Friday, May 29, 2009

steamy goodness

I finally tried out the much raved steamed moist chocolate cake recipe. It was super easy to put together and of course, a healthier alternative. Or so i think it is =p
The only problem I had was that the cake was pretty short. Less than 2" tall, 1.8" to be exact. (yes, i measured it) =( Plus, I had many small little holes on the surface of the cake AND the center was taller in the middle than the side! I did cover it with foil. But I'm not sure if it is considered covered "loosely". What I did was just to place the foil over the cake tin. No wrapping no anything. Just to make sure the surface was covered.
Anyone who tried out this recipe before knows what went wrong?
For those who want to have a hand at it, it can be found here! Apparently, this recipe was originally from Dralion from a forum, Kitchen Capers. It has TONS of good and raving reviews.
Having said that and rambling and complaning, the cake was good. if you don't have an oven, fret not! no baking experience, doesn't matter! no baking gadgets, no mixer, no "special" bowls, not an issue!!
As long as you have a steamer (no steamer also nvm, just use a big wok), large spoon and a big bowl, you're in for a treat! oh! I forgot, you do need to sift the flour. IF you really want to get a flour sifter, just get one at Daiso, $2 only, quite a bargain, isn't it?
Happy steaming!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

another workshop by Anna!

After the handbag cake workshop, Anna finally opened a class teaching simple 2 tiered cakes upon many requests! yipee! To me, it was a must go! I believe the skills and techniques learnt at Anna's workshops will last you your baking lifetime i would say. =p

I was really really looking forward to this workshop, but come the day, i was kinda tired and felt a little sluggish to go for class. But! but! the class didn't disappointment as usual and i lurvvvee the orange, cinammon cake Anna provided as a recipe. PLUS! i finally got to meet Jane from passionate about baking! well, that was the main reason why i got all excited about the workshop too! She's a really lovely lady, very warming, enthusiastic and very very easy to get along with. I'm glad to have joined the class else, I wouldn't be able to have meet Jane =D

I didn't do a good job taking all the pictures. But here they are, all the beauties lined up! My camera not as pro, just a normal point and shoot, so i couldn't zoom it, just had to break them up in order to see the details of each and every beautiful cake =D I really love these 2 cakes! they look so, girly, elegant and soothing.

Here's Jane's cake on the right which looked simple and classy to me. The colours, in my opinion were a really good match. I could have not though of such unique combinations!

The previous picture didn't capture the top of Jane's cake, so I hope this picture did some justice to her cake. The blue one is Philia's cake, owner of blogshop Ophilia.Treats. =)

And this, is mine =p I was deciding between putting on fondant cut-out flowers or using the beautiful, elegant stencils Anna had. The stencils looked like something to be mastered and i wasn't prepared to potentially destroy my pink cake =p And do, since i already had the flowers cut out, i decided to go ahead. But, i had another problem, how do i stick them on? The other ladies were really quick and creative and their cakes left me amazed! And so, I went back toying on the stencil idea. I finally decided on making a design of cascading flowers, which, wasn't that easy either. Putting the flowers at certain angles, to make them look random and flowing out from the top, proved a challenge with my not-so-artistic flare =S

Anyhow, THAT's the cake i ended up with. And I'm pretty satisfied with it. Except for the bare backside. But the other ladies and Anna convinced me it's supposed to look like that, elegant and simple. haha~

It's Anna's last workshop for now as she goes off for a break awating the delivery of her second boy! Congrats Anna and do have a great rest!! =))

Thanks Jane! Here's the picture you sent me! Thanks alot!! My camera not pro enough =p I have also been toying with the idea of getting a DSLR, but my lousy photography skills would just put the good camera specs to waste!

Thanks Jane once again!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I cheated on the post dates hehe..I kinda rushed to finish up the cake, cos I procrastinated throughout the week. bad me. haha..

So anyway, I saw a video from again and saw this castle cake and changed it to suit a boy's birthday =) And of course, i jumped at the chance to bake a birthday cake for jed's fourth birthday! =DD

The picture was courtesy of Kane. I was kinda at a loss at how to decorate the cake. The video said to put sugar cubes for the ridges on the wall. but..yuck! sugar cubes? so I tried replacing them with loacker wafers covered in dark chocolate cream. oh! yea, the cake was a 7" orange pound cake (which i modified from rei's chocolate pound cake recipe) sandwiched with dark chocolate pastry cream (which I too from Dorie Greenspan's baking: from my home to yours). The video showed to roll the ice cream cones in sanding sugar..i went..sugar again??? So since I was on a orange-chocolate theme, I went ahead and replaced the sanding sugar with chocolate rice!

