Eggless & Vegan Banana Bread

Eggless and Vegan Banana Bread

Banana cake. Who doesn’t love a thick slice of warm banana goodness?? I could have it for breakfast, tea or dessert! Actually, I could have it at any time of the day. I have done my fair share of baking different kinds of banana bread. Looking back on what I’ve shared, I’ve done a walnut, chocolate and maple banana bread and a sour cream maple banana cake. One that I never thought I would try is a vegan version of banana cake!

Eggless & vegan banana bread

To be honest, I never thought of making a cake without eggs before! But after I saw the post on OvenHaven (super duper talented, check her blog out! hehe) I knew I had to give it a try! What more when it’s actually really healthy? hehe This would be perfect for your kids and children with or without allergies! hehe The cake came out so moist, soft and light! It was just filled with banana with every single bite! Absolutely divine!  Especially when it’s warm! I had mine with some butter and also I had it for dessert with a scoop of my homemade salted caramel ice cream! Yummi-li-cious!!! So give it a try if you’ve never made anything eggless or vegan like me, and be delightfully surprised! hehe

Eggless and vegan Banana Bread (Adapted from Veg Recipes of India)

4 ripe large bananas

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2/3 cups olive oil

1/2 cup fine brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease a bread/loaf tin with some olive oil.

2) Mash the bananas and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, vanilla bean paste and sugar  and blend till well combine.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add it into the mixing bowl, 1/2 cup at a time. Slowly mix them till well combined.

4) Pour the mixture into the prepared bread/loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the middle of the bread comes out clean.

5) Allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the bread/loaf tin before you turn it out onto a cooling rack. Slice and serve warm with butter or a scoop of ice cream. ENJOY! (: Cling wrap the rest of the bread and keep it in a tupperware in the fridge.

eggless and vegan banana bread with salted caramel ice cream

The next time I make these, I’m gonna put some walnuts, sunflower seeds and maybe some chocolate chips! hehe There’s nothing better than the combination of banana and chocolate! Do give this a try! I am very sure you will love it! Have a great and blessed Sunday! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Shrooms Delish

Shrooms Delish

Happy Mid Week dearest readers! (: I hope your week has been going well and we’re not too far from the weekend (and a long one for those in Melbourne & Tassy! Woohoo!) I’ve got some exciting news to share with all of you! I was recently contacted by Keep Left and was asked to be part of this fun recipe campaign with Bakers Delight! Without much hesitation, I agreed to it! Fortunately the time line wasn’t too rush, so I had the weekend to try out what I wanted to create.

Ingredients

We were allowed to create a recipe for lunch with our choice of any Bakers Delight bread and I decided to head to their website to see what they had to offer and the choices were endless! There were SO MANY different kinds of bread and I haven’t really said this before, but my weakness is definitely freshly baked bread! Mmmmm (:

Pipe loaf (wholemeal)

After much consideration, I decided to go with the pipe loaf! It totally got my attention cause it was my first time seeing a loaf in a shape of a cylinder! How cute is that??? I tried to think of what I could do with it, but couldn’t really visualise until the bread loaves were delivered! The moment I saw it, I knew exactly what I wanted to make!

top view : shrooms delish

Many of you would know that brunch is no doubt my favourite meal of all time so of course, I decided to make something that could be enjoyed for both brunch or lunch. I walked along the aisles of the supermarket (and thankfully I was given a $20 Coles voucher to get ingredients! hehe) and I decided on something a little different from my usual choices, I decided to go meatless! Don’t get me wrong, I still love my smoked salmon and crispy bacon, but I decided to try something a little different, plus I was craving for some mushrooms!

top - fried egg and crispy enoki

Instead of just the usual white button mushrooms, I decided to buy a whole variety of them! I didn’t stop at just shiitake mushrooms, I wanted to have some asian influence in the dish as well. It’s amazing how many varieties there are in the mushroom area at all the supermarkets now, and even the asian ones! I couldn’t be happier! (:

middle - mushroom ragout and avocado salsa

To add a little freshness to the dish, I decided to top with some avocado salsa as well!

bottom - wholemeal pipe loaf

To top it all off, I added a fried egg (with a runny yolk) and some crispy enoki mushrooms for some crunch! I am one who loves dishes with different textures, so the crunchy enokis were a must! hehe And of course, all these sat on a nice thick slice of the wholemeal pipe loaf which was so soft in the middle, and had a good crust after being toasted for 5 minutes in the oven! Of course, you could easily do this on any other thick toast, but I thought the round dimensions made the presentation a little prettier. hehe and yes, the plate from Made In Japan helps too! I’m really lucky that the Mr bought me some during the recent sale.

