Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas inspired Deco Swiss Rolls


 
 
Santa riding on his sleigh with Rudolph driving it. Ha! I purposely dotted the first reindeer just to make that statement. I would love to decorate the roll with buttercream round the bottom of the roll to give it a more Christmas-sy feel but I guess I will when I make the next one nearer to the 25th. 
 

 


 

 


 Love this one and I think the roll look so cute! Taste great too!


Individual serving with the pattern on it.


 
 A lot of work.

A lot of patience.

A lot of love .....spread the joy. After all, this is the season to be jolly!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chocolate Orange Torte : Awesome from inside out

 
 
 


I have been wanting to bake this cake for the longest time. I gotta say I enjoyed the whole process. It just gave me a sense of accomplishment when the cake was finally assembled and decorated. I must say my piping skill is getting better.



 
 

 This cake is made from a chocolate sponge (baked in a round tin) and an orange sponge which has been baked on a swiss roll pan and cut into 4 equal parts. Each part is spread with chocolate ganache. Then, starting with the first part, rolled up like a swiss roll, let it stand vertically and continue using the rest of the sliced sponge to join the end of the last rolled cake till all used up. You should have a round rolled cake standing vertically. The chocolate sponge is sliced into 2 and used as top and bottom of the rolled orange sponge. The whole assembled cake is then covered with swiss meringue buttercream. Decorate as desired.


 
The recipe is from Alex Goh's Fruity Cakes Recipe Book so I will not post the recipe here. If you would like to try..you can refer to this blog. If you do not read Bahasa Malaysia..you can easily do a google translate :).
 
 


 
Finally, this is how the sliced cake looks like. Isn't it awesome? Go bake for that someone special now and believe me, it will be totally worth the time and effort!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pandan Kaya Layered Cake


The set and decorated cake. Look how lovely!



 
Another close up.



This is my 2nd attempt and finally got it right. Although the kaya custard is not really as sweet as I wish it would be, it is still ok and presentable.


I made a simple buttercream icing to pipe some decoration when the cake is set and dessicated coconut for the sides.









The pandan sponge cake recipe : ( adapted from Bakericious)

3 eggs (separated)
40g top flour
40g pandan juice + coconut milk ( I just add some coconut and blend with some pandan leaves)
35g castor sugar ( will increase to 40g the next time)
30g butter

- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Line cake tin (7 inch) but I used 8 inch for the sake of fitting into the springform pan. Next, prepare a pot of hot water.
- Warm butter till melted and while still warm, mix in sifted flour
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly then mix in the coconut/pandan mixture.Mix well and then mix into butter mixture in 2 batches.
- Whisk egg whites with sugar till foamy, add sugar gradually and beat till stiff stage.
- Fold 1/3 of the meringue into egg yolk batter. Pour into remaining meringue and continue to fold till combined.
- Pour into prepared tin. Tap lightly on counter top to release big air bubbles. Pour some hot water into a tray below the oven rack. Steam bake for about 45mins or till cooked through.
- Invert to cool.

Kaya : ( prepare only when cake is cooled) - (adapted from here.)

A
300ml coconut milk
400ml pandan water (10pcs pandan leaves + water)
100g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp agar agar powder

B
85g Hoen Kwee flour
300ml water

- Cook (A) till it starts to bubble.
- Mix (B) and pour into (A) and continue to stir under low heat till it thickens slightly but still smooth.

To Assemble the cake :
- Slice the sponge cake to 2 or 3 layers depending how tall your cake is.
- I use a springform pan. Ladle a scoop of the hot custared into the pan and place a slice of the cake on it. Press it down lightly. Pour the 2nd layer of hot custard until cake is covered and repeat the steps till all used up. I started with kaya and ended with a kaya layer.


Let it cool before placing it in the fridge to set further, preferably 2 hours or more.

Happy trying!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes Again

 
 
Again a late posting. These were made many weeks back. 

Another close up shot - Yummy!
 


 
 
So, you can see the cream is basically pumped into the cooled cuppies. When out of the oven, they will shrink slightly and then when the cream is in , they sort of 'plumped up'. I liked the fact that they did not shrink that much this time. I am not sure if it is in the way I beat the egg whites but I would like to think so. I have learnt the importance of taking notes each time I bake so that I know what works and what does not. I would love to try these again but might add flavours to the cream like durian, lychee or even coffee. If you would like to try - please refer to the recipe here.
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Birthday cake for myself :)



 
 
Nope! Today is not my birthday. This is a delayed posting. I was asked if someone else was baking me my birthday cake that day. Well, what do you think? Of course not. I opted for a pink ombre cake and frost it with swiss meringue buttercream. The cake turned out great! Cake texture was soft, fluffy and just the way I liked it. So sweet looking!
 
