Sunday, 28 May 2017

Gula Melaka Butter Cake




Ever since using palm sugar, also known as Gula Melaka in baking Ondeh Ondeh Cupcake and the recent Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake, somehow, we have fallen in love with this fragrant caramel-like taste in our cakes.

Have bookmarked this recipe for the longest time. As my mother in-law likes butter cake, baked a fragrance butter cake to celebrate Mother's Day together earlier this month.






Recipe adapted from: Victoria Bakes
My slight adjustments made below
Gula Melaka Butter Cake
One 8x8 inch square pan
Ingredients
A
200g chopped gula melaka
100ml coconut milk
2 - 3 pieces of pandan leaves, washed clean and tie a knot

B
250g salted butter, room temperature
40g Light Muscovado sugar

C
5 eggs (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

D
200g cake flour
5g baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
20g coconut cream powder

Method :
1) Place ingredients A in a small saucepan, cook on low heat for about 8 - 10 minutes till palm sugar dissolved. Stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Off the heat and discard the pandan leave. Set aside to cool.

2) 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.

3) Combine ingredients D in a medium bowl, sift and set aside.

4) Grease and line one 8 × 8 inch square baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.

5) Beat ingredients B until light and fluffy with electric stand mixer (about 2 - 3 mins). Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add ingredients C, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

6) With the mixer on low speed, add alternately the ingredients A & D, starting with D (flour mixture in three additions) and gula melaka mixture (in two additions) [starting and ending with the flour mixture]. Mix only until combined.

7) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, level the top with spatula and bake in preheated oven at 170°C for about 40 - 50 minutes. (Mine was done at 43 mins. and tent with an aluminium foil in the last 10 minutes of baking). Check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean.

8) Removed cake pan from oven and let rest for a few minutes in the pan before carefully transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.





I have a little leftover whipped cream in the freezer and gula melaka coconut filling from making Odeh Odeh. Cut two mini cakes and frost them with some whipped cream and a few spoonfuls of gula melaka coconut. Indulge myself with one and the other piece for my mother in-law.  Blessed Mother's Day :)
Enjoyed our afternoon coffee break with a big slice of buttery cake that's filled with the richness of palm and coconut fragrance!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Crisp Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

Baked another batch of cookies for the "Mr or Ms Cookie Monster" ! hee.. hee.. ! This time with some salt flakes on the cookies.

The salt flakes complement the crisp oatmeal and sweet white chocolate in these cookies. Love the crisp of the outer rims with chocolate bits in the middle and a hint of salty flavour.



Recipe source:Smitten Kitchen
Below my slight adjustment made as halved the recipe.
Crisp Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 12 big cookies
Ingredients
(A)
65g all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

(B)
100g rolled oats
60g white chocolate bar, break or chop into small pieces.

90g salted butter, slightly softened
60g caster sugar
15g light muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (for sprinkling cookie top)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°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).

2. Combine the ingredients (A) in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of your electric stand mixer (or handheld mixer), cream the butter till fluffy and add in the sugars in 3 separate additions. Beat until smooth. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beat till incorporated.

4. Add ingredients (A) and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Take bowl off mixer, fold in the ingredients (B) and mixing just enough to evenly combine with a spatula or a big spoon.

5. Drop by rounded 2 tablespoonful  of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Place 2.5 inches apart as the cookies spread as they bake. Press to flatten the dough slightly and sprinkle a little of salt flakes on each cookie.

6. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C about 13 to 16 minutes or until cookies are deep golden brown.
Spreaded big
7. Remove the baking sheet from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack before storing them in airtight container.



My  way of of enjoying these cookies ... with cuppa of warm honey lemon tea !

Happy Baking !

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Japanese Cheesecake

Oh NO ! .... It has a sexy waistline :(



Although I've baked mini cheese cupcakes here & here, this is the first time I'd tried a souffle Japanese Cheesecake ... in an 7-inch round pan.

Mom: Help ! Boy ! Quick, come and help me!
Boy: Why ?! Are you hurt?
Mom: Nope. I need another pair of hands to help me lift this cake up ... by holding the 2 strips of parchment paper. Ok at the count of 3, let's lift the cake up!
Boy: Aiyoh !

Well, I couldn't lift the 4 strips of parchment paper with one pair of hands. But I liked this brilliant idea .... this way I will not be restricted to use springform pan and worry about water seepage issue during water bath.

