Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake



Recently I have "craving" on baking, in fact I am not too sure I have that craving is it because I wanted to bake, or is it because I wanted to take photos on my bakes, hope you understand what I meant lol. I am trying to learn to use dear husband's DSLR, exploring on the camera setting to improve my photography skill, so that I can present nicer photos on my bakes to share with you :D. 


Perhaps both are the reasons that pushing me to bake every weekend (if time permit of course). As I am starting to watch my diet, I dun really eat my bakes recently. I will normally have a small slice so that I can provide some feedback on the bakes. The bakes will go to the stomach of my family and friends, luckily so far all of them are still very much enjoy my bakes and of course, welcome my bakes lol.


Well back to this steamed moist chocolate cake which I saw it at Jane's Corner and Min's blog. It has never come across my mind to touch steam cake, I dun really fancy those traditional steam sponge cake. So to me, steamed cake taste the same which is not my cup of tea. However the raves from Jane and Min making me to bookmark this recipe, just in case one day I may change my mind.

True enough, after a year plus, when I flipped through my baking list looking for chocolate cake that easy to whip up, I spotted this recipe a again. There is no need of waiting for the butter to soften, no need of mixer, just one pot can settle the cake. So without hesitation, I took action on it immediately.


Guess what, such easy cake I was still able to make mistake. When I folded the flour into the batter, I was thinking how come the batter is yellowish color, it supposed to be chocolate cake rite? Then I realised that I totally forgot about the cocoa powder!!! Oh no, I was so blurred! Quickly mixed in the cocoa powder, thinking not sure will the cake turned out to be dense due to my double folding.....

Mine is the healthier version since I used cooking oil rather than butter, I reduced the sugar as well. The sweetness is just nice for me, you may need to increase the sugar if you have sweet tooth.

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers # 22 : Lightened Up Cakes (August 2012) hosted by Qi Ting of A Dessert Diet.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Crave.
 
For Cake :
Ingredients :
180 g butter (I replaced by sunflower oil)
200 g caster sugar (I reduced to 180g)
200 g full cream evaporated milk (I used low fat)
2 eggs, slightly beaten with fork
100 g plain flour
50 g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla essense
2 tbsp of rum (optional)

Methods :
1. Combine caster sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla extract or essense and butter in a saucepan.Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, turn off the fire and keep warm.
2. Add the beaten eggs into the slightly cold evaporated milk mixture and stir till well mix.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl, then pour the eggs mixture over the flour and stir till well mix (cake batter should be runny - mine is like the batter for brownie)
4. Heat up the steamer.
5. Lined and greased a 8 or 9 inch round baking pan. (I used 8")
6. Pour the batter into the lined pan and place the pan into the steamer and cover the top of the pan loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.
7. Cover the steamer and steam over medium heat for 45 mins. (I steamed for nearly 55 mins, until skewer came out clean)
8. Cool the cake in pan before turning out for further decoration. 

For Frosting :
100g chocolate, chopped into small pieces
25g milk

Method :
1. Double boil the chocolate and milk until chocolate is melt.
2. Pour onto the cake and chill the cake.

* This amount of chocolate ganache is not sufficient to coat the whole cake, you need to increase the amount of chocolate if you want to frost the entire cake.

Verdict?
The cake is moist and soft and chocolaty, the rum given a special fragrance to the cake and making the cake so delicious. My friends given double thumbs up on this cake, they love it a lot. You may serve the cake when is chilled or in room temperature. We love to heat it up a bit for the melted chocolate coating to go with the rummy chocolaty cake, heavenly! No wonder Tin Tin given 5 stars rating for this cake, how true it is. This cake has totally changed my concept on steam cake. This is definitely a keeper, a cake that I will always come back if I need a yummy and fuss free chocolate cake.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Butter Cake


This cake was baked long time ago, so I took sometimes to trace out the recipe that I had used.



Recipe taken from here.

