Saturday, February 28, 2009

Checkered Cake

This is a very tiring process..cos maybe i had to make sure i have enough chocolate & white batter for the 3 pans and also the various sections of each layer! But i am glad i finally made it. I didn't really read my instructions properly in the beginning and nearly forgot sugar! LOL! Later i added 1 cup thinking it was 2 cups but quickly realised my mistake and put in another cup in time. I didn't like how the chocolate batter didn't look 'dark' enough in the beginning and i 'cheated' by adding more cocoa powder which wasn't in the recipe..but it worked!

The original recipe called for white chocolate buttercream to cover the entire cake but i was way too tired after the layering and baking. Plus i was rushing to prepare for dinner too. So i just top it up with ganache!

Actually, i was kinna disappointed in the beginning that the cake didn't look very good when it came out of the pan on its own. However, after stacking up the 3 layers and topping with ganache, it definitely looked better! The inside of the cake looked great imho. :P Worth the effort! Taste wise, the cake is soft and velvety, not too sweet and taste just right with the ganache.

Megan's blog "Megans Cooking" provides you another way to make checkered cake without the use of the checkered cake pan set. Aunty Yochana's colorful mousse cake is also an inspiration!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (Cupcakes)

I've just baked Nigella's chocolate Guinness Cake and i have to admit that it is very good! I was skeptical at first thinking that cos it contains Guinness stout it might taste weird. I don't drink any alcoholic drinks (with the exception of ice-wine which is my fave! hahahaha) and beer to me taste horribly bitter! But since everyone on their food blog vouch for her Chocolate Guinness Cake, i just had to try. I did the cupcakes version though. In case you are wondering, recipe from her book "Feast". Yes, i have most of her books except for "How To Eat" (i think..) which i do not have. (remember i said i am a fan of hers..hahahaha).

I'm not going to type out her recipe..too time consuming for me. Here's the link to this 2 sites which detailed recipe outlined:-

Tim Norton's blog and the link to original recipe here.
and Jo's blog "Sugar & Everything Nice" and i think she tweaked the recipe here.

I did not use the original cream cheese icing. But instead i used chocolate buttercream icing called "Bill's Chocolate Buttercream Icing" from Bill who posted it on Rose Levy's site. Rose Levy is the author of Cake Bible and her website is really very informative!

Photos coming up later...photog busy with her school tests..:)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Double Chocolate M&Ms Cookies

Made a batch of cookies with M&Ms baking bits. :) It's kids' cookies la..hahahahaha..but taste quite good though..if those of you who likes chocolate and M&Ms.

Got the recipe from their site here. I used chopped almonds instead of walnuts though.

These cookies age well! Taste better the next day. Crunchier!

Egg White Cheese Cupcake

Recipe courtesy from my sister-in-law, Irene, who bakes more than me! :) I only just beginner but she has been baking for a long time. She gave me this recipe so i can use up my left over egg-white i guess..

Here's the recipe:-

Egg White Cheese Cupcake

100ml fresh milk
60g grated chedder cheese
200g egg white (about 6 large eggs)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
80g sugar
80g cake flour
20g cornflour
30g melted butter
50g grated cheddar cheese - for sprinkling

1) Warm up milk & add in 60g of grated cheddar cheese *(dunno means melt the cheese or not!)
2) whish egg white, salt & cream of tartar till fluffy and pour in sugar gradually. Continue to whisk till thick. *(err..i not too sure if this word "thick" means soft, medium or stiff peak!)
3) Fold in milk mixture, butter and flour using a spatula. *(again i not too sure if it means fold in alternately or fold in one after the other?!)
4) Spoon into muffin cups and then sprinkle grated cheese on top.
5) Bake at 180C for about 25 mins

* : all my questions...but i did it MY way or what i think is let's see how my cupcake's in the oven baking!

Ok..finally out from the oven and cooled....verdict? Taste Great!! And cos it has only eggwhites & little butter..should be quite healthy imo! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nutella Swiss Roll

I baked Nutella Swiss Roll and Banana Cake today - all at the same time cos i am on leave today and very bored, nothing to do at home. Banana Cake is the usual banana cake that i always bake cos i like the recipe (i had plenty of over-riped banana left and too sayang to throw away!)

Nutella Swiss Roll recipe i got from Happy Homebaker's blog. She's a Singaporean and i happened to stumble upon her blog and i like her blog presentation and her photos! Also, i admire that she has 2 young kids and still finds the time to bake, blog, take such nice photos and writes grammatically correct (quite unlike me...cos i just wanna get over and done with quickly whenever i blog and post photos!) She makes everything sounds so easy! LOL! I'm waiting for my photog to return then take some photos for me.

I find this nutella swiss roll kinna dry. I am not too sure if it is cos my bottle of nutella is dry or what? I think this would taste better with jam or buttercream. But i do like how my swiss-roll skin looks so smooth and nice. Also i didn't use the right knife to cut..hence a lot of crumbs...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chocolate Cream Puff

What to do with left-over whipped cream from the strawberry shortcake? I thought about it and realised that i can turn the already whipped cream into chocolate whipped cream by just adding melted chocolate to it!! I bought a local book not too long ago where it teaches you how to make cream-puff and it is really very easy and i am surprised that it isn't too difficult that i thought it was all along.

I like the fact that the whole combination is not sweet at all - so the dust of icing sugar on top kinna blends it all. So, overall, i am quite happy with the results! now i still have left over chocolate whipped cream so what to do next? :P

Recipe taken from Chef Alex Goh's Temptation of Chocolate..

