Friday, January 29, 2010

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake




My friend G has came back to Singapore from Sydney to attend his sister's wedding. He arrived yesterday and we are going to meet him and have dinner tonight. I baked him a cake last night intended to give him as a little gift on top of the dinner treat tonight to welcome him back :). Hope he will like the cake.


I had baked 2 cakes, one for G and one brought to office.





I used the previous recipe with modification.

Ingredients Yield 2 cake tins size of 8" x 3.5" x 3"
Mixture ‘A’
300g cream cheese, softened
50g castor sugar
1 egg

1. Beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy
2. Beat in egg until well incorporated and set it aside

Mixture ‘B’
250g butter, softened
165g sugar
4 eggs
4 tbsp cocoa powder
160g self-raising flour
1.25 tsp baking powder
1.25 tbsp chocolate milk

Method:
1. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa together and put aside
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add egg, one at a time and beat until well incorporated into mixture
4. Fold flour mixture and chocolate milk alternatively into egg mixture.
5. To assemble, pour half of mixture ‘B’, then all of mixture ‘A’, then followed by the remaining mixture ‘B’.
6. Bake in preheat oven at 180C for 45-50 min or until skewer comes out clean.

Verdict?
The cake is really very yummy, I have received a lot of compliments from my colleagues and even recieved an order for this cake. :) I am going to bake this cake next month again, that will be for birthday cakes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Non Bake Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake



After knowing that my CEO will be coming back (he is currently based at our HQ) at end of the month, I was thinking should I make him a birthday cake since his birthday is coming too.

For staff in my company that worked for more than 10 years, we have special relationship with our CEO as we used to lunch together every day since there were only 10 over staff then. He was then a Vice President of the oversea business unit that based in Singapore then promoted to President, and finally become CEO 2 years ago. I was hired to be his secretary and worked for about 6 months before I was offered to transfer to work in Marketing Dept and has been working in this company for coming 12 years. And my CEO, he joined this company just 3 months ahead of me. Sometimes think about it, it is really amazing that I have been working in this company for such a long long time, should I be able to retire in this company???? :P

Back to the cake, while I have not decided on baking the cake, my colleague has helped me to make the decision. She told our President about it and he thinks that it is a good idea to give our CEO a surprise, thus my dept has to prepare the mini birthday celebration for him. My intention of making a small birthday cake for him become require a bigger birthday cake since the whole division will be joining in this birthday celebration.



I have been cracking my head since I need to bake him a cake. Chocolate cake forever will not go wrong with it but our division just had a very good chocolate cake from a reputable bakery shop 2 weeks ago for January birthday cake cutting. After much thinking, I decided to go for the non bake cheesecake since the cakes that purchase for our monthly birthday cake cutting are forever baked cakes. And since the whole division will be consuming this cake, I have to ensure that the cake is good enough so I can’t take risk to try on new flavour. Thus I have decided to make the non failure oreo cheesecake since I had received so many good feedback on it. However, since I had made this recipe for so many times, I would like to try something different. So I have decided to add chocolate for the white layer and change the 2 layers of different flavour to another kind of presentation, stealing the idea from here.



I think I really dun have much luck when come into making birthday cake for major event, I will definitely encounter some hiccups.
1st I didn’t know that I have run out of oreo cookies so I have to rush to buy during last min.
2nd even though I have done some calculation and set aside 1 cup of chocolate filling for piping, I realized the chocolate filling seem not sufficient to do the covering after I have placed the oreo cookies filling in the middle. Thus I have to forgo the idea of using the chocolate filling for piping and used it to cover the cake. However the chocolate filling was still insufficient, I still can see the uneven surface due to the oreo cookies filling popping up at the center. I have no choice to add in a layer of chocolate ganache to cover the uneven surface.
3rd I have ran out of the whipping cream so I was so smart to replace partial cream by chocolate milk. I didn’t know this will cause a disaster! When I opened up the cake box while preparing for the mini party, I nearly freaked out because the chocolate ganache has melted and the cake board was covered with the chocolate ganache. The chocolate ganache has melted during the transportation of the cake from my house to office in the morning.



Anyway I am still satisfied with the result although the cake was a bit messy. I was surprised to see the 2 layer of chocolate filling are quite even, which initially I thought the top level will be very thin due to the insufficient chocolate filling. And can you see the melted chocolate ganache, really made the cake so messy :(

I used back the non bake oreo cheesecake recipe with some modification

Biscuit Base:
120 gm oreo cookies - crushed with roller
60 gm melted butter

Mix them together and press into an 9" springform tin. Chill it for minimum 2 hours.

Cream Cheese Filling:
300 gm cream cheese
300 ml whipped cream - whipped till medium peak
55 gm icing sugar
75 ml chocolate milk
1 1/4 tbsp gelatine powder + 80 gm water
10 Oreo cookies - chopped coarsely
80gm chocolate melted

Ganache Topping:
100gm chocolate
60ml whipping cream
40ml chocolate milk

Method:
1. Beat cream cheese with icing sugar till well combined.
2. Add in fresh milk and mix till well combined. Add in gelatine mixture and mix well.
3. Fold in whipped cream and divide the mixture into 1/3 and 2/3 portions.
4. Fold in chopped Oreo cookies into 1/3 portion and pour into a 7" springform tin and set in the refrigerator
5. Fold in 80g melted chocolate into remaining 2/3 portion.
6. When the oreo cookies filling is set, remove from the 7” springform tin.
7. Pour some (I pour 1/3) chocolate filling onto the prepared biscuit base and put in to fridge to set for about 10 mins.
8. Then place the oreo cookies filling in the middle, top up with the balance chocolate filling mixture and smoothen the top. Set in the refrigerator.
9. For chocolate ganache topping: heat up the chocolate milk and whipping cream, add in chocolate and cook till well mix and smooth. Let stand for 5 mins before pouring on top of the cheesecake.
10. Refrigerate cake again for at least 8 hours before slicing. Serve chilled.


