Monday, November 30, 2009

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake

Rose's Heavenly Cake, Page 247: Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust: I didn't make the gingersnap crust. I made digestive biscuit crust instead, cos i forgot to buy gingersnaps! :p i was lazy to bring out the food processor and used my hands to crush the digestive biscuits. I baked the crust for 10mins and put in the fridge to harden a bit.

Pumpkin Filling: While reading instructions for this (ok, ok, i didn't read the instructions prior..i read only last min) I realised by now that i still need to take my food processor out of the cabinet..argghh! Well, at least the next part - making the batter was easy. Rose said to smooth the batter with spatula, but my batter was very nothing to smooth and it made me quite worried. But after baking, the pumpkin cheesecake did set, much to my relief. i wrapped aluminum foil over the springform pan which based on my experience, when baking via waterbath, water will leak through the springform pan if it is not covered with aluminum foil (or maybe my springform pan is!). After 45 mins, I removed the waterbath first and baked at 130C for 10mins more (just in case i figured..since my batter was liquid remember?) and then turned off and cooled the cheesecake in the oven for 45mins instead of 1 hour as instructed cos i was too impatient as i wanted to clean my oven asap.

Caramel Piping Glaze: Am I or smart or what? Or shall i say TOO smart? LOL! Instead of making caramel piping glaze, i made caramel candy instead! hahahaha! Look at the photo below. Now i have a batch of caramel toffee instead to go with my pumpkin cheesecake! Seriously, i don't know what i did..but i was happy stirring...more stirring and when i put in the butter i was still stirring over heat..i thought it won't do any harm. Then i added a tsp of brandy...and still! When i thought it was actually hardens into candy when cooled..and if i knew i was making toffee, i would have added some fleur de sel..would have been sooo good! It's still good now without fleur de sel....sticky, chewy & buttery. ;P See, this is a perfect example of not reading instructions properly!

Too burnt out to redo the caramel glaze, so i melted some chocolate and piped a huge flower on top of the cheesecake and put the pecan in the flower centre and as leaves. The less pecan nuts the better..i don't like them...:)

Verdict: Yummy!! Creamy and yet not too rich! Everyone loved it including my office colleagues. This cheesecake is extremely smooth & it melts-in-your mouth. Pumpkin taste is not so overpowering and blends in really well with the cheese! This recipe is definitely a keeper (minus the caramel glaze..hahaha) and i'll make it again, worth the effort of bringing out my food processor (sometimes i wish i have a bigger kitchen where i can put the food processor, kitchenaid mixer etc, on all the kitchen i don't have to bring them in and out of my kitchen cabinet).

NOTE: Rose left a comment on Marie's blog..i cut & pasted it here as a way to remind myself not to worry about the thin batter...otherwise i might forget..

Blogger Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

fantastic job marie and everyone else who posted their versions. it's so fun to see how different they all look.

two important comments:

if the caramel comes off the slice in one gob it's because it was taken to too high a temperature. At a lower temperature a spoon or fork goes through it with ease. but i see loads of comments about thermometers so i'll say no more!

i appreciate the comment about the fear that the cake wouldn't set because the filling was so thin and i wrote to smooth it with a spatula. that's the danger of copy editing! my copy editor suggested adding this to all cakes and clearly it is not necessary for my cheesecake batters that flow into a smooth surface by themselves (note i never wrote this in the cake bible.) sometimes one's initial instincts best reflect what one actually does so i never should have added that phrase and i'm now taking it out for the next printing. thanks for calling it to my attention. it's great that this bake through will help to continue to perfect the book!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

[MacTweets/ma2] Macarons (Three Flavors)

Made 3 different flavor macarons:

- Mango Macarons with Mango Buttercream & Jelly filling. Absolutely love this flavor! I like anything mango, can't you tell? :)

- Matcha Macarons with Chocolate Buttercream & Mango Jelly filling. Not too bad. I like anything green tea too, but i would have loved it better if i paired it with green tea buttercream for that intense green tea flavor. But since matcha is only my fave and nobody seems to like it, i decided to play down the green tea flavor with chocolate buttercream.

- Espresso Macarons with Mocha Buttercream. A bit bitter, i guess a put too much espresso coffee powder! :p But i compensated by making the macarons, like espresso shot! lol!

Please do check out other bloggers' macarons & flavors listed on!

