Marble Cake

It has been a tough week.  I feel a little under the weather and bothered by a problem.  It has been a few days since I started feeling unmotivated.  Today, I said to myself is time to get past moody feelings and start getting things done.  I haven’t been baking much.  Since baking is therapeutic for me, I decided to make something and start feeling productive again.

I didn’t take long to decide to make a marble cake because the whole family loves it.  But I didn’t have butter.   I did have a new jar of coconut oil so I went ahead to make marble cake with coconut oil.  I second guessed the cake would turn out well since my muffins made with coconut oil always turn out alright.  I prepped everything and sent the loaf cake to bake in the oven.  As I went around doing my chores, the aroma from the kitchen wafted and make me sense that I would have a nice dessert that afternoon.

When the cake finished baking in about 35 minutes, I let it cool completely before cutting it.  I was so happy the cake turned out very moist and delicious.  The only disappointment was the marbling of the cake.  It wasn’t prominent at all.  I used brown sugar in the main batter which made the cake turn out darker.  I should have used white sugar.  But since the cake tasted great, I thought I would share the recipe.

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Coconut Oil Marble Cake

Ingredients (one loaf cake):

  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100ml coconut oil
  • 100ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175°C.
  2. Line loaf tin with parchment paper or lightly grease the tin.
  3. Sift all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  4. Using a hand whisk, beat sugar and coconut oil till all the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add eggs and whisk to combine.
  6. Add vanilla and milk and whisk to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture and fold till everything is well combined and there are no traces of flour.
  8. Pour half of the batter into another clean and dry mixing bowl.  Set aside the other half.  You would have two bowls of batter.
  9. Sift cocoa powder over one of the bowls and fold to incorporate everything.  Make sure there are no traces or lumps of cocoa.
  10. Pour the batter into the loaf tin by alternating between the two bowls of batter.  Repeat till all batter is used.
  11. Use a knife or skewer to make swirls through the batter for a marble effect.
  12. Bake in preheated oven for around 35 – 40 minutes.  Check doneness by using a skewer to insert into the centre of the cake.  If the skewer comes out clean the cake is done.
  13. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and slice when fully cooled.

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Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins

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I’m trying to get into a zero-waste mode.  I hate to throw food away.  There’s always a wave of guilt when I don’t have a choice but to throw the food away either because it is way past the expiration date or when it has wilted and turned bad.  I think of the money wasted and also the countless number of people around the world who are starving and malnourished.  I feel compelled to be more responsible in finishing the food we purchase and to buy only what we really need.  Some of the simple steps I’ve taken to minimise wastage are as follow.

  • Do a stock-take of the fridge and pantry before grocery shopping
  • Jot down the items that need to be replenished
  • Menu plan for the week
  • Jot down the ingredients required to make the meals for the week
  • Stick to the grocery list and do not buy anything that’s not in the list
  • Finish leftovers asap, preferably by the next day to avoid having to throw the food if it goes bad
  • Wash fruit like berries with water and some white vinegar to prolong their shelf life
  • Wrap vegetables with tea towel so that the excess moisture is absorbed by the towel and the vegetables last longer

Let me know if there are other ways in which I can improve on my journey to zero-waste.  Back to the muffins…

After I made Cookie a batch of banana oatmeal dog treats, I used the last over-riped banana to make chocolate banana oatmeal muffins for our breakfast the following morning.  I tweak my muffin recipes quite frequently based on what I have in my pantry.  Sometimes I add almond meal, oatmeal, or wholewheat flour to the dry ingredients mix.  In terms of oils, sometimes it will be coconut oil, vegetable oil or melted butter.  It depends on what I have.  I rarely buy an ingredient to make a one-off bake.  The ingredient will be left to waste so I prefer to use what I have on hand.

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins (make 6 muffins)

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 70g all-purpose flour
  • 20g unsweetened cocoa
  • 30g instant oats
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 30ml coconut oil
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 over-riped banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. Sift all-purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  Add oats into the mix, stir the mix and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and sugar together till light and fluffy.
  5. Add banana and continue whisking.  Then add milk, vanilla and coconut oil, whisking lightly after each addition of ingredient.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the bowl of dry ingredients.
  7. Pour wet ingredients into the well and fold the ingredients together till well incorporated.  Do not over-fold the batter.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners till 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.
  10. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy.
  11. Store extras in air-tight container.  You can make extras and store in the freezer for subsequent days breakfast.  Take them out to thaw and pop them in the oven to warm them up.

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A healthier banana bread

Today I needed a healthier breakfast.  One that will give me the energy I need for the morning’s tasks and one that is filling so that I don’t have to reach out for a mid morning snack.  I settled for a banana bread recipe that I have used before but substituted the butter with coconut oil and brown sugar with honey.  This recipe is a fuss-free one and breakfast can be ready to eat in an hour.

The end result is a bread that is moist and fragrant.  It’s not sweet and I like it this way.  If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can add semi-sweet chocolate chips into your batter.  I didn’t have any walnuts on hand otherwise it would be nice to add some nuts for added texture and nutrients.

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Banana Bread

Ingredients:

70g unsalted butter (I substituted with 70g coconut oil)

30g brown sugar (I substituted with 30g honey)

1 large egg, beaten

200g over-riped bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla

90g wholemeal flour

90g all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Grease the sides of a 3″ by 7″ loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 175 degree celcius.
  4. Whisk butter and sugar till the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.  (I whisked coconut oil and honey till well incorporated)
  5. Dribble in beaten egg and continue whisking.
  6. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well.
  7. Fold in wholemeal flour and the all-purpose flour mixture.
  8. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a spatula.
  9. Bake for around 30 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  If the top of the bread starts to get overly brown, cover it with foil to prevent the bread from burning.
  10. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am loving this chocolate chip recipe that I found on Chef Savvy website.  The cookies taste absolutely fantastic and the texture is crisp on the outside and chewy inside.  I will be using this recipe from now on whenever there’s a demand for chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe is great because it uses coconut oil rather than butter.  Coconut oil is well known for its health benefits.  It is widely used in food and health care.  Composing of medium-chain triglycerides it is lower in calories than most oils.  There’s only a very slight hint of coconut in the cookies.  The taste is just great!  In fact, I personally prefer this version of chocolate chip cookies.  My food picky daughter also loved them.  She had five and asked to pack some for school.

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Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients (makes about 12 cookies):

11/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut oil (not melted)

Directions:

  1. In an electric mixer beat coconut oil with brown sugar and caster sugar till everything is incorporated well.  I used a whisk to do this step.
  2. Add egg and continue mixing till well incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla and mix till well incorporated.
  4. Sift in all purpose flour, baking soda and salt into the mixture.  Mix till all the dry ingredients are combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and form a soft dough.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
  8. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
  9. Remove dough from fridge and roll them into balls and place them on the parchment paper.  Leave ample space between each cookie dough as the cookie will spread while baking.
  10. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes.
  11. Place cookies on a cooling rack.  Store in air-tight cookie jar or container when they are cooled completely.

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Enjoy them with milk!  I’ll be making another batch soon.  Hope you like them too ♥

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recipe source: Chef Savvy