I personally wasn't too satisfied with the outcome. I thought it could have looked better. oh well, i'm jus glad that jed's mummy said he looked happy and proud of his cake =D Someone commented the cake being a little hard, but i'm not sure if its because it was chilled. But then again, the cake had very fine grains, just like the condensed milk pound cake. so..hmm..i'm not sure either. *shrugs*

So, I won't be posting the varied version of orange pound cake now, until I get satisfied reviews about it. Do let me know however if you really want it. I can post it all the same =)

I do have to agree that the swiss meringue buttercream was SUPER sweet. I lost my swiss meringue buttercream recipe i used for ian's birthday so i had to use some that i found online. Only to find out the the sugar amount was ahem too much. apologies everyone!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Japanese Souffle Cheesecake

Not too sure how many have been reading this blog neither am I sure if those who read remember me mentioning about attempting a few new and some old recipes but was too lazy to take pictures and blog about them? (pardon the super long sentence) Well, this is one of those I've tried along the way.

The previous attempt left me upset about the texture and appearance. Although it tasted good, it wasn't something I was looking out for or expecting it to be. This time, I saw on Pei Lin's flickr that she tried out this "Japanese Souffle Cheesecake". Sounds gorgeous already doesn't it? haha.

Apparently, this recipe is THE one that I'm looking out for. It has ZERO gluten as corn flour is used in place of any other kind of flour and it's creamy texture it's enhanced even more by the addition of very fattening whipping cream. yikes! what a unhealthy dessert isn't it? Before you change your mind about making this, let me first tell you, this isn't your normal typical cafe-type dense, creamy cheesecake that gets you so sick of cheese you just want to vomit. nope! this isn't. Well, if you're guessing then that this is the kind of cheesecake you get from BreadTalk for 8.90 (in an oval shape) or Fiesta (for dunno how much) then bingo you're right on!

Despite it's super high fat content, this cheesecake as it name suggests (souffle) is really light and creamy which, yes, literally melts in your mouth. With the addition of lemon zest and hint of lemon juice really makes this cake a pleasant afternoon treat!

Before I go on and on about the cake non-stop, let me get on with the recipe. I got this recipe, with Pei Lin's recommendation, from this blog.

The only complaint I have now is the appearance of the cake. The edges are slanted and I have zero idea why. Does anyone out there happen to know?

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

Japanese soufflé cheesecake

250g cream cheese
200ml thickened cream (35% milkfat)
40g cornflour
4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
4 egg whites
75g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 150C. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line bottom with baking paper.
2. Dissolve cream cheese with thickened cream in a bowl placed over simmering water (or in a double-boiler). Remove from heat. Whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
3. Beat egg yolks with caster sugar, lemon zest and juice. Gradually whisk the warm cheese mixture into the yolk mixture. Fold in cornflour.
4. Beat egg whites until foamy with uniform tiny bubbles. Gradually beat in caster sugar, spoonful by spoonful, until firm but not to stiff peaks stage.
5. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the cheese mixture. Repeat two more times with the rest of the meringue.
6. Pour batter into the prepared tin. Place the cake tin in a deep roasting tray and fill the tray with hot water to halfway up the sides of the cake tin.
7. Bake for slightly over an hour. Let cool completely before turning out. If the cake is hard to turn out, assist it by placing the tin over warm water briefly.

*note: size of egg is 60g (with shell)

adapted from cafe of the east

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


fellow flickr friend, now turned good msn buddies, Pei Lin made me feel guilty for not trying out the recipes in the book "Paris Sweets" by Dorie Greenspan.. Since making tarts were always on my mind which I somehow never got around to do it, which I blame on the dazzling list of distracting recipes to try, I finally plucked up some courage and tried a really simple chocolate tart.
Sad to say, I don't think I've quite succeeded in ti as the chocolate filling seemed a little separated and..oily?? I wasn't sure if I'm supposed to wait till the chocolate as fully blended with the cream before adding the yolks..and the moment I did, the mixture looked separated, my heart ached for the expensive Valrhona. Heck! I shall continue and not waste my good chocolate. Turns out, the chocolate became smooth in the end, BUT was a little..oily..not like ganache at all! Felt like some water made its way in there and spoilt my chocolate mixture! argh!

