Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Banana Butter Cake

Had a craving for baking last night. So Banana Butter Cake it is!  I have a comb of  banana at home and since the Hubby loves butter cake, I decided to make this delicious , moist and buttery cake, packed with sweet fragrant banana (Pisang Berangan ) We somehow prefer this banana for cake making as it is not overly strong in fragrance.  I decided to use a recipe that does not uses too much butter but yet give the cake its buttery taste. I made the right choice. The hubby loves the perfect ratio of butter,eggs and banana in the cake recipe. Easy to whip up and a healthier version of butter cake with the right amount of banana in it. Banana-ey yet has the texture of a butter cake.

 love the texture, the aroma and the top crusts of the cake

 you can even get the bits of banana in the cake.....beautifully baked

lazy me..just line the cake tin without cutting the parchment paper

 Banana Butter Cake -  recipe taken from Apron

Preheat oven to 160C for 15 minutes.  Line a cake tin with parchment paper. Baking tin is 14cmx6cm square mould.


120 gm unsalted butter

60 gm sugar ( 50gm for me )

2 eggs ( of 55gm each egg)

180 gm mashed banana

120 gm cake flour

1/2 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda


Sieve cake flour,salt ,baking powder and baking soda together. Leave aside

Mash banana coarsely

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy, Slowly add in eggs and whisk till well incorporated into the butter mixture. Add in the mashed banana and fold into the butter egg mixture till well blended in. Fold in the flour mixture gently into the butter egg mixture in  two batches. Pour  cake mixture into lined baking tin and bake at 160C320F for 40 to 50 mins. Cool the cake before slicing.



The UK Top 10 Pick And Mix Sweets

Are you a fan of sweets? Have you tried pick and mix sweets yet? If not, you should wait no longer and build your own pouch of gummies and fudge.

People with a sweet tooth find pick and mix pouches enjoyable, as they are provided with an opportunity to build their own bag of treats. The selection of flavours, shapes, and sizes is indeed extensive. There are different kinds of products ranging from vanilla fudge and jelly beans to cola bottles and fried eggs.

There are various providers of pick and mix sweets, such as, allowing buyers to create regular, vegan, and gluten-free pouches.

Have a look at the top 10 such sweets in the UK.

Flying saucers

Flying saucers are considered one of the top ten pick and mix sweets appealing to the taste of most consumers. These colourful rice paper shells are filled with sherbet, which is the favourite of many. Sherbet fans who adore sour sweets find the flying saucers a real treat.

Nevertheless, people who aren’t exactly fond of sherbet are advised to skip these rice paper shells. A pick and mix bag, however, wouldn’t be complete without adding at least a few flying saucers to it. A little sour taste does no harm when used in combination with other sweets.

Vanilla fudge

Another pick and mix sweet preferred by consumers is vanilla fudge. A few pieces are sure welcome to your bag of treats. Vanilla fudge is chewy, soft, and absolutely creamy, either loose or individually wrapped. Anyhow, some buyers avoid it due to thinking it’s too heavy.

Moreover, vanilla fudge is the perfect treat to enjoy with a warm cup of tea. You can also add it to your Christmas buffet, as guests will certainly love it. Click here to learn why vanilla makes food smell and taste so good.


Jelly beans

Jelly beans are another popular pick and mix sweet, which undoubtedly deserves a place in your bag of treats. These are incredibly juicy and soft, available in an array of fruity flavours. Jelly beans come in a rainbow of colours like orange, red, pink, green, yellow, and blue. These multi-coloured sweets are considered retro, as they were popular in the past and still are. The variety of fruit flavours appeals to the taste of all family members.

Cola bottles

Another pick and mix product worth adding to your bag are the cola bottles. These classic gummies have remained a best-seller for ages. They aren’t just tasty to eat but also lightweight. Consequently, consumers can stock up on cola bottles without splurging too much money.

In addition, there is another variant of cola bottles that has gained popularity over the years, known as sour cherry cola bottles. This gummy candy is a revamped version of the original design and flavour of the cola bottle. It has a juicy and chewy texture with a touch of sourness, which makes all the difference.

Milk chocolate raisins

Milk chocolate raisins are the favourite of many consumers across the UK. There is nothing tastier than eating raisins covered in milk chocolate. The surface of these sweets is made of smooth milk chocolate, whereas their inside is chewy because of the raisin. Each candy is a tiny ball of surprise.

Similar to milk chocolate raisins, milk chocolate mini eggs are a real delight around Easter. Although these eggs are available all year round, they become most sought-after at Easter. Many individuals use them as a decoration to add to chocolate cakes.

Fried eggs

Another interesting-looking pick and mix sweet popular in the UK is fried eggs. These cute little gummies look exactly like sunny-side-up eggs. They have a peachy flavour, which most consumers find enjoyable. Their texture is amazingly soft and chewy. Make sure not to mistake them for real fried eggs by eating them for breakfast.

Friendship rings

Friendship rings have certainly earned their spot on the top ten pick and mix sweets list. They are also called gummy rings or jelly rings. Regardless of how you call them, friendship rings are a nice addition to every pick and mix bag. These fruit-flavoured gummies are in the shape of rings. They are sweet, colourful, and free of artificial colours. Follow this link,, to learn whether food dyes are harmless or harmful.

Dolly mixtures

Dolly mixtures are another well-known pick and mix product, available in a variety of colourful fondant shapes, like cylinders and cubes. This mixture contains soft sweets of small size and sugar-coated jellies. The flavourings are subtle, including different fruits and vanilla.

Apart from cubes and cylinders, the dolly mixture now includes jewellery forms like brooches, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Since these gummies are small and lightweight, you can purchase a significant selection of treats with different tastes for a reasonable price.