So here’s my recipe for my creation : Shrooms Delish ! Hope you all will enjoy it as much as the family did! (:

Shrooms Delish (a Food Made With Love original creation, serves 4)

For the mushroom ragout :

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

150g pearl mushrooms

8 white button mushrooms, quartered

1/2 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

50g butter

2 tbs water

5 sprigs of fresh chives, finely chopped

2 tbs creme fraiche

salt & pepper, for seasoning

For the crispy enoki mushrooms :

100g enoki mushrooms

vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the avocado salsa :

1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped or mash

1/4 red onion

4 pieces of sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbs olive oil

4 eggs, fried sunny side up

Pipe loaf, sliced into 1-inch slices

1 clove of garlic, peeled and left whole

Truffle oil, for garnish (optional)

Steps :

1) For the mushroom ragout : In a heavy-based pan, melt half of the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks, and allow them to sweat and soften, stirring continuously. Do be careful not to burn it, as it will turn bitter. Add the mushrooms and fry till they get soft and tender. Add the rest of the butter and water, allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes and until the flavours have developed, and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper, then turn the heat off. Add in the chives and creme friache and stir it till well combined. Set it a side while preparing the other components.

2) For the crispy enoki : In small pot, add the vegetable oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the enoki mushrooms (in batches) and fry till they are golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, and place them on some paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

3) For the avocado salsa : In a large bowl, add the avocado, chopped red onions and sundried tomatoes with the olive oil and give it a good stir. Season with salt and pepper and set a side.

4) For the toast : In a preheated oven, toast the bread for 5 minutes, or until the bread is nice and crispy on the outside with a little golden brown on top. When you take it out of the oven, rub the clove of garlic on the bread, so that you have an instant garlic bread base!

5) To plate : Place the thick toast on a plate, then add the mushroom ragout, followed by the avocado salsa. Slowly place the fried egg on top of the stack, and top it off with some crispy fried enoki mushrooms. I garnished with a sprig of chive and season with salt & pepper. Just to be a little more indulgent, I drizzled a bit of truffle oil on top, but it’s totally optional.

Shrooms Delight

Hope you enjoy my creation! (: Have a great week and weekend ahead!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

PS : I want to thank Bakers Delight & Keep Left PR for this amazing opportunity! 

Banana-rama

There is just something magical about banana bread. By now, you would know that I am obsessed with banana anything. So far, I’ve made them in a few forms – muffins & cakes. So now it’s time to add on to the list! Recently, Miss D posted her 100th post that had 2 banana bread recipes. I was lucky enough to taste test one of them and got hooked to it ever since!

So when I had time on a Saturday morning and some very ripe bananas lying around in the fruit basket, I decided to get my bum out of the sofa and get the baking going. I was so glad I did! The house was filled with the yummy smell of baked banana bread and it’s the best smell in the world! Can’t have enough of it!

Though I was having hayfever, it just felt good being able to be in the kitchen and think about nothing but bake! The kitchen is definitely my remedy. hehe The Mr absolutely loved it! Cause I gave 3/4 of the first one to the weightlifters, the mr only had a small piece to himself. He asked me to make another for him. So I made it twice over the weekend. It was really moist and fluffy. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea (: Will definitely perk me up in the afternoons!

Walnut, Chocolate and Maple Banana Bread (Adapted from Never Too Sweet For Me & Taste)

125g unsalted butter, room temperature

115g caster sugar

2 tbs maple syrup

2 eggs, room temperature

3 large bananas (about 1 cup), mashed

70g chopped walnuts

50g dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup plain flour

3/4 cup self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bi-carbonate of soda

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease the loaf pan well with butter.

2) In an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and maple syrup until light and fluffy. (Don’t rush this step to ensure a smooth batter)

3) Add eggs, one at a time until just combined. Then add the mashed bananas and slowly add the flours and bicarbonate of soda. Mix until just combined, be careful not to over mix it or it will not be fluffy.

4) Spoon mixture into the buttered loaf pan and smooth the top. Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out on a cooling rack.