And a REMINDER to myself: NEVER EVER bake 3 batches of macarons at night the next time, even if i have all the ingredients ready earlier! Didn't finish till 1230am! Dead tired!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Bottom Cupcakes

These cupcakes are seriously good! I didn't expect it to be this delicious.. While mixing the batter, I thought that it didn't look right. But in the end the cupcakes turned out one of the best chocolate cupcakes i've ever tasted. The centre of the cake is gooey, creamy and chocolatety due to the mascarpone & mini chocolate chips. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves and adores's heavenly. :) Plus it is terribly easy to fuss & so quick!

Recipe is taken from Jill O'Connor's Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. I've tried 2 recipes from her book so far and they are both hits. I'm quite pleased that i bought this book. Initially when I saw the book i didn't quite like it because all the dessert & cake photos in the book looked just too sweet for me! But i changed my mind and bought it anyway just because i like the look of the book. The design and print was what captivated! And also i'm addicted to cookbooks..when i see one that i like, i just have to buy it! :S

Monday, November 23, 2009

Catalan Salt Pinch Cake

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 197: Catalan Salt Pinch Cake

When Marie posted this cake as the next cake to be baked, I was expecting some sort of savory cake (is there such thing as a savory cake? *shrugs*) but after i read the recipe did i realised that it was created by a baker of Salt Bakery which was name after the village of Salt. So it's just any regular sweet cake afterall!

Although this cake is easy to make, you must have the patience to stand next to the mixer and add 2 tbps of the 300g egg mixture each time, beat for 2mins after each addition till the egg mixture runs out. So be prepared to stand next to the mixer for like 20-25mins. Of course you can measure out the flour during this time and zest the lemon and cut the parchment for your pan..etc...but obviously i didn't read the instructions properly. I did my usual way, measured out all my ingredients first (mis en place?) and organised them so i won't forget an ingredient (but sometimes it doesn't work cos i still forget oO), hence i had nothing much to do during the 20-25mins except to wait for the next addition of egg mixture.:S Oh wait..i did dance around a little because a hungry mosquito was trying to feed on my legs when i stood too still...

Oh ya....i used store bought ground almond meal instead of grinding it on my own. :p I always have some standby for making macarons. Baking macarons is a good way to get rid of all your eggwhites. :)

Instead of using 9" springform pan, I baked them into cupcakes. So at least i can pinch my own cupcake as i don't want everyone to pinch on the same cake that i'm going to eat (and they can pinch their own I used the non-stick paper cupcake cases and pressed a piece of parchment into each of the cases so that batter can 'stick' onto the parchment and rise properly. The total batter yield about 16 cupcakes and i baked them for 15 mins. What's great is i can recycle my cupcake cases...cos they still look as good as oil seepage. Hey, now i realised that there's no butter/oil for this recipe! wonder no oil seepage from the parchment onto my cupcake cases..:D

Verdict: Winner! Light, scrumptious, spongy, moist (but not wet) and yet not overly sweet with a tinge of almond flavor. Bite into it and the crumbs of the cake melt into your mouth. This cake is very light and delicious! Of course I loved it! We ate the cake without any whipped cream or raspberries and it tasted just as good. In fact this cake reminds me of the sponge cupcakes that are sold in our local chinese bakeries minus the almond. My daughter said it is so light that she ate 3 cupcakes at one go! I totally agree..i ate 2 and still felt i could eat! My husband ate 2 too! My the fussy one..he doesn't want to eat any new food..! I'm surprised that without any oil or butter, the cake can still stay so moist. :)

Brought some to office for my boss & colleague to try and they thought these cupcakes were from a local bakery until i told them i baked them and that this is a Barcelona cake, not our Asian sponge cake, although similar in taste. They enjoyed it nonetheless. :D

See the inside of the cake, airy & spongy...

NOTE: Comment by Rose left on Marie's blog. I'm elated that Rose said she loved my baby cakes. :) I'm a huge fan of Rose and totally admire her! Her one comment meant a lot to me, so i have to cut & paste it her autograph, since i can't get an autograph from her..:(

Blogger Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

p.s. the book will have to include some photos and comments from the other participants. i'm reading through them now ad wow! LOVE the individual ones from 'amateur baker' and seeing them in the oven is stunning. that's as far as i've gotten...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shoes & Shoe Box Birthday Cake

I made this birthday cake for my friend Emily. Her birthday is only in December and i know it's a bit too early, but i will be away during her birthday and i since i promised her that i'll bake her a birthday cake, i thought it would be better to be early than later. Hope she'll like it. :)

The shoes i made from gumpaste (Size 6.5). The right shoe on the top of the box is the one that i had to refix cos my dog ate up almost the entire shoe when i left it to dry (thankfully she didn't have a tummy ache - it's too much sugar for her!!). I had to refix the right pair & because i rushed to fix it, there's a lot of cracked lines on the shoe...not as nice & neat as the other left pair imo.

