Monday, 11 April 2011

my latest endeavour

A couple of weeks ago, I was surfing around looking for a suitable recipe to make a bundt cake, but I ended up with an awesome banana sponge cake recipe over at Wen's Delight.


It is a rare thing for me to bake the same cake more than once within a short time interval as there are so many recipes out there waiting for me to explore. However, I made this cake not twice, not thrice, but a total of 4 times in a month.

So, what makes me go back to the same recipe again and again? The possible reasons are: either I failed the first time, and I die die must get it right on the next attempt, or, I wanted to experiment and play around with the ingredients; or the cake is simply so delicious and easy to put together that it will be the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I have the urge to bake something! 

I got this banana sponge cake right the first time, even though I played around with the ingredients...I increased the amount of banana and cut down on the sugar a little. The finished cake was very well received. Even though it was only my second attempt, I baked this same cake and gave it away when I wanted to return a kind gesture. I was lucky that the cake was well baked, at least the exterior looks well baked, all nicely browned. My friend, whom I have yet to meet in person, (we have angels to provide free delivery service for us) was kind enough not to give a single negative comment, other than it was slightly on the sweet side and very banana-y. It turn out that she has made this exact same cake before!

On my third attempt, I tweak the recipe a little and made a chocolate version out of it. On my latest endeavour, I cut down even more sugar. I must have felt overly confident, and did another bold change to the recipe...I replaced a small portion of the oil with milk as I feel that the cake is slightly too oily. 



The latest version is still as soft and fluffy, and I find the sweetness just right. From the crumb, it looks like a slice of pound cake, however, it is quite light, not dense at all. The texture is almost close to a chiffon cake, although it has got more 'bite' to it. This sponge cake uses a lot more oil compared to most sponge cake recipes I have come across. As a result, the cake stays moist and is delicious eaten plain on its own...there is no need to jazz it up with layers of cream.

The way I went about making the cake is slightly different from the original recipe. I took an extra step here and there just to make sure I get the folding of the flour and the oil right. If you are an experienced baker, do hop over to Wen's blog for the original recipe, if you are as gung ho as me, feel free to try out my version...which I am afraid, for the time being, comes with no guarantee of success ;)

Happy Baking!



Banana Sponge Cake

Ingredients:
(makes one 8" round cake)

3 large eggs, room temperature
100g caster sugar (original recipe uses 150g)
250g to 300g bananas (3 large ripened bananas, cut into chunks)
150g cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
80ml vegetable oil (original recipe uses 100ml)
20ml milk (I used low fat fresh milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Method:
  1. Grease (with butter) and flour sides of an 8" round pan, line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve together cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Sieve the flour mixture twice and set it aside.
  3. Place vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, set aside.
  4. Place eggs, caster sugar and bananas in a large mixing bowl. With an electric whisk, whisk the mixture at Low speed for a few seconds (to break up the bananas). Change to medium-high speed, and whisk the mixture till it becomes thick, pale and triple in volume. This should take around 7 to 8 mins. The batter should leave a ribbon like trail when the paddle is lifted. Test by lifting up the whisk/paddle, and draw an '8' with the batter. The number should stay for a few seconds. Turn to Low speed again, and beat for another 2 mins. This is to stablise the air bubbles in the batter. (Note: do not over beat the batter...it is not a good thing if the '8' doesn't disappear.)
  5. Sieve over the flour mixture in 3 separate additions. Each time Fold In the flour carefully with a Spatula, making sure there is no pockets of flour being trapped at the bottom of the bowl. Do not stir the batter with the spatula, it will cause the batter to deflate too much.
  6. Pour a small portion (less than 1/3) of the batter into the mixing bowl in Step 3. Fold in with the spatula until the oil mixture is fully incorporated into the batter.
  7. Pour the mixture in Step 6 back into the rest of the batter (Step 5). 
  8. Fold in the batter with the spatula making sure the mixture is well combined. (By now the batter could be deflated by about 20% or so as compared to Step 4).
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, the pan should be about 3/4 full. 
  10. Bake in preheated oven at 160 degC for 40-45mins or until the surface turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (The edges of the cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.) Remove from oven, unmold and leave to cool (inverted) on a cooling rack.
Recipe source: adapted from Wen's Delight.

72 comments:

MissCakeBaker said...

This banana cake looks so light and lovely.

ReeseKitchen said...

Oh another nice recipe for banana cakes! I love banana cakes, and did tried few recipes out of it..:) Here's another one I'm eager to try, thanks for sharing!

Joyce @ Chunky Cooky said...

