Category Archives: Quick breads

{Round-up} Aspiring Bakers #22: Lightened Up Cakes (August 2012)

Yup! Its September already! Thank you to all the Aspiring Bakers who participated in the August theme and I hope that you have grasped a couple of healthier tips to make your cakes for the health of you and your families. 😀 I received a total of 24 entries. Hope you enjoy them and use them as references to create healthier bakes! 😀

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Soy Milk Muffins by Sharon of Sweet Surrender

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Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake by Jess of Bakericious

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Healthilicious Pumpkin Cake by Cecilia Koh of BeautyMe Loves Recipes 

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Sugar-Reduced Berries Yogurt Cupcake by Hankerie

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Wholemeal Cake by Ann of Anncoo Journal

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Banana Greek Yogurt Cake by Wendyinkk of Table for 2….. or More

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Mini lime marmalade chiffon cake by Cheah of No-Frills Recipes

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Apple Cranberry Olive Oil Cake by Jess of Bakericious

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Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake by Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure

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Banana Bread/Cake by Sassezz of Sassezz’s Kitchen

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Orange Swiss Roll by Hankerie

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Coffee Soufflé Cake by Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure

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Fruit and Nut loaf by Baking Tray

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Lower-calorie Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Green Tea Cream by Mich of Piece of Cake

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Banana Cake by Man of Sappy Tea Flour

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Vegemite Fruity Macarons by Hankerie

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Orange Muffin without Butter by Ann of Anncoo Journal

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Gluten-free banana cake by Annadina of Homemade Heartmade

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Vanilla Swiss Roll with Vanilla Crème Mousseline by Vivian Pang of Vivian Pang Kitchen

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Steam chocolate moist cake by Abbymonster

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Gluten-free Blueberries & White Chocolate Muffins by Hankerie

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Guilt Free Decadent Marbled Banana Bread by Qi Ting of A Dessert Diet

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Pandan Soufflé Cake by Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure

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Almost Fat Free Fudge Brownies by Vivian Pang of Vivian Pang Kitchen

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Gluten Free Apple Cornmeal Upside Down Cake by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake

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Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake

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Low Fat Banana Loaf with Berries by Sammie of Sweet Samsations

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For the next Aspiring Bakers event, check this Aspiring Bakers #23: Desserts on a plate (September 2012)

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Guilt Free Decadent Malted Marbled Banana Bread

Good ol’ banana bread. With swirls of malt. And studded with chocolate chips. Topped with crumble. A banana bread really can’t get better than this. That its low fat is just a bonus. 

The recipe for the banana bread/cake base is from: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/02/polka-dot-banana-bread/

I changed it by:

  1. Using sugar free maple syrup instead of agave or pure maple syrup
  2. omitting the 1 stevia packet
  3. using 1 cup cake flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour instead of 2 cups spelt flour 

The other changes, like marbling the bread/cake with milo batter are given in the following picture.

The ‘milo truffle’ mixture mentioned can be found here.

Recipe for milk crumbs was adapted from here.

I am submitting my post to Aspiring Bakers #22: Lightened Up Cakes (August 2012) hosted by Qi Ting of A Dessert Diet.

Single Serving Cookie Cake (Reduced Fat, Vegan & Whole Wheat)

It’s time for you to enjoy your cookie cake.

It’s literally a cake… that tastes surprisingly like a giant cookie. 

Its unfortunate that my brain tends to work in such an unfashionable manner. A cookie cake that comes a tad too late. My apologies.

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A cookie cake for you and you only! The recipe can be ‘bent’ to fit your liking. If you like fluffy cakes (as seen in the pictures), up the baking powder to 1/4 teaspoon. For a chewier and denser cookie cake, follow the recipe.

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Single Serving Cookie Cake

No. of servings: 1

Adapted from Maybe Just One More

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

1/3 cup (42g) whole wheat flour
a little less than 1/10 tsp baking powder (about a big pinch) make sure the amounts are substantial
a little less than 1/20 tsp baking soda (about a small pinch) make sure the amounts are substantial
small pinch salt
4 tsp(20g) cold reduced fat margarine, room temperature
1 tbsp + 1/3 tsp (15g) dark brown sugar
4/5 tbsp (10g) sugar
1 tbsp applesauce
1/3 tsp pure vanilla extract

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Freeze, than chop into small chunks
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp water

OR 

use 20g semi- sweet chocolate chips instead

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Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F/180°C. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter and sugars in another bowl until barely combined with a fork. Add vanilla and applesauce, mixing until combined. Mix in dry ingredients and maple-syrup-cocoa-powder chunks . You should have a very stiff, lightly sticky dough. If needed, add another teaspoon of flour.

