Monday, September 12, 2011

Old-School Muffins (Chocolate Chip)

What happens when you only have a spare hour left and you need a baking fix?

Muffins! Yay!!

Like all muffins they taste the best fresh from the oven. Crispy golden brown tops with moist insides. Leave them inside a container for a day, they will taste like your grandma's old socks.

Old-School Muffins (adapted from Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food)
(makes 12 standard muffins, 16 for me)

303g cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch salt
100g sugar
120ml vegetable oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk
240ml plain yogurt
1-2 cups ‘bits and pieces’ (nuts, berries, chocolate chips, or any combination thereof – but no more than 1 cup of chocolate chips) - I use 175g mini chocolate chips

1. Place an oven rack in position C and preheat oven to 190°C.
2. Prepare a muffin tin and set aside.
3. Sift together all your dry goods.
4. Combine all your liquid ingredients.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
6. Using the disher, drop the batter into the prepared tin. The cups should be full.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the muffin interior hits 100°C or a toothpick inserted into the bottom of a muffin comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and immediately turn the muffins on their sides so that steam can escape the pan. Skip this step and you'll have mushy bottoms, which is okay if you like that kind of thing.
9. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week or until they taste gross, smell bad, or grow fur.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake II

Combined ideas from Happy Home Baking and La Fuji Mama this time round and got a perfect match. A tiny yay! to my frosting efforts. Think it looks neater this time round though not perfect.

The last minute layered cake practice was meant for boyfriend's birthday. How can I pride myself a baker if I don't bake something for my loved one's birthday? That joker is a fan of strawberries, so a classic strawberry shortcake would deem fit for his birthday cake.

Happy Birthday you crazy boy!

Strawberry Shortcake


165g cake flour
5 eggs, room temperature
150g caster sugar
35g unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons fresh milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

50g sugar
60ml water
1 tsp Grand Marnier

Whipped Cream:
2 tsps unflavored gelatin
8 tsps cold water
480ml cold heavy whipping cream
60g confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

125g strawberries, sliced plus 8 whole strawberries for decoration

To make the cake:
1. Sift cake flour for 3 times, set aside. Line bottom and sides of 9"round pan 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 turns pale, becomes thick, double/triple 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. Sift over cake flour into the batter in 3 separate additions. With each addition, use a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter.
4. Add the melted butter, fold in gently with spatula until well blended
5. Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula until well blended.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 38 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, cool completely.

To make syrup:
1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then stir in Grand Marnier.

To make whipped cream:
1. Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes (do not stir). Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until slightly thickened. Then, while beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture. Then whip the mixture at high speed until stiff.

To assemble the cake:
1. Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate and lightly crush the surface with the simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the strawberries over the surface. Spread an additional layer of whipped cream over the berries. Brush the cut-side of the second layer with the simple syrup and place it over the first layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate as desired and garnish with the remaining berries.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blueberry Whipped Cream Cake

A sad blueberry cake weeping (its cream) away.

Combined ideas from Aunty Yochana and La Fuji Mama, along with my own twist to assemble the cake together. Wasn't the most satisfied with the result, but bahhh...practice makes perfect.

Blueberry Whipped Cream Cake


180g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g sugar
75g melted butter
75g corn oil
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence

6 egg whites (240g for me)
100g caster sugar

50g sugar
60ml water
1 tsp Grand Marnier

Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
6 tsp cold water
360ml cold heavy whipping cream
45g confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

300g fresh blueberries for decoration

To make the cake:
1. Sift cake flour, baking powder and 75g of sugar into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Mix egg yolk, butter and cornoil together and then pour into flour mixture and stir till smooth.
3. Whisk egg whites till slightly frothy, then pour in 100g caster sugar gradually and whisk till medium peak.
4. Fold egg white with egg yolk mixture and then pour into a prepared 9" round cake tin and bake in preheated oven at 175°C for about 45 mins or till cooked.
5. Leave cake to cool on wire rack and then slice cake into 3 slices.

To make syrup:
1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then stir in Grand Marnier.

To make whipped cream:
1. Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes (do not stir). Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until slightly thickened. Then, while beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture. Then whip the mixture at high speed until stiff.

