Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cream Cheese & Mixed Fruits Butter Cake



Dear husband prefer fruit cake than other cakes, he has asked me to bake this cake for him to bring for his office. However from my understanding, not everyone appreciate fruit cake and I am one of them :p. Thus I was hestitated to bake it cos I prefer to bake something that is likeable by majority.



But since dear husband seldom send in his request so I die die must bake one for him.
I decided I shall bake a different kind of fruit cake and I remember I ever attracted by the photo of the cream cheese fruits cake from Aunty Yochana. I like cheese so I trust that fruit cake should be more yummier if add with cream cheese and will not as dry as traditional fruit cake.


Recipe modified from Aunty Yochana.

Ingredients: (for one 8" x 3.5" x 3" & one 7" cake tin)
190g butter
190g cream cheese
250g castor sugar
5 eggs
300g Cake flour ) sifted together
1.5 tsp baking powder )
250g Mixed fruits - soaked overnight with 2 Tbsp. Rum/brandy/Kirsch (I soaked mine with rum for many months)

Method:
1. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together till creamy.
2. Add in eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition to prevent curdling.
3. Mix 4 tbsp of the sifted flour with the mixed fruits to prevent the fruits from sinking.
4. Fold in sifted flour and then add in the mixed fruits.
5. Pour mixture into a 7" square tin and bake in preheated oven at 175C for about 45 mins. or until cooked.
6. Remove from oven and leave to cool on the wire rack.

Verdict?Dear husband and his colleagues said the cake is good, they commented that the cake has strong butter taste but they can't taste any cheese in it. Dear husband said the outer layer of the small cake was a bit dried probably due to over baking but luckily the inner was still moist and soft.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dulce De Leche Mousse Cake



I was so busy this week that I didn't manage to post this up earlier. Well I admit I was lazy too, I have no issue of writting the post but the transferring, selecting, editing and uploading of photos caused the delayed.

When I made the Dulce de Leche, I had set my mind to make this cake for Father's Day. I baked the sponge cake on Friday night and assembled the cake on Saturday night.

I was quite afraid initially cos I have no confidence on baking sponge cake since my folding of batter still sucks. I even considered to use my all-time favourite chocolate sponge cake recipe instead so that I can ensure the success. However, I dropped the idea at the end and went ahead with the cinnamon sponge cake. I told myself I have to overcome my phobia and try other recipe, practise more until I have no problem with sponge cake.



I was very careful when folding the batter, I followed both the method from Wendy and Technicolor Kitchen. I was not sure whether did I overmix the batter, I was not sure whether did I take longer time to fold, I was not sure whether did I deflate the batter when seeing bubbles bursting while folding.... there were so many uncertain while folding the batter. When I sent the cake batter in to the oven, I was worried, I kept praying that the cake will raise when baking. I was so happy when seeing the cake raised double the height in the oven, I can only relief during that moment :P.

Everything went smoothly when baking the sponge cake but not when preparing the Dulce de Leche cream the next day, I guess is true that is not a good time to make a cake when not feeling well. I was actually having headache since afternoon but I still have to finish the part II of cake making. I started making the DDL cream at 11pm+ after I came back from my mum's place for the weekly visit.


I am not sure what and where went wrong, I was not able to beat the cream till stiff. I followed the instruction of adding the gelatin to the cream after the soft peak. However, after about 10 mins (or longer? I am not sure since I didn't monitor the time, just felt the beating seem very long) of beating the cream didn't reach stiff stage but turned a bit watery instead. I beat for another few mins but the cream became more watery that I was so afraid the same incident will occur, the cream will be curdled like my previous experience so I stopped the beating.


I kept thinking what should I do, at the end I decided to make it a mousse cake instead. Thus I placed 1 slice of the sponge cake which I had sliced into 3 earlier into the cake pan. I divided the cream into 3 portion and pour 1 portion onto the cake pan and sent in to the fridge to let it set. While waiting for it to set, I suddenly worried that the gelatin is not sufficient for mousse to set since is only 2/3 tsp so I boiled another 1 tsp gelatin powder and added into the remaining cream.


When I brought out the cake pan from the fridge after 1/2 hr, placed in 2nd slice of sponge cake and pour in the 2nd portion of cream, I realised that the cake pan is not able to accomodate for 3 portion of cream :( so I just went ahead to freeze the 2 layer cake. Stupid me forgot about my earlier worried of the cake not able to set due to insufficient gelatin until the next day when I wanna deco the cake. The top layer of mousse was set nicely but the bottom layer was so soft and started to melt even just out from freezer for awhile. I nearly wanna scream out why I am so suay (unlucky in dialect)!

