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.

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!

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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.

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.

DIY Non-stick Pan Release

20150523-132046-48046228.jpgI always felt that cutting a parchment paper into circles to line the bottom of a pan is a waste.
I mean, the rest of the cuttings is unusable anymore.

Meanwhile non-stick spray is quite hard to find in my local groceries and even if there is, it’s not a cheap stuff to buy.

20150523-145825-53905675.jpgAnd so i was searching the internet to solve this problem and stumbled upon Homemade Pan Release.

I love this gloopy concoction thingy!
This non-stick gloop is (so far) always works!

And the best thing is this gloop is suuuuper easy to make.

20150524-004827-2907407.jpgAll you need is oil, shortening and flour. That’s it!

20150524-132543-48343265.jpgPutting it up together is even easier!

Just mix everything together and you got yourself a non-stick gloop!

Easy peasy right?

20150524-133520-48920425.jpgNow it’s time to get your trusty brush and brush away!

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20150526-124606-45966363.jpgI’ve used this gloop on many types of cakes and it has never failed me.

Obviously using this is much much more practical than cutting parchment paper into the size of your pan or having to butter a pan then coat them with flour…

I’ve used it on a dark coloured cake such as chocolate cake also with light coloured cake such as vanilla sponge cake. It has never failed me.

20150526-140336-50616662.jpg
I didn’t store them in the fridge and it stays up quite good. But as the original article says to put it in the fridge so that it won’t seperate, maybe you should do that.

Your choice really

I just don’t have the patient of waiting for it to thaw so that i can use it.

But in my part, i don’t experience any separation on my non-stick gloop.

I hope this DIY non-stick gloop makes your life a whole lot easier! Cause it sure did help me a lot!

Non-stick Pan Release recipe
Adapted from iambaker’s Homemade Pan Release.

Ingredients
• 1 cup oil (i used vegetable oil)
• 1 cup shortening (make sure it is soft or at room temperature)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour

How to make:
1) Put everything together in a bowl then mix them until smooth and combined
2) Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge (to prevent seperation) or at room temperature.

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.

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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.

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting and Crispy Oreo shortbread

20150404-120830-43710291.jpgIt has been a hectic week for me. I am currently in high school and my national exam is coming in. So… I guess i’m going to graduate soon.
BUT THE TRUTH IS I’M NOT READY!!!
Yes, i’m not ready to go to college and have responsibilities (oh gosh i sound like a spoiled brat).

No, actually the main reason is this; i’ve always wanted to be taking culinary arts major. But the thing is, culinary arts major is not cheap… Yeah in other words, my parents could not afford to pay for me to pursue that major.
So it is either me pursuing another major or me not going to college and work right away.
But i’ve never been interested in any other major because i’ve thought about taking culinary arts since junior high school. And to be honest, i’m never good at any school related subjects.

I’ve always wanted to go to Le Cordon Bleu to pursue my dream. But well.. As i said before, i can’t afford it. So yeah.. That’s that.
So i guess my plan is; graduate-work and save most of salary to Le Cordon Bleu-aaaand achieve my dreams.

20150404-183852-67132229.jpgWhat are my dreams? Whoaa this will be a looooong one. First thing first to know is that i am a dreamer. Like sometimes it does get a bit delusional (but not impossible)… But you know what Walt Disney said;
image
I guess you could think of me like the kind of person who have their “10 years plan” or something. Well.. i never really think my goals should be achieved in a certain amount of time but something like that.
First of my goal is, taking culinary educations at Le Cordon Bleu. Then graduate. Then find a working experience. Then.. my ultimate goal is being able to open my own patisserie where it is well known enough that it is a must have visited place if someone is visiting the country in which i will open my stores (yes, plural) at. Where people would actually travel across town– country even, to eat at my patisserie. I could picture it.. where my stores would be themed more as ‘homey’ with a hint of classy rather than a high end gourmet. Well.. it wouldn’t hurt if my stores are big enough and provitable enough, i shall open a restaurant that could be getting a Michelin Star or rated very good by the food critics.

20150417-110350-39830576.jpg Anyway, wish me luck though.

