Friday, 2 December 2016

Trio-colour chiffon cake (II)



Somehow, I got "hooked" to add some "structural design/colours" in chiffon cakes.  Of course, the easiest is to make a few colour batters and pour into pan and to make some swirling effect.  Well, it would turn out like nice marbling effect.  Ever so inspired by Susanne of Loving Creations for You for her many creative & impressive designs on chiffon cakes (mostly very difficult for me to achieve those standards), first time I tried out the "not too difficult" trio-colour chiffon here.  Pretty challenging to level/even the colour layers cos action must be quick and precise so as not to deflate the batter.  Hee ... Hee... glad that it turned out not too bad. So I went on to try the curvy wave design ... opps! It ended a "tsunami" look ... haiz !

Ok, can't make nice curvy wave, back to trio-colour ... this time in 3 broad stripes (cos no confident to make many stripes).  Hmm... room for improvement to even the batter proportion. But I'm glad that the texture is so fluffy cottony soft and moist.


Recipe adapted from : Loving Creations for You

Trio colour chiffon cake
17cm chiffon pan
5 egg yolks
33g caster sugar
65g vegetable oil
70 ml water
10 ml vanilla extract
100g cake flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
Purple and green food colouring (1 - 2 drops)

Meringue
7 egg whites
75g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place a tray of water under the lowest rack for steambaking.

2. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

3. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric stand mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Transfer to a big bowl and chill in the fridge.

4. In the same mixing bowl, cream together egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and thickened using the electric mixer (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add canola oil, water and vanilla extract.

5. Sift in cake flour and salt and whisk again until mixture is well combined. Divide the batter into 3 portions. Mix in respective colours in 2 portions.

6. Divide the meringue into 3 portions. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue into the 3 batters. You need to work very fast for the meringue not to deflate.

7. Scoop the purple  batter using a tablespoon into bottom of the base of the chiffon tin horizontally. Then repeat with green, original batters respectively horizontally across the tin. Repeat till batter is almost 80% filled in pan. Lightly tap the pan  2 - 3 times on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

8. Bake the chiffon cake for 15 min at 160°C and then 140°C for 30 min. Test with a skewer inserted into the centre if it comes out clean.

9. When the pan was removed from the oven, I used the suggested technique to drop the pan at a height of 20~30cm onto a table top. This action helps to keep the springy texture of the cake when it is left to cool.

10. Immediately invert the pan to cool before unmoulding the cake from pan. To unmould cake by hand, gently pull cake from the sides of the tube pan. Turn the cake pan over and press down on the bottom firmly to dislodge. Gently pull the cake from the base around the edge and around the whole cake. Continue to lift up the cake and moving inwards until you reach the tube.
Looks good




Enjoy !

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Citrus Shortbread Cookies

I don't often bake shortbread. My first attempt on shortbread stamped cookies here.  In just a few more days, we will be preparing and celebrating the Christmas festive season in December.  My usual baking for some biscottis or cookies as giveaway for my family has already began.  One of the “must-use” dried fruits  … dried cranberries for most of the biscottis and cookies recipes.  Starting with this citrus tangy flavour shortbread cookies.... infused with citrus lemon zest and tangy dried cranberries. Instead of slicing the cookie dough, I made them into rounds.




Recipe source : Allrecipes
Below my slightly modified version as I've halved the recipe and reduced the quantity of sugar & cranberries.

Citrus Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients
126g all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of teaspoon salt
116g butter, softened
35g confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
60g dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Methods:
1) Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.


2) In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually add flour mixture and mix to combine. Take bowl off mixer, fold in the cranberries into the dough and mixing just enough to evenly combine.

3) Place dough on cling wrap. Adjust and roll the dough into log about 1.5 inches diameter, 7 inches long. Wrap the log in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.


4) Preheat oven to 175°C and position the rack in center of oven. (*the oven temperature may vary, do adjust accordingly).  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. (do not need to grease)

5) Remove the cling wrap, and cut the cookie dough into 1/2-inch. Using your hand, make the dough into rounds. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and gently press to flatten top. Space the dough well apart about 1 &1/2 inches between each cookie.