 
 
Happy Birthday to me!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Carrot Cake


I have baked carrot cakes before and well, they all turned out ok and decent enough but this recipe is da bomb! Honestly, cross my heart. Was given the thumbs up and I gotta say I could not resist it myself while decorating it.
This cake was a farewell gift for a friend who has chosen to pursue something which she thinks might relieve her from her misery but oh well, that is another story. Anyway, she was kind of touched and liked the cake straight away, exclaiming, ' Ooh! Love the cute carrots on the cake!'
I was glad when told even her daughter loved it.
Here;s the recipe if you want to try. It is adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover's blog :

150g which is about 2 medium carrots, finely shredded
130g all purpose flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
80g caster sugar
80g brown sugar
1/4tsp cinnamon powder
100g corn oil
1/2tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly stir
40g walnut, chopped

40g raisins

Method
- Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
- Add in caster sugar, salt and brown sugar, stir well.
- Add in carrots, corn oil, vanilla extract and egg, beat for few minutes till mixture well combined.
- Add in walnut and raisins, mix well.
- Pour in a greased and line baking pan, bake at pre-heated oven 180c for 40mins.
- Cool on a wire rack and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese frosting

150g cream cheese, at room temperature
40g butter, at room temperature
70g icing sugar, sifted
1tbsp honey

- Beat cream cheese & butter till blended
- Add icing sugar and honey continue to beat till spreadable consistency.

Happy Baking!




Monday, September 2, 2013

Hotdog Buns

 

The bread making mood is back. Had wanted to make these for the longest time but always got distracted somehow. Last weekend, finally got down to it and ta dah! Presenting the homemade versions of the popular hotdog buns sold in most Asian country. I added some sesame seeds on top.

Used the original recipe from Christine's blog. She has the step by step photo instructions too.

Recipe :
  • 10 hotdog sausages
  • 350 gm bread flour
  • 55 gm caster sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 56 gm egg
  • 7 gm milk powder (optional)
  • 125 ml milk
  • 120 gm tangzhong (refer here for the method)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 30 gm butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
- Mix everything in a stand mixer except butter and knead with dough hook till it forms a rough dough, away from the sides of the bowl.
- Add in butter and continue to knead till smooth and elastic. (pinch a little dough and stretch to check. If it stretches thinly without breaking easily, you are good to go)
- Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough into bowl. Turn the dough around to coat with oil and shape into a ball shape. Leave it to proof for about 40 mins or doubled in size.
- Knock out air and knead the dough. Divide into 4 equal parts. Let it rest for about 10 mins before shaping.
- Divide each part into 2 or 3 equal parts and roll the dough into long strips, wrap it around each sausage and place them on a baking tray.
- Let the buns proof for about another 40 mins or doubled in size.
- Egg wash the buns and sprinke sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for about 15-20 mins or till golden brown.




The dough ready for first proofing
 
 

                                                After 40 mins of proofing ( doubled in size)
                                                     


 Dough divided into 4 equal parts after knocking out air and kneaded slightly. Resting for about 10 mins before shaping.

 

      The sausages all wrapped up in dough.



                                Makes about 10 buns. Bigger than those sold in the bakery. YUMMY!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Orange Sponge Cupcakes


 
 
 
 
Honestly, I was afraid the cakes might turned out hard when I first decided to give the recipe a try. I actually got the recipe from blogger Nasi Lemak Lover. She did a great job in detailing the dos and don'ts on how to achieve the right texture. Click here for the original recipe.
 
I have tried using whole eggs recipe before but with not much success. After reading her post, I decided that I needed to use my Kenwood stand mixer to do the job and boy! Am I glad...there is indeed a difference. Not that you can't make the traditional sponge without the stand mixer but I guess I am just not 'pro' enough without the aid of such baking tools.
Cupcakes out of the oven

Cupcakes left to cool on rack

 

These cupcakes are soft and light and you can eat it on its own without frosting. Makes a good afternoon tea treats.
 
 
 
The Recipe :
 
3 eggs ( straight from the fridge)
90g castor sugar
25g corn oil
35g freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g top flour + a pinch of salt (sift together, twice)
1 orange rind
 
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
- Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Combine oil, vanilla essence and juice together, set aside.
- Place eggs + sugar in the mixing bowl and start beating at high speed. When the volume starts to build up, switch to medium speed and continue beating till mixture is thick and pale. At this stage, switch to low speed and continue beating for 1 or 2 minutes to stabilize the egg mixture.
- At the lowest minimum speed, add the flour in a few batches. Then add in the oil mixture. Stop mixer and use a spatula to fold in any remaining flour or oil till incorporated.
- Spoon batter into the prepared cupcakes liners. Fill to about 90% full.
- Tap the pan lightly to release air bubbles before sending in to the oven to bake for about 20-25 minutes.
- Let cupcakes cool for about 5 mins in pan before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Enjoy your cupcakes which should be soft, spongy and light.
 
