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Banana & Nutella Cake

26 Jan

After a hectic schedule of baking goodies for The Very Hungry Caterpillar Dessert Isle and other orders last weekend, I had three remaining ripe bananas in the fruit basket. Rather than have them go to waste, I contemplated baking a Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake or a good old-fashioned Banana Cake.

I chose to bake the latter and remembered that I still had a huge jar of Nutella in the cabinet. I toyed with the idea of incorporating dollops of Nutella in the cake batter. Actually, I think it is a genius concoction as both banana and Nutella complement each other.

So, here is my rendition of Banana & Nutella Cake. Served this to the family and it has been certified a keeper πŸ˜‰

Banana & Nutella Cake 1.jpgIngredients

  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed lightly)
  • 200 grams butter
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 300 grams cake / plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons full cream milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon banana essence
  • 1/3 cup Nutella


Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Combine and sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Mashed the bananas in another bowl but not completely; leave some chunky bits. Add the lemon juice to the bananas and set aside.

In the mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating well. When you have a soft and pale mixture, add the banana essence.

Into this mixture, add one egg at a time and mix thoroughly. Still beating, add 1 spoonful of the dry ingredients, then 3 tablespoons of milk, followed by some more dry ingredients, then the remaining 3 tablespoons milk, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.

Finally, add the bananas and lemon juice to the cake batter by hand. Pour the cake mixture into a pan and followed by dollops of Nutella.

Use a fork to make swirls and then bake in the oven for about 45 – 50 minutes.

Banana & Nutella Cake 2.jpg

Banana & Nutella Cake


Jemput-jemput Pisang

6 Oct

For the past two mornings, I have been making these sinful dollops of banana for breakfast. It’s so convenient how you can make the batter the night before, store it in the fridge and fry them in the morning. This is something that I came up with since no one can give me the exact measurements or ingredients. I only know for sure that an aunt uses palm sugar (gula melaka) and baking soda when she makes them. I kinda figured the rest on my own after much research.

So, here’s my rendition of jemput-jemput pisang that will go perfectly well with a cup of hot tea πŸ™‚


  • A bunch of ripe bananas (I use pisang emas)
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 150 gm palm sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt


Lightly mash the bananas in a mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the mixing bowl.

Heat the palm sugar with water in a small pot over medium heat. Once the palm sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and strain the liquid into the bowl. Mix well. If the batter tastes a bit too sweet, then add another 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a frying pan and drop a tablespoonful of batter into the hot oil and deep-fry in medium heat until golden brown.

Blueberry Cheesecake

19 Sep

Now, the highlight of any birthday menu would be the BIRTHDAY CAKE itself! Who would have thought that the day would come that I, Liza Hassan, would actually bake my very own (and first!) birthday cake? To me, it was such a wonderful achievement. That of a woman, a daughter (tak sia-sia Mama melahirkan saya… haha!) and also, the proud owner of Dessert By Quintessa πŸ˜‰

Since baking has become somewhat of a second nature to me, the Blueberry Cheesecake is something that I have been yearning for. It would have cost a bomb to purchase this outside. And I mean, why not… why not I buy the ingredients and jolly well bake this for myself and loved ones? And so, I did πŸ™‚

I’m darn pleased to announce that this was a successful attempt and foresee that I’ll be baking more of this. Perhaps, I might just include this in Dessert By Quintessa’s menu!

So, here’s part five (and finale!) of the birthday menu — Blueberry Cheesecake!


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 (250 gm) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Blueberry Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided


Combine crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and butter. Pat mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

Mash cream cheese until soft and creamy. Gradually beat in sour cream, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla and flour. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Pour mixture into crumb-lined pan. Bake in a preheated 165 degrees Celsius oven for 1 hour or until firm to the touch.

Cool and then remove cake from pan by loosening edges with a knife.

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Crush 1/2 cup blueberries, add to sugar and water mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and begins to bubble. Continue to boil gently for about 2 minutes, or until blueberry glaze mixture is clear. Cool completely.

Arrange remaining blueberries over the top of the cheesecake. Pour cooked blueberry glaze over berries. Chill until ready to serve.

Peach Cake

17 Apr

I love baking cakes during the weekends as these would be served for dessert anytime of the day. And sometimes, I’d walk to the kitchen in the wee hours of the morning just to have a few bites before climbing back into bed. Remember the episode when I baked the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake? Mom suggested to bake a cake with peaches the next time around.

I managed to find another recipe and it has one of my favourite spices in it, cinnamon. Coincidentally, I have a new bundt pan which I can use just for the Peach Cake.