Spread mixture in mould. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Take the cookie-cakes out of the oven before you think they look done, when the outsides are lightly browned and the insides are mostly done. Cool completely and cut into wedges.

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*Note: knead/mix as little as you can.

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You probably want to know how many calories this has.

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Oh yes! Cookie cake! You know you want it! 

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To add-on quickly, I did my FIRST Daring Bakers Challenge! My sourdough came out to dense (I was too tired to let it rise longer… baked it at 2am)

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Tasted pretty good though! I ate it with some maple-syrup-peanut-butter (better than PB which I’m not too big a fan of)

Mix:

  • maple syrup
  • peanut butter
  • water
till desired consistency and sweetness achieved. Easy peasy!

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PS: I’m looking for Guest Bloggers! You can write on any topic related to health-and-wellness or anything about food or recipes of course! No other limitations. Contact me at qiting93@hotmail.com please! 😀 😀
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Marbled Pound Cake with Perfected Mock ‘Buttercream’ (Whole Wheat, Low Fat & w Vegan option)

What happened on New Year’s eve?

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I:

  • Watched 3 hours of Lizzie McGuire while waiting for Show Luo to magically appear on my television screen. Yes, I’m on a ‘Lizzie McGuire’ streak right now. Season 2 already, by the way.
  • Watched a giant beetle crawl over the television screen but couldn’t pick up enough courage to grab the only heavy object in the discinity– my newly bought book– to kill that creepy thing.
  • Shook my dad continuously for 5 minutes until my arms felt like they’d break off so that he could  probably kill the creepy thing. (I ain’t the only one afraid of being in close proximity to a living organism with a gross hard exoskeleton)

Note: did not work. Should try pouring water over him. But that would mean I have to clean up the mess. Maybe I should try my uncles’ method i.e. pour salt into his mouth. Not a good idea either. Dad has high blood pressure among other things. Got it! Chilli. He’ll kill me, which would be illegal so he probably wouldn’t…

  • Drank 3 cups of lemonade and 3 cups of barley water.
  • Wondered if I’m gonna die the next day. You know, 2012? Maybe not. I’m still alive.

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I decided to make my first pound cake today.

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It was yummy.

Take a look.

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What you need to look out for especially in this recipe is my perfected Dairy-Free, low fat, low sugar buttercream that’s pretty darn delicious thanks to a magical ingredient called PEANUT FLOUR! So its basically a peanut butter chocolate buttercream. That holds its shape!

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Marbled Pound Cake with Perfected Mock ‘Buttercream’

No. of servings: 10

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

For Cake
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Based on  this Recipe.
Which was adapted from Alice Medrich’s Chocolate and The Art of Low Fat Desserts
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  • 1 1/2 cups/ 171 grams cake flour
  • 1/2 cup/ 70 grams whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup/ 60 grams sugar
  • 2/3 cup/ 140 grams sugar
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white, stirred (vegan: 1 cup minus 1 1/2 tbsp silken tofu puree)
  • 5 Tablespoons/ 45 grams low fat sprea(note: this is vegan)
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt (vegan: 1/2 tsp lemon juice + enough soy milk to make 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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For Mock Buttercream
  • 3 tbsp/ 1.5 oz fat free or low fat cream cheese  (vegan: use tofutti OR more low fat spread)
  • 1/4 cup low fat spread
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup/27 g powdered sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp cake flour
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Directions

Note that a hand mixer can be used in place of the stand mixer for this recipe.

For cake:
Have all ingredients at room temp. Preheat oven to 180ºC /35oºF with rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray 8-10 cup tube pan with cooking spray.

Bowl 1: Use a whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together. Note: because whole wheat flour is used, there are some bran flakes left in the sift. Don’t worry. Just dump them into the sifted mixture and mix well. Set aside.

Bowl 2: In a small bowl combine the espresso powder, cocoa and 1/3 cup of the sugar with 3 tbsp of water. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Bowl 3: In another small bowl, whisk whole egg with egg white. Set aside. (skip for vegan version just measure out tofu in a bowl)

Mixing bowl: Cut the butter into pieces and place in an electric mixing bowl. Beat for 1 minute to soften. Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes.Dribble eggs (vegan: pureed tofu)  in slowly, about 1 T at a time, beating constantly for about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in half of the yogurt (vegan: soured soy milk). On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour. On high speed, beat in the rest of the yogurt (vegan: soured soy milk) and the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the remaining flour.

