Best Ever Banana Bread to celebrate its day!

Best Ever Banana Bread

best ever banana bread - tartine& maple

Who doesn’t love a good banana bread? Yes indeed, this classic of american cuisine has it’s own celebrated day, today!!! I tried to research some fact about were and when it comes from, but that wasn’t really interesting… I just give you a short paragraph from Wiki:

Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s, appeared in Pillsbury‘s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook,[2] and later gained more acceptance with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950.[3]

Look at the goodness inside!

Look at the goodness inside!

This is the perfect way to use up those brown bananas, and as a matter of fact, I did have 4 of those darken fruits on my counter, not even planning on making banana bread this week-end! Some other great ideas of  what to do with ripped bananas is a super easy food processor ice cream! Yes indeed, you can find how to in this post:

Peanut Butter & Jam Popsicles: a treat that’s good for you… and the kids

Anyway, back to the banana bread. You have seen on this blog, different variations of banana bread, in muffin forms, with healthy alternative, and let me tell you those are really good!!! the posts are:

Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins. Am I Paleo yet?

Banana Bread Muffins: low fat, low sugar, no guilt!!!

But, to celebrate the special day, I decided to go with a more authentic recipe this time, that doesn’t care about healthiness and nutrition, just goodness!!! Also, I think my husband is getting tired of my try out at “healthy” baking… Although they are really good, he always has some comments about the stevia aftertaste, or just plainly: “it’s good, but it’s just not the same…” Yeah, I am one of those to never do the same, I always, I mean, always, have to change something in a recipe… Look, again, Id did some changes! My choice of using coconut oil, is because I prefer using oil rather than butter in banana cakes, I think it makes them fluffier  and coconut oil adds a subtle nutty taste to the cake. Same with the brown sugar, it’s just a taste thing, rather that using plain white sugar, brown sugar adds a little more carameley taste to it! Whole wheat flour I think goes great with the heartiness of the cake. I don’t use whole wheat usually in cakes, but I think it goes particularly well with banana and carrot cakes in general.

So there it is, I picked one of the most rated recipe of banana bread from the internet, int his case, from the Food Network web site: Flour’s Famous Banana Bread. If you look at the rating and number of reviews, you want to make this, like right now!!! Seems pretty fool proof! With the few modification from above, and voila!!!

I also love to cut my banana bread in thin slices, toast it and eat it for breakfast with peanut butter and maple syrup… Like we did this morning!!! Oh my, amazing!!! Tonight  we have company, and I am planning on serving it with homemade coconut ice cream, that should be pretty outstanding too… I let you know soon! And this time, hubby was definitely in banana cake haven! He barely waited for the cake to cool and almost ruined it by trying to cut  it while warm! I have to admit, it was delicious right out the over, but easier to slice once completely cool!

best ever banana bread - tartine& maple

What is your favorite recipe? How do you eat it?

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Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins. Am I Paleo yet?

Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins

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Sugar Free, Butter Free Muffins - Tartine & Maple

Hello all! Before we get started, let me tell you a bit about my recent search and interest; the Paleo diet. Wasat? Well, it’s definitely a bit confusing… Paleo comes from the work: Paleolithic, AKA; cavemen time, like million years ago. OK, so what’s the diet? Self hunted raw meat? HAHA, yeah, well no, that’s where it gets complicated… I put a few pieces of web definition together to resume it as best as possible, so here it goes:

Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumesdairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils

Toxic foods include:

  • Grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, brown rice, …)
  • Legumes (soy beans, peanuts, chickpeas, kidney beans, …)
  • Vegetable seed oils (soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil, canola oil, …)
  • Added sugar (sodas, candies, cakes, fruit juices, …). Some sugar from natural sources like fruits is perfectly fine.
  • Sources of dairy high in protein (casein) and sugar (lactose) and low in healthy butter-fat.

A focus should be placed on eating a variety of foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. These include:

  • Organ meats (liver, kidney, bone marrow, heart, brain, …)
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, …)
  • Meat from grass-fed ruminants (beef, bison, lamb, …)
  • Mollusks and other seafood (oysters, mussels, wild salmon, sardines, …)
  • Egg yolks;
  • Bone broth;
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, …);

Got it? Confusing a bit, no? 1st of all, why avoiding grains and legumes? Not sure… Why the meat as to be “grass feed ruminants”? Because it’s a caveman diet? OK, well did cavemen really cooked fermented food or delicious cake with coconut milk and baking soda??? That’s where I got lost…

Anyhow, the reason why I got interested in this diet, is that 1st of all, when you start to search for healthy recipes, like no sugar cake, or healthy snacks recipe, it seems like the Paleo tag is on everything healthy out there! I mean, where have I been lately? Where those Paleo modern cavemen cooks hided before? It seems like like it’s been the crave for a while, and I totally missed the boat!

