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Tag: sweets

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi is a traditional dessert enjoyed in Japan, especially during the summer months. Usually served chilled, it has a fun jelly-like texture. Chewy and “bouncy” textures are really popular in many Asian countries, celebrated for their unique and satisfying mouthfeel. From Taiwan’s boba drinks read more

Purin

Purin

Crema Catalana, flan, creme brulee… there’s something about a creamy custard topped with caramel that is universally irresistible. Purin is Japan’s take on the classic pairing and is incredibly popular. You can even find Purin for sale in convenience stores. It’s one of my favorite read more

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

This recipe sits somewhere between cake and bread. If I need a quick dessert, it’s Banana Cake; lusciously light and tender and baked in a Bundt pan so it’s automatically festive. When I have a hankering for something a little sweet at breakfast however, it magically becomes Banana Bread. Full of wholesome ripe bananas and not overly sweet, it makes a perfectly reasonable breakfast. It’s delicious either way, so you decide!

I know there are a million recipes for Banana Bread. Why would I even waste my time or yours posting yet another recipe for Banana Bread? Well do you love yours? Would you bet it’s the best one ever? Does every person who has a bite ask for the recipe? If you answered no, then I have you covered. My friend’s mother, who’s often told hers is amazing, even asked for the recipe. So if you’re looking for THE recipe, let mine be a contender.

This Banana Cake is the culmination of over 2 decades of improving on what’s essentially a simple quick bread. I’ve tried them all and I’ve taken the best of what I’ve learned to make the most delicious version. But this is not a crazy recipe with a lot of convoluted steps like microwaving and boiling down banana juice (hello Cook’s Illustrated) or that makes you add ingredients like vanilla pudding, you don’t normally have on hand (looking at you Chrissy Teigen). Ultimately, the best banana cake is one you can make and eat right away! So let’s get to it.

banana ingredients

I don’t bake often, but a lifetime of trial and error has taught me a few baking basics that help to guarantee good results, even if you too are not a professional baker:

  • Always read through the recipe before you begin. Oftentimes there are specific instructions for the type of pan you’ll need, and how to prep it. And there’s nothing worse than getting halfway through making a cake and realizing the recipe calls for baking soda AND baking powder.
  • The temperature of ingredients is very important. Use room temperature eggs. If your eggs are straight from the fridge, put them in warm water for 10 minutes.
  • A kitchen scale is your best friend when baking because it is the most accurate. If you do not have one, make sure you always stir your dry ingredients before scooping. Never pack flour into a measuring cup. And always level off with the back of a butter knife if using the scooping method. If your cakes come out dense rather than light and fluffy, too much flour could be to blame.
  • If you do not bake often, check the expiration date on your baking powder and baking soda. Many times old powders will be the reason your cake did not rise properly.
  • Preheating your oven is crucial. Turn on your oven before you start the recipe. If you do not have an automatic beeper letting you know your oven is ready, let your oven heat up for 30 minutes before you start baking.
  • Ovens differ- some run hot while others are cooler. Test your baked goods on the shorter bake time when you’re given an approximate time just to be safe.

Use Ripe Bananas for the Best Banana Cake!

This banana cake is perfect for all those bananas in your fruit bowl that look past their prime. The riper and softer, the better. The ones on the left won’t really impart much banana-y flavor, the ones in the middle are better, but to borrow from Goldilocks, the bananas so ripe that they are black are just right. I know they look scary! But trust me, you’ll be thrilled with the results.

We always have bananas at the restaurants for drinks and desserts. And often, someone will hand me an overripe bunch with a knowing smile. I make this bread/cake so often, it literally takes me about 10 minutes to get it in the oven. There’s nothing fancy or difficult about this recipe. Just use those scary ripe bananas and carry on.