Serve warm and enjoy with a hot cuppa and if you want to be more indulgent, drizzle it with more maple syrup and with a small piece of butter (:

PS : For step to step pictures, head over to Miss D’s post! Thanks dearie for sharing the recipe! 

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Wonderbao

Melbourne. There is a new obsession in town. Buns, hot steaming buns (bao/包) to be exact. I am totally sucked into the fad and loving it! (: I think it’s one thing I love since young. I’m like my dad. We both love baos and till this day when we go for yum cha, char siew baos and salted custard buns would definitely be on the table! Even on Sundays when we do go out, we would come back with his favourite chicken baos. NOMS! Just thinking about it is making me crave for some now!

Of course, since I’ve had baos since I was little I have to admit, my expectations of a good bao is quite high. The dough has to be soft but not too thick and there must be enough filling. I went to meet the mr for lunch in the city in my last week of break so we decided to go give Wonderbao a try! How cute is the name? Love it!

Wonderbao

Address : Shop 4/19-37 A’Beckett St. Melbourne, VIC 3000

Phone : (03) 9654 7887

Wonderbao is hidden in a lane under a block of apartments in the city and is a small cosy little shop. I love how they steam the baos in huge steamers and that’s the first thing that greets you when you step into the shop. Because the menu was quite small, the mr and I decided to order one of each bao (besides the sweet ones) to try! It totally looked like we haven’t eaten for days! haha But the staff were really nice, and told us that they would serve half of what we ordered and serve us the other half so that they won’t turn cold! Perfect! (:

I don’t really know what gua bao is. But the buns remind me of those used in the kong ba bao! It’s like a bao made into a U-shape to hold the ingredients! The two gua baos are my favourites of the day! I have a feeling it’s because the filling is fatty pork! (: The first one we had was braised pork belly accompanied by pickled mustard, coriander and crushed peanuts. The pork belly was perfectly cooked and melts in your mouth! The mr and I was beaming after each bite. haha Fatty pork really do make us happy!

The other gua bao was stuffed with roasted pork belly, cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon and hoisin sauce. In our minds, we were expecting crispy crackling with this! So we were a little disappointed when it didn’t. Cause who doesn’t love crackling, right? But the combination was really quite yummy so all was good! (: We still gobbled it down within minutes!

There were 2 big baos offered in the menu. A big pork bun as well as a big chicken bun. They both had a slice of egg and shiitake mushroom in them. The meat was juicy and really tasty! The bao skin is soft and fluffy and besides the top being a little too thick, there was a good proportion of meat to bun!

The chicken bao had a bit more dough and not as much filling. But the chicken was still juicy and yums!

Another of my fav of the day was the choi bao (vegetable bun). It reminded me of the cabbage kueh my mum always buy for me when I’m home. It had shiitake mushrooms, tofu and veggies! Really yums (:

The char siew bao was quite disappointing though I was really hoping it would be better! There was only a thin layer of char siew and sadly the colouring of the char siew was seeping into the bao skin. Though I have to say, the char siew itself was yummy! Would love to have more.

I love chinese sausage. So when I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t wait to try it! Although it was just a sausage wrapped in some dough, I have to say sometimes, simple is best! The mr and I had it and we think the taiwan sausage is handmade cause it’s not the usual size! It was just the right amount of sweetness, and not as much fatty bits! Was really delicious! I could easily have it on it’s own! hehe

After we tried all the baos, we were tempted by the homemade soy milk and bought a cup of cold soy milk each! *slurps!* Really refreshing especially since it was a really hot day that afternoon. I will definitely return for more gua baos and the choi bao! But just note that they are open for breakfast and lunch (Mondays to Fridays) and only lunch on Saturdays!

So, have you been pulled in to the bao trend yet? (:

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

Kong Ba (Twice-Cooked Pork Belly)

I have a weakness. Pork belly is my weakness. There’s just something about tender meat that melt-in-your-mouth the moment it touches your tongue. I never really use to like eating the fatty bits of the pork belly. I remember when I did marketing, I used to look for the piece that had less fat and more meat. But now, I look for equal proportions haha. The mr has changed me for the better. I didn’t know what I have been missing! And now when we are back in Singapore, we would meet Stephie for a meal of fatty pork! Can’t wait till the end of the year! (:

After the mr’s family went back, we had heaps of food left in the freezer and I needed to clear it or I won’t be able to buy other things! I opened the freezer and saw a container of sliced pork belly. Immediately, I knew what I wanted to cook – kong ba (twice-cooked pork belly). Nothing beats slow braised pork belly that is caramelised till the meat is soft and easily breaks apart. YUMS!

