Sunday, November 3, 2013

Banana Pancakes

Banana, in my opinion, is best eaten on its own. But there are times when you have way too much bananas at home that you could not swallow any of it anymore. These are the times when you can get very creative, by either making pancakes, muffins, pies etc.

Every week I would have at least one banana per day, unless I decide to take an apple as part of my meal plan. And today I ended up with two bananas waiting to be turned into something tasty, forcing me to look up on the internet for uncomplicated recipes that could be easily whipped up once I got out of bed.

After browsing through endless food websites, I finally decided to gave this recipe a try. Frankly speaking, I would prefer it with a little bit more banana than it called for. However, it certainly makes a delicious breakfast or brunch, especially if you're getting tired of the old plain pancake.

I served these fluffy pancakes with sliced bananas and strawberries (not in photograph). Since I do not really enjoy my pancake with maple syrup, I heated up a tablespoonful of strawberry jam and some water to make up for the missing syrup. I always freeze half of my pancakes for later use because I certainly cannot finish the whole thing all by myself in one go. So, whenever I feel like having them on weekdays, I would just pop them in the oven or microwave and they would still be as good! 

Recipe (Banana pancake):

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana, plus extra for slicing to be put on top (I'd add more banana next time)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
1. Mix buttermilk, mashed banana, egg and vanilla extract in a bowl.
2. Sift plain flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl and mix to combine. 
3. Add in the sugar and lastly, the melted butter.
4. Let the batter rest on the kitchen top for 5 minutes.
5. Heat the griddle to 325F or frying pan over medium heat. Use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop the batter and pour onto the griddle or frying pan.
6. Flip over once they start to form little bubbles. (about 1 minute) 
7. When both sides are cooked, serve the pancake with some sliced banana, butter and syrup.

Makes 6 - 8 pancakes.

Adapted from: Kitchen Treaty

Friday, November 1, 2013


About a week ago marked my first month being away from home. There's another 8 long months to go before I can fly back to Malaysia. But.. Let's not dwell on that.

In all honesty, I find it hard to believe that I am finally here, all alone, far away from home, doing the most demanding course ever, Medicine. Okay, I know.. Other people might say that their courses are challenging as well but this is going to be from my perspective and my own point of view. And the best part is.. I have yet to shed a single tear. Is it not amazing? Most of my family members thought that I'd be really homesick and I would want to go home. It's not that I don't feel homesick at all but I'm feeling much better as time passes by.

Inside Cardiff Castle (The great keep)
So.. Every where I go, one of the first few questions that they will ask is "How do you find Cardiff?" (Oh, just in case you don't know.. I'm in Cardiff right now, reading a 5 year Medicine course at Cardiff University) To me, Cardiff is one of the best places to study in and I'd like to believe that this is the reason why Allah has placed me here and not anywhere else in other parts of the world. It isn't as big or busy as London and Paris but it has everything that you'll ever need. There are not that many shopping malls, but then, let's not forget that you're not here to shop but to study. *sigh*

My love
The one thing that I really miss about home, apart from my family of course, is the kitchen.. and all the gadgets/utensils I have. I wish I could bring them all here. I don't bake as often as I used to; in fact I've only made apple crumble once, to be brought to a housewarming party. :( I really want to bake, but who's going to eat all of the food? Definitely not me.

This means that I can only bake when there is a special occasion or a gathering. And.. That is why I made this brownie. Everyone has their own favourite recipe. So this is mine. It's dense, fudgy, very chocolatey and insanely delicious! What more could you ask for? Oh by the way, if you're not a big fan of dark chocolate, you might not like it.

I accidentally over baked the brownies due to several reasons: 1) I'm not used to this oven. 2) I had a 9 am - 5 pm class before baking and I was very tired. 3) I was simply lazy to hang around in the kitchen, to keep an eye on it. There you go. But they aren't that dry, so they should be fine.

Recipe (Best-ever brownies):


  • 185g good quality dark chocolate (this time around I used cheaper ones, 50% cocoa)
  • 150g butter
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g dark chocolate chip* (I'd put more next time)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C (fan).
2. Melt dark chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. (bain-marie)
3. Using a hand-mixer, beat the eggs and caster sugar until it thickens and almost double in volume.
4. Slowly, fold in the chocolate mixture into the eggs mixture. 
5. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into chocolate-egg mixture. And stir gently, just to combine.
6. Lastly, add in the dark chocolate chips and vanilla.
7. Pour into a greased 20cm square pan and bake for about 35-50 minutes until the top has a papery crust and the sides are just about to come away from the tin.
8. Let cool before slicing.

*In the original recipe, it calls for 50g milk chocolate chips and 50g white chocolate chips. They can be replaced with nuts, dried fruit etc.