Taro Magic Custard Cake

20160623-204822-74902525.jpgMagic custard cake, one cake batter turns into 3 layers dessert!
The first bottom layer is a dense gooey cake, then the second layer is a creamy custard and the top layer is a sponge cake.. All made up of ONE batter! Oh yeah, that’s the magic part.

I decided to flavour this magic custard cake into a taro or purple yam flavour. My favourite bubble milk tea flavour if you’re familiar with this (seriously has become a stereotype) asian drink. But yeah… I got to be honest, there are no actually purple yam in this taro magic custard cake. More on that later.

Anyway, I also want to flavour it in a different way other than vanilla and chocolate. So…

Ok let’s get started, shall we?
The ingredients are:

20160625-235702-86222674.jpgMilk, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, salt and taro tea powder…. Waiiiit.. What?

20160626-003920-2360739.jpgYep. Taro tea powder.
Umm… But what’s that?
It is a drink mix powder, often found sweetened and sometimes called taro latte powder if it consist some milk on it where you can just dilute it in some warm water/milk, put some boba pearls and ice and you got boba taro milk tea!

Also another reason why I decided to make it into taro flavoured magic custard cake is that.. Well, Let’s start from the beginning. The first magic custard cake recipe I encountered and made me realise such awesome dessert exist was a chocolate one then I found the vanilla and even fruit flavoured ones. Then I found the matcha and I was super intrigue to make the matcha flavoured magic custard cake until one day I decided to use all of my matcha powder for a birthday cake for a friend. So… Scratch that because I don’t have the money to buy another packet of high quality green tea powder.

After some times, I’ve forgotten this magic custard cake idea until I found some packets of taro tea powder stored deep inside my pantry. As I’ve said before, being a boba taro milk tea lover (fanatics, even.), I’ve tried to made them my own and totally forget them after using a few packets and consuming them every. Single. Day.

So, as I’ve said before, this cake got no actual purple yam on it instead it’s the flavouring powder. I mean.. Let’s face it, in most countries, finding taro tea powder is way easier than the actual taro itself.. You can just purchase it online!

Well, I found mine online too, but unfortunately this shop did not ship worldwide. Maybe you can find it in your asian grocery stores? If not, still. Buying it online is your best chance. The taro tea powder that I own is not that great in terms of quality anyway. The colour was a bit off.

20160626-222706-80826374.jpgStart of by separating your egg whites and yolk.

Whip the egg whites on high speed until it becomes fluffy like a cloud. Stiff peak stage.

20160626-223043-81043077.jpgnext up, whisk the yolk with the sugar,
Mix in the flour, taro powder and salt,
Then stream in the melted butter,
Lastly the milk!

20160626-223710-81430327.jpgThe batter should be super liquid. Don’t panic, don’t reduce any milk. You’re on a right track.

Put the clouds into the purple liquid.
You’re not suppose to loose a lot of air in the whipped egg whites, but folding the whipped whites to the liquid batter is damn hard.
So here’s what I did, I whisk them gently together, just whisking from the side ( not from the center), turning the bowl as I whisk and once I saw the whites are pretty much covered with the purple, I’m done. It won’t and shouldn’t be totally mixed together so don’t stress out and vigorously whisk them.

20160626-233113-84673569.jpgAaand bake, sprinkle with icing sugar, cut and enjoy!!

Wait, although I should tell you to let it cool first, if possible, put it into the fridge for an hour or so until the cake feels firm, then you can cut it. If not, this cake would be pretty messy to cut.

Although, for me, the cake taste better in room temperature because the custard part goes even creamier. But yeah, it’s a personal preference and plus, if you’re not a big fan of waiting, you can just dig in!

20160627-215523-78923419.jpgWell honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of waiting too, especially with food. But since I took quite sometime taking pictures of this taro magic custard cake, it comes to temperature as time goes by…..

So here’s the best chronology to enjoy the taro magic custard cake:
Bake – let cool – sprinkle with icing sugar – cut into pieces – wait until the cake has come to room temperature – best part, DIG IN!!

20160627-220011-79211793.jpgA tumbled down stack of taro magic custard cake.

20160627-220522-79522544.jpgCan you see those layers? It looks like it got 4 layers even. But still. It’s fudgey cake, dreamy creamy taro cream and lastly the fluffy sponge cake layer.

20160627-221414-80054952.jpg

20160629-210001-75601270.jpg,Have a good one everybody!

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Taro magic custard cake recipe
Makes 1 pan of 21 x 21 cm cake

Ingredients:
• 4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
• 225 g white sugar
• 60 g all-purpose flour
• 15 g taro tea powder*
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 110 g unsalted butter (melted)
• 475 ml (2 cups) whole milk
• vanilla extract (optional)

* Unsweetened, if you cannot find the unsweetened kind, use 200 g sugar or adjust accordingly. Also, 15 g is based on my not-so-stong taro powder, if you can find a better quality, use about 7-10g or adjust to your liking.

How to make it:
1) Whip the egg whites with 2 tablespoon of the sugar until stiff peak stage. Set aside.
2) Whip the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy then add in the flour, salt and taro powder, whisk until combined.
3) Pour in the melted butter, stir, then pour the milk and vanilla, stir until just combined.
4) Working half at a time of the egg whites, spoon and whisk them together, just by the side GENTLY trying not to loose a lot of air, the mixture will not be totally incorporated.
5) In a 21x21cm square pan that has been buttered, line the sides of it making the parchment paper hang on to the sides then coat with caster sugar, pour in the batter then bake at a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for 50-60 minutes.
6) Let the cake totally cooled before unmolding it, sprinkled with icing sugar then cut into pieces.

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Lemon Dome Cake

20160414-233021-84621177.jpgI’ve been tackling cakes in an entremet façon.. I just feel like cakes with different components and textures are an interesting thing to do.

Also, I made a jar of lemon curd which I posted on my previous post and decided to make this individual lemon cake.