Bowl 5: Measure out 1 1/2 cups of yogurt batter (vegan: soured soy milk) and mix into the cocoa mixture. Set aside.

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Use a large spoon to fill the bottom of the pan with about three quarters of the white batter placed in dollops. Cover the white batter with dollops of chocolate batter. Top the chocolate batter with small dollops of white batter spaced so that the chocolate batter shows through. Use a table knife to marble the batters together with a circular or zigzag motion; be careful not to blend them too much. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.

Cool for 10-15 minutes on a rack. Unmold the cake. Cool completely before serving or storing.

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For mock buttercream:
Sift dry ingredients together. Whip cream cheese and low fat spread until evenly mixed.  Add in dry ingredients and all remaining ingredients and mix till a thick ‘buttercream’ is formed. If mixture is still not thick enough, add a tbsp of cake flour at a time. 

This versatile frosting can be used to frost shapes like roses and stuff 😀

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Assembly:

Slice the cake into half. Spread filling on bottom layer and cover with top layer. Frost cake as you wish.

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I love looking at the bottom of the pound cake– to me, its what makes the pound cake.

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It doesn’t exactly fall into the category of low calorie desserts. But it  is  a reduced calorie food. So go ahead and have 2 pieces. Or more

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Love ya! Enjoy your first few days of 2012. Or if you believe so, the beginning of the last days… please don’t freak out now.

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Best Muffins Ever! (w Vegan option, also low fat and whole wheat)

This girl hates shopping… for clothes. 

Hours of absolute boredom.

Feet swollen.

And 500 bucks later, the lady of the house got me enough clothes to fill up my wardrobe (which she had so nicely emptied out). 

Feigned enthusiasm got back genuine enthusiasm from the lady of the house who happily declared how ugly I was and how desperately in need of new clothes I was to be saved from a pending future of spinsterhood (thanks, mum. Nice save). For 4 consecutive days, she bored me (while I literally finished 2 novels) with talks about what clothes she wanted me to wear (which would actually sound a wee bit better if those clothes were at least pleasing to my eyes) that I had no intention of wearing (in this case, clothes mums wear, the ones bought were better thank god) and how I should wear makeup (no way, did you know that the colour of some lip glosses come from the shells of beetles or some scary insect’s name I was too grossed out to remember?) and high heels (I’m not good at balancing, so, no, to avoid my collection of blue-blacks from growing in numbers).

That’s not to say I’m very angry with my mum. I’m annoyed, definitely. I do appreciate her effort (though I’m just her very fat barbie doll). I just do not appreciate clothes shopping. I hate shopping for clothes. 

However, as much as I dislike clothes- shopping and fashion talks, just to please my mum, I’m sort of trying not to show my unhappiness too much though I can’t help but wonder why I’m undergoing continuous torture first from exams now from these boring shopping trips. I’ll wear those nice clothes. I’ll try to be the girl who dresses like a princess (but I’ll never be a Princess because Prince William got married to Kate Middleton… just kidding ;-) the guy’s too old for me :-) ) that every mum wants but my mum didn’t get. Maybe that’s why she said I couldn’t get highlights, like I’ve dreamt of having since I was 11. After all, princesses don’t have highlights. At least they don’t have purple highlights…

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Me: Can I get blue highlights?

Mum: No.

Me: Can I get purple highlights?

Mum: No.

Me: Yellow highlights?

Mum: No.

Me: Blonde?

Mum: No.

Me: Brown?

Mum: That’s the colour of your hair.

Me: No its not…How ’bout black?

Mum: It doesn’t make any difference.

Me: So… purple???

Mum: ignores me and changes the topic to what clothes she wants me to try.

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Awesome.

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Wait a sec. I’m 18. I need no permission.

So…I’m thinking blonde highlights, or auburn. Take a vote?

But I really really want blue. 😦

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Auburn. I don’t own my own home you know. 

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Yesterday, my aunt gave us some really delicious muffins. They had glossy tops that were a little crunchy when freshly baked. They had a buttery smell which somehow reminded me of cream cheese. I searched the web and saw that those were the best muffins in Singapore.  Desperate to make a copycat, I searched the internet for muffin-making-tips and came up with this recipe!

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The results were suprisingly good! My dad said it had the perfect ratio of ingredients, and perfect level of sweetness, and was even better than those ‘best muffins’, which was a rare statement coming from my dad, considering that he has no sweet tooth at all. Needless to say, my mum and I loved them too. 

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These muffins have a fragrant buttery smell and perfect muffin tops that have a perfect crunch when freshly baked. They also have a perfect crumb. No one would guess they are low fat and whole wheat!

