Friday, November 27, 2009

new job = piling backlogs!

For those who are still not in the know, I have finally started my new job. And have been into it for almost 3 weeks now. I haven't been slacking from baking, in fact I just got a HUGE HUGE oven =DDDD

Backlogs are piling and I have on hand, one of the most exciting recipes to share thus far in my baking life. hahaha! If you've been following my twitter, you'd have guessed it and YES! it's the SUPER DARN spongy chocolate sponge cake which can be made in a breeze. Even muddled-headed D could do it, so I believe anyone else out there can hehe =p

So, let me post 3 posts in one breathe, before more gets piled up! First up!! PIGGIES ENCORE!!!! I received another cupcake order for the same piggies theme and decided to mould the piggies a little more differently. But, due to work and all, I only managed to think of one new design and the rest remained similar. So here it is!

Mango and Peach Yoghurt cupcakes with lemon swiss meringue buttercream =)

Flower pig?!

Truly piggy!

Party piggy =p

NEW! Hot Pig! (both *ahem* literally and figuratively)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAERAH!! I hope you love the cupcakes as much as how I enjoyed making them =D

Next up! D and I made a birthday cake for my sister's 21st. I gotta admit it was kinda like a last minute decision, so the cake was done in a jiffy and the design was, erm...kinda simple. BUT, I'm glad she liked the cake and she was surprised!! So, without saying, it was made with the darn good chocolate sponge sandwiched with fresh blueberries and whipped cream filling. Some thought it was a black forest! haha.

This was the second time D and I made this cake in hmm a week and a half? D even boastfully said he can now memorise the weight of the ingredients heh... T_T

We themed the cake spongebob as we knew my two younger sisters were fanatics of spongebob and friends. Ok, maybe just spongebob himself. But oh well, I wanted to mould spongebob out of fondant but was seriously running out of time! D was brilliant and remembered he bought small little sponge bob figurines for my other sister. So we told her that we would borrowed it just for the cake (since it's gonna go back to the same house isn't it? hahaha!!) so there you have it! A sponge bob cake!

Well, come to think of it, D did 95% of this cake. Inclusive of baking the cake, whipping the cream, filling and coating the cake and also the decorations!!! I only helped with piping of the words which was bleahhh. I'm so proud of him =D

Spongebob on shore haha!

Last but not least was little Chermaine birthday! My church friend JM asked if her colleague could do a cake for her daughter and I'm sad to say that this cake ended up in a mess =(( I am SO SO SO terribly sorry and to make up for it, I decided not to charge for the cake. I still hope little Chermaine was happy nonetheless.

Little Chermaine is a HUGE fan of mickey and minnie so I was asked to do a normal cream cake with mickey and minnie fondant figurines. It was raining cats and dogs every other day for the past week that the figurine barely had time to dry =( So the hands dropped off by the time it was delivered.

What's worse, lesson learnt. No.1: NEVER paste fondant on whipped cream. Whipped cream is so moist, it practically melt the fondant and it just became GOOOEYYY. EWW!

My sister was supposed to deliver the cake for me when she called and told me about the horror. She quickly whipped up another batch of cream and re-creamed the cake. But, it still didn't make it in the end =(

The cake was in dire straits when delivered and I was almost tempted NOT to deliver the cake. But upon fearing that little Chermaine would be really upset, I decided to just do it.

Many apologies for the terrible cake, I am still thinking of taking time out to compensate the terribly done cake. Hopefully I have time to make a new one this time. maybe a smaller one?

But, for viewing pleasure, I snapped photos of it while it was still...hmm.. presentable. So this was how the cake looked..while still o...k...

Mickey and minnie dried ok in my tupperware container but fell apart almost instantly when i transferred them to the cake board. SIGH...this was how they were..on the tupperware..

Oh well, HUGE lesson learnt. I hope little Chermaine's parents don't hold it against me =XX

As for something with a lighter note, I actually translated the darn good chocolate sponge cake recipe from Grace's blog. I saw many comments that they didn't understand the video. So, hopefully this is of some use to someone hehe..

Here's the darn good chocolate sponge which has NEVER creacked in the oven despite me NOT shielding it. =D IT is super moist and spongy and has a nice, chocolatey taste to it. Try it and you'll not regret!

Don't be surprised at how she man-handles the cake hahaha! I admit i was really skeptical with the way she mixed the cake it was as if she was beaten the heck out of it and the bubbles were all going to heaven. haha! I admit I still wasn't as daring as her. but yep! IT WORKS. Mixing in flour WITH a electric mixer. haha!

DARN spongy Chocolate Sponge Cake

203g Whole eggs
32g Egg yolks
135g Caster sugar
21g Glucose
1g Salt
32g Vegetable oil
21g Cocoa powder
106g Cake flour
1g Baking soda
21g Milk

1. Warm vegetable oil and mix in cocoa powder until well mixed and dissolved.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add in whole eggs, egg yolk, caster sugar and salt and beat on high speed until foamy and about doubled in volume and salt and sugar have dissolved.
3. Add in glucose and beat on medium speed until ribbon stage.
4. Sift flour and baking soda over beaten egg mixture. Mix in flour on low speed for 3 seconds just to combine most of the flour. After which, mix at medium speed for approx 20 seconds (or even less) just until mostly incorporated. Fold in any remaining traces of flour with rubber spatula.
5. Take some of the beaten egg mixture and add it into the cocoa powder-vegetable oil mixture to lighten the mixture. Add it into the egg mixture, together with the milk and fold until well incorporated.
6. Pour into an 8” tin and bake at 170C for about 35 minutes.
7. Invert onto a cooling rack after removing from the oven.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

a chanel handbag...

