Monday, July 28, 2008

Tri-Chocolate Sponge Cake

This is by far the best sponge cake I've baked. However, this cake nearly cannot make it, and almost landed into the trash.

Firstly, the beating of chocolate sponge cake batter goes quite well, until after i put the batter into the oven to bake that i realised that i have mis-read 30g cocoa powder to 20g. Think my eyes were playing tricks on me *@@*.

Next was the chocolate mousse. The recipe and steps look simple, and i almost follow to the T, except when i separate the egg white & yolk, i was too quick and everything when into the batter. The problem is, that was the last 2 eggs in my fridge. So i'm left with only 1 egg white, which apparently is too little to create a proper mousse. The mixture doesn't like mousse at all, and was very runny.

Followed by the chocolate ganache, which i use it as the top coat for the cake. The previous time i did a ganache (for cocoa puff cream cake), i mentioned to reduce the milk or butter. But after looking at a few ganache recipes, the ratio seems to be the same for all, so i tried it again. It was still very runny by the time i wanted to use it. So i 'cleverly' prepared gelatine to be added to the 2 runny mixture - mousse and ganache. It did solidify a litte bit, and i started to spread the mousse in the centre of cake. The mousse didn't stay and kept flowing to the side of the cake. Anxious to get things done because we are going out, i quickly put another layer of cake on top of the mousse, and started spreading the ganache over the cake. This time it got worse, its even more runny than the mousse. Things just flow like volcano lava. "What a heck", i just kept pouring the ganache and left it to flow in the baking tray. I told T "this is going to be another failure!", but whatever it is, i just put the cake into the fridge, hoping to save it, if possible.

I'm left with half a portion of chocolate ganache and mousse, and since i thought they are not what they are supposed to be, i threw them away.

To my surprise, after about half an hour, i check out the cake in the fridge, the chocolate ganache has solidified >*yippy*<>


Chocolate Sponge Cake

(a) Egg Yolk Mixture
3 egg yolks
50g sugar
120g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g olive oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

(b) Cocoa Mixture
30g cocoa powder
120g warm water

(c) Egg White Mixture
3 egg whites
1/4tsp cream of tartar
60g sugar

1. Preheat oven to 175 deg. Lined the cake tin.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
3. Mix (a).
4. Mis (b) in another bowl, and stir till smooth.
5. Add cocoa mixture into egg yolk mixture, and stir till smooth.
6. Beat egg white with cream of tartar for 1 min, then add in sugar gradually till egg white become fluffy and reach soft peak stage.
7. Fold in egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture gently.
8. Bake for 40-45 mins.
9. Leave cake to cool.

Chocolate Mousse
2 eggs, separated
50g cocoa powder
4 tbsp warm water
1 tin Nestle cream (170g)
2 tbsp sugar

1. Mix the cocoa and sugar with water to make a paste.
2. Add the egg yolks, beat mixture until creamy and then add Nestle cream.
3. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff then fold into chocolate mixture gently.
4. Cool and spread onto cake.

Chocolate Ganache
200g chocolate
100g whipped cream
10g butter

1. Cut chocolate into pieces.
2. Put all ingredients into bowl, and melt using double-boil method.
3. Cool and spread onto cake.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Peach Hot Milk Sponge Cake

Before my dearest's birthday, i've been thinking of what type of cake to bake for him. Although i did ask him, he told me not to bake. Think he's abit against my baking hobby as i mentioned in my other posts, i always did my baking in the night, and he would in his usual tone 'nag' me to sleep early or rest more. Chocolate is his favourite, but since we are celebrating at my grandpa's place, and he doesn't eat chocolate (cos "its bitter"), so i've to do something that is not chocolate. So anything chocolate is out. Thought of more elaborate cakes, but think they are beyond my limited skills...hahaha. So i finally settled on a simple sponge cake with fruits or something like that, and also because i have a can of peaches in my cupboard.

Anyway, I've been trying to find THE sponge cake for me, and those I did so far was ok but not THE one. It's not that the recipe is no good, cos alot of other bloggers tried and it turned out very well for them but not for my case. Those recipes call for skills, which i'm lacking, unfortunately.

This is another sponge cake recipe which i've got from here. Alot of people have tried and rated 4 out of 5 stars. Since the original recipe uses 10' cake tin, and i only have a 8' cake tin, the height turns out just nice for a 3-layered cake, maybe even a 4-layered cake.

I like the way the sunlight shine upon the peaches and the
shadow casted by it

I've made the sponge cake with some modifications from the original recipe.


250g plain flour
200g castor sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk (or 1/3 cup)
2tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup butter to be added when boiling milk (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
2. sift together the flour and baking powder.
3. Heat milk till just boil and remove from heat. Set aside.
4. Beat eggs till foamy, then add sugar. Continue beating on medium-high speed until thick and lemon-coloured. Add vanilla essence, reduce mixer speed to medium and add hot milk in a steady stream. Quickly fold in flour mixture.
5. Pour into 8 inch cake tin and bake for 40-45 mins.
6. Leave cake in tin for 5 mins. Remove and cool.