 
 
 



Saturday, August 31, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes






I was quite tempted to go for a all natural recipe instead of using colourings if I had the time but these cuppies were a last minute thingy and so I went for a recipe which I took from blogger Brown Eyed Baker. You can refer to her original recipe here which is in cups measurements.


Look at the red batter all ready in the cupcake liners. The recipe makes about 12 mini cuppies. So, if you intend to bake them in larger cupcake liners, you will need to double the recipe.

Recipe :

60g unsalted butter
150g castor sugar
1 large egg (60g with shell)
2 and 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp red food colouring ( I used the cherry red liquid colouring from NTUC)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
120ml buttermilk ( I added vinegar to regular milk to substitute. Method : click here)
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  • Beat butter + sugar till light and fluffy.
  • Add egg slowly.
  • In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder, red colouring and vanilla extract together. It will form a thick paste.
  • Add the paste to the butter mixture & mix till combined.
  • Pour in half the buttermilk.
  • Beat till incorporated and add 1/2 of the plain flour. Alternate buttermilk and flour addition till all is used up.
  • Add baking soda and vinegar, mix well with mixer at low speed.
  • Increase speed of mixer and beat for a couple of minutes more.
  • Spoon batter to cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, cake should bounce back when touched.
Cream Cheese Frosting :
Mix 150g cream cheese with 40g of butter. Add in 70g of icing sugar, beat till combined. Add in 1 tbsp of lemon juice and some lemon zest if desired. Do not overbeat or the frosting will be runny.

Frost the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting when cooled completely.


 
The feedbacks I got for these cuppies were good. Will definitely make these again!
 



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Durian Layered Cake


Durian is something not favoured in my household. I am probably the only one who thinks that it is to die for.

Naturally, I hardly think of using durian in my bakes. However, I made this cake last week for a colleague's BBQ gathering and from the feedbacks gathered, I think I did a pretty good job. and it is always a good feeling when you see your cake disappearing right in front of your eyes. It is a form of testimony and yeah! I am soooo happy it turned out right.

This was a fairly easy cake to assemble but the challenge was to make a good chiffon or sponge as your cake base. You want to have a soft and light sponge sandwiched with layers of heavenly creamy durian cream. So, you can use any of your favourite sponge recipe for the cake. As for the filling, I used non dairy cream. I did not really measure the amount, whipped it up and mix with durian flesh. I bought about 2 durians for the cake. I also used extra non dairy whipping cream to cover and decorate the whole cake. The cake needs to be refrigerated and served chilled.

The whole fridge smells of durian which can be a put off if you are not a fan. I might not make it again unless I have orders from friends again.

 


Another shot of the cake!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Zebra Butter Cake






This cake tasted so good, everything was gone by the end of the day. Yes, it was that good. I took the recipe from blogger Nasi Lemak Lover. Looks like the egg separation method really produces a finer texture and fluffy too. Not forgetting very fragrant too. I will use this recipe again for a simple butter cake without adding cocoa powder or a marble cake. I supposed, you can add any flavours too like coffee, orange, nuts..change a little here and there.



The cake out of the pan and cooling on a rack


I baked the cake using an 8 inch pan. The only fuss about this recipe is alternating the plain and the cocoa batter but other than that, it is really quite a straight forward recipe. As you can see, the stripes are not really as even as I wanted them to be but with a few more tries, it would be :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rainbow Cake


Had a great time putting this together. The only daunting part is writing the message on top of the cake. I need to practise, practise and yes! more practise.
I have never thought of baking and assembling a rainbow cake because the thought of baking the layers in different colours is already a put off. But when I received the order for this cake and it is meant for 2 young boys' birthday, I was happy to take up the challenge. I wanted to see if I can create some magic for them. So, for the whole week, I have been thinking rainbow, talking rainbow and breathing rainbow. So many ideas came to my mind in terms of how I would want the finished cake to look like. I was also toying with decorating it with marshmallows fondant but alas, I was not feeling well in the middle of the week and did not have enough time to pre-prepare the fondant.
Then, the next question is which recipe should I use? I thought of making the layers with the simple sponge cake recipe but that recipe requires egg separation and wouldn't the batter deflate if not sent in to the oven immediately? I have 6 layers to bake in total. So, I moved on to other recipes. When you search for rainbow cakes recipes online, you probably will first come across Whisk Kid's white cake recipe which only uses egg whites. A lot of good reviews but I was hesitating because I do not have any plans of making stuff with the remaining egg yolks. So, I googled and googled and sort of come to the conclusion that you can almost use any favourite cake recipes of yours to make this cake. You just need to divide the batter into 6 portions and colour them.


