Improving on a favorite: brown butter banana bread 焦化奶油香蕉麵包

I (optimistically) thought that there would be a temporary lull in work activity from July to August, but I was wrong.  It turns out my schedule is as packed as it was before but with different types of activities.  However, one of the best things about my work location is it operates on summer hours for the second part of July and most of August.  Summer hours means that the office closes earlier in the afternoons, and is closed on all day Fridays.   So my current plan is to work efficiently Monday-Thursdays from early in the mornings until 4:00, and then try to take a break from work-related activities on Fridays.  This Friday, I decided that I would bake~ and since my apartment’s temperature breaks 30C by 10:00 am, I try to do anything that involves turning on the oven early in the morning.  Bananas are really bountiful in Taiwan this time of year~ at really good prices, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and bake banana bread. I tried a new recipe this time, which involves using brown butter (also known as beurre noisette). Brown butter is  made by melting butter slowly over medium heat.  Once the butter begins to melt, it will foam, and the color will change from a sunny to golden yellow, until finally a toasty brown. (Note, I found it better to use a light bottomed pan to brown butter, because then you can easily observe the color changes~ also the butter will become very foamy~ make sure you push aside the foam with a spoon to check the color of the butter underneath!) Once you start to smell a slightly nutty, caramel-ly aroma, remove the pot from the stove and pour the butter into a bowl to cool.

最近工作時間有點小調整~事情雖然沒有少, 但內容有一些有趣的改變。 大概因為是夏天的關係吧, 最近都很早起。這段時間, 室內溫度沒有破 30 C 以前, 是一個烘培的好時機。 這一次, 我試著用焦化奶油做香蕉麵包。 焦化奶油會讓原本平凡的香蕉麵包味道多一個層次。

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Field Trip: Daylight 光合箱子 Brunch

Daylight光合箱子 (Dongmen Branch)| Address:  Chaozhou Street, No. 93, Taipei, Da-An District|Phone: 02-2322570| Hours: 9:00-18:00 | Daylight光合箱子 (Huashan Branch) Huashan Creative Park, Bade Road, Section 1, Number 1 |Phone:地址:台北市大安區潮州街93號|電話:02-23225703 |營業時間:9:00am to 6:00 pm|Daylight 光合箱子 (華山店) 地址:電話:營業時間:10:00 am ~ 09:00 pm

If this endless heat is wilting your appetite, I highly suggest paying a visit to Daylight 光合箱子~ a restaurant that specializes in enormous servings of fresh vegetables, freshly made bread and homemade yogurt.   For my first visit, I tried their salmon scrambled eggs, over freshly baked bread.  The plate arrived accompanied by the trademark generous serving of salad and roasted vegetables,  and a small serving of  handmade yogurt.

最近天氣真的開始熱了。 一到了這個季節 我就想過悠閒的日子~例如睡到自然醒, 然後再跟朋友們去吃早午餐。 最近發現了 Daylight 光合箱子 的 brunch~ 吃了兩次後, 非常推薦給大家。 喜歡他們超大份量的蔬菜 & 手工優格。

The entire plate was delicious. However, the star of the show was their handmade yogurt, which was creamy, with just a hint of tanginess, topped with brown sugar and assorted nuts and seeds.  This brunch kept me full, yet energized for almost the entire day~ from about 11:00 pm to 6:30 pm, through two meetings! Usually by the end of one of those meetings, I start craving sweets and coffee, but this time, I just sat calmly (and a bit smugly) in my chair, while the others ran out during the break to get their fix.

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Late Night Cooking Series Part 5: Lemon Frozen Yogurt~深夜食堂第五話:檸檬優格

The weather is definitely warming up here in Taiwan. Believe it or not, but I  finally figured out that while eating ice cream makes you feel chilled and refreshed, the making of the ice cream is actually a pretty hot process. So this summer season, my new order of operations is to make the ice cream mixture at night when the weather is cooler, and then let the mixture chill in the fridge overnight before putting it through the ice cream maker the next morning.

I love lemon flavored desserts, and so this time, I decided to experiment with Jeni’s frozen yogurt recipe. Before you get started, please remember that this particular recipe involves a bit of prep work. You need to drain the yogurt of excess water, so you won’t end up with too much liquid in your ice cream. The yogurt needs about 6-8 hours to drain thoroughly.  Don’t be tempted to skip this step, because too much liquid means an ice cream full of icy shards. I’ve noticed that Taiwanese yogurt is actually much “runnier” in comparisons to the yogurts I ate abroad, so this step is absolutely necessary! For this recipe, I used unsweetened yogurt from Matthew’s Choice, available at Matsusei, or City Super. After draining, this yogurt is wonderfully thick and creamy, almost like Greek yogurt in texture.

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The next step is to peel the lemons for zest.  Jeni recommends that you peel the lemon zest into long strips, so they are easy to remove from the ice cream mixture before freezing. I found that my Oxo vegetable peeler worked beautifully for this purpose. Next, make the lemon syrup which consists of lemon juice and sugar (please see below for the exact measurements). Then as with all of Jeni’s recipes, you have to prepare the cream cheese mixture and cornstarch slurry.  (In one bowl, combine the cream cheese with salt, in a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk)

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