Tag Archives: cake

[Kawaii] Love & Creme Chantilly Swiss Roll

I spent the last part of my work day meeting a Japanese magazine editor who’s here on a visit. With the help of the tour guide, I tried my hardest to speak to her. But it wasn’t the same as conversing with her directly, sans third party. So through my widest smile, hand gestures and head nods, we became friends, language barriers aside, I knew she liked Singapore, she knew I was excited to show her around. We had ice cream, with gula melaka (palm sugar) and adzuki beans. Talk about an appropriate coincidence.

I then really wished I could upload an intersect into my brain and be multilingual. Lost? You need to watch an episode of Chuck pronto.

Seriously though, is there a brain capacity on the number of languages one can learn without scrambling your brain? It’s hard enough for me to wrap my tongue around the different Chinese dialects, let alone a whole new foreign language. I spent a long time referring to a head as coconut and vice versa in Malay. Suppose they are the same shape… And they’re both gooey inside.

I’m in the midst of confirming a trip to Japan this Summer. Perhaps it shall present itself as a golden opportunity to pick up some touristy Japanese. My new Japanese friend has kindly offered to show me around, so maybe I’ll astound her with how adept I’ve become with the language…or just be really, really, really good at smiling and reading hand gestures.

Creme Chantilly Swiss Roll

1 x Sponge Roll
1 x Creme Chantilly

To Assemble

1) Trim off 2cm of the the sponge from each of the four sides. Eat.Mix3 tbsp warm water and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Brush over the sponge.

2) Spread all the creme chantilly on the remaining sponge until it’s 1cm from the edge.

3) Pick up the side of the baking paper closest to you and roll it in, towards you. Using the paper as a guide, keep rolling the sponge until you reach the end. Put it straight into the fridge to set. Enjoy!

Sponge Roll

For a 25cm x 25cm tray…

4.5 egg yolks
4.5 egg whites + 1.5 egg whites (separate bowls)
120g GF flour blend, rice-flour based
1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (separate)
90g icing sugar
90ml water
60ml oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Line a 25cm x 25cm baking tray with parchment. Preheat oven to 170°C.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the egg yolks and 50g of the icing sugar until thick and lightened in colour. Add in the vanilla and water. Beat until well mixed.

3) Add in the oil and mix well until emulsified. Add in the flour and whisk until fully incorporated.

4) Spoon 3 tsp of the egg yolk mixture into the a separate bowl. Repeat so you have 2 bowls of egg yolk mixture. Add in 1/2 tsp of GF flour blend and 1 drop of desired food colouring (I used pink and red) into each bowl and mix well.

5) In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the 1.5 egg whites with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Divide the egg whites evenly between the two bowls of egg yolk mixture. Gently fold to incorporate. Using two teaspoons, create heart shapes on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 1 minute. Remove from oven while you prepared rest of sponge roll.

6) In the same clean, grease-free bowl, beat the remaining 4.5 egg whites until foamy. Gradually add in the remaining 40g icing sugar and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and beat until stiff and opaque. Fold gently into remaining egg yolk mixture. Pour over the heart shapes and level the batter to ensure it bakes evenly. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before filling with creme chantilly.

Creme Chantilly

1 3/4 cup whipping cream, very well chilled
1/4 cup icing sugar
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds until thickened and holds it’s peak. Do not overwhip of the cream will split. Either use immediately or chill in fridge to firm up before using.

 

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[You’re My Favourite] Carrot Cake

You know he’s a keeper when he sees a bakery and thinks of you.

or cake.

or unicorns.

But mostly, you know he’s a keeper when he always lets you have the first bite of dessert. It’s almost better than opening doors and pulling out chairs. And not noticing (or maybe he does, but decides to let you get away with it anyway) you always choose to start eating a cake from the sides because there’s always more frosting there.

Today’s one of those rare days I’m home alone. No one’s doing anything else while I bask in the fact that it’s only Saturday afternoon and already I feel productive. There isn’t anyone on the phone, no one doing the ironing. It’s just me, pigtails, Chrysanthemums in a vase, carrot cake in the oven the murmuring of the fan.

Wait, we were talking about boys. Actually, let’s narrow it down to one specific one. The one who knows movie lines better than I do, writes postcards and thank you notes and understands me even when I’m speaking faster than a train. He sounds better behaved than I do. I can never find my keys, always blast my music way too loud and write letters but never post them. Do you have any idea how many unposted letters I have found in my drawers and bags!? The good news is that so far all the letters to him have made it.