To assemble the cake:
1. Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate and lightly crush the surface with the simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the blueberries over the surface. Spread an additional layer of whipped cream over the berries. Brush the cut-side of the second layer with the simple syrup and place it over the first layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate as desired and garnish with the remaining berries.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Sesame Brownies

Original recipe is here, from Pig Pig's Corner. Don't be intimidated by the soya sauce...well, I was. It actually turned out to be really fragrant and almost non detectable. I was expecting the texture to be fudgy, it turned out pretty cakey though.

We're so hungry

Adorable pup at CTC market

Godly Krispy Kreme!!!

A quick update on my recent Bangkok trip. It was fun!! ...I guess it was enjoyable because I had the right company. Some of you may know that I've recently started seeing someone new. The trip was initially a wreck because it was booked way early last year with my not-worth-mentioning-ex. Somewhere along the way he died, so I initially decided to proceed with the trip alone, then my boyfriend decided to join me impromptu. We hit it off straight away, we never run out of topics and laugh at the same gags. The chemistry is superb and he dotes on me a lot. And of all places, we met at a Workers' Party rally hahahah Will fill you guys in on the details when I'm feeling more romantic.

Black Sesame Brownies (adapted from Pig Pig's Corner)

150g unsalted butter, melted
100g black sesame seeds
125 g caster sugar
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp black sesame seeds, for sprinkling

1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (fan).
2. Combine melted butter and sesame seeds in a food processor or blender and blend until a paste is formed.
3. Add sesame paste to a pan, add sugar and soy sauce, fry for a few mins until fragrant (oil will start to separate). Remove from heat and leave this to cool.
4. When sesame mixture is cool to touch (warm is fine), mix in eggs one by one.
5. Gently fold in plain flour until just combined.
6. Pour batter into a lightly greased and lined square tin.
7. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. [Don't omit this step, as the sesame seeds add a nice crunch to the cake!]
8. Bake for about 25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust

My heart cringed after reading this heartbreaking yet inspiring blog entry on In Jennie's Kitchen. It's a post tribute to the loss of her dear husband. I'm kinda late for this, but better late than never. It was meaningful cutting this particular pie and sharing it with the others, knowing that it's made for a special reason. It also gives a new meaning to our baking doesn't it?

Random thought - If you pass away one day, what would you like to be made in commemoration of you?

Knowing the typical Baked recipe will be superbly flavorful and heavy-handed on the sugar, I reduce the sugar a little. And since this is a no bake recipe, I don't think it's going to affect the texture or lightness of the cake in any way. Ultra creamy and smooth, it reminds me of a Hershey's Sundae Pie, in peanut butter form. I love the cookie crust, but it's pretty crumbly so it shatters everywhere, can use a bit more butter to bind every crumb together.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink.

Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust (adapted from Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito's Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

For the chocolate cookie crust:
170g chocolate wafer cookies (I use chocolate Marie biscuits)
1 tablesp sugar
85g unsalted butter, melted

For the peanut butter filing with chocolate bottom:
85g semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup (skipped this)
225g cream cheese, at room temperature (250g for me)
240ml creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
163g firmly packed dark brown sugar (125g for me)
360ml heavy cream

Make the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
1. In a food processor, grind the cookies to a very fine powder. You should have about 1½ cups. Put the crumbs in a bowl and stir in the sugar.
2. Pour the butter over the crumb mixture and mix until well combined. The mixture will feel wet. Turn the crumb mixture out into a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. You can use the back of a large spoon to even out the crust.
3. Put the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Make the Peanut butter filling with Chocolate Bottom
1. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven or in a double boiler. Add the corn syrup and stir to combine. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate in a thin layer on the bottom of the chilled pie crust.
2. Put the crust back in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter filling. Put the cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined and completely smooth. Set aside.
3. In a clean bowl, use the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until the mixture is uniform in color.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and freeze for at least 4 hours. Once the pie is frozen, you can cover it with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

An ice cream sundae version in cupcake form! Frosted them with my usual swiss meringue buttercream and topped them off with a cherry. Think they look really cute and pretty standing next to one another hehe.

Mom commented the cakes taste tad alkaline-ish. Must be the dutch processed cocoa I guess. But nevertheless they're fluffy and soft, and good for those who hate washing up...all you need is just one bowl ya.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart's Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
(Makes 24 standard cupcakes, 60 mini for me)

350g all-purpose flour
115g unsweetened cocoa powder
500g sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
300ml milk
120ml plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
300ml warm water

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
2. Into a bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the eggs and yolk, the milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool slightly. Invert cupcakes onto rackl then reinvert and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)

My close friends will know I like anything milkish tasting, from vanilla being my favorite ice cream flavor to savory cream pasta. Needless to say reading up about this cake caught my attention.