Ingredients : 2 x 8"x3"x3.5"
250g butter
140g castor sugar
5 eggs
30g milk (I added in)
1.5 tsp baking powder
250g plain flour
150g cheddar cheese, shredded 
adequate cheddar cheese, shredded for topping

Method:
1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
3. Fold in sifted flour and baking powder until well combine.
4. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and mix well.
5. Pour into a loaf pan and sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top.
6. Bake at 180C for 45mins. (I baked for 30 mins)


Verdict?
The cake is very fragrant with savory sweet taste but I think the texture is a bit dry for me even though I had added milk. Although the cheddar cheese topping has made a nice looking top for the cake but it tasted a little hard.







Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cocopandan Cake


I like all sorts of pandan cake, be it pandan chiffon or pandan butter cake. When I spotted this cocopandan cake from Table for 2 or more, there is no doubt at all for me to bake one since I cannot resist pandan cake.

As usually, I didn't bake it immediately, it took me more than a year before I finally have chance to make it happened lol.


Initially I thought of using coconut milk to replace the evaporated milk but finally decided to follow exactly from the recipe to try the original taste.


Recipe from here.

Ingredients : for 8" square cake pan
(A)
300g self raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
185ml concentrated pandan juice *
185ml evaporated milk
200g butter
150g sugar
4 egg yolks (small)

(B)
4 egg whites (small)
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
75g sugar

* I used 8 pandan leaves and blend with water, left the juice in the fridge for 3 days to get the concentrated pandan juice. The total amount of thick layer of pandan extract and the upper layer of diluted pandan juice added up to be 185ml.

Method :
1. Preheat oven at 160C. Line and grease the cake pan.
2. Combine milk with pandan juice and set a side.
3. Beat (B) until stiff peaks form and set aside.
4. With the same beaters, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well and scrape the bowl after each addition.
5. Put in 1/2 portion of step 2 and beat until well combined. Put in 1/2 portion of flour and mix.
6. Put in balance of step 2 and mix, fold in the balance of flour and mix well.
7. Add in dessicated coconut and mix well.
8. Fold in beaten egg whites in additions.
9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 mins or until the skewer comes out clean.

Verdict?
The outer layer of the cake is a bit hard, I must have over baked the cake. The inner texture of the cake is soft and moist with the bites of dessicated coconut really delicious. The sweetness is alright for me but the sugar still can be increased a bit e.g. another 10g. Next time, I am going to try it again by using coconut milk instead.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Apple Cranberry Olive Oil Cake



I dun usually consume dried fruits so I will not purchase it except for raisins which I will keep some stock for cake making purpose (I love making rum and raisins cheesecake).

 I had a very yummy salad during the Xmas lunch and one of the ingredient used was dried cranberry (craisins), the sourish sweetness of craisins had added so much marks to the salad. I went to purchase a box of craisins thinking that I can snack it between my meals, however I only snack once and the box is remain untouched for a few months lol.



When I saw this from Small Small Baker, I immediately bookmarked it. Since I have a few apples in the fridge and a box of craisins for me to clear stock, and this recipe sound hassle free that won't take up much of my time so I went ahead with it.



I have not participated in Aspiring Bakers for such a long long time, since I have this cake using olive oil and loaded with lots of fruits, surely more healthy that is helped to lighten our waistline a bit.

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers # 22 : Lightened Up Cakes (August 2012) hosted by Qi Ting of A Dessert Diet.

Recipe adapted from Small Small Baker.

Ingredients : makes one 6 inch round tin
70g sugar
80ml olive oil
2 small eggs
2 medium size red apples, peeled, cored and diced
130g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder and slightly more
1/4 tsp baking soda and slightly more
1/4 teaspoon of salt and slightly more
50g dried cranberries (I soak in water for a few minutes to soften, then pat dry)
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in sugar, olive oil and eggs. Whisk the mixture with a hand whisk until sugar dissolves and well-mixed.
2. Add in apples. Mix well.
3. Add in sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in dried cranberries and cinnamon powder. Mix well with a spatula. Do not overmix.
4. Pour the mixture into a lined and greased 6 inch cake tin.
5. Bake at preheated oven at 175 deg C for 30 minutes or until done. Poke a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, give it another 5 to 10 minutes.