Verdict?
The cake has good review even though is a bit messy due to the melted chocolate topping and some had commented that the cake is a bit too sweet but some said is just nice.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Orange Butter Cake



My dear husband is going to pass some stuff to his aunty so I baked this orange butter cake for him to bring to her. Hope she will like the cake.



I baked the cake in 6" cake tin and baked the balance batter into cupcakes for my daughter's teabreak.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Non Bake Kiwi Yogurt Cake



Yesterday was my friend B's birthday so I made her a cake. I wanted to make a different color cake as compared to my previous cakes so I will have various colors of cakes profiles. Since I had just bought some kiwi so I decided to make an ice-cream alike kiwi cake for her. The cake was mixed and matched from various recipes and also with some of my creation :) To my surprise, this cake was a simple and easy cake, it was done up within 1 hr.
I had made a mistake, I should have beat using spactular instead of electric mixer to whisk for the step 2 because using the electric mixer to whisk had created a lot of bubbles where there was lot of holes on the surface of the cake, I belived there will be alot of holes in the cake too :(. I will bear this in mind not to make same mistake in future.


I am not creative at all so I was cracking my head to think about how to decorate the cake with kiwi and finally, I came out this simple deco.


Recipe for 6" cake tin.

Ingredients
crust:

150g digestive and marie biscuits, finely crushed
60g butter, melted

Mix them together and press into an 6" springform tin and chill for minimum 2 hours.

Fillings:
140 mixed fruits yogurt
110ml mixed fruits UHT yogurt drink
165ml non-diary whipping cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp castor sugar
3/4 tbsp gelatin
140ml water
2 kiwi diced
some green coloring

Method:
1. Dissolve gelatin and sugar with water. Set aside to cool.
2. Beat yogurt, UHT yogurt drink and lemon juice until well blended. Add cooled gelatin solution and mix well.
3. Whip the non-diary whipping cream till mousse state.
4. Add the yogurt mixture to the whipped cream and mix well.
5. Take 1/4 portion of the mixture and add some green coloring and mix well.
6. Pour the white mixture onto the cake base.
7. spread around the diced kiwi into the white mixture
8. Pour the green mixture into the white mixture and swirl with a knife through the mixture to create a marble effect.
9 Put in freezer for about two hours or put in the chiller overnight.

Verdict?
B told me this morning that the cake was very yummy, her family finished the whole cake once was sliced.

Baked BBQ Chicken Wing



I baked this recipe again but this time round, I used chicken wings, yummy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pizza






My daughter saw the commercial ad of Pizza Hut from the TV and told me she feel like eating Pizza, so I had promised her that we will have pizza for dinner during the weekend. She asked me to make the pizza myself, so that I don’t need to spend too much $ and can save more $, and she offered her help too so I will not be over tiring. I guess I have been sharing with her too much of cost saving that she is starting to have the concept.


My dear husband had requested to make more so the extra can keep for breakfast the next day so I had increased the ingredients to bake 3 pizzas and I pinched out some dough to make 2 cupcake size pizza for my daughter. I had topped the pizza into 3 flavours, one was all time favourite Hawaiian, one was white button mushroom and sausage and the another one was Triple Meat which included pork ham, chicken ham, Taiwanese sausage and chicken sausage.





My heart was sunken when I was trying to remove the pizza from the parchment paper because the paper was stuck on the pizza that it was hard to remove. I am not sure why this has happened, probably because I didn’t grease the paper? We had to eat the pizza with the trimmed base but luckily that did not affect the taste.


Recipe adapted from Happy Home Baking.

Ingredients: (make two 10" & one 8” pizza & 2 cupcake dough)
375g bread flour
75g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
270ml lukewarm water

Method:
1. Place bread flour, plain flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. Mix well with hand. Make a well in the centre and add olive oil and water. Using your hand, gradually work the ingredients together to form a soft dough.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15mins until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a round ball and place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 1 hr or until double in size.

3. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock it down to release the air. Give it a few gentle kneading. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Shape into three balls, cover loosely with cling wrap and let the doughs rest for about 10mins.

4. Roll or press out each portion to a round and place dough on baking tray lined with parchment paper or on a greased pan.

5. Spread some pizza sauce over the dough to within 1 cm (0.5 inch) of the edge. Arrange a layer of grated cheese (I used grated mozzarella), followed by preferred toppings. Sprinkle the top all over with grated cheese.

