Monday, February 18, 2013

Spicy Christmas Cake (Sri Lankan Sugee Fruit cake)Vake - Recipe from Charmaine Solomon

I made this about 3 months ago while baking my diwali cookies & cakes.I made a different fruit cake two years ago with too much alcohol in it. It tasted good in the beginning but as it matured it tasted more of alcohol then the actual fruit cake itself. I still have a little more of the cake which I think I may throw it off.

I allowed this cake to mature for only 3 months before tasting it.I did minimal brushing of alcohol on the cake to avoid overpowering the cake with alcohol. I was a little pessimistic initially because I left the cake unattended without brushing any alcohol like the recipe suggested me to do. Brushing alcohol occasionally over the cake is called the feeding process to allow the cake mature and keep longer. 

Baked on 9/11/12
This recipe is slightly different compared to the usual fruit cakes as this uses semolina flour instead of regular all purpose flour. My maternal grandmother used to make semolina version of fruit cake as well but no alcohol was used in making the fruit cake. She used orange juice instead and allowed the fruits to soak overnight. Very different but delicious. However, my grandmother's semolina fruit cake is a family secret, unfortunately.

Here's the recipe for the Sri Lankan Semolina Christmas Cake:

250g raisins
375g sultanas
250g mixed glace fruits
250g preserved ginger
500g chow chow preserves, you can substitute this with candied chinese melon sticks
125g mixed peel
250g glace cherries
250g raw cashew nuts
100g silved almonds slices
100g macadamia nuts
1/2 cup brandy

Chop all the fruits and nuts. In a large bowl, place all ingredients and pour the brandy in. Mix properly, cover with clingwrap and leave it to soak for 24 hours or up to 48 hours in a cool dark place.

Rind of 2 oranges
Rind of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves/ all-spice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon rose essence
1 tablespoon honey

Mix all spices until well combined.

375g unsalted butter
250g dark muscovado sugar
250g caster sugar
12 egg yolks

250g fine semolina 
6 egg whites

To prepare baking tin:
Line a 10 inch square cake tin with 3 thickness each of newspaper and brown paper then two layers of greaseproof paper. Liberally brush melted butter on greaseproof paper.

Preheat oven at 130 C.Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 
spices (C) into mixture and beat well. Add semolina and mix well. Fold in fruits and nuts (A). Use a big bowl and mix with both hands instead of a spoon or ladle as it is easier. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks and fold into cake batter and turn into prepared tin
Bake for 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours for a very rich and moist cake
Bake for 4 1/2 - 5 hours for a dark but slightly dry cake

Cover cake with greaseproof paper after first hour to prevent over browning on top.

I baked mine for 3 1/2 hours.

Cool completely in tin, preferably overnight then remove papers. Brush cake with alcohol just before wrapping. Then wrap with clingwrap, foil and clingwrap. Store in an airtight container for at least 2 months before cutting the cake.

Red Velvet cupcakes

When my cousin celebrated her sweet 16 last Saturday, it brought myself back to 2005 when I celebrated my sweet 16. A nostalgic feeling. A lot of fond memories. I wish I could turn back time to the days when I used to frequent the library to have 'group studying'. Begged mum to follow me to Jusco to meet someone. Insist I was taken to tuition to meet someone secretly at the nearby snooker centre.  7 1/2 years later, the memories are still fresh in my mind. So near, yet so far. Sometimes I wish I could stop time & never had to grow up.

Anyway, back to my cousin's birthday party. I was asked to bake my cousin's birthday cake for the party. I decided to throw extras in like cupcakes and cake pops. It was an excuse to bake!hehe. 

I will be posting the red velvet cupcakes recipe as I thought it was the best red velvet cupcakes I've ever tasted. I made a red velvet cake last year but this is far the best red velvet recipe. It is light and fluffy with a hint of cocoa and vanilla frosted with a sweet cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes itself wasn't too sweet so the sweet cream cheese frosting complimented the cupcakes.

Birthday cake was a red ombre cake using a white cake recipe frosted with a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

Red velvet cupcakes and cake pops - cupcakes were frosted with a simple vanilla cream cheese frosting and the cake pops were make using the same red velvet cupcakes recipe with cream cheese and coated in white chocolate.

Will post better pictures of the red velvet cupcakes when I bake them again next time!

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook


125g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
2 eggs
20g cocoa powder
1 small bottle (40ml) red food colouring
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1teaspoon baking soda

  1. Make the cocoa paste, Add cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract and mix until it becomes a paste.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs,one at the time.
  4. Add cocoa paste and mix until well combined.
  5. Fold in the flour and salt into the batter alternating with buttermilk in two additions.
  6. In a small bowl, work quickly with baking soda and vinegar mixed together and pour the mixture into the cake batter. Fold until batter is mixed properly.
  7. Pipe batter into cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 10 - 15 minutes in a preheated oven of 170 C.
  8. Remove from cupcake pan immediately after taking the cupcakes out of the oven.
  9. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Cream cheese frosting:

250g cream cheese, softened
600g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Beat cream cheese until fluffy,smooth and free from lumps.
  2. Add icing sugar and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Pipe on cupcakes.


8 years later - 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Caramel cake

This blog post is looooong over due. I was meant to post this up back in November last year but never got around to do. I made this cake for deepavali last year and when I made it the first time it was a major flop because I didn't bake it enough and the caramel did not set. I pretty much only had a colourful chiffon cake without the caramel custard on top. I was determined to make it again so I made another batch just before the party. Dad was yelling at me cause he wanted to clean the kitchen up before guests arrived. I really wanted to make it work. And I succeed. In the beginning I felt the cake a tad eggy to my liking but after a few bites, it was pretty alright. It is best eaten when it's cold,just out from the fridge.

2 tablespoons caster sugar

400ml evaporated milk (1 tin)
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
150g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

70g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
130ml water
50ml cooking oil
140g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 egg whites
70g caster sugar

  1. Preheat oven at 160 C.
  2. To make caramel- sprinkle sugar on a 8x8 square baking pan and caramelise sugar over low heat until sugar turns a golden amber colour.Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make custard-mix all ingredients in a bowl,becareful not to whisk too much and create bubbles. Strain the custard liquid in a mesh sieve. Pour over the caramel in the baking pan. leave aside.
  4. To make chiffon cake- Whisk egg yolks with sugar until fluffy and pale. Add the remaining ingredients one at the time until you have a smooth batter. 
  5. In a separate bowl, Whisk egg whites until fluffy and gradually add caster sugar. Continue to whisk until you have a medium peaks meringue. Weigh meringue in three parts.
  6. To make colourful cake batter, Weigh cake batter into 3 parts and add your desired colours in each bowl and mix until combined. 
  7. Add meringue into all 3 bowls respectively, and fold gently until combined. 
  8. Dollop the coloured batter on each other,alternating the colours. 
  9. Bake for about 1 hour or until the caramel custard is set. Place a foil sheet over cake after 30 minutes of baking time. 
  10. Remove from oven and allow it cool in pan before tilting the pan over to remove cake.
  11. Place in the fridge overnight before serving it cold.