Monday, March 4, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

I was never a big fan of strawberries and needless to say will never choose a strawberry shortcake as my choice of cake for any occassions. However, I stumbled upon a few blogs that made such inspiring strawberry shortcakes and I googled and even youtube-d to get more inspired than ever. So, I started gathering my thoughts on how to get on with making one. Firstly, I do not wish to end up with a big cake because there was no special occassion at home to celebrate but oh! I so wanted to try making one. I do not have a small cake pan and I only have a small swiss roll pan. All the recipes out there either called for a round or square pan. I figured if I baked mine on a swiss roll pan, I just cut it up and layer the slices. I was determined no matter what. I went ahead as planned and I am quite satisfied with the outcome although the whole cake did not look pro enough, I have to slice it to shape before it is picture friendly enough. But the taste of the cake is so good. I am a fan now! Call me a convert, whatever!

The recipe I used is adapted from the video here :

For the sponge :

2 eggs
60g castor sugar
60g top flour (sifted 3 times)
20g butter melted in 1 tbsp of milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

For the syrup :

20ml hot water
1/2 tbsp.castor sugar

For the filling :

Adequate strawberries, sliced
200 ml whipping cream
1.5 tbsp icing sugar or to taste
1 tsp vanilla essence
About 1 tsp gelatin, sprinke over cold water ( abt 4-5 tsp), let stand for 5 mins. Place over hot water and stir till dissolved. Let cool.

For the topping/icing :
200 ml non dairy cream ( mine is a small cake, gauge accordingly)
1 tsp vanilla essence
Strawberries for decoration

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Line a small swiss roll pan (sorry ! I don't know the dimensions of my tray) with baking paper.
- In a clean bowl, beat eggs and sugar and vanilla essence till ribbon stage.
- Add in flour in about 3 separate additions, folding gently each time till blended. Do not overmix or you will risk deflating the batter.
- Next, take out a third of the batter and fold in melted butter. Add this back to the remaining batter and fold gently till all incorporated.
- Pour the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 15 mins.
- Remove sponge from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack covered.
- When cooled, cut the sides of the sponge and slice into 3 small equal layers.Wrap it up and keep in the fridge for a about an hour.

Meanwhile :
- Melt the sugar in hot water to make a simple syrup.
- Beat the whipping cream, icing sugar + vanilla essence till slightly thickened. Add the gelatin and beat till nedium soft peak.
- Beat the non dairy cream + vanilla essence till still peak.

To Assemble the cake :
1) Place a layer of the cake on a board or plate, brush gently with syrup and spread with whipping cream. Arrange layers of sliced strawberries on top of it and spread with more whipping cream to cover.
2) Brush another layer of cake with syrup and place on top and repeat the process.
3) Frost the entire cake with non dairy cream and decorate as desired.
4) Arrange whole strawberries on top of cake.
5) Let the cake rest for a few hours in the fridge before serving.

Will I make it again? Definitely! I love it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pandan Chiffon

When it comes to Chiffon, no other flavours come close to Pandan in my opinion. The fragrant of the pandan just works well with the coconut milk. The aroma that fills the kitchen while the cake is baking makes everyone in the house happy! It has really been a while since I last made this. This time, I used the recipe from Christine's blog and I like the texture of the cake, very much. Although I tweaked it a little here and there, it still turned out fine, standing tall. This cake will get snapped up really fast so I don't think there is a need to store them in the fridge. Goes well with a cup of hot coffee.
Here's the recipe :
For the egg yolk batter
5 egg yolks
20g castor sugar
100g top flour
100ml thick coconut milk
3 tbsp of pandan juice ( blend 10 pieces of pandan leaves with a little waier, drain)
a few drops of pandan paste ( just to achieve the light hue green)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
For egg white mixture
5 egg whites
60g castor sugar
a pinch of corn flour
Method :
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
- Prepare the pandan juice. Mix about 3 tbsp of pandan juice to the thick cocomut milk and mix in the pandan paste. Don't get carried away with the pandan paste. A little goes a long way. You don't want to end up with a loud green colour that looks artificial.
- Separate the 5 eggs into respective bowls.
- To the egg yolks bowl, add the sugar and whisk till sugar is blended in. Mix in the oil and whisk further till incorporated.
- Add in the cocomut milk mixture and mix well.
- Sift in the flour and whisk to blend well till batter is smooth.
- Next, prepare your meringue. Start with low speed till egg white is foamy. Add in a pinch of corn flour. Continue beating for another min.
- Add in sugar in 3 batches and beat till stiff peaks formed. Do not overbeat till dry.Egg white should still look glossy and creamy but with stiff peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the white to the yolk batter and blend well. Fold in another 1/3 of the white with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the remaining yolk batter to the remaining meringue and fold in gently till all blended.
- Pour batter to a chiffon cake mould and bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Once done, remove from oven and invert the pan to cool completely.
- Unmould gently and enjoy!




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