I wanted to do the usual frosting using 2 cups whipped cream, but my fridge only has slightly 1 over cup left. So i spread the cream thinly on the cake, put cubed peaches in between the layers and decorate with slices of peach on top.

Verdict: This sponge cake turns out heavy/ dense & rough, not soft and fluffy as i would like it to be. Looks like i have to continue seaching for THE sponge cake.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oreo Butter Cake

Whilst writing this post, my oreo butter cake is still in its cooling stage - just out of the hot oven ...kekeke. It smell very nice during the baking process and especially when the oven door is open, the strong buttery smell fills the kitchen. Since i lined the cake tin, the bottom and side of cake turns out 'neat & tidy' and have a nice even brown colour.

In fact, i did 2 cakes consecutively, 1 using the original recipe and the other one i added chocolate chips. The original recipe calls for 180 deg and 40-50 mins baking, but i did mine at 170 deg and the baking time took another 15mins more for the 1st bake. In fact, i did most of my bakes at 170 deg and hence reluctant to up the temp in case it gets too hot and the top of cake brown before the inside is cooked. However, i use 180 deg and 50 mins baking for the 2nd bake. I think because of the shorter baking time, the 2nd cake turns out to be more moist.

This cake is a healthier version as compared to the usual butter cake, as this recipe uses very little butter and has non-fat unsweetened yogurt in it...hmmm. Read from some blogs that using yogurt as one of the ingredients will result in cake to be softer, more moist and fluffier.

225g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter
170g sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup non-fat unsweetened yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
80g oreo cookies, roughly crushed

Whole oreo cookies for decorating (optional)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 180 deg and lined a 8 inch round tin.
2) Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3) Cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Dribble the eggs slowly about 1 tbsp at a time, beating constantly for about 2 mins.
4) On LOW speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined. Beat in 1/2 of the yogurt. Then beat in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining yogurt, and vanilla essence. Finally beat in the remaining flour mixture.
5)Lastly, fold in the crushed cookies.
6) Pour into prepared tin, arrange whole oreo cookies on top and bake for about 40-50 mins till skewer inserted comes out clean.
7) Cool in pan for 5 mins. Unmould and cool completely.


*PS. It actually took me few days to write this post, dunno why?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cocoa Puff Cream Cake

There are so many Must TRY*** recipes out there, and simply no time or sometimes 'a little courage' to try it out. However, there are a few recipes which are almost 'full-proof' and don't need any skills to do it, and Cocoa Puff Cream Cake is one of them. These days, I'm baking not as much as I would love too ;-(

Anyway, this cake was done last weekend and it is really really simple. The only difficult part is the Chocolate ganache which I've not done before. I used a portion of chocolate, half portion milk and a little butter. The ganache is a bit watery, not too sure why this is so, but maybe I should cut down the milk portion, or don't add butter the next time I try it out. Overall the ganache is also too little for the entire cake, I would prefer a thicker layer of chocolate ganache. The cake is nice as a dessert, but it must be chilled enough before consumption, it taste like ice-cream cake actually.

This is put together by the 'left-over' cream

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Durian Cake

This post is a week late, cos work has been busy and somehow feel 'disgusted' over certain matters, so end up I'm not really in the mood to blog, plus by the time i got home everyday, I'm almost dead-beat.

I did this Durian Cake as a birthday cake for my aunty, who has been an extremely great help to us. More steps is required for this cake compared to the other cakes i did previously, as the durian fillings and the top layer has to be prepared separately. They called for different texture, but I still prefer the durian fillings. It could be that i didn't do well for the top layer - durian custard. When there is a chance, i may try it again. But i guess it won't be soon cos there are too many things that I wanna try out.

As usual my sponge cake didnt fare very well, and this time round, it's saved by the very-good durian. I've using the 8' cake tin, and with so many people sharing the cake, it was gone in minutes!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grape Wine Making

When i chanced upon this post from Pure Enjoyment, i thought that it would be beyond me to try it out at all. How could it be possible to make wine at the comfort of our home? But i was caught surprise at how simple the recipe is, except that it's a rather long process - total of 8 days. Since it does not need any special ingredients and it would be truly rewarding to be able to taste your own home-made wine, i knew that it's something i must try it out very soon.

Watch this space for the adventure of my Grape Wine Making.....

Day 1 (1.7.08)
I use about 800gm red grapes, and 65gm sugar. The original recipe say sugar level should not be more than 25%.

On day 2 when i'm about to open the lid and release the air, there's mould form on the surface of the crushed grapes.... imagine my horror!

First attempt to wine making failed! I'm going to do more research and try again soon.