THREE GODLY TYPES OF MILK! Four actually, with whole milk making up part of the cake. I really like the milkiness! The bottom part of the cake was so well soaked that it almost resembles pudding like texture. Received feedback that it was too sweet, but I thought the sweetness level was just right for me.

Was kinda sad because I only had a bite of it to taste in the morning before storming out of the house to work. When I got home, there was none of it left. Mom took the whole tray to work and it was wolved down by her colleagues. Original recipe is here, for those who would like to incorporate icing and fruits.

Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake) (adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Emeril's Live)


6 large eggs, separated
400g granulated sugar (I use 350g)
280g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
120ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream topping:
398ml can evaporated milk (I use 350ml)
240ml heavy cream

1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg whites on low speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually with the mixer running and peak to stiff peaks. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after the addition of each.
3. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk. (Do this quickly so the batter does not lose volume.) Add the vanilla. Bake until golden, 25 minutes.
4. To make the cream topping: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream and blend on high speed.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and while still warm, pour the cream mixture over it. Let sit and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes III

Check out the cupcakes sediya-ing in attention to our nation's special day tomorrow.

A tribute to our lovely country. Happy 46th Birthday!

A comparison between the 3 velvet cupcakes I've made. I think I still like Hummingbird's best. Though moist, and I wash the least bowls for this one, I think I still prefer butter in my cupcakes. I replaced the frosting with sprinkles, original recipe is here, so you can check out the original zesty cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from Chuck Hughes' Chuck's Day Off)
(makes 24 standard cupcakes)

300g sugar
2 eggs
360ml canola oil
240ml plain yogurt
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to180°C.
2. In a food processor, mix the sugar with the eggs, oil, yogurt, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Blend until just incorporated.
3. Place paper cupcake liners into a muffin pan, and divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, pouring only halfway so the batter doesn't overflow. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and let cool.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Durian Muffins

Hey all! Am back from my little getaway. Kinda sick from all that eating and shopping now hahah Back to work and school :(

Got this from a magazine Mama bought me last year during durian season when I randomly chirped that I want to bake durian goods. But it became just a read because I was too lazy to do anything.

So a year later, I dug it out from the book shelf and didn't regret making them. Honestly this is really good. Luxurious durian filling oozing out in the middle. What more can I say?

Durian Muffins (adapted from Oriental Cuisine Issue No. 95 August 2010)

160g cake/plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
90g butter, cold
40g margarine, cold
100g caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
50ml evaporated milk
50ml water
1 tsp vanilla essence

250g durian flesh mixed with 1/2 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 12 paper cups on cupcake tray.
2. Combine (A) into an electric food processor & pulse until it forms bread crumbs
3. Pour in all ingredients of (A) into (B) and stir until just mixed. Do not worry if there are lumps as if beaten too much the muffin will become hard.
4. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into paper cups, top up with a teaspoon of durian meat and then top up with another tablespoon of batter. Remember to place the durian meat in the centre of the batter. Repeat till process finish.
5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 mins or until cooked tester inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strawberry Swiss Roll

Even though I have not been leaving comments at your blog, rest assured that I'm religiously catching up on the wonderful entries all of you have been posting! Been seeing a surge of beautiful swiss rolls posts from you talented ladies!

After my previous Sahara-Dessert-dry swiss roll, I took a dive for one of the popular swiss roll books that was sitting patiently in my shelf waiting to serve its purpose. The result was great, I only saw the swiss roll in the morning for photo taking and it vanished.

The rolling isn't ideal, but it's still so pretty to look at.

Will be leaving for Bangkok in a bit. Happy long weekend to me! hehehe

Am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers # 9 - Swiss Rolling Good Times! hosted by {L}.

