Monday, September 29, 2008
This cake uses Kraft cheese from Indonesia, which is a rare jewel here in Houston. Only 2 out of the many Asian grocery stores carry this brand. And they both ran out-of-stock. I have been cheese-hunting for the past month but to no avail. But I had 1 more packet at home and it was, in my opinion, the last Indonesian Kraft cheese in Houston.
This cake is always a favorite among my friends and yesterday was no different. I really enjoy watching them ate the cake while smiling and chatting. I somehow feel that I have contributed a little bit to their joy that night. :)
Anyways, happy birthday to Yuri and Ricky! Cheers!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I finally decided to make this cake. :)
I named this cake a "light chocolate vanilla cake" because it is indeed very light - not in terms of weight, but in terms of calories and fat. :)
The cake is made of 3 layers of vanilla sponge cake and chocolate diplomat creme. Instead of using buttercream, which contains LOTS of sugar and LOTS of butter, I used the diplomat creme itself to frost the cake. Diplomat cream, on the other hand, is based on pastry cream (vla). It's mostly milk, eggs, sugar, and whipped cream. The amount of sugar used is very little compared to buttercream and the amount of whipped cream used is also little because it is only used to lighten the pastry cream.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I was running out of time to go to H-E-B right after my bible study group to grab some eggs but I really wanted to bake something for Brad's (belated) birthday. After analyzing my kitchen supplies, I noted that I have a Betty Crocker Devil's food mix that only requires 1 egg, which is exactly what I have! I also have some Betty Crocker icing to frost the cupcakes. I'm good to go!
I've been interested in making roses from frosting and I thought that this will be a good time to practice. :) I can take no credit for how the cupcakes taste - it's all Betty's - but I can take credit for making the roses!
Humans make plan and God determines the path. My work require me to travel that week and I didn't have enough time to really plan the cake. I came back Friday night and I had another cake due Saturday night and Cess' cake due Sunday morning. To be realistic, I decided to make a cake that I am already familiar with.
This cake is 9"x13" - the second time I make a cake this big. For this, I used 2 layers of sponge cake, a layer of mango mousse, a layer of strawberry mousse, lychees, clear glaze, and lady fingers.
2-1/2 cups fresh mango puree
1/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cups water
2 packets gelatin
Mix the sugar and the puree in the blender for about 30 seconds to blend together, making sure that the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle the gelatin on the water and leave for 5 minutes until it blooms. Once it blooms, melt it in the microwave for 15 seconds at 50% power. Slowly pour the melted gelatin into the puree mixture while continuously mixing the puree. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the puree mixture.
2 cups fresh mango puree
1/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cups water
2 packets gelatin
Prepare this the same way as the mango mousse.
To add more complex flavor, I brushed the sponge cakes with some orange simple syrup and I added lychees between the layers. I prefer to use a softer/lighter sponge cake base for mousse cake and for this one, I of course used my mom's recipe. :)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This cake is in the cover of Dorie Greenspan's book and I thought that if it's good enough to be a cover, it's good enough to deserve a try. The picture shows how the cake looks like if Dorie made it and the actual result when I made it.
This cake is really different than a normal chocolate cake because of several things:
1. The chocolate cake has chocolate chip chunks inside
2. The filling and frosting is really marshmallowy (egg whites and VERY hot sugar)
3. The decoration of the cake is the actual cake itself!
The recipe for this cake is about 3 pages long and I really don't want to type it all out but if you're interested to bake this, let me know and I'll post it for you. :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We ended up having a baking event over there and Fidel bought a few new tools for our main event. We made Kue Sus (Cream Puff) from scratch and we really enjoyed our time together. I think Adam and Alvin each ate 3 of them right away. :p
Yes, I know. I exaggerated a little. But the feeling was true. I was actually anxious of the thought that I wouldn't be able to bake again for a while due to hurricane damage. So I decided to bake one last time before I left the apartment to evacuate. I thought of what to bake for the longest time and decided to bake a mocha chiffon cake and chocolate chip cookies for the following reasons:
1. They both don't need refrigeration
2. They are both relatively simple to bake
Since I've posted a lot of chiffon cake entries, I decided to just document the cookie part this time.
The recipe for this is taken from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours:
2 cups all purpose flour
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Then, working with a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after every addition.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until incorporated for every addition. Then, by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts.
Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2" of space between them. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center. The cookies may still be a little soft in the middle but that's okay. Pull the sheets from the oven and allow them to rest for about 1 minute. Then carefully transfer them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula to cool to room temperature.
I brought the chiffon and the cookies to Austin to share. I'm glad they liked it too!
I don't quite know how this cake taste but I hope that Dika and Marjie enjoyed the cake. I made the cake with 2 layers of chocolate sponge cake with a layer of diplomat cream and covered in chocolate glaze. I used whipped chocolate ganache and chocolate covered espresso beans as the decorations.
I encountered a lot of challenges while making this cake. First was the glaze. I intended to use chocolate ganache to cover the cake, but since I couldn't remember the recipe that I had used before, I used a new recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Bad idea! The ganache was really runny and I don't know how to use it. Lesson learnt for me though. I should really try the recipe before I use it to make a cake that someone ordered from me. Since the glaze won't set and the white cream is still showing through the ganache, I made a batch of chocolate glaze (which I used for my eclairs) and attempted to cover the cake once more.
