Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blue ombre layer cake with white chocolate and rose buttercream

So I decided to make another cake over the weekend for my father since the first one was a complete disaster with the help of my cousin, of course, who just completed her PMR and she got straight As!! So proud of her!! Congratulations Saras!!!!

My proud achievement!
For the first time after God knows how many attempts of macarons, my macarons have turned out well!!!

It was definitely a very beautiful cake and it tasted very good as well. I love the combination of white chocolate and rose. Only thing I would not do again is putting too much colouring to the cake cause the bottom layer cake tasted pretty bad compared to the first layer.

White chocolate cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
a big pinch salt
250g unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups + 3tablespoons caster sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups ice cold water
100g white chocolate, melted & cooled
3 large egg whites, room temperature

Food colouring of your choice, I used Royal Blue from Americolor

  1. Beat butter and 1 3/4 cups of sugar for 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla extract.Mix well.
  3. Add melted chocolate and continue mixing. 
  4. Alternate the dry ingredients and cold water until well combined. 
  5. In a different bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar in three batches until Soft peaks.
  6. Fold into the cake batter.
  7. If you want to make a 4 stack cake with different colours like I did, weigh the cake batter equally and squeeze the desired amount of colouring into your cake batter. 
  8. Pour cake batter into 3-4 8 inch round pans line and grease with butter and parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 30-45 minutes in a preheated oven of 180 C. 
  10. Half way through baking time, if browning too quickly, cover cake with aluminium foil.
  11. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool completely in baking pan before removing it. 
  12. Wrap with clingwrap and place layers in fridge overnight.

White chocolate & Rose swiss meringue buttercream:
300g egg whites
500g caster sugar
600 - 700g unsalted butter,chilled cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons rose essence
200g white chocolate, melted & cooled
  1. Melt chocolate over double boiler and allow to cool completely.
  2. In heatproof bowl, place egg whites and caster sugar over a pot of water over medium heat.( Double boiler) Whisk occasionally until sugar as completely dissolved.This may take a while.
  3. Using hand held or stand mixer, whisk the mixture on medium-high speed until mixture becomes marshmallowy and cooled down.
  4. Touch meringue to feel the temperature. 
  5. Add butter cubes,one at a time,and mixing it well after each addition. 
  6. If mixture looks runny, Place in the fridge for about 15-30minutes, depending on how warm the meringue is.Remove from fridge and continue to beat until you get a nice creamy mixture. 
  7. If mixture looks good, just continue mixing until you get a creamy mixture, it may look curdled in the beginning but it will start looking better as you continue beating.
  8. Add cooled white chocolate and rose essence.Give it a good quick whip again.

Macaron shells:
80g sifted almond meal
100g icing sugar

80g egg whites
65g caster sugar

Food colouring of your choice
  1. Prepare baking trays with parchment paper or silpat with macaron template sheet underneath.
  2. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius.
  3. Mix egg whites and caster in a bowl and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water(double boiler method) until sugar is melted and the mixture is really hot. Make sure you continuously stir the mixture. Temperature approx 50-55 Celcius.
  4. Remove from heat and using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whisk mixture until medium peaks and slightly cooled down. Don't over beat the mixture. If you have accidentally over beat the mixture, you will have to throw it away and start all over again. (Speaking from experience. LOL!!)
  5. Mix the sifted almond meal and icing sugar in a different bowl. Take a scoop of meringue and mix vigorously with the dry ingredients. Fold gently until combined the rest of the meringue in two batches.Make sure you have a shiny, glossy & slightly thicker than cake batter mixture.
  6. Scoop mixture in a disposable piping bag fitted with a 10mm plain nozzle. Pipe according to your macaron template and rap baking tray on a hard surface. Allow the surface of macaron to dry completely before baking it on the lowest rack for 15-20 minutes opening the oven door once during baking time.
  7. Allow to cool before removing macaron shells. Match the shells for piping.
For the filling:
I used the same buttercream I used for the cake.