Also, a heads up, this is not a step by step post since there are a lot of components in this lemon dome and also I did not take any picture since I wasn’t planning on posting it but this lemon dome turns out to be more successful than I thought. So.. Yes, the recipe will be a long one.

20160423-232655-84415366.jpgFor those of you who are not familiar with the word entremet, it’s a fancier version of your regular birthday cake. Usually consist of different texture and flavours that balance the whole thing instead of just regular cake and buttercream.

The most regular one to use is mousse as their main component. The base of entremets usually are the crunch factor. Some people use sable breton which is buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread cookies, or chocolate mixed with feuilletine (basically crunchy crepes) but not all entremet has to have a crunch factor, that’s why they sometimes use dacquoises (almond sponge), biscuit à la cuillère (lady fingers but since you made it from scratch usually people shape it into a disk for the base of your cake), génoise cake which what I’m using for this lemon dome, and many more. All types of cakes from brownies to chiffon cakes are often used for the cake part.

The insert of the entremet is where you can get creative with. Here, I fill them with strawberry jelly and lemon curd. Some use panna cotta, creme brulee like flan, fruit jellies, ganaches, and many more. It’s just how you balance the flavour all together.

20160423-234559-85559777.jpgAnd since you’re here, I think you deserve a close up look of the inside.

The components of this lemon dome are (from the bottom to the top layer):
• Lemon genoise cake soaked with lemon syrup
• Strawberry basil jelly
• Lemon curd
• Vanilla bean mascarpone mousse
• Lemon yogurt glacage

20160424-000201-121454.jpgI used some melted chocolate and fondant cut into little flowers to create those pretty swirly flowery decoration.

I am ridiculously proud of the flower decor on this lemon dome. Since I usually am not that good on the decor department but this lemon dome looks pretty aren’t they??

20160426-162154-58914134.jpgLook at that oozing lemon curd. It kind of act as the sauce but also the refreshing element of this lemon dome.

I made this lemon dome, other than to tackle cakes in an entremet way but also I was making something that my dad can also eat. My dad is not the biggest fan of anything sweet. Nope. Usually the desserts that I made were devoured by me, my mom and my sister, never my dad. He would probably eat a bite of two then that’s it. But my dad is the biggest fan of anything sour. His level of sour endurance is to the point where he snacks on sliced lemons. Just like that. So, since he like sour food, I decided to make this lemon dome.

I put some yogurt on the strawberry jelly so it would be as sour as my dad’s level of sour preference. Also yogurt on the glacage for the same reason, and also glacage is extremely sweet on it’s own since it uses sugar solution AND white chocolate for those coloured glacage. And since I haven’t found any less sweet alternative for the glacage, I decided to balance the sweetness with the lemon curd and yogurt.

For those of you who’s not the biggest fan of sour, you can omit or reduce the yogurt amount on both the jelly and glacage.

20160426-165740-61060488.jpgOkay, this lemon dome is a bit shy, it’s trying to hide behind the leaves.

20160426-171423-62063635.jpgOh yeah, I used some mirror glace with a bit of red food colouring for the red middle part, but you can use anything you got. You can use some melted candy melts, strawberry jam/jelly, white chocolate dyed red, or even some fondants dyed red. Well, that is of course if you want to make this lemon dome just like what I did. You can search for other alternatives on decorating if you’re not feeling for something too sweet looking like this

20160426-171901-62341622.jpgHave a good one everybody!

20160427-173646-63406054.jpg

Lemon Dome recipe
Makes 8, diameter of 5 cm domes

See lemon curd recipe here.

Ingredients:
Genoise cake
• 2 large eggs
• 45 g sugar
• 65 g cake flour
• a pinch of salt
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 5 g unsalted butter (melted)
• 7 ml milk
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Basil Jelly
The quantity of the flavourings (basil, yogurt, sugar) can be added depending on your preference
• 10 pcs of big strawberry (washed and hulled, then cut into smaller pieces)
• 5-7 fresh basil leaves
• 50 g sugar
• 100 ml water
• 4 g gelatin powder (use 3g of gelatin if omiting the yogurt)
• 3 tbsp plain yogurt

Lemon Syrup
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 50 ml water
• 50 g sugar

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Mousse
• 65 g mascarpone cheese
• 20 g unsalted butter
• 7 g powdered gelatin
• 2 egg whites
• 45 g sugar
• 60 ml fresh cream
• 20 g sugar
• ½ vanilla pod

Lemon Yogurt Glacage
• 8 g corn starch
• 7 g gelatin powder
• 4 tbsp lemon curd (loosen by dipping the jar in warm water for about 5 minutes or microwave on high for 10 seconds, then let cool to room temperature)
• 2 tbsp plain yogurt
• 90 g sugar
• 50 g glucose/corn syrup
• 30 ml water
• 100 ml fresh cream
• 70 g white chocolate
• Yellow food colouring (optional)

Decoration
• 30 g milk chocolate (melted)
• Little flower shaped fondant
• Red jam

How to make:
Genoise Cake
1) Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric whisker until super fluffy (around 6-8 minutes). You can tell by when the whisk is lifted the batter will fall into ribbon and the batter won’t dissolve back again and disappear.
2) Sift in the flour and salt then add the lemon zest, fold the batter while turning the bowl just until the flour clumps is no longer there and trying to keep the air in the batter as much as possible.
3) Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla, fold just until the liquid mixed in.
4) Pour into a 20×20 cm greased and lined baking pan, level the top and the sides, bake in a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for 20-25 minutes of until the middle part is springy when touched and the edges is golden brown.
5) Let cool then unmold. With a circle cutter the size of your molds, cut circles.
You may not get 8 perfect circles but you can cut semi circles from the sides and some pieces to make it into a perfect round. Just like a jigsaw puzzle!

