Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate Banana Stud Cake

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 96: Chocolate Banana Stud Cake

I never remember to take step by step photos!!  I think it's not easy to bake and take photos at the same time cos when i bake, i really concentrate..yup..Really! lol! 

I made the ganache like just before i baked the! But...i put the ganache in the freezer to expedite the hardening process..and it seems to work quite well..just in time when i need to frost the cake.  I added rum to the ganache. 

The recipe is easy..pretty straight forward. Except when looking at the recipe, i can't find the oven temperature!  So i baked at 175c for 45mins.   I baked in 2 6" cake pan instead.  I wanted to layer the cake and at the same time, i thought to myself, the smaller the surface area, the lesser studs i need to put onto the cake..LOL!   I measured the weight of the banana and realized that it is slightly more than 1 banana..(i ate the left-over of the 2nd banana).  

After the cake cooled, i frosted ganache over and realised it is not very easy to frost on such a soft cake. The cake is exceptionally soft and tender. The cake kept!  I look at the chocolate chips and felt tiny & so many to put on the cake..  then I found some M&Ms...these were the halloween ones sold Oct last year and nobody bothered to eat them..including!  I thought i better use it up to decorate cake instead before this coming halloween and before the expiry of the M&Ms.  Plus M&Ms surface area means less!

Verdict:  Cake is exceptionally tender & soft with a hint of banana flavor and melts in the mouth.  My daughter didn't like the ganache and said it was bitter. But that's my fault i think cos i couldn't tell if the chocolate i used was 75% or 65% cocoa...the print on the paper faded off..   Now that she complained bitter, i guess must be 75%..:p  To my husband & me its ok cos i like dark with all the other chocolate, I thought should blend in quite nicely.  I like the texture of the chocolate cake..although i'm not a fan of the combination of banana and chocolate though.    My husband doesn't like anything banana and yet said this cake is yummy, says so much for itself right?  

PS: However nobody really liked the chips or M&Ms..neither did i..we all threw out the chips after taking a bite with the chips on (what a waste..i thought of recycling the unwanted chips into!..of coz i didn't..just a mere thought that's all..). Eating chips or M&Ms on its own is fine..but eating with the cake..i don't like cos it mask the actual flavor of the cake which on its own is delicious enough imo. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 325: Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes

I have some disposable aluminum mini loaf pans which i bought about a year ago. I bought them with the intention to bake Dorie Greenspan's chocolate mini pound cake but i never got round doing it..:p  I have a long list of to-dos but get distracted most of the time.  The aluminum pan is slightly larger than the required ones, so the batter filled in the 2 pans exactly.

Recipe is easy. I noticed that there's typo error in the metric measurement. I is to read grams instead of ounces for the weight of sugar and cake flour.  I was lazy to use vanilla bean, so i used bottled vanilla bean paste instead. However, i used vanilla sugar in place of rubbing the vanilla beans onto the sugar.  I didn't make the vanilla cognac syrup, i took the short cut and added cognac to my already triple-sec syrup which i had in the fridge...somehow i like the combo of triple-sec and cognac!

Verdict: Very yummy. Light & tender crumbs.  I should have added more syrup though - but i forgot to brush the underside of the cake..maybe that's the reason..   Definitely a to-bake again cake, since it's simple and easy..and i have plenty of syrup left in my fridge!    My only complain is made only 2 small cakes..and the cake is gone in one sitting!  lol!  My son loves it...didn't complain about the vanilla bean seeds..

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chocolate Ice-cream Cake

Rose Heavenly Cakes, Page 142: Chocolate Ice Cream Cake or Sandwich

The only thing that puzzled me when reading this recipe was the difference between ice cream cake and ice cream sandwich. Well, the picture on page 144 is ice cream cake, but it also looked like a sandwich to me!  But as i read on further ice-cream sandwich is suppose to be bite size. The ice cream sandwich that i know is ice-cream sandwiched with light paper thin waffle biscuit or with a slice of sweet-bread... sold by the ice cream man on his bike with the ice-cream freezer attached to the bike and a huge umbrella with it...(no longer at friendly neighborhood places anymore but i see them along Orchard Road).   Anyway, i hope that one of HCB will do a sandwich version so i can have an idea how the sandwich version will look like. 

