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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chocolate Banana Cake


Since I've been feeling down these days, I thought I'll cheer myself up with something really sinful. Presenting my chocolate banana cake! Yumz. I adapted the recipe from one of my cut outs from Woman's Weekly years ago. It's really simple & easy to clean up coz it only involves 1 mixing bowl. Such a breeze to make & delicious too. I slice the cake into 2 and sandwich it with banana slices & chocolate ganache. Unfortunately being the ken cheong spider I am, I didn't wait for it to cool sufficiently before removing it from the mould. As a result, huge cracks appreared. Bah!! Nevermind la, didn't intend to share it anyways. As long as it's yummy. =)

Ingredients:
(makes a 20cm cake)
- 125g butter, soften at room temp
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups self-raising flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
- 1 cup milk
- 2-3 bananas

Chocolate ganache:
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 cup whipping cream

Method:
- grease 20cm cake tin, sprinke base with baking powder
- combine butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cocoa, soda bicarbonate & milk with an electric mixer on low until just combined
- then beat on medium speed till smooth
- pour into pan & bake at 180deg c for 45 mins
- cool before unmoulding cake
- heat up whipping cream over hot water, stir in chocolate
- stir till smooth
- slice cool cake into 2
- arrange banana slices then top with chocolate ganache then replace cake layer
- spread balance of chocolate ganche on top
- serve cold

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A dedication to my friend Debbie.


I've been feeling rather down lately hence the lack of baking & blogging. I have been receiving bad news one after another the past weeks. Firstly, hubby's godma fell and broke her hips and injured her shoulders, then my uncle met with an serious traffic accident, followed by nanny's relative who is only in her 40s passing on, leaving her 2 young sons (who are fat cheeks holiday playmates) age 9 & 10 behind and lastly, the one that affected me most is that my dear friend Debbie has been diagnosed with myeloid leukemia.

Debbie now going through chemotherapy treatment in SGH and I pray that all will go well. She loves oranges so when I went down to visit her last week, I made her orange chiffon cake. I knew she wouldn't be able to eat much but I do hope the lovely citrus aroma will brighten her day just a little.

Life is really too short & unpredictable. Seeing the pain & loss that others go through reminds me how blessed I am, how sometimes we take the simpliest things which mean so much to others for granted. It reminds me to love and appreciate all the ones around me. Thinking back, I'm really glad I took this few months off to spend time with hubby, fat cheeks and messing around the house. These months have been truely priceless. There were so many times when I was unsure...

Sorry for the major emo entry. I just had to get it off my chest. =)

I'm not very good with words but found this get well poem for Debbie.
.
A Get Well Prayer by Elizabeth Ann Biggs from Poems from my Heart.
This get well prayer is sent with love
A special request to Father God above
That His healing touch, soon be on the way
bringing you well and brighter days.
May your loving heart once again
there flow with happiness a joyous song.
May all the days ahead for you be kind
blessing you with a healthy body, soul and mind.
Please know my dear friend
That for you with love, always I am here
God bless you abundantly, is my prayer
Always safelty to be kept, in His loving care.
.
I will be praying for you Debbie. Be strong. =)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thin Crust Pizza


I made pasta last night with my homemade tomato sauce. This morn, hubby requested me to use the left over sauce to make him a pizza and I found this recipe in one of the chinese cookbook I've borrowed. It looks very simple so I decided to try it. Turns out that the crust is thin and crispy but it tasted more like a pie crust. I think I prefer the slightly thicker more bread like version. I topped my pizza with tomatos, beef sausage, olives, onions and red/white cheddar cheese. Yummzzz...

Here's the recipe for the crust:

Ingredients:
(makes 3 20cm diameter pizza)
- 200g all purpose flour
- 4g salt
- 105ml water
- 12g unsalted butter (I replaced this with olive oil)

Method:
- Add flour, salt & water & mix till combined
- Add butter & knead to from a smooth dough
- wrap dough in plastic wrap & rest for half an hour
- grease pan, divide dough into 3 & shape dough into a round 20cm diameter pan
- Spread sauce & sprinkle toppings
- bake 10 to 12 mins till crisp & brown
.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Orange Chiffon Cake


Last weekend we stayed at the Safra Changi Chalet. We were really looking forward to this coz the only other time Fat Cheeks had stayed out was a year ago at Sentosa with my in laws. This time round my bro in law organised this so everyone went! Imagine all the food, the majong & poker sessions. I do not know how to gamble, so for me, I was just excited to bring fat cheeks to the beach to build sand castles & of course swimming in the pool!! We both had loads of sun & fun. She also basked in everyone's attention. Everyone brought a little something special for her, little packs of chocolate, jelly beans, chips...u name it, she has it. She was really spoilt for choice! Hahaha.

I made assortment of wholemeal buns & orange chiffon cake to share at the chalet. I love the orange chiffon cake. It was really soft & moist.

