Saturday, August 30, 2008

Snowskin Mooncake

My baking experiment is getting more interesting and little bit varied. Have you ever wondered that sometimes those goodies that you thought you will never know how to do it, is actually so simple. Of course, all these cannot be accomplished without the generous sharing of good and easy to follow recipes by fellow bloggers. It's kinda weird that i can spend almost everyday blogging or simply catching up blogs of other homebakers, to T, he just lamented that "i don't understand why you want to spend so much time on this, i find it a waste of time!" I suppose you must be in it, to understand this world of blogging, and baking (~0~)

The 'craze' now is my office is making snowskin mooncakes, and everyone ('exaggerated', only the usual group bakers) seems to be trying it out, sharing different recipes found from the world-wide-web, and our baking experiences and experiments. Since this is my 'virgin' moonies, i did a fare bit of surfing to sift out the recipes, and at the same time, to 'hear' from other bloggers' experience with making mooncakes. This was narrowed to this from Held by Love, Bake from Scratch, who like me - is the first time trying out mooncake, and bought the mooncake moulds from Elyn from e's joie.

These moonies were the 1st few that i did, see the skin
is quite uneven and ugly.

Ingredients/ Method:

100g koh fun (commercial fried glutinous rice flour)
70g icing sugar
30g shortening
120g cold water

1. Sift koh fun and icing sugar.
2. Rub in shortening into the flour mixture.
3. Slowly add in the cold water, until soft dough forms.
4. Weigh 20g dough each, and 30g filling each, and set aside.
5. Flatten the dough and put the filling in the centre and wrap.
6. Press into mould.

*Note: I put the dough in between a plastic bag and flatten with rolling pin. The wrapping is also done using the plastic bag. This method was 'invented' as the dough keep sticking to my hand, and i don't wish to use more flour to coat the mooncake. It made handling of the mooncake very easy!

Although these mooncakes are never near perfect nor in comparison with commercial ones, personally i like it just because it is home-made with love...kekekeke. This is another 'spirit' of my baking endeavours!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Again.... muffins & mini butter cake

I'm back to baking the 'same old stuff' - muffins and butter cake. The only difference is the little frosting that i did on both the muffins and mini butter cake to freshen up the look, and baking the butter cake in muffin cups. I suppose these changes qualify this post to be put up as i don't wish to appear repeating my post. But of course, with my limited baking experiences and skills, doing things different can be quite a challenging feat.

For these last couple of months, ever since i started this blog, i seem to be addicted to - either baking or blogging, or possibly both activities! Other than honing my baking skills, i'm brushing up my english and some story-telling ability at the same time...kekeke! To fast-forward another 10, 20 years, if i'm still posting on this blog, i will be able to publish a Biography, if not, at least this is still some-kind of MY 'valuable' legacy.

Back to baking, this batch of 'goodies' were done over the weekend, where T's company had the 7th month prayers and mini buffet. Another opportunity for me to satisfy my baking craving..... The muffin is using this recipe, and mini mixed citrus butter cake this.

The chocolate muffins were frosted with more chocolate ganache, and whipped cream which was some left-over that i kept in the freezer. There is no need to thaw, and it was almost ready to use right out of the freezer. The mini mixed citrus butter cake was frosted with Taste Goblet's miracle cream cheese frosting.

Double Chocolate Chips Muffins

Ingredients/ Method:

150g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1.5tsp baking powder
3/4tsp baking soda
75g sugar
1.5 eggs
90g olive oil
135g milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bow, and set aside.
2. Add egg, oil and milk into the bowl, mix till just combine. Add chocolate chips.
3. Spoon into muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in preheated 170 deg C for 20 mins or till skewer comes out clean.
4. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Miracle Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients/ Method:

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.
2. Add vanilla and cream.
3. Add in mascarpone cheese straight from the fridge and beat gently until thick, about 10-15 sec.
4. Gradually stir in the icing sugar and beat on low speed to combine for about 30 sec. (Do not overbeat.)
5. Frost immediately or store in fridge.