Traditionally, you would eat it with a soft steamed bun. But I was too lazy to head out to Springvale to get it and found some man tou in the fridge so I steamed that instead. Though it’s not as soft as the traditional buns, they worked well too! Plus, to off-set the unhealthy fatty bits, we had it with lettuce! This is the epitome of a balanced diet haha (:

Do note that usually, you would use a whole slab of pork belly and slice it up after, but mine was already sliced up. To me, there wasn’t much difference, in fact I think it works better and you don’t have to risk burning your fingers to slice them up later. But either way, you’ll have yummies in your tummies!

Kong Ba (adapted from  To Food With Love)

1kg pork belly (either whole or sliced)

1/2 tsp thick caramel black soy + 4 tbs extra

2 shallots, thinly sliced

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp five-spice powder

2 tbs light soy

1 tbs honey

2 tbs sugar

1/2 star anise

1 tsp sesame oil

2 cups water

bunch of coriander, roughly chopped and separate into 2 portions

ground white pepper

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

Steps :

1) Boil a large pot of water and boil the pork belly for 15-20 minutes. Remove and rinse the pork under cold water before patting them dry. Allow it to cool slightly and rub the skin with 1/2 tbs of thick caramel dark soy.

2) In a frying pan, heat enough vegetable oil on medium heat. Be careful not to heat it too high. Carefully lower the pork belly into the oil and fry till the skin is crisp (about 5 minutes). Do be very careful as there will be a very big splatter, use a splatter screen to avoid being burnt. Take the pork belly out carefully and drain off the excess oil using paper towel. (If you use a whole slab of pork belly, slice the pork belly to 1/2 inches thick after it has cooled down.)

3) In a large metal bowl, add the rest of the caramel thick dark soy, light soy, honey, sugar, star anise, five-spice powder, garlic, shallots and sesame oil and mix till well combined. Add the fried pork belly and marinade for at least 30 minutes.

4) In a medium sized pot, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and fry the pork belly until they are seared well. Add the rest of the marinade and top it with 2 cups of water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add half of the coriander (including the stems) and continue to simmer for 1/2 hour. Check occasionally and turn the pork to make sure it is evenly covered in the sauce. The pork should be tender and the liquid should be reduced to a thicker consistency. Season with ground white pepper. Garnish with the rest of the coriander before serving with hot steamed buns and lettuce!

Enjoy! (:

Remember to always cook with love!

Bread & Jam for Frances

Bread & Jam for Frances

Add : 1/701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn (Enter via Linda Crescent or through Readings)

Tel : 03 9819 2122

Website : http://www.breadandjamforfrances.com.au/

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Just want to share a new place we tried last weekend with the mr’s family (:

Whenever the Mr has weightlifting competitions at the Hawthorn Weightlifting club, we would drive past this small little cafe that has the cutest logo. It has been about 7-8 times that we drove past the place and as many times that I told myself that we have to give it a try. But cause the Mr had a strict routine he adheres to during competitions, we never got a chance to have it till recently when his family was here. YAY! (:

We were really lucky to head there a few minutes earlier than the crowd and didn’t need to wait for a table! Although there wasn’t any small tables left, fortunately there was still the communion table. The cafe, though small, was really cosy and everyone was really friendly. As it used to be an old dance hall, the ceilings were really high which allowed light to shine through making the whole place very welcoming. I couldn’t wait to order and have my brunch! (:

Not long after we ordered, our drinks were served. I ordered my usual favourite (and comfort) – chai soy latte. And what’s best about it is that they serve my favourite Bonsoy! Whee! Also, I love cafes that use chai leaves to brew their chai lattes. This was just spot on, and definitely a great start to the weekend.

The mr ordered his usual latte as well. and he said the coffee was really good. so coffee lovers out there, this is a place to try out! (:

My sis-in-law ordered the hot chocolate. It was quite a theme going. haha We all ordered our usual hot cuppa that morning and we were all very happy with what we had. By this time, I really couldn’t wait to have our food.