At least I bake. People tend to be more forgiving when you have something sweet to offer. It’s a good decoy. “Hi officer, was I speeding? Wait, here’s some carrot cake, it’s even got frosting!”[cue: innocent smile]

Let me know if it works.

Try it out with this cake recipe. If the line doesn’t work, it’s probably you, definitely not the cake. Or maybe he hates carrots.

Carrot Cake (adapted from Dean Brettschneider)

250g GF flour blend
10g baking soda
10g ground cinnamon
4 eggs
150g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
370ml canola oil (or vegetable oil)
5ml vanilla extract
200g carrots, shredded
135g crushed pineapple, well drained

1) Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line a 9-inch round baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the eggs and sugars together until light in color and double in volume. Add in the oil and whisk to emulsify.

3) Whisk in the flour in 2 additions until there are no floury streaks. Remove bowl from mixer and using a spatula, fold in the carrots and pineapple until you get an even mixture. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 2-2.5 hours.

4) Remove from oven to cool and frost. Keep refrigerated.

Cream Cheese Frosting

115g cream cheese, softened
65g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
200g icing sugar

1) Mix all together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add more icing sugar for a sweeter frosting or more zest/juice for a tarter one. Note that frosting will be more viscous with extra lemon juice.

Tadah- Now you can bake a Get Out of Jail Free card!

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Toffee Pudding with Ginger and Chocolate

At some point, I’m going to have to admit it. My idea of a great weekend consists of some part of it being slightly fuzzy, in this slightly happy state of yeah.

Yeah.

Am I making sense?

Like when you’re trying to put on your 4-inch heels and realising you’ve been trying to put right to left for the past 5 seconds…and then just having a small laugh to yourself, and going yeah.

Or when lunch consists of fried rice and fresh mango. Yeah.

Left your cell phone on the charger at home, on the bed. Yeah.

Walked out of the store without taking back your credit card and the new necklace you just bought. Yeah.

Store assistant rings your mobile phone 8 times and you can’t answer because you don’t have your phone. Yeah.

The whole house smells like toffee and butter. So does your hair. Yeah.

Gym at 4pm…errrr…yeah?

You get my drift. It’s like when you’re almost unfazed by anything because there’s a slight cloud of something which is almost making everything seem fairly ordinary. Yeah.

Can we just apply this to all the things that try to get us down? The things I stress about on a daily basis when there are 1000 things way more important happening concurrently? I need to prioritise the things that I place importance on and remind myself that some days, like today, it’s really liberating to say “big fat hairy deal”.

I hope you’re having a hazy, good day. I know I am. And I smell like toffee!

Toffee Pudding with Ginger and Chocolate (adapted from Best Desserts by The Australian Women’s Weekly)

3 3/4 cups dates, pitted
3 cups hot water
2 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup GF oat flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
185g butter, unsalted and softened
6 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crystalised ginger, chopped finely
3/4 cup dark chocolate, 55% and above, chopped roughly

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a large rectangle tin, roughly 35 x 25cm, with parchment.

2) In a large pot, bring the dates and hot water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add in the baking soda. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before whisking to break up the dates.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until lightened in colour. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix well. Mix the flours and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the dates and flour mix into the creamed mixture alternately, starting and ending with the flour.

4) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the ginger and chocolate all over the top. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with butterscotch sauce.

Butterscotch Sauce

250g butter, unsalted
2 cup brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream

1) Place all the ingredients in a large pot and simmer until all the sugar had dissolved and butter has melted. Allow to simmer further for 3-4 minutes. You may stir the mixture to quicken the cooking process. Allow to cool slightly before serving with pudding.

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Boozy Lemon Polenta Cardamom Cake

It’s been a good weekend. The sort of weekend you feel you’re not really in the same country. It’s great how doing something entirely different from your regular routine can add a little sparkle into an otherwise ‘it-passed-too-fast’ weekend.

My best friend and I decided we should head to the zoo. I wanted to see the polar bears; she the giraffes. Pity the polar bear enclosure wasn’t open (renovations were underway to merge it with a new project) so luckily Nisa managed to feed the giraffes, or we might’ve found smelling like that totally no worth it.

A lunch spread later, we found her car had contracted a case of flat tyre caused by a nail which we possibly ran over while driving and singing Kelly Clarkson’s Mr Know it All (or in my case, MISS know it all. Bottomline; don’t judge if you haven’t a clue!) ANYWAY, being the resourceful girls we are, a phone call was made, and the car was saved. We even managed to catch a movie!

If your idea of a good time is laughing so hard you’re crying, and then deciding that at the end of the movie, you’d like to watch it all over again, I strongly recommend watching What’s Your Number. Anna Faris is cute and Chris Evans is known as the human torch for a bloody good reason.