6. Bake in a preheat oven at 220 degC for 15-20mins or until the crust has turned golden and the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

Verdict?
The pizza was very delicious although there was small hiccup of the paper stuck to the pizza. My dear husband even commented that it was like real. I told him of course this was a real pizza. So he re-phrased and said it was tasted like pan pizza from pizza hut, if is not better but definitely on par and he asked me does it make me more happy.:) Of course dear, your compliments really made me feel the effort was been paid off. 
I will definate make this again but for next round, I will roll the dough thinner.

Orange Marble Butter Cake



I wanted to bake a marble butter cake so I went through the recipes and decided to try this due to the description of the cake by the blogger.




Recipe from All That Matters with some modification.

Ingredients:
200g Butter
100g Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 Egg Yolk
2 tbsp Fresh milk
a pinch of salt

200g Cake flour
1 tsp Baking powder
* Sift together

3 Egg White
80g Sugar

1 tbsp Cocoa Powder (sifted)
2 tbsp Fresh Milk

*Mix thoroughly, warm up the milk if you find the cocoa powder difficult to dissolve.

Zest of 1 Orange

Method :
1. Beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla essence until light and creamy.
2. Add in the egg yolk one at a time and beat until creamy. Add in evaporated milk.
3. Fold in sifted cake flour and baking powder.
4. Whisk egg white and sugar to a soft peak and fold gently into the creamed butter mixture.
5. Spoon about half of the mixture into a separate bowl. Add in the cocoa mixture and stir well.
6. Stir in the orange zest into the rest of the batter.
7. Drop alternate spoonfuls of mixtures into an 7" round pan. Use a chopstick to pull backwards and forward through the mixture.
8. Bake cake for 1 hour in oven at 180 deg.C or when the skewer comes clean.
9. Turn the cake onto wire rack to cool.

Verdict?
The cake has a weird taste, I do not how to describe the taste but just felt there was a funny taste, my helper shared the same view. I was quite sure the taste was caused by the orange zest, probably the orange was too old, according to my helper the orange has been in the fridge for more than 2 weeks. If is not because of the weird taste, this cake will definitely taste nice as the texture was fine and soft.

Steam Glutinous Rice



This was the 2nd time I cooked this dish, 1st time was cooked at home and the feedback was so good that I decided to cook for my mother at her place. I cooked 500g glutinous rice during 1st time and finished up by 4 adults and 1 child and left a portion for my dear husband’s breakfast. At my mother’s place, I cooked nearly 1.3kg and finished up by 9 adults and 1 child.


Recipe from Held by love, Baked from scatch but I doubled the ingredients.

Ingredients: (for 5-6 pax)
2 tbsp chopped garlic
5 shallots (sliced)
100g dried shrimps (washed) - I soaked for 1 hrs + to soften the dried shrimps a bit
500g Glutinous Rice (soaked overnight) I only soaked for about 10 hrs for 1st time cooking, rice not sticky and a bit chewy, 2nd time cooked soaked overnite for 19 hrs, the rice was soft, very sticky and chewy. Rice texture different depends on the duration of soaking too but both taste yummy
8 pcs preserved Chinese mushrooms (washed and soak overnight to soften, discard stems and sliced) - I just soaked for 2-3 hrs
2 chinese sausage (sliced) (original recipe used 2 of either chinese or taiwan sausage but I increased to more of each since my husband like more "liao")
2 taiwan sausage (sliced) (original recipe used 2 of either chinese or taiwan sausage but I increased to more of each since my husband like more "liao")
350g meat of your choice (original recipe used 100g but I increased to more since my husband like more "liao")
1 cup water (original recipe used the water which soaked the mushrooms with but I used plain water because my helper poured away the mushroom water)

Seasonings:
2 tbsp Dark Soya sauce
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Dark Sweet Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Chinese Rice Wine
2 tbsp chinese cooking wine
some pepper (I did not add pepper during 1st cooking because original recipe did’nt call for it but I added during 2nd cooking and personally I think taste better with pepper because I like the peppery taste)

Garnishes:
Toasted peanuts, spring onions (chopped), red chili (sliced) - I omitted toasted peanuts and chilli

Method:
1. Wash and drained the soaked glutinous rice.
2. Heat up a wok, add in oil, followed by garlic and shallots. Fry for about 2minutes till fragrant.
3. Add in dried shrimps, fry for another 3minutes till nicely golden brown.
4. Add in the meat, sausage and mushroom.
5. Add in Seasoning, followed by rice. Mix.
6. lastly, add in water, Mix and remove wok from the flame.
7. Scoop rice mix into a dish for steaming.
8. Steam over high heat for 20-30 mins, depending on how u prefer your rice, (soft or chewy) (I steamed for about 40 mins)
9. Garnish and serve.

Verdict?
Everyone said the rice was very delicious, my husband likes it very much. My brother commented that the “liao” too much where my husband said was just nice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Christmas Goodies for Y2009





These were the small little Christmas gifts that I prepared for my closed colleagues. I baked 2 cupcakes, one was cream cheese and another one was chocolate lava or molten cake.





Pink Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Ingredients:
(yield about 20 cupcakes)
345 gm butter
100 gm caster sugar
1.5 egg
300 self-raising flour
60 gm toasted ground almond
150 ml fresh milk with some pink coloring

Filling: Mix all the fillings together till smooth.
225 gm cream cheese
3 tbsp caster sugar
150 gm rasins
45 gm whipping cream
1.5 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
1. Cream butter with sugar till creamy.
2. Add in egg and cream till well mixed.
3. Add in self raising flour, ground almond and fresh milk alternately till finished.
4. Prepare cupcake holders. Scoop some batter into cupcake holder then scoop some filling in the center and top up with some batter.
5. Bake at 175C for about 20 mins or till cooked.
6. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Chocolate Lava or Molten Cake
Recipe from Aunty Yochana’s blog.

