Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Madeira Cake (II)

What is Madeira Cake ?
According to wikipedia, extracted few paragraphs:
“Madeira cake is a sponge cake in traditional English cookery.
It is sometimes mistakenly thought to originate from the Madeira Islands; however, that is not the case as it was instead named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine from the islands, which was popular in England at the time and was often served with the cake.”

How does a Madeira cake taste like ?
 “A pound cake with tender crumbs, golden and comes with a crispy top which gives the cake a bit of 'character'.” Lena Frozen Wings

“The crumbs are soft and lemony with the light fragrance of the rum which I've added.” Joyce Kitchen Flavours

“My first bite is like yum... because of its sugary crusty topping. It follows by a robust buttery taste but with a hint of lightness from the lemon.” Zoe Bake for Happy Kids

Above were some comments by some blogger pals when we had a “Bake-Along #79” event about two years ago on theme Madeira Cake (Nigella Lawson). I too joined the fun “Bake-Along” and baked mini cakes here instead of a loaf or whole cake.  I missed those bake-along events ....
My big kids loved those crispy sugary crusty top mini butter cakes. 

A cake that's easy to bake with a unique crispy sugary crust.  Decided to bake one 6-inch size cake for the family. 

Recipe adapted from : nigella.com
Below my slight adjustment made for a 6-inch pan size.

Madeira Cake
Ingredients :
120 grams unsalted butter (softened)
80 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 eggs (the size of my egg is 55 grams each with shell)
150 grams self-raising flour, sifted (I used all self-raising flour instead of a combination of plain and self-raising flour)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
2 teaspoons caster sugar for sprinkling the top

Method :
1) Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

2) Lightly grease the sides of the 6-inch pan with removable base with butter.  Line the base of the pan with lightly greased parchment paper. Set aside.

3) In a mixing bowl, cream butter, lemon zest and caster sugar with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrapping down the sides occasionally.

4) Add the eggs, one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each. Beat on low speed until incorporated.  Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice and Grand Marnier.  

5) The batter is very thick. Scoop batter into the prepared pan, spread and level the top with a spatula.  Sprinkle with the caster sugar and bake in preheated oven at 170ºC for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

ha ha ! I'm amazed ... even the crack seemed to have "character"!
6) Let cool on a wire rack completely before serving. 

a ray of sunlight reflected on the cake :)
Glad that this light butter cake turned out well ... browned crispy sugary crust, lemony taste with tender crumbs.  

Enjoy with a cuppa of tea ... Happy baking ! 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Mango Apple and Stem Ginger Crumble

Occasionally we love to have some piping hot fruity oatmeal crumble for our brekkie on some cold mornings.

Chanced upon a crumble recipe with added stem ginger.  “Stem ginger refers to chunks of ginger candied and stored in simple syrup.” If you are unable to find ready stem ginger in the supermarket, it is not difficult to make one.  I made a small jar of stem ginger in advance and keep it in the fridge. Glad that I could use the ginger or syrup for other bakes or desserts.

Recipe reference :Food.com
Stem ginger
For the ginger - Peeled and cut into half inch cubes about 12 pieces
65g sugar (add more if you prefer sweeter)
120ml water

Method :
Boil a small pot of boiling water, blanch ginger for about 10 seconds.
Drain and repeat 2 more times.
In a small saucepan, add blanched ginger, water and sugar.  Bring to the boil then reduce the flame and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water and sugar forms a slightly thick syrup similar in texture.
Pour into a container, let cool and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Recipe source for the crumble :bbcgoodfood
Below my slight modifications made.

Mango Apple and Stem Ginger Crumble 
1 small red apple, peeled, cored and diced in cubes
1 teaspoon light Muscovado sugar or brown sugar
About 2 tablespoon of water

1 small mango, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped into small cubes
2 small pieces of stem ginger, chopped finely

Crumble topping:
40g plain flour
40g rolled oat
40g unsalted cold butter, diced
3 tablespoon light Muscovado sugar or brown sugar
40g walnuts very roughly chopped

Some soft butter to grease the ramekins

Position the rack in the center and preheat oven to 180°C.  (Note: The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly).
Lightly grease 3 ramekins with butter and set aside.

In a small saucepan combine all the Ingredients A and cook with low flame for about 5 mins. Stirring occasionally. Cook till apples are just tender.

Off the flame and stir in the mangoes and stem ginger.
Spoon the fruit mixture into ramekins.