Oh ! Gosh ! It has a sexy waistline :( 
And suffered great shrinkage :(

A failed cheesecake that I've baked ! Nonetheless the texture is light, souffle soft and melt in the mouth kind. My big boy (actually a young man who has just turned 21 years old) couldn't stop giving praises to this Japanese Cheesecake! Both my big kids simply loved this not too dense but light & soft cheesecake. As for me ... not a fan of cheesecake though but gobbled up 2 slices ... no, should be 2 big wedges at one go !


Recipe adapted from:Just One Cookbook
Ingredients :
4 egg yolks
200g cream cheese, cut into cubes
40g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
132g whipping cream
40g caster sugar

50g cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1 teaspoon zest

For the meringue
4 egg whites
60g caster sugar

Method :
1) One 7-inch round baking pan (fixed base)

2) Grease the bottom and the side of the cake pan with some butter.  Cut 2 long strips of parchment paper to act as "straps" (roughly size 4 x 70 cm or enough overhang for easy lifting and "transporting" the cake). Grease with some butter and place the 2 "straps" criss-cross on the bottom of the pan. Grease and line a round parchment paper for the base, and sides of the pan. Set aside.

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

4) On the stove, half-fill a cooking pot with water and bring to a simmer. Melt the butter, cream cheese with whipping cream and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture occasionally with spatula till melted and smooth. Once they are melted, use a ballon whisk to blend everything together. Remove from flame and leave to cool slightly.

5) Preheat the oven to 170°C, position the rack on the lowest.  Fill a larger baking pan with hot water, about half-way or 1-inch water level.

6) Add the egg yolk one at a time to the warm cream cheese mixture with a ballon whisk. Mix well before adding the next one.

7) Add and whisk in the cake flour into the cream cheese mixture. Strain the mixture through mesh strainer. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk well to blend and set aside.



8) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites till foamy using the handheld electric mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till soft/medium peak.

9) Using a balloon whisk, gently fold 1/3 of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture until incorporated. Fold in another 1/3 into the mixture. Finally, pour cream cheese mixture into the bowl of remaining meringue and fold in gently until incorporated.

10) Pour the mixture all at once but slowly into the prepared cake pan. This is to let the big air bubbles burst as batter flows out of mixing bowl. Lightly tap the pan 3- 4 times on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

11) Put the pan into the larger baking pan which is filled with hot water. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and bake for 55 minutes. {I tent the top with foil in the last 10 minutes of baking}

Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and skewer inserted comes out clean.

12) Turn off the oven and open the door of the oven slightly for 15 - 20 minutes for cake to cool inside.



13) Remove the cake pan from the oven. Gently pull out the cake using the 2 parchment paper straps (with another set of hands).  Let cool to room temperature. Chill the cake for 1-2 hours before serving.


Enjoy & Happy Baking !

Sunday, 14 May 2017

White & Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

My big kids are definitely "Mr or Ms Cookie Monster" ! hee.. hee.. !
They love all kinds of cookies ... from the copycat Famous Amos double chocolate chips cookiesEarl Grey shortbread stamped cookiesCranberry Pecan Oatmeal cookies to Chocolate chunk cookies (just to name a few) ... they will never say NO to cookies . Especially the ones with lightly browned crispy edge with soft and chewy center. Yes, they love chewy soft nutty chocolate chips cookies.

A pack of semi-sweet chocolate chips has been idling in the refrigerator for some time. My big boy has been asking what am I gonna do with the chocolate chips. He even hinted that I have not baked him his favourite chocolate chips cookies for quite some time.

So ! here you go ... have some freshly baked White & Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies !




Recipe adapted from: Simply Recipes
My slight adjustments made below:
White & Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes about 1 dozen cookies
Ingredients
(A)
160g all-purpose plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

(B)
112g unsalted butter, at room temperature
70g caster sugar
60g Muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder

(C)
100g Macadamia nuts, chopped.
75g white + dark chocolate chips (a combination of dark semi-sweet chocolate chips & white mini chocolate chips)

Method :
1) Preheat oven to 180°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).

2) Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3) In the bowl of your electric stand mixer (or handheld mixer), cream the butter till fluffy and add in the sugars in 3 separate additions. Beat until smooth. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Add the egg, vanilla extract and coffee powder.

4) Gradually add flour mixture (A) in 3 separate additions and cream till combine. Take bowl off mixer, fold in the ingredients (C) and mixing just enough to evenly combine with a spatula or a big spoon.

