Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Banana Chocolate Cake with Butterscotch Custard



This is another cake that I had just received the pictures because the pictures were taken by my brother and the cake was for his birthday. I received the pictures 2 months later.

There are a lot of coincidences for my brother and my dear daughter, both of them share the same birth date, both names started with alphabet of S. What else, hmmm.... both of them are Mr Wait and Ms Wait, every time ask them to do something, the reply will be wait, wait and wait...

Well back to the cake. As I have mentioned in my earlier post, my health condition was not good during that period and dear husband actually forbidded me for baking any cake. But this will be the 1st birthday cake that I will be baking after I have started my baking journey for my little brother that I always adore a lot. So although dear husband was against of my baking, I still went ahead and promised him I will get help from my helper.



My brother loves the banana cake that I have baked before and he had mentioned that among all my baking, the banana cake is his top favourite. So I do not need to crack my head to decide what cake to bake for his birthday, definately will be the banana cake. I do not want to use chocolate ganache as the fillings so I looked through the blogs and found the butterscotch custard from Corner Cafe which sound so interesting so I decided to use it.

I used the recipe from this banana cake for 6" cake tin and balance batter baked into cupcakes.

Ingredients:
250g salted butter
1 1/2 cups castor sugar (I will reduce the sugar depending on what type of banana that I used and how ripe the bananas are)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
2 cups plain flour (sift together with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp baking powder)

Method:
1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Add in eggs, vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
3. Add mashed banana into the mixture and mix well.
4. Finally add in sifted flour and mix well and pour into a cake tin.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 160 deg C for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top layer turns brown after 15 minutes, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil.
6. Cool cakes in the pan then remove. Use a sharp knife to slice and serve

Butterscotch Custard:

I used this recipe and half it for 6" cake.

Ingredients:
75g brown sugar
65g butter, chopped
1/2 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons custard powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
1. Combine sugar, butter, water and treacle in a medium saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Mix custard powder and milk together then add into the saucepan, stir over heat until the mixture boils and thickens.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Cover and cool until ready to use.

Ganache:
200g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
200g whipping cream
30g butter

1. Heat up the dairy whipping cream
2. Pour into the chocolate and stir till chocolate melts
3. Add in the butter and mix well

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Princess Castle Non Bake Strawberry Yoghurt Marshmallow Cheesecake



My dear daughter's birthday had over for 2 months and now then I got the pictures of this cake from dear husband as the pictures were taken by his camera.

This cake was made for my dear daughter to celebrate her birthday at home. My intention initially was to make her a cake with just simple deco, probably deco with some fruits will do as my health was in bad condition during that period and dear husband was against me of baking any cake. I had to convince him and told him I am fine with making simple cake and I can get assistance from my helper. Moreover the cake is for his dear daughter which baking her a birthday cake is really very meaningful to me.

So I decided to make her a non bake cheesecake since to me, such cake is a hassle free. So I shown her a few recipes and asked her which one she prefer and she chose the Strawberry Yoghurt Marshmallow Cheesecake because there are 3 of her favoutite in this cake, strawberry, yoghurt and marshmallow. To make it even easier, I have all the ingredients at home so I don't even need to go and replenish stock.



While I was starting to prepare the ingredients, dear daughter requested she want a castle cake again, the one that I had made for her to celebrate at school. I told her I can't since I have returned the princess castle deco kit to aunty B. She told me she has some figurines that I can use to display on the cake. When I said no cos it will take up a lot of times to do the deco, she looked so disappointed and as a mum, is really heart pain for me to see her looking this way. Thus, I gave in to her since I still have ice-cream cones and white chocolate left over.


I used the same idea for the castle cake that I had made for my friend S. I used 4 ice-cream cones for the 4 castle turrets, waffle biscuit for the castle door and flower-shape marshmallows and heart-shape sprinkles to decorate the cake. For the ice-cream cones, I coated with white chocolate melted with a few drop of strawberry emulco.

Dear daughter was so happy that day, on top of she got the cake design she wanted, the presents she wanted and also my SIL gave her a surprise by dropping over with all her kids to celebrate her birthday for her. So sweet of them.

I used the recipe from My Cooking Escapades with some modifications and omit the mirror topping for 6" cake tin :

Base
3 small pack oreo biscuits, crushed finely
40-50g butter, room temperature

Mix biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and press into an 6" springform or cake ring. Refrigerate 20-25 minutes to set the base.