Ingredients: (yield about 10 cupcakes)
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
130 gm butter
70 gm Sugar
200 gm chocolate - melted
40 gm cake flour
10 gm cocoa powder

Method:
1. Melt chocolate and butter over hot water.
2. Whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar till creamy.
3. Add in melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
4. Sift in flour and cocoa powder and fold in the mixture.
5. Pour into greased cup moulds till 3/4 full. Refrigerate till the chocolate mixture sets.
6. Bake in hot oven at 210C on water bath for 15 mins.

Note: Please do not overbake the cakes otherwise the center will not be flowy.

Verdict?
The cream cheese cupcake is very soft and moist, I love the combination with the cream cheese filling. For the chocolate lava or molten cake, I do not have chance to taste as the bakes were just nice for me to distribute. I will definitely bake both again in future.

Baked BBQ Chicken



I got this recipe from one of the mom's forum so baked the chicken for dinner. The chicken might looked burnt but actually it was not, the color was due to the dark sauces.

Ingredients:
1.4 kg Chicken
6 cloves garlic and 2 slices of ginger - pounded together
6 tbsp oyster sauce
6 tbsp sweet soya sauce
4.5 tbsp chilli sauce
4.5 tbsp tomato sauce

Method:
1. Mix all ingredients together and marinate for overnite or at least 4 hours.
2. Bake in pre-heat oven at 180C for 45 mins to 1 hr or till cooked. You have to turn the chicken over half way through the oven depending on your oven. I used rotisserie function to bake the chicken.

Verdict?
The chicken is very tasty and delicous and me, my dear husband and my helper finished the whole chicken :) I will definately bake again.

Non Bake Serradura Cheesecake




My friend C has invited a few of us to his house for bbq. I made him a birthday cake since his birthday is just 2 days after the bbq. After flipping through all the recipes, I had decided to make him a non bake Serradura Cheesecake. This was because I can only arrive Singapore in the afternoon due to my oversea trip and non bake cheesecake is the easiest, I do not need to wait for the cake to cool down before doing all the frosting and decoration. And for this non bake cheesecake, I can just do a simple decoration by dusting cocoa powder on the top and decorate with some strawberries.





For this bbq, we had been asking C to host it at his house for long long time and finally his invitation arrived. I prefer to gather at his house because it is more convenience for me to travel, I stay at East, he stay at Northeast and most of them, stay at West. (what a selfish brat :P)

When his reminder email of the bbq came in, I was in KL. I opened his email and saw this :

Hi All,

Looking forward to see you all at the BBQ tomorrow. Hope all of you will enjoy it! Though this is the first time I organise a bbq, my wife and I have lots of fun planning :))

See ya !


^Menu^

Starter
Mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes, Japanese cucumber with Italian or Japanese sesame dressing

Entree

Meat
Chargrilled Wagyu ribeye Grade 9, 2 cm thick
Chargrilled Wagyu striploin Grade 9, 2 cm thick
Chargrilled Angus ribeye, 2 cm thick
Chargrilled Japanese Black pork with two type of marination

(Steak seasoned with sea salt & black pepper or Lawry's unique seasalt/crack pepper seasoning)

Seafood
Japanese XL scallop
Prawns
Cod fish (for children in case they dont want meat)
Lightly seared salmon

Sides
Grilled zuchini, mixed bell peppers, Shitate mushroom, sweet corn on the cob, sweet potatoes

Beverage
Evian, coke, coke zero, sprite, wine

Sweet Ending
Japanese Mochi , Japanese Honey drew Ice cream, Strawberries, grapes and apples


***********

I was thinking, hmmm... did I see the correct email? I rubbed my eyes again, still the same message. Is this bbq? why no satay, no otak, no chicken wing? I meant most of the bbq we go will definately come with all these food right? Looking at the menu,wagu beef, angus ribeye, XL scallop, salmon, cod fish.... should I wear nice dinner dress to attend? Ha ha ha.









Well, this bbq was really an eye opener for me, C even got a chef friend to help to bbq for us. Basically, we were just like kings and queens, sat down there kept eating and drinking and chatting without even need to move our butts, the food just served right infront to us.



My dear husband even told me this was the 1st bbq he never sweat at all. Of course lah my dear, you don't need to lay a finger to bbq the food what!


Super Chef W bbq-ing for us



What's more, we even packeted the unfinished food back. When my MIL and helper saw the price tag on the packed 4 slices of angus beef, their eyes nearly pop out! The cost of that angus beef was S$80+ and my friend J brought home 4 slices of wagu beef which cost $200+. And there were somemore that brought home by the other friends. OMG, our eyes all laying around the floor.



I never had such wonderful and enjoyable bbq before. Not only the sumptuous food, and of course the companions as well.