Verdict?
This cake is so easy to bake and delicious. I love the bites on apples and cranberries and feel no guilty when eating more since using olive oil lol. However I felt that the cinnamon taste is not strong enough, I will increase to 1 tsp at least if I am going to bake again.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tri Colors Butter Cake




I am not sure is it many people like me, cannot resist colorful bakes. I really love bakes with many colors, cannot take my eyes of it lol. Yes, I do understanding too much coloring is not good for our body so I didn't do it frequent. I reckon once for a while to indulge my eyes with such beautiful bakes should be alright :P. Perhaps I should explore in using natural coloring so that I can make more rainbow cakes heeheehee...


This recipe was bookmarked long time ago but I have not got a chance to bake it, too many recipes with so little time lol. I was craving for butter cake so decided I must try this recipe.However I do not want an usual butter cake so I added in some coloring and dust with cocoa powder in between the layers.



Recipe adapted from Do What I Like.

Ingredients:
225g golden churn butter (I used other brand since I wanna clear stock)
1 1/2 tbsp corn oil / olive oil (I used olive oil)
165g sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 small eggs

210g cake flour
60g corn starch
1/2 tsp baking powder

3 - 5 tbsp whipping cream / milk (I used 4 tbsp milk)

3 different coloring
Some cocoa powder

Method:
1. Mix cake flour, corn starch and baking powder together. Sieve twice into a large mixing bowl.
2. Cream butter, oil, sugar, vanilla and salt till pale and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs one at time, beat well after each addition.
4. Add in the flour mixture and mix at low speed till well blended. (I used hand to fold)
5. Stir in the whipping cream or milk.
5. Divide the batter into 3 portions, stir in each color into each portion and mix well.
6. Pour one portion of batter into a lined pan, dust some cocoa powder on top and cover the batter.
7. Pour another portion of batter on top and dust some cocoa powder on top and cover the batter.
8. Pour the last portion of batter on top and level and bake at 180C for 35 - 45 minutes or till cooked. (I baked 35 mins still not totally done yet but over baked for additional 10 mins so 40 mins should be the right baking time.)

Notes:
After 10 - 12 minutes in the oven, remove it and make a length-wise cut on the surface of the batter with a knife so that the cake will "explode" nicely with a neat line in the middle. (I didn't do it cos I missed out this part)

For best result use golden churn butter and whipping cream.

Verdict?
As I have over baked the cake so it tasted a bit dry, however I still think the cake tasted good, at least I finished one thick slice of cake and still wanted to have another slice. The sweetness of cake is just nice, it will taste a bit bitter when bite into the chocolate lining. So for people who prefer more sweet or have sweet tooth, must increase the amount of sugar.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Muffin




I always like peanut butter, be it to spread with bread or in any form of baking. I had used peanut butter to bake peanut butter chocolate chips cookie cake and peanut butter biscuits, both turned out so delicious and irresistible. Ever since I saw this recipe at 孟老师的100道小蛋糕, I set my mind that I need to try it out soon.




Recipe from 孟老师的100道小蛋糕.

Ingredients : 8 big muffin cups
3 eggs
50g castor sugar
75g oil
200g crunchy peanut butter
90g milk
150g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder

Method :
1. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined.
2.  Add in oil and mix well.
3. Add in peanut butter and milk, continue to beat until in liquid form.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients, use spatula to fold the batter in different direction until well combined.
5. Scoop the batter in to the muffin paper liners to about 3/4 full.
6. Bake in the preheated oven 180C for 25 minutes or till the tester comes out clean.



