Category Archives: Bakes

Big Hero 6 Cake

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“Hi, I am Baymax. I am your healthcare provider…..are you satisfied with your care?”
I love Baymax. This big marshmallow looking robot that is a gentle giant with a loving heart. What caught me by surprise is how much the girls love this show as much (if not more) as the boys.

My own kids were swooning (yes the older one was literally swooning) over Tadashi and squealing in delight over Baymax.

So it came as no surprise when a soon to be 6 yr old girl requested for a BH6 cake.

Made a 3-layer checkered cake (wanted to do 4 layers but it was getting very tall and I don’t want the figurines to topple over), crumbcoated with vanilla buttercream. In between layers are coated with choc buttercream. Covered in fondant. Figurines supplied by the little girl’s mummy.

Backdrop of SanFrantokyo with microbots creeping in from behind.

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Added a little fondant butterfly on Baymax’s hand. There was this scene in the movie where he was gentle to a butterfly in the middle of his karate practice.

IMG_2510The only picture of the cross-section that I have.

Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Cake

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I have been contemplating for the past few hours how to name this cake. To call it a raspberry and chocolate cheesecake is not quite right. To call it a raspberry cheesecake with chocolate cake is possibly technically correct, but hardly a snazzy name.

I was inspired whilst combing Pinterest for some inspiration to make my love a birthday cake that is not the standard chocolate number. With a tight schedule at home and at work this week, I concocted something that wasn’t too difficult to make.

The end result is a beautiful layer of Varlhona chocolate sponge cake as my base, followed by a no bake lemony cheesecake (I tweaked the recipe slightly from a cherry cheesecake by Nigella. This is topped by a raspberry gelatin. I added some fresh raspberry finish the look and dusted some icing sugar on it. Icing sugar is to me like magic dust. Just a sprinkle of it will bring a blah looking cake to a chi-chi looking dessert.

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Recipe

Chocolate sponge cake – any of your fav sponge will do. I got mine from a good friend and it is her specialty so I have been sworn into secrecy not to share the recipe. Sorry about that.

Cheesecake – from Nigella
Tweaks made – cream cheese was upped to about 400g. Cream reduced to about 120ml. Lemon juice was upped to the juice of 1 whole lemon. I basically wanted a lemony cheesecake that was still a tad dense but not overly dense. I reduced sugar to taste as well.

Raspberry gelatin
200g fresh raspberry
80-120g sifted icing sugar
2-3 teaspoons of gelatin powder
1/4 cup hot water

Purée the raspberry with the icing sugar in a blender. I added around 120g of sugar as my raspberries were really tart.
Once done, sieve it to separate the seeds and pulp. Pour half the purée into a saucepan and warm it through.
Add the gelatin powder into the hot water and stir quickly before adding the warm purée. Once mixed well, add the balance of the purée.

Assembly
I made a 7″ round chocolate sponge cake, about 1″ thick. Once cooled, I placed it on a cake base.

Using a 7″ round springform ring, I fenced it round the cake. This will be my “biscuit” base for the cheesecake.

After making the cheesecake mix, I poured it on top of the choc cake, making a smooth even finish with a spatula or the back of a warm spoon if you like. All this while, keep the ring on. Leave it in the fridge to chill for at least 3h or overnight.

Once the cheesecake has formed up, prepare the gelatin and pour it on top of the cheesecake. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Once it is firm to the touch, it is time to remove the ring, something that I do with bated breath. It will be easier to use a thin plastic spatula to loosen the sides of the gelatin first before you actually open up the catch of the springform ring.

I topped my cake with fresh raspberry and dusting some icing sugar on it. Serve and enjoy!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

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Been wanting to try a savoury bake for the longest time. Chanced upon this recipe online and thought it looked simple enough.

I poured the batter into mini soufflé cups instead of the muffin tray mentioned in the recipe. This yielded 24 mini bites.

When it was sufficiently cooled, my kids and I just couldn’t stop eating it. We were left with just 12 pieces in less than 15minutes. I can just imagine that it will pair beautifully with freshly cracked black pepper. Mm….shall try adding that the next round.

