Friday, December 26, 2014

Everything looks better in bite size

I have this silicone bite-size brownie pan at home for a while, but I didn't use it that often until I realize it is good not only with brownies (saved you the hassle of cutting that fudgy chocolate sweets into pieces) but many other pastries as well. Bite-size pieces are not only convenient to be carried around for picnic or as snacks in between meals or as party food, they certainly look cuter and more presentable - line them up on a plate, stack them up like a tree, or just pile them in a deep bowl - just be creative!

Here's one recipe I used to make banana bread - I served them as one of the petit fours on Christmas Eve (partly inspired by a meal we had in Milan a couple months ago). Just use any recipe that yield one regular loaf pan, and cut down the baking time by around 1/3. Using a stand mixer would be fabulous and most mess-free, but you can easily prepare everything by hand. You can also use the pan for things like butter pound cake, or even mini-muffins.

Recipe: Bite-Size Banana Bread (yields 24 single-serving pieces)

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
3 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs, beaten

Steps:

1. Preheat over to 170C. Lightly grease and flour the silicone pan.
2. Combine Butter and Sugar in a bowl. Use hand whisk or stand mixer (with metal scrapper attachment on), beat the mixture thoroughly until fluffy and color turned pale. Add mashed bananas, eggs and lemon zest into the bowl and mix well. It's okay to leave lumps - doesn't have to be 100% smooth.
4. Meanwhile, Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and fold/whisk gently until they were fully incorporated into the batter.
5. Spoon batter into the pan. Fill it up to about 2/3 of the cavity and smoothen the top with a spoon.
6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Check with a toothpick inserted into the center - if it comes out clean then the banana bread is done. If the top turned brown too quickly inside the oven, put an aluminum foil on top and continue baking.
7. Remove the pan from oven, take out the bread once the pan is cool enough to handle, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool down.

They can be eaten immediately (which are always best), or can be kept in room temperature for a couple of days or in the refrigerator for weeks. I always like to eat them slightly warmed, so I usually put them on top of a kitchen towel with a splash of water in microwave and reheat them in full power for 40 seconds, and they will come out moist and hot, just like they are fresh from oven.


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