Thank you C, all of us had enjoyed the bbq so much, we are still drooling when think about the food especially wagu beef even so long after the bbq. You really set such high standard and what should we expect for our next bbq :P And of course so pai sei to let you spent so much $, we all know you had spent over S$1k on this bbq for just only 12 pax. Again, thank you so much!
And not forgetting our super chef W, for bbq the food for us and also sharing with us all the tips to cook steak, cod fish and salmon.

So C, when is the next bbq? hee hee hee...

Recipe for the cake :

Crust
100g oreo biscuit (crushed)
3-4 tbsps melted butter

Ingredients (for 7”)
220g cream cheese
220ml whipping cream
1 3/4 tbsps (25gm) icing sugar
2 1/3 tsps lemon juice
1tbsps gelatine powder + 2 tbsps (56ml) water
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
4 1/2 tbsps honey
1/2+ cup Marie biscuit crumbs
1/2+ digestive biscuit crumbs
125gm chocolate melted

Method
1. To make the crust, mix the marie biscuit crumbs with the melted butter. Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom of the round cake mould and freeze in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
2. Beat the whipping cream until stiff. Set aside.
3. Mix the gelatine powder with water and mix well. Heat it over a pot of simmering water until the gelatine dissolves.
4. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat well.
5. Add lemon juice and gelatine solution. Mix well.
6. Fold in whipped cream and divide mixture into 3 portions.
7. Fold in 100g melted chocolate into 1 portion.
8. Fold in honey and vanilla essence into the other 2 portions.
9. Pour in the chocolate portion into the chilled oreo biscuit base and put into the fridge to let it set..
10. Sprinkle a generous layer of digestive biscuit crumbs on top.
11. Split the white portion into half and pour over the crumbs. Level it and put into the fridge to let it set..
12. Sprinkle a layer of Marie biscuit crumbs over the cheese filling.
13. Add other half of white batter, top with spoonfuls of remaining chocolate batter, swirling to marble patterns
14. Sprinkle another layer of mixed digestive & marie biscuit crumbs and top with chopped walnuts or coca powder.
15. Chill overnight.
16. To serve, run a knife along the sides of the cake, unmould, and slice.

Verdict?
Due to the short period of freezing the cake, the cake was a bit messy after unmould. And C's helper listened to wrong instruction and did not put the cake in the freezer. Luckily the look doesn’t affect the taste, everyone has high comment on the cake. C's wife kept telling me that the cake look like bought from 5 star hotel :), she is really good at complimenting.

Non Bake Rum & Raisins Cheesecake



This was the birthday cake that I made for my sister’s boyfriend. I had been cracking my head to decide what to bake for him, flipped through so many times of all the recipes, shortlisted many recipes but still cannot make up my mind. As I still have more than 1kg of cream cheese in the fridge and will be expired in 2 months time, thus I decided to make a cheesecake for him.
After reading through all the cheesecake recipes, I still can't find the recipe that I want. Finally I saw the non bake Baileys Cheesecake recipe from Aunty Yochana's blog, as I do not have baileys at home so I replaced with rum.

I am not sure will this cake be too plain with only rum, thus I have added in raisins since I have soaked 1 big tub of raisins sometimes ago that I intended to use to bake fruit cake. Not sure what will be the end result but as I like the rum & raisins ice cream from Anderson, thus I have decided that this combination should be nice too :P.



The marble swirls was not really visible cos the melted chocolate became chocolate paste which was hard to make the swirls. And also due to I have misread the recipe thus I have left only 1 tablespoon of chocolate batter which was insufficient.



Recipe taken from Aunty Yochana's blog with some modification to fit 6” cake tin.

Base:
3 small pack oreo biscuits, crushed finely
30-40g butter, room temperature

Filling:
190g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
40 - 50ml Rum
190ml whipping cream
1/3 cup caster sugar
3/4 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup hot water
1 1/3 tbsp gelatine powder
50g raisins soaked with rum (I have soaked for a few weeks)

Swirl:
1 tbsp butter
50g dark chocolate

Method:
For base
combine crushed oreo biscuits and butter together in a mixing bowl. With the back of a spoon, press and smooth evenly the biscuit crumbs onto the base of 6-inch springform pan. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before you get on with the filling.

For Filling
1. Measure water into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin (without stirring with a spoon). Set aside to allow the gelatin grains to swell (10 mins) before setting the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Stir with a spoon and once the gelatin melts, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering hot water
3. In your mixer, whip cream till stiff peaks form, chill.
4. In a mixer (no need to wash after whipping cream) , cream the cheese and sugar on high speed till smooth, beat in lemon juice and vanilla and follow by gelatine mixture.
5. Fold in whipped cream and mix well.
6. Remove tin from freezer and pour about 1/4 of batter into chocolate mixture, stir to mix.
7. Mix in rum & raisins with white batter.
8. Pour about half of white batter into tin, add 3/4 of chocolate batter, swirl to combine.
9. Add other half of white batter, top with remaining chocolate batter, swirling to marble patterns.
10. Chill overnight.
11. To serve, run a knife along the sides of the cake, unmould, and slice.

Verdict?
Most of them commented that the cheesecake is very delicious except my dear princess, she refused to eat after one mouth because of the rum. I think that the rum taste slightly heavy but others said it was just nice. For my taste bud, I will surely reduce the rum if making this cake again in future.

