Monday, January 30, 2012

Custard Chiffon Cake

UPDATE [9-SEPT-2012]

I made this cake again after a few months and I still think this is my all time favourite cake to eat as a snack. This time, I used 175g SR flour and 1/3 cup custard powder instead of 1/4cup which is 35 grams and it still tasted great. It probably needed to be in the oven for another 10 minutes on a lower temperature of 160 C because it was slightly on a moister side of a chiffon cake.

This has been the cake recipe I have tested in the longest time,I could make this all the time and eat it. I purposely made a whole cake to take with me for my travels to Sri Lanka and it finished within three days.

Excuse me for having writer's block at the moment.I came home exhausted from an odd timing flight to find my favourite one (my dog) with maggots and wounds all over her back. Pretty much with no rest I am here sharing you the recipe. Well I just had to share the recipe because it was simply the best cake I have tested so far.

Adapted from MMCC

200g self raising flour
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
35g custard powder
6 large eggs, separated
345g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80ml vegetable oil
170ml warm water
  • Preheat oven to 180C. You will need an ungreased angel cake tin (not a non stick one as well).Do NOT grease it.
  • Sift the flour,1 teaspoon of cream of tartar and custard powder three times to ensure they are fully combined.
  • In an electric mixer,whisk egg yolks with 230g of sugar until pale and creamy, then add the vanilla extract.Pour the oil and warm water into a jug. While the yolks are still whisking on low speed, add the flour mixture and the oil & water at the same time, whisking until just incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the remaining sugar & remaining cream of tartar and continue to whisk until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Very carefully fold the batter into the egg whites with a metal spoon until just incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into the cake tin. Bake for 1hour 15minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into cake.
  • After removing the cake from the oven, immediately invert it to cool by balancing the middle funnel onto a bottle neck. It is important for the cake to be inverted and suspended upside down until it is cool to stop it from collapsing.
  • When cool, run a knife around the outside of the cake and the funnel. Left the base out of the tin, then use the knife to ease the cake off the base.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Peanut Brittle

Adapted from Nigella Christmas

1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup liquid glucose
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  1. Prepare a large baking tray with a large sheet of waxed baking paper and oil it. Place it near the stove.
  2. Put sugar,water & glucose in a heavy pan,bring it to boil then slowly increase the heat and let it continue boiling for 10minutes, do not stir the hot syrup.Occasionally give it a swirl until the syrup has turned gold in colour.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and with a wooden spoon,add vanilla extract & baking soda followed by the peanuts. You will have a golden,frothy,hot & gooey mixture.
  4. Pour this briskly onto the waiting waxed baking paper,using the wooden spoon to coax and pull it to make a nut-studded sheet,puddle shaped though it may be,rather than a heap.
  5. Leave it to cool, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

'Plumb' cake

UPDATE - I made this cake again today (16/03/2012) and the cake looked much better than before. The first time I made it I used homemade vanilla sugar in place of caster sugar and I preferred that to just using caster sugar.Making vanilla sugar is easy and really makes your end products outstanding.At least for me maybe because I absolutely love vanilla and anything to do with it. I got black plums thinking it was blood plums,my mistake but the taste was still exceptional. They were on sale so I had to get them!!And also for the topping,I previous used vanilla sugar instead of cinnamon sugar as stated in the recipe but today I thought of trying to follow the recipe exactly,well I cheated a little by instead of using all cinnamon sugar,I mixed vanilla with cinnamon but somehow the cinnamon flavour was still quite strong. Thank God I didn't use all cinnamon sugar. The dough was very tacky to handle but I manage to handle it better this time. Since I halved the recipe again this time, I found the 9" pan a little too big for it so maybe a pan between 6-8" would be good. And this time I made sure I didn't roll it out quite thinly like previously because the recipe stated roll out thickly.But using a big pan with little dough,I guess it was still quite thin but not as thin compared to the last time.