5) Drop spoonful of mixture on the baking sheets. Place 2 inches apart as the cookies spread as they bake. (*to minimise the cookies from spreading & flattened too much when baking, I freeze the tray of cookie dough for about 2 - 3 mins before sending it to oven)

6) Bake for 9 - 11 minutes in preheated oven at 180°C or until the edges are nicely browned and the center is just barely cooked.
(Don't bake the cookies to a crisp as they are meant to be soft and chewy )

7) Remove the baking sheet from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack before storing them in airtight container.



Happy baking and have a wonderful weekend !

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Craving for a dessert that's moist and chocolatey but not too dense and cakey kind.

A flourless cake ... hmm.. I've baked a flourless Lemon Almond Cake
But I wanted something chocolatey ...
A flourless chocolate cake ! Yup!



Recipe source: Daily Doses of Sugar

My slight adjustments made in sugar quantity and cooking method below as I'm not confident to heat up the egg white or egg yolk for whisking, afraid that I may make scramble eggs.. lol >~<

Flourless Chocolate Cake
One 6-inch springform pan or pan with removable base
Ingredients
90g dark chocolate (I used Cadbury Gold Dark Chocolate)
45g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
Pinch of salt

Meringue
2 egg white
25g caster sugar

Method:
1. Break the chocolate into small pieces.

2. On the stove, half-fill a cooking pot with water and bring to a simmer. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture occasionally till melted and smooth. Remove from flame and set aside to cool slightly (about 5 minutes).

3. 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.

4. Lightly grease the sides and bottom of the 6-inch springform pan with butter or spray.

5. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites using the handheld electric mixer. Add in the caster sugar in 3 additions.  Beat till soft peak.

6. In another medium bowl, beat together the egg yolks, caster sugar and a pinch of salt with the handheld electric mixer till pale and creamy. (about 2 - 3 mins in low speed)

7. Mix the chocolate to the yolk mixture. Whisk gently in low speed till combined.

8. Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the chocolate/yolk mixture. Fold the rest of the meringue until it looks evenly mixed.

9. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven at 170°C for 30 minutes. Or until the cake has risen slightly in the center and is set enough in the center that it will not jiggle when the pan moves. The cake will pull away from the side of the pan while it cools. (I baked mine at 27 mins).

10. Remove the pan from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 1/2 hour.


The rim and top has a very thin crisp crust but the center remains moist and fudgy. It looks "caved in" too ... hee..hee !



To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, release the pan sides, and gently move the cake onto a serving plate.  Dust with some icing sugar if you like and enjoy a big slice.  Or pair it with a scoop of ice cream, yogurt etc. Perfect indulgence to be served as after meal dessert or teatime snack !

Enjoy ! Happy Baking!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Japanese Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake

It has been quite awhile since my last bake of a cake with frosting be it with whipped cream (also known as Chantilly cream), buttercream or cream cheese frosting .... Have not made swiss rolls for quite sometime too.

I've bookmarked this easy strawberry shortcake recipe for the longest time. Hee .. hee... somehow, I've lost touch in making a nice even layer of whipped cream >~< ... Resulted an uneven thickness of the 'sandwiched' cream.
But we gladly enjoyed these creamy fluffy soft Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake on a quiet and cooling afternoon.



Recipe adapted from : Cookpad
Japanese Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake
Ingredients :
Meringue
4 Egg white
50 grams caster sugar

Yolk batter
4 Egg yolks
20 grams caster sugar
40 ml vegetable oil
70 ml fresh milk (I used skimmed milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
75 grams cake flour (sifted)

For the filling :
200ml Whipping cream
10 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g Strawberry - washed and pat dry, hulled and sliced into halves.

Method:
1) Sift the cake flour and set aside.

2) Line one 25cm x 25cm baking tray with parchment paper. Do not need to grease. Set aside.

3) 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.

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

5) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites till foamy using the handheld electric mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Chill the meringue in the fridge while preparing the yolk batter.

6) In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attached, cream together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and slightly thickened (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add oil, milk and vanilla extract into the egg yolk mixture and whisk till combined. Add the sifted cake flour into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined.

7) Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the meringue to the egg yolks mixture in 3 batches until it looks evenly mixed (no streaks of meringue).

8) Pour batter into the prepared baking tray. Smooth the top evenly with a scraper or spatula. Lightly tap the pan  2 - 3 times on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

9) Bake in preheated oven for 15 mins or the top is evenly light browned, and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Note: do not over-baked)


10) Remove the baking tray from the oven, immediately drop the baking tray at a height of 20 - 30cm onto a table top. This action helps to keep the springy texture of the sponge when it is left to cool. Remove cake (with its baking paper) from the tray onto a wire rack to cool.