Without further ado, here’s the easy peasy recipe to be shared πŸ˜‰


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups peaches (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease the bundt pan with butter.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and pecans. Mix thoroughly by hand. Pour a little bit of the canned peach juice and line the peaches at the bottom of the bundt pan. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done.

Once cooled, remove the cake and sprinkle icing sugar on it.

Note: This recipe has been featured in Lisa’s Sweets for a Saturday #14. Do visit her blog for other awesome recipes πŸ˜‰

Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

29 Mar

We have all fallen in love with the Orange Chicken Salad and now, it’s time to venture out and try something new. I remembered browsing through Nigella Kitchen and this recipe is quite easy to follow through. The combination of succulent chicken, soft clay of the avocado, the crunch of the lettuce and the salty shards of bacon make for addictive eating.

You can actually serve this with a baguette or a pile of soft wraps. But I chose this as an accompaniment to my pasta πŸ˜‰


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices smoked turkey bacon
  • 2 baby head lettuce (1/2 iceberg lettuce), torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 chicken thigh meat, cut into 1 or 2 cm slices (marinade with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1/3 teaspoon white pepper and mixed herbs)
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dill leaf tips


Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove to a piece of paper towel and then, saute the chicken pieces for about 5 – 10 minutes. But don’t wash out the pan.

Put the lettuce into a large salad bowl and add the chicken pieces. Halve the avocados, removing the pits and scoop out spoonfuls of the pale green flesh onto the lettuce and chicken.

Add the mustard to the oily bacon juices in the pan, whisking to combine. Then whisk in the vinegar, pepper to taste, pour over the salad and swiftly and deftly toss to mix. Break the bacon up into pieces, crumbling most of it into the salad, and toss again.

Finally, sprinkle with the remaining bacon and the dill leaf tips.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

19 Feb

Some of you ladies out there would remember baking this cake during your home economics lesson. I know for sure it was in my textbook but for the life of me, I doubt I had baked this cake before. As I read the ingredients off Nigella Express, I wanted to give this a shot. It’s fairly simple but a piece of advice as dispensed by a fellow Twitter friend, Rini, to be generous with the sugar for the base. You’ll know why later on πŸ™‚

Why is it upside down?

Well, the fruits will need to be laid at the bottom before you fill the tin with the cake batter. If you did it the other way around, the fruits will sink into the batter. Now we don’t want that to happen, right?

And apart from using pineapple rings and glazed cherries, we can also use peaches too. Let’s start baking yo!


  • Butter for greasing
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 – 6 slices pineapple rings
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple syrup
  • 11 glazed cherries
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 gm soft butter
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Butter a tarte Tatin tin (24 cm wide at the top and 20 cm diameter at the bottom) or use a 23 cm cake tin.

Sprinkle the 2 – 3 tablespoons of sugar on top of the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices to make a circular pattern as in the picture. Fill each pineapple ring with a glazed cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between.

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, caster sugar and eggs into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. Then pour in the 3 tablespoons of pineapple syrup to thin it a little. Pour this mixture carefully over the cherry-studded pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and, with one deft move, turn it upside-down.

Banana Cream Pie

25 Dec

I was watching Food Network Asia and honestly, this is where I now get the inspiration to try something new, somewhat adventurous.Β  The wonderful thing about baking a pie is how similar the crust is and it’s only a matter of the fillings.

I would like to highlight the difference in using graham crackers and digestive biscuits as the crust. Graham crackers are dry water type biscuits whereas digestive biscuits are almost shortbread crumbly biscuits. And therefore, I find the crust made by digestive biscuits is far more crumbly as compared to graham crackers. But we can just make do with it as graham crackers are generally more difficult to find in Singapore.

There are many variations to this dessert, some like to arrange the bananas on the crust or the bananas can be arranged on top of the whipped cream with chocolate shavings. You can also drizzle the banana cream pie with both caramel sauce and chocolate sauce.

Alright then, here’s the recipe to be shared with everyone.


  • 12 digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 cups sliced banana (3 medium bananas)
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate rice, chocolate shavings, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce (up to your desire)


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

In a food processor, grind the digestive biscuits until fine. In a mixing bowl, add butter and one tablespoon of water and process until the crumb clumps together. Press the crumb mixture into bottom pf a 9-inch pie plate (remember to line it with a bit of butter) and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then let cool.

In the meantime, make the filling. Put the gelatin in a small bowl; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and the flour. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the milk and egg yolks together. Add the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk so the flour and sugar dissolve. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened. Stir in the vanilla essence and gelatin. Set aside to cool slightly.

Arrange the sliced bananas on the crust and pour the pudding on top. Place in the refrigerator until the pudding has set, about 3 hours.

Serve this to your guests with a generous amount of whipped cream and any toppings as you desire. Enjoy πŸ™‚