Friday, April 17, 2015

Banana Bread


Banana Bread

Everyone loves banana bread. It's the staple homemade bread found in many kitchens. It's quite easy to make compared to other types of bread because it has no leavening. All you need are a few bananas in addition to the ingredients for a simple quick-bread recipe. To make the most of this recipe, I recommend three or four bananas that are very ripe. The more ripe, the better. You want them to be almost completely black and mushy when touched (but not runny). This helps your bread have a strong banana flavor and a moist texture. Also, I used shortening in this recipe because I didn't have any butter, but I recommend butter for a richer taste. If you are aiming for extra moistness, read my tips section below. Enjoy. :)


Ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas (aged for at least 2 weeks) (using 3-4 bananas is recommended for added moistness!)
  • 1/4 cup shortening, with 1/2 tbsp water (or 1/4 cup butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

Directions:
  1. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, shortening, water, bananas, vanilla extract).
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon).
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Bake for 350F for 20 minutes.
  5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and lower the temperature to 300F. Continue to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Done!


Tips:
  • For extra moistness, add more ripe bananas, sour cream, yogurt, or olive oil. Also, lower the temperature, increase the baking time, and put aluminum foil in early.
  • Don't over-mix the batter or it'll become dry.
  • Age the bananas longer for extra banana-y flavor! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls


Cinnamon Rolls Recipe


Lately, I've been turning my attention towards dough making! I want to learn how to make more bread and pastries, and being able to master the dough is crucial. The bread of any pastry can make or break it. I found a cinnamon roll recipe from silk.com, which this recipe is based upon. I did change a few things from the original recipe, by replacing the butter with shortening and water, and lowering the amount of white sugar. Also, the portions here are much smaller because I made mini cinnamon rolls. They might not look very small in the photo, but they're literally bite-sized! In the past 2 weeks, I've made 5 batches of cinnamon rolls. These turned out super moist and tasty!


Serving Size: 12 mini cinnamon rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 min
Total Time: 2-2.5 hours


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • .75 tsp water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tbsp white ultra fine sugar
  • .75 tsp active dry yeast
  • .125 tsp baking powder
  • .125 tsp baking soda
  • .125 tsp salt
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • confectioner's sugar (optional, for the icing)
  • milk (optional, for the icing)


Directions:
  1. Microwave shortening, water, and almond milk for 1:30 minutes.
  2. While it is microwaving, combine flour, sugar, and yeast in a medium sized mixing bowl. 
  3. Once the wet ingredients are heated, slowly pour it in the dry ingredients while stirring.
  4. Mix the ingredients until it forms a circular dough.
  5. Knead for 8 minutes.
  6. Grease the bowl and cover. Wait an hour to let it rise.
  7. Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the mixture and mix well.
  8. Roll out the dough in a rectangular shape and rub shortening, cinnamon, and brown sugar on top of it.
  9. Roll dough to a cigar shape.
  10. Cut into pieces with a knife or pastry cutter. (For mini cinnamon rolls, cut into 12 mini pieces.)
  11. Let the rolls rise for 30 minutes.
  12. Bake for 300F for 12 minutes. 
  13. To prepare the (optional) icing glaze, combine confectioner's sugar and milk until it forms a thick liquid paste. Pour over the rolls.

Done!


Tips & Tricks:
  • Make sure the shortening, water, and milk mixture isn't too hot! 
  • Slowly pour the wet to the dry ingredients. If it's too hot and you pour it all at once, it will start to curdle and will take more time to form your dough.
  • If it's hard to cut the rolls, freeze the rolled dough for 30 minutes before trying again.
  • Also, it's much easier to cut the rolls if there are more layers within the cinnamon rolls.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Green Tea Macarons



Green Tea Macarons


Macarons are known to be one of the most difficult cookies to make. Not only are the ingredients difficult (and quite pricey) to find, but they are extremely finicky to bake. I recommend reading and watching as many how-to-make-macaron videos and articles you can find. One of the most helpful youtube videos are from chef Byron Talbott's, where this recipe is derived from.


Ingredients:
  • 1 medium-large egg (room temp)
  • 55g flaxmeal (or almond meal)
  • 65g powdered sugar
  • 20g baker's ultrafine white sugar
  • matcha green tea powder


Directions:
  1. Combine flaxmeal and powdered sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl through a sifter.
  2. Mix the above with a wooden spoon.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, add egg whites and mix well for about 4 minutes. 
  4. Add baker's sugar gradually and continue to mix for an additional 4 minutes. 
  5. After the meringue forms stiff peaks, combine it with the previous bowl and mix well. 
  6. Add matcha green tea powder.
  7. Mix for 50-60 strokes with a rubber spatula.
  8. Using a pastry bag, put the batter inside and make 1.5 inch shaped macarons on a baking tray. 
  9. Tap tray and leave out for 30 minutes.
  10. Bake for 10-11 minutes at a 300F degrees oven.

Done!


Tips:
-Do not substitute all-purpose flour into this recipe. If you must substitute, like I have, use a nutty grounded flour. Using all-purpose flour will result in regular sugar cookies, both in taste and texture. They won't have the macaron feet and will be completely flat. Another example besides flaxmeal is pistachio flour.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Seaweed Udon in Shrimp Soup Base



Seaweed Udon in Shrimp Soup Base

I love cooking meals that are simple and easy. Because who has time to cook fancy meals on a daily basis? This recipe is only two ingredients, and the total cost for the ingredients is roughly $1 or less!


Ingredients:
  • 1 packet of Myojo shrimp flavored udon
  • 1 packet of GimMe organic roasted teriyaki seaweed

Directions:
  1. Boil water in a medium saucepan and add a pinch of salt
  2. Once boiled, add udon and stir until the noodles are no longer bunched together.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn off stove.
  5. Add soup base and mix well.
  6. Pour udon and soup in a bowl and add seaweed.


Done!