THE PERFECTLY PERFECT BANANA BREAD

Ingredients:

1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

One cup white sugar

1/2 cup or 1/3 cup brown sugar (it can be either amount)

One stick or half cup of unsalted butter

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs at room temperature (you can put them in a bowl of tap water to bring them to room temperature)

2-3 mashed, ripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/3 cup of milk at room temperature

1/4 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Recipe:

First, oil and flour a bundt or a tube pan, and turn the oven on at 350 0r 175, depending on the kind of oven you have. Now, sift all the dry ingredients. Next, mix eggs, butter, oil and the two kinds of sugar in a bowl. Add the flour mixture, beat. Add mashed bananas and vanilla essence. Finally, add the milk and beat. If you’d like, you can also stir walnuts in the batter.  Do not beat too much as you are introducing a lot of air into the batter. Bake for about an hour. Check the bread with a tooth pick or a butter knife. If it comes out dry, you are in pretty good shape.

 

Note:

If you don’t have brown sugar, you can use extra white sugar. Brown sugar brings a richness to the flavor of the bread.

 

STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE

STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE (allrecipes.com)

 

Butter and Flour a 9X13 inch rectangular pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 or 175, depending on the type of oven you have.

 

Cake Ingredients:

2 Eggs at room temperature

One stick butter or half cup (softened)

One 8 ounce package Philadelphia cream cheese, it can a brand other than Kraft but it should be the American style cream cheese (softened)

I and ¼ cup of sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Half cup of milk at room temperature

One teaspoon almond extract

One teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Crumb Topping Ingrdients:

½ cup of flour

½ cup of sugar

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

¾ cup of chopped walnuts

½ stick of cold butter

 

First, sift all the dry ingredients. Few days ago,  I was watching a baking show  on a television channel. I have no clue what she was teaching, but what I did notice was that she added every dry ingredient directly to the mixing bowl.  This is a practice best avoided. Many times, if you do not sift all dry ingredients together, you will notice baking soda or powder concentrated in one area of your final baking product. What sifting does is it distributes all dry ingredients evenly. Now, cream together  butter, cream cheese, eggs (one by one) and sugar. Next, add the dry ingredients alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour. Add the two extracts, mix. Pour the batter in the pan.

Now take a ziplock bag, and  mix with all the ingredients for the crumb topping. The topping should be solid, butter should be solid too. Finally, add  or sprinkle the crumb topping on  top of the raw batter in the pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clear. This is a recipe from the baking/cooking  site allrecipes.com.  I cannot praise this recipe enough. It’s a spectacular recipe, and always wins fans. Additionally, it is fairly easy and quick to put together.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, eggs should be put in a bowl of tap water to bring them to room temperature. If you’d like butter to be softened, put it in a bowl and keep it in a sunny window or close to the stove. I don’t like microwaving butter as it will  turn the butter to liquid, and can affect  the final product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BETTER THAN HEAVEN BROWNIES

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 Butter  ½ Cup

Oil  ½ Cup

Eggs  3

White Sugar  1 and ½ Cup

Brown Sugar  ½ Cup

Flour  1 and ½ Cup

Baking Powder  1 teaspoon

Baking Soda  ½ teaspoon

Salt   ½ teaspoon

Cinnamon  ½ teaspoon

Cocoa Powder  3 tablespoons

Semi-sweet Chocolate  One 4 ounce bar

Vanilla  1 teaspoon

A splash of milk

 

 

RECIPE:

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Now oil  a 13 x 9 pan, or  use a bake release spray such as Baker’s Joy or any other spray. Set the pan aside. Sift together  all the dry ingredients and set those aside as well. Now mix the butter, oil, eggs, white sugar and brown sugar. Only mix for about 30-40 seconds, do not over mix. If you you don’t have brown sugar, you can just use white sugar. In the absence of brown sugar, reduce the quantity of white  sugarto 1 and ¾ cups. Now, add the dry ingredients to the mix. Again, beat for another 30-35 seconds.  Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a dry pan over another pan of hot water over stove. First,  boil water on top of the stove. Then add the chocolate chocolate bar in another, smaller pan, and put it on top of the boiling water. Chocolate cannot be melted right on top of the stove because it will burn and turn chunky. Add the melted chocolate to the batter with a spatula, and mix with the spatula. Add vanilla and a splash of milk. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, and check the brownies with a toothpick or a pin. It should come out as semi wet. Brownies can be amazing if under baked a bit, but over baked brownies are dry and nasty.

 

OPTIONAL:

A tablespoon of fine orange peel can be added, and it is a very good fit for the chocolate. However, everyone might not like it, especially kids.

 

 

 

OLD FASHIONED POUND CAKE


 

 

INGREDIENTS

One Cup Canola Oil

4 Eggs, at room temperature. Take eggs out of the refrigerator, and put them in a bowl full of tap water. This will move the temperature of the eggs faster to the desired room temperature.

One Cup Sugar

One and a half Cup Flour

Two teaspoons baking powder

One tablespoon liquid vanilla

Splash of milk

 

 

RECIPE

Heat the oven to 350F. Take a bundt pan or any ten-inch tube pan.  Spray the cake pan with any baking spray. If you do not have any baking spray, put a few drops of oil in the cake pan. Spread the drops of oil with the help of a paper towel or a brush. After oiling the pan, sprinkle flour over the oiled cake pan. Sift the flour and the baking powder together, put it aside. In a large bowl, mix the oil and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time and mix. Add the flour mixture to the batter. Finally add vanilla and a splash of milk. Now bake for about fifty minutes, or until the cake looks golden.

 

The credit for this recipe goes to a good friend of mine named Rozina Siddiqui. Not only is she a fantastic cook, but she is also a spectacular person. I am inspired by the way she approaches life. She brings a lot of positive energy with her presence.  This is one of my favorite recipes because it takes anywhere between 8-10 minutes to put together, and the result is superb. It will leave people asking for more, and the recipe.

OLD FASHIONED FLAN/PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

6 Eggs
Two cans of Condensed Milk (they are 7 ounces each)
3/4 cup of Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla

RECIPE

Take the sugar, melt it in a pan by itself and pour this molten sugar into a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and on some stoves it could be 190 Celsius. Fahrenheit is used mainly in the United States, and Celsius is used in England. Also for Gas Mark ovens, the setting would be at 5.

Open cans of condensed milk, pour into a mixing bowl. Now fill the same empty condensed milk cans with milk, and add to the condensed milk in the bowl. You don’t have to fill the two condensed milk cans with milk, you can fill one and a half empty cans with milk. Crack the eggs into the condensed bowl one by one, and add the vanilla. Mix this custard by a fork or a hand mixer, and then heat it gently on stove-top at slightly less than medium heat. Heat for about 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure that the eggs aren’t cooking. Pour the egg custard into the loaf pan with the molten sugar. Finally, take a larger dish, fill with hot water and put the loaf pan inside the hot water dish. Bake at 375 for about one hour. When you notice that the top is a nice caramel color, take the pudding out and cool it on a counter top. After it is cooled down, put it inside the refrigerator overnight or at-least 5-6 hours before serving.

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