Baking #79: Nutella Swirled Banana Oat Muffins

I prefer to bake muffins more than chiffon cakes recently as they are easier to make. Chiffon cakes may be a lot less sinful compared to muffins but then when it comes to dislodging the cake, it could be a pain on the neck if you happened not to do it the right way. So, you will ended up having a super hideous looking chiffon cake.

I baked these Nutella Swirled Banana Oat Muffins last Sunday afternoon as a treat to Jia since she loves banana related cakes/desserts. Baked her a batch and brought along with me to her house since I wanted to play with Lucas. It had been a while since I last seen Lucas. And the little boy sure has grown up a lot. Cheeky and extremely active.

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Nutella Swirled Banana Oat Muffins (adapted from Baking Taitai)

This was my first time attempting her recipe. It was the oat which fascinated and intrigued me to try out this recipe. Unfortunately, the outcome of the muffins did not meet my expectations. Perhaps I needed a little bit of modification to meet my expectations?

Ingredients:

  • 220g all purpose flour
  • 90g rolled oats
  • 100g brown sugar *80g*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 120g fresh milk *full cream milk*
  • 60ml corn oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed *pureed, roughly 178g skinless*
  • Nutella

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients together – all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift dry ingredients and stir in the rolled oats. Set aside.
  2. Mix wet ingredients – egg, milk, corn oil, mashed/pureed bananas and vanilla essence together. Give them a quick stir with a balloon whisk until they are well incorporated.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture. Gently fold in both mixtures together until well combined and be careful not to overmix the batter lest the muffins will turn dense and tough when baked.
  4. Scoop batter evenly between cupcake liners and drop a teaspoonful of Nutella on the top of each muffin batter. Use a toothpick to create swirling effect on the muffins.
  5. Bake the muffins in a preheated oven of 190 degree Celsius for 20 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean in the centre of a muffin.
  6. Leave the muffins in the muffin tray for about 10 minutes before transferring them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

This recipe yields about 8 muffins, depending the size of your cupcake liners or how much batter you pour in to a cupcake liner. In terms of the texture, I did not like the texture. I could not be sure if I overdid the batter or it was the rolled oat which made the texture weird. According to Jia, the rolled oats tasted like paper when taken a bite.

To be honest, I prefer muffins’ recipes which use melted butter, yogurt or buttermilk. Yogurt or buttermilk tends to make the muffin texture moist and soft even till the next day.

02062015 / Bite Restaurant & Catering

Rather than doing a baking recipe food entry today, I am gonna write about a cafe in which San Diann, Clara and I tried out nearly three months ago. I think the dinner that I had at Bite was probably the last heaviest meal before I started on the diet plan. LOL!

Yeah … It is coming three months since I started dieting and I need to go on for another three months or more before I could reach my ideal weight. I had my BMI test at Fitness Zone last Sunday morning and the results were of satisfactory.

I cancelled all my fitness training for the week before last. I did not lose much weight this time round, only one kilogram. But I gained muscles and lose quite a bit of my fat percentage. My trainer said my results were good since I did not do any training for a week.

Without further ado, let us get back to what I intend to do for today …

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Upon ordering, you will be given this complimentary appetizer of bun rolls and butter. The bun rolls were soft, fragrant and tasted even more superb when spread with butter. All three of us were extremely satisfied with the complimentary appetizer.

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Seafood Marinara | B$15

This is an expensive pasta dish but thankfully, it was well worth the price paid. The pasta sauce was extremely flavorful. Pasta was cooked al-dente and the seafood portion was generous enough too. If you are a fan of Seafood Marinara, I would highly recommend you to try out this pasta dish.

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Chicken Chips & Fries | B$8

San Diann’s choice of dinner as he didn’t know what to order since he had eaten quite a bit before he came out to meet us. The Chicken Chips & Fries came with an accompanying Sambal & Chili dipping sauce.

Most cafes would choose tartar sauce or mayonnaise as dipping sauce for fried finger foods. But this Sambal & Chili dipping sauce was good with a mild spiciness in it but I remembered that I did not like the fries as much as compared to some other fries which I had tried from other  cafes.

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Pan Fried Fresh Fish | B$20

Clara’s choice of dinner. Couldn’t comment much on this as I did not try out much apart from the broth. This is quite like a fish stew to me. The broth was well flavored. According to both San Diann and Clara, the fish was well marinated in which there is no raw taste of fish when you take a bite.

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Molten Lava | B$8

The highlight of the dinner was this Molten Lava dessert. As the price was steep, we decided to order one portion and shared among three. You will be given three options of ice-cream flavors – Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry. We chose Vanilla as it is best paired with Molten Lava.

What’s so special about this Molten Lava is that underneath the Vanilla ice-cream is a small pool of crushed ginger biscuits. I am not a huge fan of ginger biscuits but they tasted absolutely good when paired with Vanilla ice-cream.