Recipe can be found here Brazilian cheese bread. I didn’t change anything in this recipe apart from the baking cases.

By the way, tapioca flour is gluten free, so this is a gluten free recipe.

Frozen Themed Carousel Cake

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I was tasked to supply the main cake and cupcakes for my bestie’s daughter’s birthday. Spent many late nights doing up the detailing after putting the kids to bed. Very very pleased that the cake turned out so well. And the fondant held up in the weather too. I couldn’t have pulled it off without Him. All Glory to Jesus!

IMG_5981.JPGclose up shots of details – horses manes are covered with fondant and hand crafted. Carousel set is from Wilton. Snowflakes etc are dusted with snowflake lustre dust, Christmas trees are hand crafted from fondant. Figurines supplied by my bestie.
Cross section of the cake – earl grey and vanilla layers.

Old School Marble Cake

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My pre-schooler stepped through the front door, paused, took big whiffs of the aroma, shrieked in delight and rushed to the kitchen to check out what’s baking. That is the sort of reaction I received today when the marble cake was slow-baking in the oven.

There is something about old school bakes that just can’t be explained. I reckon it is the butter, the vanilla and the unhurried nature to how one approaches the bakes. No instructions about how you can melt something faster in a microwave (I am not a fan of the microwave oven and don’t have it at home!) or how you can make something ahead and warm it through.

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I decided not to post the recipe for this as it is everywhere on the net. Instead, I just want to focus on the nostalgia such bakes exudes.

First bite, the moist and fluffy texture is akin to hugging a soft and comfy pillow. Next, the richness of the butter lends it that extra luxurious feel. Finally, the hints of real vanilla interspersed with the rich chocolate accents that has a slight hint of bittersweet in it. It is, simple (good quality) ingredients coming together to form an amalgamation of sensory pleasures.

I urge you to take a break from the contemporary recipes once in a while and rediscover the simple joys that life brings. À la bon vie! To the good life!

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(No Bake) Green Tea Cheesecake

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I had to use up the cream cheese sitting in my chiller very soon. Since I still had leftover matcha powder from my previous bake and frozen adzuki bean paste, I came up with the idea of a green tea cheesecake with a layer of adzuki bean paste and the biscuit layer typical of that in a standard cheesecake. Seriously, many of us probably enjoy the base more than the cheesecake itself. Right? At least I do.

The idea of a green tea cheesecake does yield a divided vote. Hubby and some friends think it is a strange combination. Whilst others say it rocks. The baker says the texture and mouth feel can be further improved. Note to self – thicker biscuit base next time.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can whip it up in no time. No baking required. Assuming that you have the adzuki bean paste made ahead of time, all that you need to do is blitz the biscuit base with softened butter together and press it down onto the base of your springform pan (or in my case, mini soufflé cases), then blitz all the cream cheese, matcha powder, some butter, cream and icing sugar together – voila!

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling
200g cream cheese
4 tablespoons matcha powder
150g icing sugar, sifted
100ml double cream or heavy cream for whipping

In a mixing bowl, cream everything together except the double cream till it is smooth. For the double cream, in a separate bowl, whip it till soft peaks form then gently fold it into the cream cheese mixture.

Adzuki Bean Paste
100g dried adzuki beans boiled with water till soft. Drain and mash or blitz with sifted icing sugar. Adjust your sugar levels to your taste. I say go with 50g first.

Biscuit Base
Blitz or crush 12-14 pieces of Digestive biscuits till it resembles bread crumbs. Add about 120 grams of softened butter and blitz till it clumps together. You can manually rub the butter into the crumbs with a spoon/fork. Press it into a 7″ springform round tin and let the sides come up a little.

Assembly
Spoon the adzuki beans on top of the biscuit base and press down till you get a compact layer.
Next, spoon the cream cheese mix on top of the bean layer. Chill in the fridge for at least 3h or overnight to set.
Let it sit out for 15-20min before eating/serving.

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Matcha (Green Tea) and Azuki Beans Cake

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Another birthday celebration in the family. The month of July has me busy busy busy in the kitchen.

