November 14, 2009

Steamed Banana Cakes (Appam Pisang) II

Well, well ... This is a long overdue post. And, I'd never expect myself to write this late--at 1 a.m. LOL! This is what happens whenever I work overtime. Yes, I only reached home from work at 10 p.m. All I can say is that this week has been a black (i.e. unfortunate) week for me, and I am ABSOLUTELY tired with all those ridiculous things I was thrown at by some people! But, it's weekend now! So, forget about the unhappy stuff! I'm going to indulge myself in my love for cooking, baking, photography and food styling these coming few days! =)

As promised, this is the second and last installment on steamed banana cakes, a.k.a. appam pisang in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The first appam recipe uses the sponge cake method. And, this very one I'm going to talk about here comes with a totally different story.

Actually, my mom has been using this steamed banana cake recipe for quite a while--well before I got home from the States. I remember she never failed to talk about how good these banana cakes were each time she had made them whenever we got to have some good, long-winded mother-daughter chat over the Internet. Because this recipe never disappoints her and my banana-loving dad, she refuses to try other similar recipes out LOL! (Well, I'm the opposite. I think life is too short, and in the meantime, there are so many things for us to try while we're still alive. So, I tend to try new recipes rather than making the same things again and again. But, that doesn't mean that I won't revisit keeper recipes--I'll visit with them again when my craving for these goodies strikes me again hahaha ...!

Even now that I'm back home in Malaysia from the U.S., my mom still talks and raves about her steamed banana cakes to me LOL! Oh well, all these got me REALLY curious and suspicious about the cakes! I finally jumped on the opportunity when my mom asked me to make some for her and dad because she didn't have time to solve the overripe banana issue at home. (My family never runs out of banana with a banana fanatic at home hahaha!) Anyway, I got to try the recipe out myself that very day. =D

This recipe is vegetarian-friendly with no eggs and no butter involved. The cakes were very, very moist! However, there are only two things I'd do differently the next time I make them again. If you follow the original recipe to a "T," the cakes are going to be a little too sweet. On top of that, I'll only apply one drop to the batter or even--totally skip the artificial banana oil. How naïve I was: I followed the recipe word-by-word using one teaspoon of fake banana flavoring! The result? Fake banana smell and taste that were too strong! My goodness!

Still, I'd say this is a great, great recipe and I highly recommend it to anyone since vegetarians aren't forbidden from enjoying them. I seriously love both this and the previous recipe I got from Amanda. But when it comes to moistness, this one is no doubt a winner! With the modifications made as suggested above, you will get scrumptious, healthy banana cakes that both the young and old in your family can treat themselves to.

These appam pisang, or steamed banana cakes in Malay, bring amazing results and yet, are SO easy to make! Do try them out yea?

Steamed Banana Cakes 蒸香蕉蛋糕 [Appam Pisang]
(Adapted from the recipe of Susan Cahyu and Pelly Lim, in Y3K Recipes 美廚食譜, Issue 38)

500g overripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp baking soda

250g sugar
*I'd reduce to 210~220g the next round. But, please take into consideration the sweetness of the bananas you're using and adjust the quantity of sugar accordingly.

250g cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp banana essence
*PLEASE reduce it to a drop or even none ... especially when you detest artificial banana taste, smell and etc.!!)

150ml neutral-flavored oil
  1. Combine (A) together and set the mixture aside for one hour to "proof" it; in the meantime, combine (B) together and sift once, set aside for use later
  2. Add in the sugar to the banana mixture and stir them up a little. Then, sift the dry ingredients onto the wet mixture, apply a little bit of the banana essence along the way, and lightly stir to incorporate them thoroughly by hand with help from a wooden spoon/fork/whisk/a pair of chopsticks.
    Keep the mixture aside for another one hour to "proof" it
  3. Lastly, fold in the oil to the batter till just well-blended; set it aside to rest for 10 minutes
  4. Divide the batter evenly among muffin or cupcake tins that have been lined with paper cups--each should be filled with batter till around 80 percent full
  5. In the meantime, prepare the steamer by bringing the water within it to a full rolling boil over high heat.
  6. Steam the cakes over high heat for 15 minutes or till they're test done--the surface of each cake should look somewhat like the Chinese fatt gou (發糕), or Chinese steamed rice cakes, with the "smile" cracked wide open on top of each cake
    *But really, the duration for cooking time varies depending upon the size of the cakes. So, please adjust it accordingly yea?
  7. Remove the cakes from the steamer; turn off the heat. Let them cool slightly to serve them warm, or you can also let them cool to room temperature before serving
    These appam are best served within two days after you made them.