  • Air con dry it for 15-30 minutes.
  • Make sure meringue is glossy and shiny.
  • To prevent browning for coloured macaron shells, place an empty tray on the top shelf.
  • When baking, have another same size baking pan on the bottom on macarons' baking pan.

Assembling notes:
  1. I used about 1 1/2 cups of buttercream for each layer but I think 3/4 cup of buttercream is sufficient.
  2. I crumb coated my cake and kept it in the fridge overnight before doing the final touches. 
  3. The next day I found it difficult to frost the cake again cause the buttercream kept sliding off. I realised the crumb coat had condensation water on the cake so I carefully place a tissue to absorb the water. It worked. Then I did the final touches.
  4. Before placing the macarons on top,allow the cake to sit on the benchtop for a couple of minutes before arranging the macarons.


Crumb Coat done!

Had it crumb coated the night before.

The King of My Heart

I honestly wouldn't have done it without her!!! <3

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chocolate cupcakes with nutella cloud frosting

It was my dad's birthday past Tuesday and as a family affair. Unfortunately it was not a celebration we expected it mousse cake turned out so bad I wanted to throw it away although everyone who ate it said it was delicious.luckily I had cupcakes to back up the disaster.but I am still not satisfied so I told dad I will make him another cake and I will stick to 'normal' cakes.

 So what went wrong to my caramel rum raisins mousse cake? :

 1. My gelatin didn't dissolve properly even after mixing it with hot liquid.jinx! So both layers of mousse didn't set!
 2. My caramel glaze was very jelly like,not sure if that was meant to like that but it happen.not much of a glaze.
 3. My small was height at all.I thought it was alright but when I removed it from the ring,it was soo shallow.

 Anyway, the nutella cupcakes were a success minus the coffee maybe because I made a really thick coffee for it and therefore the cupcakes had a hint of bitterness to it. The cupcake batter wasn't enough to fill 24 mini cupcakes so I made another batch of cupcake batter but without coffee this time.I got about 40cupcakes for the nutella frosting,I didn't have to double the amount up for two batches of cupcakes which was good.

I used the exact recipe I got from Rosie of Sweetapolita minus the coffee for one batch.I replaced it with boiled water.
Overall, I preferred the cupcakes without coffee.

The horrible birthday cake!:(

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chocolate soufflé with custard/vanilla ice cream

I am not sure if I've ever tried a soufflé before but after eating a chocolate soufflé today, I've officially fallen in love with it! It felt like I was having a hot chocolate mousse. 

Very light. Very simple. Very fast to make. You can also make it advance, pop into the fridge until it's time to serve dessert! Of course, you need to give yourself about 15-20 minutes to bake the soufflé. It's dead simple,I promise. Requires only a few ingredients. And Taa daaa you've made a restaurant dessert! :)
The chocolate souffle sunk a little, so excuse the not to high soufflé. 
I got exactly 7 soufflés from the recipe.

  • 340g good quality chocolate,I used half milk and half dark Callebaut chocolate,chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 210g (about 7 large egg whites) egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

    1. Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes; sprinkle with sugar, tilting cups to coat completely and tapping out any excess. Arrange prepared soufflé dishes on large baking sheet.
    2. Combine chocolate and cream in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from over water.
    3.  Stir egg yolks and salt into chocolate mixture. 
    4. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until semi-firm peaks form. 
    5. Using rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold remaining egg whites into chocolate mixture in 2 additions. 
    6. Divide chocolate mixture among prepared soufflé dishes, filling dishes completely.
    7. Bake in a preheat oven of 180 C for 15 minute, at room temperature and 18 minutes if chilled or until the top feels firm and soufflé puffs up.
    8. Serve immediately with custard/ice cream/whipped cream.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Facebook Page

    A little bit of myself before I get to the point.