Wait a second, I am not becoming Paleo, nonono, huhum, like mentioned before, no will power, therefore, no such restrictions for me! I love grains, legumes, dairy, non-grass-feed-ruminants meat! But I have to admit, I am following at least 5 Paleo bloggers now!

What really interest me is their approach of cooking with alternatives, like no refined sugar, and instead, for example using pureed dates, that’s a great idea! dates are so sweet and nutritious! Or replace butter with coconut oil. I am not sure how coconut oil is so good for you, seeing all the (good) cholesterol that it contains, but I love it! Been using it everywhere lately! Or alternative flours like nut flours; coconut, almond, mashed nuts… oh, and by the way, in Paleo world, peanut is not a nut, just so you know…. HUH? Oh well, it ends in “nut” still a nut to me!

Aren’t you learning a lot today??? Well I did over the past week, and decided to apply some out of this age cooking tips to my healthier baking!

SUCCESS! It was really, really good for a healthy muffin! Oh, I forgot the disclaimer: “healthy doesn’t always mean low calories”, there, that’s done. After all, there is peanut butter, coco oil, dates, whole flour; it is a hearty muffin, but the ingredients, are good for you little inside! I passed the kids AND the coworkers (who have access to fresh amazing pastries from our 4 stars kitchen) test! HOORAY!

Someone is going for more!!! WIN!

Someone is going for more!!! WIN!

But it is NOT a Paleo recipe, just Paleo inspired. I got the base recipe from here, and changed it to the follow (you can go with the alternative options to fit what’s in your pantry, healthiness not guaranteed ;)):

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Banana Bread Muffins: low fat, low sugar, no guilt!!!

Banana Bread Muffins: low fat, low sugar, no guilt!!!

 Tartine & Maple

No-no, I haven’t forgotten to post, but I am on a bit of a hold regarding cooking crazy goodness… Why? Well, have you notice the countdown in the upper right corner of this page? 14 days to go toFrance, that’s right!!!

It’s not that I haven’t been cooking because of being so busy, even if I have been, but more because I am on a pre-vacation diet. No laughing here! You obviously never spent 3 weeks at my parents place! In case you haven’t read my About page (in that case, BOOOO, shame on you! just kidding…), my dad is a chef, they leave in the Champagneregion… No, still not getting it? That means that after nearly 2 years of Canadian food (not that there anything wrong with that) I am going to be on a total food and alcohol binge for 3 weeks non stop!!! Why lying to myself, it’s true, I know already that I will come back home after this trip, with 10 pounds more in my suitcase and in my derriere!!!

So, I am not really on a diet, it’s just not me… But just watching what I eat for a while. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy right? You can totally indulge free of guilt with those amazing low-fat and low-sugar banana bread muffins. They are truly moist and tasty, with only 1 tbsp of butter per batch!!!! The secret is in the apple sauce! You can change this recipe so many ways! I went with whole wheat flour, and replace the white sugar with Stevia. That’s if you really want a low calorie version. And it did turn out amazing! But if you are not watching your calorie count, do half brown half white sugar, whatever flour you feel like, and go with some add-ons, like: carrots, nuts, raisin and even chocolate chip! They still will be low-fat! Plus the kids love it, and I never feel bad giving it to them! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated Stevia sweetener
  • 1 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat egg, sugar, Stevia, butter, vanilla together. When sugar has dissolved, add apple sauce and mashed bananas. Beat more.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all the remaining dry ingredients together: white flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the banana mixture and stir slowly until all blended.
  • Pour in slightly greased muffin pan, filling only 2/3 of the mould. Do not use paper cup!
  • Bake for 25 min, or until or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

For the easy to print, share and email recipe, visit my Recipage!

Lemon Meringue cupcake; a tribute to my supporters!

Lemon Meringue cupcake; a tribute to my supporters!