So..needless to say, i went for the cake version.  Anyway, i found it too troublesome to divide the recipe by 3/4. (Ok..i admit, my maths is really bad now..use to be really good in school but after i left school, i can't even calculate anything mentally without the calculator or excel program anymore..! My husband being Chinese educated, is superb with mental calculation and he's my "walking calculator"..hahaha....but he wasn't around at the time while i was trying to figure this out and i didn't have a calculator at my iphone was temporary hijacked by my son who refused to return it back to me..)  In the end, I made the entire batch of batter and poured like 3/4 over the 10" pan and the leftover I made them into cupcakes.  Am I smart or what? LOL! 

After whisking the egg yolks and sugar, i was a bit confused if i should continue to use the whisk attachment or change to the flat beater to beat in the flour and the rest.  But since the book didn't say to change it...i just continued with the whisk attachment till the end of the recipe.  So far so good, cos my cake turned out alright, i think.  At first i was worried cos the cake was higher on one side while in the oven..however, it flattened off evenly during cooling. 

I made the coffee stracciatella ice-cream by Sherry Yard. I chose her recipe cos i wanted to try making stracciatella plus her recipe said it'll made 1 quart of ice-cream. I have no idea what 1 quart is since we use metric system here and book instruction said to use either 1 or 2 quart ice-cream - saves me time from all the conversion just to follow a recipe that makes 1 quart...hahaha!   I was worried as to how to melt store bought ice-cream properly, so i figured making my own and immediately pouring into the pan and freezing it after would be kill 2 birds with one stone?

This is the only baking-in-progress photo i have as this was the only time i remembered about photographing steps and yelled at my daughter to quickly take a photo of me pouring the ice-cream into the pan.   And my kitchen is now!..i don't have to complain about the hot weather anymore..except my higher electricity bills! 

While the cake is in the freezer..I made the Chocolate Snowball Hot Fudge Sauce. I used Lindt 85% chocolate because i can't find their 99% though..i am sure i thought i've seen it before.  I reduced a little bit of the sugar since my chocolate wasn't 99%.  Instructions pretty easy and the hot fudge tasted really good and i like the texture. So i dipped my cupcakes (from the leftover batter) into the hot fudge sauce as frosting. Turns out to be a really good idea! The hot fudge sauce on cupcakes is yummy plus it is still glossy after placed in the fridge.

I left the ice-cream cake in the freezer overnight till the next day.  And while waiting for the ice-cream cake to 'ripen' in the freezer, at least i have cupcakes to savor first! The cupcakes with fudge sauce is extremely chocolatey & highly addictive!

And the next day..i couldn't wait anymore and was very eager to try the cake.  However, I was too lazy to wipe the pan around it with hot towel, so i just hold my breath and unmold the spring-form pan just like that. No problems at all! It just came out really nicely in fact and the sides all nicely intact...see below beautiful the sides are..:D

Now with aircon in my kitchen, i can take lots of photos of my ice-cream cake without worrying it will melt...:D  So, more ice-cream cake photos....

Verdict:-  OMG, Best Ever! Totally heavenly, totally awesome, totally out of this world.. you can already tell how much i am in love with this! This is by far the best ever ice-cream cake i've ever eaten! The cake is really soft and stayed soft in the freezer. Moist, soft with fine crumbs...extremely good!   Eaten alone with the hot fudge as in the cupcakes i made, it tasted slightly different, has a more intense chocolatey taste on its own as compared to when eaten with ice-cream.   Either way, the cake is exceptionally good.  Perfect when paired with Sherry Yard's coffee stracciatella ice-cream...the stracciatella in the ice-cream added texture and light crunch....   Definitely a must bake again cake!   Sorry, too excited..forgot to mention about my family...they all loved the cake unanimously!

P/S: Normally don't drink coffee, i wonder if I am on sugar high or coffee high since just noticed that I typed a lot today..which i normally don't..words are hard to come by for!


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