One Bowl Banana Coconut Mini Bundts

 

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Sitting here at midnight, only thinking about the transience of so much. Day by day, shadows work their way around my feet. Before I’ve even come to terms with fact that term time is almost up, people in other unis have started summer, champagne bottles are being popped. Hyperactivity everywhere.

With all the frantic house-hunting and exam stress (and worrying over the efficacy of actual study technique), there’s comfort in the close strong bonds you know you always have with loved ones, and the smell of something warm and sugary rising in the oven. I knew I had to use my one precious, scratched mini bundt pan at some point before the end of first term. I hauled all my stuff from Singapore for a reason, right? Yeah, it’s been a while, but mea culpa.

Before I move on, a few things that’ve caught my eye this week. I do feel more inclined to share what I read regularly on this platform, which is pretty much everything nutrition/science-related:

Fascinating

Darya keeps linking the best, most informative and relevant articles

‘good science writing is not just about about turning over conventional wisdom about complex things.’ So much yes.

Love this man. A great retelling

And now.

DSC_4155Processed with VSCO with f2 presetDSC_4161Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

The fluffiest, softest mini cakes you will ever make, stuffed with mashed banana, topped with a coconut milk icing.

Now with blogging comes honesty. I’m not kidding when I add the ‘you will ever make’ bit, because they really truly are.  I just can’t kid when it comes to this sort of thing. Despite its ease and speed, this recipe has yielded the softest cake texture I have attempted by far. Stuff of cloudy dreams. I hate overhyping something, but the excitement is all too real right now. THE absolute best bit?

It’s all made in one bowl, just a bit of mixing, no elbow grease or sweat or fiddling whatsoever. No worrying about whether you have to ‘make time’, because you will have the time.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

These little cakes really are quite special. Perhaps it’s the irresistible fluff factor, or the mashed banana in the middle, making it a triple-layer banana hit. Probably both, not forgetting the slightly balmy, creamy addition of coconut. The next time I make these, I’ll add more coconut extract for an extra exotic kick. The delicacy of the crumb in this cake deserves the trueness of flavour.

You definitely don’t need a mini bundt pan for these, and can do the same thing in a mini muffin tin, or spread the batter in a square tin and bake for the same amount of time, then cut little squares/whatever your wild heart desires out of the final product.

And if you’re in the mood for more…

Feeling like cookie butter?

Or perhaps a little lemony?

Clearly I’ve run out of humour.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

One Bowl Banana Coconut Mini Bundts with Coconut Icing (makes 12-14 mini cakes)

Ingredients

For the cakes:

60g soft, unsalted butter

1 1/2 mashed bananas (should amount to a half cup)

an additional 2 mashed bananas for the filling

225g (1 cup) white sugar

2 eggs

60ml each of coconut cream and coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

190g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour mixed with a half tsp of baking powder (alternatively, use self-raising flour)

quarter teaspoon of salt

 

For the coconut milk icing:

2-3 tbsp coconut cream (or use coconut milk)

75g icing sugar

 

Directions

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and butter your mini cake/bundt/muffin tin. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and mashed banana together in a microwave to add a little caramelised effect to your already-ripe bananas, around 20 seconds. Pour contents into a larger bowl (makes mixing a bit easier later on), then add all the other ingredients for the cake, except for the 2 mashed bananas which you need for the filling afterwards.

Spoon a tablespoonful of batter into the bottom of a well in your tin, add a teaspoon of mashed banana in the middle, then fill the rest of the well with batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes (mine were fine at 18). Whilst they are baking, mix the icing ingredients in a bowl and set aside. It’s hard to test for doneness due to the moist banana filling, but a little poke into the sides with a wooden skewer should reveal a mostly clean tip. A few moist crumbs clinging to the tip are fine; these cakes are pretty fragile and need to rest in the tin for a good 20 minutes before removing anyway.

If using a mini bundt pan, use a serrated knife to cut the tops off (these make wonderful little snacks). Loosen the edges with a blunt knife (just use a normal dinner knife), then tip the pan over to remove the little cakes. You don’t need to do this if using a normal muffin or cake tin. Drizzle with the coconut icing and top with coconut flakes. Fragile, sugarplum fairy-esque teatime treats await.

 

 

Chocolate Banana Mascarpone Sandwich

Sundays can be more magical than you ever think them to be.

A quickie, because I want you to make it now, or at least soon, before the magic of what you see above dissipates. Chocolate and banana is a sworn classic, at least to me anyways, and this sandwich has all the goods and more. I wouldn’t call it ‘chocolate and cheese’, because that juxtaposition looks and sounds sacrilegious, because I might as well say ‘chocolate and cheddar’ and make you all gag.