Strawberry Swiss Roll (adapted from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷)


Separated eggs method sponge cake:
35g unsalted butter, melted
100g egg yolks (about 5)
25g caster sugar
160g egg whites (about 4)
75g caster sugar
55g cake flour
1 tsp red powder (I use 1/2 tsp strawberry emulco)

180g dairy whipping cream
20g sugar
10 fresh strawberries

Sponge Cake:
1. Whisk egg yolks with 25g caster sugar over a pot of simmering water. Beat till all sugar dissolves and mixture become thick and pale.
2. Place egg whites and 75g caster sugar in a medium bowl and beat on high speed. Once reached stiff peak, beat on low speed for 1 minute.
3. Add one third of meringue into egg yolk mixture and fold in with a spatula.
4. Add in the remaining meringue into the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently.
5. Sift in cake flour into the mixture in 3 batches, each time folding in gently.
6. Add a scoop of batter into the bowl with melted butter and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Add the batter and butter mixture back into the rest of the batter and fold in gently.
7. Retrieve 100g of the batter into a small bowl and add in the red powder (or emulco) and fold in under well mixed. Pour the pink batter back into the mixing bowl and create marbled swirl patterns.
8. Pour the batter into a lined 14" x 11" tray and smoothen it out with a scraper
9. Bake for 180°C for 12 mins until the cake is golden brown and springs back to touch.
10. Remove cake from oven and peel off the parchment paper from the 4 edges to let it cool.
11. Let it cool for 2 - 3 mins then cover the cake up with a bigger piece of parchment paper and slowly invert it and peel off the parchment on the other side. Place another piece of parchment paper on the peeled side and invert the cake again, so that the golden brown side faces up.

1. Put whipping cream in a bowl and place over another big bowl filled with ice cubes. Beat cream until thick.
2. Add in sugar and beat until stiff.

Rolling the cake:
1. Spread filling on cake and line strawberries at the edge.
2. Roll the swiss roll and use parchment paper to secure its shape and chill for 30 to 60 mins. Trim the edges off and you're done.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Strawberry Roll

Took a quick snap of this recipe off one of BakerTan's recipe books while we were baking together some time ago. No idea what's the name of the book, so I'm going to leave it blank.

Made some adjustments to the recipe according to my pan size. Method is pretty straight forward, but the roll did not turn out as awesome. It was kinda dry for me. But I had fun rolling it hahah. Got greedy on the cream filling and they started vomitting out. Oops.

Anyway I got started on my Masters this weekend. Already starting to feel the stress with the group assignment due next week. Gaahhhh.

Am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers # 9 - Swiss Rolling Good Times! hosted by {L}.

Strawberry Roll


3 eggs
65g caster sugar
1/2 tsp strawberry emulco
65g plan flour, sifted

Strawberry Cream:
200g whipped cream
200g strawberries, chopped

1. Whisk eggs until frothy, add sugar slowly and whisk until very thick. Add strawberry emulco and whisk until even. Flour in flour in 3 batches. Divide and pour into a 11" x 11" lined swiss roll tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 10 mins till cooked and springy. Remove, turn onto a big piece of greased proof paper sprinkled with 1 tbsp of caster sugar. Trim the crusty edges. Firmly roll up the sponge from one side, with paper inside. Leave to cool before spreading the filling.
2. Unroll the sponge and remove the paper. Spread cream over the sponge and sprinkle with chopped strawberries. Cover strawberries with some whipped cream. Carefully roll up the cake.
3. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Durian Cheesecake

OMG I love July - August. We have awesome blueberries, cherries and durians!! Last year, while I was still taking my on sweet time deciding on what to make for a durian bake, the season was already over. No more procrastination this year

Glad to join the durian league this year. This cake is the product of my sheer determination. HAHAH.

The durian aroma filled the kitchen when I removed it from the fridge, got both mom and I excited. Very creamy and smooth. The little durian fibres sticking out of the cheesecake makes it look even irresistible. Not too happy with the amateur cocoa web I did though, not too much of an artist myself, I failed my Art in secondary school you know.

Guaranteed to make your nose bleed (literally) with all the heat waves from the durian and chocolate. I need a glass of liang teh now.

Durian Cheesecake (adapted from Kevin Chai's我和芝士蛋糕的秘密)


160g crushed chocolate marie biscuits (I use 210g oreo cookies)
80g melted butter (I use 105g)

Cheese layer:
450g cream cheese (I use 500g)
80g caster sugar
170g durian flesh (I use 220g)
3 eggs
80g milk (I use 85g)
1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp water

1. To make base, stir all ingredients until combined. Press mixture into base of 18cm (7-inches) cake tin. (I use 8")
2. To make filling, beat cream cheese, sugar and durian flesh until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Beat in milk and cornstarch until blended. Reserve 1 tbsp cheese mixture for topping, pour the rest of the mixture into tin.
4. To make topping, mix well cocoa powder with water. Add in 1 tbsp of reserved cheese mixture, stir until well blended. Pipe on top of the surface of cheese mixture and draw net pattern with skewer.
5. Bake in oven at 170°C for 40-45 mins (I use water bath @ 150°C for 50mins) or until light brown. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Chill in fridge.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake with Mousseline Buttercream

I've mentioned that I'll do a layered cake before my school term starts. Mission accomplished! Ding!