The Box is Devil's Food Cake with Light Chocolate Frosting covered with Chocolate Fondant. Light Chocolate Frosting i created on my own tastes similar to that of our famous local bakery Awfully Chocolate's chocolate cake". My box is not very well done..looks more like a pillow imo. :( But that's the best i could's my first time anyway and it's not easy when i realised my cake was too soft.

Cottonballs are made from marshmallow fondant. These were added because i messed up the white board with chocolate had to cover up with something..and came up with this design last! The more i look at them, the more they look like popcorns to me! :S

Sugar Rose was the one i made my earlier post. Didn't have use for it till now. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Woody's Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 43: Woody's Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

This cake i realised is very rich and extremely high in cholesterol. So many egg yolks + eggs!! In the batter as well as in the buttercream & lemon curd! Making the lemon curd & buttercream is extremely tedious!! I spent like the whole Sunday baking this cake from 3pm till 10pm! And honestly i didn't really like the buttercream cos it's just way too soft, unless i am doing it wrong..but's again one of those not good for hot & humid weather buttercream. I did turn on air-conditioning just to frost the cake but it didn't really help much cos i think i turned it on only just when i was about to frost the cake. I should have turned it on earlier so the room would have been colder. And one other thing, i cut my little finger while chopping up the white chocolate...thank goodness i was using my ceramic knife otherwise i think would have been a deeper cut...that's for being careless!

And besides cutting up my finger, i made another mistake.....i forgot to add sugar in my cake batter and only realised it after i tasted the batter and it's not sweet! I turned around saw the bowl of sugar at the side table! Arggh..i forgot to add it in with the flour..:P!! I didn't want to waste the 6 egg yolks, so i just add the sugar into the batter and turned on my mixer to full blast for 5 mins! The cake turned out ok, but i think it's a bit too 'heavy' in texture because of my last min addition of sugar, i'm no physicist or chemist but i'm sure it has got to do with some science thing.. See my cake in the pan..quite ugly looking..all the bubbles because i over-beat the batter (no choice when i forgot to add sugar till last min) lol!

Can you see from my photos below that i got really lazy and tired towards the end that i didn't even bother to trim the crust top and sides of my cake? My cake looks like egg/ham sandwich more than a cake! LOL! The brown crust looks like ham, the lemon curd like egg benedict, the buttercream like mayonnaise/cheese..hahahaha..i find it quite amusing! LOL! When my daughter saw my cake, she exclaimed "hey mom, why is it you've got ham sandwiched in your cake!" and we both burst out laughing!

We couldn't wait for the cake to be completely cold to try it. Hence you see the lemon curd oozing out and also the buttercream pretty soft. Look at the photo above, doesn't it looks like egg, cheese & ham sandwich? hahahahaha

Verdict: I don't like this cake. I tried to like it but i don't. My cake maybe 'heavier' than it should be, but don't think it changes the overall taste of the cake. I find the white chocolate buttercream + lemon curd + white chocolate cake way too much for my tastebuds...rather overwhelming. And also..this time i find the cake too sweet (cos of white chocolate...and sour too) for my liking! I adore Rose's Lemon Poppyseed Cake though, so it is not lemon that i don't like, but the combination of both the sour lemon & sweet white chocolate. I like the cake on it's own, i like the lemon curd on it's own and i also like the buttercream on its own but somehow when they are all combined together, i don't quite like it anymore! oO.

PS: the next morning - the buttercream on cake finally hardened! Yay!

My after-thought: for amount of effort & time put into this cake (or rather the buttercream), i doubt i wanna bake this again...too tiring...worse than decorating a cake imo. But i do like the cake on its own..maybe just paired with lemon Italian meringue buttercream when i bake it again.

Please do check out the others HCB bakers listed on my sidebar - I'm sure their cake will turn out looking more like cake than a sandwich! LOL!

