Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Banana Chips aka Kerepek Pisang

It's already the end of the month. This means that it is almost the end of the LTU event which I'm hosting. So my last entry for the event is about my attempt at making the addictive Banana Chips, also known as Kerepek Pisang.

Kerepek pisang brings back memories of my younger days... To supplement the family income, my parents made kerepek pisang at home & supply it to shops & snack stalls at the market. My mum would use a huge kuali into which bottles of oil were poured. She would fry the chips while my father & I helped to pack them. Now, my mum still fries the chips but only for home consumption. 

My family loves snacking on kerepek pisang but we usually just buy the ready made ones since it's so widely available in shops & markets.  Last week's attempt was really my first time frying the chips myself. I wanted to use pisang tanduk but since I could not find any green ones, I decided to use pisang kepok/nipah instead. I think pisang tanduk  tastes so much better.

Update (5 April 2015):
I managed to find some green pisang tanduk on Friday. Below is a shot of the pisang tanduk chips. Not only do the bright yellow chips look prettier but also taste better! 

Banana Chips a.k.a. Kerepek Pisang

bananas (young & green)
vegetable oil for deep frying

  1. Peel the bananas. Set aside.
  2. Mix salt & water. Set aside.
  3. Heat up the oil in a deep frying pan or kuali.
  4. Using a handheld vegetable slicer, slice bananas directly into the hot oil.
  5. Sprinkle a few tsps of salt solution onto the sliced bananas.
  6. Fry until crispy.
  7. Leave to cool completely. Then store in an airtight container.
  1. I've not included the amount for the ingredients used as I think you can just estimate it.
  2. I used pisang kepok/nipah. You may also use pisang tanduk, another preferred type of banana when making banana chips. I prefer the taste of pisang tanduk.
  3. The amount of salt & water needed will depend on your preference & the amount of bananas.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Pandan Banana Chiffon Cake

I've baked banana chiffon cake a couple of times using a recipe on the net but my attempts were not very successful. I planned to bake one using a different recipe this month for the LTU (Banana) event. So when I saw Evelyn of My Baking Workshop posted her marbled Pandan Banana Chiffon Cake recently, I felt like baking it myself immediately! I managed to bake it a few days later, not until I adjusted the recipe to fit a smaller chiffon pan, the biggest that I have. 

I was quite anxious as to how my cake would turn out this time. It rose to only about 3/4 of the pan after 45 minutes.  That made me worried, so much so, I did not wait for the cake to cool down completely before slicing it. I was very relieved the cake turned out spongy & moist. The banana flavour was just nice, not overwhelming. However, I found the pandan flavour a little too faint even though I used concentrated pandan juice. I suppose I still need to add a little pandan extract as adding more pandan juice may affect the texture of the cake. Overall, this is a very good recipe and my family & I love it  a lot! I think I'm going to bake it again soon. Hehe...

Pandan Banana Chiffon Cake
5 egg yolks
85g icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
90g fresh milk
100g corn oil (I used canola.)
175g self-raising flour

75g banana, mashed (1 large banana.)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp concentrated pandan juice (or 3/4 tsp pandan paste plus 6g fresh milk)
a few drops of green colouring

5 egg whites
90g caster sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (I didn't use.)

  1. Preheat oven at 170 deg C. Prepare a 10-inch chiffon pan. Do NOT grease or line the pan.
  2. Combine egg yolks, icing sugar & salt in a bowl. Beat until well combined (I used a hand whisk.). Add in milk & oil. Mix until well blended. Fold in flour & mix well. Divide the batter into 2 equal parts in separate bowls.
  3. Add in mashed banana & vanilla extract into 1 part of the above batter. Add pandan juice & colouring into another. Set aside.
  4. In a dry & clean bowl, beat egg whites & cream of tartar until bubbles appear. Add in sugar bit by bit & beat  until stiff peak. Divide the meringue into 2 equal parts.
  5. Fold in 1 part of meringue into the banana batter & the other part into the pandan batter. Fold in the meringue in thirds.
  6. Pour half of the banana batter into the pan, followed by half of the pandan batter. Then pour the rest of the banana batter, followed by the rest of the pandan batter. Bake for about 45 minutes. Adjust your oven accordingly as every oven is different.
  7. Once cooked, remove from oven & immediately invert pan until completely cool. To remove cake, run a spatula or knife around the side & bottom of pan. Slice using a serrated knife.
Adapted from My Baking Workshop.

Notes & modifications:
  1. I adjusted the recipe to a 5-egg recipe instead of using 8 eggs as per the original recipe.
  2. I used a 10-inch chiffon pan & the cake rose to about 3/4 of it. You may use a smaller pan for a taller cake, perhaps an 8-inch pan.
  3. If you are using pandan juice, I would advise you to also add a bit (1/4 tsp, perhaps) of pandan extract for stronger pandan flavour.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Banana Scones

I made these light & tender banana scones this afternoon. The bits of chopped banana & chocolate chips are great additions to the lightly-sweetened scones. A great recipe if you are thinking of something simple yet delightful.