Strawberry Basil Jelly
6) Mix the yogurt and gelatin, stir well. Set aside.
7) In a saucepan, put the cut strawberries, basil, sugar and water then bring to a boil until all the strawberries are soft. Roughly mash the strawberries and basil with a fork, cook for another 3 minutes.
8) Turn off the heat then add in the yogurt gelatin mixture. Stir until all dissolved.
9) Strain the jelly mixture into an 8×8 cm mold lined with aluminum foil or put it into an 8×8 cm ziplock bag, take as much air as possible from the bag then seal it. Rest it on a flat surface.
10) Put in the freezer until solid. Then cut the plastic bag or foil, with a small round cutter (I just used a big pipping tip around 3 cm in diameter, dipped the round side in warm water), cut the jelly into small round disks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon Syrup
11) Put all the ingredients together in a saucepan then bring to a boil. Let cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Mousse
12) Take 2 tbsp cream then mix with the gelatin. Set aside to bloom.
13) In a saucepan, combine the mascarpone and butter. Melt on low heat just until the butter melted, stir in the bloomed gelatin until all melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
14) Whip the egg whites with the 45g sugar until stiff peak with an electric mixer or a stand mixer.
15) Split the vanilla pod then scrape out the seeds, put it into the remaining cream then whip the cream with the 20g sugar until soft peak with the same beater that used to whip the egg whites.
16) Add a spoonful of the whipped cream into the slightly cooled mascarpone mixture, then mix (you don’t need to be too gentle). Pour all the mascarpone mixture to the remaining cream then fold gently.
17) Add a spoonful of the whipped egg to the cream mixture then with a wire whisk, whisk them until roughly combined. Pour all the cream mixture to the egg white mixture then whisk gently until no lumps of egg whites are left.
18) Pour the mousse into a silicone dome mold nearly all the way to the top (leave around ½ cm space).
19) Set the mousse in the fridge for 5-6 hours (I left it overnight).

Assembly
20) Once the mousse has set, take it out then with a spoon (preferably a round spoon like a scoop, I used a melon baller) dipped in hot water, scoop the middle part of the mousse creating a well in the middle the size of the strawberry jelly disk. Reserve the scooped mousse bits in a bowl.
21) Fill the well with the lemon curd (room temperature or dipped in a warm water bath for about 5 minutes to loosen the lemon curd) ¾ of the way. Then top the lemon curd with the strawberry jelly.
22) Put the reserved scooped mousse bits, into the microwave 10 seconds burst on medium power just until the edges melted (not hot or it might cook the egg), then stir until all has melted.
23) Brush the genoise with the lemon syrup. This will moistened the cake.
24) Smear enough melted mousse on top of the dome mousse just enough to stick the genoise cake.
25) Put it into the freezer until ready to glaze.
Freezing the dome overnight will be easier for the glacing part but I didn’t bother to do that since I’ve set the mousse overnight.

Lemon Yogurt Glacage
26) Mix the yogurt with the gelatin. Set aside to bloom.
27) Mix the lemon curd with the corn starch. Stir until dissolved.
28) In a saucepan, mix the sugar, glucose/corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil until all the sugar has dissolved. Pour in the cream then stir until all combined, then add in the corn starch and lemon curd mixture, keep stirring until thickened. Cook for another minute to cook the flour (so there won’t be any raw flour taste).
29) Turn off the heat, then stir in the yogurt gelatin mixture until dissolved.
30) Over a sift on top of the white chocolate, strain the cooked mixture to remove any lumps, then stir the chocolate until all melted. Add the yellow food colouring if the colour is not bright enough.
31) Let cool to room temperature, not in the fridge as it will sets up.

Glazing
32) Remove the lemon dome out of the mold, set it on a glass with a smaller diameter than the dome with a pan underneath to catch the dripping glacage. Pour the cooled glacage over the lemon dome (pouring a lot of the glacage will ensure even coating). Set it back in the fridge until firm.
You can just scoop back the glacage from the pan to glace the other lemon domes.
If the glacage gets to thick to pour, melt them back in a low heat or in a microwave. But if it’s too hot, you need to let it cool back down to room temperature or else it will melt the mousse if the glacage is too hot.

33) (optional) Do the second coat on the lemon domes. Then set it back again in the fridge before decorating.

Decoration
34) Pipe twine like swirls with the melted chocolate on top of the domes.
35) Using more chocolate, stick the little flower fondants scattered all pver the lemon dome then dot with red coloured jam in the middle.

Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

20160317-203719-74239195.jpgFirst let me tell you what this is, it’s a carrot cake that’s packed with spices and nuts with a cream cheese filling inside, topped with mascarpone cheese frosting, caramelized pecans and chocolate crumbs.

Oh yeah, drooling yet?
This is the first time I’ve made carrot cake, I’ve always love carrot cake with their cream cheese frosting but never made them… Now since easter is coming, why not make a carrot cake, in a bundt cake form.

Now let’s get started!

20160317-215848-79128221.jpgFirst thing first is the cream cheese filling, the ingredients are sugar, lemon zest (I used lemon sugar that I made some times ago), lemon juice, egg and.. Of course, cream cheese.
Oh and I forgot some vanilla…

20160317-222154-80514800.jpgCream the cream cheese with the sugar until fluffy. This will be so much easier if your cream cheese is in room temperature so remember to take them out before begin baking!

20160317-220608-79568250.jpgNext the egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix them until all combined.

20160317-220927-79767633.jpg The cheese filling is done! What I did next is that I put the cheese mixture into a pipping bag to make it easier to fill into the pan, more on that later.

20160317-221026-79826630.jpgNext up the carrot cake, the ingredients for the carrot cake are brown sugar, flour, oil, spices (cinnamon, allspice, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg), salt, baking powder, baking soda and I used vanilla powder but feel free to use vanilla extract, nuts, grated carrots, apple sauce and eggs.