connieal87 said...

hehe, I like cooking & photography too. I saw ur leave message on tartelette post, I like her so much, her cook,photograph, & also her life.
Oops~ 4got to intro myself. I'm Connieal frm Penang, but now studying in China.
I'm so happy tat discovered ur blog & thx for ur share in cooking.
I wish I can continue my cooking life after graduate, juz like u. haha~

Dodol & Mochi said...

Hello from Malaysia!

Glad to know someone alike ... from Malaysia also!! I'm very crazy about cooking, baking, food photography & styling ... 已經無藥可就了。。。走火入魔。。。哈哈哈!

Helene is one of my idols, too! She's inspired me into what I'm doing as a hobbyist today!!

Yes, yes! I believe you can do what you enjoy again as a cook and photographer after graduation--or even now! Is it not possible for you now as a student? Are you pursuing graduate studies?


Sonia said...

Hallo, I'm from Malaysia too, a typical Chinese girl, hehehe. I like the 1st photo..

Dodol & Mochi said...

Hi Sonia!

Thanks for the super fast response LOL! Yea, I'm a very typical Malaysian-Chinese ... The banana photo?


Karine said...

these look delicious! That is the first time I hear about a steam cake. Thanks for sharing :)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Pei Lin, I have not eaten this dish can't even remember when....but your posting sure brought back memories.
Anymore left over? Ha ha.
You are good, outstanding I must add.
Sure will go down well with iced coffee too. Maybe 6 pieces?
You have a nice day and keep a song in your heart, best regards, Lee.

Craze Kent said...

Let's do trading k?? hehe!! choc or biscuit? Seriously i know is hard sharing sometime. There is a limit to it. U can take my choc if u wan! i dun mind really. Work is tough.. can find me chat de if u wan.. i am always free to chat.. hehe! dun stress up! is not good. Share it and release!

Dodol & Mochi said...

@Kent: What do you mean by choc & biscuits? You mean the tidbits each of us has on our own desk arr? Aiya ... That's not what I mean lah ... I normally don't think of all those things nonetheless ... Thanks for your kind offer! =)

I'm pretty much embarrassed by my carelessness and generally what happened the past Thursday ... Dunno how you guys want to perceive me now. But well ...

I'm that kind of person who stays quiet till I've had my own issues/work solved/settled. Once I'm all over that, I'm good to go. =) No one can help me but myself. That's why I've been rather quiet lately ... Thanks for the concern. Much appreciated.

Dodol & Mochi said...

@Karine: Try steamed cakes! I'm sure you can find them at a dimsum restaurant within Toronto since there is a sizable number of Chinese residing there. They're very, very Asian!! You'll love how moist they are!

@Uncle Lee: Are you Malaysian? I bet you must've had it somewhere before ... except you don't know that it was steamed cake!? No more leftover, too bad ... =P But, I've never thought of serving these with iced coffee ... Sounds good to me nonetheless! Thanks so much for the encouraging words, uncle! I'll keep myself cheered up, I promise. =)

P.S. I love your sense of humor and philosophy into life ... saw those on your blog. Hahaha ...!

Food For Tots said...

Your steamed banana cakes look so good! I must try it out soon. ;)

Dodol & Mochi said...

Most definitely! Do let me know how it turns out for you though!

Thanks for stopping by btw. =)

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