Enough about me and on to this AMAZING cake. Can you see that caramel dripping? Yep.. That’s the real deal.
But well, to be honest i did made my caramel a bit too thin that it drips all the way to the bottom.. But nevertheless it still is an amazing cake.

I mean talk about chocolate, salted caramel and Oreo right?
Oh yeah, about the oreo shortbread tops, you can just break some oreos and scatter them on top but what so fun about it? Let’s make them into a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth oreo toppings.
Okay, in other words let’s make it fatter..

Okay, more confession here first.. The Oreo shortbread was the reason why i made this cake. Why? It was a failing experiment.
I was going to make a tartlets that got a base of Oreo shortcrust pastry by substituting some of the flour in the shortcrust pastry with crushed Oreos.. But things got a little out of my original plan. I was trying too hard to achieve that black Oreo colour on my shortcrust that I end up putting too much crushed Oreos.. Then i add some more butter fearing the Oreo will make my base too hard and not the shortcrust i wanted. And oh foolish me, i tried to add the butter by eye and i end up putting way too much butter. But i bake them anyway, in tartlet tins.. They came out pretty great.. Until i tried to take them out of the molds. Things get a little bit ugly….. Almost all of the crust breaks.
I tried to “glue” them back together by coating the base with chocolate but it doesn’t works. Most of them still breaks.

Frustrated, i end up eating the broken pieces.
I mean why not? They are really good anyway.

But still there are quite a lot and i decided to store them where maybe I’ll eat it later.

But then….. I got this GREAT idea of this grand cake.
Yes, i am a bit too proud of this cake.

And so.. That’s the story of how this cake was made.

Since i was going to make shortcrust pastry but failed, i decided to call the Oreo thingy a shortbread. So yeah, this isn’t a shortbread recipe but good enough.

Caramel sauce:
• 1 cup sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 tbsp corn syrup
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 4 tbsp butter
• 1 tsp sea salt
How to make caramel sauce:
1) Incorporate the sugar, corn syrup and the water in a pan then put it on a medium-high heat. Brush the sides with water occasionally to prevent crystallizing.
2) Boil the sugar until it reaches 340ºf or 170ºc, or until the sugar is in your desired colour of brown. Remember to watch this like a hawk because once it changes, it will change really quick.
3) Pour in the cream and the salt be careful not to get burn by the steam.
Set aside half of the caramel sauce into another pan for adding flavour to the buttercream.
4) Add the butter to the remaining sauce then stir well.
5) Store the caramel sauce in the fridge until ready to use.

Oreo shortbread
• 1 cup flour (preferably cake flour but all purpose is fine too)
• 3 tbsp sugar
• ½ cup crushed Oreos
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter (cut into small squares)
• ½ cup dark chocolate
How to make shortbread:
1) Mix the flour, sugar, salt and crushed Oreo in a bowl then mix well.
2) Incorporate the cold butter into the flour mixture then use your finger tip to rub the butter and flour until incorporated. Spread the dough in a pan lined with parchment paper then Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
3) Bake them for 20-25 minutes at 350ºf or 180ºc. Once baked, cooled to touch.
4) Melt the dark chocolate then spread them on top of the Oreo shortbread then wait until they are are hardened, snap them into pieces.

Chocolate cake:
• 4 cups flour (preferably cake flour but all purpose will do)
• 3 cups sugar
• 1 cup coco powder
• 3 tsp baking soda
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp coffee powder
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 cups milk
• 1 tbsp vinegar
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 4 eggs
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups boiling water
How to make the cake:
1) Preheat the oven to 350ºf or 180ºc. Spray with non-stick spray and line 4 round baking pans with parchment paper.
If you don’t have 4 baking pans just use 2 then cut each into 2 layers
2) Combine the flour, sugar, coco powder, baking soda, baking powder, coffee powder and salt in a bowl then whisk them together until incorporated.
3) In another bowl, mix together the milk, vinegar, eggs and vanilla extract.
4) Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix really well then add in the boiling water. The batter should be liquid.
5) Distribute the batter into the 4 (or 2) pans then bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6) Let cool then once cooled, even out the top, or if you’re just using 2 pans, cut the cakes into 2 evenly cake layers.

