Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another attempt... Pandan Chiffon Cake

Since i baked my first pandan chiffon cake 2 weeks ago, i've been thinking of baking it again as i wanted to better it. Initially i had wanted to use the same recipe, but after flipping through my old recipe file, i found another pandan chiffon cake recipe, which i gamely decided to try.

Many years ago, when i was still in my teens, i used to cut out recipes from magazines, or copy them from recipe book, and some of the recipes were typed out and have some cute pictures accompanying them. When i see these 'art works', i couldn't help but think why i did such childish things in the past, but nevertheless, it did put a smile on me and brought back sweet memories. Counting back, the recipe file should be at least 15 years old!

The last pandan chiffon cake i baked was lacking in pandan flavour and pale in colour. I'm almost inclined to use artificial colouring and flavour, but decided not to since my little baby will be eating it. In most of my bakes, i always try to stay away from artificial addictives, if possible. So instead of what the original requires, i use about 13 pandan leaves to obtain the extracts. Actually this is the balance leaves left from my previous bake.

The cake did turn out more flavourful and the green colour is more distinct. But i'm not very satisfied with the texture, but i guess it's possibly due to my folding of egg whites, which I'm still unable to totally grasp and maintain a constant standard.

Ingredients/ Method:
100g top flour
1 tsp baking powder
100ml coconut milk
Pandan leaves (at least 10)
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp corn oil
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
100g caster sugar
Pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
2) Blend coconut milk together with pandan leaves. Squeeze and extract the juice. Set aside.
3) Whisk egg yolks and sugar. Add (2), oil and salt and whisk well. Add in sifted flour.
4) In a clean bowl, whisk egg white and cream of tartar until frothy. Slowly add in sugar until egg whites are stiff.
5) Take 1/3 of egg whites and add into (3), and mix well.
6) Fold in remaining egg whites with (5).
7) Pour into ungreased tube pan. Bake at 180 deg C for 45-50 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
8) Invert pan and let the cake cool before removing from pan.

The next time i bake this again, there are a few things i will modify - 1)reduce the sugar to 75g, 2) lower temp to 170 deg C, 3) pay 101% concentration when folding the mixture!


This is what i did with my remaining batter that didn't fit into my 1 and only tube pan... and i prefer the texture and taste of chiffon cake in muffin cup, actually.

I brought the chiffon cake along when we went out for our breakfast on Sunday, and with a cup of nice aroma black coffee, it tasted perfect ;-p

When i ate the cake on Morning morning, it is still very soft and somehow the pandan and coconut flavour is more intense than on Saturday. The cake still keep well after 3 days...kekeke

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chilled Mango Cheesecake

Monday was Ah Boy's birthday, and although we didn't have a 'real' celebration, i made a cake for him over the weekend. Ah boy is my younger brother, and we have been calling him ah boy for last twenty over years. Now he's 2 baby nephews, almost getting married (hopefully), a grown-up man, but the name still stuck with him. We used to tease that when he's a old man, we'll still be calling him "Ah boy", weird isn't it? And since he has proprietary right to the name, neither the 2 baby nephews can use it. Coincidentally, my 40-over-year-old uncle is still fondly addressed as 'di-di' (little brother) by all my aunties, uncles, almost everyone.

After my quite successful blueberry cheesecake, i tried out mango cheesecake. I just replaced the blueberries with fresh mango. Perhaps i didn't get the best mango in town, i bought those Malaysia mango from ntuc fairprice at 39cts per gm, the taste wasn't very prominent. Neither the cheese flavour stood out. Since I used fresh mango which i also used it as toppings, i thought of covering these mango topping with jelly. After i finish doing the jelly, i realised i've seen it somewhere.... mirror cake. The result of my 'mirror' is not near perfect, and it got worse when i blast my fridge to the lowest temp. The mirror crystallised and didn't defroze enough when the cake was cut and served.

PS. Ah Boy, pardon me for this lousy birthday cake ;-p

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pandan Chiffon Cake

These days i can't really live to the name of my blog; sometimes it made me depressed, other times it made me angry. Not because i start hating baking, or writing a blog entry. It's really personal, and i'm hesitating to pen it down here, in my little diary. I believe that emotions affect the things we do, and when people eat your bakes, they get the 'bad vibes' too! Even the photos turn out ugly. What should i do next?

Anyway, i did a Pandan Chiffon Cake using Rei's and baked some lao po bings (for the 3rd time) during the weekends. In terms of texture and making it look like a chiffon cake, i'm almost there. But i need to work very hard on getting the right flavour, mine tasted just a hint of pandan and coconut, you would probably be able to tell from the colour of the cake. I will attempt to do a better one, hopefully soon. Here's how my pandan chiffon cake looked like:-

My 17cm chiffon tin is too small for the entire batter, so

i pour the balance batter into a 7" cake tin. They looked

fine and pretty when just of the oven.

Thank goodness, the cake didn't collapse. It still hold
the shape and height. Colour and smell is lacking, though.

What happened?! Both are baked at the same time, using
the same batter! Could it be due to the cake tin used?
Texture is very dense. A classic failed chiffon cake.

I like this picture best! It shows the softness and fluffiness. See the nice hole-y holes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seven vii

When i first saw this meme passing on, I thought to myself that 'how i wish i've been tagged'. So when i received a message that Kitchen Corner has tagged me, i immediately said to my hubby "this makes my day!" Silly me, isn't it?