Saturday night made me too pink from the drink. With a late start on Sunday, something easy but lush was much needed. Thrown together in haste, but well astonished afterward. I must thank the gooey, perfect, sinful result of melting chocolate, mascarpone and gooey ripe banana mashed between commercial brioche.

Easy sin.

Chocolate Banana Mascarpone Sandwich (serves 1)

Directions

Heat a pan on medium high heat and ready a generous knob of butter. On one slice of brioche, spread a thick layer of chocolate spread (nutella/chocolate peanut butter/chocolate spread) and layer on slices of banana. On the other slice, spread a thick layer of mascarpone, and then layer on either one big square of dark chocolate or many small chunks of chocolate. Sandwich the slices together. Place butter in preheated pan, spread around a little, then place one side of the sandwich on the hot pan. Leave for 2 minutes, then flip to cook the other side. The surface should be a golden-brown.

Slice on the diagonal (it’s a rule), admire the oozing chocolate and then bite right into the middle while still hot and moist.

White Chocolate Caramel Banana Bread

Because we all know banana bread is actually cake.

Side note: I’m back!!

An apology is necessary and expected. The past few weeks have been an absolute blast, busy busy busy, what with moving to London to embark on a very science-y and exciting adventure. Early lectures, lots of note-taking, and the constant fear that I’ve done nothing to deserve a place in this wonderful university. The people are amazing, the work intriguing, and nothing beats the nighttime kitchen adventures, midnight study sessions and later-night parties. Nothing I say here could ever fully justify the experiences that have been thrown at me as well as those which I have yet to encounter. It’s still incredibly surreal; like a dream come true, yet somehow better.

IMG_0719

A modification on one of my previous banana bread recipes, this one has a gallant twist with the incorporation of white chocolate and caramel. If ever I do this again, I’ll be sure to add in a nuttier texture or more earthy flavour component to up the ante of everything else going on in the picture. It’s the sweetest pick-me-up, and a one-bowl wonder. Don’t you love the easy stuff? Remember: I’m all about simple. Sometimes. Ok, most of the time. With college matters whirling around my head, this loaf was a nice and easy break, which took no time at all to put together and bake. Feels good to get into mixing, picking ingredients and experimenting again in the kitchen. Made it with one of the sweetest people I’ve met here, and everyone loved (and then attacked) it. Crowd-pleaser. Bananas. White chocolate. Caramel. Good play.

Now, it feels like home.

White Chocolate Caramel Banana Bread (makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 1/2 cups (190g) plain white flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup (76g) melted unsalted butter

2 tbsp milk

2 heaping tbsp caramel sauce

1/3 cup (68g) white sugar

3/4 cup white chocolate chips (I cut up a good bar)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, milk, sugar, melted butter, egg, salt and vanilla. Then add in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, milk, caramel sauce. Finally, gently stir in the white chocolate chips. Pour into a greased loaf and bake for 50-55 minutes. This one was ready by 53 minutes.

To serve, slice up and serve with more caramel, marmalade (a touch I personally adore) and more chopped chocolate. I’m guessing whipped cream or ice cream would sort out any lonely evening, too.

Chocolate and Banana Mug Cake

It’s a big one, literally and metaphorically.

Above you may observe chocolate in one of its natural habitats (for it has many, obviously), with a cashew butter topping and chocolate shavings.

A moist, fudgy-in-the-centre mug cake, with mashed banana in the centre for optimal gooeyness. A little firmer on the surface, but easy to break into to reveal a tender, soft belly. I don’t think there’s anything much that beats a piping hot, warm, fudgy chocolate treat first thing in the morning, especially if the whole mixing and microwaving process is this easy. Maybe I should spill the beans upfront– I’ve never made a mug cake before. I always felt as if doing so is a total, embarrassing cop-out; why microwave (does that word chill you to the bone and bring to mind grease-framed images of ready-made meals or bad takeout?) when you can put to good use your lovely and probably very expensive oven?

Although I appreciate and prefer a traditional fudge cake made in the oven, all 50’s aprons and 30-minute labours, this sort of recipe is perfect for one those mornings when you want to feel indulgent, but just… Don’t want to spend all that long being a princess.