Verdict?
The muffin is full of peanut butter aroma, tasted quite nice when is hot but I still prefer cakey texture kind of muffin.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chocolate Bottom Banana Squares


Banana is not my favourite fruit but I love banana cakes. When I saw the photos of chocolate bottom banana squares from Jessie that she had submitted for Aspiring Baker # Fruity March that hosted by me, I immediately got hooked by the look. And since Jessie praised so much on this cake, I decided that this is a must to bake.




Recipe adapted from Heaty Bakes which originated from Tammy's Recipes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter -113g (softened)
1 cup (225g) sugar ( I reduced to 100g)

1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
1 1/2 cups (170g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Valrhona. Do use quality cocoa. It makes the whole world difference)
1 cup chocolate chips (I didn't measure but I sprinkled a lot, may be a bit too generous that the chips covered all over the cake surface)

Instructions:
1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
2. Drizzle in the eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas, beating thoroughly.
3. Sieve in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the creamed mixture in above step and mix it well.
4. Divide the batter into half. Add the cocoa powder to one portion of the batter. Spread that portion in the bottom of a greased 9" square baking tin. (I used 7" since I have only 6" & 7" square pan)
5.Spread the remaining plain batter on top the cocoa batter, swirl gently with a knife (my batter is very thick that I was not ale to swirl it) and sprinkle top with chocolate chips.
6. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes or test batter done with a toothpick or fork. Cool and cut into squares to serve.

Verdict?
The cake texture is soft and fluffy but a little bit dry, not sure did I over bake the cake. The banana fragrant is not strong enough for my liking, perhaps is the type of bananas that I had used. I reduced the sugar too much that the cake is not sweet at all, may be can used 150g instead.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling



Dear husband had requested for cakes to give away, he has no special requirement except must be delicious. Woa this is challenging if I am going to try on new recipe. I decided to bake this recipe since there are many positive review in the internet, sure won't go wrong since so many people had tested and given compliments.


I didn't expect the ganache filling to be still watery after the cake has cooled, I thought the filling will at least set a bit. Probably due to the substitution for heavy cream but I welcome this surprised outcome. When I "tear" the cupcake apart for photography, the ganache filling just ooze out, seducing me to give it a bite hahaha... I had to control myself so hard to wait after the photo taking, hmmmm.... such a satisfaction after a big bite lol.


  
Oh just in case you might think there is a typo error of using bread flour for this recipe. The answer is no, the recipe is calling for bread flour, this is to make the cupcakes sturdy but not tough to allow more chocolate to be added.

Recipe adapted from Qi Qi in the House with some modification, originally from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients : (12 cupcakes but I only managed to get 11 cupcakes)
Ganache Filling:
57g bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (I increased to 100g)
¼ cup heavy cream (I do not have heavy cream at home so I substituted with 40ml full cream milk with 20g melted unsalted butter)
1 tbsp icing sugar (I put 1/2 tbsp)

Chocolate Cupcakes :
85g bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
28g cocoa powder
180ml hot coffee (I used 2 tsp coffee powder mixed with hot water)
117g bread flour
149g sugar (I used 120g)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
90 ml or 6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp white vinegar (I can't find it at home so I replaced by 2.5 tsp fresh lemon juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method :
Ganache Filling:
1. Place chocolate, cream, and icing sugar in medium -microwave-safe bowl.
2. Heat in microwave on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds.
3. Whisk until smooth, transfer bowl to refrigerator and chill for 30 mins.

Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 Preheat oven at 180C and line muffin pan with cupcake cases.
2. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 mins or more.
3. Whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl, set aside.
4. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar (or lemon juice) and vanilla extract and mix into step 2 and mix until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pans cups. Place one slightly rounded tsp ganache filling (I scooped almost 1 tbsp) on top of each cupcake.
6. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 mins (I baked mine for 15 mins). 

Verdict?
The cake is soft, tender, moist without being too crumbly. This cake is so rich and chocolaty, the surprise ganache filling is making the cupcake marked perfect, this is definitely a chocoholic's dream. I even received compliments such as this is by far the most delicious chocolate cupcake, better than famous bakery stores etc.... I am going to make more to give away!

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