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Posts Tagged ‘cake’

Candy Crush Saga Cake

April 29, 2014 1 comment

Pretty sure this logo needs no further introduction..

candy crush 3

This is to encourage those who are obnoxiously “stuck” in certain levels. Do not be disheartened!

candy crush cake 1

Also, to those who do not participate in candy crush activities, i ask for tolerance towards all those pesky “CANDY CRUSH SAGA requests. Do have sympathy to your fellow facebookers who are pulling at their hair trying to “level up”.

candy crush cake 2

Cheers!

Happy Idul Adha

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment

This cake is made to honor the cows to be slaughtered tomorrow.

And to wish all my Muslim Friends Happy Idul Adha.

idul adha cake

idul adha cake 2

photo

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , , ,

Coconut Flour Banana Chiffon Cake

September 1, 2013 2 comments

I’ve been observing numerous foodblogs and their abstinence to grains.

A Grain-Free diet, as they call it, is a diet devoid of grains. This includes things like rice, barley, oats, etc.

To summarize, ALL the flours in my pantry, be it rice flour, wheat flour or corn flour unmitigatedly  breach this grain free diet.

“So what the heck are you supposed to bake with?” screamed the baker in me.

Well, take it easy, Because baking is still possible without the above mentioned flours. Days after days of blogstalking activities revealed that almond flour (almond being a nut, not a grain), and coconut flour (coconut is a fruit), are the top favourites amongst the grain-free dieters.

And since i live in the tropics where coconuts are aplenty. I am using coconut flour on this grain free adventure

 

coconut flour banana chiffon cake 1

but WHY ???? you ask. Aren’t grains good for you? Aren’t they full of fiber? Don’t they reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Well, i guess there are two sides to every story.

The followers of a grain free diet believe that:

1. Grain are inflammatory food due to its high starch content.
Grains that are refined have higher inflammatory index than unrefined grains. So a white flour is more inflammatory than a whole wheat flour.

2. Grain contain phytic acid which binds minerals and prevent absorbtion.
This pretty much means that you won’t be able to fully and effeciently absorb the minerals that the grains boasts about.

3. Grains are linked to tooth decay.
High starches in grain is a breeding ground for bacterial growth in your mouth.

There are probably a more extensive list of the detrimental effects of grains. But I’ll leave it up to you guys to research into it on your own. My brain is starting to hurt just by highlighting the three points above. I guess i could never look into health advisor as an occupation.

coconut flour banana chiffon cake 2

Sugar Free Coconut Flour Chiffon Banana Cake with blueberries

Makes two ramekins

5 grams coconut flour
1 egg yolk (preferable organic)

10 grams coconut oil

10 grams coconut milk

60 grams ripe bananas, mashed

1 egg white

a handful of frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F).

Mix egg yolk, mashed banana, coconut flour, oil, and milk into a bowl. Stir till you get a smooth batter

Beat egg white till stiff peak.

Fold egg white into banana batter

Transfer batter into ramekins

Drop blueberries on the batter

Bake for +- 20 minutes or till the cake turns a golden brown

 

 

Happy Birthday Baby Caitlyn!

July 10, 2013 5 comments

On this date last year, I was making breakfast for your dad when i experienced a bout of intense stomach contractions that made me grip the kitchen counter.

“Is this it?”, I thought to myself panicking. I glanced at my unpacked “maternity” luggage a few feet away from the kitchen door. I’m not due until two weeks later.

“Let’s not panic”, I thought to myself. First time mothers usually take up to 15 hours to birth their child, i soothed myself , remembering my doctor’s words.

caitlyn 1

I finished scrambling my eggs of a breakfast, and fetched my list of “to brings” that the hospital gave me.

I scanned the list. Another wave of panic attack came over me.  “Breast pump”, i whispered aloud. I cursed myself repeatedly for stalling in buying one. A vision of my sister who successfully breastfed her kids till they were two years old each came into my mind. ” You need breast pump. It is very, very,VERY important”.

caitlyn

I pushed that out of my mind, I wondered if I could actually purchase breastpump while IN labor. I went into the shower, and spent a good 15 minutes not doing anything. Just standing under the warm running water (Green activists can hate me for wasting water, but please bear with the panic stricken mother-to-be).

The warm water felt comforting. The contractions didn’t reappear. I composed myself. Maybe it’s just a false alarm. I got dressed and got ready for work, vowing to buy breastpumps later that evening.

caitlyn 3

On the way to work, another wave of strong contractions made me close my eyes and wince in surrender. I dialled the hospital’s number and made an appointment to see the doctor. It was the smartest thing I’ve ever done, because 14 hours later, a slimy screaming baby was pulled out of me.

caitlyn 4

“Happy Birthday Baby Caitlyn”. May you be blessed with a wealth of health and love.Mommy can’t even begin to describe how much she loves you.

PS: this is a two tiered cake. The first tier is a sugar free cake for Caitlyn, the second layer is just an average sponge cake for adults.

Sugar Free Sponge Cake with Pear Jam:

For a 10 cm cake

1 egg yolk

2 egg whites

35 ml pear concentrate (made by simmering 105 ml of pear juice till it reduced to third)

15 grams olive oil

25 grams AP flour

5 grams cornflour

Boil olive oil with pear concentrate till the mixture steams. Set aside to warm

Add in egg yolk to the olive oil mixture. Slowly stir in the AP and cornflour.

Beat egg whites till soft peaks. Fold into the flour mixture.

Bake at 170 degree till cooked (+-15 minutes )

Slice the cake halfway, spread the sugar free pear jam and sandwich it with the top layer.

Sugar Free Pear Jam

50ml of homemade pear concentrate (made by simmering 150 ml of pear juice till it reduced to a third)

1/2 tsp arrowroot starch, dissolved in a bit of water.

Stir the arrowroot starch into the pear concentrate.

Simmer till thick and bubbly

Set aside to cool

I am entering this post into the Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, organized by Amy simplysugarandglutenfree. Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays is a very delightful weekly linky which aims at sharing gluten and sugar free recipes. While this recipe is not gluten free, it is still a very healthful sugar free recipe 😉

Rainbow Cake

June 23, 2013 23 comments

I know, I know, rainbow cakes are ‘so yesterday’…

rainbow cake 4

But truthfully, even at its rage, where every baker, every cake shops, and every blog was speckled with at least one ‘rainbow’ item. I wasn’t tempted at the very least to make one. Mostly because of the amount of work involved. And maybe because of the amount of food coloring that went into it.

rainbow cake 7

Even now, as i sit typing this, the one slice of cake that i cut for the photos remain untouched.

rainbow cake 3 copy

So why make rainbow cake you ask?

Well you see, a close relative of mine has just opened up a cafe. She wanted rainbow cake on the menu and I was to experiment with a few recipes and decorating options.

rainbow cake

The cake had to be pretty enough to sit on her display chiller. So I decided to pipe rainbow roses around and on the cake.

rainbow cake 1

It’s a lot of work, a lot of piping bags, and a lot of bowls. But i came up with a good solution on how to minimize them. First, I tinted a good amount of buttercream YELLOW. I took my first pipping bag, and piped yellow roses on where it should be. Then i divided ALL yellow buttercream into two. Onto one bowl of my yellow buttercream, and added a few drops of red to make ORANGE. In a way, you can say that i am recycling my yellow buttercream to make orange. And when i am done with my orange roses, i added even more red coloring to make my RED buttercream.

To the second batch of yellow butter, I added drops of blue to make GREEN buttercream. Leftover green buttercream were added with more blue coloring to make BLUE buttercream. And when i am done, I took leftover RED buttercream, mix with BLUE buttercream and my final color, which is PURPLE buttercream.
Which pretty much means that instead of ending up with all 6 colors of buttercream, I was left with only leftover purple buttercream.

Geez, I hope i dont confuse you.

rainbow cake 8

Whatever the case, I hope my relative’s pastry chef has the patience of a Saint. Because if making this rainbow cake daily was one of the job descriptions, I would tender my resignation.

Rainbow Cake Recipe:

Taken from NCC Rainbows Week
SPONGE CAKE
by Hera
A:
16 egg yolks
8 egg whites
200 gram sugar
B:
160 gram AP flour
20  gr milk powder
20 gr cornflour
C
200 gr butter,melted

Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, Purple colorings

How To:
1) Beat eggs and sugar till ribbon stage
2) Sift ingredients B into a bowl. Slowly fold ingredients B onto the whisked eggs.
3) Fold in the melted butter.
4) Divide batter into 6, and add colorings into each one of them.

5) Pour each of the colored batter onto a tin measuring 20 cm in diameter.
7) Bake for 18-20 minute @ 175 °C  or till cakes are fully cooked (You can do a skewer test here)
8) When the cake layers are cool, layer each cake with the cream cheese frosting

Frosting Cream Cheese:
Bahan:
350 ml Whipping cream

250 gr Cream Cheese
110 gr icing75 gr butter unsalted
Cara:

Whip the whipping cream, set aside in the refrigerator.
Beat Cream Cheese, butter n sugar
Add Whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and beat till well mixed.

For the buttercream frosting, i used Martha Stewart’s Swiss meringue buttercream.

Recipe can be found here

Sugar Free Raisin Banana Bread

May 18, 2013 5 comments

Lots of cakes out there claim to be sugar free.

But they are laden with synthetic sugar.

I’ve seen cakes that claim to be refined sugar free.

But they are laden with a whole party of unrefined sugar.

This cake however is wholly Sugar Free.

It relies wholly on bananas and raisins to its sweetness.

banana muffin 1

Perfect for my 10 month old baby Crusta.

Yup, she is still not allowed sugar. Refined, or not refined.

My poor baby.

So till you hit your 12 month mark,

and are finally allowed a moderate amount of sugar

here is something to tide you over.

banana muffin 2

Sugar Free Banana Bread with Raisins

Makes 2 large muffins

20 grams organic raisins, chopped

40 grams boiling water

40 grams whole wheat flour

12 grams All purpose flour

1/4 tsp organic/natural baking powder

28 grams olive oil

125 grams (about 1) banana

1 egg yolk

Pour the boiling water onto the chopped raisins, set aside for half hour

preheat oven to 180 degree celcius, Grease and line the muffin tins.

Sift whole wheat, all purpose flour with the baking powder.

Drain the raisins, reserving the liquid.

Put the olive oil, banana and 12 grams of the steeped raisin water in a food processor. Process till smooth.

Pour the processed banana mixture onto the flour mixture and mix till well combined.

Add the chopped raisins and pour the batter onto awaiting muffin tins.

Another type of cheesecake

May 10, 2013 4 comments

This cake…

I don’t even know how to title it.

It has cream cheese in it.

It has white chocolate,

It has butter.

Yet it’s not exactly a cheesecake,

nor is it a buttercake,

and definitely not a blondie.

steamed cheesecake 1

Oh, and did i mention that it was steamed, not baked?

steamed cheesecake 2

But if i were to have a go at this cake,

I would say this is a cake between a sponge and a butter cake.

It’s light and soft, yet it’s “bulky”.

It’s sweet, but not sponge-cake sweet.

Its rich, but not buttery cake rich.

Oh well, whatever the case, i think it’s a pretty good cake, considering that it’s steamed.

Which brings me to another point.

Admist rising electrical bills (Having a baby really jacks up your bills!), and a full force electrical oven which drains 2200 watts each time i fire it, I decided that i should steam more often and bake less.

steamed cheesecake

So here it is!

Steamed cheesecake with white chocolate

Taken from Cake Kukus (Sedap)

(Makes 5 cupcake size)

38 grams cream cheese (double boiled till melted)

4 egg yolks

2 egg whites

63 grams sugar

1/8 tsp salt

63 gram AP flour

10 gram milk powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

50 grams butter, melted

38 grams white chocolate (melted with butter)

Beat eggs, sugar and salt till light and fluffy. Add melted cream cheese, mix till well combined.

Fold in flour, milk powder and baking powder

Add melted butter and white chocolate slowly, and fold till evenly mixed

Pour into cupcake tins that have been lined with greased baking paper.

Steam for 30 minutes or till cooked.

My very first Fondant Cake

May 4, 2013 5 comments

The reason why you’ve never seen a full fledged fondant cake on Crustabakes, is because i have a mortal fear of fondant.

I’ve heard all about it being sticky, and uncooperative to work with.

It cracks, it sweats, it tears, and the list of troubles goes on and on.

I’ve also never cared about its taste.

And the fact that everyone just tears out the decorative fondant after they’ve sung the birthday song and blown the candles didn’t help either. Imagine, all those endless hours shaping the fondant defunct in just a split second.

But something spurred me.

Baby Crustabake’s first birthday.

Her birthday is just in a little over more than two months.

And I would love to make something “passable” to celebrate that special day.

So today, i start practicing.

My very first full fledged fondant cake.

A simple cake with a bow of pastel colors.

bow fondant cake 1

The fondant did sweat, and it has fine “wrinkles”

I need to troubleshoot on that. It’s really a long, arduous journey ahead.

Me vs fondant.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Banana Chiffon Cake

April 26, 2013 3 comments

Before you click this window shut due to its unappetizing title, let me just say that this was purely experimental.

I wanted to know whether i could beat egg whites to its “soft peak” stage (as required in chiffon making), without the use of sugar.

And if the egg white was successfully beaten till soft peaks, would it stay that way during the baking time in the oven? Would it aerate my chiffon the way it should when it is accompanied by its sugar sidekick.

So, to put it shortly,

Is sugar indispensable in chiffon making?

The answer is,

Nope!

And i’ve got proof,

banana chiffon cake 1

Here’s a banana chiffon cake, made completely without sugar. It rose VERY well,in fact i must say, it rose better than some of the sugared chiffons i made.

banana chiffon 2

So, to everyone out there who are opting the sugar-free ( to whom i offer the utmost respect and admiration ), and gluten free life

and to baby Crustabakes,

This gluten free, sugar free, chiffon cake is dedicated to you!

PS: this cake does not taste as horrible as i would have thought! In fact it’s so light, i managed to scarf down both cakes in one serving.

Sugar Free, Gluten Free Banana Chiffon Cake:

Makes 2 Cupcake size (Sorry about that, told you it was experimental)

15 gram rice flour

5 gram corn starch

5 gram oil

30 gram overripe bananas (mashed)

1 egg white

1 egg yolk

Sift the flour and the starch together.

In another bowl, mix oil and mashed bananas

Dump flour and starch onto the banana bowl, add egg yolk and mix till well combined

Beat the egg white till soft peaks (without sugar it wont be glossy, but it’s ok, it will still work)

Slowly fold in egg white to the egg yolk batter

Pour onto two cupcake cases,

Bake at 170 degree celcius for 30 mins or till fully cooked.

 

 

Minnie Mouse Themed Cake

April 26, 2013 3 comments

My sister texted me :

“Can you make a birthday cake for my friend?”

“She’s a very girly kind of girl”

“She likes pink”

“And Minnie Mouse”

 

Wokeh sista, considered it,

“done”

“done”

“done”

and, “done”!

minnie mouse cake 1

So, dear a friend of my sister, whoever you are, I hope you like the cake i made for you!

 

 

 

Pigs chillin in Mud Cake

April 8, 2013 3 comments

So i have seen quite a few versions of this cake dotting the food blogsphere. While i have no clue to the imaginative genius who came up with it, i must say that it’s absolutely adorable and cute.

And i absolutely have to make it.

So off we go with my version.  🙂

 

pigs in mud

 

pigs in mud 2

oink !

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , , ,

9 Layer Cake

March 16, 2013 3 comments

So I have been baking too many cheesecakes.

No one complained, but I decided to give my oven a break and work the stove once in a while.

So, here i go, returning to my south east asian roots, with a steamed 9 layer cake.

Why 9 layers u ask?

Well, I am sure there must be some pretty interesting story behind it.

I tried googling, expecting to be mesmerized by some folk story explaining the layers of the cake. But nothing came up.

So i guess no one would get all tight up about the fact that my cake only had 8 layers.(OOps!).

After all, 8 is considered a lucky number amongst us, Chinese.

So here goeslapis pepe 2

This cake is mildly sweet. It relies more on the richness of the coconut milk for taste. The texture of this cake is springy (think mochi). And like mochi, it is rather sticky too.

The texture of the cake makes it possible for us to peel it layer by layer before popping it into our mouths.

Which is what I used to do as a kid.

Or as an adult.

lapis pepe

I’ve used daun suji for the green colour batter of this cake. As for the red, i had to rely on red color food dye as i didnt believe beet juice would have given such a vibrant red.

9 Layer Cake

Adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover

400ml water
70g coarse sugar (I would increase this next time as i found the cake not sweet enough)
5 pandan leaves, knotted
400ml coconut milk ( squeezed from one shredded coconut)

180g rice flour
120g tapioca flour

Daun Suji water (achieved by pounding daun suji with water and then straining it)
Method

1. Simmer water with pandan leaves for about 5 minutes, add sugar. Stir in the coconut milk
2. Add in rice flour and tapioca flour, stir to mix well. Strain the batter.
3. Grease a 7″ steam pan with a little oil. Place the pan in a steamer and steam until hot.
4. Divide batter into 2 portions.

5. Add the daun suji water into one of the portions, leaving the other portion white.

6. Take 126 grams of the white batter, and add a few drops of red coloring
5. Pour 1st layer with green batter into steam pan, and steam for 5mins over medium heat.
6. Pour 2nd layer with white batter into steam pan, and steam for 5mins.
7. Repeat until all 7 layers set. End the layer with the red batter

Another Cheesy Post

March 8, 2013 5 comments

After the Oreo Cheesecake and the Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake earlier this year, you might think that i am done with cheesecake for now. After all, it’s only the beginning of March.

But nope, i went ahead and baked two more cheesecake. Even though it’s only the beginning of March.

So that makes it four cheesecakes in less than three months.

I am such an over-achiever sometimes.

So, let’s review my achievements shall we?

JEFFY BDAY

First up,

The good old plain cheesecake with fruit toppings.

JEFFY BDAY 1

Oh, so you noticed the “Happy Birthday” sign!;)

Yup, this cake is made for my dearest, dearest friend, Jeffy.

She was my bridesmaid the day i got married.

She woke up at the ungodly hour of 3.30 A.M that day.

She broke her back picking after my crazy train of a wedding gown.

She held my bouquet, wiped my sweat, fetched me water and food.

JEFFY BDAY 2

Yes, i owed this cake to her.

So, Happy Birthday Jeff!

xoxo.

Okayyyss. so there goes one, let’s move on to the other.

The Coffee Chocolate Cheesecake

coffee chocolate cheesecake

uh-huh, uh-huh. It’s cheesecake again, with coffee and chocolate this time.

coffee chocolate cheesecake 1

\And topped with chocolate rubbles.

coffee chocolate cheesecake 2

“Why did you make another cheesecake?” you ask?

Well, no particular reason.

I just wanted a coffee cheesecake with chocolate rubbles on it.

Geez. what a cheesy post. Sorry guys, you see It’s 5.47am, and i just fed my daughter. I am going back to bed now (PS: no judging. it’s Saturday!!). nite nite peeps!

Recipe taken from Use Real Butter
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

crust
2 cups / 180g plain cookies
4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp / 24g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

plain cheesecake
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup / 210g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

chocolate espresso cheesecake
24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup / 210g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz. heavy cream
4.5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 tbsp espresso powder
1 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp Kahlua or coffee liqueur

Preheat oven to 350°F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan.

Set crust aside. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.[For chocolate-espresso: combine boiling water with espresso powder. Add cream, chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and Kahlua to the cream cheese batter and mix until smooth and creamy.]

Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface

Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water. Bake 45 to 55 minuteuntil it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, unmold and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

February 23, 2013 4 comments

strawberry swirl cheesecake 1a

This cake would have been the perfect Valentine’s day Cake. But Valentine’s day this year didn’t fall on a weekend. It fell on a Thursday.

I couldn’t make a cheesecake on a weekday.

Not with the long baking hour involved.

So, I thought I would get my act together in the weekend (dates 16-17 Feb) to make this post Valentine day cake.

But nope, I waited another week. And made this cake today (23 Feb).

So here goes my post-post Valentine Day Cake.

strawberry swirl cheesecake

Hope everyone had a blast celebrating it.

Recipe taken from Use Real Butter
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

crust
2 cups / 180g oreo cookies without the filling
4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp / 24g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

strawberry swirl cheesecake
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup / 210g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp Grand Marnier
1 cup strawberries, puréed
2 tbsps sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan.

Set crust aside. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface

For strawberry swirl: mix the sugar and the strawberry purée together then top the cheesecake batter with the mixture and create the swirl design by running a toothpick through the surface.

Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water. Bake 45 to 55 minuteuntil it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, unmold and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semi Rainbow Steamed Cake

January 7, 2013 7 comments

Remember the lapis legit cake that used up 857239875023745 egg yolks? Well, someone’s gotta use up the egg whites too. So here’s what i did.

Image

This cake is the perfect antipode to the lapis legit. Not only it is all egg white, it also uses minimal fats. I didnt say that this is a healthy cake though. Because what it lacks for in richness, it makes up for in sugar.

Also, this cake is steamed as opposed to baked. It only has three layers, which makes it less time and labor intensive than its multiple layered cousin.

Image

Well, they did say to eat a balanced diet after all. What better ways to observe that advice by eating foods that are of polar ends of each other?

Image

Recipe Adapted from NCC, Here

*note: I changed the coffee essence to vanilla

*note: I changed the mocha and chocolate paste to food colourings of yellow, red and green

Christmas is here! (almost)

December 8, 2012 4 comments

So i had a mini pre-christmas gathering yesterday. It was for a party of 10.

I would have loved to cook and bake myself silly. But i decided to abandon that over-ambitious idea. I decided it was almost impossible to be running back and forth from kitchen to baby’s room while food was cooking, or burning on the stove.

So i decided to bake. I decided it was less of a fire hazard for things to be baking in the oven rather than cooking on an open flame..

So here’s what we had.

1. A log cake

log cake

 

I have no inkling to the relationship between Christmas and log cakes. Why do people bake log cakes at Christmas?

I would have googled it, but really, i am too stoned right now to do anything productive.

Nevertheless, i followed cue. So, there was a log cake for my party.

2. Rudolph and Frosty

rudolph and frosty1

Now,at least,  i know about these. Rudolph, Santa’s red nosed reindeer. And of course Frosty, the snowman.

While these are not the best looking pictures around, and i am seriously contemplating not putting any post about them up. I am glad i did it. Cause I’m sure, it will be something i would love to look at down the road =)

 

 

 

 

 

Mango Yogurt Muffins

November 26, 2012 2 comments

Let’s welcome the Mango Season with these mango Yogurt muffins!

 
Mango Yogurt muffin*makes 12 muffins

Taken from Nasi Lemak Lover
(printable recipe)
125g unsalted butter
150g cake flour
110g sugar
200g chopped fresh mango
100g yogurt (natural flavour)
2 eggs (medium)
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt

1. Beat butter, salt and sugar till pale and creamy.
2. Add egg one at a time, mix well.
3. Sift in flour, baking powder and baking soda, add in yogurt, combine well
4. Add in chopped mango, and lightly mix well.
5. Spoon batter into a muffin pan, sprinkle some chopped mango on top.
6. Bake at preheated oven 180c for 25mins or till golden brown.

Chocolate Sheet Cake & Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

April 6, 2012 8 comments

I have never been one to abide the mise en place (everything in place) rule when it comes to baking. For me, it’s just a matter of jotting down the list of ingredients on odd pieces of scrap paper, then making a mad dash for the kitchen to get started.

So it is no surprise that I only discovered that this chocolate sheet cake recipe was eggless when my arms were elbow deep in chocolate cake batter.

I was somewhat disappointed.

I love eggs.

They are almost always a part of whatever i am baking. In fact, i was doubtful that any baking could be done without eggs.

But hey, I might be old, but i am no old dog. And with all the vegan movements around, I am definitely open to new tricks.
So here I am, with my first eggless chocolate cake.

And my skepticism towards anything eggless evaporated.

Because this turned out to be moist, soft, flavorful and oh-so chocolatey!

And i suppose i could have made this vegan and all.

But i just have this natural flair to mess things up.

I used sour cream for the chocolate frosting.

I’m sorry.

But i am not regretting.

Because never would i have expected that something so good could come out of just chopped up chocolate and sour cream (U read it right, just these two ingredients!)

These two ingredients that infuse and firm up so well that frosting was a piece of cake!

Not to mention absolutely delicious!

I am glad for the new tricks I learnt today. I guess somehow being a slop, and not following the rules have its own plus points!

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

Taken from Hungrymouse (with adjustments)

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
2 Tbls. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups water
spray oil to grease the pan

*I used 2 pans sized 8×8

Directions

Lightly spray both baking pans with oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl).

In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together (oil, vinegar, vanilla, water).

Slowly , pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, (bit by bit to avoid clumps) whisking till just combined. Do not overmix as you might toughen the cake.

Divide batters into prepared pans, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

Set aside to cool.

Once cooled, take one piece of the cake, spread the chocolate frosting.

Top with the other cake, and frost all around.

For Dercorations:

Grate some white chocolate, and place a couple of maraschino cherries. VOILA!

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting Directions

10 0z. chopped chocolate

1 C sour cream

Directions:

Double boil the chocolate to melt.

Tip the sour cream into melted chocolate and watch magic appears ! (Frosting immediately becomes thick and frost-able!)

And now cakes aside, its postcards time again.

More of my favourite vintages! 🙂

A White Bread vintage ad from Angel again! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! *love love love vintage ad esp when it’s related to baking*!!

Another vintage from Magnolia in Canada 🙂

And a last postcard depicting life in Austria between the years of 1905- 1910 of a little girl with a horoscope newspaper salesman from Pelra. How lovely!

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

Nutella Bottomed Cake

March 24, 2012 7 comments

I made a boo-boo with this one.

 

Instead of having a Nutella Swirl Cake, I ended up with a Nutella BOTTOMED cake.

Seemed like all the Nutella sank while baking.

I could only think of one reason for this. Homemade Nutella (Yes!I made Nutella from scratch!)

My homemade Nutella was probably denser  than the commercial ones as i have decided to altogether skip a “drizzle hot milk to thin” instruction on the recipe.

I guess the cake batter wasn’t able to put up with all that weight and gave way as the homemade Nutella made its royal descent to the bottom of the pan.

But waitt!! Please don’t give up on it yet!

Although this cake is not picture perfect, i didn’t say it wasn’t delicious. Because it damn well is!

The Nutella formed a very thick, fudgy texture when baked.

It’s like eating a butter cake, with fudge topping.

Just that the fudge TOPPING, happened to be fudge BOTTOMS.

Really, It’s just a matter of the order of the two layers.

No biggie!

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  2. 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  3. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  7. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  8. One 13-ounce jar Nutella
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
  3. Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.
  4. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

 

 

 

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

Midnight Black Sponge Cake

October 20, 2011 6 comments

This cake is so dark that you would mistake it as a brownie.

Except it wasnt a brownie, it’s a sponge cake, made from the pack of black glutinous rice flour that was bought wrongly. I made a chiffon cake from that flour before. It was soft, fluffy and the flour imparted an unmistakable aromatic scent into the cake.

I wanted to do something different with the flour today. So, i decided on a sponge cake.

Just based on its color, it’s apparent that this cake is very rich in flavor. The aromatic glutinous black flour  scent literally hit me smack in the face as i pulled open the oven door.

The scent hit me one more time as i took my first bite. I could feel it working  up my nose. It was as though i were inhaling the cake instead of eating it.

Taste wise, the cake was pretty good too. With just the right amount of sugar, the sweetness of this cake was subtle, without overpowering the wonderful smell from the cake.

I would love to give this cake an A and continue to rave on about it. Unfortunately, it is the texture of this cake that fell short. The cake felt rough on my tongue. Gritty almost.I suspect it’s because of the lack of liquid in the cake batter. There wasn’t water, or milk in the recipe. There was only oil.

Oh well, i guess you cant win them all!

* Note: I won’t be providing the recipe for this as i dont think it really made the cut.

Black Bottomed Ovaltine Banana Bread

August 1, 2011 8 comments

I bookmarked this Black Bottomed Banana Bread when i was searching for a banana bread recipe to use up my last batch of  mottling bananas.

I wanted to make this badly. But i couldn’t.

I was lacking the one ingredient that gave this banana bread its unique black bottom.  

Ovaltine.

Banana Bread and Ovaltine,

Are you sold on this yet?

I know i am.

In fact i am so sold on  this bread that i am thinking of ovaltin-izing the whole cake instead of just its bottom the next time i make this.

Just saying. 🙂

Black Bottomed Ovaltine Banana Bread from Meals.com

 

 

 

Cracked Sponge Cake and a Recovery Plan.

July 29, 2011 7 comments

I baked a sponge cake today.

And it cracked.

It’s not even a cheesecake,

yet it had the cheek to split so deep right down its middle.

 

The cake looked as if an earthquake went through it.

 

Then i remember my pack of strawberries, frozen in time in my freezer.  

And an idea hit me like a tornado.

Of course!

Making a strawberry jam out of  strawberries.

Then flooding it over the cake.

A disaster recovered,

And a cake survived.

PS: I wont be posting the cracked cake recipe today as i don’t quite think that it is a recipe i would recommend to anyone.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , ,

Chocolate Fudge Cake

July 22, 2011 16 comments

I needed to thank my dressmaker today.

The lady who designed my gown.

She put up with every of my whims and fancy,

and tailored with the most lovely and beautiful gown.

Photo courtesy of Edward Suhadi

See the beads on the chest?

I painstakingly chose each and everyone of them. Because somehow, i have developed this super- visual abilities. I was able to spot how some beads are larger than the others. Or how some beads have more shine to them.

I didn’t even care that the beads come from the same box

or that they are from same manufacturer.

Thank God, the patient lady designer put up with me.

She even put out her palms to collect my chosen beads, and incorporated it to the gown.

She really really deserves a cake.

If you read my previous post, you probably knew that i am still getting to know my new kitchen. Without the familiarity, i was almost afraid to bake something sensitive.

With all the beaten eggs, a sponge cake is sensitive in this point in time. I decided to forgo that and opted for the more stable chocolate butter cake.

I also knew that i wouldnt be able to refrigerate this before passing it to Patient Lady Designer. Because with the newer, smaller kitchen, was the new, even smaller refrigerator.

So unless i wanna excavate my refrigerator from its everyday residents of eggs, milk, fruits, and Reese’s PB cups just to make room for it, i needed a plan B.

Plan B was chocolate fudge, which is most perfectly malleable at room temperature.

Here’s what i did:

Dollop.

Drop another layer of cake, and dollop some more!

Smooth and frost,

Arrange a few decorational strawberries

Oh, and unless you are planning to keep this for more than a couple of days, i wouldnt really recommend refrigerating it as the fudge will harden up.

I am really hoping that Patient Lady Designer polishes this off before it had the chance to make that trip to the chiller!

Recipe:

Moist Devil’s Foodcake w Mrs Milman’s Chocolate Frosting

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , ,

Apple Cherry Butter Cake

July 4, 2011 12 comments

You can put a cherry on pretty much everything.

On a sundae,

on a milkshake,

in your cocktail,

in your cookies,

or for this instance, on a cake.

Don’t they just prettify ?

I have apple juice in this cake. And cherries both ON the cake and IN the cake.

Well, at least that was the intention. To have bits of cherries throughout the cake. But it seems like the Maraschinos had other plans. They all decided to go south to the bottom of the cake.

I patted the cherries dry before folding it into the batter. I sprinkled them with flour too. But neither seemed to work. I guess it must have been the batter which wasnt thick enough.

Anyways no point beating yourself about for sunken cherries. It just means you gotta dig deeper to get the good stuffs.

Or you can distract people by cutting the cake into fancy shapes, and of course, top it off with yet another cherry!

Lemon Cherry Cake

200 gr butter

125 gr caster sugar

4 eggs

200 gr AP flour

30 gr cornflour

15 gr milk powder

2 tsp baking powder

75 ml apple juice

100 gr maraschino cherries

1. Sift the AP, cornflour, milk powder and baking powder into a bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, making sure that each is incorporated before adding the next one.

3. Add the flour mixture alternately with the apple juice.

4. Fold in the diced cherries.

5. Pour into a pregreased and prelined 22 x 22 x4 cm baking tin.

6. Bake at 180 degree celcius for 30 minutes or till it gets cooked.

Sunken Chocolate Cake

June 20, 2011 17 comments

Oh no. It can’t be.

This blog hasn’t seen chocolate in weeks!

A rectification of the situation is in order. A quick one preferably, cause even under such dire situations, i still need to get to the office by 9 am.

Okay 9.30 if the boss ain’t around.

Or maybe 9.45 since i needed to make a grand entrance with this cake.

This mysteriously dark, luxurious, rich chocolatey cake.

It started off as a cake, baked in a springform pan.

This cake has seen greater heights when it was still baking in the oven. It reached the brim of the springform.

But take it out of the warm oven, and it starts to sink. That’s the thing with fallen cake, they are supposed to look like crap. But i am kind of liking how this cake turned out. It is charming in its own way. Curvaceous and waisted. Sexy isnt it?

Slice into it and you see a dark, bold and intensely chocolatey cake. I didn’t even have to taste it to know how chocolatey it was. The scent that hit me as i was slicing the cake gave me hints.

Texture wise, it is soft and sponge-like. It’s actually like a super soft sponge cake, but with a taste as rich as a brownie.

It’s like nothing i’ve ever tasted before. You really gotta try this to know what i am talking about!

Sunken Chocolate Cake

Recipe from Happy Home Baking

 

 

 

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

Lemon Curd, Pastry Cream Cake

June 6, 2011 13 comments

So i opened up the refrigerator this morning.

It looked like someone is hosting a tupperware home party in there.

Plastic containers and tubs were swarming my refrigerator shelves and door. All of which containing an array of leftovers from all my baking stints. Most of them were actually frostings. Cookie frostings, buttercream, jam, caramel.. you name it.

 A spring cleaning is definitely in order.

And today, spring cleaning starts with the tubs marked “pastry cream 02/06/11” and “lemon curd 27/05/11”.

And came out with this.

The lemon curd, pastry cream cake. A yellow cake sandwiching pastry cream and topped with lemon curd.

For the cake, i have used Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Favourite Sour Cream Yellow Cake which gave me the chance to use up “egg yolk 04/06/11”

Using only egg yolks without the whites, the cake came out deliciously rich and moist. But it was also tender. Mine came out a bit too tender and crumbly. I think i might have underbeaten it.

Nevertheless, this cake still played a very good host to the layer of lemon curd and buttercream. In fact, this is somewhat like your boston cream pie. With the lemon instead of the chocolate on top of course.

What i really loved about this cake is the slight tang from the lemon curd against the sweet pastry cream. It’s bright and refreshing.  And the cake provided just enough matter to make it more substantial and not too pudding-like.

And best of all, no one has to know that they are really leftovers!

Chocolate Chip Cake with Caramel Glaze

May 20, 2011 9 comments

Something is not quite right when the props around the food you take photos with receive more comments than the actual food itself. And lately that has been the case with the friends i hang out with.

The flowers i so often include in my pictures are by far the biggest attention hoggers. My florist of a friend for example was always commenting on the flowers, and never the food. The rest of them were happier commenting on the cups, plates, cutlery i used.

I guess i must have done a poor job on arranging the set-up to make sure that the spotlight is on the food. Or that the props i used were too much of a distraction. But whatever the case,  today, i shall try going propless,

with this oatmeal chocolate chip cake, with caramel glaze.

The original recipe for the chocolate chip cake didn’t ask for the caramel glaze, but without the glaze AND without the props, the pictures turned out so dull and dreary.

No one will grant a second glance at it and see for themselves what a soft, moist, chocolate chip cake this was. That would be a shame.

Plus, i am sure no one would mind the caramel glaze for one bit.

Yum yum. Beautiful golden, and semi molten caramel.

A little seasalt to further bring out the caramel. That will kick this up a notch.

Oh, did i mention that this cake is healthy too? It’s got oatmeal, whole-wheat flour. With such a high fiber content, that bit of caramel over it is totally justified.

Now now, while this post have been fun without the props, i think i still prefer my pictures to have all its “supporting actors” in the background. I will definitely try to tone it down a bit and hopefully everyone’s attention won’t be sidetracked in time to come!

Oatmeal Chocolate chip Cake

Recipe from Haverecipes-willcook

Click HERE

Caramel Glaze*

* You can use melted Caramel Candies, or make your own using the recipe HERE

Caramel Drenched Chocolate Loaf

May 13, 2011 18 comments

U know that pot of gold beneath the rainbow?

I think i may just have found it.

My very pot of molten golden caramel.

And like all basic commodity, you can pretty much apply it in anyway you fancy.

Like on a bed of lusciously dark, and almost black gold.

The good people at Wall street term “black gold” as anything ranging from coal, oil, or even coffee.

They must have unintentionally missed out on chocolate. What a shame.

But for us bakers, chocolate might be worth more than their weight in gold.   

And with this  lush chocolate cake topped with molten, sweet golden caramel.

I think we have hit a double gold mine here!

Caramel drenched Double Chocolate Loaf

Recipe taken from How sweet it is

Click HERE for recipe

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , ,

Tres Leches Cake

May 8, 2011 18 comments

I am such a bad bad daughter. I didn’t even know that today was mother’s day until late last night. Between that and having just came back from my Singapore vacation, there was no way i could have whipped up a fancy cake to celebrate the occasion.

Nevertheless, i make do.

With this Tres Leches cake, or in English, The three milk cake. Three different types of milk that is.

Due to religious beliefs, my mom is a vegetarian. While she doesn’t eat meat, she does take in animal products like milk, cheese and even eggs. So i’ve decided to milk (no pun intended) on that with this cake.

Besides, Three milk cake, doesnt it sound enticing?

So we start off with a chiffon cake. But unlike most chiffon cakes, this cake has no oil.

NO oil? I know i know, you must be ready to condemn this cake with its predictable dry and rough texture from the lack of fats, but trust me it’s for a good cause.

But on the way to goodness, we have to first take plunges,

Plunges with a fork that is. This is to ensure even distribution in the goodness.

Next, the goodness

See, i told you there is no need to worry. Because that  dry desert of a cake is about to be inundated with a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.

Oh, and I’ve also added my own homemade vanilla extract into the milk mixture, just because i dont see why not.

And, make sure you get to all  parts of the cakes, the edges especially where it’s the driest.

… Don’t be shy with the pouring. I poured mine till i had a pool of milk mixture around the cake.

While the suggested frosting for this was whipped cream, i had some leftover pastry cream.

I decided to use that instead.

Yummmm, can you see how much of the milk the cake has soaked up?

Milky, moist, pudding-like cake.

And yet it still cuts well!

Have a happy Moo-ther’s Day everyone!

Tres Leches Cake, from Pioneer Woman

Recipe HERE

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , ,

Very Vanilla One Bowl Cake

April 27, 2011 18 comments

This would be one of the times where “less is more”. A simple Vanilla cake dusted with icing sugar

Using custard powder as one of its ingredients, this cake is very deeply scented with vanilla. Of course, a heavy dose of my homemade vanilla extract doesnt hurt.

This cake turned out rich,moist, and quite chewy. It’s like a cross between a blondie and a butter cake. While i would have preferred this to be more light and fluffy, I liked the gorgeous rich yellow the colour of this cake turned out.  It totally epitomizes the widely used boxed “yellow cake” mix. And making this cake is almost as easy as the mix.

 But what i am loving most about this cake is still the strong vanilla flavour in this.

Quite possibly the best scent around!

Recipe from My Diverse Kitchen : Very Vanilla One Bowl Yellow Cake

New York Cheesecake

April 25, 2011 20 comments

I gotta say, baking a cheesecake is like a training ground for your patience skills. Not only does it take a long time to bake, it also needs to be refrigerated (preferably overnight).
That’s not exactly easy for me. I am one who restlessly jabs at the elevator button when it doesnt arrive in 2.2 second despite being fully aware that the action is wholly useless.

For this cheesecake however, i battled my demons and victored.

I have heard of the many pittfalls making a cheesecake involve. One of the more common one is the cracked surfaces. I was quite convinced that my cheese cake was going to have Harry Potter’s lightning scar across its surface that i had a backup plan. I made more of the cookie graham cracker base than what was required in the recipe and had every intention to sprinkle it over whatever scars the cheesecake cracked for me.

Like so.

But turned out, i didnt need it! At least for this time

Look ma! No cracks! 🙂

So i learnt that to prevent your cheesecake from breaking up on the surface,  you have to leave the cheesecake in the oven for hours after it is done baking to ensure that it cools slowly.

A cheesecake which has been left to cool rapidly will crack up (no pun intended) under the pressure.

There is also the issue on under or overcooked cheesecake

An undercooked cheesecake will probably not set, while an overcooked cheesecake would be tough and dry.

I think my cheesecake did ok. It sliced well without being too tough. It was also dreamily creamy and smooth. I guess it’s a beginner’s luck!

But as a general rule of thumb, u want to bake your cheesecake just till the surface jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. It will further set as it cools and  firm up when refrigerated.

I have taken the repressed pastry chef’s recipe for this. I think the success of this cheesecake is because of her failproof recipe.

So here is to NYC and its cheesecakes!

This post has been submitted to Aspiring Baker #6: Say Cheese, hosted by Jean of needmorenoms. Thanks for hosting Jean!

Zebra Cake

April 5, 2011 28 comments

Zebra cakes are very much like the more commonly seen swirled cake. In both cases,  two toned batters, usually chocolate and vanilla meet, mingle, and became best friends.

 

 The only difference between the zebra and the swirled cake,  is in how the two best friends hooked up.

In swirled cakes, the two batters meet spontaneously. They interact carelessly with each other, creating a swirly effect that was haphazard and unpredictable. The resultant effect is no less pretty than the zebra cake, that is of course considering the swirler is not me competent enough for the job.

The pattern in the zebra on the other hand, is more structured. The batters are poured alternately in specific amounts to get that orderly, systematic zebra-ish pattern.  The kind of methodical operation that is not exactly in my blood. Geez, my own handwriting is barely legible.

Anyways, back to the cake,

To check for done-ness,

Ah, good ole’ skewer test. Where would we be without it?

Whistling clean, just the way i like it 🙂

You couldn’t imagine how excited i was to slice through this cake. This is one of the incidents where the real thing couldn’t quite compare to the spoof. I dont remember being this excited to see the authentic zebra horse on my first trip to the zoo.

Moment of truth time. 

Honestly, i wasn’t very much impressed. This is definitely one of the prettiest zebras in the stable. Too much black, too little white. Too little spacing between the black and white. Plus the swirls are kinda squiggly.

Oh wells, let me claim the customary “A” for the effort at the very least.

So let’s get horsing around!

Zebra Cake

(Taken from AJ’s Cooking Secrets)

Ingredients
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola)
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wire whisk beat until the mixture is creamy and light in color

3. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.

4. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are
thoroughly incorporated. (DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.

5. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.

6. Lightly grease the pan with oil. If you don’t have non-stick baking pan, grease whatever pan you have then line it with parchment paper (baking paper).

7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter. IMPORTANT! Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads – KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them.

8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready. Remove from the oven. Immediately run a small thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the cake onto a cooking rack. Turn the cake back over and let cool. You can sprinkle the top of the cake with some powdered (confectioner’s) sugar or leave it plain.

Mini Brown Sugar Muffins with Coffee Glaze

March 10, 2011 13 comments

I have always had the impression that muffins in general are practical breakfast items. Unlike their petite counterpart, Miss Cupcake with her fancy dress-ups, muffins are effortless, and they are also ready in no time at all.

But sometimes, practicality can be boring. Yet, with the time constraints imposed on the everyday morning rush, practicality is indispensable.

So u can pretty much imagine my delight when i saw these muffins from daily delicious. I think these muffins make good compromises between practicality and boring. 

Muffins with coffee glaze.

I love how glazes dry up. They are fuss free and they are no-smudge. You dont have to worry about getting them all over your hands, or your face. or your hair. 

 You can also pretty much muck around with them anyway you want, like stack them up.

LOL.

I also love how easy glazes come together. With this, some instant coffee gets dissolved in some hot water, to which icing sugar is added into the mixture to get them into that drizzling consistency. No heavy whipping required here, in fact, i managed to get everything incorporated just by a whisk of my fork (not even a balloon whisk).

Glazes aside, these muffins are also wonderfully moist and soft. And i think it has got to do with the the brown sugar, which is known to attract more moisture than the regular white.

I am also fancying the petite sizes these nuggets come in. They appear innocous and are warm in inviting the strictest of the dieters.

But of course that doesnt guarantee that you will be able to stop at one!

Taken from Daily Delicious
110g …………………………. Cake flour
1½tsp ………………………. Baking powder
60g …………………………… Unsalted butter
50g …………………………… Brown sugar
1 ……………………………….. Egg
45g ……………………………. Crème Fraîche
½tbsp ……………………….. Honey
…………………………………… A pinch of salt
Coffee glaze
30g ……………………………. Icing sugar
⅓ tsp …………………………. Instant coffee granule
1tbsp ………………………… Hot water
Preheat the oven to 170°C 
Put paper case in 14 mini muffin pans.
Sift cake flour and baking powder together, set aside.

Beat butter salt and sugar together until light in color, add the egg, beat to combine.
Pour the honey into the butter and beat to combine. 
Add the flour to the butter in 3 parts, alternating with the Crème Fraîche
Divide the batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or golden and spring when touch lightly.
Let the muffin cool on a wire rack.
Mix the hot water and instant coffee granule together, add the icing sugar and stir to combine.
Drizzle over the muffin and serve with a smile^^.

Makes about 14 mini muffins

Happy Birthday Sis!

February 8, 2011 14 comments

This cake comprises of a triple layer sponge cake covered with whipped white chocolate ganache.

The pastel green scribbles is icing made of egg whites and icing sugar.

The sides of this cake is shredded strawberry flavoured pink chocolate

Sweet pastel colour palette, for the sweetest sister.

Happy Birthday sis!

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Maple Espresso Glaze

February 4, 2011 18 comments

I was quite upset over my last entry, the bundt cake with the torn surface and the forgotten chocolate chips. I told myself not to beat myself over it, but i just wasn’t able to put it to rest.

I felt the need to rectify those flaws, I just had to attempt another bundt.

So here goes my next bundt, tear free and with chocolate chips IN the batter. Hola!

But i wasn’t that sure this bundt would come out perfect either, and i had a back up plan,

A glaze to cover up any imperfections (should there be another) on the surface.

And oh boy, what a glaze it was,

Who would have thought that maple syrup and espresso could come together in such a perfection. Seriously, i don’t even think i could find words fitting enough to describe this glaze.

This is the kind of glaze that you would close your eyes and moan to. Your sense of smell and taste would thank you in sheer gratification for this. It was all i could do not to drink this by the cupful.

So the glaze goes over the cake. Sorry about the messiness, i was trying to pour the glaze over the cake with my left hand while balancing the camera with my right.

My circus act resulted in something that looked like this

Once the glaze is on, the next step in the recipe is to let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about 1 hour.

I don’t know about you, but i am not waiting

I cut myself A big fat slice,

And this time with chocolate chips IN the cake.

The recipe also called for the chips to be sprinkled with flour before they are thrown into the batter for better suspension. I always thought this step was for fruits which have higher water content, but i guess you could do that to chocolate chips too!

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze

(Taken from Food librarian who adapted from epicurious)

Cake:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 12-cup Bundt pan. Spray pan generously with nonstick spray. Dust pan lightly with flour. Mix chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons flour in medium bowl. Sift remaining flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt into another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and maple extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chip mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Mixing the chocolate chips with a little flour before adding them to the batter helps the chips stay evenly suspended in the batter and evenly distributed throughout the baked cake (otherwise, they may sink to the bottom).

For glaze:
Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cream, and espresso powder in medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, adding more cream by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to drizzle. Spoon glaze decoratively over top of cake; let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.

A little torn.

February 2, 2011 10 comments

So i made a little bundt  cake today,

It’s marbled and it’s got pretty swirls of chocolate and yellow.

Except for the little mishap i had unmoulding the cake.

My cake was a little torn.

A tear (from my eyes) for a tear (on the cake).

So i made a little bundt cake today,

and it was deliciously moist and tender,

and u can see from the picture, it has got chocolate chips on the side.

Yup, u read it right, chocolate chips on the side, all measured and looking pretty in a ramekin.

It was supposed to go into the batter, but scatterbrain here, forgot.

I just gotta remind myself that it’s still a good, moist and delicious cake, and it kept the people at work happy. And i will not get upset over it.

Adapted from Night Baking
(Serves 12-16. Keeps well at room temperature under a cake dome. Or an inverted metal bowl.)

2 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) cocoa powder (Valrhona is great, but I used Hershey’s with great success)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (4 ounces) hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
2 2/3 cups (11 3/8 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (I like Trader Joe’s)
Make the chocolate syrup first: in a small saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and water. Bring just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. I sprayed mine with baking cooking spray, and I sprayed the heck out of it, and it still stuck. My cheapo bundt pan is the bane of my existence.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use the stand mixer to cream the butter with the remaining 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in a third of the flour mixture just until the flour begins to disappear into the batter. Beat in half the milk. Beat in another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk, and then the rest of the flour; mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop out a third of the batter into a medium bowl. Whisk in the reserved chocolate syrup and set aside. Spoon another third of the batter into the bundt pan and smooth it with a spatula. Spoon the chocolate batter evenly over it. Pour the remaining vanilla batter over the top. Lightly (go easy!) swirl the batter with a wooden skewer or butter knife to achieve a marbled effect. Making a continuous figure eight motion around the pan works well.
Bake until the cake springs back lightly when touched, about 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Invert the cooled cake onto a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Goes perfectly with tea or coffee!
Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , , ,

Marble Cake

January 26, 2011 13 comments

I cant tell you enough how many times i have been disappointed attempting to make the perfect butter cakes. Even recipes with promising titles such as  “the perfect butter cake” or “the best pound cake”, somehow, nothing met up with my expectations.

Most of them usually err to the dry side, and i find myself reaching for that dollop of whipped cream or even jam to be served alongside the cake.

Of course, there are recipes that call for milk, juices, or even water to moisten things up, but usually, the batter gets heavy, and needless to say, so will the eventual cake.

I guess my journey to find that perfect butter cake came to an end with this recipe. This recipe yields a good, soft, moist cake with very tight crumbs.

Without any liquid in the cake batter to counter the dryness so common in most butter cakes, this cake relies on only the butter for that moistness. From here, u can pretty much guess how wonderfully rich and lustrously buttery this cake would be.

The butter in the recipe is beaten and aerated, producing a cake that rose and was very light, but yet, this cake was still dense enough to carry all that buttery aroma in its fullest glory.

Although i am very much loving the marbled swirls in this cake, i must say that i am not really liking the chocolate batter as much as i do the plain one. The chocolate batter which had cocoa powder in it was naturally more bitter compared to the plain one. Also, the cocoa powder really took away all that wonderful buttery taste that i very much adore.

Kek Marble Susu (Milk Marble Cake)
(adapted from Ovenhaven)

250g butter
230g castor sugar
2 tsp ovalette
4 eggs
60g condensed milk
270g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp chocolate emulco

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and ovalette until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the condensed milk, and mix well.
  5. Sift the flour together with the baking powder, and add slowly to the mixture, until it is well incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter into two, leaving one plain, and adding the chocolate emulco, cocoa powder and milk to the other.
  7. Drop alternate spoonfuls of the two batters into a 9-inch square pan, lined with baking paper. Bake at 170°C for 30-35mins.

Chocolate Orange Cake

January 24, 2011 23 comments

There were two bars of chocolate sitting in my fridge one day. One just a bar of chocolate in its dark glory, and the other, a bar of dark chocolate with orange peel and cashew nuts in it.

I grabbed the second one, because, believe it or not, i have never really tasted chocolates with fruits in it (aside from the usual raisin studded chocolate bars).  I was prepped for disappointments as i thought of myself to be a chocolate purist, that chocolate should preferably be eaten on its own, without any interference from the various fruits and nuts so common in the world of chocolates.

I took a bite, and my firm stance on un-tampered, pure chocolate was heavily shaken. I liked what i ate and developed a new-found love for orange scented chocolates.

Needless to say, i began scouring the net for orange scented chocolate everything. Many were recipes for orange chocolate cake, and my decision rested on this particular recipe which called for a whole seville orange to be boiled and blitzed before it was added to the cake.

Yup, what better way to infuse that citrusy scent than to dump a whole orange, peel and all into the cake?

Like the chocolate, the shadows of doubt that came with that whole boiling and blitzing orange was dark yet alluring, but i decided it was worth the risk and decided to take a dive.

The resultant cake was fudgy, dense and moist, and the orange flavour was discernible. It is a pretty good cake, but i guess dense cakes are just not my thing, i would rather go all the way and make dense fudgy brownies instead. A dense cake is just halfway there and it doesnt quite cut it for me. I find myself scrapping and eating the ganache more than the cake.

And i think i just myself a pretty good chocolate ganache recipe. I upped the chocolate slightly from the recipe as the comments in the recipe indicated that it was more on the runny side. The minor adjustments i made is just perfect for my tropical, humid weather. The chocolate ganache was of the perfect consistency even after being left overnight. It is fudgy, without being too thick to be spread across the cake.

I also carelessly strewn a store bought mango peels across the cake, just for aesthetic purposes. But i do like how it tastes with the ganache. The tangy and slightly salted peel gave the ganache an extra texture and it was such a pleasant tease to the palate.

Chocolate Orange Cake

(Taken from bbcgoodfood.com)

  • 1 Seville orange
  • a little melted butter , for greasing
  • 100g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240ml sunflower oil
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • orange candied peel , to decorate

For the Chocolate Ganache *

  • 200g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 225ml double cream
  1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth; let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring after 1 minute. Let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the chocolate ganache: put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake – up to 1½ hours.
  5. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a palette knife, swirl the ganache over the top. Decorate with strips of candied orange peel.

* For the chocolate ganache, i added equal ratio of chocolate vs cream (1 :1).

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , , ,

A lil Christmas Baking

December 22, 2010 12 comments

A mini post on other Christmas related bakings i’ve done 🙂

1. Christmas Biscottis

While biscottis are traditionally dunked in tea, or coffee, these are good enough to be eaten on its own. Crushed candy canes are mixed into the biscottis batter for an added touch of sweetness to the otherwise plain tasting biscottis.  I’ve done this cookie two ways, one is to dip them in melted white chocolate and sprinkle them with more crushed candy canes:

And another is to drizzle some white frosting on them and sprinkle even more candy canes!

A lil note though, the candy canes will lose their crunch and get a bit sticky after a while. But that didnt bother me as they were still delicious.

Recipe from Annie

Candy Cane Biscotti

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped peppermint candies, plus extra for garnish
14 oz. white chocolate

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir briefly with a fork to combine.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the 2/3 cup crushed peppermints with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the dough into 4 portions.  Form each into a 9″ by 1½” log on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly.  Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on top, about 18-20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

After the logs have cooled for 10 minutes, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the logs into ½-inch slices on the diagonal.  Arrange the cut pieces on the baking sheet, laying on one of their cut sides so one cut side is facing up.  Bake for 15 minutes more, until the cookies are light golden brown and crisp.  (They may seem a bit soft, but will firm as they cool.)  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the biscotti have cooled, melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  Dip one half of each cookie in the chocolate, shake gently to remove the excess, and transfer to a baking sheet or work surface lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle with extra crushed candy canes while the chocolate is still wet.  Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set completely.  Store in an airtight container.

2. Cranberry Bliss Bar

The cranberry bliss bar is a Starbucks breakfast favourite it seems, but the truth is, i have never tasted the ones sold there before. The Starbucks here (Indonesia) don’t have it on the menu! But if the ones sold taste anywhere as good as these, i could definitely relate to why they are such a hit.

The base of these bars are subtly flavoured with ginger and studded with cranberries and white chocolate. They are then topped with a lemony cream cheese frosting before being piped with a sugared icing.

Between the white chocolate vs cranberries, or, the cream cheese frosting vs the sugary icing, these bars are a good balance of sweetness and tartness. These will definitely zest up your mornings and double up as good wake up calls!

Recipe from Megan

Cranberry Bliss Bars
see on Brownies for Dinner, originally from My Little Mochi
(printable recipe)

Bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.

Drizzling Icing:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags.

Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy!

3. Chocolate Hearts with Crushed Christmas Candies

These are yogurt cakelets made in a heart shaped pan, dunked in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with christmas candies. The yogurt cakelets are incredibly moist and dense, but most importantly they pop out prettily from the pan 🙂

These are better refrigerated as the candies and the chocolate will get melty and sticky after a while. But i am definitely liking the dark chocolate contrast against the candies.

Recipe from Kirbie

Vanilla Yogurt Cakelets

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the cakelet pan.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl and set it aside.
3.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, and eggs. Slowly whisk the dry
ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the
vegetable oil into the batter until well incorporated.
4. With a
spoon fill the cake pan with the cake batter about 3/4 full. Do not over fill it. Bake
in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and
cake is lightly brown.
5. Remove from cake pan
once it is completely cool

With that, I would like to thank Annie, Megan and Kirbie for sharing the wonderful recipes! Happy Christmas everyone!

Almond, Orange, and Cranberry MiniCupcakes

December 12, 2010 11 comments

Almond, Orange, Cranberry Cupcakes. Geez, the title itself is already a mouthful isn’t it?  There is the fruits, and the nuts all rolled into a medley. But fret not, despite the jumbled mess of a name, this will work just fine.

These cupcakes might take a lil bit more fostering than the average cupcakes. It’s not just a matter of throwing in a bunch of chocolate chips, or a handful of nuts.

The oranges have to be zested, and the cranberries chopped, and then soaked.

And let me tell you about these soaked cranberries… I soaked these cranberries in Grand Marnier, and i can’t tell you enough how wonderfully plump and flavourful each cranberry became. It was like biting into mini bursts of delight, fruity, full-bodied, and fragrant. I think Grand Marnier is fast becoming a baking favourite.

A lil downfall in these soaked cranberries though, literally. The cranberries get heavy, and they sink downward. Although some did manage to stay afloat, most of them made their way south.  I know i should have chopped the cranberries smaller, and pat them dry, or sprinkle a lil flour before dumping them into the batter. But i guess i got a lil lazy. Lesson learnt.

Let me go on to marvel at the cake now. In case you were wondering, the dark shade of this cake is brought about by the glorious brown sugar. And just by having brown sugar, these cupcakes by default are delicious. I love brown sugar, and i have come to notice a trend with it. Brown sugar baked goods somehow get more flavoursome and all the more luscious with time. These cupcakes taste better on the second day, so i guess that kinda challenges that cliche “fresh from the oven” slogan so overused today eh?

Anyways, for the recipe, i have adapted Pastry Girl’s Apricot, Orange, and Almond Mini Cakes and subbed the Apricots for Dried Cranberries. And in case you havent already, do head over to her blog for the most amazing display of desserts. Her pictures of stunningly gorgeous! Thanks Anita for sharing the recipe!

Apricot, Orange, and Almond Loaf Cakes

adapted from Carole Bloom’s Bite-Size Desserts

makes 12 4″x 2 1/4″ loaves

2/3 cup (4 ounces) dried apricots, finely chopped (i used dried cranberries)

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

2 cups (9 ounces) flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (5 ounces) sugar plus extra for sprinkling

3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

2 extra-large eggs, room temperature (I used large and it turned out fine)

1 extra-large egg yolk, room temperature (same as above)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon orange extract

zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray twelve mini loaf pans with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

Combine apricots and Grand Marnier in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate for 15 minutes.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until well combined.

Combine eggs, egg yolk, extracts, and orange peel in a small bowl. Add to mixture and beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

Add in the apricots and mix until combined.

Divide mixture among prepared pans, filling about 3/4 full. Sprinkle almonds and sugar over the tops.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on wire racks before serving.

Peanut Caramel Topped Brownies

November 30, 2010 9 comments

Bakers who have been baking along Tuesdays with Dorie should be able to identify this cake straight away. This cake/ brownie just looks so strikingly different with bold whole caramel peanuts strewn over the top as topping. Quite frankly, i don’t think i have come across any other cake that looked like this.

Well, maybe my re-creation of this cake is not 100% accurate. You see, the caramel was supposed to flow down the sides of the cake as it was drizzled over the top in its semi molten state.

But i knew i was bringing this to work, and really, i would do much better if i didn’t have to deal with all the gooey, sticky caramel-ey mess no matter how delicious it promised to be. So i cooked the caramel a lil further, and  let it cool a bit to set before i spooned the peanuts onto the cake.

Now, that looks pretty neat and orderly. I was actually quite glad i was able to coax the peanut/caramel combo into staying on top of the cake instead of having them slide down the sides.

Now, lets get a closer look at that complying topping. This topping is part crunchy from the peanuts, and part chewy from the caramel and ALL awesome.

Peanuts (apart from peanut butter) are probably the least used nuts in the baking world. I’ve seen recipes calling for walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc, but  only a couple that call for peanuts. But despite being underrated, the peanuts really showed the world a thing or two here.

Now lets get on to the brownie part shall we?

This brownie was cake like, soft and moist. It was lighter than most brownies, which complemented the topping rather well. A dense fudgy brownie would probably have made this dessert too cloyingly rich. The brownie was also very easily put together involving just a few simple whisking. There is no need to pull out your heavy machineries here. Pheww!

The brownie rose pretty well too, almost reaching to the brim of my springform. That’s quite an achievement for a cake batter that didnt require any beating.  I also liked the spongy texture of the brownie that probably resulted from all that rising.

On a lil side note though, while the caramel didn’t leave its trails in a sticky mess this time, i would probably want that the next time if i were to bake it again. While this semi hardened caramel was good. I think the original chewy, sticky, gooey would be better. Just saying. 🙂

While i have a copy of Baking From My Home to Yours on my bedstand, i couldnt resist but hit the print button for the recipe from The Curvy Carrot who happened to have baked this recently. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to lugging the book to my kitchen have even more undesirable stains on the poor book! So here goes!

Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake (Recipe taken from The Curvy Carrot) thanks so much for sharingg!

Servings: 10

Ingredients

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped **(I just used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips….oh Ghiradelli…..sigh….)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1 and 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup salted peanuts

Instructions

1.  For the cake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Butter an 8-inch round springform pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.

3.  Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4.  Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.

5. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

6.  Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are just melted.

7.  Remove the bowl from the heat.

8. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together until well blended.

9. Whisk in the corn syrup, followed by the vanilla.

10.  Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate.

11. Still working with a whisk, gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.

12.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread until even.

13.  Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean.

14.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the cake for 15 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the pan and remove the sides of the pan.  Cool the cake to room temperature.

15.  When the cake is completely cool, invert it, remove the base of the pan and peel off the paper.  Wash and dry the springform pan, and return the cake to it right-side up.  Refasten the sides.

16. For the topping: Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients, and put the pan over medium-high heat on the stove.

17.  Heat, without stirring, until the caramel turns deep amber (mine was the color of light beer….test it on a white plate if you are unsure), about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on your stove and pan).  As the sugar is caramelizing, wipe down any splatters on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.

18.  Lower the heat a bit, and standing back from the saucepan, add the cream and butter.  (BE CAREFUL…IT IS HOT AND WILL BUBBLE AGGRESSIVELY.)

19.  When the caramel calms down a bit, stir to dissolve any lumps.

20.  Add the peanuts and stir.  Transfer the hot mixture to a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or a heat-proof bowl.

21.  Spoon the peanuts over the top of the cake, and then pour enough caramel to cover the peanuts and top of cake completely.  You may have leftover caramel.

22.  Allow the topping to set at room temperature about 20 minutes or so.

23.  When ready to serve, run a blunt knife around the edge of the springform pan and remove the sides.

Source:  Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Blueberry Chiffon Cakes

November 21, 2010 14 comments

I am kind of having mixed feelings about chiffon cakes. Though most of the time, i enjoy the light, cottony soft texture, of the chiffon, sometimes though, i feel like i needed something more substantial. Something with more oomph, or something richer (think dense fudgy brownies).

So i tried spicing things up with my blueberry chiffons two ways. One to have it studded with blueberries, and another decorated with fresh blueberries, whipped cream and some icing.

The studded:

Fresh blueberries were folded into the batter before it was poured into the pan.

I for one absolutely adore how the blueberries peeked out of the cake, adding some colours to the otherwise plain brown cake.

A common problem with adding fresh fruits to a chiffon batter, is to have all the fruits sinking down south. Unfortunately, mine sank too. But not entirely, some lucky one managed to stay afloat, but most of them crowd within the bottom half of the chiffon.

Besides sinking, the blueberries also seemed to form mini caves around themselves. I am not entirely sure why this happens. It doesnt seem to apply only to fruits for i have seen cheese forming the same holes within breads. Anyone shed some light ?

Taste wise, the berries provide an unexpected burst of tartness, which go pretty well against the sweetness from the cake. It also added a bit of moistness. I also liked how the colours from the blueberries bled, creating splotches of purplish blue.

Next,

The Decorated:

As the chiffon is incredibly soft, i was not left with much choices when it comes to frosting this cake.

I settled on decorating half the cake with freshly whipped cream and fresh blueberries, and the other half with white sugar icing drizzled over fresh blueberries. Both were light enough for the chiffon to handle. Fortunately.

I also left the batter plain this time. I feel like i shouldnt crowd the cake with too many things and overshadow the chiffon.

So after all that, which is my fave way of eating the chiffon?

I would say i liked my chiffon with the whipped cream. It added an extra moistness to the cake, without overpowering it. 🙂

For the recipe, i have used Kokken69‘s (Thanks so much for sharing!). She has the most beautiful pictures in her blog.

Recipe : Adapted from Kokken69

Meringue
Egg White 110g
Sugar 55g
Corn Starch 5g
Egg Yolk Base
Egg Yolk 40g
Water 12g
Grapeseed Oil 36g (or any other neutral oil e.g. canola oil)
Blueberry puree 50g
Lemon juice 6g
All purpose flour55g
Sugar 10g
Blueberry 30g (blueberry should be cut into very small pieces and dried with a kitchen towel. Best option would be dried Blueberry)
Method :
1. Heat oven using convection mode to 160C.
2. In a mixing bowl place egg yolk, blueberry puree, water, oil, lemon juice and sugar. Beat the mixture under well mixed and sugar is completely dissolved. (I do this by using a hand whip)
3. Sift flour into egg yolk mixture and mix well.
4. In a separate clean dry mixing bowl, whip egg white until foamy. Add sugar/corn starch mixture in 3 additions during whipping. Whip egg white until meringue is firm peaks.
5. Add 1/3 portion of the meringue into the egg yolk base. Use a spatula to blend egg white with egg yolk.
6.Add another 1/3 portion of the remaining meringue and blueberries into (5). Use spatula to fold egg white evenly with (5).
7. Add the remaining meringue into (6). Fold the egg white evenly with (6).
8. Pour (7) into a 17cm chiffon pan (do not oil the pan otherwise the batter will not rise).
9. Bake the cake at 160C for 30mins.
I will also be submitting this to Aspiring Baker#1: Chiffon Cakes
This is an event that is hosted by Small Small Baker and for the month of November, she has chosen Chiffon Cakes as the first task. I am really really excited about this event. I have seen other bloggers’ post for this event and am really impressed with what some of them came up with. Thanks Small Small Baker for organizing!
Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

Yet another Birthday

October 11, 2010 10 comments

My brother – in- law’s birthday is one day after my brother. And after that purist chocolate of a cake for the brother, i wanted another element to be featured in this next cake.

Don’t get me wrong, chocolate is still a favorite, and it’s presence is mandatory in this cake. However, for this cake, it, the chocolate content can take a backseat, and i was allowed room to introduce another ingredient.

I recounted the various times i hung out with my brother in law, and noticed an ongoing trend. Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Starbucks, Starbucks. Yup, we are dealing with a coffee buff here.

And so, the opera cake it is then!

Layers of sponge cake sandwiching alternating layers of coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache.

Winner!

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

The cake that looks like a giant Donut

July 21, 2010 1 comment

U can’t see the insides of this cake. But it’s marbled, and i was too lazy to take another shot of the interior of the cake.

This recipe came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s latest book, Heavenly Cakes, titled "Marble Velvet Cake" .

This cake did deliver what the book promises, a velvety, rich and moist butter cake that is part chocolate and part vanilla.

To top all that goodness, i drizzled a generous coating of the optional, but super yumm-eh, chocolate ganache over it.

This chocolate ganache totally won me over. Its glossy appearance turns matte when the chocolate has cooled and dried up. (YES! this chocolate ganache actually dries up in the tropical and humid climate i am in!)

Cool and dry chocolate ganache are a dream come true for me. Cakes with cool and dry chocolate ganache are travel friendly can be delivered messy- free to unsuspecting recipients, which in turn, gives me more room to bake. ^^

Recipe:

85 gr dark chocolate

112 gr egg yolks ( about 6)

242 gr sour cream (1 cup)

2 tsp vanilla extract

300 gr cake flour

300 gr superfine sugar

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

255 gr unsalted butter

1. Double boil or using the microwave, melt the dark chocolate

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, 1/4 c of the sour cream, and vanilla till just combined

3. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low for 30 secs. Add butter and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low until ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1.5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Starting on medium low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in three parts. Beat on medium for 20 seconds after each additions to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Remove 1/3 of the batter (354 gr) to a bowl and stir in melted chocolate until uniform in colour. Scoop 1/3 of remaining batter onto prepared pan. Top with dollops of half the chocolate batter. Spread gently, but evenly. Top with another 1/3 of the plain batter, then dollops of the remaining chocolate batter. Spread evenly and top with remaining 1/3 of the plain batter, spreading it evenly over the top. Use a regular spoon to marbelize the batter lightly. Dip the tablespoon without touching the bottom or sides and lift up and over in a folding motion, 6 to 8 times, going all around the pan. Smooth the surface evenly.

6. Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or  until a wire cake tester inserted between the tube and the side comes out clean, and the cake lightly springs back when lightly touched. The cake should start to shrink from the pan after removal from oven. During baking, it will rise above the centre tube, but on cooling, it will level from center tube.

7. Let cool in wire rack for 10 minutes before unmoulding.