20160317-222101-80461266.jpgNow let’s talk about the star of the show, of course it’s not a carrot cake without the carrot. One thing I suggest you to do is to grate your carrot first then weigh them. I actually used just 1 big carrot for this recipe since it’s more than enough for this carrot cake. And also I did not bother to peel them, I just grate them right away.

20160317-223453-81293031.jpgAnd also I used pecan and walnut for an extra crunch inside the carrot cake. Chopped them into smaller pieces. You can use your favourite nuts really, just thought pecan and walnut are a bit more traditional and earthy for this carrot cake.

20160317-224612-81972225.jpgThe assembly of the carrot cake is super simple just first, combine sugar with wet ingredients which are eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla.

20160318-010323-3803234.jpgThen the dry ingredients in 2 additions to make sure no lumps of flour in the batter. Whisk them till smooth and fine.

20160319-125955-46795371.jpgInto the rabbit hole it goes! What, wait no. Sorry.
Mix the grated carrots with the batter.
Love the vibrant colour of a carrot…

20160319-154657-56817253.jpgThen the chopped nuts, mix them until everything has mixed in.

20160319-154834-56914603.jpgOn a buttered and floured bundt tin, fill it with carrot cake mixture about ¼ of the way full, then pipe the cheese mixture in the middle.

I tried my best to put the cheese just in the middle and not touching the side of the pan, this is why I put my cheese mixture into a pipping bag. Makes it way easier and neater.

20160319-160807-58087126.jpgAaand fill it with the rest of the carrot cake batter. Remember not all the way up since it will rise.

Off to the oven!

20160320-211936-76776880.jpgnext up the mascarpone frosting on top.
The ingredients are vanilla, sugar, milk, ricotta cheese, and a bit of cornstarch to adjust the thickness of the frosting.

I was going to make it into cream cheese frosting but I thought the cheese flavour will be over whelming since the inside of the carrot cake already got cheese filling so I choose mascarpone cheese which got a lot subtle and creamier flavour.

20160320-213147-77507553.jpgCook everything except for the cornstarch until the sugar has melted then adjust the thickness with some cornstarch. You may need little or not at all, depending the thickness of your mascarpone cheese.
Just cook until the consistency coats the back of a spoon, and remember to not make it too thick since it will thickens up even more in the fridge.

20160320-213722-77842124.jpgOh yeah it’s all set and let the drizzle action going on…

20160320-214049-78049090.jpgMore? Oh, I hear ya! Drizzle drizzle some more.

20160322-003707-2227311.jpgTopped with some caramelized pecan and chocolate crumbles. I’ll put the recipe down below!

20160322-004431-2671435.jpgEaster is right this week! Will be spending the day at the church. It is the day to remember that Jesus died for us…

Anyway, I don’t know wether it is too in your place but here, every easter time, the sky turns gloomy and usually it rained! At least it has been for the last 6 years (just when I realise this fact).

20160322-010236-3756650.jpgI love easter colour! All pastel and subtle.. That’s the second thing I love about easter. Their colour theme.. After Jesus’s sacrifice, of course.

20160323-221007-79807173.jpgLet’s see the inside of the carrot cake shall we?

20160323-222932-80972232.jpgOh yeah the carrot cake is moist and sweet but the cream cheese just balance it off! If you like cheese as much as I do, I think the filling is the prefect ratio of carrot cake to cheese, but if you think that it’s better to have a bit more carrot cake to cream cheese, just half the recipe of the cheese filling down below!

20160323-224058-81658371.jpgHave a good one everybody!

And happy easter!

20160325-003148-1908168.jpg

Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling
Makes 1 cake 20cm in diameter

Ingredients:

Cream cheese filling
• 350g cream cheese (at room temperature)
• 60g white sugar
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1 egg
• 3 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Carrot cake batter
• 170g brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 120ml vegetable oil (or any other flavourless oil)
• 65 g applesauce (I used sweetened and smooth one)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 155g all purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp allspice
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
• 130g grated carrot
• Chopped pecans and/or walnuts (optional)

Mascarpone frosting
• 200ml milk
• 50g mascarpone cheese
• 70g white sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp corn starch (might need more if too runny)

Chocolate crumbles and caramelized pecan toppings
• 50g unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
• 30g all purpose flour
• 5g cocoa powder
• 15g brown sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ baking powder

• 10 pcs pecans
• 30g white sugar
• ¼ tsp salt

How To Make It:

1) Make the cheese filling: cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, add lemon zest, egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until all incorporated and smooth. Put in a pipping bag.

2) Make the carrot cake batter: whisk the brown sugar with the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in 2 addition making sure no lumps of flour still in the batter. Add the grated carrot, mix then the chopped nuts. Mix just until combined.

3) Fill a buttered and floured (or sprayed with non-stick spray) pan with ½ of the carrot cake batter then pipe the cheese mixture around the tin just in the center or the tin. Once all pipped, add the rest of the carrot cake batter.

4) Bake at a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for around 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool

5) Make the chocolate crumbles: in a bowl combine butter, flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder and rub the butter with the dry ingredients until resembles crumbs. Spread them on a lined baking tray then bake at 180°C or 360°F for around 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 150°C or 300°F for another 20 minutes. Let cool.

6) Make the candied pecans: in a pan, melt the sugar until the edges goes golden brown or caramel colour (this method is called dry caramel, be careful because this burn quickly!). Mix in the salt then the pecans then stir until all the pecans are coated and cook for 2 more minutes or until your desired colour of caramel. Put each pecan on a silicon mat or grease proof paper.

7) Make the mascarpone frosting: First dilute 1 tablespoon of the milk with the corn starch and mix until dissolved. In a pan, heat the remaining milk,mascarpone and sugar until the sugar has all melted, add the corn starch mixture then continue to cook it until it has boiled. Remove from heat then let cool in the fridge.

8) Assemble the cake by drizzling the cooled mascarpone frosting on top of the carrot bundt cake, put pieces of caramelized pecans and topped with the chocolate crumbles.

