Saturday, May 7, 2011

Majulah Singapore, Award and a Banana Hazelnut Cake

Yesterday was Cooling-Off Day. You might think that the temperatures here in Singapore are climbing to an all-time high and yesterday was a day specially designated for Singaporeans to cool off. Nope. That is not the purpose. Instead, it is the election heat that has been going on for some time. Cooling-Off Day is a day (first time in history) where no campaigning is allowed and voters have this whole day to exercise their thoughts and think of the greater picture for the future of Singapore.

This year, 2011, is a year that marks the turning point in Singapore politics. With the advent of online social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, political awareness spreads like wildfire these days with the uploading of rally videos and speeches. Instead of the latest celebritity gossips about who's in and who's out, the General Election has became the hottest topic in coffee-shop talks.  

What marks the difference between this election and previous elections is that Singaporeans are becoming increasing aware of government policies, affairs of state and the importance of this General Election. This is one phenomenon which I gladly welcome. After all, we need to be more concerned about the well-being of our country as a whole instead of remaining politically apathetic. 

It is the responsibility of every voter to vote wisely. After all, it is our votes that determines the direction that Singapore will head in. As a Singaporean, do you want new amenities for your constituency or would you be more concerned with the bigger issues at hand? These are questions we need to consider thoroughly. Utimately, it is up to individuals to think and decide.    

This was meant to be posted up in my previous posts but it somehow slipped my mind. I would like to thank Angel from Cook.Bake.Love for presenting this award to me. Thanks a lot for the encouragement, Angel. 

Now, back to my baking escapades. I was first introduced to this Banana Hazelnut Cake when Edith brought it along for a bloggers meetup. After savouring a slice of the cake, I was impressed and was full of praises for it. When I have a craving for banana cakes these days, this recipe would come to my mind.

This is the second time I have made this cake. Previously, the cake turned out fluffy but it was slightly underdone. After turning it out of the cake tin, the cake collapsed on one side. I should have baked it longer and let it cool for at least 15 minutes in the tin to allow the structure to firm up a little before turning it out.      

To avoid the same mishap, I used a loaf tin lined with baking paper and ensured that the cake was fully baked before it was turned out. After the cake was done, I could easily lift the cake out without the need for the cake to cool in the tin and to allow for the structure to firm up.

There is a noticeable difference in texture this time round as the crumbs are more tightly packed. Nevertheless it was tender due to the addition of sour cream. I had followed the original directions and mixed the ground hazelnuts with the creamed butter. Previously, the ground hazelnuts was mixed with the flour and other dry ingredients. I also observed that I performed more folding of ingredients by hand previously but relied more on the mixer when it comes to incorporating ingredients this time round. That could have affected the crumbs.

Taste-wise, it is also different from the first attempt since I am using a different brand of sour cream, butter and a different variety of banana. In terms of appearance, I like how the cake bakes to a nice golden-brown hue and the black streaks that are signature to any mouth-watering banana cake. 

Banana Hazelnut Cake (recipe adapted from Precious Moments)
Serving size: 10.5 x 6 inch loaf or 9 x 3 inch round cake. Yields 15 - 20 slices
Taste and texture: Dense or fluffy depending on method of mixing. Carries a rich banana fragrance with a faint nutty note.
Equipment and materials:
  • 10.5 x 6 inch loaf tin or 9 x 3 inch round tin
  • Balloon/wire whisk
  • Spatula
  • Handheld/Stand beater
  • Baking paper
  • Wire rack
  • Toothpick/wooden skewer
  • Flour sieve
  • Measuring spoon set
  • Mixing bowls

  • 240g over-riped bananas, mashed
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 75g ground hazelnut
  • 150g eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature
  • 265g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g sour cream, at room temperature

Making the cake:

Preheat Oven - Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

Mixing dry ingredients - Sift plain flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Add in the ground hazelnuts. Whisk the mixture with a wire whisk to loosen the mixture and to allow the ingredients to be evenly distributed.  

Cream butter - In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (as mentioned in how to cream butter). 

Adding eggs to creamed butter - Add eggs to creamed butter in 3 additions, making sure each addition is well incorporated before adding the next. The mixture should be smooth. At this point in time the batter should be wet and creamy due to the addition of eggs. 

Alternating flour mixture and sour cream - Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients to egg + creamed butter mixture. Fold with a wire whisk or use a beater to mix on medium low speed until dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrap sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula and mix in the stray ingredients. Next add 1/2 of the sour cream and fold with whisk/beat with mixer to combine.Scrap sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula and mix in the stray ingredients.

Repeat the process of mixing the dry and wet ingredients alternately, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. It should be as follows:
  1. Firstly, add 1/3 of dry ingredients
  2. Add 1/2 of sour cream
  3. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients
  4. Add remaining 1/2 of sour cream
  5. Lastly, add remaining 1/3 dry ingredients
Folding in mashed bananas - For the final part, mix in the mashed bananas with a spatula or wire whisk, ensuring mashed bananas are well distributed.

Baking the cake - Bake the cake at 170 degrees C for 1 hr -1 hr 15 minutes. Check done-ness by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the cake. When done, the skewer should come out clean. Bake the cake for a further 5 minutes just to 'play safe' since banana cakes tend to be very moist and have weak structures.

Once the cake is baked. Lift out the cake and remove the baking paper. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

  1. Use over-riped bananas for best results.
  2. If butter is not well creamed, it may curdle when eggs are added. Butter egg mixture may also curdle if eggs are cold or added too fast to creamed butter. 
  3. Relying on manual folding using a wire whisk might yield a fluffier cake. 


If you wish to post the recipe and instructions online, please give due credit (to me and the original contributor) and do re-phrase the instructions. I have taken quite a bit of effort to construct, edit and type them out. Thank you =]


  1. hey this looks really moist and soft. well cooling day wasn't exactly that cool with some sneaky stunts pulled off by the ruling party

  2. Delicious banana cake! I missed ground hazelnut ground, instead substituted with ground almond last time I baked this, and now you're making me want to try this again!

  3. I like banana cake! I have never tried using groung hazelnut in my bake yet, shall try it one of these days.


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