Before actually reading the recipe I was kinda excited to make this cake,thinking it would be fairly easy to make,well it was but it's more of a tart but with a thick base kinda cake,something very different. Because the blood plums were slightly sour, it gave the cake a nice balance of sour and sweet.The dough was quite tricky to handle,(because the base was tricky to handle,it was rather 'thin' as the base,it was partially my fault for rolling it slightly bigger as the base was only meant to be half way up the side of the tin but mine was right to the top and quite imbalanced!),maybe because the recipe required sour cream but I did not have sour cream handy with me.It's quite difficult to get sour cream in my hometown, so I omitted the sour cream with just pure cream,should have reduced the cream but anyway I made half the recipe because I was not sure of the outcome of the cake.Would I make it again? Maybe but not anytime soon, perhaps when the next season comes,which is next year.hehe.Blood plums are very expensive in Malaysia. 6plums for RM 20.

Adapted from MMCC,
1/2 the recipe.

3/4 plain flour
3/4 self raising flour
125g cold unsalted butter,chopped
1/2 caster sugar
2 small egg yolks
65ml pure cream

1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
85g cold unsalted butter,chopped
6 blood plums,washed,halved & stones removed

vanilla sugar, for sprinkling

  1. Start this recipe the day before serving. To make the dough, put the flours and butter in a bowl and use your fingertips to mix them together, until the butter is evenly dispersed and the mixture forms crumbs. Add the sugar,egg yolks and cream and mix together using your hands. When soft,sticky ball of dough is formed,wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  2. To make the crumble,use fingertips to combine the flour,sugar and butter until crumbs form. Refrigerate until needed. Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before using.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease well a springform cake tin. Place the dough in between two pieces of baking paper and roll out the dough thickly,to fit the base and halfway up the side of the tin. Line the base and side of the tin with the dough, then place plums on top,arranging them very close together. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the pums and then sprinkle with vanilla sugar and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the cake is golden on top and cooked through. If unsure, bake for a further 10 minutes. If the sides are browning too fast. Line the sides with aluminium foil.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature with double cream or ice cream.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate truffles

I had some leftover double cream I brought over from Australia nearing it's expiration date so I had to finish it up. Not knowing what to do with the leftover, I thought it would be best if I made chocolate ganache because it was versatile to use. I have been wanting to try my hands on making chocolate truffles. It's fairly easy but having warm hands the chocolate ganache melted rather quickly on my hands while trying to make chocolate balls.

For the ganache
300g double cream
300g milk chocolate,I used Lindt couverture chocolate

150g dark chocolate
coarsely chopped almonds for sprinkling
50g dutch processed cocoa powder

  1. The night before, pour double cream into pan and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes,do not let it boil.
  2. Pour hot cream over milk chocolate and mix until well combined and chocolate is melted.
  3. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Making sure palm of your hands are not warm,take a scoop of harden chocolate ganache onto palm of your hands and roll in into balls. Refrigerate for about an hour or until the balls are harder.
  5. For cocoa powder coated truffles,place a few balls in the bowl of cocoa powder and well coat the truffles.
  6. For dark chocolate coating,temper chocolate by melting half of the chocolate over double boil.Remove from heat,place a few chocolate pieces at a time into the melted chocolate until all chocolate is mixed and melted completely.
  7. Chocolate should be warm not hot. Gently place the remaining chocolate balls into warm tempered chocolate and make sure it is well coated.Remove and place it on baking paper to dry. Sprinkle some almond bits on chocolate coated balls. As many as you like.
  8. Place them in the fridge for another hour and then serve!=) Simple,ain't it?

Double Chocolate cupcakes

It's been really a stressful and tiring week. My laptop for some unknown reason decided to died on me,suddenly after surviving a trojan virus 'infection' a couple of months back when I was still in Sydney. I am normally in KL during the weekends but last weekend I decided to take a break from travelling but boy, was it the longest weekend ever, but I guess it was good to take a break cause I am leaving for Sri Lanka this weekend for 10 days. And then after that,it's Sydney all over again.Gosh I dread going back to my final semester in uni but when you think of it,final semester in uni for my entire life,feels good.I dont have to go back to Sydney for a long time. When Sydney is over,I know Paris is just a corner away.Now I am excited. Somewhere new and different.You dont have to put up with certain people in life you cant avoid.

I have been wanting to bake a batch of cupcakes but never came to a decision to which flavour I wanted to try first.

