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.

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!

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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.

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!

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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.

Gluten-free Kladdkaka (Swedish sticky cake)

20150505-232654-84414731.jpgThis cake is easy. Yummy, and super indulgent! Best when eaten cold, it taste like brownie!
Originated from Sweden, said to be one of the most popular cake recipe there. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s good AND easy.

This cake is almost the same with my 2 ingredients chocolate cake. Still super indulgent and gluten free, except it’s not just 2 ingredients, which makes this one richer and better!

20150505-233609-84969302.jpgThis is a recipe i just discovered reading my instagram timeline and i was like “kladdkaka? What’s that?”. I’ve always been interested on worlds food (especially desserts) and i just HAVE to do a research about it.

I copied the recipe from Linda Lomelino’s KLADDKAKA – SWEDISH CHOCOLATE CAKE.
I followed her on instagram and i fall in love with her food photography. I mean… Who wouldn’t?
And so, here you can see my failing attempt of imitating her gorgeous food photography…

Anyway let’s get on to the actual cake baking.
The ingredients are:

20150506-015802-7082157.jpgSugar, dark chocolate, butter, strong espresso, vanilla and eggs.

I’ve melted my butter and chocolate, then incorporate the espresso.

20150506-020018-7218982.jpgCrack the eggs and add in the sugar then mix on high speed until the egg is light, airy and tripled in size.

20150506-020145-7305570.jpgPour the dark chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs

20150506-020300-7380216.jpgLook at those swirls! Fold the chocolate over until streaks of white is no longer visible

20150506-020415-7455146.jpgPour the batter into a lined baking pan.

I butter and flour my pan because i was out of baking paper.
Yea yea i know i know.. This cake was suppose to be gluten free, but it’s better than getting a cake that’s stuck in the pan! I mean I wouldn’t mind digging the cake right out of the tin.. But i still have some.. Pride i guess..

20150506-020732-7652725.jpgOnce baked, let them cool then time to dust the cake with some icing sugar!

Look at my cute sifter! Although I’m not really sure what shape is it…

20150506-020924-7764574.jpgLet it snow.. Let it snow.. Let it snow!!

20150506-021022-7822834.jpgAs i’ve said before, for me, it is best when eaten cold. But it is a preference really..
If you like it softer and basically no biting needed, serve them on a room temperature. But if you like it to be chewy and more brownie like, serve it cold.

20150506-021319-7999410.jpgAnyway you like it, cut a big piece for yourself and enjoy your (not-so-hard) work of baking this cake! Serve with lightly whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
I like my whipped cream a bit on the runnier side so it also serve as the sauce of this cake.

And i sure enjoy my big piece of kladdkaka!

Recipe copied from Linda Lomelino’s KLADDKAKA – SWEDISH CHOCOLATE CAKE.
Ingredients:
• 250 g (2 sticks + 1 1/2 tbsp) butter
• 250 g (8.8 oz) coarsely chopped dark chocolate (70%)
• 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (100 ml) strong coffee or espresso (or water)
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (180 g) sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla sugar or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
• pinch of salt

To serve:
• Powdered sugar
• Whipped cream
• Milk chocolate curls

How to make it:
1) Heat oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease a springform pan (22-25 cm / 8-10 inches) and cover the base with baking paper.
2) Gently melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan on low heat. When mixture is melted and smooth, stir in coffee, then set aside.
3) In a large bowl, whip eggs, sugar and vanilla until very light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
4) Stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture with a spatula. Stir until smooth. Add a pinch of salt.
5) Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cake cool before removing it from the pan. I prefer the cake when it’s been in the fridge for a couple of hours. Dust powered sugar on top.
6) Whip cream with some powdered sugar (to taste) and vanilla powder.
7) To make the chocolate curls, put milk chocolate in a warm place for a few minutes, then use a cheese slicer to make curls.

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.

Super Indulgent, Gluten Free, 2 Ingredients Chocolate Cake

20141129-152133-55293724.jpgWhat does i usually do when i’m bored? Urgh… Let me think. I usually daydream, catch up with some of my favourite TV series, and BAKING! Yes yes i bake when i’m bored.