But let me first tell you a little about Bread & Jam for Frances. They are not only a place for brunch, but you could also head there to buy freshly baked artisan bread which they are known for! Their first home “Dench Bakers” was famous for their artisan breads and sandwiches. So of course their bread is something you would want have when you’re at Bread & Jam for Frances!

I browsed the menu and what caught my eye was this : avocado and feta with sweet chilli on toast, topped with salad. So I definitely wanted to have it. It was super good. With fresh toasted bread that was crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, the rich avocado went so well with the saltiness and creaminess of the feta. BRAVO! My smile just got wider with every bite. I think I’ve found my new favourite combination. haha And what’s better than starting the day with something healthy? Or I would like to think! haha

My sister-in-law ordered the classic dish :  scrambled eggs on toast with a side of bacon. Everyone was ooh-ing and aah-ing when the dish arrived because it looked absolutely delicious and the portion size was huge! The eggs were so creamy and cooked perfectly. And nothing could be better than crispy bacon. She was one happy (and full) girl. hehe

My in-laws shared a ham, cheese and tomato croissant and a scone (that I didn’t get to snap, sorry!). Layers of crispy buttery goodness which my in-laws really enjoyed! I have to say, I too enjoy having ham & cheese croissant once in a while! There’s just something about the whole combination. First you have the crunch, then u have the melted oozy cheese! Mmmm! Feel like having one now! hehe

With the yummy food and friendly service, it is definitely save to say we will be coming back especially since the mr didn’t have anything to eat that day. The next time I’m back, I’m definitely going to try the cakes that they have to offer and buy a loaf of walnut bread! heh

Have a good week ahead and here’s to more good food to come! (:

Bread & Jam For Frances on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Brioche French Toast with Caramelised Banana

So it’s the weekend! And weekends only mean one thing for the mr and I – BRUNCH! It’s something we both look forward to every week. On some weekends, I try to make something for brunch instead of heading out. So I thought you might too! (:

I of course couldn’t wait till the weekend to make this. My nut, Alicia, was here on a holiday and living with us, so I really wanted to make something nice for her for brekkie. Something sweet. I guess nothing beats having a dessert for brekkie does it? Something sweet to start the day going! (:

We were at Queen Victoria Market the Tuesday that just passed and we bought a chocolate brioche from one of the bakeries in the market. The only thing that came to mind when thinking of how to utilise the brioche was french toast! Just imagine the chocolate in between the dough will be melted and be molten when you bite into it. Mmmmm. Just like spreading nutella on bread!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore caramelised bananas. I could have them on my pancakes, crepes and of course on my french toasts! The caramelised bananas acted as a sauce so that the dish won’t feel too dry. It was really easy to make it as well! Just 4 simple ingredients and viola! Caramelised bananas in no time!

Nothing is more comforting than a crispy layer of french toast and a warm, pillowy middle. That’s the way I like my french toast, how bout you? Share with me how you like your french toast! hehe

Chocolate Brioche French Toast With Caramelised Banana (Adapted from Steamy Kitchen)

Caramelised Banana

113g unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 tbs water

2 ripe bananas, sliced in an angle

Steps :

1) In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it has completely melted. Add the dark brown sugar and stir until the sugar has completely melted into the butter.

2) Add the water and whisk till smoothly and well combined. Cover and set aside.

3) When the french toast is ready, add the bananas into the sauce and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Don’t cook it for more than that as the bananas will go all soft and lose their bite.

Chocolate Brioche French Toast

1 loaf chocolate brioche, sliced thickly (could use any kind of brioche or challah will work too)

3 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

1/2 whole milk

1/4 cup thickened cream

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 tbs caster sugar

2 tsp unsalted butter

Steps :

1) Whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl, add the milk, cream, vanilla paste and caster sugar and whisk till well combined and all the sugar have dissolved.

2) Dip the bread and turn it a few times to make sure the bread slices are well coated and soaked until they have been completely moistened by the custard.

3) Heat a non-stick pan on medium and melt a tsp of unsalted butter. Work in batches (I fried 4 at a time), cook each side of the bread until it’s golden brown. This will take about 3-4 minutes per side. Add the other tsp of butter when needed between batches.

4) To plate : Place and stack the french toast (mine was 2 layers, and 2 in each layer) then top each stack with the caramelised bananas and the sauce.

ENJOY! Have a great weekend! (: