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Posts Tagged ‘cakes’

Indonesian Steamed Cakes (Bolu Kukus)

October 13, 2012 2 comments

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I remember i didnt like this kind of steamed cakes growing up.

Their subtle sweetness just didn’t cut it for my then junk-food trained tongue. I crave for soft baked chocolate chip cookies, or fudgy thick brownies.

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I am not saying i dont crave for such rich, sinful dessert now. I just learnt to accept food that are milder in flavour…Grown up food.

Because life is not all about Ben and Jerry’s or McDs. There are other stuffs too. Like Broccoli, and delicate Indonesian steamed cakes.

 

 

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Cranberry Pistachio Cupcakes

May 22, 2011 19 comments

While the average person tries to spend as minimal time in the grocery store, i am one of those weirdos who loves to walk through each aisle leisurely.  I dawdle, i deliberate, and i drive my supermarket companion (whoever is unfortunate enough to be with me ) nuts at my unprogressive rate.

It was during one of these trips that i spotted this Pistachio instant pudding mix from Jell-o.

I grabbed one knowing exactly what i wanted it for.

A pistachio cream cheese frosting from my Cream Cheese Jelly Berry Pie. The original recipe was for filling a pie, but the texture was so thick and the taste so creamy that i decided that it would work as a frosting too.

But as an insurance, i did omit out the liquid (milk) in the recipe. I wanted this frosting to be really thick and full flavoured.

And since i was going fancy with the frosting, i didn’t one plain vanilla for the cupcakes. So i took an orange cupcake recipe but subbed the orange juice in it for cranberry juice.

Cranberry Cupcakes with Pistachio Cream Cheese anyone?

It didnt work out so well though, i couldn’t taste the cranberry flavours for one bit. I suggest on using cranberry extracts for this.

Having said that, the real star here is the frosting. Really, it could have been just be a piece of stale bread underneath and it will still taste delicious!

Cranberry Cupcakes:
2 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line your cupcake pans.
  2. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Combine the milk with the cranberry juice.
  6. Pour one third flour mixture into the butter mixture, then half of the milk mixture. Repeat ending with the flour mixture. Mix well.
  7. Spoon batter evenly among cupcake liners.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

1/4 c cold milk

1 Package (3.4 ounces) Pistachio Instant pudding mix

  1. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and pudding mix for 1 minute.
  2. Spread over cooled cupcakes.
  3. Sprinkle chopped pistaschio and dried cranberries over to prettify!

Lemon Bundt Cake

March 18, 2011 15 comments

I am quite the oddball in the family. As a kid, my popsicles are always in alternating shades of red (strawberry) and orange. This is a deviation from the family’s standard of dark brown , chocolate popsicles.

I caved in once, and conformed to the norm, and immediately regretted my decision as i took my first bite. I was missing the bright, refreshing, and tangy flavours of my fruit based pops! And from then on, i’ve nevered wandered, and always stood tall and proud with my vibrant coloured treat admist its dull coloured counterparts.

So fast forward to present day, one of my favourite things to do in baking is to zest lemon peel. I love inhaling the citrus smell of that squirt of fresh juice as i pressed my zester against the skin of the lemon. Juicing lemon juice is pretty fun too. I lean my weight against the juicer to exert the maximum pressure to wring out every last drop of lemon juice.

And that brings about today’s choice of baking, the lemon bundt cake.

And whilst the cake baked away in the oven, i settled myself with a morning warm lemon tea 🙂

And when it comes to bundt cake, i know exactly where to seek my recipe from. The food librarian with her series of “ I like Big Bundts”  has a very comprehensive library when it comes to bundts. The original recipe (from Martha Stewart) called for Meyer Lemons. I’ve never seen a Meyer Lemon in Jakarta before, so regular ones will have to do for this.

Ah, the glaze, the citrus flavours of the bundt cake came mainly from the glaze. The cake batter only had lemon zest in it while the glaze had both lemon zest and juice.  As you would have guessed, the glaze was both sweet and tangy, and would totally zest your mornings into fanci-ness.

And of course the mandatory circus work of pouring glaze and taking pictures with my favourite two hands, which leads to some unevenes in the division of glaze across the whole cake surface

I am cutting myself a slice from the part of the cake with MORE glaze of course, and shall save the slices with the trickly glaze to the dieters.

The cake was baked to a perfect golden brown, texture wise, it is rather dense, and not fluffy soft. I think i might have overbaked it, cause the edges became quite crispy and cookie like. And i think i enjoyed picking at these crisp crumbs more than i did the cake!

A cup of lemon tea and a slice of lemon cake for a Friday breakfast!

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

(Recipe taken from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

Makes 2 loaves

 I made 1/2 the recipe and baked it in 10-cup Bundt cake pan.
Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 4 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans and set aside.
  2. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder two times and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir only until thoroughly blended. Gently fold in the zest.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pans and level tops with an offset spatula. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan about 10 minutes; then remove to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
  6. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients to combine. If necessary, add additional confectioners’ sugar to desired consistency.
  7. Pour glaze on top of cakes and serve.

Ding Dongs, and Devil Dogs

March 16, 2011 14 comments

Apparently these chocolate cake sandwiching white buttercream are called Devil Dogs.

I don’t know how how the name came about, but as the pioneer woman mentioned, these are typically Ding-Dongs, without the chocolate coating.

Let’s go step by step on these

First up, we bake a chocolate sheet cake. And i must say, this cake is really moist and veerrryyyy delicious.

To which we cut squares from, to make each individual dog. You will be getting quite a few scraps from this. That’s okay, i am sure you know what to do with them. For me, i eat them to give me the energy to finish the rest of this task.

Next we squeeze a bit of frosting on each square,

Like so,

then, a second square of chocolate cake goes up

A second, mini squirt of buttercream

And a final glace cherry to top it off.

And before i go on, the buttercream here is not your average swiss, italian, or american buttercream. Instead of using egg whites, this buttercream uses a bit of cooked flour. * Recipe follows. 

Making buttercream this way is a bit new for me, and taste and texture wise, it deserves a double thumbs up !

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

(Taken from Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • _____
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1-¾ stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

Preparation Instructions

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.

Cut yourself a piece and put it on a pretty plate. Grab a fork and prepare to experience the most divine pairing you can imagine. This frosting on chocolate cake is to die for. Sure, the recipe sounds strange — it has flour in it — but it’s sublime. Try it, you’ll see. You’ll love it so much you won’t go back.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Honey-Toasted Almonds

March 2, 2011 12 comments

Try as i might, i just cant seem to get a decent shot of this bugger here.

It might be because of the lighting, or the props, or the way it is frosted.

The cake started out as a banana cake,

Over which cream cheese frosting is piled onto

Geez, i think that’s it!

I think the poor shots are probably due to the cream cheese frosting. Yummy as the frosting is (how can u go wrong with cream cheese, butter and icing sugar?), the consistency is not exactly suitable for frosting. It is a tad too liquid, and you don’t even wanna think about pipping with this frosting. I might need to add more icing sugar into this to get to the consistency that’s workable.

And try as i might, frosting this cake made it look somewhat like a huge cloud of shapeless blob

I am sorry, i tried my best. Honest.

But, looks can be deceiving, cause it is still a good cake,

I was kind of weirded out when i saw espresso powder in the cake recipe. But i dipped my finger into the cake batter before i sent it to the oven. It was like a flavour breakthrough. Who would have thought espresso would go so well with bananas?

I have also added some candied honey almonds for an extra crunch, and for that bit of saltiness i so enjoy in all sweet desserts. So don’t judge a book by its cover this time around!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Honey-Toasted Almonds (makes 1 double layer cake, or 1 single layer cake and 6 large muffins)

For the cake: (taken from Baking with Buttermilk)

2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (8 ounces/230 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp instant espresso or coffee powder (I omitted this)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
6 Tbsp (90 ml) buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream (regular or low-fat), at room temperature (I used Fage 0%)
2 cups (50 ml) banana purée (3 to 4 very ripe bananas) (I used 4)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
2. Spray with oil or butter 2 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. (If making muffins, prepare one cake pan and 1 muffin tin)
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
4. In a stand mixer bowl (or large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer or spoon) beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. It should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and espresso powder. Beat in eggs one at a time until each is completely mixed in. Add half of the flour then the buttermilk and banana purée. Add the remaining flour and stir until combined, but don’t over mix.
5. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans (or pan and muffin tin) and bake until golden and toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes. (12-15 minutes for muffins, or until tops spring back to the touch) Cool in pans on wire racks.

For the frosting: (Taken from Baking with Buttermilk)

1 stick butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. almond milk

In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until very light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar until well mixed. Add vanilla extract. Tip in a Tablespoon or two of milk, if needed.

For the almonds:

1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Place almonds in a small pan over medium heat. Allow to begin toasting, 1-2 minutes. Add honey, cinnamon and salt, stir until golden. Add water 1 tsp at a time if clumping together. Toast until fragrant but not burnt, about 5 minutes. Pour onto lined baking sheet or Silpat when done until ready to use.

Isabella’s Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

February 24, 2011 16 comments

I never would have thought 8-12 year old kids could be left in the kitchen unsupervised. I mean, with open flames, kitchen knives, and heavy weight kitchen appliances, the kitchen is not exactly a safe playground. But watching Australia’s junior masterchef got me totally flabbergasted.

The cynic in me wondered whether they were even able to cook up something that was safe for consumption, that nothing was too raw, or overdone. But i was blown away when i saw their creations which looked not only delicious, but also were assembled in the most appealing fashion.

The baker in me naturally got drawn to the winning dish which was featured in the first mystery box challenge -Lemon meringue cupcakes.

Now now, not only was the challenge winner, 12 year old Isabella was able to make temperature sensitive egg-based curd, she was also able to score with the ever so temperamental egg white meringue.

The lemon curd was cooked till it was just thickened. It was really smooth, luscious and silky. A hole is created in the middle of each cupcake to house the lemon curd.

however, i was a tad worried as the curd was a bit on the sour side.

But my worries were unfounded as the tangy-ness from the sour curd went flawlessly well with the traditionally too sweet meringue.

So when the judges were swooning over this, they were not exaggerating. This cupcake got its deserved attention and praises. It is that good!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Ingredients

(Taken from Masterchef)

Cupcakes

1 cup pure cream
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Lemon curd

1/2 cup lemon juice
100g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue

3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180’C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan.

2. Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.

3. Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.

4. For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.

5. For meringue, beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag.

6. To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd.  Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired.

New York Style Coffee Cake

January 15, 2011 9 comments

I never thought there will come a day where i feel uninspired to bake. But for the past week, for some reason, i have been feeling down. The thought of weighing flour, whipping eggs and creaming butter just lost its appeal to me. I laid low for quite a bit, and chose to stay cocooned under my blanket in the mornings rather than make a mad dash into my kitchen as i usually do.

I began missing the hum of my oven, and the whirr of my stand mixer. I miss the steady “snap”  my camera makes as i clicked on the shutter button, and most importantly, i had a tub of sour cream threatening to expire on me (DUH). So i sauntered over to the kitchen, and turned my oven up against my sunken mood. I had the perfect recipe in my hands, perfect because it was relatively fuss free (i wasn’t exactly in the spirit of some fancy, science-challenging baking), and also perfect cause it uses my tub of sour cream.

Fortunately, this coffee cake came together like a dream. And it tastes pretty dream like too, a soft, moist yellow cake topped with brown sugar cinnamon crumbs. I absolutely loved the crunch of the crumb against the soft cake.  It’s like having a cookie over the cake, and the brown sugar just makes it so flavourful and aromatic.

And unlike most crumbs which require you to cut your butter into the sugar and flour, this recipe calls for melted butter, another win!

But what i love most about this recipe, is the ratio of that wonderful brown sugar crumb with respect to the cake. Basically, you crumble your crumb dough over your cake batter, making sure to cover every little surface, press it down, and you will still be left with enough crumble dough to go over that entire surface for the second, or third time!

And trust me, you do want every little piece of that crumbly bits. 🙂

New York Style Coffee Cake
Recipe taken from buns in my oven who adapted from Baked Explorations

For the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass 9×13 pan. You can use a metal pan, but the edges may get a bit crispy.

To make the crumb topping, mix both sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and spread this mixture out on the parchment paper to dry while you make the cake mixture.

To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and slat together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter until it is smooth and ribbonlike  in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl before each addition, beaiting only until it is just incorporated.

To assemble the cake, pour the batter in the prepared pan.Use your hands to scoop up a handful of the topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat to use all the topping. Remember, the topping layer will look very thick.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan two times during the baking process. Cool the entire pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

The cake will last for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature.

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