...cake. Yea, if only I owned a real Chanel handbag. haha!

This was a pretty last minute order and I could have very well rejected it. But since I figured I'd probably won't have the chance to do something like that once I've started work, so I took it up!

It's been a while since I made a handbag cake. The last was....hmmm...during class. Bahhh...But I'm really glad I managed to put what I've learnt to use. I explored with using a different handbag strap this time, but hmm..not too good a result. I tried making a real zipper but my hastiness got the better of me and the zipper was too ugly. I refused to put it on. Besides, the real bag didn't have a zipper!

Karen requested for the bag to be pink because black seems a little dull for a birthday. What a thoughtful friend Karen is. She chose this Chanel bag as this was something they all eyed just some days ago. What better idea to present her a birthday cake in the shape of her dream bag =p

While I had alot of fun decorating this cake, I hope Karen, the birthday girl and their friends had a fun time together!

Happy Hatchday!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

my first official food review...

I've never really thought if I'm a serious foodie or some sort. As a Singaporean, I'm sure many of you would agree we ALL love food. Being born in a place with plentiful of different types of food, it's hard to watch your waistline, especially so when the exercise rate goes downhill while your age reaches for the sky.

Enough of depressing weight issues. Life is short, so enjoy while you can. haha! After making Royston's chocolate birthday cake, I was kinda dying for some real good chocolatey cake. I vaguely remember having some real, darn good chocolate cake from Jane's Cake Station, located in the ulu part of Singapore, deep down at Jalan Kayu.

I was really determined to try it again since it was years, probably almost 10 years, since I had the chocolate fudge cake from Jane's. I somehow recalled having a fantastic durian cake from Jane's as well. It was one of the FIRST durian desserts I conquered that led me to accepting durian in desserts. (recall: I started hating durian at some part of my life)

So, with high hopes, I drove down specially at 11+ am just to make sure I get my slice of cake.

ta-da! Yummilicious - looking cake. The cake defintiely looked chocolately and fudgy. But the smell wasn't appealing. One sniff and I could tell it wasn't a good quality chocolate. I started doubting my memory. It was either "memories always tasted better" or my taste buds got sharper after all that baking.

Nonetheless, the chocolate cake was okay, but really, not fantastic at all. If given a choice, I wouldn't go back there anymore for the chocolate cake. But! the cake has it's merits. The cake itself was really light and fluffy and stayed soft and moist after 5 days in the fridge. The fudge on the other hand, seemed lacking. Of what, I am not sure. It was not like what I expected a dense creamy fudge. But rather, a more jelly-like kind of topping. It was horrible, but just fell short of what I expect.

So, I thought, surely the durian won't disappoint! didn't exactly, but surely it still didn't taste as good as it used to be. I am also pretty sure durian essence was used in the cake layer. Why so? I bought a durian essence, wanting to use for mooncakes, but I couldn't accept the fact the essence was really really really too fake. and yucky. The smell is SO strong, it lingered in the room for at least a day. As such, the smell is engraved in my head.

The cake comprised of one THICK layer of durian cream encased in two thin layers of durian sponge (which was, "as light as air" - quoted by my Dad). The durian cream was not chunky durian, but smooth and creamy it was with tiny durian fibres. the durian taste good.

And as D put it, as long as the durian used is good, how bad can a durin cake taste? There! you have it. The durian cake IS good, but not THAT good that will warrant me a special trip down to the ulu jalan kayu just for a slice of durian cream cake.

Jane's Cake Station
265 Jalan Kayu S799493
Call 6481 1322

Mon-Sat 12pm-6.00pm,
Sun & Public Holidays 12pm-4pm
Closed on Wednesday

8-inch Chocolate Fudge Cake : $30.00
8-inch Durian Cream Cake : $38.00
*Other sizes available. 8-inch is the smallest*

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Royston turns FOUR!

Royston's daddy sms-ed me earlier in the week to ask if I could bake a cake for little royston. When I asked if he had any design in mind, he replied, no. So I suggested using his favorite cartoon character as a theme. However, after some discussion, Royston's daddy decided to go with something plain. Either a chocolate or carrot cake. I figured that chocolate would probably be a more popular flavour with kids, so I went ahead.

I guess it was one of the most difficult cake I worked with. Reason being, I had no theme! It was supposed to be plain and kiddy. *scratch head* I really got stuck for a moment. Luckily, D was around to tolerate my nonsense and gave me some suggestions. And if you've guessed it, he was the one who suggested making a rainbow. hehe..I think he's picking up a little in the art department and probably will soon surpass me bahhhh....

The cake was a small 6-inch cake just enough for 6-8 decent slices. As such, I could only fit 3 colours for the rainbow. Sigh...if only I had mini M&Ms...

To make it a little more kiddy, I piped stars around the edge and once again, not too very well done. But but but, I'm really really pleased with how smooth the frosting was. Even though it wasn't perfection, it was as close to as I could get.

I used Anna's velvety chocolate cake recipe for the cake and whipped honey-dark chocolate ganache for the filling and frosting. And I must say, the ganache worked beautifully!

I decided to pipe some words in a more kiddy font and again it was piped with the ganache. How useful isn't it? =ppp The consistency of the ganache was really nice to work with, it was one of those times when I piped pretty nice words. HAHA~ What a brag..I know I know..I was just happy I managed something simple yet kiddy.

Wishing little Royston a happy 4th birthday!
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