Nutella Banana Crumble


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I have been spending these past two weeks avoiding anything sweet.

Because A. My friend is getting married and I don’t want to look fat in the pictures.

And B. I pulled my back and can’t workout and I don’t want to look FAT IN THE PICTURES.

I am aware that it is not my wedding.

I am aware that gaining a bit of weight is not that big a deal.

I am also aware that looking like I’m fat in these pictures will do nothing for my self-esteem or street cred.

Are you aware that being overweight can lead to a variety of different health complications?

Yeah you know don’t you. So stop judging.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I’ve been avoiding things that are sweet. Because desserts and anything chocolate, specifically, are my kryptonite.

So week one wasn’t that hard. Especially when I was at home, on MC, all like I need to eat healthy! Not crappy!

Week two was still doable – at work, but you know, bit difficult with the daily 3 o’clock boredom hunger pangs.

So what happened, in the middle of week two (I’m lying it was like Tuesday), was that I came across the one dessert recipe for which I ALREADY had all the ingredients for. Even if that meant stealing Hoi’s bananas. Which I did.

***

3 ripe bananas
200gm/whole jar Nutella
3 Tbsps/40gm unsalted butter
2 Tbsps/30gm brown sugar
1/2 cup/ 60gm all-purpose flour
2 Tbsps/20gm ground almonds
2 Tbsps oats (accidental but happy addition)

Heat the oven to 180C/350C.

Slice the bananas and evenly scatter them in an 8 inch round baking dish/something similar.

Spoon Nutella over, making sure to evenly layer it over. This is where you can use your individual taste to determine if you’re going to use that whole jar. DO IT.

Mix the dry ingredients with the butter until it resembles a mealy crumble. It’s okay of there are still bits of butter, that’s how the crumble form.

Top the Nutella layer with the crumble layer evenly. AGAIN.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bananas are bubbling. You’ll be able to see this from the side.

***

OH! And about the taste – it’s chocolatey and banana-ey with a hearty crumble. Basically totes perfect breakfast/tea/comfort food.

*Adapted from Deerest Deer.

Chocolate Chip (and then some) Cookies

Chocolate Chip (and then some) CookiesIt’s been awhile cool kids!

This is because I haven’t been cooking anything particularly photogenic. Ok I lie, I have been, I’ve just been too lazy to actually photograph ANY of it. Please don’t make me.

I did however find the time to finally make these cookies that I promised I would make the day I saw them on i am a food blog.

This recipe is unique because it’s sort of a normal chocolate chip cookie but then it’s not because it’s got BLUEBERRIES in it and there’s COCONUT in it and OATMEAL and CHOCOLATE (ofcourseduh) – that I had to make it and see if all these things make it a superior cookie.

So I’m gonna level with you. It wasn’t a superior cookie. In fact the blueberries didn’t pop (in the flavor sense) in the way that I thought it would.

But guess what? It was a delicious, wholesome cookie, that really hit the spot. It tasted like childhood (at least, white people’s childhoods) and goodness.

Which is why I would make it again, and swap out the dried blueberries for raisins and white sugar for brown. But see, I would make it again.

New Mixer from my brother!
New Mixer from my brother!

These cookies – and everything I cook henceforth – was made possible by this amazing mixer gifted to me by my brother for my recent birthday 😀

Makes 18 medium sized cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and mix well. Beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated.

Add in the rolled oats, coconut, chocolate and blueberries. Stir until combined.

Form the dough into small balls and squish them into the shape you want your cookie to be – they will not spread much.

Place them on the baking sheet. Make sure they are well spaced.

Bake until golden brown about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for five minutes before cooling on a wire rack/tray.

Chocolate Chip (and then some) Cookies

*Adapted, barely, from i am a food blog.

**These taste better the day after baking or the day after that 🙂

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

It’s cupcake time at DiniBlini and you know what that means – it’s birthday time.

This time it was the birthday of my longtime friend and apartment mate – Melissa.

I have known Melissa since I lived with her sister, my good friend Priscilla, while we were all doing our undergrad at McGill.