Marbled Matcha Chiffon Cake {Decorated for Christmas!}

20151205-133052-48652134.jpgChristmas is coming!!! Yes. Yes. Yes. I looooooove holiday seasons.

It’s 20 more days to Christmas! Although I never received any presents on Christmas (sad.. I know, but it’s not really a thing on my family) but I still love gather around with my family during Christmas. I love the atmosphere, the decorations on public places, the soothing jazzy Christmas songs.

My family and I usually spends Christmas (if we’re not traveling anywhere) at the church. It is a celebration to commemorate the birth of Jesus after all.

But the thing that I’m super excited about is all the Christmas themed dessert!!! As i’ve said on my ghost meringue post, I looove making things with a theme. And Christmas theme is a good theme.

And although this dessert is not necessarily a traditional Christmas dessert, but I found a cute cake topper with a Christmas theme so I thought I should make use of it.

Let’s get baking then, shall we?

20151205-133134-48694398.jpgFirst thing first, whip the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks.

20151205-133218-48738569.jpgNext, with the same beaters, whip the yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy.

20151205-133252-48772826.jpgIncorporate the whipped egg whites and yolk, fold them together.

20151205-133326-48806899.jpgSift in the flour and baking powder, then fold just until no pockets of flour left in the batter.

You really don’t want to over mix the batter or else it will be all dense and it won’t rise in the oven. Just keep folding and turning the bowl as you mix.

20151205-133400-48840538.jpgLastly, pour in the melted butter, fold just until the butter has incorporated.

20151205-133504-48904389.jpgIn another bowl, dilute the green tea powder with some hot water, mix until no clumps of green tea left.

Next, take some of the batter and fold it into the green tea until all incorporated.

20151205-133550-48950510.jpgPour the green tea batter into the chiffon batter then give it a little fold (just like 3 or 4 times) just to make the marble effect on the chiffon.

Don’t overdo it because it will get swirled even more when poured into the tin.

20151205-133634-48994704.jpgPut the batter into a chiffon pan and bake.

20151205-133708-49028146.jpgWhip some whipped cream until stiff peak and fold in green tea that has been diluted with hot water.

I used good european whipped cream here. It does make a difference in the dish as it will cover the outside of the cake.

20151205-133759-49079143.jpgI mean.. It’s the holiday! Why not go all the way with some good quality ingredients? And maybe while you’re at it, also use good quality green tea powder and don’t try to cheat it like what I did.

20151205-135813-50293438.jpgWhoopsie got a crack there. It’s okay though since we’re going to cover it with whipped cream.

Once the chiffon cake has baked, cool it upside down on a wire rack.
This prevents it collapsing and it makes unmolding easier later on.

Flip it into a cake board/the plate you want to present it on with the bigger end on the bottom.

20151205-135940-50380964.jpgI’ve always thought that the hole in the middle is a waste.. Less cake portion to eat…
So I decided to fill them up! And also so that I can put mr Santa Clause and mr Rudolph in the middle.

20151205-201447-72887182.jpgSay hello to the holiday mascot.

So all I did was I fill the hole of the cake with a bit of whipped cream, adzuki, then more cream. Cover the outside and then decorate. Lastly, I topped the hole with these little guys.

20151205-201549-72949100.jpgMerry Christmas everybody!!! Let the bell jingle! Oh the Christmas songs…. Love love love this holiday.

20151205-201636-72996388.jpgAlthough when Christmas comes, it means that the change of year will come soon.. I still looove december.

20151205-201943-73183780.jpgI topped the cake with sifted green tea and caramelized peanuts for more decorations.

20151205-202021-73221885.jpgLet’s cut it and see what’s going on in there, shall we?

20151205-202059-73259867.jpgFluffy, moist and marbled inside.

Can you see the green tea whipped cream and adzuki inside? It makes cutting a bit messy but damn it’s good! It’s a nice twist on a chiffon cake.

20151205-202451-73491509.jpgGreen tea marbled chiffon cake that’s fluffy, light and not overly sweet, filled with adzuki and frosted with light green tea whipped cream.

20151205-202608-73568631.jpgHave a great one everybody!

20151205-202704-73624518.jpgGreen Tea Chiffon Cake Recipe
Makes 1 serving of 25cm in diameter cake

Ingredients:
The chiffon cake
• 5 egg whites
• 5 egg yolks
• 100g sugar
• 90g cake flour
• 4g baking powder
• 5 g green tea powder + 15ml hot water, dilute into paste
• 10g butter, melted

Decoration
• 200 ml heavy cream
• 40g sugar
• 2g green tea powder + 15ml hot water, dilute into paste
• Adzuki beans
• Christmas decoration

How to make:
1) Whip the egg whites with half of the sugar until stiff peak.
2) Whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until yolks turns pale and fluffy.
3) Pour the whipped yolk into the whipped whites, fold until almost combined, sift in half of the flour and baking powder, once all incorporated, sift the rest then fold until no clumps of flour left.
4) Drizzle the melted butter, fold.
5) To the diluted green tea, add 2 spoonfuls of the batter then fold.
Pour the green tea batter into the white batter then fold for 3-4 times to create marbled effect.
6) Pour on a prepared chiffon pan, bake at 230°C or 450°F for 15 minutes, then at 180°C or 360°F for another 40 minutes.
7) Once baked, cool it upside down on a wire rack before taking it out of the pan.
8) Prepare the frosting by whipping the heavy cream with sugar until stiff peaks. Then fold in the green tea paste until combined.
9) Put the chiffon cake on a serving plate and decorate by piping along the top of the cake in a zigzag motion then cover all of the sides of the cake, using a scraper that has a design on the sides, scrape along the side of the cake, giving it not so much pressure so it gives a nice design.
10) Put the rest of whipped cream in a pipping bag, pipe a dollop of the cream inside the hole of the cake, adzuki beans then more whipped cream all the way to the top.
11) Sift some green tea powder on top, lastly topped with the Christmas decorations you prefer.

