Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stella's Banana Bread

Those who know me well would have at one point or another tasted my deliciously moist, home-made banana bread. This is the only recipe I have been baking consistently for the past 5 years and I will continue to do so! The recipe has gone around for a while in my close circles but I have not yet launched it on Baked In Love.

Simple to make and absolutely delicious. It will always be a favourite.

Enjoy it.

Stella's Banana Bread
2 eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup buttermilk (80 ml)
½ cup vegetable oil (120ml)
1 cup mashed bananas (3-4 ripe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar (128gr)
½ cup brown sugar (64gr)
1 ¾ cup flour (224gr)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Chocolate chips

1.     Preheat the oven to 165C
2.     Butter a bread pan. Once greased on all sides, sprinkle brown sugar on all sides. Set aside.
3.     Beat the eggs. Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients on a low speed until combined. Add the bananas and mix until combined.
4.     In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
5.     Add dry ingredients to the moist mixture and mix until just combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
6.     Pour the batter into the pre-prepared pan. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on the surface of the batter.
7.     Bake for 50min-1hr. Surface should be golden brown and the inside still slightly moist.
8.     Love it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Raspberry Peach Crumble Cake

The summer is approaching and the berries and stone fruit come out to play! A wonderful time of the year…

To kick off a beautiful Spring Sunday Brunch, I tried the following recipe. 
Fresh, sweet and recommended.

Raspberry Peach Crumble Cake:
For the crust and crumble topping:

1/2 cup (45g) almond flour

1 1/2 cups (150g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (95g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup light (50g) brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
For the filling:

1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup (78mL) heavy cream

1/4 cup (60mL) milk

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

4 firm peaches, scrubbed and cut in 12 slices

6 ounces (70g) raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees celsius). Butter the insides of a 9 inch spring-form pan.

2. Make the crust and crumble: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together almond flour, all purpose flour, sugars, spices, and salt. Incorporate butter on low speed, and mix until the dough will stick together when pressed together in your hands.
3. Press three fourths of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until set. Set aside to cool while you prepare the custard.
4. For the filling: Whisk together flour, sugar, egg, egg yolk, heavy cream, milk, extracts, salt and nutmeg.
5. Scatter fruit in the bottom of the crust and pour over the custard. Sprinkle with the rest of the crumb topping mixture. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the filling is set and beginning to brown.

I got this recipe from My Baking Addiction. The original recipe uses blackberries. Check it out here.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Morocco. An Overload of the Senses

Yet another adventure.

Morocco was an undiscovered place in the world to me before a few weeks ago. Ever since my brothers had embarked on a month-long surf trip down the Western coast of Morocco in 2008, I had dreamed of going. The photos I saw were so colourful, vibrant and full of life that one could only dream of the cultural richness in that particular African country.

I was not disappointed one bit. In fact, my 10 day taster trip has left me longing for more. A friendly and welcoming nation where you receive an abundant supply of sunshine.

Make sure you develop a bottomless stomach before traveling to Morocco as the food is to die for you seem to get so much of it! Favourites were the chicken tajines with olives and lemon and the tapas style salad starters (so many variations of vegetables prepared with beautiful spices).

Different to most people traveling to Morocco, the aim of my trip was to learn how to kitesurf. Dakhla, a town located far south in the Western Sahara of Morocco, happens to offer one of the best spots for kitesurfing in the world! A huge lagoon with an in-exhausting amount of wind. One stays in cool, little bungalows and gets to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner…in between which you play in the sand, water and wind for many hours. For any kitesurfers (beginners or advanced), I definitely recommend a trip down to Dakhla. A kitesurfing mecca where the atmosphere is young, fresh and energizing!

As I am not one to only travel for the purpose of sport, I made sure to squeeze in some cultural exploring as well. I chose Fes out of all Moroccan cities as it is the country’s ancient capital with over 4000 years of history! Its ancient medina is world famous and allows you to get a snapshot of what life was like many many years ago. The ancient medina is a maze of narrow, winding streets filled with stalls, shops, mosques, schools, homes, craft factories, bakeries, hammam baths, people, donkeys, chickens and more. A compact, ancient city where life appears not to have changed too much over the past hundreds of years. An overload on your senses in every way. What a ride!

Below are a few more tips on Fes. You will love it…

Tips on Fes:
  •           Stay at Riam Ahlam – A home away from home. Peaceful, welcoming and so generous. The location is right next to the ancient medina and their breakfasts are absolutely amazing. I can only recommend it.
  •           Hire a local guide for an afternoon to explore the Ancient Medina – Ask at your hotel. You will learn so much about the history of Fes, the local religion, Moroccan crafts and everyday life (approx. 20Euro for 4 hours)
  •      Buy ceramics – Ceramics (bowls, plates, etc.) are typical of Fes (especially in the blue design as blue is the colour of Fes). They make beautiful gifts and memories.
  •       Haggle down prices always – Be fair but know that every seller will try to charge you at least double of what you could buy it for. And remember to have fun!
  •     Try the local Moroccan juices – Activate your sweet tooth and try either an almond, avocado or dried grape ‘juice’. YOu'll be bouncing of the walls for a little while.
  •      Taste Moroccan pancakes/flatbreads (Msemen)  - You generally eat them at breakfast. The texture is in-between a naan bread and pancake, and the taste is amazing.
  •      Treat yourself to a Hammam – Scrubs, mud masks, massages…who can resist?


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