Here's what I did:

Ingredients (A):
- 4 egg yolk
- 85g orange juice
- 3 tbsp corn oil
- 15g caster sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 tsp orange essence
- pinch of salt
- 95g cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder

Ingredients (B):
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 70g caster sugar

Method:
- preheat oven to 175 deg c
- use hand whisk & mix egg yolk, orange juice, corn oil, 15g caster sugar, zest, essence & salt well
- shift in four & baking powder
- in seperate bowl, whisk egg whites & cream of tartar till foamy
- add sugar gradually till stiff peaks form
- fold egg whites into yolk mixture in 3 portions
- bake 30 to 35 mins




Monday, October 12, 2009

Chocolate Macaron with Vanilla Buttercream


I've heard so much about macarons but I've never tired some. I read that they are not easy to bake, in particular to achieve the skirting round the macaron. But they look so pretty I just had to try to bake them. For starters, I decided to bake Chocolate Macarons with vanilla buttercream. I goggled abit and found this recipe. Let me warn you, they are really sweet!! I halved the sugar in my buttercream but it was still toothachingly sweet for me. According to my read ups, reducing the sugar will jeopardize the macarons. Maybe when I'm feeling adventurous, I shall try this again but with less sugar in the macaroon itself & we'll see how it turns out. For now, I'll just enjoy them as it is...crunchy on the outside, chewy & sweet on the inside. Hubby who has a major sweet tooth loves it much. =)

Ingredients:

Macarons
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup almond powder
- 3tbsp coca powder
- 2 large egg whites at room temp
- 5 tbsp caster sugar

Method:
- beat egg whites till frothy
- add caster sugar & whisk till stiff & glossy
- fold in dry ingredients (icing sugar, cocoa & almond powder)
- pipe approx 1 inch circles onto baking paper & let it sit for 2 hrs
(apprently this is very crucial to achieve skirting! I didn't wait for the full 2hrs, so my macaroons has got a tiny mini skirt)
- preheat oven to 180 deg c
- bake 15-18 mins
- cool compeletely before removing from baking sheet
- pipe buttercream onto one shell then sandwhich with another

Vanilla Buttercream
- 4oz butter
- 10oz icing sugar (I halved this)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
- cream butter & salt
- add 1/2 sugar & milk, cream well then add balance of the sugar & cream again



Friday, October 9, 2009

Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake



I've been under the weather lately. Cold chills & body aches but thankfully nothing serious. I didn't have much appetite to eat but yet I was craving for chiffon cake. I rummaged through my kitchen & found the ingredients for this cake. I was too lazy to go get coconut milk, so I replaced it with low fat milk. It was still yummy but I can imagine how rich it would be if I used coconut milk. Very soft, moist & fragrant. The crust was especially tasty. Needless to say, Fat cheeks loves it. =)

Ingredients:
(makes a 21cm tube pan)
- 4 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp corn oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 95g cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 95g gula melaka (chopped into small pcs)
- 65g coconut milk

- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 30g caster sugar

Method:
- Preaheat oven to 175 deg c
- Melt milk & gula melaka then cool
- Shift flour, salt & baking powder
- Mix egg yolk, oil, gula melaka with milk & flour till well blended, put aside
- Whisk egg white & cream of tartar till frothy add sugar gradually & whisk till stiff peaks form
- Fold 1/3 of egg whites into flour mixture, then fold in the balance
- bake for 40 to 45 mins
There are dark brown specks in the cake coz I didn't dissolve the gula melaka properly. There were still bits & pieces here & there. But I kinda like it, it tasted like caramel.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dark Cherry Swissroll


I had alot of ingredients leftover from making Fat Cheek's bday cake. So I made used of them to make this swissroll. I used the chiffon swissroll recipe I posted earlier. For the fillings, I used whipped cream with chocolate shavings & dark cherries. Yum. See la, how not to get fat!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

White Forest Cake - Happy Birthday My Precious Baby!! (Updated)


My baby's birthday is coming & she's turing 3! We're celebrating her birthday in advance at my in-laws place today. I baked my darling a Hello Kitty White Forest cake. I slogged all night to get it done. Honestly, I'm not very confident of my cake in both looks & taste wise since I've never bake a real birthday cake before. The only birthday cake I've baked so far is a chocolate torte for my dad in law. Practice will help, so I guess I have to start somewhere ya? After much delibration last night, I decided to go ahead. The sponge cake was relatively easy but the whipping cream was driving me nuts! It was so difficuilt to spread the cream evenly and coz the weather's hot, it just won't "stay" & starts melting. Every 5 mins or so, I have to put it into the fridge for the cream to set. Tips anyone? I'm so worried it'll be a melted mess by the time we travel to my in-laws place. Ugh! I'm keeping my fingers & toes crossed that it'll be fine! Oh, if you're wondering how I got my Hello Kitty done. I did it by "transfer". I did some research & found this very handy tip. Please click here. Much easier then free hand drawing. =)


Update:

Thank goodness all was well. The cake was still intact when we arrived at my in law's place and it was well received. It was a nice change form the usual Black Florest cake. Even my bro & sis in law who are usually very health conscious had 2nd helpings, I couldn't be happier. Fat cheeks was so eager to eat it she kept dipping her finger into the cake before we cut the it!

Here's the recipe:

Indredients:
(for a 18cm cake tin)

*Sponge Cake
- 180g sponge mix
- 3 eggs
- 45ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 45gm butter (melted)

*White Cream:
- 200g whipped cream
- 100g white chocolate
- 1 tsp corn oil

*Filling
- 1/2 can black cherry

Method:
- Preheat oven to 180 deg c, line bottom of 7 inch cake tin
- Beat sponge mix, eggs & milk with high speed until light & fluffy
- Turn to low speed, mix in essence & fold in melted butter untill well blended
- Spread batter into prepared tin & bake for 30mins
- Remove fm oven & cool completely
- Split into 2 layers
- To make white cream, melt white chocolate, stir in corn oil then fold in whipped cream until blended
- Spread white cream onto sponge cake, arrange with black cherry
- Sandwich with another sponge cake
- Coat cake with remainding cream & decorate

She really couldn't wait to eat her cake. =)

Last bit of the cake