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See the amount of thick and creamy chocolate lava oozing out when you sliced open the cake? The sweetness level of the chocolate was moderate for me. And this is definitely something in which I do not mind ordering again despite the steep price. But of course, I am not gonna eat it alone since I am on a strict diet. LOL!

I had wanted to bring Sister to try this as she loves Molten Lava very much. But unfortunately, she was down with flu and sore throat on her last day at home. So, she didn’t get to try. Next time, perhaps?

Bite Restaurant & Catering
No. 1, Ground & First Floor,
Block A, Simpang: 150,
Bangunan Habza,
Kampung Kiarong,
Mukim Gadong B, BE1518,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2235835

Baking #78: Oreo Cupcakes

It has been more than two months since I last baked. I went home straight after work last Tuesday evening and I decided to bake Oreo Cupcakes out of boredom since I still have a tube of half eaten Oreo which I bought quite some time ago.

I had always wanted to attempt Oreo Muffins/Cupcakes previously but never found the right recipe to try until few weeks ago when I stumbled upon one on Singapore Home Cooks. As I am currently on a diet plan, I would avoid baking as it would be difficult for me not to have a piece when they were baked.

But surprisingly, I was able to resist the temptation of having a piece when baked. I guess after all the strict diet plan for the past two months, I am now able to resist sweet desserts! Honestly speaking, I did have a try when they were baked but I only had one small bite just to know how it tasted like for the sake of updating this recipe on my blog.

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Oreo Cupcakes (adapted from Singapore Home Cooks by Lim Yen Li)

Ingredients:

  • 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 80g sugar *60g brown sugar*
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60g mini Oreo, crushed *6 pieces regular sized Oreo*

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and brown sugar together until they were smooth and pale in color.
  2. Add in one egg at a time and mix well.
  3. Add in vanilla essence and mix well.
  4. Gently fold in sifted self-raising flour in two batches with crushed Oreo until no flour lump could be seen.
  5. Scoop batter between cupcake liners and baked in a preheated oven of 190 degree Celsius for 20 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean in the centre of a cupcake.
  6. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the muffin tray for approximately 10 minutes before removing them to cool on a cooling rack. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container so that the cupcake will still remain soft until the next morning.

If you are someone who love Oreo, do give this recipe a try. However, I would reduce further the sugar content as I do find the cupcakes to be rather sweet for my liking. Surprisingly enough, Mom finds the sweetness level just right for her liking. Hmm … Is it that my tolerance for sweet has dropped?

Little Updates …

Aloha! Can’t believe that this blog has been on a hiatus mode for nearly two months! I guess this had been the longest hiatus by far. I have not been trying much new skincare products or trying our new eateries in town. Hence the lack of updates.

Reason for the latter was because I had been trying to shed some body weight. I had experienced aches on my right heel for more than three months. The ache is still bothering me at the moment but it is more serious when I wake up in the morning. At first, my colleague thought that I could be suffering from high level of uric acid in my body. So, I cut down on meat and started taking some supplements. I did not bother to go for full body checkup as I know my statistics would be high on every health aspects.

The second possibility to my heel pain could be due to my weight. So, I started dieting roughly about two months ago by taking dieting supplements including drinking fibre twice a day which helped me in body detoxing. I went to one of the doctors in town and he confirmed that I do not have high level of uric acid in my body and the aches which I had been feeling were definitely not gaut attacks. Thank goodness!

Everything has been on the favorable side so far. I managed to shed off about 17 pounds in within two months time. Quite a few of my colleagues had been asking me what have I been eating to lose so much fats in within a short time. For those of you who know me in real person, you would know how bulging my tummy used to be. LOL! But the size of my tummy had now shrunk by half. LOL!

Apart from taking fibre twice a day which helps me in detoxing, I had also controlled my food intake tremendously. I think that helped the most as my face feature had sharpened like a week after my controlled food intake. You may not notice the difference but those people surrounding you would notice it.

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So, this was Jia and I at Phong Mun Restaurant last Sunday for breakfast. An advanced birthday celebration for her and belated birthday celebration for Eldie.

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Eldie & I

I am still trying to lose the double chin fats but I guess it is gonna take some more time. As mentioned previously, quite a lot of my friends and colleagues had been asking what did I do or take to lose so much in such a short time.

For the first month of my dieting, I eat mostly blanched vegetables for breakfast, rice with vegetables and meat for lunch and no rice for dinner but vegetables with some meat. I would avoid wheat products nowadays as I am a wheat intolerant. I used to know since before but I did not give a toss about it until I realized that wheat had been making me bloated recently.

Avoid food with high level of sugar and calories, especially desserts, pastries, cheese and chocolates. I used to be a Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Gloria Jeans Coffee person but I don’t anymore as these beverages come with high calories!

So, I guess this sums up for my today’s post. I will try to update as often as I could from now onwards. So, do stay tune!