Monday, 30 September 2013

Banana Cinnamon Rolls - 6 rolls

These are lovely soft yeast cinnamon buns with banana right in the dough. They are sticky and not too sweet with a slight banana flavour.  The best part is that they are a half batch which is perfect for a small group. So even if there are just two this is a nice recipe to make. Makes 6 rolls.

You will need:
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup = 1/2 a stick unsalted butter - room temperature/soft
  • 2 small bananas - squished with a fork (makes about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (the other half of the stick of butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup and a few drops of water if necessary
  • save 2 tbsp of filling and brush tops with a bit of melted butter  and dip or sprinkle extra cinnamon sugar on tops.

I always gather all my ingredients so that I don't forget something.

Step 1: in a small measuring cup heat milk and honey 25 seconds in microwave. Place into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add yeast and mix a few times. Let stand for 5 minutes to make sure yeast is activated.

Step 2: add egg, sour cream, bananas and vanilla. Mix for a few seconds. Add softened butter and mix again.

Step 3: add  1 cup of  flour and salt. Mix well.

Step 4: add 2nd cup of flour (reserving last 1/4 cup for the counter) Mix well.

Step 5: add the last 1/4 cup to the counter and turn out dough on to counter. Mix well. If you don't need all the flour don't use it all. You want to add enough flour so the dough is no longer sticky to the touch. The dough is a lovely soft dough when done.

Step 6: add to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Step 7: to prepare cinnamon filling place sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix. Leave the remaining 1/2 stick of butter in wrapper on counter until dough rises.

If you want to make a glaze then add icing sugar and maple syrup to a small bowl and mix. If you need to add a couple of drops of water to make it a thick but pourable consistency. (Cover with plastic and set aside.)

Step 8: once dough has doubled in size. Place a bit of flour on counter and turn out dough.

Step 9: gently roll out dough to a rectangle mine was 14 inches x 12 inches. Smear the butter over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle all the sugar except 2 tbsp evenly.

Step 10: roll up and slice in half. Then slice each half into 3. 

Carefully place each section into a buttered large muffin tin or silicone tray. 

Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour until doubled.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20-22 minutes. Remove and let cool in pan.

brush with a bit of melted butter and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar.

finish with glaze! EAT  while still warm. They are soft and fluffy and not too sweet.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Spicy Chicken Noodle Bowl

This is a great hearty soup on a cold night and you just keep adding things to the same pot until you have made a rich mushroom and spicy chicken broth with loads of crunchy vegetables. Try it next time instead of a package of those instant Rahmen noodles with that extra salty package of seasoning.

You will need:

  • 1 onion - chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast - chopped into small cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced fine
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp dry mushrooms -soaked in hot water and chopped fine
  • 1 fresh chili - chopped fine
  • 6 mushrooms - sliced
  • 1tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 10 Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 litre of chicken broth
  • instant noodles 2-3 sections
  • 2 spring onions - sliced fine
  • handful of sprouts
  • 6 finely sliced cabbage leaves
  • large handful of sliced fresh spinach
  • soy sauce to season 
  • cilantro to top
This recipe is perfect for two.

Step 1: start by slicing and chopping all your ingredients. I just make little piles of all my different vegetables and seasonings. Chop chicken breast into strips and then into small cubes.

Step 2: in a medium sauce pan add chopped onions and olive oil. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until just starting to brown.

Step 3: add chicken, garlic, ginger and salt and pepper. Cook another 5-7 minutes to let meat start to brown.

Step 4: add chili and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add chopped dry and fresh mushroom. Cook another 5 minutes until most of the water cooks out and the mushrooms start to brown around the edges. (Save the water from the mushrooms to add in a minute)

Step 5: add Chinese five spice, szechuan peppercorns. Stir well and cook in oil for 1 minute. Then add water from the dry mushrooms and chicken broth.

Step 6: add noodles to cook for the last 5 minutes. I used 2 sections because my soup was for two people.

Step 7: add thinly sliced cabbage. some spinach and spring onions to the bottom of each bowl. The hot soup will soften the spinach and the cabbage stays nice and crunchy.

Step 8: top with more spinach some sprouts, a few more spring onions and some cilantro. Add a slice of lime for a nice contrast and serve.

when you mix it all up you have a ton of contrasting flavours and textures.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Banana Rum Brownies

I wanted to make some brownies that were a bit different from the same old and so I decided to add some bananas and rum because they always go well with chocolate and these brownies were the result. A rich chocolate cake with chewy bites of banana and a slight undertone of rum. 

You will need:
  • 3 tbsp rum 
  • 1 small banana - chopped in small dice
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup ) chopped unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil - I used Lucero chocolate Olive oil - but you can use any fruity oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips to top (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

Step 1: in a 9 inch square pan butter sides and add a sheet of parchment paper for easy removal. Butter and flour all sides of the parchment well, tapping out excess flour. Set aside.

Step 2: chop a ripe banana and add to rum - I have made vanilla rum by splitting vanilla beans into my rum but, any rum will work fine.

Step 3: in a small bowl add semi-sweet chocolate and butter pieces. Melt in microwave for 40 seconds, stir and melt another 20. Remove from microwave and stir until most of the chocolate has melted.

Step 4: add chocolate, brown sugar and olive oil to a large bowl, Mix well. Add eggs and mix well again.

Step 5: add flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, bananas and rum. Mix well.

Step 6: pour into prepared pan and top with chocolate chips (or you could add some nuts if you prefer)  Bake exactly 30 minutes to get a nice brownie with a bit of a gooey center.

Let cool then you can lift out brownies with parchment paper and slice.