So… I was home alone yesterday, saturday afternoon, bored, nothing to do, i had finished the whole season of Under The Dome and Red Band Society (my new favourite tv shows that i just discovered) in one sitting and I have to wait for another weeks and months for the new episodes. I am out of stuff to daydream about so, i guess my runaway has got to be baking right? BUT! Damn it… I haven’t done my grocery shopping for this month and i am practically out of everything. No flour (well there is a little bit scraps in my flour jar which is probably just under 1 tablespoon left), no sugar, no salt, no coco powder, practically almost all the ingredients i would need to bake. Not much stuff left in my pantry. I went foraging to my fridge, no butter, no milk… There’s still like half a carton of egg and some leftover chocolate… Heyyy…. I COULD make something from this two ingredients!

And so i came up with this indulgent, easy peasy, gluten free, TWO ingredients chocolate cake (unless you add some whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar, that makes it 4 ingredients, and if you are so dedicated to this recipe and make honey whipped cream like i did, that would be 5 ingredients) that are super easy and simple to make. This will satisfy your sweet tooth and if you are easily bored like me, will keep you busy for another hour or so to forget about your boredom.

So here are the two ingredients that you need:

20141129-153812-56292171.jpgEggs and Chocolate. YEP! That. Is. It.

So let’s get baking!

20141129-153910-56350896.jpgFirst, separate the egg yolks and white (make sure you put the egg yolk in the bigger bowl, not like me)

20141129-154144-56504666.jpgMelt the chocolate. You could use the microwave, remember to stir every 10 seconds or so, or you could melt it over a pan of simmering water.

20141129-154523-56723286.jpgNext, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, you could tell that it’s done when you lift your beater, there will be a peak forming that won’t collapse. Or you could turn the bowl upside down and it won’t fall off the bowl.

20141129-155025-57025804.jpgOnce the chocolate had cooled slightly, pour the chocolate into the egg yolks

20141129-155141-57101138.jpgMix them together

20141129-162638-59198524.jpgLook at those chocolatey mess!!!

20141130-213734-77854087.jpgLastly, add the whipped whites into the chocolate in two additions

20141130-213850-77930095.jpgFold the two together until incorporated

20141130-214002-78002715.jpgPut it on a pan sprayed with non stick spray or line them with parchment paper. I didn’t have any left so i use a little bit of oil and flour so that it can easily comes out of the pan.

20141130-214151-78111926.jpgOnce baked, to make this simple cake even more special, dust with some icing sugar and top it with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream to make it à la mode! Two ingredients chocolate cake à la mode! Ouuuuu that sounds decent. I put honey flavour whipped cream here (just adding about 1 tablespoon of honey to one cup of whipped cream) thus the darker colour of whipped cream. As you can see it is not as white as it usually is.

20141130-214526-78326069.jpgAnd all there is to do is to EAT IT! The moment of truth on how this chocolate cake turns out…

20141130-214737-78457674.jpgLook at how decadent and chocolatey that spoon of heaven… And trust me, it is as yummy as it looks like. And can you believe it, it is only TWO ingredients!

20141130-215010-78610650.jpgAnd this cake is pretty much gone in two minutes…

Ingredients:
• 2 eggs
• 110g dark chocolate

How to make:
1) Melt the chocolate on a microwave or over simmering water, leave it to cool slightly.
2) Separate the egg whites and yolks. Beat the whites until white and fluffy, until stiff peak forms.
3) Incorporate the yolk with the slightly cooled chocolate, stir it well.
4) Put a dollop of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture and stir until combine, then add the rest of the egg whites, folding it through
5) Put the mixture into a lined pan with parchment paper and bake it at 180°C or 356°F for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave it on the oven to cool slightly.
6) Once cooled to touch in the oven, take it out to cool on a wire rack.
7) Top with whipped cream and dust with icing sugar if desired.