What should I do? I have 2 choices, one was to discard this failed cake and re-bake another one which I have no engery to do that. 2nd choice was to out source, purchase from the store which I am not so willing. Hey, everyone know I am making the cake and at the end, the cake become store-bought, no face right? :p. I decided to try to salvage the situation by removing the bottom layer away and just use the top layer of the cake. I managed to get it done although was not easy and it yield a short and uneven cake :(. I cracked my brain to think of how to cover the flaw of the cake and I was lucky enough that I have sponge fingers to cover the side of the cake, I dusted the top with cocoa powder and deco with some blueberries.



This is not a perfect cake but at least I had tried my best, dear husband appreciated a lot :).

Recipe from Technicolor Kitchen through A Table for Two or more with some modification.

Ingredients :
Cinnamon Sponge Cake :
(6" cake & 5 cupcakes)
5 eggs
135g brown sugar
142 g cake flour
38g butter, melted
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 tsp cinnamon powder

Method :
1. Preheat oven at 180C and line the bottom of the cake pan with baking paper.
2. In a large heatproof bowl, beat the eggs lightly.
3. Gradually whisk in the brown sugar.
4. Set over a pot of barely simmering water and whisk constantly until the brown sugar dissolves and the mixture warms to body temperature.
5. Remove from the heat and, with an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until the mixture holds slowly dissolving ribbons when the beaters are lifted.
6. Put the flour and cinnamon in a sifter and sift about 1/3 over the top of the eggs. Gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Repeat 2 more times with the remaining flour, folding only until mixed, with no trace of flour.
7. Mix vanilla with butter. Take a few table spoons of batter and put into the butter mixture. Stir to combine, no need to be gentle.
8. Pour the butter batter to the flour batter and fold with a rubber spatula, taking care not to deflate the batter or to leave pockets of butter not folded in.
9. Pour into prepared pan and once the pan goes into the oven, close the door and adjust temperature to 160C. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.
7. Remove the cake from oven and let it cool completely in the pan. Run a blunt knife around the edge of the cake to release it from the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack and carefully peel off the paper.

* I will reduce to 4 eggs recipe if is for 6" cake pan cos 5 eggs recipe yield a tall 6" cake and 5 cupcakes.

Dulce De Leche Mousse :350ml whipping cream, cold
200g dulce de leche, cold (I increased the DDL cos to use up the balance from my previous baked)
1 2/3 tsp gelatin
2 tbsp water

1. Double boil gelatin and water until melted. Or u can use microwave. Leave to cool.
2. Put dulce de leche into mixing bowl and put in a bit of cream. On low speed, mix to combine, adding more gradually. When all the whipping cream has been added in, turn to high speed and beat until soft peaks.

* for 6" cake, 2/3 of the ingredient is more than enough.
* 200g DDL is too much unless you have very sweet tooth, I think 140g - 150g should be good enough.

Verdict?
The cake is rich and creamy with strong taste of DDL, very yummy although too sweet for me, must be due to the increased of DLL :p. The cake tasted like ice cream since I freezed it, of course it can't beat Haagen Daz DDL ice cream but is already good enough for my family. Everyone gave compliments on the cake and Dear husband said it tasted like cheesecake, my sister and dear daughter loves the cake. Definately a keeper.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dulce De Leche Pound Cake



Ever since I saw the Dulce De Leche Cake from A Table of 2 or more, I am curious about the taste of Dulce De Leche (I am so suaku (country bumpkin in dialect - Hokkein) that I have no idea whether I have eaten this before or not :P) and the way Wendy described it and also everyone were raving about it from Technicolor Kitchen (the original contributor) making me wanting to bake this cake.

When I was in Taipei, boss of one of the distributor treated us Haagen Dazs Ice Cream after one of the lunch with him. While I was choosing the flavour of ice cream, I saw Dulce De Leche. Without any hesitation, I got this flavour. I fall in love with it immediately after the 1st spoon of ice cream went into my mouth.


When back in Singapore, I kept thinking about Dulce De Leche. I was wondering which simple and straight forward cake that I can bake with it instead of this cake which I am planning to bake during Father's Day. After much using my brain power, I recalled that I had saw the condensed milk pound cake from All That Matters before and she had good comments on it. Since Dulce De Leche is made from condensed milk so I reckon I can replace condensed milk by using Dulce De Leche.