    I started baking at the age of 8. I know I should have been playing with my cooking toys or barbie dolls at that age but no I fell in love with the real thing. Mum never believed in my passion and love for baking at that time; I can't blame her for that. She would've thought I was fooling around. But my dad ,on the other hand, was the complete opposite. At the age of 10, he bought me a set of hand held mixers (which I insisted I wanted when I saw it at the electrical shop) because he realised I struggled beating the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. And the journey began. 13 years down the road I am still using that very hand held mixer dad bought for me. I bought myself a stand mixer three years ago which I use as well. I can't wait till dad gets me a kitchenaid. I hope to take a diploma in pastry from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in the next few years and open a dessert boutique & bar in the future. Hope all goes well. :)

    At the moment, to give myself an excuse to bake and improve ( secretly,to get extra pocket money too! =P ) myself, I've decided to take orders for my cakes,cupcakes & cookies only. Prices will vary.

    I started blogging my food journey only recently,maybe a year or so and started taking photographs as well. I am still learning and still not very good at it but I hope to get better as time goes. I post my pride and joy on my personal facebook page which I got a fair share of good and 'sarcastic' comments. Good comments have encouraged me to continue my baking and photography skills while the sarcastic ones have made me realised that there are friends who will definitely be envious and want to discourage me from doing what I love so I decided to created a facebook page for My.Vanilla.Sprinkles to share my pride and joy with everyone who support me!

    Please support me by liking my facebook page! Thank you!!:)

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Happy Deepavali (Diwali)!!!


    I finally got to celebrate deepavali after being away for 5 years. One thing wonderful about living in Malaysia, the country is multiracial and there are so many festivals to celebrate. While I was away in Sydney, you hardly feel the festive seasons like Eid, CNY & Deepavali. It's just another day in a foreign land. 

    Just a quick update on my blog which I have been neglecting because I have been so lazy to blog.

    I started a new job if I haven't mentioned it already here. I have join a Management Training Programme like sponsored by Maybank. I'm having an amazing time with amazing friends and people in FSTEP. 

    Since I started my training, I only had the weekends to bake my cookies and cakes so last Saturday was a mad day for me. I baked 5 different types of cookies in one day, it took me 15 hours to complete everything because there was a power supply cut for 3 hours. It was a frustrating 3 hours of waiting.Still I manage to cut my fruits and nuts for my sugee christmas cake for next year! 

    On Sunday, I baked one caramel cake which was a flop because I didn't bake it long enough as I was forced turn off the oven and attend an open house. Then I made macarons which was a flop as well. I almost broke down and wanted to give up. Batches of macaron batter were thrown out. I made my macarons twice and both were a flop, can you imagine? sigh... I never gave up and continued with my mini pear cupcakes. That,at least, turned out well. Made the buttercream for it, tried to savage a few of my macarons and fill them with raspberry buttercream then kept the remaining buttercream in the fridge for piping the next day. 

    On Monday, I got the courage to make my caramel cake again and this time I baked it longer. Final results were out of this world. I reassured myself Sunday was a jinxed day for me! I had to make myself happy lah!

    No recipes in this post because I didn't get to take individual pictures of my cookies & cakes. 

    Clockwise : coconut candy, caramel rainbow cake & mini pear cupcakes with  swiss buttercream dusted with cinnamon-vanilla powdered sugar, sugee (semolina) cornflakes cookies, pineapple jam tarts, cashewnut cookies, vanilla-orange semperit cookies, coffee-chocolate cookies coated in nestum.

    Chocolate macarons with Caramel buttercream

    I tried a different macaron recipe for a change because I find Italian meringue tricky to make. It works wonderfully sometimes for me and sometimes it turns out to be a disaster.So I tried looking for a different recipe and found a recipe off Kak Rima's blog  and this recipe uses the swiss meringue method. She had another one using the French meringue method but I chose this. Will definitely try the french meringue method as well soon.

    So what did I think of the making  macarons using the Swiss meringue method?
    I found it easier to handle compared to the italian meringue method. Kak Rima's recipe turned out fantastic. The most successful batch of macarons for me so far.