Banana Scones

1 cup self-raising flour
1 1⁄2 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
3 tablespoons butter, cold (I used 45g.)
4 tablespoons low-fat milk (or light cream)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup banana, diced (about half a medium banana)
1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon powder. Cut butter into a few chunks and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips.
  3. Mix milk and vanilla in a small glass. Pour about 4 tablespoons into the flour mixture and stir until the mixture starts to come together. Add the banana chunks and chocolate chips. Continue to stir, adding more milk if necessary, just until dough comes together. Do not over mix.
  4. Pat dough into a disk about 1inch thick. Cut using a cookie cutter and place each piece on baking sheet. Brush the top with some milk (optional).
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until light gold.
  6. Cool on wire rack or eat warm. These scones are best the day they are made.
Yields 8 pieces.
Adapted from swirlycinnacakes @ food.com.

Notes & modifications:
  1. The original recipe uses all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp baking powder.
  2. I used cinnamon powder instead of ginger powder as stated in the original recipe.
  3. I added the chocolate chips.
  4. You can also cut the patted dough into four sections with a knife instead of using a cookie cutter.

I'm linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up (March-2015 - BANANA) event organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by me, Faeez of BitterSweetSpicy.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Banana Chip Cookies

This is one of the many posts I still had in my folder. I thought now would be a good time to neaten it up & post it here since I'm co-hosting the LTU event this month. 

I don't remember why I wanted to bake these cookies.... I think it was because I wanted to use the whole wheat pastry flour which I bought from Mustaffa. That superstore! It always makes me buy things I don't plan to buy! Haha! No worries, you can just use plain flour instead.

Another great thing about this recipe is, it uses banana chips which happen to be my favourite snack. Just one suggestion, don't over bake the cookies as the soft ones are more flavourful than the crunchy ones.

Banana Chip Cookies

1 & 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup (toasted) wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter - I used 125g.
1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar) - I used 3/4 cup
2 large egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used pure vanilla paste.)
2/3 cup banana chips, loosely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Note: If you can't find whole wheat pastry flour, regular all-purpose white flour will work. If you can't find wheat germ, substitute an equal amount of flour.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F, racks in middle/upper middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, or stand mixer, beat the butter until lightly and fluffy, then beat in the sugar until it is the consistency of a thick frosting. Beat in the eggs one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times along the way (important!). Stir in the vanilla. Add the reserved flour mix in two increments, stirring/mixing a bit between each addition (but not too much). By hand, stir in the banana chips, chocolate chips and walnuts - mix just until everything is evenly distributed.
  4. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart and bake for about 7 - 8 minutes, until barely golden on top and bottom, for soft cookies or about 15 minutes for crunchy cookies. Cool on racks.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Light Fruit Cake

Sometime last week, my husband asked me if I could bake a fruit cake. Not the Steamed Fruit Cake which I usually made for Hari Raya, but just a baked version. So after looking through some books & websites for a suitable recipe, I decided to use the one from Joy of Baking.

I love the look of the cake... it rises very nicely & that creates a crack on top, which I like. The outer crust has a lovely colour & the colourful fruits make the sliced cake look very pretty. Having said that, I'm not a big fan of dried & candied fruit, so I'm not really excited with how the cake tastes. I took a small slice & thought that there was just too much fruit & that made the cake way too sweet. My husband, on the other hand, thinks the cake is good as it has good amount of fruits & is not too sweet. I guess, that's all that matters.... he likes it!

I made some minor changes to the recipe. I omitted the alcohol, reduced the sugar by 20g  & used the ready-mixed fruits in a box instead of buying the fruits separately. I also coated the fruits with some flour. This is supposed to prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom as the cake is baking. I also mixed in the fruits after the flour as I didn't want to end up over mixing the fruits which may also cause the fruits to sink. If you're a fan of fruit cake, I think you're going to like it. So, why don't you bake it!