I remember there are a few cans of condensed milk at home so I went ahead to make it by referring how to make dulce de leche from A Table for 2 or more.


I do not wanna just make one can as the simmering process require 3 hours which very gas and time consuming so I put in 4 cans as what the pot can accommodate and also since I had enough stock at home.


I took around 4 hours instead of 3 hours cos I only found out that my FIL had switched off the gas when I went to check the water level :(. Since I was not sure when did he off it so I just extended the simmering for another hr.



I baked the cake the next day since I need to wait for the Dulce De Leche to completely cool down before I can open the can. After put in the batter to the oven, I went to do my other stuff and didn't check on the cake until I heard the "ting" sound from the oven after an hour of baking. The kitchen was full of the aroma of Dulce De Leche, the smell is so wonderful :). I was so happy until saw a bit charred on the top edge and small area of center of the cake :(. I had overbaked the cake, my oven must be too hot that it took less than the time stated in the recipe to bake the cake. Next time I must remember to always monitor the cake when baking.

How to make Dulce De Leche :
There are a few method according to Wendy's researched as follows :

Method (A)
Milk , sugar, baking soda and maybe some flavourings like vanilla or cinnamon.
1. Traditional simmering
2. Slow Cooker

Method (B)

Opened can of condensed milk:
1. Bake in oven
2. Microwaving
3. Double Boiler

Method (C)
Unopened can of condensed milk.
1. Simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk for 2-3 hours.
2. Pressure Cooker : cook a can of unopened sweetened condensed milk for 30-40 minutes.
3. Simmering in slow cooker/crockpot.

For more information, you may refer to here.

I used the same method as Wendy cos I am more comfortable with this method.

1. Put the can of condensed milk in a pot, on an over turned steaming metal rack.
2. Bring it to a boil and lowered it to a simmer and check frequently to ensure the pot didn't dry up and water level is at least 1.5 inches above the can. Pls take extra note on it cos if the pot dry up, the can will be exploded and the gooey brown Dulce De Leche will be all over the place, it will be a nightmare to clean up the place.
3. Simmered the can for 3 hours.
4. Cool the can completely before open it. Do not attempt to open a hot or warm can!!!!

For Dulce De Leche Pound Cake Recipe modified from All That Matters.

Ingredients : (for 7" cake pan)
180g butter
40g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup dulce de leche

180g flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
*Sift together

3 eggs

Method
1. Grease the cake pan and preheat oven to 170 deg.C.
2. In a bowl, using an electric whisk, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in salt, vanilla essence and dulce de leche, whisk till incorporated.
3. Stop to add flour. I roughly used the whisk to mix and dampen the flour before turning back on (you don't want the flour to fluff up), whisk using low speed. Scrap down the sides and whisk till the batter is smooth and not lumpy.
4. Add in the eggs, 1 at a time, whisk well.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 170 deg.C for 1 hour.

Verdict?
Due to the overbaking, the cake is a bit dry but still soft and taste good, sweetness is just right for me. The cake is full of the fragrance of Dule De Leche, smell really good. Although the cake is good but I feel that the smell of Dulce De Leche is stronger than it taste so probably I will add more Delce De Leche if I am baking again. This cake is a perfect companion with a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pandan Kaya Butter cake



My intention was to bake a pandan chiffon cake but I was so careless that accidentally broke the yolk into egg whites. The situation cannot be salvaged like my previous chiffon cake cos the yolk was broke and merged with the whites.


For a moment, I didn't know what should I do. Should I use new eggs to carry on with my original plan of baking chiffon cake or should I change my plan to bake other cake that uses whole eggs instead. I decided to use up the eggs cos I am flying off the next 2 days so better dun leave the cracked eggs behind.


I remember that I had bookmarked Aunty Yochana's pandan kaya butter cake before and also saw this cake at Honey Bee Sweet and A Table for 2 or more, both of them gave good comments on this cake so I have no hestitation to try this recipe.



According to Aunty Yochana, put in some flour if the batter is cuddles after mix in the coconut milk. However my batter cuddled a bit when mixed in the 6th egg, not sure is it cos I mixed it for too long cos I was doing other task while letting the mixer whisked the batter. The batter even got more cuddled when I pour in the coconut milk which I had no choice to alternate mixing in the flour and coconut milk. I left some flour to mix in after the milk, actually I was a bit regret to pour in milk cos the batter cuddled again and I left only a bit of flour. Luckily the batter was back to normal after I mixed in the remaining little flour.


You can see there is darker shade of green appeared near the bottom of the cake, I think I have overfolded the batter but cake texture is still taste great.