My bake wishlist - cupcakes:
[x] double chocolate cupcakes
[ ] ispahan (lychees,rose and raspberries)
[ ] red velvet cupcakes
[ ] vanilla cupcakes with swiss meringue frosting

I decided on double chocolate cupcakes because chocolate is universally loved.Why this particular recipe because firstly it is by Donna Hay.Secondly, the blog author made it very convincing that this was the best chocolate cupcakes the author has ever made.I, however, used Lindt dark chocoalate and Van Houten coco powder.

I adapted Donna Hay's double chocolate cupcakes from bossacafez but I doubled the quantity for the cupcakes but I found that the recipe for the buttercream given by bossacafez was sufficient for making two batches of cupcakes.

250g unsalted butter
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2cup cocoa powder
3teaspoon double action baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark chocolate,melted

for the chocolate buttercream frosting:
250g butter
2 cups icing sugar,sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder,sifted
1/4 cup cold milk

  1. In a bowl, soft together the plain flour, cocoa powder & baking powder.
  2. In another bowl,cream butter,sugar & vanilla extract for about 10-12 minutes until pale and creamy. Add in eggs one at a time and continue to beat until well combined.
  3. Add in milk and flour mixture alternately in 3 additions, mixing well in between each addition.
  4. Fold in melted chocolate thoroughly.
  5. Fill cake mixture in cupcake liners until about 2/3 full.Bake in a preheated oven of 160 C for 20 minutes.Leave it cool on wire rack.
  6. To make the chocolate buttercream frosting, cream the butter in bowl for about 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy.
  7. Add the icing sugar,cocoa powder and mik and continue to cream for another 6 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
  8. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.
Before adding the milk, check the consistency of the icing. You want a medium consistency icing for easy piping. If frosting is 'soft', place in the fridge for 15 minutes and whip again. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vegetarian light sugee fruit cake

Sugee (semolina) cake is one of my favourite cakes. I love the simplicity of the cake, especially when a good butter is used. I just found out golden churn is no longer available in Malaysia because it is not halal. Well I never knew only the Muslims used butter,no offence. Now I have to search for a butter of same quality. Simplicity of a good butter based cake always satisfies my cravings for something sweet.

I have been on a search for a good sugee cake recipe besides my maternal grandmother's christmas sugee cake because I didnt want something rich. And tried a really good sugee cake the other day by a good baker in KL but I was a little late in noticing, the cakes were all sold out everywhere.So I decided to bake my own. I finally found a recipe I wanted try out, got dad to get me sugee flour on his way back home and when I was about to make the cake,I found I ran out of eggs, I needed 15 eggs!! I bought 20 eggs over the weekend!!And as of yesterday,Wednesday I ran out of eggs. I went over to my cousins place to 'borrow' a few eggs from them but to no luck, but aunt gave me her own vegetarian sugee cake recipe to try out. I didn't hesitate to take her recipe because I wanted to have some cake to snack on and I didnt have eggs plus I didn't have a proper recipe to rely on.

I did some minor minor changes to the recipe to my liking and it turned out perfect! I dont mean my aunt's recipe had flaws but I used different fruits & nuts to my liking. At first dad was sceptical about a vegetarian cake but when he ate it, he loved it. Now my maid wants to make this cake for her birthday.

Ps:- please excuse the cracks on the cake,I made a mistake of the oven temperature and the oven was very hot for the cake.

250g butter
400g condensed milk
400g hot water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
150g mixed peel
150g yellow raisins
100g cashew nuts

350g sugee flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda bicarbonate
pinch of salt
  • Line a 9 inch square pan with butter and flour and leave aside.
  • Place butter,condensed milk & vanilla essence in a large bowl. Fill empty condensed milk tin with hot water and 'wash' the tin to get the excess off the tin. Pour the water into the large bowl and let butter melt completely and let mixture cool.
  • Add (C) in the butter mixture and stir until combined.Finally add (B) and stir again. Let mixture stand for 45 minutes to let sugee absorb the liquid from the mixture.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 45 minutes or until cake tester come out clean.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hakka Yong Tau Foo