All those years ago, I really only knew her as my friend’s sister, that girl who really liked watching The Hills.

She would come over once a week, without fail, to watch the show that marked the beginning of MTV’s transformation into a reality TV black hole.

I really didn’t know much about her except that she was reserved, wore really big sunglasses and suffered from a bad case of resting bitch face.

Fast forward to now, some eight years later, and I live with her halfway across the world.

All the things I thought defined her are still true (she still suffers from chronic resting bitch face, has quite big sunglasses, enjoys her alone time) but I also now know she is kind, considerate and has a wicked sense of humor.

I’m so happy that she is now my good friend and I wanted to make something she would enjoy for her birthday.

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Cue this mess (and it really was A MESS) of cookies and cream cheese.

Melissa’s favorite ice-cream was cookies and cream.

Unfortunately, it really isn’t mine.

SIGH.

But I made these cupcakes anyway. And surprise, surprise.

They was good.

Cake bit
24 Oreos, you will halve them – see recipe for exact method
16 Oreos, chopped into small pieces (almost bits or pebble size)
12 Oreos, chopped into halves, for garnish (optional)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
8 Tbsp butter
8 oz. cream cheese (1 Philadelphia pkg)
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 175C/350F degrees.

Line two muffin tins with 24 paper muffin cups.

Using a knife split the first 24 Oreos in half. Leave the cream filling attached to one side. Place those halves, with the cream filling side up, at the bottom of each muffin cup. Set aside.

Place the cream-less halves into a Ziploc bag. Seal tightly and bash with a rolling pin until a fine powder. I used a peanut butter jar. You will sprinkle this “cookie dust” on the cupcakes at the very end.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In another larger bowl, mix together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. If you’re using a mixer it will take you 3 to 4 minutes. If you’re using your hands you better just resign yourself to pain.

Add in egg whites, one at a time, mixing after each addition to combine.

Measure 3/4 cup milk another bowl. Add sour cream and vanilla to milk and whisk to combine. It will be a bit lumpy initially.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix.

Add milk mixture to butter mixture. Mix.

Mix in 16 chopped Oreos.

Divide batter among prepared muffins cups (pouring it on top of the Oreo halves), filling each cup about 2/3 full.

Bake in preheated oven about 24 to 26 minutes until the toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean(ish).

You may take them out of the pan after resting 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Frost with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sprinkle with cookie dust!

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
Mix the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. If you’re doing this by hand, it won’t become fluffy if using a mixer it should take a minute.

Stir in sour cream and vanilla.

Add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth, light and fluffy. Again by hand, just do it till it’s not lumpy. With a mixer, it will take 3 minutes.

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Look at that MASTERPIECE.

*Adapted from Cooking Classy.
**Photography by Hoi Yee (paper_shins).

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

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I had never made cupcakes IN. MY. LIFE.

I think the idea that they’re finicky and time consuming and so impractical just made me shy away from them.

Sometimes there are occasions that call for them.

So sometimes, you have to suck it up and make them.

And then sometimes you’re surprised because THEY’RE SO DAMN TASTY THAT YOU’RE PRETTY SURE ITS TASTIER THAN ANY CUPCAKE YOU’VE EVER BOUGHT. Like actually.

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Cupcakes (makes 24)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Coconut Frosting
1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the Ayam brand coconut milk)
1 tsp coconut extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Coconut Topping
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsps vegetable oil
2 tsps water

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

In a large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Beat hard. The original recipe calls for a hand mixer. I don’t have one.

Stir in eggs and eggs yolks, mixing just until combined after each addition.

Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture and then blend in heavy cream.

Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined.

Divide batter among 24 paper lined muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tins before removing to plate to cool. Cool completely then frost with coconut frosting.

Gently roll each frosted cupcake with coconut topping.

Store in the fridge.

Coconut Frosting
Whip together butter and coconut milk as fast as you can until combined. You’re aiming for it to look pale and fluffy. But you know you’re not a machine (see the I don’t have a hand mixer note above) so do your best.

Blend in coconut extract.

Add in powdered sugar and mix vigorously until blended and fluffy.