So, I settled for this recipe from I Love Cake :

For the cake batter ( I doubled the recipe for a 7" square cake pan)
250g butter, room temperature
220g self raising flour ( original recipe uses cake flour + 1tsp baking powder)
200g castor sugar
4 large eggs
5 tbsp fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

For frosting and filling ( which is not limited to this):
Non dairy whipping cream ( I did not weigh as I just pour and gauge how much I would need)
1 tbsp cocoa powder or more depending how dark you want the frosting (I am keeping it light)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method :
  1. Line the pan and preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Sieve the flour and set aside.
  3. Beat butter till soft, add sugar and continue beating till pale and fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time making sure it is incorporated before the next addition.
  5. Add in flour by small batches, followed by milk and the vanilla essence.
  6. Mix till combined.
  7. Divide batter into 6 portions ( you can either weigh it or by eye balling).
  8. Colour each portion accordingly : red,orange, yellow,green, blue and purple.
  9. Bake about 15 mins per layer depending on your oven. Do a doneness test to make sure cake is cooked before removing from oven. Let cool and continue with the rest of the batter.
Tips : It helps if you have 2 cake pans of the similar size and if your oven can bake two at the same time. I have to repeat the bakes 6 times.

For the frosting :
1) Beat the cream at medium speed. Add in vanilla and beat till stiff peaks.
2) Remove sufficient portions for the clouds and rainbow icings on the cake. Maintain a small amount for the clouds decorations in white. The rest needs to be divided into portions and colour accordingly for the rainbow decorations around the cake.
3) Beat in cocoa powder to remaining portion which will be used for the filling and frosting for the entire cake.



My Rainbow Connection : The lovers, the dreamers and me.....

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cupcakes Bouquet






Whoever thought of this presentation for cupcakes is really a genius! I mean when you receive this and they are edible..I just thought that it is practical, sweet and memorable. Well, the cupcakes have to be good though. For this project, I started going through some tutorials available on the internet. The options are you either use styrofoam ball or plastic cups. I chose the cheaper option - plastic cups. So, you will need :

  1. One of your favourite batch of cupcakes,
  2. 7 plastic cups ,
  3. Small cardboard,
  4. A box big enough to fit the base of the 7 cups stapled together,
  5. Some crepe paper ,a nice transparent wrapper and ribbons.

  • Start off by using a stapler to staple 2 cups together and simply add on in a circle of 6 cups and one goes in the middle, that will give you 7 cups in total.
  • Next,make a cardboard base for the cups to sit on and using sticky tape to stick them on.
  • You need to find a box that is big enough for the cups base to sit in or a pot or whatever you can get your hands on.
  • Stuff the box with newspaper and lay a small piece of green crepe paper before fitting in the base of the cups snuggly. (If you find this too troublesome, go get a foam ball and use toothpicks to stick cupcakes onto it.)
  •  Use another 2 colour crepe papers to wrap around the base and then use the transparent wrapper over them before securing with ribbons like a bouquet.

Once the cupcakes are done and cooled, stuff crepe papers into all the plastic cups so that the cupcakes will not slide down the cups. Sit the cupcakes nicely on each plastic cup. Frost the cupcakes with flower patterns. There you have it, a nice edible centerpiece or a pretty gift for that someone special!






Happy Trying!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mini Neapolitan Cake



 
 
Pretty,lovely and dreamy. Inspired by I am baker. Mine is a mini size. I used the same sponge roll recipe for the cake layers. I divided the batter into 3 bowls separately and mix in cocoa powder in one, colour one in pink and left the last one plain. I don't have so many round cake pans so I used a swiss roll pan to bake all the 3 colours together. First, I pour in the chocolate batter slowly to occupy the top quarter area of the tray. Next, the pink batter next to it, taking care not to let them mix. Lastly, the palin batter at the bottom of the tray. When the spomge has cooled, I used a round template to cut out the layers from each colour portion. The layers were sandwiched with plain buttercream and crumb coated with the same plain buttercream before putting in the fridge for about 20mins. Finally, since it is a mini cake size, I used a small open star nozzle to pipe the swirls on the side and top of the cake.I used swiss meringue buttercream,
 
Did anyone say it was too much buttercream? All who tasted it gave a thumbs up!
 
 
Would have been nice if I built a taller layer cake with big rose swirls but did not want to end up with a whole big cake with no special occasion. Anyway, mini size is manageable and the swirls still look prominent enough. I am happy with the way it turned out.

Here's another shot of the layers :



Nice!

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