Combine the flour, light muscovado sugar, rolled oats in a big bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the walnuts. Spoon the crumble mixture over the fruit mixture.

Bake at preheated oven 180°C for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Need to be careful while having this piping hot brekkie that's served straight out from the oven.  Very satisfying ... fruity, nutty warm crumble with a hint of woody spice flavour.  Enjoy !

My note: Will add more stem ginger for more gingerly taste in my next crumble bake.

Happy baking !

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Peanut Butter Cookie Bownies

My big kids love brownies. And for me, baking brownies ain't that cumbersome. It saves me the hassle to take out the electric mixer, all I need is a wire whisk and spatula (or wooden spoon) to mix the mixture in one or two bowls ... like here, here, here or here.

But I've not baked one with cookie dough ... I mean cookie dough and brownies together. Always think that it's a complicated recipe. Actually it's not that complicated afterall ... just 'assemble' the two types of mixtures in the pan.  And ... a few more utensils to wash!


Recipe adapted from : Lovely Little Kitchen
Below my slightly adjusted version as I've reduced the quantity of caster sugar.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bownies
8 inch square pan
Ingredients for the brownies
113g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g all purpose plain flour
35g cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for cookie dough
53g vegetable oil
70g caster sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
45g creamy peanut butter
126g all purpose plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Methods :
Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

Line an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease with some butter. Leave excess parchment paper hanging over the sides for easy removal from pan.

To make the brownie batter:
1) Combine the dry ingredients : the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a clean bowl. Set aside.

2) In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat with a whisk. Stir in the caster sugar till dissolved.

3) Off the heat and stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until just mixed and pour into the prepared pan. Level the top evenly with a spatula and set aside.

To make the peanut butter cookie dough:
1) Combine the dry ingredients : the flour, baking soda  and salt in a clean bowl. Set aside.

2) Whisk the oil and caster sugar in a jug. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and peanut butter and continue to whisk till combined.

3) Pour the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. With a big spoon, mix and stir the mixture to form a dough.

4) Drop cookie dough evenly by rounded tablespoons onto the brownie batter.

5) Bake about 22 - 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until just set in the middle. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, do not over bake.

6) Remove the brownie from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Looks like polkadots brownies 

Moist, fudgy, chewiness ...
That's the combination of cookie dough and brownies together. So yummy !

AND oh ! well ... they are so absolutely sinful too!
So enjoy whichever way you want ... top with some ice cream, drizzle some chocolate fudge ! 

Enjoy and happy baking! 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Lemon Almond Cake

I would crave for almond cake occasionally …  This lemon almond cake is light and fluffy with a hint of lemon tangy.  Simply love the sweet nutty aroma while the cake was baking in the oven.

I halved the recipe for a 6-inch size cake, just perfect for the 3 of us to enjoy our afternoon coffee/tea break.

Recipe adapted from :Simply Recipes Flourless Lemon Almond Cake
Below my slightly modified version

Lemon Almond Cake
6-inch springform pan or pan with removable base

For the yolk mixture:
2 eggs yolks
1 tablesppon lemon zest
35g caster sugar
80g ground almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For meringue:
2 cold egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
35g caster sugar

Icing sugar to dust (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

2) Grease the sides of the 6-inch springform pan with butter or spray.  Line the base of the pan with lightly greased parchment paper.

3) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric hand mixer. Add in the caster sugar in 3 additions.  Beat till soft peak.

4) In another large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, lemon zest, and caster sugar with electric hand mixer until smooth.

5) In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth (about 30 secs to 1 minute).

6) Using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue into the almond mixture in 3 additions.

7) Scoop batter into pan, level the top with spatula and bake in preheated oven 170ºC for 25 minutes.  If the top gets browned too quickly, tent with aluminium foil in the last 10 minutes of baking. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

8) Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, release the springform pan sides, and gently move the cake (on parchment) to a cake serving plate.

To serve, dust with some icing sugar & some fresh berries if you like.

From the look, thought it would be dense.  But the texture is light and soft. Enjoy !

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberries

My first try on souffle here  a basic Vanilla Soufflé. Since then, I've not baked any soufflé though I've promised my girl to make a chocolate flavour.

Chance upon this decadent yet light and airy chocolate with filled berries soufflé recipe. Glad that this recipe is not too sweet.

Recipe adapted from : Foodfulife
* as I've left with 2 eggs in the fridge, hence used 2 whites instead of 3.

Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberries
Serves 2-3
For chocolate / yolk mixture:
15g unsalted butter
45g honey
2 egg yolks (at room temperature)
60g fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, pat dry and diced.

For meringue :
2 cold egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice

About 1-2 tablespoons butter for greasing the moulds.

1. Grease 4 ramekins (8 cm in diameter) with butter, chill them in the fridge.

2. Fill a #saucepan with water and place on low heat. Place chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place on top of the saucepan allow it to melt. Stirring occasionally with a spoon. Do not cover.
#use a double boiler if you have one.

3. Add the butter and the honey to the melted chocolate, gently stir till combined. Let cool a little.

4. Add the egg yolks and then the diced strawberries. Use a fork to lightly crush them. Mix well and remove from heat.

5. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

6. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric stand mixer. Beat till soft peak.

7. Using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue to the chocolate / yolks mixture till combined.

8. Lightly grease the chilled ramekins again with some butter. Spoon the mixture into ramekins, fill up to 2/3 and wipe the inside edges with your thumb. Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes.

9. Souffles are best eaten hot. To serve, place on a plate because ramekins are very hot. Serve immediately with some strawberries. If you like, dust some confectioners’ sugar.

They rose high to the rims when baked inside the oven.  But the height of the souffle will tend to deflate as it cool down a bit.  By the time I snapped few pictures "like speed lightning" ... they have deflated.

I'm sure this light and airy dessert is a perfect way to treat your loved ones on any special occasions, not just on Valentine's Day.

Enjoy ! Have a lovely weekend !

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Almond cookies II ( CNY2017 #2)

I made these soft and melt in the mouth kinda almond cookies for CNY two years ago.  My family liked it very much.  When I chance upon another almond cookies shared by some group members in FB that the texture is crispy and crunchy type, I have to give it try. Like the buttery crunchy texture with a hint of almond fragrance.

Below my slightly adjusted version
Almond cookies 
186g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
265g all purpose plain flour
70g almond meal
1 egg yolk

Some almond flakes or nibs for decoration.
Egg wash : 1/2 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water as I preferred lighter colour.

1. Position the rack in the middle and preheat oven to 170°C.  (The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven).  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Need not grease).

2. In a big mixing bowl, cream butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy with electric mixer. Add egg yolk and mix well.

3. Next, mix in almond meal till combined.

4. Fold in plain flour with spatula till combined.

5. Turn over on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough evenly (about 0.5cm thickness) and cut to desired shape using cookie cutter.

6. Brush with egg wash then spinkle some chopped almond nibs or flakes on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

7. Cool on tray for 2 - 3 minutes before transferring them to cool completely on wire rack.

Well, glad another yummy homemade almond cookies for CNY.
Happy baking!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Banana Bread

When I saw these quick bread baked by Phong Hong and Veronica of Peng's Kitchen ... I know I have to bake this.  Why? My big kids' favourite ingredients … not one but three in there:  chocolate chips, peanut butter & banana.  Mash the bananas and simply mix all the ingredients with a whisk and it's done within 10 minutes. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips and I sent three mini loaves into the oven. 

Recipe source/adapted from:
Peng's Kitchen
Phong Hong Bakes & Cooks

Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Makes one 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan or 
3 small loaves (I used a heatproof paper pound cake mould 7.5cm x 17.8cm x 5cm)

Ingredients :
240grams self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
60grams butter, softened
80grams caster sugar
180grams creamy peanut butter
4 - 5 medium size bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240ml fresh milk
100g mini chocolate chips (I reserved about 1.5 tablespoons to sprinkle on the batter)

1) Position the rack in the center and preheat oven to 160°C.  Line the base of loaf pan with parchment paper.

2) Sift flour and salt together in a bowl.

3) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined with a manual whisk. 

4) Beat in egg. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla and whisk till creamy.  Mix in the mashed bananas.

5) Add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Whisk until just combined and the batter is smooth.

6) Fold in chocolate chips with spatula. Pour batter into loaf pan, scrape down the sides of the bowl for no waste of batter. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the reserved chocolate chips (or more if you like).

7) Bake in preheated oven for 40 mins. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

8) Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from pan to cool completely.

I like it warm … A hint of banana fragrance and the peanut butter gives it a rich, full flavour with a soft and moist crumb to satisfy our afternoon break and morning brekkie.  Delicious!  Enjoy !