Chocolate and Banana Mug Cake (serves 1 very hungry person)

Ingredients

25g all-purpose flour

2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder

2 tbsp white sugar (I used coconut date sugar)

1 egg

3 tbsp milk (any sort; I used almond here)

2 tbsp veg or coconut oil, or melted butter

small handful of mini chocolate chips

half a banana, mashed

Directions

In a bowl (not the mug you’re making the cake in), whisk together the flour, sugar and cocoa/cacao powder. Take a tablespoon of this dry mix and toss it with the chocolate chips in a separate saucer, just so they’re coated with the flour mix. Mix in the rest of the ingredients except for the mashed banana (egg, milk and oil, then the chocolate chip and flour mix).

Grease your mug and pour in half of the chocolatey mix. Put the mashed banana on top, then add the rest of the chocolate mix. Microwave this on high for a minute, or check the doneness with a spoon at the 45-second mark. Poke and prod to see if it’s done to your liking; take it out a little earlier if you like that little extra fudge! Keep in mind that you must watch it like a hawk because this cake does rise a little, and if you’re not careful, it might collapse or overflow, especially if your microwave is on a particularly high heat setting.

Top with whipped cream, or nut butter, and enjoy with iced coffee or a glass of cold milk. Alternatively, douse the entire thing in cold milk and enjoy as a sort of bread pudding! It’s perfect for breakfast. Or have some as a small snack and keep the rest for later, for some things are never too late to microwave.

Double Chocolate Banana Pillow Pancakes

I do like chocolate. And in the parlance unique to all chocolate lovers… um… What about double chocolate? Yesterday morning, there was a lapse in self-control. These pancakes aren’t exactly the healthiest, but they sure are the most Sunday morning-esque, and that’s the most important thing, because a certain rainy day and time on your hands demands a lush, thick stack. Sometimes I’m partial to the whole almond-milk-and-oats sort of thing, but this particular lapse in the system of fairytale strength made me put whole milk, whole eggs, and good, rich chocolate on the counter at 6am in the morning.

Didn’t look back. Can’t look back. I keep swooning over my favouritest thick, fluffy buttermilk pillow pancakesand ever since I can’t bear to experiment with any other pancake recipe. I can’t bring myself to attempt anything off-standard. They’re magical and fluffy and pillowy; the best ones you will attempt in your lifetime. And life is so incredibly short. These are a double chocolate and banana version, with cocoa in the dry ingredients, banana in the wet, and stuffed with dark chocolate chips (use chunks if you will for full-on pleasure). The picture above shows a sweet little stack of 4 crowned with glorious, gooey, sticky cashew butter, maple syrup, and topped with a king-sized piece of dark chocolate, which melts along with the cashew butter and makes the whole bloody breakfast a fudgy and delectable brown-and-white mess. Any sort of nut butter is highly recommended, for its rich stickiness clings to the tender surface of each pancake and ups the goo-and-fudge factor considerably. Mmmm. Rich yet soft, sporadically studded with pockets of melting chocolate. Mandatory maple syrup. Double Chocolate Banana Pancakes (makes around 10 medium, or 8 large pancakes)

Ingredients

175g (slightly less than 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder

3 tbsp white sugar

pinch salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

240ml (1 cup) milk of choice (I used whole)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 banana, mashed

50g unsalted butter, melted in the microwave (in 30-second increments), and a little more for the pan

large handful of chocolate chips or chunks (to your own discretion)

Directions

Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, sugar and both leavening agents into a large bowl. Whisk everything together well to ensure proper dispersion. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla extract, mashed banana, honey and melted buttter. Pour the wet mix into the dry and slowly mix together until just combined. The mix will be thick and lumpy.

Heat your pan or griddle on medium heat. It’s hot enough when you add a little butter and it sizzles audibly. Using a tablespoon measurement or a light hand with a quarter-cup measurement, pour circles of batter into the pan. Make sure there’s at least an inch of space between each dollop, because these enlarge significantly after flipping. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on the surface of each pancake (my own pan can only take 2 pancakes at a go), then take your spoon again and spoon more batter on top. The thickness of the batter means the bubbles won’t show up as quickly, so after 2 minutes check the bottom doneness with a spatula, and if it can slide easily underneath, give the pancakes a flip. The second side takes hardly any time at all, so wait less than a minute before removing and placing on a towel (to absorb condensation). Serve with nut butter, maple syrup and fruit, or whipped cream and maple syrup, or whatever the hell you want, really.

You can make all 8-10 pancakes before everyone is up for breakfast, just make sure to microwave them or place them in a warm oven for a while before serving. Place uneaten pancakes in a ziploc bag and into the fridge. They reheat beautifully, and are there whenever you want.