Caramel meringue buttercream:
Adapted from Edd Kimber’s meringue buttercream
• 6 large egg whites
• 450g brown sugar
• 675g butter (diced and at room temperature )
• Thick caramel (that was set aside earlier)
How to make the buttercream
1) Incorporate the egg whites and sugar into a heat proof bowl then set the bowl on a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bottom touches the water) then constantly whisk them together until the egg whites started to foam and when you rub the mixture between your finger, it won’t feel gritty.
2) Once it is warm, take them off the pan then whisk it with an electric or stand mixer until stiff peaks form and the egg whites are cooled.
3) Add the diced butter to the egg whites one by one. Don’t worry if the mixture looks too liquidy, just keep mixing until all the butter has gone. If it still looks too liquid, put it in the refrigerator for a while.

Assembling the cake
1) Take a little bit of the buttercream and smear it on the cake plate that you choose to present your cake on then put the first layer of chocolate cake, cover the top layer with about ½ cup of buttercream, continuing with the second layer of cake, them buttercream then cake, and so on until it ended on the fourth cake.
2) Lightly cover the entire cake with buttercream to crumb coat the cake and put in the fridge until the buttercream sets.
This helps to lock down all the crumbs that may come out when we frost the cake
3) Cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream, drizzle with the caramel sauce then put the Oreo shortbread pieces on top.

5 Minutes Mug Cakes

20150112-220317-79397261.jpg Have you ever felt the crazy urge to eat a cake but too lazy to make or buy them? Especially when you want them NOW and you don’t want the hassle to make a whole big cakes that takes 20-30 minutes baking time? Yep.. That is exactly what i felt.. Like often. When i was watching a movie or tv series on the internet (i mean you gotta have a movie snack right? And i think that popcorns are just too.. Boring), reading a book, or even just doing nothing and then i just had this sudden urge of having a cake in my mouth.. Sweet.. Fluffy… Chocolatey… Creamy… Cake…
And this is often what i end up making to fulfill my craving of cakes. These mug cakes practically done in 5 minutes, and yes it includes the baking (more of microwaving) time. Not to mention this also serve as the perfect individual serving!

But the problem with microwaved cakes it is often either rubbery, dry, or just not that decent. One of my friends actually said that instead making a cake in a mug she ends up making ‘rock in a mug’.
The hardest part of making microwave cakes is just probably the cooking time. Usually cake in a teacup size mug takes about 1-2 minutes only to bake (or microwave?). If you feel like it’s still liquid inside, just give it another 10-15 seconds and that would probably do it.

So today, i’m approaching 3 of my favourite flavour of mug cakes. That is cookies and cream, chocolate chip, basic yellow cake, and moist chocolate cake.

Let’s get started!
For the cookies and cream mug cakes, the ingredients are

20150117-230315-82995387.jpgThe recipe for all have basically almost the same ingredients.
You’d need flour, baking powder, sugar, egg, oil, vanilla, milk and chopped oreo cookies.

20150117-231007-83407810.jpg
All there is to do is to combine all the ingredients except for the oreo then mix them up until smooth

20150118-001111-671107.jpgonce combined, stir in the oreo

20150118-221720-80240330.jpgPour the batter on separate mugs, this makes 2 mug cakes.
Sorry that this recipe won’t give you a single portion so that you can actually stop after eating one mug and not tempted to eat another.
There is a good explanation for this. So, too much egg would actually made the cake texture gets rubbery and not really cakey. I mean, think about it. A whole cake could actually use two eggs for the recipe and one egg for a mug cake is definitely too much.
But hey, you can always pour the other portion into another mug and refrigerate it then all you need to do is to put the batter into the microwave and you got your sweet treats in under 2 minutes!

20150118-222524-80724999.jpg*note to self: frost the cake while it has cooled entirely to get prettier picture*
I frosted one of them with chocolate ganache and the other with oreo frosting.

20150118-222925-80965143.jpgI just mixed some oreo crumbs on some pre-made frosting or whipped cream.

20150119-210345-75825169.jpgLook at those fluffy cake!

Next up! Basic yellow cake and chocolate chip

20150119-210602-75962788.jpgPractically the same ingredients as the cookies and cream one

20150119-210857-76137932.jpgMix the batter till smooth. This is the basic yellow cake batter. You can definitely put anything you want in the basic yellow cake batter. Raisins, sprinkles, m&m, Reese’s pieces, anything really.