Looks really spongy and delicious ! Hungry for a slice now !

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...

呵呵,你还做了4次啊,不简单哩:)

The Sweetylicious said...

this is an extremely lovely recipe! it yield really yummy banana cake! i tried it for 3 times already (: i admire your bravery and manage to modify it so nicely (: great job!

edith said...

Any left for me?

Janine said...

Your cake looks really tall and fluffy! And thanks to your 4 attempts, I don't need to trial and error myself - I can just use your recipe :p

Wen said...

Thanks for linking me. Yours look very nice! I love to try out your version too.

shaz said...

Thanks for sharing a lighter version. Will definitely try it soon.

createwithmom said...

with vegetable oil looks healthy and delicious

Alice said...

i'm gung ho - will try out yours haha.... thks! :)

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

I'm in love with banana cakes, and your's looks so good and very big I might add, it's probably the pan, but it does have like a royal appearance :)

The Addicted Baker said...

Your cake looks amazing. I just can't get enough of banana :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

HHB, this looks so well made... Absolutely store bought standard!

Swati Sapna said...

I totally understand the joy of a good cake recipe that calls for baking it again and again :) The cake looks smashing! And here's a spiced carrot cake that I have had a similar experience with - I have baked it thrice in a month and with pumpkin, raisins, apple, carrot...whatever I could find! And it turned out amazing each time :)
http://theweekendepicurean.blogspot.com/2010/07/eggless-carrot-raisin-cake.html

tatlilar gülcandan said...

Afiyetler olsun emeklerinize saglik.Benim cok sevdigim blog burasi sevgiler .

Jennifurla said...

It's gorgeous, I am dreaming of a slice.

Happy Homebaker said...

Janine, for this latest version, I baked it with a 7" pan, that is why it looks taller.

Wen, thanks for sharing this recipe :)

Alina, yes, I baked it with a 7" pan to test it out.

Shirley, nah, I could have done better with the baking time. I used a 7" pan this time round, and the cooking time was a bit longer...the sides were not as golden as I would want it to be. However, I had a chance to test taste a banana cake from ToastBox, this recipe is a sure winner. I think store bought ones have got artifical banana flavourings...

Swati Sapna, thanks for sharing your joy in baking :)

j3ss kitch3n said...

i tried this too! absolutely fabulous! the texture of your cake is divine HHB!

hanushi said...

I like your photos. Your "simple" cake looks so appetizing... 真是个不简单的蛋糕。。

Jo said...

I love banan cakes and this one looks really delicious.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

i also bookmarked this recipe, since there are too many good reviews, i must make this very soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely sponge - I topped mine with peanut butter-chocolate ganache, so naughty!!
I might try the same method with almond paste instead of bananas like done on this blog
http://dumieletdusel.canalblog.com/archives/2009/05/01/13569642.html.
Anyway thank you for sharing this yummy HHB.

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB,


I had tried baking this recipe but unable to beat eggs, sugar & banana till stiff stage and it was still very watery..Any idea what is wrong?

Thanks,
Max

Happy Homebaker said...

Max, the batter will not be as stiff as beaten egg whites till stiff peak stage. The batter should be thick, able to flow, and when you lift up the whisk, it should leave a ribbon like trail. The consistency is very much like a super thick cream soup but has got lots of air trapped in it...the batter 'feels' fluffy when you try to fold in the flour. Is that what you got, if yes, then it should be correct.

You can take a look at my humble video clip here on how I make a sponge layer (http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2008/12/matcha-adzuki-again.html)

or visit professional video demo here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvzvmpcKi_w) which uses a hand mixer like I do, or (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI-QzZGHYZU) which uses a stand mixer.

Remember to use room temperature eggs...it will be easier to beat the eggs to the ribbon-like stage. Hope this helps :)

Michelle said...

Hi HHB
I replace cake flour with self-raising flour. It turn out okie but the end pdt doesn't look as nice as yours. Mine tend to be sticky and dense. Is it correct? I have a pic, can send to u via email for advice?

Anonymous said...

Hi HBB,

Thanks a lot of your advise and i will try baking this cake again soon!!


Thanks,
Max

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Michelle, I think you didn't fold the flour or the oil mixture thoroughly. Did you take some portion of the batter and mix it with the oil mixture before adding it back to the rest of the mixture? You can take a look at my reply to Max above, there is a good video clip on making sponge cake which you can refer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvzvmpcKi_w). You can also send me your photo by I am not sure whether I am experience enough to troubleshoot by just looking at the photo ;)

Michelle said...