These are the new ‘best muffins’ and the only muffin recipe you’ll ever need. However, please consume within the first day of baking because I can’t guarantee the taste the next day.

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Best Muffins Ever

No. of servings: 9

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

Dry ingredients
  • 141g/ 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 68g/ 1/2 cup White Whole Wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp mini semi sweet chocolate chips or any ingredient you want
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For Creaming
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter/margarine/ low fat spread (this is vegan!)
  • 1 cup/110g caster sugar
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Liquid ingredients
  • 1 egg (vegan: 1tbsp ground flax seeds simmered in 3tbsp water)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk/ (mix 3/4cup-1tbsp  soy milk with 1tbsp lemon juice or vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes before using)
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
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Optional: 2 tbsp chocolate rice + 2 tbsp demerara sugar, mixed

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Directions

Note that a hand mixer can be used in place of the stand mixer for this recipe.

  1. Preheat oven to 400F/205°C. 
  2. Grease a muffin tin with the fat of choice thoroughly even if the muffin tin is non-stick . 
  3. Beat Creaming ingredients together.
  4. Add liquid ingredients and beat for a while longer. 
  5. In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients and mix evenly. 
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients
  7. Add in mixture from step 4 and stir lightly and gently with a fork till the dry ingredients are moistened. BUT do not overmix.
  8. Use a small spoon to test the batter. Plunge the spoon into the centre of the batter. If it falls quickly, add an additional tbsp of flour. Reason for testing is that different brands of flour absorb different volumes of water, hence consistency of batter will be different, affecting the success of muffins.
  9. Using an ice-cream scoop that allows ejection of batter, fill the muffin tins to the brim
  10. Sprinkle with the optional mixture.

If making mini-muffins, bake for 10 minutes.

If making regular muffins, bake for 25 minutes.

If making shorter but regular muffins, bake for 15 minutes.

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Points to note:

  • Do not overmix
  • Do not overbake. As soon as a toothpick can come out clean, turn off the heat.
  • The batter does not have to be smooth.
  • You must fill the cup to the brim to get our beloved muffin tops
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Enjoy your muffins! And ughh, apologizing for bad photos once again 😦

And dang, I’m missing Taiwan again.

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Best Fat Free Chocolate Cupcakes Ever! (Vegan & Sugar free too!)

If you haven’t already, check out my new ‘A Dessert Diet’s Ingredient Substitution list” and ‘A Dessert Diet’s Pantry Staples‘!!

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My SGD$2500 tablet computer is the love of my virtual life. It lets me make friends online in chatrooms, create coca cola cans in Blender, search for recipe ideas in Foodgawker, edit photographs in Photoshop, and download freebies from the World Wide Web.

Today, I discovered that my friend the tablet has new functions. Its a learner, like me.

A drop of cupcake batter landed right beside its heat emitter.

20 minutes later, the cupcake batter turned into a baked cupcakecookie

The latest baking-cum-cooking device of the twentieth century. Apple should watch out.

I started experimenting of course. 


In a small plastic bag, I placed semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. The bag I placed next to the heat emitter. 10 minutes later, the chocolate chips melted into warm glossy chocolate. I need no microwave.
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The result? Icing for these Chocolate Cupcakes. 
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You know, Energy Saving
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I think I’m getting pretty clever…

Though I’m quite sure this tablet’ s gonna die really soon.

Let’s just hope it’s life won’t literally end ‘with a bang’. i.e. explode in my face

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I have to show you these Chocolate Cupcakes. They are terribly moist (sorry if you hate this word! but it is the most apt description I can think of), their tops are super chewy (have I told you how much I love cupcake/muffin tops????) and best of all, they are Chocolate Cupcakes.

Not just any flavour. 

It’s Chocolate.

It means everything.

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I inverted the cupcakes for the photoshoot! Like my cupcake liners? I think they’re pretty! I have 300 of them. 😀 😀

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Sorry for the blurry photograph! It in no way reflects the texture of these crumbly cupcakes! –Same for the last picture in this post. 

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Fat Free Chocolate Cupcakes

No. of servings: 10

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour / white whole wheat flour/ all-purpose flour (you can substitute 1/4 cup of chestnut flour or peanut flour)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 9 tbsp pure maple syrup/ agave syrup
  • 20 drops stevia extract
  • 6 tbsp eggs/ (Vegan version: 2 tbsp flax meal plus 6 tbsp water, whisked together)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whisk together wet ingredients in a big bowl.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Sift dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients.
  4. Mix well with spoon or ladle.
  5. Pour into cupcake linings.
  6. Bake at 350F/180°C for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Easy peasy!

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