Red Velvet Cake

20150917-011014-4214147.jpg Elegant, moist, and super appealing. The red velvet got it’s name for a reason. The signature bright red colour and the velvety texture it has.
And the best part of a red velvet is it’s best friend, none other than creamy and smooth cream cheese!

I made butter and buttermilk yesterday and I thought why not make red velvet cake?

Let me tell you something about red velvets and this cake recipe in particular is very moist.

So the second time I made red velvet was for cake pops, using this very same recipe. It did not work out. Like at all. The cake was too moist , and oh dear me who didn’t realise it until I put some frosting in and only came to face the truth after trying so hard to stick the cake balls to the pop sticks. It kept falling off. I’ve refrigerate it, and the moment it thaw during the waiting for the chocolate coating, they just slides downwards from the stick.

So this recipe is not advisable for cake pops. Well you can.. Probably…. Just adjust the amount of oil when baking and the amount of frosting to form the cake pops. Haven’t tried it..

I made a red velvet related recipe as one of my very first post. It is a triple layer cheesecake which got a chocolate biscuit base, red velvet cake bottom and a creamy cheesecake filling. And I do promise to maybe post about a red velvet recipe someday so here it is.

So for the red velvet cake, the ingredients needed are:

20150922-005315-3195037.jpgVegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, red food colouring, eggs, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

The thing that makes this cake red (other than the food coloring) and moist is all the work of science.

The cocoa powder, buttermilk and vinegar act as the acids react together with the baking soda causes the red colour and the moist texture of the cake.

20150922-010548-3948119.jpgSo now that we got the ingredients prepped, the making of the red velvet cake is super easy all you need to do first is sift the dry ingredients and whisk them together.

20150922-014956-6596608.jpg

20150923-183519-66919217.jpgAnd then whisk all the wet ingredients.

Adjust the colour but remember that the red will be darker once incorporated with the dry ingredients

20150923-183240-66760961.jpgthen the last step is just pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Couldn’t be easier

20150923-183426-66866837.jpgWhisk until everything is incorporated.

Look at that bright red colour!

I kept thinking about “roses are red, violet are blue” whenever I typed “red” even though I can’t make out the rest of the poem (I’m bad at finding things that rhymes)

Anyway bake the cake, cool it off, level it then on to the layering the cake

20150923-184444-67484093.jpgNow let’s talk about cream cheese.

The cream cheese buttercream I used for this recipe uses swiss meringue buttercream method because the usual cream cheese buttercream still requires at least 3 cups of icing sugar so it’s still is too sweet for me.
Swiss meringue method does requires more steps so feel free to use any cream cheese method that you like.

But seriously though anyway it is, cream cheese buttercream is good no matter what…
My. Favourite. Frosting. Of. All. Time.
I can say a cake is good just because of the cream cheese frosting.
Smooth… Creamy.. Cheesy.
Cream cheese is probably the only buttercream that I actually would finish without a trace.

Anyway a red velvet cake is not a red velvet without it’s classic pair, the cream cheese frosting.
They complete each other. Any red velvet inspired dessert should somewhat have something cream cheesy on it.
I won’t admit that it is a red velvet without the cream cheese. IT SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW.

20150924-014652-6412031.jpgAnyway moving on from my cream cheese rampage.
This to me, looks like a blank canvas, ready to be painted.

Layer the cake, then crumb coat it.
For those of you who doesn’t know crumb coating, it is applying a thin layer of cream all over the cake (it doesn’t have to be pretty and neat, just covered) then refrigerate the cake, once the frosting hardened, another layer of frosting can be apply. This ensures the cake to be neat and doesn’t have any cake bits on it especially working with dark coloured cakes or light coloured frosting.

A little tips, to make sure the cake layers is even, portion the buttercream, for example people use ice cream scooper to portion it. I usually use cups to portion my buttercream layers

Ignore my awful, duct taped spinning cake board. I got it from my aunt, and I am pretty sure that the cake board is at least as old as me.
But it has helped me like… A Lot
Still works perfectly well too so…..
20150924-021700-8220846.jpgThis part is optional but I got a lot of leftover cakes cutouts from leveling the red velvet cakes so I decided to make crunchy crumbs to decorate the side of the cake.

All I do is break the cake apart, them crumble it.
Bake them in a low temperature, basically just drying them so that the cake don’t lose their red colour.
I’ll explain the how to more on the recipe below.

20150924-022145-8505572.jpgPut a second coat of cream cheese frosting to the cake.

Next is the messy part, there are no neat way to do this so put a tray big enough to catch the cake crumbs that fell, then start scooping a handful of cake crumbs onto the sides of the cake, pushing slightly so that the crumbs sticks, try your best to cover everything.

20150924-144540-53140500.jpgOnce done, put the rest of the cream cheese into a pipping bag with a tip, then pipe rosettes on top of the cake.

Here’s a tip, do some research on how to pipe the rosettes and which pipping tip you want to use.

20150924-144830-53310221.jpg Pretty, elegant enough to impress, easy enough for beginners.

If you still have a lot of crumbs left that haven’t been dried, you can make cake truffles (that’s what I did with the leftovers), or the triple layer cheesecake, that’s why I made that cheesecake, it was because I had some cakes leftover.

Or if you have some crumbs that has been dried leftover, sprinkle it on ice cream, waffle, etc.

I’m thinking of making a post about what to do with leftover cakes. Maybe soon.

20150924-152123-55283584.jpgI’m ready to eat it…

20150924-153127-55887280.jpgTime to see how’s the inside look.

20150924-153213-55933421.jpg Red cakes layers goes contrast with the white frosting layers.

Well not the reddest red velvet cake, but I was too horrified to put too much red food colouring in. Well I could use beets but I don’t find and buy beets very often.