    Makes ~ 30 filled macarons

    Chocolate macaron recipe:
    180g  egg whites
    160g caster sugar

    180g sifted almond meal
    180g icing sugar,sifted
    20g dutch processed cocoa powder, sifted
    1. Prepare baking trays with parchment paper or silpat with macaron template sheet underneath.
    2. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius.
    3. Mix egg whites and caster in a bowl and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water(double boiler method) until sugar is melted and the mixture is really hot. Make sure you continuously stir the mixture. Temperature approx 50-55 Celcius.
    4. Remove from heat and using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whisk mixture until medium peaks and slightly cooled down. Don't over beat the mixture. If you have accidentally over beat the mixture, you will have to throw it away and start all over again. (Speaking from experience. LOL!!)
    5. Mix the sifted almond meal,icing sugar and cocoa powder in a different bowl. Take a scoop of meringue and mix vigorously with the dry ingredients. Fold gently until combined the rest of the meringue in two batches.Make sure you have a shiny, glossy & slightly thicker than cake batter mixture.
    6. Scoop mixture in a disposable piping bag fitted with a 10mm plain nozzle. Pipe according to your macaron template and rap baking tray on a hard surface. Allow the surface of macaron to dry completely before baking it on the lowest rack for 15-20 minutes opening the oven door once during baking time.
    7. Allow to cool before removing macaron shells. Match the shells for piping.

    Allowing my macaron shells to form a skin under the air conditioner

    Almost perfect after baking!
    Caramel swiss meringue buttercream:
    50g egg whites
    90g caster sugar
    150g unsalted butter

    1 heaped tablespoon caramel, store bought or homemade ( will post a recipe in future )
    1. Mix egg whites and caster in a bowl and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water(double boiler method) until sugar is melted and the mixture is really hot. Make sure you continuously stir the mixture. Temperature approx 50-55 Celcius.
    2. Remove from heat and using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whisk mixture until medium peaks and cooled down but not too cold.
    3. Add butter cubes gradually, making sure butter has fully incorporated after each addition. Add caramel and mix until combined.
    4. If your buttercream doesn't have a pliable consistency, put in the fridge for 15-30 minutes until it firms up a bit.  
    5. Scoop buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
    1.  Pipe one macaron shell in each pair with buttercream then cover with the other macaron shell then twist the macarons slightly. Place in fridge for 24 hours to mature.
    Macaron shells were matched and piped with caramel buttercream
    • Air con dry it for 15-30 minutes.
    • Make sure meringue is glossy and shiny.
    • To prevent browning for coloured macaron shells, place an empty tray on the top shelf.
    • When baking, have another same size baking pan on the bottom on macarons' baking pan.


    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    Mini Passionfruit Cakes

    Leaving my current workplace for another job was the hardest decision ever but it was a pretty quick one, I must say! It never really hit me that my life was gonna change,for the better I hope, until last Friday. Initially, I cursed my mornings because I had to face certain people at work and deal with their immature way of handling things but things got better and I begin to learn how to ignore ‘them’. And along the way, I met and got close to a few amazing people. I am certainly gonna miss them but in life, you have to choose what’s more important in life in the initial stages of your career and build it. Now, I should stop the drama and focus what's more interesting for my blog, my mini cupcakes!

    I made passionfruit cupcakes with vanilla buttercream & chocolate caramel macarons for my friends and mentor(s) as a Thank you token for their guidance and patience. I had a tub of passionfruit pulp sitting in the freezer for ages and found a wonderful recipe in Donna Hay’s latest magazine, her Spring issue. Everything she makes turns out beautifully! It’s almost foolproof! I wanted to beautify the cupcakes so I made frosting for the cupcakes but found it a little too sweet as a combination, so I would actually cut down on the sugar in the cupcakes if I am frosting the cupcakes the next time. The cupcakes itself  was very sweet when eaten alone. Maybe that's why, in the recipe, Donna only sprinkles icing sugar on top and have extra passionfruit pulp to go with the cupcakes to perhaps cut the sweetness of the cupcakes.

    Anyway here’s the mini passionfruit cakes recipe I adapted from her magazine:

    Passionfruit cupcakes:
    200g unsalted butter, slightly softened
    ¼ cup (60ml) passionfruit pulp
    165g caster sugar (reduce if you are frosting your cupcakes)
    Rind of a lemon
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    4 free range eggs
    1 ¼ (185g) self raising flour, sifted
    ¼ cup (60ml) diluted yogurt/ buttermilk
    1. Preheat oven to 160 C and line mini muffin pans with paper liners.
    2. Beat butter until light and creamy for 5 minutes. 
    3. Mix passion fruit pulp and sugar.
    4. Add passionfruit sugar into butter and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.
    5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
    6. Add vanilla extract & lemon rind. 
    7. Fold in sifted flour until well combined. 
    8. Fold in yogurt/buttermilk until well combined.
    9. Scoop batter and fill a piping bag fitted with a medium size plain nozzle. Or you can just scoop the batter into the muffin pan lined with paper cups.
    10. Fill paper liners with batter 2/3 full.
    11. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
    12. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

    Vanilla/passionfruit buttercream:
    250g unsalted butter
    200g icing sugar
    Enough passionfruit juice to make a thick sugar paste
    Lemon yellow colouring,optional
    1. Make passionfruit paste by adding passionfruit juice with seeds slowly into icing sugar until you have a thick paste.
    2. Cream butter & colouring(if using) until creamy and fluffy. Add passionfruit sugar paste and continue to cream until combined and creamy.
    3. If it's too soft, place in the fridge for 15 minutes until firm and pliable.
    4. Scoop icing and place in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe as you like. You can decorate further with a passionfruit seed in the middle like the picture below. Place in fridge until 5-10 minutes before serving depending on the weather.

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Eggless doughnuts

    Since I started work in KL, Isetan Foodhall in KLCC is my place to shop for luxury-expensive-items at a much lower price compared to other supermarkets in KL. I mean it and this gives me the excuse to buy my favourite Queen's bread from their bakery. Next best thing to a brioche since I have not seen brioche here in KL. I forgot to buy a loaf back from Sydney. I am crazy like that. While paying for my loaf of bread the other day, a child passed a tray of doughnuts to her father and that made me crave for doughnuts but the line to pay was too long and I was rushing for my train so I convinced myself I can make better doughnuts for myself than buy them. Never got around making them until today because I have been busy and sick at the same time. Not fun! Feeling much better now so I decided to make myself sugary strawberry jam filled doughnuts! This time I made my doughnuts eggless because dad is vegetarian and he loves doughnuts as well!
    Oh my sugary goodness of strawberry jam filled doughnuts!
    This recipe is heavily adapted from my last doughnut recipe. My version of the doughnut recipe without eggs and it turned out remarkably awesome!!!!!=D

    7g dry yeast
    1 tablespoon caster sugar
    30ml lukewarm whole milk
    1 teaspoon plain flour

    1 1/2 cups superfine flour
    45g unsalted butter, melted
    a pinch of salt
    1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    1/2 cup lukewarm milk

    1 small jar of your favourite jam for filling
    2 cups vegetable oil, for deep frying
    extra caster sugar, for rolling

    • Combine (A) in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and leave for 20 minutes until it froths up.
    • Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, then milk and melted butter. Using a whisk, slowly  incorporate the flour mixture and then, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until you have a smooth soft dough.
    • Cover with a tea towel and put in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours ( In Malaysia it took only 30-45 minutes) until it has doubled in size.
    • Dust your hands and an empty plate with flour. Scope a small ball of dough and roll the ball until smooth (not too long) then flatten the dough big enough to cover a small scoop of jam which you will spoon in the centre of the flatten dough. Place jam in the centre and small form a ball again and place the balls in the flour dusted plate. Once all completed, cover with a tea towel and allow it to rise again for 15-30 minutes until double in size.
    • Heat the oil in a deep frypan or saucepan to very hot, 175°C (350°F). There needs to be enough oil so that the donuts can float, at least to a 2 cm depth.
    • Fry the donuts (no more than 6 at one time) on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and then roll in caster sugar.
    • Eat almost immediately.
    It gave me around 20 medium size doughnuts! =)

