May 27, 2009

A Special Request

I received a special request a couple of weeks ago from my dear cousin, asking me whether she could come over to my house and teach her how to bake a birthday cake for her boyfriend on his birthday. Having received such a sweet intention to do something that is so close to my heart (baking for loved ones), how can I say no right. ;)

She requested for a chocolate cake, simple and not too complicated in case it fails, and less time-consuming so that she can fly off to meet her boyfriend after that. :D

I shortlisted some butter chocolate cake recipes and thought those should be quite safe. As least, I don't have to be afraid of cake sinking in the middle or uncooked cake as what I've encountered during my past failed attempts in making chiffons or spongecakes. Going through my limited collection of recipe books and photostated recipes, hey I found this velvet chocolate cake in my VCD I'd recently bought at Judy Koh's Creative Culinaire School.

What is special about this recipe is that it does not contain any eggs; instead it uses mayonnaise, the first time I've seen appearing in a cake recipe. This recipe uses a mixed-in method, but when covered with a layer of chocolate glaze, it was immediately transformed to an elegant cake suitable for special occasions. While I am recommending this recipe to her, I have never tried this recipe yet, so she shall be the first to test it out for me. :P

As I'd mentioned, this is a very easy cake as all you need to do is just to mix in and wet and dry ingredient, taking care not to over-mix it. All of a sudden, it felt so different when I actually stood by the side, guiding her along instead of doing it myself, ;) The best part was, there were still quite alot of chocolate glaze leftovers and we had fun eating strawberries coated with chocolate. Yum!

She bought some heart-sugar to decorate and I toasted some almonds for her.
Verdict? I think she likes how the cake turned out but "it was not very soft, but was edible". :D hmmm well, I guess I can only try for myself to know how "not very soft " it was, since it was not a chiffon/sponge cake base.
But I am posting the recipe in case you happen to have no eggs/but mayonnaise and may wish to give it a try. :) Do let me know how it turns out if you happen to try it. :)
Velvet Chocolate Cake
Ingredients A
105g sugar
120g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bakig soda
Ingredients B
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g mayonnaise
110g buttermilk
  1. Sieve ingredients A (except sugar). Place sieved ingredients and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix ingredients B together.
  3. Using hand whisk. combine A and B together until just combined and quite smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into a 7-inch baking tin (we used 5-inch heart shape tin), bake at 170°C for about 45 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Unmould and leave it to cool on the wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 200g dairy whipping cream. Add in 100g couverture chocolate and 200g semi sweet chocolate (chopped) and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
  7. Remove from the heat. The mixture will still be quite thin. Allow it to cool until thick and of pouring consistency, about 45 minutes.
  8. Pour the glaze over the cake and decorate as desired.

May 24, 2009

Strawberry Custard Tart

I am really lagging way behind what I am supposed to be posting by now. As you can see, Mother's Day was two weeks ago but I only have time to put up what I've made that day. Not to mention an ice-cream cake I made for dd for his birthday last week (*smile) and other bakes I've made till now. Whenever I delayed something that I wanted to blog about for too long a period, I'll tend to lose the enthusiasm, as there are new items that I'm excited to share about. How I wish I have more than 24 hours a day! I would then be able to do much more things that I always wanted. Anyway, I'm already thankful that at least I have a stable job that doesn't requires me to work overtime that often, so I can still spare time in doing things that I enjoy, as well as time for this hobby of mine. :) I baked this strawberry tart for dear mummy this Mother's Day. We postponed our family dinner as my brother was in Korea for a holiday. Thus Mum thought that since the cake won't be shared with the whole family, I could bake something smaller as she would not be able to finish a whole cake. So, I decided to bake this 6-inch tart filled with pastry cream and strawberries. I got the recipe from Happy Homebaker's Berry Tart, without modifying any part of the recipe except the topping. I like that the crust uses less butter and was pretty much easy to handle. This was also the first time I succeeded in making the pastry cream without getting it hardened into lumps. It was smooth and the vanilla extract taste was great!

Thanks Happy HomeBaker for sharing this recipe. It has been a long time we have eaten such a yummy homemade tart!

May 17, 2009

Cranberry Wholemeal Bar

Hello visitors/baking kakis/readers! It has been two long weeks since my last post, and I do miss blogging and posting recipes. So what have I been up to? Nope, I didn't go on a holiday or anywhere, I'm still baking as usual. :) Well, just that I'm rushing to finish a birthday present of a cross stitch pillow case for my dd that I had been at it every night but I still couldn't finish in the end. :P

**dd, although you said there is no rush but I'll get it done very soon ya, ;) I'd do up this quick post of bar cookie that I made a few weeks ago. This is considered a healthy enough snack for me to bring to work when I'm craving to munch something between meals. I now refrain from bringing my favourite snacks such as chocolates and butter cookies too often cos' I'll just not be able to control and finish it off very soon!

This bar cookie uses wholemeal flour and cranberries and lesser amount of butter so I would considered it to be a healthier option. This is the cookie for you if you prefer something nutty , crunchy and not too buttery.
Wholemeal Cranberry Bar


100g Wholemeal Flour
40g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
20g raisins and 20g cranberries (I used all cranberries)
20g candied dried fruits (I used chopped peanuts)
20g beaten egg
1 tbsp sesame seeds

  1. Add icing sugar into wholemeal flour and mix well.
  2. Rub butter into the flour mixture till evenly mixed.
  3. Mix together cranberries, raisins and dried fruits/nuts in a bowl. Add egg into the fruit/nuts mixture and stir lightly until evenly mixed.
  4. Add the fruits/nuts mixture (step 3) into step 2, and press the mixture evenly into a 18cm by 18cm square tin.
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and press lightly.
  6. Bake at 170°C for about 30 minutes. After baking, leave it in the oven for 10 minutes before taking out of the oven to cool.

Baking Source: 孟老师的一百道面包