The pictures below were taken a few months ago and I never had the time to post the recipe up.I made this a couple days back for my cousins. Everyone enjoyed even though the soup was a little fishy to their liking.
Adapted from Agnes Chang - Hawker's Delight

For fish mince :-
500g mackerel,ikan tenggiri flesh, (this is how I remove the flesh from the bones of the fish ) bones and skin kept for the stock
100g g tinned bamboo shoots, squeezed dry and diced
assorted vegetables & beancurd for stuffing. ( I had more tau foo because my cousins preferred beancurd)

1tablespoon tapioca flour
1teaspoon salt
3tablespoon water
1/2 white pepper

For stock :-
Bones & skin of fish
100g fermented soya beans (tau cheong)
1 slice ham choy
1 cube ikan bilis (anchovy) stock

Spring onions and fried garlic oil for garnishing

  • For fish stock :- Boil all stock ingredients for 2hours.
  • For mince fish :- Using a pastel & mortar, pound flesh of fish until very fine and a sticky paste is formed.Mix tapioca flour,water,salt & pepper until combined. Slowly add to to fish paste until paste is very sticky.Continue 'pounding' until you get a springy texture.Add bamboo shoots and mix well.
  • Stuff fish paste into your desired vegetables and beancurd.
  • Arrange on steaming tray and steam for 10minutes until cooked.
  • Before serving add steamed stuffed ingredients into stock and bring to boil.Dish into serving bowl, sprinkle chopped spring onions and some garlic oil over and serve hot with some noodles.

Tub Tim Krob (Red rubies with jackfruit in coconut milk)

Happy New Year!!!!!=)

I have unofficially stopped baking for undisclosed period of time because lately nothing I make seems to taste good.Not sure if it's because I dont have a proper kitchen to bake in or what but it's been a disaster in the kitchen. First,my pineapple rolls.It was always a hit. Second, my butter cake was a tad bit dry.Third, my croissant pudding and trifle. So I am taking a break from baking. But surprisingly my cooking skills have improved. I made lamb stew,everyone loved it.I made roast lamb,everyone loved it.I made yong tau foo,the platter finished before I could even eat.Lucky I saved some for the boyfriend. And also the noodles I made for NYE. Weird.I never liked cooking. Usually I go out for NYE but this time I stayed home,had the boyfriend come over to Ipoh and had a rather quiet dinner at home with family & boyfriend. I made a whole lot of dessert for the NYE but to much disappointment nothing worked so I didnt really serve them.

Anyway enough of me ranting over my baking disappointments,my aunt helped me make this dessert for NYE but when we were about to serve it, we realised the coconut milk turned sour, talk about dessert platter disaster on the last day of the year.Bad luck.

Here goes.
Tub Tim Krob - Red rubies in coconut milk syrup

Red rubies - water chestnuts coated in tapioca flour :

10 water chestnuts, peeled and diced into pea size chunks
red food colouring, enough to evenly coat the water chestnuts
4tablespoon tapioca flour

Syrup :
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 pandan leave

Coconut milk :
400 ml coconut milk, we used Ayam brand coconut milk box
300 ml water, we filled the Ayam brand box to 'clean' the box of leftover coconut milk inside the boxes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ice cubes
10 jackfruit bulbs, sliced thinly

  • For the red rubies :- Toss diced water chestnuts with red food colouring until evenly coated. Place coloured water chestnuts into a bowl of tapioca flour and coat well with tapioca flour. Shake excess flour off the coloured water chestnuts. Put floured coloured water chestnuts into a pot of boiling water. Let it boil for about 2minutes or until flour turns translucent and the vibrant colour of the water chestnuts shine through. Remove and drain the water chestnuts.
  • For the syrup :- Boil all ingredients for syrup in pot until fragrant and starts to thicken a little. Remove pandan leave and leave it aside.
  • For coconut milk :- Place all ingredients and bring to a boil then remove from heat. You gotta becareful when it comes to boiling coconut milk because over boiling the coconut milk, will create an oily surface on top.
  • To serve :- Place red rubies,slices of jackfruit, ice cubes, coconut milk & syrup in a bowl. Serve straight away.