Saturday, March 5, 2011

4 years ago....

4 years ago and on this day and time, I was still in the delivery room and just had the first hug from my lovely boy! Yes, Zakris is turning 4 today and we had a simple celebration at home with our family and relatives.

The day before, we had an early celebration at the school with all his friends from nursery 2. He was so happy and excited, looking forward in anticipation to both the celebrations at school and home. How he has grown from without knowing what is birthday to one who will ask for birthday parties! He knows how to say nice things to mummy to make me happy, give me hugs & kisses and say I love you <3>

Every year, I would ask my boy the cake he wishes to have for his birthday. Although a very young boy, he is someone who has a mind of his own and we always encourage him to make his own decisions . This year theme is supposed to be a bus depot cake as wished, but it is really too tall an order for me. I 'negotiated' for just a bus cake, no depot, and he agreed with having just 2 buses - one double-deck bus bus and a single-deck bus. As usual, I would keep thinking for weeks on the design and how to do it, what sponge cake recipe to use, what flavours, fondant, buttercream or whipped cream, etc. There are always so many ideas and thoughts running through my head before finally deciding on the Cake to make.







No matter how much planning, hiccups are very common for me. First, my 2 batches of lemon and greentea macarons totally failed and went to the bin - scatterbrain me forgotten to sift the icing sugar and almond meals :-( Then, when preparing the sponge cake, my egg yolk mixture became scrambled eggs...oh no! Followed by, I mis-read the sponge cake recipe resulting in a smaller sponge base, hence no 2 buses (sorry Zak), only one bus - a long/ bendy one. Next, I mis-calculated the amount of buttercream needed and I only managed to pipe one-third of the cake. Omg! I didn't want to start preparing the buttercream all over again as time is running short, and after some hesitation, I decided to use whipped cream instead for the remaining piping. Luckily and finally, I was able to present the cake to my lovely birthday boy <3>
Plain Sponge Cake
(Recipe adapted from Kitchen Corner and visit Honey Bee Sweets for very useful step-by-step pictures)
Ingredients/ Method:
40g unsalted butter
100g egg yolk (about 6 eggs)
20g caster sugar
160g egg white
75g caster sugar
55g plain flour

1. Prepare a baking tray (11" x 14") lined with baking paper. Melt the butter than set a side to cool.
2. Using electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a double boiler until thicken and pale. 3. In another bowl whisk the egg whites with caster sugar until stiff peak.
4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites then gently fold in the sifted flour.
5. Pour some mixture (4) into a clean bowl then mix in the melted butter until well combine. Pour back into the mixture of (4) and mix gently until everything well combine.
6. Pour the batter into prepared baking tray and spread evenly.
7. Bake at 180C for 12 - 14 minutes. Be careful not to over bake it.
8. Remove the cake from the baking tray immediately when it is out from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Tear out the side of the baking paper and let it completely cool down and ready to use.



Decorate
1 punnet of strawberries
Swiss meringue buttercream

1 cup whipping cream + 3 tbsp icing sugar (sifted) **

**Whipped cream is used because I don't have enough buttercream :p.




I am submitting the Strawberry Long Bus Cake to Aspiring Bakers #5: Fruity March hosted by http://bakericious.blogspot.com/.


Other than baking the birthday cake, I also prepared Refreshing lemongrass drink shared by Jane of Passionate about Baking. The drink is really refreshing and good, but I prepared in "limited edition" so not all guests get to try it. I must say this is really a keeper!


Refreshing Lemongrass Drink
(Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Passionate about Baking)

Ingredients/ Method
8 Lemongrass, chopped and mashed lightly
3 litres water
10 tbsp Sugar
2 Lipton tea bags

1. Boil lemongrass and water in a pot.
2. Remove from heat.
3. Add tea bag to infuse, followed by sugar.
4. Remove tea bag after about 10 mins.
5. Let the lemongrass infused in the water overnight as it cooled.
6. Strained into a bottle and refrigerate.
7. Serve with ice.




Wishing Zakris a very Happy Birthday & 健健慷慷, 快高长大!

11 comments:

The Sweetylicious said...

the cake is so lovely and beautifully done! (:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Zakris (:

Happy Homebaker said...

What a cute cake you have made for your son! I envy those little tots...I am sure your cake taste delicious too :)
Happy Belated Birthday to Zakris!

CaThY said...

I heart the cute looking bus:)
Happy Birthday Zakris~

edith said...

Lovely effort on the cake. My son studied in Learning Vision too when he was young. Do they still sing that song before makan time? It is a cute song.

Passionate About Baking said...

Happy 4th birthday to little Zakris! Mummy's always the best! Your cake really shows how much time and effort you have put in, it's huge! It's really beautiful when it's made from the heart for someone you love!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Zakris. The cake looks so beautiful and lovely. And thanks for the AB submission.

quizzine said...

Hi everyone,
Many thanks for your birthday wishes!

Hi Edith,
I don't think they sing any song before meal time ... anyway my boy hardly share his school activities with us even with alot of probing from us :(

Blessed Homemaker said...

I'm so impressed! So much piping work! Your son must be the happiest boy on earth that day!

quizzine said...

Hi Blessed Homemaker,
Tks, and it's the only way I know how to decorate the cake then :p Yes, indeed he was very happy throughout the day!! Hope he'll be happy forever :)))

Cook.Bake.Love said...

Hi first time here. I saw ur post from the AB event. U got a lovely cake for ur son. I think u are very good in ur piping, those dots are uniform and neat. May I know before piping the pattern did u frost the whole cake with a thin layer of butter cream?

quizzine said...

Ho Cook.Bake.Love,
Tks for dropping by. Actually my piping skill is no good and I can only do very simple piping. For this cake, I did coat a thin layer of buttercream before piping. I use very small pipe so that I can control the dots more easily.
Btw I'm a silent follower of your blog and like your posts!