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Bread pudding

    500g stale brioche, cubed
    150g caster sugar
    2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
    2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon orange rind
    1 tablespoon rum
    9 large eggs
    500ml cream
    100g unsalted butter, melted
    100g raising or chocolate chips
    demerara sugar for sprinkling

    1. Grease 10" deep oven-proof bowl.
    2. Scatter brioche cubes & raisins/chocolate chips in layers.
    3. Prepare custard base by adding all the other ingredients except demerara sugar in large bowl and whisk until well combined.
    4. Pour the custard mixture in the oven proof bowl and make sure all the brioche cubes are soaked well in custard base. Allow to soak for 1/2 - 1 hour & preheat oven to 180 C.
    5. Sprinkle demerara sugar generously on the pudding before baking.
    6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
    7. Serve warm with ice cream.

    Mini vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

    I had two very interesting recipes to make this weekend but somehow I ended up making two different cupcakes this weekend. Probably baked them when I come back from Sydney in three weeks. Anyway, I baked these cupcakes for an orphanage. Dad wanted to give the girls something different so I volunteered myself to bake these mini cupcakes since I wanted to use the egg trays I painted. I opened my chiller and found three blocks of butter and half a block of cream cheese. Dad wanted something quick and easy. So I thought why not my fool proof butter cake with some cream cheese frosting and funfetti as decoration. It turned out perfect! fluffy moist butter mini cupcakes with pink cream cheese frosting and funfetti! I have posted the butter cake recipe before but I made some 'lazy' omission this time around.

    250g unsalted butter
    250g caster sugar
    250g self raising flour
    6 egg yolks
    4 egg whites
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    50ml milk
    1. Preheat oven at 180 C
    2. Beat butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix well after each addition.
    3. Add vanilla extract.
    4. Fold in flour in three batches and by alternating it with milk.
    5. Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks but not dry.
    6. Fold in the whites with the cake batter.
    7. Using a cloth piping bag or heavy duty white piping bag and a plain nozzle, pipe the cake batter in the cupcake tray lined with cupcake liners. It should be around 3/4 cup full.
    8. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    9. Once baked remove from cupcake tray and allow to cool completely.

    Cream cheese frosting
    227g cream cheese, room temperature
    100g icing sugar,sifted
    150g butter, slightly softened and cubed
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Pink food colouring gel - Absolutely optional
    Colourful funfetti, for decoration, absolutely optional as well
    1. Beat cream cheese until smooth and free of lumps.
    2. Add sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until combined.
    3. Add cubed butter one at a time; making sure frosting is well combined after each addition of butter.
    4. If you want to add colouring, fold in the desired amount food colouring according to your preference of the shade of colour you want your frosting to be.
    5. Fill piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe.
    6. Sprinkle some funfetti on your frosting and you are ready to serve.
    7. If your frosting starts to melt, place in the fridge for about 10 minutes and give it a good mix before piping.

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Lemon meringue cupcakes

    One thing I have to practice making is the lemon curd. The time I made this three weeks ago, I followed the recipe exactly and I got lemon scramble eggs instead of curd. I had to make a new batch of lemon curd and to my horror,I had only 1 lemon left in the fridge so I used orange juice to make up the remaining lemon juice I needed for the curd.I made the cupcakes again this weekend and had another unsuccessful lemon curd trial! It wasn't scrambled like before but it wasn't thickening so I cheated by mixing 2 tablespoons of corn flour with 2 tablespoons of water and adding it to the lemon curd to thicken.
    Excuse the lack of creativeness of food styling and food photography.
    Adapted from Isabella, Junior Masterchef Season 1's winner 
    ( For citrus version)