Flip the cake (skin side) onto a clean sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the lining paper. Trim the sides of the cake and cut it into half.

To make the whipped cream:
Freeze the cleaned mixing bowl for about 5 minutes.  Take it out from the freezer, immediately put all together the cold whipping cream,  vanilla extract and caster sugar in the cold mixing bowl. Use the electric mixer to whisk till stiff peaks form.

To assemble, place the half of one cake in a container. Thinly spread some whipped cream onto the sponge cake. Top with strawberries and cover with more whipped cream. (# reserve about 2 - 3 tablespoonful of whipped cream for cake top decor). Cover with the other half sponge cake. Cover the container and chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours to a full day.
*Note: I placed the cake in a container that could just fit the size.

To serve, cut into any shape of your choice, spread a little of the reserved #whipped cream on the cake and top with strawberries.




Enjoy and happy baking !

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Lime Brownies with Lime Glaze

Should these be called as bars or brownies ?  Not sure …  anyway, I thought they looked more like bars.  As I didn’t want the usual chocolaty moist fudgy brownies ... so I tried these very citrusy tangy lime brownies with lime glaze. Whenever I’m cutting citrus fruits like lemon and lime, I will be salivating over the juice ... hee.. hee ... These bars are definitely very refreshing with bursting of tangy lime flavour but not quite fudgy though, yet with light tender crumbs.  (Sob sob! ... I’ve overbaked these brownies!)






Recipe adapted from: Life with the crust cutoff
My slight changes made below
Lime brownies
Ingredients :
Brownies
100g all-purpose plain flour
100g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
113g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 large eggs (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice

Lime Glaze
50g confectioners’ sugar
1 - 1.5 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest

Method :
About 2 large limes for the zest and lime juice.

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

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the salt and flour and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lime zest, and lime juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed with the electric mixer until smooth and combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges. (do not overbake as overbaking will create a dry brownie).
{my note : next time, I will watch the timing to stop at 22 minutes}

Test with a toothpick inserted in the center if it comes out clean.  Remove the brownie from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

To make  the lime glaze:
In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix the confectioners’ sugar and zest with lime juice. Mix and stir to desired consistency by adding more lime juice.


Spread the lime glaze over the brownies and cut into bars to serve.  But I like to cut the brownies into bars first, then drizzle the lime glaze over the them.  Pair them with a glass of cold ice lemon tea ! A quick fix for the sunny afternoon tea break. Enjoy !




Monday, 24 April 2017

Mini Lemon Pudding Cakes (Old Timey Pudding Cakes)


Does Magic Custard Cake rings a bell ? 
Oh !  It was so popular a few years ago in blogosphere as we were fascinated with "one batter when baked, it separated into three layers: a cake layer on top, a custard layer in the middle and another dense custard layer on the bottom".  I, too, baked the magic custard cake to join in the fun then. After awhile, I tried the chocolate version but the layers were not distinguished.  As my big kids didn't like a big cake with too much "milky and kueh-like texture", hence, I did not attempt other flavour like coffee or pandan.

Scouting for some cookbooks in the Library and "Dessert for Two" caught my eyes ... I like the idea of cookies, cakes and pies recipes just nice for 2 persons (Lazy me don't have to do my calculation to scale down the recipes ... hee.. hee!).  A recipe 'Old Timey Pudding Cakes' by the author "like the magic custard cake one batter and during the baking process, it separates into 3 layers : a pudding, a cake and a slightly crunchy meringuelike crust."

But these are just like Mini Lemon Pudding Cakes to me. We love lemony citrus cakes and these mini cakes are just perfect for our after meal dessert. (need not keep any unfinished portion in the fridge).



Recipe adapted from Cookbook Dessert for Two by Christina Lane
Old Timey Pudding Cakes
Yields 2 individual cakes (6-ounce ramekin x 2) <I used 3 ramekins as I don't have the exact size>

Ingredients :
65g caster sugar
1 egg, separated
80ml milk
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt (omitted as I used 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to egg white)
15g all-purpose plain flour

To coat the ramekins :
Some softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of caster sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 160°C and position the rack in the center.

2) Brush the ramekins with softened unsalted butter. Brush from bottom upwards. Then, coat the ramekins with caster sugar. And shake out any excess, set aside.