I am not sure is it I didn't mix well the kaya but I did taste the strong and sweet kaya during some bites, it tasted great that I am thinking I should put more kaya if I am baking again.



Actually the batter is sufficient for 9" cake tin cos when I used 7" cake tin stated as per Aunty Yochana's recipe, the batter still left a lot after I filled up 80% of the cake tin.


Recipe adapted from Aunty Yochana.

Ingredients : for 7" cake tin and 8 cupcakes
250g butter
200g sugar (I reduced to 180g)
1 tbsp kaya
6 eggs
300g cake flour (I mixed with superfine flour since insufficient of cake flour)
1 tsp baking powder
200g coconut milk (I increased to 240g as I wanna finish the whole packet)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk powder (I supplement with low fat fresh milk since dun ve milk powder)
1 tsp pandan paste
a few drop of green colouring

Method :
1.Cream butter and sugar till creamy. Add in Kaya.
2. Add in egg one at a time and make sure it's properly mixed before adding in another egg.
3. Mix well pandan paste, green coloring with coconut milk and pour with salt slowly in the batter. If it cuddles, put in some flour.
4. Sieve cake flour & baking powder and fold into the batter alternate with milk, start and end with flour.
5. Pour the batter into cake tin and bake at 175C for about 60 mins. (I baked at at 155C since my oven temperature is hotter, 20 mins for cupcakes and cake tin took 1.5 hr, next time I will increase the temperature to shorten the baking time.)

Verdict?
I never regret of baking this cake, never ever. The cake is full of the fragrant of pandan & coconut, I can't help keep smelling the cake :P. The cake is soft and moist, once u eat a slice, u can't help thinking of another serving. I especially love those bites with the texture and taste of sweet kaya, super yummy. My family likes the cake a lot, all given thumbs up. This is definately a keeper. For those who are pandan & coconut lover, try this cake and I bet you will love it just like me. My dear husband who is not fancy on cake, he ate a few slices.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake



I baked this cake for one of my good friend E's daughter's birthday. I remember she likes oreo cookies and E told me that she likes anything with chocolate as well. Thus I decided to combine both her favourite in the birthday cake for her.



I love the chocolate cheesecake that I had baked previously, everyone raved about it. Especially one of my colleague who is a small eater, ate 3 slices at one go, she must be love it so much that she asked for more serving.


So I decided to use this recipe but I reduced the cream cheese and cocoa powder cos I am afraid the cake might be too strong and thick for kids. I dun wan her to have sore-throat after eating my cake :p.



I probably didn't wrap the cake tin with aluminum foil properly, the water seeped in while baking. Next time I think I better be kiasu to double wrap the cake tin with aluminum foil. The cookies base must be soggy cos of this, hope it won't affect the cake much :(.



Recipe adapted from Honey Bee Sweet with some modification.

Ingredients : (for 6" cake tin & 2 cupcakes)
100g Oreo Cookies (minus the creme), crushed
30g unsalted butter
250g cream cheese, room temperature
90g caster sugar
2 eggs
60g chocolate, chopped
60g whipping cream
15g cocoa powder
15g cake flour
6 oreo cookies, crush coarsely

Chocolate Ganache :
100g chocolate, chopped
60g whipping cream
20g butter

Method :
1. Melt the butter and mix together to the crushed oreo cookies. Press the mixture into the cake tin base, baked for 10 mins and cool it then chill for later use.
2. Heat up the whipping cream and add in the chopped chocolate and stir till mix well and smooth.
3. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Pour some water to the base of the baking tray to create a water-bath. Wrap the base of the cake pan with aluminum foil to protect the water from sipping in.
4. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat again till combined.
5. Add chocolate mixture and stir well. Lastly, sift in the cocoa powder and cake flour and combine till mixture is smooth and add in oreo cookies.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan with the cookie base. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes (I baked the round cake for 35 mins and cupcakes for 15 mins). Making sure not to over bake, the center of the cake should still be a little "wobbly" when done.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for awhile.
8. Boil the chocolate, whipping cream and butter until mix well and smooth.
9. Pour onto the cake and let it cool completely before refrigerating. Chill for at least 4 to 6 hrs before serving.

Verdict?
The cake is rich, creamy and chocolately, as good as my previous chocolate cheesecake. E sms me and said the cake is very nice, her daughter love it and the guests who ate the cake also gave thumbs up. Yipee, another keeper.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oreo Butter Cake



Remember I mentioned about my monster daughter poked the hand of her classmate in my previous post, I felt so guilty that I told dear husband that I must do something if not, the parents may think we are ignoring this incident. So I decided to write her an apology card and also bake her a cake. I flipped through my recipes shortlisted this oreo butter cake, I guess most people especially kids will like this cake.