The first original red velvet cake was by a guy who sell food flavourings and food colourings. No wonder if the original recipe got a lot of food coloring in it.

20150925-003703-2223238.jpgI made another one of a different top design for my cousin’s birthday

Anyway have a great one everybody!

20150928-004922-2962278.jpg

Red Velvet Recipe
Makes 3 tiered 22cm in diameter cake

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cake
• 3 ¾ cups (480g) all purpose flour
• 2 ½ cups (500g) sugar
• 1½ tbsp (11g) cocoa powder
• 1½ tsp (7g) salt
• 1½ tsp (7g) baking soda
• 3 eggs
• 2¼ cups (540ml) vegetable oil
• 1½ cups (300ml) buttermilk
• 1½ tbsp (23ml) vinegar
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
• 2 tbsp red food colouring

Cream Cheese Buttercream
adapted from korenainthekitchen’s recipe
• 2 egg whites
• 120 g granulated sugar
• 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter (cubed and room temperature)
• 225g cream cheese (cubed and room temperature)
• 1 tsp vanilla essence

how to make:
The cake
1) Preheat the oven and smear 3 baking pans with non-stick pan release or butter all over the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the sides with flour.
2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder,salt and baking soda in a bowl then whisk to combine.
3) Whisk the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk,vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
4) Pour the wet mixture to the dry mixture, whisk until combined.
5) Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake at 350°F or 180°C for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6) Once the cakes had cooled, level the top and make sure all the layers are even.
7) Crumble the leftover cakes from the leveled cakes and put them in a baking pan, spread evenly then dry them in an oven at 266°F or 130°C and leave the oven door slightly ajar for 1-2 hours (until the biggest chunk of the cake is crunchy)

The buttercream
1) In a heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk over a pan of simmering water, don’t let the bowl touch the water. Whisk until all of the sugar has dissolved (when you rub the mixture between your finger it is smooth).
2) Take the bowl off the heat, then whisk with an electric beater until stiff and glossy and the mixture is no longer hot
3) Beat the room temperature butter one cube at a time until all the butter has incorporated thoroughly.
4) In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until no big chunks left then start incorporating the meringue buttercream one spoon at a time until everything are well combined.
5) Add the vanilla and beat well. Store in the fridge until ready to use (thaw it first if it took more than 1 hour)

Assembly
1) In the plate you want to present the cake, smear a little bit of cream cheese in the bottom of the plate.
2) Put the first layer of the cake then put about 1-2 cups of frosting in between, evenly spread then put the second layer of cake, keep doing it until the last piece of cake.
3) Thinly spread the buttercream all over the cake (crumb coating) and put the cake in the fridge for about 1 hour.
4) Once cooled, spread the second coat of the buttercream.
5) Put a big tray on the bottom of the cake then start gently pushing handfuls of cake crumbs all over the sides of the cake until all around the sides of the cake has coated.
6) With the rest of the buttercream put in a piping bag, pipe rosettes on top of the cake.

Chocolate and Almond Brownie

20150615-164557-60357374.jpgPeople like their brownie cakey, chewy, fudgy, or just simply decadent. Well i like mine fudgy and super decadent. Yes, SUPER chocolatey. A lot of the brownie recipe i see online just use coco powder as the chocolate flavouring.. I mean coco powder is great.. Gives you the bitter chocolate flavour, but i want to use the real chocolate for the brownie! I did use cocoa powder too for this recipe just to add more bitterness, i DO like my brownie decadent, remember? I put chocolate chips in the batter and on the top of the brownie. Why not? Can you ever have enough chocolate? The ingredients needed are;

20150615-190229-68549560.jpgFlour, sugar, dark chocolate, butter, coco powder, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, hot water (to dilute the cocoa powder), eggs, egg yolks, almonds and chocolate chips (lots of it, definitely more than the picture. Need. More. Chocolate.) I sometimes use espresso powder rather than coco powder. But not only none in my family drinks coffee (we’re more of a tea person), i like to use coco powder more because it gives chocolate flavour rather than just bitter coffee flavour.

20150615-191607-69367075.jpgDilute the coco powder with hot water (this step is not necessary but you should do it if you’re using espresso powder). Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave or over a pot of simmering water. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the coco powder mixture. Add in vegetable oil, mix well. Add in the eggs and yolks then mix. Lastly add the vanilla extract.

20150615-192621-69981501.jpgMix in the sugar. I heard something about substituting all or half of the white sugar with brown sugar will make the brownie chewier. I’ve never tried it before but I think that this will work. Brown sugar contains molasses and the molasses in brown sugar is the trick for making a chewy chocolate chip cookies right?

20150615-193100-70260079.jpgMix in the flour and stir well.

20150615-193250-70370285.jpgLook at that! The batter is just like melted chocolate… I love melted chocolate… Thank God I can actually resist myself from eating the batter… Or did i actually resist it..? This is when i put (loads) of dark chocolate chips. You can add white chocolate chips, walnuts, etc

20150615-194522-71122965.jpgPour the batter into a greased (i use my DIY non-stick pan release) and lined square pan.

20150615-194954-71394578.jpgSprinkle the top with almonds and (why not?) more chocolate chips. Into the oven it goes!

20150616-214426-78266352.jpgThe best part of the brownie for me is the crackly top that goes crunchy. The crackly top just makes the fudgy brownie gone up to another level. So yeah, I think that a good brownie have both of that. Crunchy crakly top and fudgy cakey part. And guess what? This brownie have both!!

20150616-214843-78523226.jpgTime to cut them. Cut them faster so that i can eat it faster! Yes yes yes. I am getting weirdly excited for this. I’m super excited actually.

20150616-215259-78779028.jpgAs you can see I can’t help myself to take a bite of it. And my verdict is; it is SO. DAMN.GOOD.