Cheese Layer
190g cream cheese - room temperature
40g sugar
150g strawberry yoghurt
20ml lemon juice
120ml whippping cream
20gm plain marshmallows
6gm gelatin powder
40ml water
3-4 strawberries, diced and absorbed extra moisture on a paper napkin
3 big marshmallow, cut into dice (use kitchen scissors dipped in cornflour to cut)

Method:
1) Doubleboil or microwave cream cheese and marshmallow till softened. Mix in the sugar and stir till dissolved
2) Bloom gelatin powder in the water and microwave or doubleboil till gelatine is dissolved. (Do not overheat as heat kills the gelling action)
3) Whip the whipping cream till soft peak.
4) Add yoghurt & lemon juice into the creamcheese and blend into whipped cream.
5) Add in the gelatin mixture and stir well.
6) Lastly stir in the diced strawberries and marshmallows.
7) Pour mixture over prepared base and chill overnight till set.

Verdict?
As I was not feeling well so I didnt consume the cake but I received a lot of compliments on this cake. Even my SIL who dislike cheesecake, said this cake is delicious.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flying Kites



Since the weather is good and seem quite windy, we went to this neighbourhood empty field to play kite. Since dunno when, this area has becoming so popular for kites flying, there will be a lot of people come here to play kites cum picnic during weekends.


dear husband's kite - a bat



dear daughter's kite - a mermaid which is her favourite charactor



this is the giant red octopus - very very huge and eye catching, dear husband is eyeing to get one :)



a smaller version of octopus, purple in color


another giantic kite

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Lunar New Year & Valentine Day



Here wishing everyone a Happy Lunar New Year & Valentine Day!


This flower was given by my SIL. I was surprised when she gave this to me, I was still thinking why give me flower? I had totally forgotten about valentine day :P So sweet and thoughtful of her.

My SIL had prepared this gift to give away to all the lady guests to her house. She told me she has put a lot of gentlemen in shame ha ha ha....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Butter Cake



Actually I do not have any intention to bake cake today as I had used up most of my baking engery for this week as I had been busying from Monday till Thursday baking and frosting the 2 birthday cakes. Moreover, my mum's birthday is a few days down the road so I will need to bake another birthday cake so soon.


Why I ended up baking this butter cake? Because my MIL wanted me to bake the cake through my husband. No wonder she and my helper has been asking me whether am I baking cake today, probably is waiting for me to "automatically" bake the cake. I didn't know they want to eat cake cos no one seem interested on my previous marbled butter cake so I thought probably too much cakes for them liao due to my frequent baking so they have lost interest. Moreover, my SIL has baked a 9" butter cake 1 week plus ago so I thought they should be overwelming by such a big cake as I reckon this cake has been finished only by my PIL as both me & my dear husband are watching our diet and dear daughter will not be interested unless is cupcake, helper recently having bad cough so she will not be eating.



I used the recipe shared by SIL with some modication. The cake is for 9" cake pan but I used 8" and balance batter to bake into cupcakes for my dear daughter. As I have some left over chocolate ganache, so I added into the cupcakes.
I should have baked the cake another 5 more mins more than the original recipe as I had added the milk so the batter should be wetter. But as I was afraid over bake the cake so I baked for 45 mins and left the cake in the oven for 15 mins.


Ingredients: Yield one 8" cake and 10 cupcakes
300g butter, soften
7 eggs
195g castor sugar
230g cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 tbsp milk

Methods:
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. Beat the butter with the castor sugar at high speed for about 10 mins until white and fluffy.
3. Beat eggs with fork in a bowl, add in eggs a bit by bit at a time and mix well in medium speed.
4. Fold in sieved flour and baking powder and mix well.
5. Then add in milk and vanilla essence and mix well.
6. Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for about 45 mins, then leave in the oven for 5 mins.

Verdict?
The cake is nice, buttery, soft and moist. The sweetness is just right for my taste bud.

Edited on 15 Feb 2010 : the cake tasted even more yummy after overnight. This recipe is definately a keeper for butter cake.

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake




Here come the chocolate swirl cheesecake again. This time, the cake was baked for my best friend M. I do not know what to bake for her cos she has restricted diet advised by the chinese sinsen due to her health. So chilled food and creamy cake are two of the restricted items, so after much consideration, I decided to bake this cake. This cake isn't creamy and can be stayed in room temperature so she do not need to consume the cake straight out from the fridge. Hope she will like and able to enjoy this cake.
She is not awared of my intention of baking her this birthday cake. I arranged with N, her husband to pass him the cake and asked him to keep it as secret as I want to give M a surprise. Indeed she was, she sms me n told me she was so touching that I have given her the great and suprise present. Her mum who has came to Singapore from Taiwan to visit M for CNY, has commented I am very good, can bake such nice cake. Thanks aunty for the compliment and Happy Birthday, my dear buddy!


I didnt deal with chocolate ganache for quite sometimes, thus I didn't do a good frosting job to the uneven side of the cake due to middle layer of the cream cheese. I seek dear husband for opinion and he thought that the look is quite natural so I can save my time to rush out to the nearby mama shop to get some biscuits to cover the flaw.


I baked extra again to give to my friends as CNY gift.


Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Ingredients Yield one 6" & two 8" x 3.5" x 3" cake tins
Mixture ‘A’
420g cream cheese, softened
60g castor sugar
1 egg

1. Beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy
2. Beat in egg until well incorporated and set it aside

Mixture ‘B’
300g butter, softened
200g sugar
5 eggs
5 tbsp cocoa powder
200g plain flour (I have run out of self-raising flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp chocolate milk

Method:
1. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa together and put aside
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add egg, one at a time and beat until well incorporated into mixture
4. Fold flour mixture, salt and chocolate milk into egg mixture.
5. To assemble, pour half of mixture ‘B’, then all of mixture ‘A’, then followed by the remaining mixture ‘B’.
6. Bake in preheat oven at 180C for 40 min or until skewer comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients:

100g Dark Chocolate
100g white Chocolate
100g Milk
1 tbsp Glucose

Boil milk and glucose, add in chocolate and stir well till smooth.

Edited on 13 Feb 2010 : M has sms me to praise on the cake and her mum commented that I can open a bakery if I intend to quit my job :). Thank you so much, all the compliments have been the engery booster for me to carry on the baking journey!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake



I baked this birthday cake for my friend E's son. I didnt have much headache on deciding what cake to bake for him since E like the chocolate swirl cake. And also I have 2 birthday cakes to bake during this week, thus this cake is more easier for me as I can skip the layering part, just frost the external of the cake with chocolate ganache will do.

I baked the cake one day in advance and decorated the cake next day as I do not have sufficient time to bake and frost the cake at the same day since I can only do it after my work.



I having bad headache, so don't have much engery to decorate the cake thus came out this simple deco. The oreo biscuit is to cover the uneven side of the cake.


I baked extra of one 8" x 3.5" x 3" to give away to my friend as CNY gift.


I used the previous recipe with modification.

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Ingredients Yield one 6" & one 8" x 3.5" x 3" cake tins
Mixture ‘A’
330g cream cheese, softened
50g castor sugar
1 egg

1. Beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy
2. Beat in egg until well incorporated and set it aside

Mixture ‘B’
250g butter, softened
165g sugar
4 eggs
4 tbsp cocoa powder
160g plain flour (I have run out of self-raising flour)
2.25 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1.25 tbsp chocolate milk

Method:
1. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa together and put aside
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add egg, one at a time and beat until well incorporated into mixture
4. Fold flour mixture, salt and chocolate milk into egg mixture.
5. To assemble, pour half of mixture ‘B’, then all of mixture ‘A’, then followed by the remaining mixture ‘B’.
6. Bake in preheat oven at 180C for 40 min or until skewer comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients:
200g Dark Chocolate
100g Milk
1 tbsp Glucose

Boil milk and glucose, add in chocolate and stir well till smooth.

Edited on 12 Feb 2010 : E said that the cake is very delicious although is rich and sinful. And her son has asked her why I still work in the company, I should be a baker. Ha ha ha... thanks little J for your nice compliment, I am very very happy! Although I had bad headache during the 2 days of baking and frosting the cake, but is really worthwhile my effort since all of you like the cake.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday


My friend S asked me what cake I am going to bake for my birthday, is it 3-tier birthday cake since is my birthday! Oh of course not! I don't celebrate birthday, is just another day for me.

Dear husband asked me what present do I want, nothing I told him cos he need to save more $ before getting me the present I want :P



Anyway I still received 2 birthday cakes, one from colleagues and one from my family and so coincidence, both are ice-cream cake!


My sweety friend A even drawn a Cooking Ma Ma Scarf for me with all greetings from colleagues.

Thank you everyone!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mocha Cake



My elder SIL's birthday is just 3 days ahead of mine, both of us are February babies :) I am not sure what type of cake she likes but I ever heard from my younger SIL that she likes chestnut so I had considered to make her a chestnut cake but I was not able to find the chestnut puree and I am not sure if I puree the chestnut myself, will it be tasty so I dropped this idea.
Then I remember that my brother inlaw had ordered a coffee flavour cake for her birthday a few years ago. So I reckon she should like coffee cake if not, my brother inlaw wouldn't ordered right? Thus I decided I shall make her a coffee cake and I decided on this recipe since it looks delicious and the ingredients are simple.


I used this recipe for the sponge cake. This is really a very good and non failure sponge cake recipe for me, which I had baked twice and both were successful.


Although the recipe called to whisk the flour with the mixer but when whisked the flour with the batter, I saw a lot of air bubbles burst, which I have encountered previously and the cake was deflated. Thus I was afraid will have same destiny so I changed to use spectula to fold. While at folding, I saw more and more air bubbles burst, I was dead worried but I still went ahead.


I was so relieved and happy when I saw the cake raised so high in the oven. When the cake was ready, I kept playing with the cake by pressing it, this is really a spongy cake.