Despite that, the chocolate took super long to set. Even after basking in the fridge for more than half an hour, the chocolate still remain pretty soft. Check out the picture above and you'll see what I mean.
Maybe I was too anxious to take a peak and taste how it was leading to this very unsightly slice of tart, but mind you! This is definitely a tart you can't have in chunks! You'd probably DIE of chocolate over-dose and lose your voice the next day. *ah hem* if you know what I mean. The tart was buttery and fragrant but I'm not sure if it was supposed to taste that way as I haven't really had a tart? or made one?

Probably not THE best, but defnitely good enough for me. =D

Monday, May 11, 2009

pound cakes!!

Do a simple search and I bet you'd get many raving reviews over this condense milk pound cake! So many mentioned about how this pound cake recipe yields Sara Lee tasting pound cakes. Ahh..Sara Lee pound cakes were my favorite when i was a child. It's been really long since I last tasted one and sad to say, I've really forgotten how it tastes like.

Speaking of which, it's my first time baking pound cakes. I baked my first pound cake using Rei's recipe on chocolate pound cake and reduced it to fit a 6" cake pan. I probably reduced it a tad too much and the miserable batter filled less than 1/2 the height of the cake tin! What made things worse was that knowing my oven's got this annoying over heating top element, I forgot to tent the cake! the top cooked too fast, too soon, that I ended up with a volcano! boohoo!=(( It was such a disappointment, I didn't bother with any pictures. The taste however, was wonderful. moist and soft.
I couldn't take it lying so I just had to try out the condense milk pound cake recipe which Rei kinda posted too. This time, results were much more satisfying! just look how tight and fine the crumbs are!
I was taking pictures of the cake when my sister just came home from school. Needless to say, she asked to try the cake and of course i gladly obliged. One mouth from her and she asked for another slice! So I had to try it and I fell in love with it right away. Moist, soft and acceptable sweetness! Although I can't give any comparison to Sara Lee's pound cakes, these were good enough and need no comparison =)
I didn't manage to capture how fine the crumbs were on the picture above and thought I'd take a close up shot on the crumbs. I don't think the picture did justice to the cake but, well, I hope you get the picture. (pun intended)
So what are you waiting for? Try this and you'll not regret!
Recipe here

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Tiramisu which literally translates to "pick-me-up" in Italian is a popular cake/dessert i supposed? I pretty much love this dessert too, but not to go ga-ga over it. I saw HHB's post on her birthday cake which reminded me about this dessert which has been on my to-do list for more than a year!

Well, more like it was a promise to SJ that we would try making this together since it's a favorite cake. I felt really guilty upon seeing HHB's post but hey! her birthday's just round the corner, so what better way to make a tiramisu to..pick-her-up? haha..
And so, I set off to searching and consolidating some tiramisu recipes i've gathered and mind you, they were a bunch! There are variations as to how to make a tiramisu the simplest being just mixing some whipped cream with mascarpone cheese. The more complicated ones involved making Sabayon, which is also know as Zabaglione, which is actually egg yolks beated till pale and thick over a double boiler (to cook it). and of course, there's the "raw" option which is not to cook the eggs at all. Some use egg whites to make the cheese mixture lighter and others use whipped cream. With a variety and thousand and one methods staring at you certainly makes you spoilt for choice.
I ended up mixing and matching and putting together a recipe from various sources. Everything went well, except the coffee and liquor taste wasn't as evident as I would liked it to be =(( Also, my cheese mixture didn't seem as thick as those I viewed on the video. =X
I had a little extra leftover and made a really small cup of extra tiramisu. Having tasted a good tiramisu eons ago, I really couldn't recall how a tiramisu should taste like =X My worries were unfounded when my younger sister couldn't stop exclaiming how tasty it was! Well, is it because she hasn't tasted a real good tiramisu before? perhaps so!
I'm really terrible at cake decorating so I copied HHB's decoration. The strawberries i got were from US and my! the sizes were soooo uneven. I ended up picking the bigger ones and spaced them out. The korean strawberries are soo much better in terms of size, taste and fragrance. sigh..I was lazy to make chocoalte curls so I did it the usual tiramisu way, sprinkle some cocoa powder =p
More importantly was how Si Jie felt isn't it? Well, an sms from her mentioning she liked the look of the cake and it tasted good except the coffee taste could be stronger (which I totally agreed) was most comforting. But i heaved a sigh of relief when she mentioned that it does taste like a tiramisu.
Till I'm more satisfied with the recipe, will I post it up. If you're really dying for this little treat, you can just drop me an email for the recipe or simply, google it!
Lastly, Wishing Si Jie a very Happy Birthday and God Bless!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