Hi HHB

I did fold the flour and i folded it very care. Haha. I also took a portion of the mixture and mix it with oil too.

Michelle said...

It look sticky and dense but when i tried it last night, its not so dense. Thank you very much for your advice.

Happy Homebaker said...

Michelle, Glad that the cake is ok after all :):)
Oh I think maybe it is the banana...some spots of clumps may appear dense and even look a bit kueh-like, I believe those are the bananas.

Michelle said...

Btw, u mention whisk/paddle in yr instructions. May i ask if its the 'balloon' whisk or the "k" paddle u used? I m using the machine stand mixer rather than hand-held. Sry for asking so much.

mj said...

Hi hhb, i baked this cake 2 days ago, followed yr steps exactly. My banana was not ripe enough but i was too impatient to wait 4 it to ripen further *lol* so it was quite difficult to mash up, i was worried e cake wld not turn out well but was pleasantly surprised when it turn out soft fluffy & totally yummy! Tks 4 sharing e recipe ;-)

Happy Homebaker said...

Michelle, I do not have a stand mixer, I am using this almost 30yr old hand held mixer. I think it is referred to as 'paddle' for a hand held mixer, I am not referring to k paddle, sorry for the confusion.

Happy Homebaker said...

mj, I bet you will make this again very soon...with very ripped bananas. The cake will taste sweeter and very 'phang'. It is one of those addictive cakes that makes you want to make it again and again :)

mj said...

Yes i think so....just like e banana chiffon which i hv made many times since u shared e recipe. I just realised something, i wld actually buy banana only if i intend to bake a cake, unlike most people who wld use up their over-ripe banana for cake making!

Michelle said...

What is yr email add again, i cldn't find it in the comment trail

Happy Homebaker said...

hi mj, sometimes I will also buy bananas just for baking :)

Anonymous said...

Hi my it is very good, I try it thank you so much, I ready not belive it

from: SHIN

Kacey said...

I thought the cake will be very chiffon-ish but luckily it is not! I followed your recipe to a T and it turned out really perfect! :) thanks for sharing this recipe!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Kacey, this cake uses the whole egg method as such it is closer to a sponge cake than a chiffon cake. Glad to know that yours turn out perfect :)

Anonymous said...

for sponge cake if overbeat the egg then will be difficult to mix wit the flour?at begining beat at high speed until wat condition should turn to low speed?for the spatula,wat type of spatula most suitable for making sponge cake?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, sorry, I dont think it would affect the mixing. When the mixture becomes thick and turned pale and leave a ribbon like trail, switch to low speed and beat for 1 to 2 mins. You may use any rubber or plastic spatula as long as it is not too small, you can get it from most baking supply store. hope this helps.

Caroline Yap said...

Hello Happy Homemaker,

I stumbled on your blog and found it is very very helpful...thank you so much for willing to share your recipe.

By the way, you mentioned cake flour in this banana sponge cake. Is it plain flour you are referring to?

Thanks so much...:)

Happy Homebaker said...

hi Caroline, no it is cake flour, not plain flour. Cake flour has a lower protein/gluten level.

Anonymous said...

the banana adding in the egg batter to beat wont be affect the result of beating egg become fluffy?the banana not need to mash it just cut into chunks beat wit electric mixer?the egg is all the way beating with high speed?i made out it turning to be flat isit means i overmix it?i finish folding it will be watery.what are the right way to folding the flour?this cake can keep for how many days?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, no it wont affect the result. yes, just need to cut/break banana into chunks, the electric beater will beat the banana, I used medium high speed to beat the eggs mixture. DId the eggs mixture became thick and triple in volume? If yes, maybe it could be due to the folding of the flour into the mixture. The finished batter should be thick and not watery. The cake can be kept for 2 to 3 days. You may google for video demo on how to make sponge cake to get an idea how to fold the flour. I have a video clip (http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.sg/2008/12/matcha-adzuki-again.html) which shows how I made a sponge roll cake, you may want to take a look as the method to prepare the batter is about the same. hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

my mixer finish beating it stil got banana lump,wil it make the egg batter not stable?after u beat til the egg become stiff,stil got any banana in lumpy form?can be use the blender to beat the banana after that only put to egg mixture there beating it?i got beat it til triple in volume,i beat til the trail leaving there not dissapear,isit correct?today i make again,it turn out flat didnt rise at all and abit hard lo

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I suspect it is the folding of the flour and the oil into the batter. You could have deflated the batter. I dont think it is the problem with the banana. You have beat the eggs mixture correctly. The finished batter should be thick and not thin and runny. How is the consistency of your finished batter?