Make the Banana Cake Batter

mash bananas

Mayonnaise in a cake?! A thousand times yes! At its core, mayo is oil and eggs and it adds a lush texture. It doesn’t impart flavor, it just helps make an exceptionally moist cake. I use mayo because I always have it. But sour cream or even yogurt work well too. If you don’t have any of those items, just skip it. Your Banana Cake will still be great.

eggs banana cake

dry stuff banana cake

For those of you who hate to wash dishes, this recipe only uses two bowls. You could also make it a one bowl cake, but I always like to stir all of the dry ingredients together first. It ensures that the flour and leaveners are well mixed and it keeps me from over-mixing the batter. I use a fork to whisk the dry ingredients together, then use the same fork to mix the the wet ingredients.

bundt spray

bake banana cake

I like to pour in the chocolate chips rather than mixing them into the batter. I find that when you mix the the chips into the batter, they sometimes stick to to the pan and tear the cake when you turn it out. Also, I like the ribbons of chocolate that run through the cake. Chocolate too much for a breakfast bread? You can replace them with toasted nuts, dried fruit, or anything else you like in your banana bread.

I check for doneness at about 30-35 minutes. A toothpick test should come out with some wet crumbs still clinging; you don’t want it to be totally dry. It will continue to bake when you bring it out of the oven. And a little too wet is definitely better than bone dry. I cool it completely in the pan and then turn it out onto a platter. I love this banana cake (or breakfast banana bread) just as it is. But you could certainly sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar on the top. Try this out and let me know what you think! Comment below or tag us on Insta @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

Are you looking for more tried and true, failproof baking ideas? Try my Matcha Cake and Japanese Cheesecake!

 

 

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recipe card banana cake

Banana Cake

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6-8 1x
  • Category: sweets

Ingredients

Scale
  • 45 large over ripe bananas (18 ounces peeled)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (you can also use sour cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Baking pan spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas well in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, light brown sugar, neutral oil, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Use a fork and whisk well.
  4. Use the same fork for the other bowl and then mix the wet ingredients well.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix well. 
  6. Spray a 10 cup bundt pan well with the pan spray. 
  7. Pour half the mixture into the bundt pan. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over the batter. Pour the rest of the batter over the chocolate chips. Then sprinkle the remaining chips over the top.
  8. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick test comes out with some wet crumbs. The cake will continue to cook as it sits in the pan so you do not want to bake it until the toothpick comes out clean-it will not be as moist.
  9. Cool the bread in the pan completely and then turn the bread out. Slice and serve. 

Notes

* This bread can sit out for 2 days at room temperature. Put it in the fridge or freeze slices if you cannot finish it within a couple days.

Keywords: sweets, banana, snacks, dessert, breakfast

Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese Cheesecake

There may not be a more crowd pleasing, popular dessert than cheesecake, and this Japanese Cheesecake is next level. It’s melt in your mouth delicious; part cheesecake and part soufflé. All the creamy tang of cheesecake, lightened with the airy cloudlike texture of a soufflé. read more

Anko (sweet red bean paste)

Anko (sweet red bean paste)

Sweetened red bean paste, or Anko, is probably one of Japan’s most recognized sweet flavors. It’s used in mochi, ice cream, and pastries. It’s even delightful just spread on toast. You can find anko in Asian markets, but it’s so much better when made from read more

Mango Sago

Mango Sago

 

When I need a really fast, make ahead sweet, I reach for this Mango Sago. Especially now, when mangoes are at their peak. Even with all of the annoying squirrels racing to get their fair share, I still have plenty left to make this recipe. With perfectly ripe summer fruit, this tropical dessert doesn’t even need any sugar. It’s creamy, cooling, refreshing and makes a beautiful presentation. Any leftovers make a great grab and go breakfast too!