I'm Back!! (from Bangkok)

Just back. Went for a short weekend holiday to Bangkok. We did nothing much there, just eat and shop. Initially this trip was meant to celebrate my sil's birthday but she wasn't feeling well and hence can't make it. :( The plane tics can't be cancelled or postponed, so we decided to just go and enjoy the weekend there on our own and mainly because my son loves to travel now. He use to hate changes in routine, but now he loves traveling which is improvement imo, since there's no fix routine when you travel. :)

I forgot to take photos of what we ate..too hungry to remember that i had to take photos before i plunge in...LOL! So here are my "damages" instead....!

Yay! I finally found the rectangular shaped silicone cake pan @ Siam i bought 2 just in case! ;p The digital weighing machine was selling at 45% lower than what i bought in Singapore! Argghh..@#(*U%#(%!!! i had to even out my cost and buy another one! Is this good logic or what? LOL! Also got the non-stick rolling mat, icing sugar shaker & tart temper. :)

Paul Frank's hoodie jacket & iPhone cases for my daughter. She couldn't join us as she is having her A-level exams now. I'm a fan of Paul Frank's monkey!

2 dresses i bought for myself. These are made by local designers. But their sizes are really small. I wear their size anyone larger than me, can't fit into their clothings..cos there's no large size. I suppose Thai girls are generally very very petite!

I bought a couple of Kiew Savoy mangos as well..Thai mangos which can be eaten when it is not ripe - crunchy & yet still sweet. Great mangos to use for Thai's Mango Salad. (no photos..)

Oh..another note, i met a very rude woman who sat next to us at a coffee place. My teenage son has typical (low functioning) autism, so although he looks normal on the outside, he has autistic behaviors which people who doesn't know what autism is but at least have common sense will know that he is some one with "special-needs". So there we were seated and my son as usual, laughed out really loud all of a sudden, flickered his fingers and made tics action. This Thai-Chinese woman who spoke very fluent English (perhaps that's why she thinks so highly of herself) went on to tell to her friend in English that she thinks my son is weird, that he laughs so scarily & loudly because he listens to music too loudly on his earphone...blah..blah.blah.. Duh...hello..we are Singaporeans and our first language is English, obviously we can understand every single word! I wanted to tell her off, but then decided against it, since we were on holiday so no point letting this woman gets us all upset for nothing. Some people think they are smart when they are actually quite an idiot.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baby Chocolate Oblivions

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 371: Baby Chocolate Oblivions

I'm a certified chocoholic, so obviously i LOVE these baby cakes! LOL! These are solely for the chocolate lovers cos' they are intensely rich & chocolate-ty. :D Feels almost like eating chocolate truffles instead of cakes. Also, they are gluten-free baby-cakes, ie, no flour.

These baby chocolate oblivions are very easy to make and baking time only 15mins. There's an instruction which i don't quite, put the 9x13 pan over the cupcake pan resting on its edge or something. Must it be resting on edge upside down so it will leave some gap or just rest the entire pan on it so it falls flat on the cupcake pan? Anyway, so in the end, i just put a huge piece of aluminum foil over..*shrugs*. I didn't have 60% chocolate, so i mixed 394g of Valrhona 66% chocolate + 60g of Valrhona white chocolate + increased sugar to 60g. Turned out alright..and not too sweet either.

Ok..i admit, i didn't use the silicon pan, not that i don't have the silicon ones, i have but just too lazy to dig it i used my non-stick metal cupcake pan which is easily accessible. (When you have a tiny kitchen like mine, you'll have to hide a lot of things away..sometimes i hide them in such a safe place that even i can't!) Hmm..yes, the cakes did get stuck to the pan despite me greasing it, but it was easy to "fix" the problem. I took a spatula and "frost" back the gooey underside stuck to the pan back to the cupcake and smoothen them into shape..hahahaha..see my photos above, doesn't look like the other half the cake was broken off and stuck to the pan right? ;P

I brought some to the office and everyone loved it..and everyone means they are chocolate lovers too. I'll definitely make these baby cakes again but i'll use a mini-cupcake pan instead. These baby cakes are so rich, it's probably easy to 'overdose' the smaller the better..:) These baby cakes taste great with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Devil's Food Cake w/ Chocolate Mousse Buttercream & Chocolate Fudge Icing

Absolutely yummy! Devil's Food Cake & Chocolate Mousse Buttercream taken from Jill O' Conner's Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey. The cake batter is a bit tricky esp. when adding the cake flour as flour pockets might develop, so have to fold it really well. But it is the most delicious, moist & soft chocolate cake ever. Live up to it's name as Devil's Food Cake. Jill's Chocolate Mousse Buttercream compliments well with the cake and i like the fact that it is also relatively stable in this our hot weather. I was afraid that frosting the entire cake with the chocolate mousse buttercream will be too much and personally i prefer the cake to be covered with chocolate fudge icing.