Light Fruit Cake

250g mixed fruits (candied mixed peel, candied red &/or green cherries & dark raisins)
20g plain flour
50g ground almond (almond meal/flour)
170g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
120g unsalted butter, room temperature
80g granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt (Omit if using salted butter.)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
Zest of one small lemon (outer skin)
60 ml milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees with the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line & grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mixed fruits & 20g plain flour & mix well until all the fruits are coated with flour. Set aside.
  3. In a different bowl, whisk together the rest of flour, ground almond & baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, salt & sugar until light and fluffy. 
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the extracts & lemon zest. 
  6. Beat in half the flour mixture just until incorporated. Then beat in the milk and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  7. Add the mixed fruits & beat until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and, if desired, decorate the top of the cake with sliced or flaked almonds. Bake for about 50 -70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If you find the cake is browning too much, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.) 
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. The cake does benefit from being stored a day or two before serving, as this softens the outer crust and allows the flavours to mingle.
Makes one loaf.
Adapted from recipe by Joy of Baking.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Little Thumbs Up Event - March 2015

Finally, after waiting for more than a year, it's now my turn to host 'Little Thumbs Up' event for this month. Yes, it was more than one year ago when I emailed Zoe & expressed my interest to host this event. That's how popular this event is! Thank you Zoe & Mui Mui for organising this event & giving me & many other bloggers the opportunity to share our experiences through it. I'm excited & anxious as this is my first time hosting a blogger event!

I've chosen what I think is one of the most amazing fruits on earth! It's BANANA for this month's theme! We all know the long list of nutritional benefits of this fruit. Besides that, it is also cheap & is available all year round. Where food preparation is concerned, banana is so versatile that it's not only eaten raw, it's also used as an ingredient in so many dishes or desserts. That's what this event is all about.... we're going to prepare something using bananas! So bloggers, come on! Let's go bananas with BANANA!

What you should do to take part in this event:
  1. You need to prepare any type of food that has banana in it! You may cook, bake, steam, fry or simply use raw bananas  to prepare your product. 
  2. Blog about what you've prepared between 1 & 31 March 2015. Please indicate 'This post is linked to the Little Thumbs Up (March 2015 - BANANA) event organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Faeez of BitterSweetSpicy.' in your post. Then link your post to the thumbnail link (the blue frog) provided at the bottom of this post.
  3. The recipe that you use can be your own, from cookbooks, magazines, websites or any other sources. Please indicate the source of the recipe & if it's from a  website, please provide the link.
Please note the following:
  1. Your submission must be a current and new post uploaded in the month of March 2015. Blog entries posted before this month are not accepted. 
  2. You may submit as many posts as you like by linking  them to the thumbnail link for this event. 
  3. Please feel free to display the "Little Thumbs Up" badge, as shown below, in your post. You may also get the badge from here.

I know you would not run out of ideas of what to make with bananas, but if you want to try the recipes that I've shared in my blog before, take a look here. You may also take a look at the entries submitted for this event by clicking on the frog.

Finally, please click  here to take a look at all the entries for February's event - Cocoa, which was hosted by Grace of Life can be simple.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Bingka Pisang

My family spent the third day of the Lunar New Year with my husband's family at the beach... I prepared nasi lemak & made Bingka Pisang for dessert. Bingka Pisang is a traditional Malay cake which has bananas as one of the main ingredients. It's very easy to make & it's quite unlikely that you will go wrong with this recipe.

I've adapted the recipe shared by Dzana of Inspirasiku. She used only white sugar but I decided to add gula Melaka (palm sugar) & reduced the white sugar. The cake was quite rich as both coconut & evaporated milk were used. You may want to use regular milk instead of evaporated milk for a mildly-rich cake. I find the sweetness level to be just nice. :)

After cutting the cake, I found it to be too soft. I wasn't sure if that's because I had cut it when it's still warm. Anyway, I didn't want to take the chance, so I baked it again (I can't remember how long more.). That's why the sliced piece in the picture below is slightly burnt. Overall, this is a great recipe, so bake it if you have a gathering coming up & lots of banana hanging in the kitchen!

Before I leave you with the recipe, I would like to let you know that BitterSweetSpicy is hosting 'Little Thumbs Up' event for March & the theme is Banana. This is a blogger event where bloggers prepare dishes/desserts based on the theme for the month, post the recipes & pictures in their blogs & link the posts to the event linkup. So if you are a blogger, whip up something using bananas, blog about it & link the post to this event. Go to this post for more details. If you are not a blogger, you can also support us by visiting the posts that are linked to this event. Thank you.

Bingka Pisang

100g gula Melaka (palm sugar)
2 tbsp water
1 bunch of ripe bananas (I used 8 large pieces.)
140g (1 cup) plain flour
2 tbsp fine sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter - melted
1/2 tsp salt
Note: If you want to use just fine sugar, replace the gula Melaka & 2 tbsp fine sugar with 3/4 cup of fine sugar.

  1. Combine gula Melaka (palm sugar) & water in a pot & cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from fire & strain the syrup. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mash the bananas & set aside.
  3. Combine the rest of ingredients & blend until well mixed.
  4. Add in gula Melaka syrup & mashed banana. Mix well.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 8x8-inch pan (I used a bundt pan.)
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for about 1 hour.
  7. Leave to cool completely before cutting.
Recipe adapted from Inspirasiku.

I'm linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up (March-2015 - BANANA) event organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by me, Faeez of BitterSweetSpicy.
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