Recipe adapted from Kitchen Caper Forum.

Ingredients : for 6" cake tin & 10 cupcakes
200g butter
150g Sugar
3 eggs
200g self raising Flour
1.5 tsp vanilla essence
4.5 tbsp milk
150g Oreo Cookies (clear the cream)

Methods :
1. Heat oven to 200 deg C. line cake tin.
2. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar till white and fluffy.
3. Add in eggs one at a time, alternating with flour.
4. Add vanilla essence , milk and Oreo cookies into it and stir lightly.
5. Pour into baking tin and bake for about 45mins.

Verdict?
The cake is soft and moist, oreo cookies taste great with any cake. I brought the cupcakes to my office and colleagues gave good comments.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies



Dear daughter requested for cookies so I baked this for her as well as my bro who love cookies.



Recipe from Kitchen Capers forum.

Ingredients :125g Butter
50g Castor sugar
50g Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
1 Egg
260g Self-raising flour
150g Chocolate chips (Add more if you like more choc chips)

Method :
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
2. Sift the flour, set aside.
3. Beat butter, essence and sugars using mixer until smooth.
4. Add egg and beat until well combined.
5. Stir in sifted flour and the remaining ingredients.
6. Take rounded teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls.
7. Place balls about 4cm apart on slightly greased oven trays or line with baking sheet.
8. Bake in pre heated oven for 15 minutes or until browned.
9. Cool in trays for short while and transfer to wire rack for cooling.

Verdict?
The cookies are crunchy, my bro said very nice and he finished almost the whole tub. I reduced the sugar by 40g so the cookies not sweet at all, next time I should not reduce so much sugar.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pineapple Butter Cake




This cake was baked for me to bring to dear daughter's school for the principle and teachers during the Parent-Teacher day.

I was requested to see the chinese teacher, which was not required for last year since her progress was good then. I was a little worried, thinking is it because of the chinese spelling that she has not been scoring good since end March after my ex-maid has gone home for good. Actually she was a little out of control ever since the departure of my ex-maid, be it home work, spelling, temper, behaviour etc. Surprising she is behaving very well in school, she is well-liked by all her teachers and principle especially her speech n drama teacher which called her is the gem of hers.

The reason of chinese teacher wanted to see me was to inform me about the situation of her late submission of home work, other than that she is doing very well, she is star student according to the teacher. I ensured to the teacher that I was awared of this situation and has been addressing to it and dear daughter has been getting better now.


Another news which was shocking to know was her teacher told me dear daughter used a pencil to poke one of the girl classmate's hand, she and another boy classmate poked one at each hand. The poor girl, kena attacked by 2 monsters at the same time for both hands. I was a little upset with the teacher that didn't inform me when this incident occurred which was happened a few weeks ago. According to the teacher, she slipped off her mind due to too busy and the poking was not serious. On top of that, my dear daughter is always very well-behaved in school except for that incident and moreover, that poor girl's parents understood and didn't puruse the matter. But this is not the case, I still owe the parents a apology for my dear daughter violet act and I also need to keep educating her not to do it again. Haiz... so upset with dear daughter and gave her a big scolding and councelling.


Well back to the cake, I did not have time to do the baking shopping so I just used what ingredients that I have at home to bake the cake.



Recipe adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover.

Ingredients : (for 9" cake pan and 5 cupcakes)
160g butter
152g margarine
5 eggs (medium size)
150g Sugar
312g Self Raising flour
10 tbsp of pineapple juices from canned pineapple
4-5 Pineapple rings cut into chunks
5 Pineapple rings (for the cake topping)

Method :
1. Beat butter, margarine and sugar till light
2. Add in egg one at a time, beat till creamy
3. Gradually add in flour and pineapple juices alternately, start and end with flour till combine well, add in pineapple chunks and mix well.
4. Place pineapple rings on the bottom of baking pan, then pour in batter.
5. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180c for 45mins for cake pan & 15 mins for cupcakes. (I covered the cake pan with aluminium foil and removed 10 mins before 45 mins.)

-This pineapple butter cake tasted even better on the next day.

Verdict?
The cake is moist and soft, tasted good with pineapple chunks. The principle told me the cake is so delicious that the teachers are asking do I take any order hee hee hee...

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