2 -Tier Princes Castle Birthday Cake




I have promised to bake a Princess Birthday Cake for my daughter to celebrate her birthday in her school. Initially I was thinking of baking a strawberry sponge cake since she likes pink and decorated by using the edible icing image printed with Disney Princess picture. I changed my mind after my friend B had offered to lend me the princess castle cake decoration kit that she had bought from ebay for her daughter’s birthday, so kind of her.


This cake was a nightmare for me, it took me more than almost 20+ hrs to complete. I started the baking on Sun morning 10am+ and finished the decorated on Mon morning 6am+, I didn’t sleep the entire night :(

I met a lot of obstacles when baking this cake such as need to re-bake the cakes due to cake deflated and changed to another recipe last min, the lower tier cake didn’t raise as what I have expected so the cake is not tall enough to hide the the tab of the castle tunnel, insufficient of whipping cream that I am not able to layer the cakes to increase the height, pink chocolate ganache cannot be harden at all, it was so watery that I was not able to frost the cake, running out of pink chocolate to make additional ganache to cover the flaw of the cakes, the cake has to be in and out the fridge for many many many times after each coasting of the thin pink chocolate ganache, didn’t expect the difficulty of stacking the 2 cakes together after frosting (I need another person to help but it was after midnight so I was alone struggling) and many many others that I can’t recall right now.


All these hiccups had made me so discouraging that I almost give up this cake. I had to bite my teeth, swallow my tears to carry on as I cannot afford to let my daughter go to school without a birthday cake as I have made all the arrangement with school, I can’t bear to see her disappointed face as well. And worst, I do not have any back up plan (I was really too confidence on myself that I didn’t think there will be any hiccup or failure), I cannot buy another cake at store because it was after midnight and the cake need to be in school by 8am.

Anyway I was so glad that I finally made it and the teachers were so impressed with the cake, they cannot believe that I made it myself .Well, all these praising and compliments make me carry on with my baking. :)

Princess Pink Forest Castle Cake



I intend to bake a black forest cake for my friend S which is her favourite cake. I have phobia on baking sponge cake as the 3 times I baked, only 1 time had success because I always over folded the batter and caused the cake to be deflated. I have to throw away the failed cake although my helper helped me to finish the partial cake as she claimed that the cake is still nice although the texture is more dense.

I have no confidence to bake sponge cake until I saw the chocolate sponge cake in Kitchen Corner. I was attracted by how spongy the cake is when she pressed on the cake. And she had mentioned that the method from the video clip was quite simple as she do not need to fold in the flour gently and carefully which this is the step that I always failed. So I decided to give the recipe a try and the cake was baked successfully. Although the cake’s appearance doesn’t look as good as Kitchen Corner but I was very happy with the result. The cake was so spongy and I have fun pressing it.


I have to change my plan because after saw the picture of the Princess Castle Cake that I have baked for my daughter, S had kept asking me whether can make one for her during her birthday as she never has a Princess Cake before.
I have phobia due to the bad experiences encountered during baking the Princess Castle Cake for my daughter, thus I was really hesitated to bake one for S. But I want to grant S’s wish as well so I came out this simple castle cake which I do not need to spend as much times and effort as my previous although this cake also took up a lot of my time to assemble it.

I took 2 days to finish the cake, 1st day to bake the sponge cake and next day to assemble the cake. I sliced the cake into 3 layers and filled the layers with pink whipped cream and canned pitted sweet cherries and frosted the cake with pink whipped cream.


S was super happy and went around showing people of her 1st Princess Castle Cake. 

Ingredients list for the Chocolate Sponge Cake is from Kitchen Corner and the method was translated from the

Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes



My dd had been requesting for the rainbow cupcake that I have baked for her before. Since she always hunt for food and cakes are better than tibits, I had baked for her again. I had baked non-color version for adult consumption and also additional to give away to her friend.




Recipe taken from Held by Love, Baked from Scatch with some modication.

Ingredients:(Makes 26)
195g cake flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
195g cream cheese, at room temperature
200g butter, at room temperature
150g castor sugar
1 whole lemon grated lemon rind
3 eggs, at room temperature
1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon evaporation milk
food colouring

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 175 Degree C and line muffin pan with paper cups.
2. Sift cake flour, baking soda and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and creamy for 8-10 minutes.
4. Add castor sugar and continue to mix until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
6. Stir in lemon rind and lemon juice and lastly the evaporation milk.
7. Finally, fold in sifted flour into mixture.
8. Separate the batter according to the number of food colouring you have, and add in the food colouring. Spoon a bit of each different coloured batter into each muffin cup, until about 3/4 full.
9. Bake for 20 – 25mins or till an inserted skewer comes out clean.
10. Remove the pan from the oven. Rest for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pan. Cool on wire rack.

Verdict?
I love these!! Compared to the 1st time that I have baked, the cupcakes are more soft and moist even for those rainbow version which need a lot more folding to mix well the coloring, probably because I have added evaporation milk. Definitely a keeper!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake



I have more than 1kg of cream cheese to clear, so I searched through my recipe to find some cheesecake to bake. Finally this chocolate cheesecake caught my eyes because in my recipe folders, the same recipes posted by many different bloggers and all of them gave good comments on this cake.