Bookmarked this for the longest time. Like how the burnt sugar gave the buttercream a hint of caramel. Though the buttercream was ultra smooth and creamy, I think people around me aren't really crazy about buttercream. My mom and her auntie friends aren't fans, one of my colleagues even said buttercream tastes like 'cheap confectionery cake'. Boooo.

Maybe it was something that I did, but the cake wasn't as moist for me as Rose has described it to be. It was good for the first day, then it started to dry out quickly. By the third day, it was like shrivelled slices of stale bread. The buttercream stayed awesome though. The alcohol was overwhelming at the beginning, but it kinda "evaporated" away after sitting for a day.

Well I had fun assembling the cake and playing with the buttercream though haha.

All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake with Mousseline Buttercream (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible)
Makes 2 9-inch cake layers


6 large egg yolks (112g)
242g milk
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
300g sifted cake flour
300g cups sugar
1 tablespoon + teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
170g unsalted butter (must be softened)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a medium bowl lightly combine the yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides.
4. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. The pans will be about 1/2 full. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.
6. Let the cakes cool in the pan on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.

Mousseline Buttercream:
454g unsalted butter, softened but cool
200g sugar
60g water
5 large egg whites (150g)
1/2 + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
90g liqueur such as Mandarine Napoleon, Grand Marnier, or an eau-de-vie

1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy and set aside in a cool place.
2. Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range.
3. In a small heavy saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) heat 3/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low.
4. In another mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until the firm ball stage. Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.
5. If using a hand-held mixer beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. Don't allow the syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Lower speed to medium and continue beating up to 2 minutes or until cool. If not completely cool, continue beating on lowest speed.
6. Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time. At first the mixture will seem thinner but will thicken beautifully by the time all the butter is added. If at any time the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.
7. Lower the speed slightly and drizzle in the liqueur. Place in an airtight bowl. Rebeat lightly from time to time to maintain silky texture. Buttercream becomes spongy on standing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blueberry Muffins II

Sigh. Apologies for the hiatus. I'm afraid this is going to be reoccurring though I hope not. Think it's going to get worse once my school starts next weekend.

Baking fix yeah, you just gotta squeeze time out for this hobby. The crumble topping makes the muffin look like it has a case of skin infection, but trust me, it's good. So crunchy! Provided extra crisp to the tender cake. But taste wise, I still prefer sweet cake-like Martha Stewart style.

Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Keiko Ishida's Okashi)


Crumble Topping:
20g unsalted butter, softened
20g caster sugar
20g pastry flour, sifted
10g ground almonds

120g pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g fresh blueberries
50g unsalted butter, softened
40g brown sugar
30g caster sugar
1 egg
60g cold fresh milk

1. To make crumble topping, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix with fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Chill in fridge until use.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Sift flour and baking powder twice. Set aside 18 blueberries.
3. Beat butter with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well-combined.
4. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and fold in with spatula. Add 1/2 of milk and continue to fold batter gently. Add another 1/3 flour mixture and fold in, followed by the remaining milk. Add remaining flour mixture and fold through, but do not over-mix. Add remaining blueberries and fold in gently.
5. Line muffin tray with muffin paper cases. Spoon batter into cases until about 3/4 full. Divide the 18 blueberries among each muffin, then sprinkle crumble topping over. Bake for about 25-30 mins, or until muffins have a springy texture when pressed gently.
6. Leave muffins to cool on a wire rack. They are best served warm, and consumed the day they are baked or the day after. If not consuming immediately, store in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days, freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cream Scones

Ahh....a little sad that I didn't manage to squeeze out the time to look through bread recipes to support dearest Sweetylicious' Aspiring Bakers this month. Baked scones instead for breakfast.

They look awfully beautiful, like works of pastry shops eh?

The downside is though...My bad. I used bleached all purpose flour instead. I think the lower protein content caused the insides to be softer and more crumbly. Plus I underbaked them a little, so it resulted in scones that are made for old people without teeth.