going easy

I didn't realise that it has been almost a month since I last posted something. Finally done with my exams!! and am now officially unemployed. sigh~

Well, on a happier note, I'm back to my baking regime again! I have been checking back regularly and have been baking during the past month. Was pretty busy with preparing for the exams towards the end so I totally ceased baking. My brother saw me mixing and measuring in the kitchen this afternoon and he said "eh? you like very long nv bake le hor?" well, yes my dear, i'm glad you realised. =p

I have been baking then and now but was just too tired and couldn't really be bothered to take pictures and blog about them. they were more like..erm..a break from studying for me. of course, i did attempt some new stuff and re-visited some old recipes and now, i have a huge pile of recipes waiting for me to try them out!

I seriously had no idea where to start, so I decided to go easy. Isn't it pretty obvious that cookies would be the number one choice? hehe. no complicated mixing, no fretting over super accurate oven temperatures and of course, a breeze to make. and fast too. needless to say, easy to photograph as well. no need to fret over the slices, the whole look, etc. most importantly, they're so yummy and addictive!

I got this recipe via Anna's freebies (by subscribing to her mailing list). She has her story and how she arrived at naming these cute little peanut butter cookies - peanut butter blessings. Well, I have my own too! I brought some freshly baked ones for my brother to try without telling him what were those and got him to guess. he went, "is it one of those cny cookies again?" I went ?! aren't they obviously peanut butter cookies? and it suddenly struck me after tasting a second one, gosh! they're almost identical to those peanut cookies you'd probably have during cny! Tries to modify the cny almond cookies recipe to the peanut version, didn't taste as nice and addictive as the almond ones. and so...this means, i've found my cny peanut cookies replacement!!

That aside, this recipe is really really easy. you don't need a mixer. just a whisk or a wooden spoon and 1 mixing bowl. you're good to go. i got every mixed in less than 10 minutes. quick. fuss free. and yummy =)

I'm not sure if i'm able to share the recipe out here as she changes her freebies link from time to time and subscirbers get updated ones via her newletters. So if you really wanna get your hands on her various free recipes, just hop on here to join her mailing list. it's free anyway!

I orignally intended to try out three cookie recipes. All thanks to my laziness and procrastination, I only managed two! The other is none other than these super chocolatey double chocolate chip almond cookies!

I got this recipe from Elyn which, is another really easy recipe to make =) Although the recipe required creaming the butter and sugar, I was again, too lazy to bring out the mixer. So...yes you guessed it, I used a whisk to put everything together. It's pretty easy to cream the butter/sugar mixture with a manual whisk provided your butter is soft enough and of course, the amount not too much lah. I found this pretty manageable for this recipe and managed to get it light and fluffy without breaking my arms =p

Elyn doesn't mention how big or how much each cookie should be, so I just guessed and used my own measurements. Her recipe state that it yields about 42 cookies, but i managed about 48. *shrugs* nonetheless, the cookies were crispy, crunchy and chocolateyyy!

Here's the recipe with some of my modifications.

Double chocolate chip almond cookies


100g butter
45g sugar
45g brown sugar
20g egg (about half an egg)
140g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
60g chocolate chip
30g diced almond


1.Line baking tray with parchment or baking paper. Preheat oven to 170C.
2.Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in egg a little at a time until well mixed.
3.Fold in sifted flour, cocoa powder and baking soda till just combined.
4.Mix in chocolate chips and diced almonds.
5.Measure out leveled 1/2 tablespoonfuls of dough, roll them into a ball and place on baking tray. Use a fork and flatten the cookies.
6. Bake for 13-15 min.

Makes approx. 48 pieces.

Note :- The cookie does not flatten or spread out during baking.

adapted from Elyn

~happy baking!~

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