Ingredients
Mixture ‘A’

250g cream cheese, softened
60g castor sugar (I reduced to 50g)
1 egg

1. Beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy
2. Beat in egg until well incorporated and set it aside

Mixture ‘B’
180g butter, softened
150g sugar (I reduced to 130g)
3 eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder
120g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

Method:
1. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa together and put aside
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add egg, one at a time and beat until well incorporated into mixture
4. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture.
5. To assemble, pour half of mixture ‘B’, then all of mixture ‘A’, then followed by the remaining mixture ‘B’.
6. Bake in preheat oven at 180C for 45-50 min or until skewer comes out clean.

Verdict?
The cake is very delicious. I was very surprised that ingredients for the chocolate cake portion are so simple but the result is so good, the chocolate cake is so moist, fluffy and soft. With the cheese mixture added, this chocolate cheesecake is very yummy and rich, although is sinful but I can’t stop eating. My colleagues and family love the cake, even my dh who is not a cheese person, commented that the cake is delicious.

Devil’s White Out Chocolate Cake



When I saw this Devil’s White out Chocolate cake at Happy Home Baking, I have decided to bake this cake for my eldest niece's birthday. The original recipe is from the book of Dorie Greenspan : Baking from my Home to Yours, the cake look so gorgeous and delicous.

I didn’t use the cake crumbs to decorate the cake as I think it will be too challenging for me. Thus, I have made the chocolate ganache to pour onto the cake that frosted with whipped cream. Probably due to the ganache was not cool enough during the pouring, some area of the whipped cream on the cake had just melted away which created funny shape of the cake. Well, what else can I blame, my frosting and pipping skill still no improvement :(

Recipe taken from NPR with the conversion of the ingredients and also some modification as I used only a 7” cake tin to bake, I baked the balance batter into cupcakes for my daughter’s tea break.

Ingredients:
200gm all-purpose flour
60gm cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons or 142gm butter, at room temperature
100gm light brown sugar
115gm sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
57gm bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
120ml milk, at room temperature
120ml boiling water
115gm chocolate chips

Method:
1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder..
2. Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.
3. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla; don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.
6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate.
7. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably.
8. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate.
9. Pour the batter into cake tin and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.
10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
11. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don't worry if the tops have a few small cracks.
12. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners.
13. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)
14. When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them.
15. With the same knife, slice the cake into 3 layers and frost with whipped cream and chocolate ganache..

Verdict?
I will bake this cake again since I have no chance to taste the cake. For the next baking, I want to take the challenge using cake crumbs to decorate the cake.

Strawberry Yogurt Cake



When I saw the picture of Peach & Mango Yogurt Cake from Happy Home Baking, I have decided that I want to try this recipe for the next birthday cake. And the next birthday happened to be my MIL’s birthday. However due to her diabetic, she try to avoid to consume any mango. Thus I have changed flavour to strawberry since she likes pink color too.


I have spent a lot of times making this cake. I started to bake the cake at evening and finished assembled the cake the next day morning. I met some obstacles when making the cake that was why took up a lot of the times.


I think I have over folded the batter that caused the deflated of the sponge cake so I have no choice to re-bake the sponge cake. Luckily due to my super careful of every step and ensured do not fold too long of the batter, the sponge cake was successful during 2nd baking.
To assemble the cake, I have to wait for the sponge cake to cool down which I have to wait till about 11pm although I used the high speed fan to blow on the cake. The preparation for the filling was also very time consuming as I need to whip the cream, cook the gelatine, blend the strawberry and yogurt etc. I have also miscalculated the filling which was only sufficient for 2 layers cake and the center layer filling was very thin.
As usual, my decoration skill didnt help to make the cake look more beautiful.


Recipe from Happy Home Baking with some modification.

Ingredients: (makes one 6”cake)
For the Sponge Cake:
100g cake flour
3 eggs, room temperature
90g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:
250g fresh strawberry
50g caster sugar
150g Strawberry flavour yoghurt
300ml non-dairy whipping cream
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
3 tablespoons (45ml) water

Method:
To make the Sponge Cake:
1. Sift cake flour, set aside. Line the sides and bottom of a 6 inches round cake tin with parchment paper, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.
2. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7 mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like trail when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
3. Add sifted cake flour into the batter in 3 separate additions. Gently fold in the flour with a spatula each time the flour is added. Take care not to deflate the batter.
4. Add the melted butter, fold with spatula until well blended
5. Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula.
6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30~35 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, remove parchment paper and let cool completely.

To make the Filling:
7. Measure water into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin (without stirring with a spoon). Set aside to allow the gelatin grains to swell (10 mins) before setting the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Stir with a spoon and once the gelatin melts, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside to cool to room temperature.
8. Blend strawberry, sugar, yoghurt until the mixture becomes smooth.
9. With an electric mixer, whisk non-dairy whipping cream till stiff. Fold in the whipped cream to the strawberry mixture. Blend thoroughly.
10. Add in the gelatin solution to the mixture, mix well.

To assemble:
11. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 layers.
12. Place one layer of the sponge cake in an 7” round pan with a removable base (or use a cake ring or springform pan). Spread about 1/3 of strawberry filling on the sponge layer. Repeat with the second layer of sponge cake, followed by the filling. Place the last layer of sponge cake and spread the remaining filling on the surface evenly. Gently tap/bang the pan on the table to remove any empty air pockets in between the sponge layers and the filling. Leave the cake to chill in the fridge for at least 3 ~4 hours.
13. Remove cake from fridge, unmold and decorate as desired.
14. Keep the cake in the fridge before serving.