Anonymous said...

thanks for reply!original the egg is beat till thick,then after folding in flour and oil,the batter become not that thick.the finished batter is abit runny and not that thick compare with the begining that.all sponge cake u also is beat with medium high speed?cannot beat with high speed?the folding technique beside scrape from the bottom still have to cutting the flour into the egg batter(like cutting vegetable that way)?i find out that abit difficult to mix evenly the flour with the egg.after the flour mix evenly will be abit rough?im just using a bottom15cm,top 18cm cake pan for making this cake,i think is deflate alot right?this cake is not rise that much compare with other sponge cake isit?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, what kind of spatula do you use to fold the flour? It is better to use a bigger spatula if yours is the small type. It helps in folding. Your method of folding the flour is correct. Did you watch any video demo on making sponge cake? It is easier to learn from video than explaining in words (especially I am no good with words).

Yes, after folding the flour, the batter will appear 'rough', but once you add in the oil, the batter will become smooth again. I am not sure whether the cake rise less than other sponge cake...i think it is about the same, maybe slightly shorter? I feel like making this cake again ;)

I think you are on the right track, with practise, I am sure you will get it right. 加油!

Anonymous said...

im using small spatula.are u using big spatula for making tis?ur spatula is soft or hard that type?i got watch especially that video demo from urs.the egg cannot be beat at high speed.just can be beat at medium high speed to make it stable?from beginning i beat at high speed till can be write 8 and not that many bubble only turn to low speed.but at the time i still can see some small bubble there.after i folding in the flour i discover my mixture volome become lesser and not that thick already.when u make again do u mind to treat me a slice.hehe.i wish to make a sponge cake as perfect as urs that.thanks for encouragement!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, for sponge cakes I used the normal size spatula, the pink spatula that I used in my video clip. but for making chiffon cake, I use a much bigger one (a gift from a friend). I read that it will be easier to fold the flour if u use a bigger spatula, but I have not tried it (I have also came across a book that recommends using a ballon whisk). I usually beat at medium high speed (speed 3 out of 5 speeds). because my handheld electric beater is very very old (almost 30yrs old), didnt dare to crank up the speed. Yes, after folding the flour and than the liquid oil, the mixture will deflate a bit, but the cake should still rise and after baking, the texture shouldn't be hard or dense. I really wish I could show you how I went about making the sponge cake, but I am no professional baker as everything is self taught (I learn from books borrowed from the library). I hope you can get it right on your next attempt, don't be disheartened, I learned a lot more from my failures ;)

Anonymous said...

sorry for disturb.this week i try few times again but dun know why the middle if bottom must will shrink to inside.all banana i use for try still i fail lo.at begining it got rise abit gradually wil shrink back.for banana sponge,beating the egg will be take longer time isit?i made sponge without banana wont be shrink to inside just will be flat only.can u give me ur email adrress,i wish to sent u the photo for u.may i know who is the author of the book and the book name?are u using springform pan for make this?if use normal pan just have to put a baking paper to bottom there not need to grease isit?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I baked a cake using this recipe last week. I took about 7 to 8 mins to beat the eggs, banana (I cut into big chunks) and sugar mixture. My cake didnt shrink and the resulting cake is just like the photos I showed on this blog post. Could it be due to your oven? Did you preheat your oven to the right temperature? Do you use an oven thermometer? I used a normal pan to bake the cake...just line the bottom/base with parchment paper, for the side, I grease with butter and dust with flour. The original recipe is taken from here: http://wensdelight.blogspot.sg/2009/03/my-favorite-banana-cake-recipe.html

Happy Homebaker said...

You may send your pic to my email address: happyhomebaking@yahoo.com.sg

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the wonderful recipe. Last nite I made the cake and it was awesome. A bit dense on the bottom (side). Amazingly it was alright in the centre. I like it so much as its not that sweet. My next mission to to try your milk loaf. Once again thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, glad to hear that yours turn out ok and that you like it :) Have fun making the milk loaf!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for the lovely recipe.
My cake turn out nice the top half portion. The bottom portion feel a bit dense... like 'kueh'. But it was ok when I insert a toothpick to check.

Would love to hear from you. TQ.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, not sure what was the cause...maybe it is due to the folding of the oil to the batter...the oil mixture could have sank to the bottom and not fully incorporated into the batter. Otherwise, maybe it is due to your oven temperature? Did you preheat your oven, and use an oven thermometer to check that the temperature is accurate? Could it be the top of the cake is nearer to the heating elements while the bottom did not receive enough heat?

emma's mummy said...