3) Separate the egg into yolk and white. (the size of my egg is 65g with shell).

4) Prepare water bath by filling an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish or pan with 2 cups of hot water or enough to come up about 1/2-inch on the sides of the ramekins.

5) In a clean small bowl, whisk the cold egg white and a pinch of salt (I used lemon juice) till foamy using the electric handheld or stand mixer. Beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue.

6) In another bowl, beat together the egg yolk, caster sugar, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice with electric mixer on medium speed. Add the flour and mix until combined.

7) Gently but quickly fold the meringue into the yolk mixture with a spatula or manual whisk.  Once the mixture is combined, pour it into the prepared ramekins. Fill about 90% full.
(Note: the cake will rise above the rim while baking)

8) Bake for about 40 minutes.  The cakes are done when the tops are lightly golden and spring back when touched. Tip the cakes out of the ramekins immediately, garnish with mint leave if you like and serve.

While my big girl finds it a little too sweet but my big boy likes it.  As for me, I enjoy it with a cuppa of rose tea!
Enjoy !


Happy baking and have a great week ahead ^-^!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake

Gula Melaka or palm sugar are widely and popularly used in Nonya, Malaysian, Thai and South East Asian cooking (including drinks and desserts)  …Just to name a few : Ondeh-Ondeh, Kueh Dadar, Sago Gula Melaka, Kueh Bingka with Gula Melaka, Chendol, Pandan Kaya etc. etc. 

Have some over-ripe bananas and since I’ve not added palm sugar syrup in cake baking, tried out this recipe with lots of good review.  Thanks to Jeannie Tay for sharing this recipe. Indeed, the texture is fluffy soft, fragrance of banana and palm sugar aroma that I could not stop with just a few slices at one go.  Shared some with my colleagues and they too gave thumbs up !





Recipe adapted from : Jeannie Tay. Below my slight adjustment made on eggs and sugar.
Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake
Ingredients:
150g cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
180g banana (mashed with fork)
70g Gula Melaka syrup – Roughly chopped the sugar
70g canola oil
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt

Meringue :
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
75g caster sugar

Method:
1) To make the Gula Melaka syrup, place chopped Gula Melaka with 50ml of water in a small saucepan, cook on medium heat for about 8 - 10 minutes till palm sugar dissolves. Stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes until the syrup is slightly thickened in texture. Obtain about 70g and set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 160°C and position the rack in the center of the oven.

3) Line bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease it as well as the sides of the pan with some butter.

4) Sieve together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

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

6) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy using a handheld electric mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue.

7) In a big bowl, place the mashed banana, oil, egg yolks, salt, gula melaka syrup and whisk the ingredients until combined with hand whisk.  Pour the flour into the mixture and mix until well combined. Do not over mix.

8) Using a hand whisk, gently fold in the meringue to the yolk mixture in 3 additions until it looks evenly mixed. Pour into the prepared cake pan at a height. Gently tap the pan a few times on table top to get rid of big bubbles.

9) Make a water bath by pouring 3 - 4 cups of hot water into a tray/dish. Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 70 minutes at 160°C.  If the top of the cake becomes too brown, tent it with sheet of aluminium foil and continue baking.  
*Note : I tent it in the last 20 minutes of baking. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

10) Remove the cake pan from oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes or until cake has pulled away from the sides before inverting on to a smooth flat plate. Remove paper lining and re-invert on to a rack to cool.

Enjoy !



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Banana Walnuts Chocolate Chips Muffins

Of course muffins can be served as any time snacks.  But we love to have them for our brekkie. Quick and easy banana walnut muffins with some chocolate chips added.  Ain't get enough of these nutty aromatic sweet banana muffins to kick start the day.


Recipe adapted from : simply recipes
Below my slight modifications made.
Banana Walnuts Chocolate Chips Muffins
Ingredients yields 12 muffins
75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
200g, about 3 ripe bananas, thoroughly mashed
90g castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee (optional)

Dry ingredients A
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
168g self raising flour

Dry ingredients B
80g chopped walnuts (toasted or raw)
35g mini chocolate chips

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners or use individual muffin cups.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients A.

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the mashed bananas into the melted butter, followed by castor sugar, egg, coffee and vanilla extract and whisk to combine with a manual whisk,

With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet banana mixture into the dry ingredients A just until combined. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough muffins).  Quickly fold in the dry ingredients B.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 180°C  for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack or serve warm.

Enjoy !

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 !