The result: a lopsided cake. *sigh*
I just hope that despite the look, the cake taste okay.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Another cake for a dear friend. I'm always very happy when I can make cakes for my friends. It means a lot for me. It creates memories for me and I hope that it creates memories for them too. I've been thinking a lot about what to make for Jess and I really can't decide on one specific cake. After much thought, I decided to make something new for her.This cake is made of 2 layers of green tea sponge cake, with cream legere between them, topped with white chocolate mousse. I wrapped the cake with white chocolate since I think it complements the green tea flavor. I also played around with the chocolate decoration by adding pattern to the wrap. It wasn't as neat as I wanted it to be but I reason that it's my first try.
I was careful not to misspell anything this time :p Since this is an experimentation cake, I think there are several things I want to change to improve in the future: make the cake more moist or fluffier, use more white chocolate mousse, and stabilize the cream legere using some gelatin.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I played around with decorations with this cake. I had used alternately ladyfingers and chocolate wafers. I think it gives a nice fun look to the cake. This tiramisu is made of 2 layers of sponge cake drenched in extra rum coffee syrup and 2 layers of tiramisu cream (again with extra rum).
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This is really nothing like Le Madeline's but it's my first try at it. I used a store bought puff pastry to make the crust. I layered it with some creme legere (light cream) and fresh strawberries. I attempted to glaze the top but it didn't turn out as neat as I wanted it to be.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The crust is made from butter and graham cracker crumbs. The cheesecake is a combo of 2 layers of vanilla cheesecake with a layer of chocolate cheesecake in the middle. Thus the black and white name. I have decorated it with some creme legere and fresh strawberries. Pardon the messi decorations as I did it in the morning before work and I only had 15 minutes.
This is a picture of the cake after it was butchered.
I'm very happy that Carrie liked it and that the rest of my coworkers actually tried the cake. This is the first time that I brought a cake to work and everybody took a bite and tried. Their feedback was positive on the cake. :) I'm really really glad.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
It's a rather simple cake that I'm experimenting with. I've always done my mousse using acetate tape and I had never encased my cake with mousse. So this time, I experimented with using a springform pan that is larger than my cake and then pouring over the mousse over the cake to fill the pan. Although the picture isn't very clear, the mousse itself is used to cover the cake.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The recipe is from "Baking at Home with the CIA" (I halved the recipe for my cookie batch and it yields a good 24 large sized cookies):
3/4 cup + 2 tbs cake flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs instant coffee
1 tbs boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz unsweetened chocolate coarsely chopped
6 oz semi sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
8 tbs butter
7 large eggs
2-3/4 cups sugar
2 cups chopped walnuts
1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Melt the instant coffee in boiling water and add the vanilla extract. Melt the chocolates and butter in a saucepan under low heat. Using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the eggs, sugar, and the coffee mixture for about 6-8 minutes on high. Then whisk in the chocolate mixture at medium speed followed by the dry ingredients at low speed (just until incorporated).
Using a 1/4 cup measure as a scoop, fill it with dough and drop it into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave about 3-4" between the cookies. Bake the cookies in batches for about 14 minutes or until the top of the cookies are slightly cracked. Cool slightly in baking sheet before transferring it to cooling racks to cool completely.
For this cake, I have used 2 layers of vanilla sponge cakes, a layer of strawberry mousse, and a layer of blueberry mousse. I used clear glaze to decorate the cake, but the mousse hadn't really set yet when I poured the glaze. The result is this 3-D looking cake glaze. :p
In a blender, puree the blueberries and then add sugar. Continue blending for a few seconds to make sure that all the sugar dissolves. Then, sprinkle the gelatine powder over the water and let it bloom for about 5 minutes. Heat the gelatine for 15 seconds at 50% power in the microwave. Once the gelatine is melted, pour it slowly to the puree while stirring it continuously. Whipped the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the puree. Once done, pour into the cake ring/springform pan used to make the mousse cake.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I waited about 45 minutes for Alvin (thanks to Houston traffic), called my Allstate MotorClub (similar to AAA) for someone to come and jumpstart my car, and waited for another hour till the man came. I had told Alvin to go back to work and just leave his phone with me. When the car guy came, he brought this little battery charger to try to recharge my car's battery. It didn't work. I was getting more frustrated as he said "I don't know... I don't know what to do. I'm sorry." And then he left. Tired of all this car issue, I left my car and took a taxi home, which cost me a LOT of money (taxis in the US is super expensive).
Anyways, I got home at 3:30pm and this cake order is due that night. I know my friends wouldn't mind if I told them that I couldn't make it that night, but I really really wanted to bake (I've been bake-fasting in Alabama for a whole week!). So I rushed to make this cake.
The cake is made of 2 layers of vanilla sponge cake and 1 layer of chocolate sponge cake brushed with orange flavored simple syrup, filled with lots of fresh fruits (kiwi, strawberry, and peach), and covered in guava chantilly cream.
Another story related to the cake is that I have no strawberries to make the cake! I had no car and so I can't go to H-E-B to buy some. I finally asked Alvin to buy me some on his way home. For that, I had to stop my cake production until about 6:15pm when Alvin came. I had a dinner appointment at 7:30pm and so I only have very little time to decorate the cake. In a rushed moment, I had forgotten how to spell. >_<>
1. I found matcha powder at Central Market!
2. The challenge of water proofing my springform pan.
I have a heart-shaped springform pan that I have never used before and I thought it will make the cake a little more interesting. I used the same recipe as I did in my previous JCC but I added about 1/2 tbs of matcha powder to my cake.
I think that the cake needs more Matcha since the cream cheese flavor really drowned the green tea flavor. Overall I think the cake was fine... I've had people ask for seconds and I take that it's always a good sign. :)