Here is 7 little things about me:-
  1. The lunar year 2007 is my happiest and saddest year, Happiest as i've had my bundle of joy, Saddest as my beloved mum has left me. It all seems like a cycle.
  2. I used to think blogging is a waste of time, until i'm hooked to it. But that's all because of baking and the generous sharing of information and tips from fellow bloggers. I felt that I'm in a exclusive community.
  3. I started helping out my mum in the kitchen since very young, and probably get her 'genes' for churning out food. Mum's food is always the BEST!
  4. During one of the school holidays in my teenage years, I worked part-time in a confectionary at Hougang called "Cherry Blossom". Wonder why i didn't copied down all the recipes then? The shop has since closed down or shifted elsewhere? Anyone out there knows?
  5. When we first shifted into our new house, i got my hubby to agree to install a built-in oven. He used to complain about the low/ no-usage of oven. Now, he complains about the high electrical bills due to my high usage.
  6. I've got phobia of cockroaches, flying beetle (the brown one), rats esp. with hairy tail (i ever saw one and the image still edged in my mind), and strands of wet hair when they are not on the scalp (including hair that belongs to me!)
  7. Like all piscean, i love to day-dream and sometimes imagination goes wild or hay-wire.
7 bloggers that i'm passing this meme:-

  1. Baking Mum
  2. Cook Bake Legacy
  3. Do What I Like
  4. Sweet Indulgences
  5. Precious Moments
  6. My Kitchen
  7. Pure Enjoyment

The rules for tagging is link to my blog (tagger) on your blog. Give seven facts about yourself then tag another seven bloggers by leaving a comment on their blogs and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blueberry Cheesecake

When i saw this beautiful blueberry cheesecake from Rei's All That Matters, i was almost mesmerised by the picture. I can't imagine how a simple fruit mixed with cream cheese and whipped cream can actually create such an attractive colour.

I wasn't too sure initially whether i can afford the time to make this cake as my ah gong was not feeling well and was hospitalised. Nevertheless, i did squeeze out some time and sacrifice some of my sleeping time to make this cake for my A colleague's mini birthday party last Thursday. Luckily my ah gong has since recovered and discharged, and hence today i've got the time to update my blog.

My piping skill sucks!

The cake is easy to put together, but the taste is not compromised. It tasted refreshing and delicious 'oishii'. Many thumbs-up from my colleagues (hopefully it is not polite compliments). I will attempt other flavours such as kiwi, strawberry, mango, durian, chocolate, etc.

Ingredients/ Method:

120g Digestive biscuits, crushed finely
40g softened butter

100g cream cheese, bring to room temperature
100g yogurt (Paul's set yogurt)
60g fine sugar
200g blueberry puree**
200ml non-diary whipped cream
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp gelatine powder + 3 tbsp boiling water (Mix and dissolve the powder. Keep warm)

Topping (optional)
4 tbsp blueberry pie filling
1.5 tbsp lemon juice

1) Mix crushed biscuits and butter evenly. Press the mixture into 7 inch loose base round tin. Chill in fridge for later use.
2) Whisk cream cheese, yogurt and sugar till smooth and no lumps. Add in gelatine using a hand whisk to incorporate well. Add in blueberry puree and whipped cream, mix well.
3) Pour mixture into prepared cake tin. Level and smooth the mixture using spatula. Chill for at least 3 hours.
4) Remove from tin and ready to serve. Decorate as desired.

**To make blueberry puree, use 220g blueberry pie filling and add 20g water, blend well and sieve.

This is what happened when a small cake is shared with 30 people

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lao Po Bing (Wife's Biscuit)

Click here for link to step-by-step of making this pastry.

I always look forward to Saturdays as that seems to be the only time now that i can do my baking. Although i can do it during the weekday, i have to ensure i reach home earlier. Also, these days my little one insists that i sleep with him, otherwise, he will be wide awake and running around the house til the wee hours. Most of the time, i will fall asleep at the same time as him, or sometime 'knock-off' before he does!
Lao Po Bing is a must when we go Hong Kong, and i used to be able to consume at least 2 at one go. So when i got the recipe from Florence's blog, you bet i was pretty excited! Finally got the chance to do it yesterday, and it is real good! I didn't wait for the pastry to cool down, and almost gobble down one immediately after i took the pictures ;-p What can i say.... something i will definitely do it again and again.

Egg-washed dough ready to be baked

Freshly baked pastry just out of the oven ... delicious!

Two of the better-looking ones... though not that pretty

I will only list down the ingredients used, but not the method, as the detailed and pictured step-by-step in Florence's blog is what all first timers need.

The filling is simply yummy


Water dough
100g cake flour
25g icing sugar
25g butter (cubed) or shortening or margarine or lard
40g water

Oil dough
100g cake flour
45-50g shortening or lard

50g candied winter melon, chopped to bite size
55-60g castor sugar
70g commercialised glutinous rice flour (koh fun)
18g shortening
15g white sesame seeds, roasted
12g dessicated coconut
120g boiled drinking water, room temp.

Egg Wash
1 yolk + 1 tsp water + a pinch of salt

Shouldn't a traditional pastry be served in a traditional bowl