20150119-211105-76265057.jpgI’ve put some of the yellow batter and then i put some chocolate chip on the other half.

20150119-211340-76420145.jpgTime to microwave!

20150119-211552-76552131.jpgCaramel yellow cake and chocolate chip microwaved cake!

20150119-212247-76967988.jpgI put some vanilla frosting and caramel sauce on the yellow cake

20150119-212537-77137192.jpgAnd some chocolate ganache for the chocolate chip one.

20150119-213145-77505774.jpg

20150119-213144-77504821.jpgFluffy, yellow, taste great!

Last but not least, moist chocolate nutella cake!

20150119-213331-77611624.jpgSelf raising flour, sugar, coco powder, milk, oil and nutella.
This recipe doesn’t use any egg so that the cake is moist and not ruberry.

20150119-213802-77882723.jpgJust like the other, just mix everything together and pour them into the mug

20150120-174641-64001488.jpgPut a dollop of nutella in the middle of the batter.

20150120-175013-64213513.jpgI just dust the cake with some icing powder. Look how cute this one!

20150120-175138-64298975.jpgThis chocolate cake is moist, and the melting nutella part is almost lava cake-ish.

Have some experiment of flavour with you mug cake! Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Just try to watch the cooking time. Don’t look for any brown top or anything because it won’t have that. The golden brown on the top of a traditional cake is created by caramelization of sugar, which occurs at 320ºF. A microwave doesn’t get much hotter than 212ºF — the vaporization point of water. So your mug cakes won’t brown, and that’s fine; they may be finished cooking anyways {copied from buzzfeed}

Have a great 2015 people!

Cookies and cream mug cake
(Make 2 tea cup size mug cakes)
• 5½ tbsp all purpose flour*
• ⅛ tsp baking powder*
• 4 tbsp sugar
• 1 egg
• 3 tbsp milk
• 3 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 5 chopped oreo cookies
How to make:
1) Combine all the dry ingredients, give a little mix then incorporate the rest of the ingredients. Beat until smooth, then incorporate the oreo.
2) Pour into two mugs (make sure it’s microwave safe) then microwave for 1 minute.
Remember that all microwave is different. Try for a minute first, if it still looks liquid in the middle, give another 15 seconds. Experiment to know how long your microwave cake should cook.
3) Let cool, then frost with whipped cream or pre-made frosting (combine with a little bit of oreo if desired)

Basic yellow cake and chocolate chip mug cake
• 5½ tbsp all purpose flour*
• ⅛ tsp baking powder*
• 4 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 tbsp milk
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Chocolate chips
How to make:
1) Combine all the dry ingredients, give a little mix then incorporate the rest of the ingredients. Beat until smooth.
2) Put half the batter into the mug, this is the basic yellow cake. You can incorporate anything, like sprinkles (to make confetti cake), etc.
3) Add chocolate chip into the rest of the batter, then pour it into the mug. Add a couple more on top.
4) Microwave for 1 minute.
Remember that all microwave is different. Try for a minute first, if it still looks liquid in the middle, give another 15 seconds. Experiment to know how long your microwave cake should cook.
5) frost with chocolate ganache or pre-made frosting

Simple chocolate ganache frosting: equal part of melted chocolate and heavy cream, stir in together until it looks glossy, then put in the fridge until firm enough to pipe.

*Note: you can substitute the flour and baking powder with 6 tbsp of self rising flour and a pinch of salt. I usually used self rising flour to make microwaved mug cakes but i don’t buy self rising flour often so i just wanted to give you an alternative.

Moist chocolate mug cake
Adapted from tablefortwoblog.com
• ¼ cup all purpose flour
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• 3 tbsp sugar
• ⅛ tsp salt
• ¼ cup + 1 tbsp milk
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread

How to make:
1) Whisk together the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, stir until smooth.
2) Place the batter into a mug then put a dollop of the chocolate hazelnut spread in the middle.
3) Microwave for 1 minute.
Remember that all microwave is different. Try for a minute first, if it still looks liquid in the middle , give another 15 seconds. Experiment to know how long your microwave cake should cook.
4) Let cool a bit then dust with powdered sugar if desired.