This recipe is definitely a keeper for people like me, never good at folding flour into the batter. No matter how long I take to fold the batter and the bubbles in the batter kept bursting, this doesn't affected the cake at the all.:)


I encountered hiccups when assembled the cake. When I pour 1/3 of the mocha mixture onto the 1st layer of sponge, it immediately absorbed by the sponge cake. So I have to pour the balance mocha mixture and managed to reach 3/4 of the cake tin. I was too panic during that time that I quickly put another layer of the sponge cake. That was really a big big mistake, the mocha mixture again immediately absorb by the sponge cake and was not able to cover the 2nd layer of cake. I was at lost during that moment, and worst, because I was using removeable base cake tin, the mixture started to leak out. The whole table top was so messy, I quickly put the cake tin in a big bowl and placed in the frige to set.
After much thinking, I decided to prepare another set of the mocha mixture and pour into the cake when it was slightly set in the frige. Luckily I was able to salvage the cake, it looked quite decent after it was set.


Chocolate Sponge Cake : for 7" cake and 4 cupcakes
eggs 4
caster sugar 115g
glucose 21g
salt 1g
oil 32g
cocoa powder 21g
plain flour 106g
baking powder 1g
chocolate milk 21ml

Method :
1. Put the pot on the fire, pour in the oil immediately to heat up and off the fire when the oil start to warm.
2. Add in the cocoa powder and stir well to dissolve the cocoa powder with oil and set aside.
3. Mix eggs, sugar, salt in the mixing bowl and whisk in high speed till thick and creamy, increase the volume unitl the color turn pale.
4. Add in glucose and whisk in medium speed until ribbon stage.
5. Mix in the sifted flour and baking powder, whisk in low speed for 3 circles to let the flour mix into the egg mixture. Then turn to medium speed and whisk for about 20 circles (about 20 seconds) to mix well.
6. Fold 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into cocoa mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture back to the remaining batter, add in milk to mix well.
7. Pour the batter in the 7" cake tin till 60-70% full.
8. Bang the cake tin on the table lightly to reduce some air.
9. Bake at 180 degree for 35 mins.
10. Once done, remove from oven and turn the cake tin upside down on wire rack for it to cool down.

Mocha Layer :
600ml condensed milk
600ml water
5 tbsp instant coffee
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp gelatine

Method :
1. Let gelatine bloom in water for about 10mins
2. Heat up gelatine + water mixture and once gelatine dissolves, add instant coffee and cocoa powder. Stir well till dissolved and no lumps
3. Turn heat off, add condensed milk and stir till well blended

Assemble :
1. Slice the sponge cake into 2 layers
2. Trim 2nd layer of the cake to be smaller than 7".
3. Place 7" layer of sponge cake in a 7" baking tin, pour 1/2 mixture into baking tin
3. Chill in the fridge till slightly set then remove from the fridge
4. Place the trimmed layer of sponge cake and pour the remaining mocha mixture and return to the fridge and chill over night.

Notes:
The mocha mixture is watery, if you are using springform cake tin or removeable base cake tin, you need to wrap the aluminium foil outside the bottom of the cake tin.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Glowing Moon

I have realised that the moon has been so bright for the past weeks. When I woke up in the middle of the night to go toilet, I do not even need to on the light (although I don't usually)to have clear view as the toilet is bright due to the moonlight.
One of the night when I was woke up by my dear daughter, I saw the moon was so bright, round and glowing and I decided to snap some pix on it.



Due to my bad photography skill and using a so so camera, the photos doesn't shown out the beautiful glowing moon. However from the photos, still are able to see how bright is the moon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seafood Dinner

Ever since we have fixed the meet up date with G who coming back to Singapore from Sydney, we have been cracking our head where shall we have our dinner. Of course I believed most of us will suggest Korean BBQ which is our favourite, especially wagu beef, yummilious! But since G only come back Singapore once in a year, so I suggested that should check with him what food he want to eat instead. And he suggested seafood, Long Beach at Dempsey or East Coast. However we were not able to get a table at Dempsey and East Coast is not really convenience since most are staying at the west. Thus, we finally settled at Non Signboard Vivo City.

We ordered the set menu and these were the dishes.










The food taste quite good and they served quite generous portions which our stomach nearly burst after finished all the courses.

Prawn Cracker Fritter


I like this prawn cracker fritter, this is so addictive that once you have started to eat, you will be non-stop eating it. The taste actually is like those prawn cracker that you can get it from the supermarket but cut into strip, like french fries.
I used to get it from Jakarta as I didnt see any store in Singapore selling it but since last year, I saw Phoon Huat also selling but of course getting from Jakarta is still cheaper.


I bought a packet from Jakarta but was kept for quite sometimes and finally my helper took it out to deep fry for CNY.

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