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I don’t seldom post my recipe twice or more on the blog.

Hmmm actually, i don’t even repeat most recipes given the innumerable of recipes out there waiting for me to undertake.

But when i do, like today, it means just 3 things — it’s easy, it’s good and it’s easy.

Whenever i think of banana cake, this recipe will come to mind. But last week, i was itching for something more dramatic looking hence, this cake but with more layers and the chocolate mousse that probably worth 5000 calories? My only consolation? The banana cake is much healthier than the norms because of the yogurt substitute!

Of course, you can always bake the simpler but more practical version like i often do, which is excellent for breakfast or tea time.

I didn’t have that much of bananas left after this cake was baked, which explains the not-so-uniformed-looking caramelized banana slices on top. :P

Triple Layer Chocolate Banana Yogurt Cake

** good for 7″ x 3

banana yogurt cake

4 oz unsalted butter

3 oz yogurt, plain

5 oz caster sugar

2 tbsp milk

2 eggs

9 tiny bananas, mashed

8 oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

a handful of walnut, toasted, broken into small pieces

Method

1. cream sugar and butter till light and fluffy.

2. add eggs, 1 by 1.

3. add bananas.

4. stir in the sifted flour, together with baking soda and baking powder + walnut, alternating with yogurt and 1 tbsp milk at a time.

5. bake at 180 for 25-35 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

chocolate mousse

  • 500g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 500ml single (pouring) cream, whipped
  • 3 tbsp rum, optional

To make the chocolate mousse, place the chocolate and vanilla seeds in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Fold the chocolate mixture through the cream until well combined. Spoon the mousse over as filling and cover the cake with the remaining of the mousse there after. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.


To caramelized banana

Slice the bananas and arrange them on the tray. Sprinkle some sugar on top of these slices and torch them immediately. Arrange them neatly on top of the cake before serving.

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Verdict :

Be it straight out from the fridge when the chocolate is all set and a little hard, or when it’s out for 10 minutes from the fridge when the chocolate is a little soft and chocolate-y, it tasted superb either way! The chocolate, the crunchy walnut bits and the heavy banana cake.. you can’t quite resist this one i tell ya!

But if i’m made to pick, i’ll opt for straight out from the fridge — not too chocolate-y and i’m huge on chocolate truffle. ;)

* This cake is FoodGawker’s Most Favourited Cake!

You know i love Indian food.

And then you also know i love grains and pulses.

Bet it is no surprise that one of these days, my blog entry features Dhal, (some call it Dal), aye?

So here it is, one of my monthly must eat at home, Dhal.

Initially, i wanted to make some naan (pardon my horrible dinner pictures) to go with it. But because i was pressing for time, i ended up grabbing some crusty bread off the shelves instead.

Nevertheless, the deliciousness of the dhal isn’t at all affected. Well, maybe just a litttttleee bit, but the highlight is the dhal, not naan, though devouring both together would be awesome.

Oh, did you see my new kitchen ware?

My Indian neighbour got me this Masala Dabba from India when she went home for visiting in December! How sweet of her!  She is the same person who helped me out when i was cooking biryani the other time :)

In return, i baked her David Lebovitz’s Banana and Chocolate Chunk Upside Down Cake which she and her family couldn’t stop thinking about ever since i gave some to her the first time i baked it. *smile* Isn’t it nice to have great neighbours? I’m all for kampung spirit and luckily, most of my neighbours are in the same school of thought!

Anyway, if you love Dhal, or plan to eat healthy … this super easy dish is a must!

Sometimes when i don’t feel like cooking up a storm, this IS our dinner. Heee!

Dhal

(by Paul Gayler, The Cook’s Book)

170g split red lentils, rinsed
2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 onion, finely chopped
450ml water
400g canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp ground coriander
curry leaves

Method
1. Put the lentils in a saucepan. Add the chilies, turmeric, onion and water and bring to boil. Partly cover the pan and simmer, without stirring for 30-35 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Stir in tomatoes.

2. Heat the ghee in a small pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and dry over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to the lentils and cook, stirring until thick. Season.

Enjoy! :)

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Submitting this to Muhibbah Monday to Suresh at 3hungrytummies.

This was baked specially for my Malay neighbor who is extremely kind and trusting.

And the other loaf is purely for my own indulgence. :P

I’m someone who cannot bake something and not taste it. I need to know how my end product turns out.. and importantly, after all the slaving in the kitchen, i need to reward myself a little, you know. Hee!

I bought this particular book some months ago, probably more than half a year since and apart from flipping through it, i haven’t baked a single thing from the book.

So it was about time, i reckon and used it i did.

I love the book.

I love the clear instructions.

And i love the how my cakes turned out.

I’ve baked many types of banana breads and cakes for the past few years and this one is definitely a keeper. I like the simplicity and yet, tasty. Well, for the record, it did blow the neighbor away because we received a lovely text just 5 minutes after we sent it over. Apparently, the weight conscious neighbor had 3 slices at 1 go!

I like how the bitterness from the Dutch cocoa powder plays down with the natural sweetness of the bananas. Not sure if you’re anything like me, but i really love slicing marble cakes, for each and every slice of the cake is beautiful and different in their own way!

A lot of times, I’d go ‘oooh‘ at a few and ‘hmpphhh‘ at another for their patterns. Picking up the slice that i am gonna devour can cause quite a bit of a ruckus sometimes because i would be torn between wanting one with more chocolate or the one with less or the slice that is most beautiful of all. :P

Chocolate-Banana Marble Bread

(adapted from the Art & Soul of Baking – Sur La Table)

  • 2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2ounces) sour cream, at room temperature – feel free to use cream or buttermilk!
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) unsifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) boiling water, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
  • 3/4 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center.  Lightly coat the loaf pan with melted butter or high-heat canola-oil spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the long edge of both sides of the pan.  Peel the bananas and place them in the bowl of the food processor.  Process to a smooth puree.  (Alternately, mash them in a bowl using a fork.)  Measure out 1 cup of the puree and transfer it to a medium bowl, discarding the rest of the puree or saving it for another use.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and whisk just until blended.  Set aside.

Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together into a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend well.  Set aside.  Place the cocoa powder in the small bowl.  Pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir until it forms a smooth paste – it should run thickly off the spoon.  If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of boiling water and stir again.  Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until the butter is very light, almost white in color, 4 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.  Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, completely blending in each addition before adding the next.  About halfway through  the eggs, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with the spatula, then continue adding the rest of the eggs.  Scrape down the bowl again.

With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add one-third of the flour mixture.  Just as it is barely blended and you can still see a few patches of flour, add half the banana mixture.  Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixtures ending with the flour.  Scrape down the bowl and finish blending the batter by hand.

Transfer half of the batter to the second medium bowl. Add the cocoa paste and, using the rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly blend it into the batter.

Drop alternating spoonfuls of dark and light batters into the prepared pan, then marbleize by using a spoon to gently turn the batter over in 3 places down the length of the pan.

Bake the banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.  When cool, remove from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and cut slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife.

Makes 1 Loaf

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