Hi, Happy Home baker

Happy Chinese New Year!

Made it on CNY eve. And I think that I overbeat the batter, the 8 didn't disappear. Guess that I am not attention to details, I can't tell the difference. Does overbeating batter make batter difficult to incorporate the flour?

The finished batter is lumpy, I thought that it is because of banana lumps.

Please share with me your valuable experience of overbeating eggs. Thanks.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi emma's mummy, Happy CNY to you and your family too!

I am not able to comment what are the effects on overbeating the eggs and sugar mixture as I have not experienced it. I am no professional baker, everything is self taught from books and internet, I have not even attended a single baking class or demo workshop. Hope u understand that I am only able to share what I have encountered during my baking process.

As for the lumpy batter, it could be the folding of the flour into the batter, do you have the same problem with other sponge cake recipes?
How was the finished cake? Did it rise? How is the texture?


emma's mummy said...

Hi, happy home baker

Thanks a lot for the reply. It's ok, you inspired me to self learn baking, and I am proud of what I can bake now.

I did some google search, can't find simple answers. Thanks for pointing out at your recipe, otherwise I may not know that overbeating makes a difference. The stiffness of finished batter(ribbon) look inconsistent from different youtube videos.

The cake rise well, and I love this recipe. I put a bit batter into muffin cup for own taste, as the round one is for gift. The texture is good, though I spot one flour lump.

Will try your sponge cake recipes(without banana version) and practice more. Thanks for highlighting points to look out.

I love this recipe. The cake is very fragrant and fluffy. Thanks a lot!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi emma's mummy, thanks for your understanding. From what I have read, over beating the eggs mixture will cause the finished cake to have a coarse texture, the cake would shrink upon cooling. I managed to search for photos to illustrate the coarse texture see here:
http://www.douguo.com/cookbook/84263.html

Since your cake rise well and the texture was good, over beating may not be the cause of the lumps...not sure whether it was due to folding of the flour?

emma's mummy said...

Hi, Happy homebaker

Thanks a lot. I never thought to search in Chinese for cake. The info is very helpful, thanks!

Will take a close look at texture and folding for basic sponge cake next time.

Thanks!

Megan Nicole said...

Great recipe, I love the inside and out of it. I will try this soon after I'm done with this recipe called Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan.

Hui Hoon said...

Hi! My bro just bought an mew oven at hometown. Hence i am thinking to use ot to bake a caketo show him. We got some ban.am. Hence i am thinking to bake a banana sponge cake. Your recipe seems easy, as it does not requiredegg seperation. Howevm we donthave any baking soda or baking powder. I wonder, can i omit it? Thanks!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Hui Hoon, you will need baking powder and baking soda for this recipe, otherwise the cake may not rise well.

Airu Liu said...

Hi. Happy home baking, today I have bake, but since the cake was too soft, is this correct?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I am not sure what you meant by the cake was too soft? was it wet or under baked?

sue said...

I just finish baking the cake and turned out DELICIOUS!
However, I am not sure if this was expected or not;
when I inverted the cake on a cooling rack the bottom part of the cake (a thin layer) was wet with oil, like part of the oil separated and sunked to the bottom of the cake. I must tell you that in step 6 when less than 1/3 of the batter was folded into the oil,milk & vanilla bowl it never really mixed completely I tried folding several times but the oil kept sinking to the bottom (any tricks on how to keep the mixture from separating?) Once the 1/3 batter, oil, milk, vanilla "mixture" was pour back to the rest of the batter, some of the oil didn't completely mixed with the batter (perhaps I needed to fold longer at this point, but I was afraid to deflate it). Any ideas on what I might have done wrong. Also, while cooling the cake it deflated about 20%, is this expected? Nevertheless, the flavor and the tenderness of the rest of the cake (not the oily part) was much better than store bought cakes. The best homemade banana cake I have had in my life. Thank you!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sue, I am not able to give useful advice as I am no professional baker. From my own experience, if you use a bigger spatula(wider blade area, hope you know what I mean?), it helps in folding. For the mixing of 1/3 of batter to the oil and other liquid, it is ok to Stir if the batter cannot blend well with the oil. When adding the mixed 1/3 batter to the rest of the 2/3 batter, you have to Fold gently, quickly, by scraping the spatula all the way to the bottom of the bowl and lift it up. You may want to google for video demo on how to make sponge cakes especially the folding of the oil to the batter. The cake will shrink upon cooling, as long as the texture is light and tender and not dense like butter cake you are on the right track. Cheers and Merry Xmas!