also nice to grab a book, find a comfortable spot in the library and enjoy the pictures while you waiting for your appointment.
Anyway, i got hold of book "the art and soul of baking". I have heard pretty decent good reviews and wanted to check it out before making a purchase. It was a heavy big book of recipes! love it.
A simple, down-to-earth marbled cake got hold of my attention. I have never made a marbled bread but there are such detailed pictorial instructions that I feel I should give it a try and I did.
The process was fun and the cake was chocolatey and bursting with banana flavours.
Chocolate Banana Marble Cake (adapted from "the art and soul of baking")
makes a 9in-by-5in loaf
- 3 medium banana, very ripe, mashed with a fork, should yield about 1 cup
- 1/4 cup buttermilk ( i used non-fat yoghurt)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup, unsifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Van Houten's)
- 3 tbsp boiling water
- 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, soften
- 1 cup sugar (I used190g)
- 2 large eggs, room temp, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 176degC. Butter a 9in-5in loaf pan.
- Add buttermilk and vanilla to the cup of mashed banana
- sift cake flour, baking powder and soda into a medium bowl. whisk to blend well. set aside
- dissolve cocoa powder in the boiling water and stir until a smooth paste is formed. add extra water if it is too thick
- Beat butter and sugar, at medium high speed until very light, and fluffy (4-5min)
- Turn speed to medium and add eggs one by one
- Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with banana-buttermilk mixture. DO NOT over-mix. It is okay to see patches of flour.
- transfer half the batter into another bowl and add the cocoa paste. Mix well, gently but thoroughly.
- Drop alternating spoon of dark and light batters into prepared pan. Create marbling effect by using a spoon to gently turn the batter over in 3 places over the length of the pan.
- Bake the cake for about 55-65min ( I baked mine for about 80min). Remove from oven and let cool. When cooled, slice gently using a serrated knife.
After I made this, my cousins suggested Nutella-Banana cake. What can I say more about Nutella? It has always been a winner.
Nutella-Banana Chocolate Cake
Same recipe as above except that the cocoa paste was replaced with about 120g of Nutella.