I found a fudge icing recipe from Nigella Lawson but it didn't turned out quite what i expected and almost wanted to throw the entire frosting away. However, i was adamant to get it right and experimented further by adding a few ingredients on my own and finally managed to create the chocolate fudge icing that i wanted in terms of taste & consistency. I'm in love with this fudge frosting - it sets so well! But I am not too sure if i can repeat the same frosting!..i can't recall exactly what i added..:p

As for decoration, it was a last min thing and totally effortless..i couldn't stand seeing the cake un-decorated, so i just add a few butterflies and some flowers..not fantastic deco but i guess better than!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Cake w/ Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream (also My 20th Wedding Anniversary Cake)

Rose' Heavenly Cakes, Page 125: Pumpkin Cake w/ Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream

Halloween is not a major event for us here in Singapore. So instead of baking this cake in pumpkin mold and decorate it as a pumpkin, i decided to decorate it as my 20th wedding anniversary cake since i'm celebrating my anniversary this month. Hence no pumpkin-shaped cake but fondant covered cake. :) I made the wedding couple topper on my own too. It's my first time doing it and i'm quite happy with the results. I did an earlier bride topper when i was having a terrible backache and the bride turned out hunchback too!! I decided to re-do and used Lorraine McKay's (aka Aine2) tutorial - Extra Icing on the Cake and i'm quite happy with the results even though they are not perfect, i think they are passable! :D I'm a huge fan of Lorraine's works and i think she's one of the best in figures modeling. Yup, i "follow" Lorraine everywhere, on blogger, youtube, twitter, facebook, flickr & her membership club..i sound like a stalker..LOL!

I think i better explain why i placed the groom topper on the side of the cake..... it's all because i expected the cake to be bigger! I thought 10 cups would yield a lot when in fact it didn't! LOL! So last min, i had to change baking pan into a smaller one & also my design as well. No choice but to put the groom topper on the side otherwise i think the cake would look too crowded. I was suppose to make the groom kneel down holding a gift/flower. But in the end the black sugarpaste was too soft (maybe i put too much black food gel to get the dark black color) and it kept breaking at the knee & elbow...thus the groom with stiff arms on the side and just standing. LOL!

Cake: Pumpkin cake tasted better than i thought it would be. It's soft, moist and yummy even on its own. I bought walnut oil just for this cake and now i am not sure what i am going to do with the rest of the walnut! The strange thing is i think i'm beginning to like walnuts..i wonder if it is because i keep baking with walnuts as i've never baked anything with walnuts before joining HCB.

Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream: This buttercream is NO good during hot weather! Weather here is about 30c and it's hot & humid. I made the buttercream the day earlier (since it has 2 pages of instructions!). The moment the buttercream hits to a higher temperature, the oil begins to separate and it is quite an ugly sight and i have to constantly put the cream back into the fridge for it to stay 'cool'. Plus I find it way too troublesome. Making sugar syrup in such small quantity is rather difficult, it's not easy to take the sugar temperature as quantity too little even my tiniest pan (it's part of mini series pans - so believe me when i said it is tiny) and my candy thermometer can't give accurate reading - plus my stupid instant read thermometer isn't very instant read either - i had to wait for quite a while for a reading! Because of the not very stable buttercream, you can see my cake caving in the centre and the fondant sliding in with a fold right in the centre around the cake. :(

Overall: Surprisingly good for pumpkin cake imo. My daughter enjoyed this cake the most, she ate 2 huge slices! I like this cake even better the next day after it is being refrigerated, the flavor seems more intense and goes really well with the cold buttercream imo. But if you ask me, of course chocolate cake still top my list! Since i'm not a fan of pumpkin i doubt i will ever make this again though, unless special requests or for someone who really loves pumpkin.

Please do check out the other HCB bakers listed on my sidebar to see how their pumpkin cake turned out. :D


diary of Faithy, the baker Copyright © 2009 Cookiez is Designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template