I love the muffins and cakes with the frosting; like all men and women, it's the clothes that maketh them; or they maketh the clothes?!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Steam Banana Cake

I was actually looking out for recipes that do not require using an oven, at the request of my friend. She mentioned that her house always got bananas on the 1st and 15th of every lunar month, which sometimes she will bring to the office and kindly 'feed' us [are we monkeys??] Managed to source one that states "Handed down traditional recipes are wonderful recipes!" from Held by Love, Baked from scratch. I love hand-down recipes like Baker Lee, cos they are almost fool-proof, usually easy and simple, but never lost it 'old flavour'....mmmm

This recipes wasn't really on my waiting list, cos I've got few other recipes that I wanted to try. But i waited for 1 full moon, but still didn't get to try out the Steam Banana Cake from my friend. Happen that we went to Sun Moon, and saw a bunch of mini banana that's going at $1. With this, I finally tried out this hand-down recipe and within half an hour, i got 10 muffin-sized steam banana cake ready for my next day breakfast, and shared with my dad, bb, aunt, T, and my 2 colleagues. Indeed it tasted very good, with no preservatives, it's healthy for everyone ;-)

Ingredients/ Method

2 eggs
100g sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed (200g)
150g self-raising flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
75g oil

1. Sift together self-raising flour and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar till ribbon stage.
3. Mix in mashed bananas, beat till combine.
4. Gently fold in flour mixture and oil, taking care not to deflat the eggs and sugar mixture.
5. Pour batter into muffin cups.
6. Steam over high heat for 15 mins or till an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Easy doesn't it? Hey, my friend, when can i get to try your steam banana cake? I'm still waiting....

Durian Mousse Cake

I've got an 'unofficial' cake order from my aunt, for her best friend. Once again, i used a different sponge cake recipe, and the durian fillings is also different from the earlier durian cake i made. The 'spirit' of my baking blog is to try as many recipes as possible. Usually once i found a perfect recipe, i'll keep trying to do it over and over again, though i may not post it in my blog. The other problem, which i think is difficult to overcome, is to try out recipes that you may not even like it. Like any other things in life, if you do not have the passion for it, you won't do well. So far, i've not gone into that cos there are too many recipes i like and i've yet to try out.

This time round, i use Traditional Sponge Cake recipe from Passionbaker, and Durian Mousse recipe from Aunty Yochana (again!). The latter has endless and fabulous recipes for anyone who is interested in baking and making nice goodies.

Ingredients/ Methods:-

Traditional Sponge Cake
5 eggs
150g sugar (i reduced it to 120g)
120g cake flour
80g melted butter

1. Whip eggs and gradually add into sugar, until light and fluffy.
2. Fold in cake flour and mix till well blended.
3. Stir in butter and mix until well incorporated.
4. Pour into a 8' round mould.
5. Bake at 180 deg C for 30 mins.
6. Remove cake from mould immediately when baked.

Durian Mousse
400g durian flesh
100g fresh milk
30g gelatine powder
8 tbsp water
500g non-diary whip cream

1. Cook durian flesh and milk in a pot.
2. Dissolve gelatine powder with water, and add into durian mixture.
3. Cool the durian mixture before folding it into the whipped cream.

Cut the sponge cake into 3 layers, and spread the durian mousse on each layer. Decorate as desired.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake

I promised my little cousin that i would make a birthday cake for her this year, since i just started my baking 'craze'. So a month before her birthday, i asked her to draw a sketch of what she wants for her birthday cake, and the flavour she likes. She gave me a simple round cake sketch, which i thought would not be difficult. The flavour she requested was chocolate - one of my favourite too! I went searching for a good and easy chocolate cake recipes, and actually found many but narrowed to one chocolate banana cake. After checking with my little cousin her favourite fruits, it wasnt banana but strawberry. Strawberry + chocolate, should be a nice combination as well! Eventually i used a combination of recipes to achieve this final cake....

The chocolate sponge cake recipe is using the same as my earlier Tri-Chocolate Sponge Cake, and the strawberry mousse is adapted from aunty yochana's Strawberry Mousse Delight.


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.

Strawberry Mousse
220ml whipping cream
200g strawberry puree
50g sugar
1/2tsp strawberry paste
14g gelatine powder mixed with 60g water

1. Mix strawberry puree, sugar and strawberry paste into a saucepan and warm it over a stove to melt the sugar.
2. Add in gelatine mixture.
3. Leave to cool.
4. Fold in whipped cream.

My 'usual' mishaps occurs (failure seems to be quite immune by now), and the cake was only completed on the eleventh hour!

The strawberry biscuit sticks were used only to hide the really ugly (note: 'really ugly' is an understatement) finishing of the cake, and it was loop-sided!

Overall, the cake has a very sweet after-taste, which T analysed that it was probably due to the hershey kissables chocolate decorated on top of the cake. Anyway, this is a kid's birthday cake, shouldn't it be colourful and sweet?

I desperately need a lesson on decorating & frosting cake! Must find the time to do it, hopefully before end of the year oO.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mixed Citrus Butter Cake

The nite before our trip to Bintan over the National Day weekend, i baked this Mixed Citrus Butter Cake using the same recipe as this. We had the first slice in the morning, and the last piece was eaten during our firefly boat ride. The cake is still fresh and soft after more than 12 hrs. This is really a very versatile recipe, and i suppose it will turn out nice and delicious for any other condiments.