Cream Scones (adapted from Sur La Table's The Art & Soul of Baking)

280g unbleached all-purpose flour
50g sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
113g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inches cubes
(Toss in 70g raisins before adding cream)
240ml chilled heavy whipping cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp sugar, or for more crunch and a touch of brown sugar flavor, 2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend well. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 5 times at 1-second intervals, or until the butter is cut into medium pieces. Add the cream and pulse another 20 times, or until the dough holds together in small, thick clumps. Use a spatula to scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently squeeze the clumps together until they form a cohesive dough.
2. Pat the dough into a circle 7 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Use a chef's knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
3. Brush the tops with a thin coating of the lightly beaten egg (you will not use all the egg). Sprinkle evenly with the sugar. Bake the scones for 14 to 16 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.

Storing: Once baked, serve the scones within 2 hours, when they are at their freshest and most appealing. Keep them uncovered at room temperature until serving time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Am going back to school this coming July! Will be juggling with work and part time studies, looks like I'll have even less time for baking than I already have currently. Promised myself to do a proper layered cake before my programme starts...I better!!

Had a tight week, didn't had time to whip up something extravagant, so just bought a box of blueberries randomly, hoping that I'll find something for my baking fix. This recipe is surprisingly rewarding. The ingredients list look humbly normal, no fanciful walnuts or streusel toppings but it tastes really good. The texture is cake-like tender despite being a muffin. The blueberries I bought were kinda sour but I'm cool about it, complements the sweet cake really well.

Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Martha Stewart's Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
(makes 12 standard size muffins)

You will need:
113g unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan
280g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
2 cups of blueberries, fresh or thawed if frozen (270g for me)
200g sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
120ml milk

1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss with blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 tsps of the flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and blueberries.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in the vanilla.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add the reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined; do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 mins. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 mins. Turn the muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes II

They don't look shocking red anymore because my red food coloring ran out and tahdahh, a reddish brown "velvet cupcake". They're softer than the previous recipe, but tastes pretty flat to me somehow. I guess the difference in taste comes from using vegetable oil instead of butter.

Hmm. Think I'm favoring HummingBird's recipe more.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)
(makes 24 cupcakes)

324g cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tbsps unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
300g sugar
360ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color (I use 2 tsp red food coloring)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
240ml buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 mins. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
5. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

When I first put a bite of this cheesecake into my mouth, I was totally won over. Remember how I was raving about the awesome cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory I had when I was in States, this one has 80% resemblance to it!

The texture is light and fluffy...surprising huh? I guess it has got to do with beating the cream cheese excessively according to the recipe's instructions. I'm not really a New York Cheesecake fan, so...WOW. I'm so happy that I've made this hahahah!

P.S. 3 of my friends asked me if the specks are black pepper? EPIC FAIL.

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)


For the crust:
175g graham cracker crumbs (I use digestive biscuits)
3 tbsps sugar (I use 1 tbsp)
Pinch of salt
56.5g unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
900g cream cheese, at room temperature
266g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
(I also top it off with 2 vanilla pods)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
320ml sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two (I use heavy cream)

To make the crust:
1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.
2. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don't worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn't have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
3. Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 180°C and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.

To make the cheesecake:
1. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.
3. Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.
4. Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.) Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
5. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven's heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.
6. After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.
7. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.
8. At serving time, remove the sides of the springform pan - I use a hairdryer to do this - and set the cake on a serving platter.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Don't get turned off by its shocking red. You gotta try at least one red velvet cupcake in your lifetime to understand why the Southerners love it so much.

Satisfied my curiosity over the red velvet cake frenzy. Have seen many rave how it's their favorite cake. Though a little intimidated by the in-your-face red, am always game for an American classic try-out. With a hint of chocolate, this soft babycake will get you swooning away. The fluffy tangy cream cheese frosting complements the sweet cake really well. It's a pretty apt treat to make for your Valentine.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)
(makes 12 cupcakes, 16 for me)

60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsps red food colouring (preferably Dr. Oetker's)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
5. When cupcakes are cold, spoon cream cheese frosting on top and dust with red velvet cake crumbs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Japanese Milky Madeleines

Sorry that I've not been going around leaving comments in your blogs. There's something wrong with the browser which refuses to let me log into my google account. So now I'm back in old school IE which allows me to log into my blogger, but I'm still not allowed to post with my google account. ARRRGH.