Tartine & Maple

This post includes a recipe, yes, but it is above all, a tribute to my biggest supporter; Patricia.
The whole catering idea started back at the beginning of the year (or maybe longer in my dreams). It had been a while that my friends have been encouraging me to do something like that. I always cook, offer to bring a cake, invite people to share my kitchen try-out. Most of all, my dad is a caterer, and it was my first job and I really love, just like him, to make people happy with my cooking!
But I am also a mum of 2 young kids, and I have a house… plus, I live in Vancouver, if you do too, you know it’s not the cheapest in Canada… So I have a full time job and it is very hard for me to picture how I would survive without it. But the idea started to tickle me; maybe soon I could work part time, or not at all, and just cook! Just need my husband to work more. Haha…
Those days, with social media, it is easy to share with the world your talents and interests in something pretty much anything. I took advantage of it and created a Facebook page, talking about the food I make at home and offering to do it for anybody interested. I had a lot of very positive feedback which really thrilled me!
Patricia and I have worked for the same company about 4 years ago, and we remained friends through Facebook. She was from the get go my biggest supporter of all! She had never tried my food ever before, but was the first to offer me to cater officially for her ands her friends, people I did not know! This was huge! Not the same deal as bringing the dessert at my friend pot luck party!!!

Anyway, it was a baby shower (see the pics under the catering page), and the positive feedback was overwhelming!!! The attendees of the party started following my page, and wrote really nice notes… Patricia became really my own PR affiliate, posting pictures of my food, with amazing comments, and raving non stop on my wall! She also took a stack of my home made business cards to distribute! Whoa, that was really the time when I told myself; I could really just do that one day! People actually like it!
Then she called me back later to offer me to do another shower! Her friends are having babies one after another and I love it! Another success and more raving!!!
So, really, thank you Patricia and thank you to all your friends for being such good supporters! One day I’ll be famous (maybe not, but, hey why not) and I’ll invite you as a guest on my show for Special tribute!!! Gosh, I wish!!!

In the main time, as a tribute, I offer to share the recipe of the Lemon Meringue Cupcake. It’s easier than it looks, just need a few tools though…

Bon appétit et merci merci!!!!

Lemon Meringue Cupcake

This yield about 40 regular size cupcakes, so you can easily cut portion in half…

  • 3 & 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 3/4 cup (3 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 7 large eggs, room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • Lemon Curd (see recipe on my Recipage)
  • Meringue Frosting (see recipe on my Recipage)
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add cream cheese and beat until combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches and beating until just combined after each.
  • Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  • To finish, spread 1 tablespoon lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. You can dig a little hole on top of the cupcakes, if you want to insert some lemon curd in the cake.
  • Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip with meringue frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Hold a small kitchen torch (or a small plumber torch from your hardware store will do the trick) 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve shortly after. Once frosted with the meringue, you can not keep the cupcake too long, as the meringue will start to melt within a few hours. Also do not refrigerate! it is recommended to put lemon curd and frosting last minute. Enjoy!

Print, save and send this recipe from my Recipage!

Ricotta Cheesecake

Ricotta in replacement of cream cheese make a delicious and light testing cheesecake. Here are 2 examples of Ricotta cheesecake:

Ricotta Cheesecake (cupcake size) with Chocolate streusel

Ricotta Blueberry Crustless cheesecake (mini) with Lemon Streusel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe was inspired my a blog post from CaffeIna:

CaffeIna (late) birthday and the most amazing cake I’ve ever had!

 

Ingredients (1 big cake or 18 cupcake)

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or Speculoos crumbs if you can find)
  • 1/3 cup butter cut in small cubes
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For the filling

  • 1 stick (110g) of butter soften
  • 150 g (¾ cup) sugar,
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • 500 g (17.6 oz) ricotta at room temperature

For the streusel

  • 75 g (2.6 oz) sugar
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) butter
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder or 2 tbsp of lemon peel

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven at 350 F.

For the crust

  • Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until crumbly. Spread on the bottom of your pan or cupcake molds. Press the mixture down. For cupcakes, use a drinking glass to press down the crust.

For the filling

  • Whisk the butter and sugar until white and fluffy. add the eggs one by one, blending them well to the mixture before adding more. Then add the ricotta and whisk more until all the ingredients are well blended with no clumps. If your ingredients are not all at the same temperature, clumps might form in your mixture.

For the streusel

  • Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until crumbly. Transfer to a bowl and press the mixture between your fingers to form little clumps.
  • Pour the filling over the crust (place blueberries or other berries on top of the crust before pouring the filling if you are going for the berry/lemon version). Then spread some streusel mixture on top of the filling, covering generously your cake. Bake for an hour for one big cake, or 25 to 30 min for cupcake size portions. When done, let cool on a grill.
  • Store at room temperature in an air tight container.

Find the easy to share, print and e-mail recipe on my Recipage!