I first had this dessert at a Singaporean restaurant in Manila many years ago. It’s a frequent dessert soup served at Chinese restaurants. After a rich meal, this mildly sweet, fruity offering is a sophisticated step above cut oranges. And with just a couple of quick easy steps, you too can have this on your table tonight!

mango sago ingredients

Sago

Sago are tapioca pearls, made from the starch of the cassava root. The starch gets gelatinized when cooked, which then thickens liquid into a pudding-like consistency. Sago pudding can be made with all kinds of fruit, and is enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia. Mango Sago is said to have originated in Hong Kong, where it is appreciated for its tropical flavors. Be careful to get the small white pearls, not the larger black or brown tapioca that is used to make Boba Tea.

pearls mango sago

Preparing Mango Sago

This recipe relies on the sweetness of ripe summer mangoes. When selecting them, look for fruit that gives when you gently squeeze it and has a rich tangy aroma. While you don’t want rock hard, you don’t want super mushy/soft either, because we are going to cut some pretty cubes to garnish our mango sago.

If mangoes are not available or out of season, you can use frozen mangoes or even switch out the mangoes for strawberries, raspberries, or peaches. I’ve also had this soup many times with chunks of taro root floating in it, a traditional version which you can make year round.

skin mango sago

chunks mango sago

Blend until it’s a smooth puree and take a taste. If it’s not as sweet as you’d like, add the optional sugar. Then chill in the fridge for at least an hour until ready to combine with the tapioca. You can make the puree a day ahead too.

Cooking the Sago

It is crucial that your water is at a furious boil before you start. Use a whisk or fork to stir the water as you pour in the tapioca. You need the tapioca to be separate grains and tapioca loves to cling together. If you’re not attentive, you will end up with a tapioca raft, where your tapioca gels into one big blob. Once you’ve poured in the tapioca, lower the heat and cook the tapioca for 13-15 minutes, giving it a good whisk every couple minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes. This soaking time allows the tapioca pearls to fully hydrate. Any hard white centers will disappear as they soak in the hot water so don’t worry about them. Once the pearls are translucent, drain them in a sieve and run under cool water to cool.

Now that the sago is cooked, it’s time to add the prepared mango puree.

Mix to combine:

Keep them in the fridge until ready to serve. The longer the Mango Sago sits, the more pudding like it becomes. I enjoy eating it immediately after making it as a chilled soup, and then having one the next day when it’s more like a tapioca pudding. Either way, it’s delicious. I hope this easy Mango Sago brightens up your summer. Let me know by commenting and rating the recipe, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

 

 

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recipe mango sago

Mango Sago

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup small tapioca pearls
  • 3 fresh ripe mangoes
  • 8 oz coconut milk or coconut cream
  • ¼ cup condensed milk
  • 23 Tablespoons sugar (optional depending on the sweetness of the mangoes)

Instructions

  1. Peel the mangos and then cut the mango off of the seed in thick slices. Take a couple of the nicest slices and cut them into ¼ inch chunks for garnishing (you should have about ½ cup). The rest will be blended. You should have about 1 pound of mango to puree. 
  2. In a blender, add the coconut milk, condensed milk, and mango. Blend until smooth, and transfer to a large bowl. Taste the puree. If it’s not as sweet as you would like, add the optional sugar to taste.
  3. Cover the bowl and then chill the mango puree for at least an hour before adding the tapioca. (You can make this the night before and store it covered in the fridge.)
  4. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure the water is at a rapid boil, and then add the tapioca, whisking as you pour it in. (If the water is not boiling, the tapioca will stick together and you will create one gooey raft of tapioca). 
  5. Lower the heat to medium high and simmer for 13-15 minutes, whisking every couple of minutes. It’s ok if the tapioca still has a small white spot in the middle. It will disappear as it sits in the hot water.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit for 5 minutes or just until the tapioca is clear. Drain the tapioca into a sieve and rinse under running cold water to cool. Drain well.
  7. Add the tapioca to the mango puree and mix to combine. Pour into individual bowls and top with the reserved mango chunks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

*Do not substitute Boba tea tapioca pearls which are a completely different product.

*If fresh mangoes are not available, feel free to substitute 1 pound of frozen mango or 2 cups of other fruit such as peaches, strawberries, or raspberries. Add sugar to taste once you have made the puree.

Keywords: mango, sago, desserts, summer, sweets, chinese, cantonese