20150616-215619-78979816.jpgCan you see how decadent it looks? Yes it super decadent. Oh my my i do love this decadent brownie By the way how many times have I said decadent through out this post? Too much. A little bit of tips; • It is better to let the brownie cool thoroughly to ensure that the brownie is fudgy. • Use a good quality dark chocolate to make the brownie (I’m gonna say it again) decadent.

20150616-220507-79507743.jpgSure I love a good chunky brownies. But i love bite size food therefore I love bite size brownie even more.

Just a bit of a precaution, i would like to say that bite size stuff are dangerous. You’ll think that you only ate a bite of something that makes you dig for more, and end up eating the whole thing. True story.

Have a good one everybody!

Chocolate and Almond Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:
• ½ cup coco powder
• ½ cup hot water
• 60g dark chocolate
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• ½ cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 large eggs
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups (500g) sugar
• 1¾ cups (50g) all-purpose flour
• Chocolate chips, as desired
• Sliced almonds, as desired

How to make it:
1) Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water.
2) Dissolve the coco powder with the hot water in a big bowl, then add in the melted chocolate butter mixture, stir well.
3) Add in the oil, eggs and egg yolks, then the vanilla extract, stir well.
4) Add in the sugar, stir well then add the flour, mix.
5) Put in the chocolate chips or any other filling(s) that you want.
6) Pour the batter into a greased and lined (preferably) square pan (mine was 20x20cm or about 8x8inches) , sprinkle the top with more chocolate chips and sliced almonds.
7) Put the brownie at the lowest rack of the oven and bake at a preheated oven at 180°C or 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted came out clean.

Strawberry and Rhum Mille Crêpe Cake

20150506-222506-80706810.jpgLayers of rhum and brown butter crêpe, homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream.

This cake is light and fresh.
I really like how this cake turns out. It gives a rustic yet classic look to it. It was actually just because i tried to hide the not-so-good strawberries by cutting and putting them upside down (or inside up?).

Mille crêpe literally translated into thousand crepe. And no, it only consist of 20 something layers of crêpe. But well.. You got the point. It’s a cake with a lot of layers.

Mille crêpe is also the easiest cake i’ve made. Maybe because it is less fickle than a cake with sponge layers. I don’t know why but i still experienced some failing cakes (like it’s not rising, not fluffy or moist enough,etc) even though i’ve used the exact same ingredients and method.
Baking is fickle!

But thankfully this cake is not. At least not that i’ve ever encountered any difference in the final product.
Maybe because technically making this cake does not involve baking.
So mille crêpe is a great cake that is easy and effortless, just in case you want to impress some of your friends or family.
I’ve posted another mille crêpe recipe before for my friend’s birthday. And i’ve put the step by step picture there in case you want to see it.

20150513-181619-65779404.jpgI also like how it looks from the top. Look at that shiny strawberries. I gave a mirror glaze on top. You could find it in any baking store i think.

20150513-181838-65918164.jpgLet’s take a peek how it looks on the inside, shall we?

20150513-181953-65993809.jpgI put strawberry jam on every third layer (won’t lie if i totally forgot what layer i was on and end up forgetting when to put the strawberry jam on)

Anywho, i made the strawberry jam myself but unfortunately I’m not going to put the recipe on this post because I don’t really know the measurements (i did it by eye). The recipe are just basically boiling some frozen strawberries in water and sugar then squeeze some lemon juice, wait until it thickens and reduced, then you got yourself a strawberry jam!
But feel free to use the store bought of your favorite strawberry jam, or find the recipe online for a precise measurements.

I didn’t take a picture of how the layers look when it has been sliced and put nicely on a plate because… Ermm… I drop a slice and end up messing the cream. So I figured as long as I could show you how it looks inside, it’s good enough.

20150513-183057-66657747.jpg
Have a great one everybody!

Strawberry and Rhum Mille Crêpe Cake Recipe
Made 25cm cake in diameter with 26 layers of crêpe

Crêpe ingredients:
• 220 g flour (preferably cake flour)
• 4 g salt
• 50 g sugar
• 3 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• 35 g unsalted butter
• 20 ml rhum
• 600 ml full fat milk

Fillings and decorations:
(Use according to preference)
• 250 ml fresh cream
• 20 g sugar

• 60g Strawberry jam
• 10 pcs fresh strawberries
• 1 tbsp coco powder (optional)
• 1 tbsp mirror glaze (optional)

How to make:
1) Brown the butter by melting the butter until it darkens in color, let cool slightly.
2) Whisk the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
3) Add in the eggs and the egg yolks into the well then slowly whisk them with a balloon whisk, whisking only in the middle (to incorporate the flour slowly), slowly add the milk by 5-7 additions while keep mixing only by the middle. Keep whisking until the batter is smooth.
(This is to decrease the amount of lumps of flour)
4) Add the brown butter into the egg mixture, whisk.
5) Strain the mixture then refrigerate for 20-25 minutes.
6) Cook the crêpe batter by spreading the batter thinly on a non-stick pan, it should made at least 20 crêpes, let cool.
7) Meanwhile whisk the fresh cream and sugar, refrigerate.

Assembling the cake:
8) Take a bit of the whipped cream on the cake plate you choose to serve your cake on, then put the first layer of crêpe, cover the crêpe with whipped cream, crêpe, whipped cream, then strawberry jam, and on to the crêpe again, repeat until all the crêpes ran out.
I put the strawberry jam on every third layer of the cake
*Make sure that when you cover them with the fillings it stays flat and not domed (where the middle part is higher than the sides), if do, put more cream on the sides to level it.
* Don’t put the strawberry jam too close to the edges to prevent it leaking on the sides.
9) Cover the sides thinly with the whipped cream.
10) Put the rest of the whipped cream on a pipping bag then pipe blobs on top of the cake, lay some strawberries and decorate it how you want.
11) Lastly sprinkle some coco powder on the edges of the cake and pipe some mirror glaze on the strawberries to make it look fresher and glossy.