    • 1 cuppure cream
    • 1 cupcaster sugar
    • 2eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 1/2 cupsself raising flour
    • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon (and 1 orange)
    Lemon curd
    • 1/2 cuplemon juice (Juice of 1 1/2 oranges and 1 lemon)
    • 100gbutter
    • 1/2 cupcaster sugar
    • 1egg
    • 3egg yolks
    • 3egg whites
    • 1/2 cupcaster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    • Preheat oven to 180'C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan. ( I got about 20 small-medium cupcakes.)
    • Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.
    • Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.
    • For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and orange juice in a small saucepan and let it simmer. In a different bowl whisk sugar, egg and yolks until combined. Remove citrus juice from heat and slowly add to sugar and eggs mixture while whisking continuously. Pour the mixture back into saucepan and continuously mix. Continue mixing the curd and add the corn flour mixture while whisking until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.
    • For meringue, beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Fold in vanilla extract. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag.
    • To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd. Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired.

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    Strawberry Shortcake

    I never really knew what a strawberry shortcake was until I stumbled upon a strawberry shortcake recipe ( I know I sound quite ignorant) in the amazing Kak Rima's blog and I knew instantly I had to try it.Her pictures are so captivating. I begin researching more on strawberry shortcakes but found two very different recipes when I looked it up on Google. One looked like scones stuffed with cream and strawberries (The American version) another looked like layered sponge cake with cream and strawberries (Japanese version). Kak Rima's one was the Japanese version.

    Before I came back to Malaysia for good, Woolworths had strawberries on special. 1 punnet for A$ 1.99,it was a steal. I brought home to Malaysia 6 packets of strawberries. Made my favourite strawberry cupcakes and made a strawberry shortcake using her recipe but something I did wrong messed the cake up. I am in NO  manner blaming her recipe cause I have made wonderful cakes and cookies using recipes found in her blog. The cake was not fluffy as it should be but the stabilised cream was wonderful.
    My first attempt of strawberry shortcake
    A couple of months later, I took the challenge to cake another strawberry shortcake using a different cotton sponge cake base recipe and modified Kak Rima's whipped cream recipe by omitting the gelatin solution to stabilise the cream. 

    I had a little drama while making this cake. The recipe required me to bake equal amount of cake batter in two 9" square baking pan but I only had one and my oven capacity is small and in my experience, leaving sponge cake batter out too long  will make the cake dry so I had to make them at one go. So I rushed over to my cousin's place next door (advantages of having relatives as neighbours!) to bake my second sponge cake but to my horror my aunty uses a microwave to bake her cakes. I took the risk and baked it in the microwave. After 10 minutes I return, my cake has sunk,harder & begun burning. I almost cried! I kept calm and thanked God I had my first cake out and looking perfect.When I flipped it over, The middle-bottom was still wet and under-baked. Another flop! I calmly flipped the cake back into the baking tin and baked it again for another 10 minutes and removed. It baked a little more,obviously but I still kept my fingers crossed the cake will come out at least eatable.LOL. The top of the cake had a dark brown crust, darker than what was shown in the recipe so I trimmed the top off. ( Next time follow the recipe exactly and there is reason why they divided the cake batter into 2,silly girl!) I prepared the cream filling, strawberries and frosted the cake! The cream begun to melt after a while(stupid Malaysian humidity!) but I quickly frosted and kept it in the fridge to firm up a little. Stabilised cream filling is best for our weather, I reckon. The cake turned out be a definite keeper in my recipe collection. Although the cake was not as high as I expected it to be but the cake was so good and tasted like I was eating ice cream cake!! Oh my, I feel like making it again. hehe.

    Cotton cake from Sedap Magazine Sept 2012 (Indonesian version) - barely adapted

    130g unsalted butter
    130g low-protein flour (cake flour)
    160g fresh milk
    200g egg yolks (10 - 11Grade AA eggs) , slightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    400g egg whites (10-11 Grade AA eggs)
    1/2 teaspoon salt ( I omitted)
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar ( I omitted )
    200g caster sugar

    1. Prepare the baking pans by greasing and lining the tins with butter and baking paper.
    2. Melt butter over low heat and turn off heat. Add flour and whisk batter until well combined. Remove from stove. 
    3. Heat milk until warm but not boiling. Pour over egg yolks and vanilla extract and keep whisking until well combined.
    4. Pour the yolks and milk mixture slowly into the butter and flour mixture while mixing until smooth. Leave it aside.
    5. Make meringue mixture. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks then gradually add the sugar until you have a smooth shiny mixture. It should be stiff peaks.
    6. Slowly add (A) into (B) and fold gently until well combined. 
    7. Pour into two 9" pans and bake using the bain marie method in a preheat oven of 160 C for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.
    8. Allow to cool completely before removing it from the pan.