6) Bake in the preheated oven until firm about 12 - 14 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheet (about 3-5 minutes) before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store them in airtight container.


An easy to attempt recipe. Ta da ! Packed them up in nice container as giveaway to share these delighted yummy treats with family :)

**** Launching of "Bake and Celebrate : Cookies & Treats" Cookbook ****
Thanks to Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Ltd for this opportunity.  I am excited to be part of this collaboration project  .…  One of my cookie recipes will be featured in this "Bake and Celebrate : Cookies & Treats" Cookbook. The books will be out in stores in December and in time for festive seasons like Christmas & Lunar New Year, so it will make for a wonderful gift for family and friends!

A special pre-order price of $11.95 per copy from now till 9 December 2016. You may place your order and direct any enquiries to letsbakeandcelebrate@gmail.com. Please refer to the poster for more information.




Sunday, 20 November 2016

Butter Cake (Mrs Ng SK)

Butter cakes are usually very dense and rich with buttery fragrant. That's why I'm always hesitant to bake a very rich butter cake with a block of 230g - 250g of butter. Marble Cake which I've baked a few times uses less than 100g of butter, yields buttery moist with tender crumbs texture that my big kids love.

The famous Mrs SK Ng's butter cake has been raving very fantastic good review by many food/recipe bloggers for past few years. The texture of the cake :  "moist tender cottony soft with strong buttery fragrant".  Since my big kids could afford such cake in high calories .. I would just love to pamper them with this famous butter cake ... hee ... hee ... But it turned out that I ate 4 big slices at one go ! Needless to say this awesome butter cake is so so so addictive ! Yeah tender crumbs, cottony soft with nice buttery fragrant !


Recipe source and adapted from :
table for 2 or more
the domestic goddess wannabe

Below my slightly modified version :-
Butter Cake (Mrs Ng SK)
Ingredients
250g salted butter, softened at room temperature
120g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self raising flour, sifted
60ml milk

4 egg whites
50g caster sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170°C. Position the rack in the center of oven.
*Note : The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly.

2) Lined and lightly grease a 8″ × 8" square baking pan with some butter.

3) Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

4) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites till foamy using the electric mixer and gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Transfer to a big bowl and chill in the fridge.

5) With the electric mixer in medium speed, cream the butter. Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to cream until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

6) Put in half the flour and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add milk in 2 additions and mix until well incorporated. And the rest of the flour. Mix just until all the flour has been incorporated into the batter.

7) Put about 1/3 the meringue in batter and mix on low speed. Gently fold the remaining meringue in 2 batches to the batter with a spatula.

8) Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake at 170°C for 45 minutes.
* I turned down the oven temperature to 150°C in the last 15 minutes of baking. So glad it has no crack .... must keep an eye on the cake and adjust the oven temperature if need be, especially in the last 15 - 20 minutes of baking.

Check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean. Let the cake rest for 5 minutes in the pan before carefully transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.




Enjoy !

Baked again :
My girl has a gathering and requested to bake "that very nice butter cake" to bring for the event. Baked with chocolate duo flavor for her.  When she returned home, she feedback that the cake was very well received.  Oh ! But I secretly kept 3 slices for my coffee break :)



Enjoy & Happy Baking !

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Pandan chiffon cake (without coconut milk)

With some leftover homemade pandan extract, baked a pandan chiffon cake without coconut milk (didn't keep any stock in my pantry).  Tried to make a few slits for the cake to see if it rise evenly. Mixed feeling ... somehow, I preferred no crack or slits  for the top.

Glad that I could use my hand to unmould the cake from pan (with more confidence now).  Hee ... hee... but lack of patience and resulted deep uneven patches. Haiz !




Recipe source:Cookpad
Below my slightly modified version.
17cm chiffon pan
Ingredients:
For egg yolk batter :
4 egg yolks
20 grams caster sugar
30 grams canola oil
45 grams fresh milk
75 grams cake flour, sifted
1.5 teaspoon homemade concentrated pandan extract

For meringue :
4 egg whites
50 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method:
1) Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 65g each with shell)

2) Position the rack in the lowest level and preheat oven to 170°C. (Note: The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly and observe especially in the last 10 - 15 minutes of baking.)

3) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric stand mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Transfer to a big bowl and chill in the fridge.

4) In the same mixing bowl, cream together egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and thickened using the electric mixer (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add canola oil, fresh milk and pandan extract and whisk until the mixture is combined.

5) Sift in cake flour and whisk again until mixture is well combined.

6) Gently but quickly fold 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture with a spatula. Fold the remaining meringue in 2 batches into the mixture until it looks evenly mixed (no streaks of meringue).

7) Pour the batter into the un-greased chiffon pan.
Smooth the top evenly with spatula. Lightly tap the pan  2 - 3 times on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

8) Bake in a preheated 170ºC for about 35 - 40 minutes.  **About 8 minutes into the baking time, take the cake out and make four evenly 1cm deep cuts over the surface of the cake. You need to be fast. This is to ensure that the cake will rise nice and evenly.

Cover with a piece of loose foil over the pan if top of the cake is browning too quickly.  Bake until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

9) When the pan was removed from the oven, I used the suggested technique to drop the pan at a height of 20~30cm onto a table top. This action helps to keep the springy texture of the cake when it is left to cool.

10) Immediately invert the pan to cool before unmoulding the cake from pan. To unmould cake by hand, gently pull cake from the sides of the tube pan. Turn the cake pan over and press down on the bottom firmly to dislodge. Gently pull the cake from the base around the edge and around the whole cake. Continue to lift up the cake and moving inwards until you reach the tube.




Enjoy this fluffy soft sweet pandan fragrance chiffon cake ^-^

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Pandan Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes

Really love the pandan fragrance ... and the sweet looking pastel green in petite cupcake liners.  My big kids love anything sweet ... glad that I could satisfy them with these petite pandan hokkaido chiffon cupcakes that were not too sweet, lesser amount of fat (no butter & sugary buttercream) as compared to some typical sugary frosting cupcakes.



Bookmarked the recipe some time ago, recipe adapted from Doreen of my little favourite DIY
Below my slightly modified version.

Pandan Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes
Yields 8 cupcakes depending on the types of paper/cupcake liners.
Ingredients :
For egg yolk batter :
2 egg yolks
15 grams caster sugar
35 grams canola oil
35 grams light coconut milk
40 grams cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon homemade concentrated pandan extract

For meringue :
3 egg whites (cold)
25 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Whipped cream with dessicated coconut filling
200 grams whipping cream
15 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoons dessicated coconut

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 160°C. Position the rack in the center of oven.
Note: The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly. Arrange cupcake liners on baking tray.

2) Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

3) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites till foamy using the electric mixer. Add in the lemon juice and gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Transfer to a big bowl and chill in the fridge.

4) In the same mixing bowl, cream together egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and thick using the electric mixer (about 3 - 4 minutes).  Add canola oil and continue beating. Once the oil has been incorporated, add coconut milk and pandan extract and mix well.

5) Next, add the sifted cake flour and mix until just combined.

6) Gently fold 1/3 of the meringue into batter with a spatula. Fold the remaining meringue into the mixture in 2 batches until it looks evenly mixed (no streaks of meringue).

7) Scoop batter into pre-arranged cupcake liners to about ¾ full. Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on table top to release the trapped bubbles in the batter.

8) Bake at 160°C for about 18 - 20 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on wire rack.

9) Once the cupcakes are cooled, fill whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle (I used a open star tip nozzle).  Push the piping tip into the center of the cupcake and pipe/squeeze some amount. Decorate the top to your desire. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

To make the whipped cream:
Freeze the cleaned mixing bowl for about 10 minutes.  Take it out from the freezer, immediately put together the cold whip cream and caster sugar in the cold mixing bowl. Use the electronic mixer to whisk till stiff peak form. Add in the dessicated coconut and mix to combined.