Verdict?
The cake tasted like ice cream cake, very yummy. I will definitely make the original version, probably for my mother during her birthday.

Orange Cream Cheese Cupcakes



I have seen the beautiful colorful cupcakes in some recipes so decided to bake some for my dd. I have flipped through all my cupcake recipes and decided to use the Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes from Held by Love, Baked from Scatch because the comment for this cupcake is so good. I do not have any lemon left so I replaced by orange and double the ingredients to bake some non-colorful version for my colleagues and also to bring to my mum’s place.









Recipe taken from Held by Love, Baked from Scatch with some modication.

Ingredients:
260g cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
260g cream cheese, at room temperature
270g butter, at room temperature
200g castor sugar
1 whole orange grated rind
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoon orange juice
food colouring

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175 Degree C and line muffin pan with paper cups.
2. Sift cake flour, baking soda and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and creamy for 8-10 minutes.
4. Add castor sugar and continue to mix until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
6. Stir in orange and orange juice.
7. Finally, fold in sifted flour into mixture.
8. Separate the batter according to the number of food colouring you have, and add in the food colouring. Spoon a bit of each different coloured batter into each muffin cup, until about 3/4 full.
9. Bake for 20 – 25mins or till an inserted skewer comes out clean.
10. Remove the pan from the oven. Rest for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pan. Cool on wire rack.

Verdict?
Probably I have over folded the batter due to the adding of colors, the rainbow cupcakes turned to be slightly dry. Everyone can't taste the cream cheese, most thought it was just a orange cupcake. Anyway the non-colorful version are nice, soft and fluffy, will definitely bake again.

Non Bake Oreo Cheesecake III



My SIL had invited us to her house for dinner, although she said was just a simple dinner no special occasion but I suddenly remember that should be my nephew N's birthday. Although we cannot make it for the dinner as we have arranged other appointment but I rushed back home at night to make him the Non Bake Oreo Cheesecake and brought to him the next morning.

Well, Non Bake Oreo Cheesecake again! But since this is guarantee recipe and I have shortage of time and also I am sure most children will like such cake. And I am right, he likes it so much so that he has asked me to make again for him next time :)

I didnt do any decoration for the cake because of insufficient time and also due to my lousy decoration skill so I decided that probably the cake will look nicer if is clean from my decoration :P My SIL said the cake looks like store bought, she even suggested that we shoud open shop together, I in charge of dessert and she in charge of mee siam - her mee siam is the best, so much yummy than those sell in stores.

Non Bake Ribena Marble Cheesecake



I always wanted to make a cake for the 3 lovely girls from my department as I am very appreciated for their full support along the years. When I saw this Non Bake Ribena Marble Cheesecake from Happy Home Baking, it had caught my attention. I love the color of the cake as well as the swirl pattern. As my 3 girls are very pretty and sweet, this cake is so suitable as a belated birthday cake for them, I am sure they will love it. I am really very glad and appreciate for having them to work as a team.



Recipe is from Happy Home Baking but I have scale down the ingredients for my 6” cake tin and made some modification.

Ingredients
crust:

100g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
40-50g butter, melted

Filling:
75ml water
15g gelatin powder
190g cream cheese, soften at room temperature
50g caster sugar
190g Whipping Cream
75ml Ribena juice

Method:
1. To make the crust, combine crushed digestive biscuits and melted butter together in a mixing bowl. With the back of a spoon, press the biscuit crumbs onto the base of the prepared pan. Chill in the freezer compartment for at least 1 hour.
2. Filling: Measure water into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin (without stirring with a spoon). Set aside to allow the gelatin grains to swell (10 mins) before setting the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Stir with a spoon and once the gelatin melts, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. In your mixer, whip cream till stiff peaks form, chill.
4. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add in the gelatin solution and beat till the mixture turns smooth.
5. Fold in the whipped cream and mix well
6. Divide mixture evenly into two bowls (about 1 cup each). Add 75ml of Ribena into one of the bowls and mix well with a spatula. (the ribena that my FIL bought is very watery, thus the ribena mixture turned out to be very very pale, even though I added in another 50ml of ribena still cannot really differentiate the 2 different mixtures. Thus, I have to add in some pink coloring into the ribena mixture as I do not have purple coloring)
7. Spoon the two mixtures in alternate blobs into the chilled crust. Level top and swirl with a knife through the mixture to create a marble effect. (I have swirl too much and the 2 mixtures blend together, thus the marble effect is not visible )
8. Refrigerate until set.


Verdict?
I have no chance to taste the cake because I went for my business trip after passed them the cake. According to them, the cake is very fragrant and they thought is strawberry cheesecake instead of Ribena :P and the cake is yummy accept a bit hard (they meant too rubberized). Probably is due to the high amount of gelatine. I was skeptical when I saw the recipe calling for 20ml of gelatine, because my previous Non Bake Oreo Cheesecake only require 1 tablespoon (10ml) for the same size of cake. As I was new in baking, so even I have doubts, I still went ahead to follow the recipe. May be this is also due to I have replaced the yogurt with whipped cream because I have misread the recipe again :P.
I will still make this cake again in future since I have not yet taste the cake but I will reduce the amount of gelatine power.

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