Coconut Topping**
Whisk dried coconut and powdered sugar together.

Combine the vegetable oil and water in a small bowl.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the sugared coconut. Whisk to combine.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Stir the mixture once or twice to turn it over.

Use!

*Cupcake recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.
**Coconut topping method taken from Live Strong because I don’t think we get sweetened coconut in Singapore.

***Photography for this blog post is courtesy of Hoi Yee (see more of her work at paper_shins).

Bibingka

Bibingka
Bibingka

I am like an honorary Filipino (as declared by me).

I mean I visited the Phillippines. Once.

I ate balut. And liked it.

I ate halo-halo and buko pandan. And LOVED it.

So when I came across this recipe on The Kitchn – I was all – Hello, Hi there, I think we should meet.

So I called upon the help and experience of my true, blue Filipino friends, Gi and Mitchie to make this desert.

The real Bibingka is made in a makeshift oven to give it a smoky flavor. It takes a very long time. So people generally just buy it from the market.

This version, thankfully, is relatively simple to make, and you can get all the ingredients at any grocery store.

Ok I’m lying, you need to make one trip to Lucky Plaza for the macapuno.

1 packet (200 ml) coconut milk
1 can (397 gm) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 (12 oz) jar macapuno coconut strings in heavy syrup
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsps finely chopped almonds
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

Line a 13 by 9 pan with parchment paper. Grease the pan. We didn’t and regretted it.

In a large bowl, beat the coconut milk, condensed milk, and melted butter until combined.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.

Add the jar of macapuno strings.

Gradually beat in the rice flour.

Stir in the brown sugar and chopped almonds.

Add the vanilla extract and stir until combined.

Pour batter into pan.

Bake until brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. We went overboard and baked it for 45 because I forgot to factor in that we were using a smaller pan/scaled down recipe. Don’t tell Gi and Mitchie.

Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the cake and let cool.

Once cool – cut and EAT.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

*This Bibingka tastes like the sweet potato kuih, found in Singapore and Malaysia.

Cocoa Brownies

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This week was a bit of fail week in the DiniBlini kitchen.

I tried to make carrot cake and it looked amazing.

 

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It tasted? Not so amazing. Think too cheesy frosting, like BAD cheesy.

Then there was this lemon-blackberry cake which was awesome in theory, but exploded and had a faint aftertaste of oil. TASTY.

I needed a win.

These brownies made it happen.

10 Tbsps / 1 1/4 sticks / 140 gms unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 165C/325F.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and butter.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide pan of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is well combined.

Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. Stir in espresso powder and vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter well blended add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. At this point the original recipe tells you to beat it 40 times. So you know. Do that.

Spread in the lined pan.

Bake until a skewer plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. But honestly just watch these brownies. Original recipe said 5 minutes less.

Let cool completely before cutting.

*Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies on Food52.
** Photography for this blog post was courtesy of my very talented friend Hoi Yee – you can see more of her work on Instagram.

Banana, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Squares (in a round pan)

Recently I’ve been on a health kick because BASICALLY I cut off all my hair and I’m terrified of having short hair and being unfit so… I eat salads ALL. THE. TIME. NOW.

Except when I’m eating baklava at Overdoughs.

Or when I’m baking these squares because I was so inspired by Top With Cinnamon.

Sigh. The world is clearly against me.

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6 Tbsps / 80 gm unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (I didn’t have exactly 1/4 cup so I added 1 Tbsp of brown sugar and it worked fine, adjust for baking time)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chipsPreheat oven to 180 C/350 F.Place the butter into a round 8-inch tin put in the oven just till the butter melts.

Swirl the melted butter around in the tin to grease it and then pour the butter into a bowl.

To the bowl of melted butter, add the sugar, syrup, salt, egg, vanilla and banana.

Whisk the ingredients together.

Add the baking soda, flour, and coconut and whisk.

Stir in the chocolate chips. Full disclosure – I added more than 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the greased tin and spread out in an even layer.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

*The original recipe says they are blondies but to me the texture was really like a hearty breakfast bar – hence my renaming!