Sour dummies

Sour dummies rank relatively high on the list of top ten pick and mix sweets. The simplicity of these gummies is what makes them so enjoyable. They are fruit-flavoured with a sour coating, suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Sour dummies are dairy-free, gelatine-free, and free of artificial colours.

Moreover, these gummies contain fruit and vegetable concentrates, such as black carrots, spirulina, and grapes. They are made with natural colours from curcumin and paprika extract. Sour dummies contain malic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid as well.

Fruit salad

The fruit salad gummies have been unquestionably among the UK’s favourites for decades. These sugar-dusted sweet gummies come in a wide range of fruit shaped pieces. They taste like lemon, lime, cherry, orange, passionfruit, and grapefruit. The fruit salad gummies are ideal not just for snacking but for decorating and garnishing drinks as well.

Furthermore, these treats are naturally flavoured with balanced sweetness. Most importantly, they are fat-free. Different gummy fruits are combined together to make a fruit salad. Kids aren’t the only ones to enjoy them, as adults adore them too.

Final word

Build your own pouch by combining your favourite gummmies!


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Best Tips For Making Cookies For Christmas


It can't be said that the holidays are just around the corner. Still, maybe it's the right time to plan some things ahead to welcome that carefree period. For example, you can design a Christmas table or decoration. You have plenty of time to change your ideas along the way until you get to the right one.

You can do the same when it comes to Christmas cookies. You may be buying them, you may be making them, but one thing is for sure - without these treats, no one can imagine this celebration. Sweet aromas of cinnamon, vanilla, and chocolate spreading around the house, a hot drink, and a gathered, cheerful family, are the idea of an ideal holiday for many families.

You probably have some 'tested' recipe that still doesn't turn out very well every time. The taste may be nice, but the problem is texture, shape, decoration, etc. If you don't know what you're doing wrong, you have plenty of time to improve your culinary skills. This article will list some tips that might inspire you.

Visit the page below to learn more about the tradition of making Christmas cookies:

Use Quality Ingredients

Those who decide to make Christmas cookies from scratch have more control over the end product. It means a better chance of making treats that look and taste spectacular. A combination of skilled hands and good ingredients is always a winning one.

It's not set in stone that you have to use the most expensive ingredients to make your Christmas sweet treats yummy and well-accepted by your guests. But you shouldn't skimp and use cheap substitutes for certain ingredients either.

Perhaps the most important of all the tips on making Christmas cookies is to choose your ingredients carefully. Some people like to add nuts and raisins to the basic dough, but that's really not necessary. What you need is to focus on basic stuff, such as butter, sugar, and eggs. As long as you have these ingredients of high-quality, you can mix them with whatever you want.

That's especially true of butter. It’s a cheaper variant is margarine, but you're probably aware it's not the best (or the healthiest) solution. It contains vegetable oil and many artificial ingredients, some of which are quite harmful to health. On the other hand, butter is an all-natural dairy product.

Ingredients of the Same Temperature

Another rule regarding the ingredients themselves is to have them at approximate temperatures to bond well. Non-softened butter will leave lumps in the dough. Too softened butter won't mix well either, as it will melt down and drain from the dough during baking, leaving the cookies dry and not too tasty.

Too cold egg and milk (or buttermilk) won't incorporate well into batter either. On the other hand, too warm milk isn't good either. The fatty layer can separate from milk, making it too watery. Eggs kept out of the fridge even for a few hours can spoil. Keep all ingredients in the fridge and put them on the countertop at least an hour before kneading the dough.

Moist before Baking

Store-bought cookie dough tends to dry out fast because it has already been processed. As a result, you will get cookies that are too cracked and not suitable for decoration. You don't want that to happen. So, you'll bake homemade treats with proven ingredients and tricks to help them look like they're from a culinary magazine.

Culinary experts suggest that you moisten the cookies before you place them in the oven. Your goal isn't just to make them crispy. You want them to be delicious and easy to chew as well! Use a silicone brush and slightly smear warmish water over the dough. Don't moist them too much, as your cookies can become gooey.

Most cookie recipes involve cooling before baking. That will make the dough easier to shape, which means a lot if you make shaped cakes like Santa, Christmas tree, reindeer, etc. That applies to the butter dough. If you opt for margarine instead of butter, keep the batter in the freezer for at least an hour before baking to get the right structure.

Use Good Baking Tray

Burnt cookie bottoms are a common issue you've probably encountered. The 'culprit' is your baking tray. If it's too dark, it will heat up faster and overbake anything on it. So always choose lighter trays made of aluminum. Use paper only, as a greased baking sheet can turn your treats brown, too.

Quick Baking

Another tip on making Christmas cookies that you must keep in mind is quick baking. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes in a preheated oven. Never put your cookies on a cold stove and warm them slowly. If you leave them on the heat too long, they might get dense and not have the right texture. 

The perfect temperature for even baking cookies is around 350 or 375, depending on your stove. Anything higher than that will make your sweet treats hard and brittle. Some newer appliances allow you to bake at lower settings. So you should always test your oven before making a Christmas cookie batch.

Think in Advance

Preparing cookie dough a day or two ahead of time allows you to store it properly not to dry out. You can even knead the basic batter a few weeks earlier and freeze it, but do that in small amounts. Then you can easily shape them with a cookie scoop and add all those yummy add-ons like colored sugar, raisins, and so on to each batch separately.

Shape the cookies only right before baking. You can also use different icing to make cookies for all tastes. For example, you can use vanilla, brown sugar, rum, mint extract, and classic chocolate chips. Try out some different combinations and see what you like best.

If you are new to baking, you might want to start with some easy-to-make cookie recipes. As you get more skilled in baking, you can experiment with new ingredients, decorating tips, and techniques. After a while, you will be able to create masterpieces worthy of any celebration.


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