    Stabilised whipping cream ( Omit the gelatine mixture if you prefer the not stabilised version)

    500g whipping cream (min 35% fat content)
    1/2 cup icing sugar,sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoon gelatine powder
    8 teaspoon warm water
    1. Place beaters in the freezer for 1/2 hour.
    2. In a small bowl, prepare gelatine mixture by pouring the warm water into the gelatine and constantly mixing it until dissolved. Allow to cool completely.
    3. Prepare ice cold water bath to whip cream. Place the mixing bowl in a larger bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes. Pour whipping cream, vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar in the bowl and whisk until soft peaks. Then add the cooled gelatine mixture and continue to whisk until stiff peaks.
    4. Fill cream in a piping bag with a plain nozzle for easy frosting of cake.

    1 pound fresh strawberries,diced
    2 tablepoon caster sugar
    1 tablespoon kirsch
    1. Well coat the diced strawberries in sugar and kirsch and allow to macerate for 15 minutes.

    A handful of beautiful strawberries from the pound of strawberries for decoration
    Kirsch for brushing

    To assemble
    1. Trim the crust off the cakes, slice each cake into 2 layers (not necessary if you preference your layers thick) and brush with kirsch or syrup from the strawberries coated in sugar and kirsch.
    2. Fill the first layer with cream and level it with a spatula. Scatter strawberry filling without the syrup on the cream gently but generously. 
    3. Add the follow layer and follow the steps above for the rest of the layers. 
    4. Finally pipe the remaining cream all over the cake, level it with a spatula and decorate the cake with strawberries according to you preference. 
    5. Chill the cake for at least 2 hours before slicing it and serving the cake.

    17 November 2012 - I made this cake for the third time and it was an absolute success!!It was like having  strawberries and cream, the cake was very light and cottony!! Definitely a keeper.

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    Almond Nestum Cookies coated in Dark Chocolate

    ~Makes 200 cookies
    250g unsalted butter
    150g caster sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4teaspoon salt
    300g superfine plain flour (regular plain flour will do as well)
    150g corn flour
    50g nestum,crushed to very fine almost powder like (you can use crushed corn flakes as well if you don't have nestum)
    1 teaspoon baking powder

    750g - 1kg dark chocolate,melted
    300g whole almonds
    50g almond nibs,to sprinkle on top

      1. Preheat oven to 180 C
      2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
      3. Add in the egg & vanilla extract and mix thoroughly 
      4. In a different bowl mix all dry ingredients together.
      5. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture using a spoon carefully.
      6. Mix until well combined.
      7. Make a small ball dough and slightly flatten the surface. Add an almond in the centre and roll the dough making sure the almond is fully wrapped up in the dough. The dough should be oblong and carefully place the dough in a paper cup.
      8. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until completely baked.
      9. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
      10. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or microwave (in lowest setting).
      11. Slowly over cookies with chocolates using a clean spoon.
      12. Sprinkle some almond nibs on top immediately as the chocolate is being poured over the cookies.
      13. Allow to dry completely before placing it in an air-tight container.

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    blueberry milkshake for 2

    As promised to my boyfriend, I made a quick,simple and easy milkshake which he enjoyed very much and only cost a few ringgits. 

    300ml full cream milk,cold

    6-7 large scoops vanilla ice cream
    2 handfuls blueberries,fresh/frozen

    Place all ingredients into a blender and whizz for a few minutes until well combined. Pour into two long large glasses and serve.

    Simple as that :)