Decided to make use of my earl grey cake recipe but swopped the earl grey tea leaves for matcha powder instead. I like mine strong so I used 2 heaped tablespoons of the powder to steep in the scalded milk.

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See the gorgeous green hue for the cake batter? The green tea aroma doesn’t float during baking. You will begin to doubt whether you are making a green tea cake or vanilla cake (even though it was only 2tsp of vanilla extract!). But fret not, the green tea taste comes across when you eat it.😉

I made the Azuki bean paste from scratch. I boiled about 120g of Azuki beans in water till it is soft. Then mashed it to the thick paste I want, adding sifted icing sugar to taste. This amount is enough to make a layer to cover a 7inch cake.

I made a dam using the green tea buttercream before I spread the red bean paste. This will prevent any “red” infusion in the buttercream.

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For the buttercream I used a standard buttercream recipe but replaced the vanilla with 2 heaped tablespoons of matcha powder.

Cross section of the cake

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Happy baking!

Chocolate-chocolate Muffin

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When you are an avid baker and only puts in real, natural ingredients into your bakes, you are going to find it hard buying most generic mass produced bakes off the shelf. By the time I get through reading the ingredients list, I usually return the nicely packed item back to the shelf.

If I do buy something from a local bakery, I tend to want to try and identify each ingredient they have added with each bite that I take. It’s not only about the taste but what goes in it that matters most to me.

I have been eyeing this recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker the past week. Finally I got my chance to test it out this afternoon. The pics on her website looked so promising and the comments were most flattering. So I set out with much expectation. It did not disappoint.

I did tweak the recipe though. I don’t like my stuff too sweet so I reduced the sugar, upped the butter and chocolate slightly. This is the ingredients list in metric measurements with the quantity being tweaked to my liking. If you want the original recipe, do follow the link above. Apart from tweaking the ingredients, all the steps from the original recipe were followed to a tee.

Ingredients
250g plain flour
50g fine caster sugar
60g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg
11/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
60g chopped dark couverture chocolate
85g unsalted butter
70g mini bittersweet choc chips or bittersweet/dark choc chunks (or as much as you desire but no more than 100g)

I didn’t have buttermilk at home so I made my own – I added 1 tablespoon of vinegar to fresh milk. You can add lemon juice instead of vinegar too.

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Butter or spray the 12 moulds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

2. Melt the butter and the chopped couverture chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat. (If you don’t want couverture chocs, any other dark chocolate with at least 55% cacao will do)

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Do not overmix the batter. (It should be a fairly thick batter, not too smooth but no visible flour either. Don’t bother to smooth out the lumps in the batter) Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. (I filled my muffin cups right up as I like it to dome. Do not attempt to smoothen out the batter as it will cause it to flatten out instead of dome)

4. Place baking tray on the top shelf. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mould.

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Another Earl Grey Cake

Tropical heat and buttercream aren’t very good friends. Tropical heat and cream cheese frosting……suicidal.

Many tell me the only way to keep it stiff is to either use shortening or up the icing sugar. I don’t like both. Other alternative is to work in an air-conditioned room. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury……yet.

I took up the challenge. With many breaks in between frosting to allow the frosting to set in the fridge/freezer, this is the final outcome……pretty good I might say. I wanted to pipe roses but it could hardly withstand the heat, so I had to make do with rosettes.

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Earl grey cake with maple cream cheese frosting and almond pralines. You can find the earl grey cake recipe from an earlier post recipe

Orange Scones with Orange Drizzle

My eldest asked to make scones today. So I took out my trusted book of scones and asked her to pick one. She chose this. 20140610-211329-76409003.jpg

My recipe is from The Little Book of Scones. the original recipe calls for cardamom to be added but I omitted that as (i) I don’t really like cardamon and (ii) I didn’t have any at home.

Love love love the bite of this. Biscuity on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. And the orange drizzle adds a little sweetness to the scone. Perfect pairing. I couldn’t resist eating it by itself. I can imagine that this will go well with an afternoon cuppa in the summer (or spring or autumn or heck, just bring it on in any weather!)