We loved these pillowy soft pandan fragrance Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes lots and here are some other flavours of HCC we had enjoyed in the past:
Japanese Dark Pearl Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes
Lemon curd Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes
Rose tea Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes
Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes

Enjoy & Happy Baking!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hummingbird Cake

Ever wonder the combination of sweet pineapples and bananas in a cake ?
My big boy commented "nice, I like this cake with cream cheese icing."
Mom: I find it too sweet ... with or without the icing....
My big boy: cake should taste sweet, right ? I find it nice, not too sweet ...



According to Wikipedia : Hummingbird cake
Hummingbird cake is a banana-pineapple spice cake common in the Southern United States. Ingredients include flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, ripe banana, pineapple, cinnamon, pecans, vanilla extract, eggs, and leavening agent. Created on the island of Jamaica, the Hummingbird Cake was named after the island's national bird.

I've bookmarked the recipe some years ago cos it's pretty easy to bake. The dry ingredients are mixed together in one bowl, the wet ingredients are mixed together in another bowl. Mix to combine the 2 bowls ... You only need to use the electric mixer to make the icing/frosting. I've been procrastinating to bake this cake as I reckon that even if I reduced the quantity of sugar, it will still taste sweet (combination of sweet crushed pineapple and bananas).

I like the use of cooking oil instead of butter to achieve this crusty cake that is moist, light with tender crumbs. Nutty chopped pecans added some bits to the cake. I frosted half the cake with icing and kept the non-frosted cake until served.

Recipe adapted from : Joy of Baking
Below my slightly modified version as I've halved the recipe, reduced the amount of sugar and made a simple cream cheese icing without added chopped pecans.

Hummingbird Cake
Yields one 8-inch square pan
Ingredients:
Dry ingredients
200 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
140 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

50 grams pecans - lightly toasted, cool and chop finely.

Wet ingredients:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
90 ml canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
110 grams can crushed pineapple, do not drain
200 grams mashed ripe bananas

Cream Cheese Icing:
30 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
100 grams cream cheese, room temperature
100 grams powdered or icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method
1) Preheat the oven at 180°C, position the rack 2nd from bottom. *Note : The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly.

2) Butter, or spray with a non stick spray, one 8-inch square cake pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

3) In a large bowl whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Then stir in the chopped pecans.

4) In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, and mashed bananas. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

5) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes until nicely brown. To test with tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake and it comes out clean.


6) Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack, parchment paper, flip the cake right side up, and then cool completely before frosting and decorating.

To make the cream cheese icing:
1. Allow cream cheese and butter to stand at room temperature. In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter with mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy.

2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating well. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.  Beat until it reach spreading consistency.

To serve, spread over the top with icing as you like. Garnish with some pecan halves. If not serving immediately, refrigerate the cake. Bring to room temperature before serving.

My big kids liked this Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese icing while I find it on the sweet side though. Paired a slice with a cup of black coffee. Enjoy my coffee break !




Enjoy & Happy Baking!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Cranberry Buttermilk Scones

We love scones ! Especially the buttery crusty flaky scones that spread with our favourite spreads from Nutella to butter, kaya, homemade or store bought jams. Plain or with added nuts or dried fruits like the previous Lavender walnut scones.

Instead of cutting rounds, these quick and easy scones are cut into wedges.




Recipe source : Taste of Home
Below my slightly modified version
Cranberry Buttermilk Scones
Yields 6 wedges
Ingredients
220g all-purpose plain flour
30g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
85g cold butter (cut into small cubes)
124g buttermilk
40g dried cranberries

For glaze and topping:
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1 tablespoon caster sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven at 220°C, position the rack in the center of the oven. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

2) Mix and combine the ground cinnamon and caster sugar in a small bowl, set aside.

3) In a big bowl, combine the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Next, rub the cold butter into the flour with your finger tips, lifting the flour from the bottom up on top, until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

4) Stir in the buttermilk with spatula until just combined. Fold in the cranberries.

5) Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Gently pat the dough a few times to form a 6-inch circle.  (*note: The dough should not be overworked as may end up with a hard and doughy scones). Cut the circle into six wedges. Separate wedges and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.

6) Brush the tops with buttermilk and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the tops.

7) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.




These rather rustic looking scones are perfect for any time snacks.  Served these light and crusty yet tangy warm scones for our brekkie!  Enjoy !