This recipe has been popular with many home bakers, you can check them out at frozenwings, j3sskitch3n and TheSweetylicious. And I totally know why now haha. It's tender and fluffy on the insides with a nice golden brown crust to boot. It's very fragrant as well. It's a really "safe" recipe which everyone will enjoy!

Japanese Milky Madeleines (adapted from Keiko Ishida's Okashi)
makes 18 cakes

120g pastry flour
20g rice flour or corn flour
15g milk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
15g honey
1 tbsp hot water
100g unsalted butter
50g double (heavy) cream (at least 45% milk fat)
140g eggs (about 3 eggs)
a pinch of salt
150g Japanese sugar( jo haku tou) or caster sugar

1.Preheat oven to 170°C. Sift together flours, milk powder and baking powder. Combine honey and hot water in a bowl.
2. Place butter, cream and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water and heat, stirring until butter has melted. Set aside.
3. In another heatproof bowl, beat eggs and salt with a whisk until yolks break. dd sugar and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix well. When egg mixture is warm, use an electric mixer to beat on high speed unti light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Reduce speed to medium and continue beating for abt 1 minute. Add honey and mix well.
4.Gently flod in flour mixture with a spatula. Add cream and butter mixture and fold until just incorporated.
5.Spoon batter into a piping bag and pipe into paper cups or greased madeleine pans. Bake for about 25mins until madeleines are light golden in colour . Cool on a wire rack . Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Venturing into the world of black bottom cupcakes. Never had one myself before, so tried out one recipe since I have leftover cream cheese. Was comparing this one and Magnolia's, decided to go for this as it makes a smaller batch. Urm. Not too satisfied with it. I wonder if black bottom cupcakes are supposed to have this texture?

Though packed with deep chocolate flavor, the chocolate sponge cake is pretty dense, I guess it's supposed be like that to keep the cream cheese portion in check. Will do a comparison once I try Magnolia's one.

Am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011).

Black Bottom Cupcakes (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)


For the chocolate sponge base:
190g plain flour
120g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder, plus extra to decorate
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
40 ml sunflower oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125ml water

For the cheesecake filling:
140g cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
100g chocolate chips (I use 60g)

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. For the chocolate sponge base put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix with a handheld electric whisk on slow speed until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
3. Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and water in a jug and whisk to combine. While the electric whisk is running in the flour bowl, slowly add the contents of the jug, increasing the speed of the blender as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until all the ingredients are incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and set aside.
5. For the cheesecake filling beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and salt in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until smooth and fluffy.
6. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand until evenly dispersed. Don’t overmix, otherwise the cream cheese will start to split.
7. Scoop about 1 tbsp of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and they have an even golden colour on the cheesecake filling. Don’t overcook as the cheesecake will become very dry and crumbly.
8. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. For the cream cheese frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
10. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top, if using, and decorate with a light sprinkling of cocoa powder.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake

Officially declaring that I'm going on a diet. Gaining weight isn't such a good idea when you want to gain some of that lost confidence in life back.

Hello running! Byebye tummy!

On a side note, I'm honestly very touched by all the care and concern that my family and friends have shown for me during this period. Thinking about the little things they do makes me want to cry more than when I think about what I've lost. HA.

A relatively healthy bake to celebrate the self-declared-and-possibly-unsuccessful weight loss journey...Chiffon! Soft like pillows, and they literally melt in your mouth! A hot favorite among my mama and her auntie friends heehee.

Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake (modified from Keiko Ishida's Okashi)
makes 4 10cm chiffon

2 egg yolks
8g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split length wise and scraped for seeds (I use 1)
24g water
24g canola oil
32g cake flour

2 egg whites (weighed mine to be 81g)
36g caster sugar
4g corn flour

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Sift flour twice
2. Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat well. Add water, canola oil, vanilla seeds and stir to incorporate. Add flour and mix well until the batter becomes sticky.
3. To make meringue, combine sugar and corn flour. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add half the sugar and continue beating for a few minutes, then add remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form.
4. Add one-third of meringue into egg yolk mixture and fold in lightly, then add remaining meringue and fold to incorporate completely.
5. Pour batter into an ungreased chiffon cake tube pan. Bake for 20 mins.
6. When cake is done, remove from oven and turn it over, leaving it to cool.
7. Once cake has cooled completely, carefully run a knife or spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen it before inverting onto a wire rack.