Cream Puff Ingredients: 150g water, 60g butter, 110g flour, 3 eggs.
Whipped Cream Ingredients: 1 cup of whip cream, 60g chocolate melted, 3 tablespoon milk

1. Boil water & butter. Add flour and cook till smooth paste. Put paste in blender then blend till lukewarm. Add one egg at time until all blended. Pipe in mixture into greased baking tray. Bake at 200C for 20-25mins. Cool.
2. Mix whip cream ingredients together and pipe into cream puff pastry.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

I followed a recipe from "Just Desserts" by Daniel Tay who is the owner of Bakerz Inn. Anyway, since i like their strawberry shortcake, i thought i would bake this today since i was quite free in the afternoon. The only thing i don't really like about his book is he measures everything including eggs. I had to do some 'homework' to find out how many eggs is 170g?! Even though i also weigh the eggs in the end, i still wanted to know how many eggs i need to use for any recipe before i try it right?! Other measures i suppose is ok but for eggs..i don't really like to weigh - but i guess this probably what the professional pastry chef does anyway..

Then states 1 litre of cream, in the end i think 500ml (2 cups) of cream is more than enough! I had too much cream on hand, and no more cake, so i just practise my piping skill and piped out a lot of whipping cream all over the husband helped me put more strawberries slices on top of the 5 i already had! He said nicer this! Yes, now i have OTT cream piped all over my cake..cos i don't know what to do with the cream and i still have more kept in a container?!! *too sayang too throw away leh..*

Strawberry Shortcake (Adapted from Just Desserts by Daniel Tay)

Makes one 20cm (8-inch cake)

Genoise Sponge Ingredients:-
- Egg Yolks 110g
- Eggs 175g
- Sugar 170g
- Light Cake Flour 110g, sifted
- Unsalted butter 55g, melted

Chantilly Cream Ingredients:-
- Whipping Cream - 1litre
- Sugar - 100g
- mascarpone cheese 100g.

1. preheat oven to 180C
2. prepare genoise sponge: Combined egg yolks, eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for 10mins. Reduce to medium speed and whisk for another 10 mins or until the fine air bubbles form.
3. Lightly fold in flour, followed by melted butter, until fully incorporated.
4. Pour batter into a lined 20cm round cake tin. Level batter with a spatula and bake for 20-30mins or until the top of cake is firm to touch. Remove from heat and leave aside to cool.
5. Unmould cake and remove paper. Peel skin off the top of the cake and discard.
6. Prepare chantilly cream. Combine cream, sugar and mascarpone cheese in a mixing bowl and whisk at medium speed for 3mins. Increase to high speed and continue to whisk until light and smooth. Set aside.
7. Assemble cake: - horizontally slice genoise sponge cake into 2 equal layers. Place one layer on cake board andplace a 22.5cm cake ring over. Spoon half of chantilly cream over and around the sides of the sponge layer and level with an angle palette knife. Arrange some strawberries on top of cream, then place second sponge layer over. Spoon remaining cream over and arund the sides of the cake and level again. Refridgerate cake until slightly firm. Gently ease cake ring from cake and remove. Coat the side of the cake with ground almonds, if desired. Decorate cake as desired and serve chilled.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My First Fondant Cake

I made my very first fondant cake today! I made the fondant (MMF) days before and left it in the fridge to 'mature' overnight. Today, i finally found the energy and time to bake, cream & then cover the cake with fondant. I'm pretty happy with the results. Except this design wasn't what i intended to have. I wanted to do a bow-tie, but quickly realised that with our humid weather, it is impossible to do the bow without putting gum tex which i have but just too lazy to use. Also, i realised that i didn't let the fondant relax a bit before i cover the cake with it cos i can still see a bit of tiny 'holes' and the fondant is not very smooth and still not very stretchy. Only after i did the 'hearts' then i found the fondant to be stretchy but also very sticky. I refused to use any crisco so just made do with some corn flour.

CAKE : vanilla cake - an amazingly simple recipe which i was really skeptical at first but it turned out to be great! (see recipe below – adapted from ‘500 cakes’)
ICING : brown sugar buttercream icing recipe from Martha Stewart
FONDANT: MMF (Marshmallow Fondant) recipe only from internet (not on any books though..books only teach the traditional one) and can be found at Peggy Weaver's site. Her instructions pretty comprehensive.

Marshmallow Fondant taste so much better than the usual fondant imo as it is sweet but not THAT sweet and it also taste like marshmallow - soft & gummy. I was too stingy with the color that the 'red' color in the end turn pink because i put too little! LOL! But i like pink anyway... Also i didn't knead the MMF long enough when i took it out from the fridge. It has to be kneaded till soft and pliable and no airbubbles which i didnt hence you can see some airbubbles on my white fondant and no air bubbles on the heart-shape fondant cos the heart shape ones i kneaded long enough.

CAKE RECEIPE: 170g unsalted butter, 140g sugar, 140g self raising flour, 1 tsp vanilla essense, 3 eggs. Cream butter & sugar till light and fluffy. Add one egg at time, add vanilla essense. Sift the flour into the egg mixture and fold it till all combined. Bake at 180C for 20-25mins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lemon Peach Mousse Cake

This was a 2 night-affair (day time have to go work). I had to bake the cake first and fill in the lemon mousse and put it in the fridge to set first.

And i made my own pasting wrapping paper over...i didn't like the plain white cake box.


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