Hello my name is Victoria and I’m addicted to highly attractive men.

And cake.

Boozy Lemon Polenta Cardamom Cake

200g butter, unsalted and softened
150g sugar
220g almond meal
100g polenta
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tbsp Amaretto
1 tbsp Limoncello
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 8-capacity mini loaf tin. This recipe makes 7 full mini loaves.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and lightened in colour. You can also do this by hand with a big bowl and a wooden spoon.

3) Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in the remaining ingredients and beat on medium-high until blended through. Divide the mixture evenly into 7 of the 8 loaves. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

4) Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. The loaves are served upside down. Prick the loaves with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top. Allow to absorb and cool completely before topping with lemon glaze. I added some Indian candy floss-like confectionery on top but don’t stress if you haven’t any.

Soaking Syrup

1/2 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp hot water
2 tsp Cardamom-Clove Syrup from Royal Rose (or you can try using a strong Chai tea instead of water)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) Mix well in a bowl and ensure there are no lumps.

 

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Citrus Loaf with Mascarpone & Yoghurt

Women love men who make them laugh. Apparently men don’t find that as important in a female. Is that how I rationalise my love for Steve Carrell?

Sorry, random thought. DJs over the radio were talking about that.

Wait.

So, what’s the equivalent of funny for women? Knowing the perfect time to laugh? Killer dress sense? Or… being able to cook. But hang on… I find men who like to cook attractive too. So basically, men are easier to appear attractive in comparison to women? It’s true though. Who says we’re a difficult bunch?

Thank god I already have Fred. I don’t think I’ve got enough balls to handle this dating game.

I much prefer eating cake and applying bubblegum pink lip gloss. Doesn’t necessarily have to be in that order.

(That’s my massively cute and annoying little sister who’s got her hands on my cake!)

But I suppose everyone’s got their own ‘deal-maker’. You know, like a dude who loves dogs, or irons all his shirts, prefers Vodka over Bourbon or… knows how to dance? Then there are also the ‘deal-breakers’ which usually fall within the scope of him being a murderer, thinking socks and sandals counts as covered footwear or… refusing to share his dessert.

It’s ok. Here’s a recipe that makes one loaf, enough to make 6 slices, and you don’t have to share. Plus it keeps well, in case you’re spending any nights over at someone else’s home. Or waiting until everyone’s out of the house.

Citrus Loaf

1 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1.5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon oil
grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup sliced almond

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line a 8 x 4inch loaf tin with parchment.

2) In a bowl, mix the flours and baking powder together.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.

4) Add in the egg yolks and eggs into the creamed mixture in 3 additions, beating well after each time. Mix in the vanilla, lemon oil, lemon zest and orange zest.

5) Add in the flour and heavy cream alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well until batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and scatter the sliced almonds over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6) Remove from oven and brush the soaking syrup over the cake.

Orange Soaking Syrup

Juice of 1 large orange
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a moderate flame, stirring. Reduce the heat and let it reduce until you get a slightly sticky syrup, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Mascarpone & Yoghurt Topping

1/4 cup Mascarpone
1/2 cup Greek Style Yoghurt
2 tbsp icing sugar

1) Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Pink Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Last evening we celebrated our 46th National Day, Singapore’s birthday. For those who are unfamiliar, Singapore’s a little island city located past the tip of Malaysia. We’re not in China and we certainly don’t live in trees (someone asked me this!). I could tell you all the glorious things about Singapore but words aren’t enough to describe it all. Instead, here’s what I like to say…I wish I could HUG Singapore. Give it a big, tight bear hug. I even baked her a cake! It’s (almost) in our national colours; red and white. Plus it’s four layers tall, so grow Singapore, GROW!

National day is a big deal around here. There’s a spectacular parade which ends in a colourful bursting of fireworks. Everyone comes over because you can catch it from our window. It’s a thing we do. And we wear red and white too. It’s very festive and probably the only time I don’t mind wearing the same outfit as the next person. If you reaaalllyy wanted to join in, here’s my favourite National Day song. We have a new one every year, this was from awhile back but it still makes me tear. Watch it here.

Notice the much nicer photos for today’s post? Thanks to my cousin C who’s so handy with his camera, I get an extra pretty blog post today! Such are the perks of having multi-talented individuals as family.

And without further ado, here’s the stunner of a pink cake. The strawberry flavour is all natural, and I’m so pleased the frozen berries managed to impart such a true, true flavour permeating through the fuschia layers. Frozen berries are reliable for being tasty at any time of the year so I’m sticking to them.

Pink Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
1) Pink strawberry butter cake
2) Vanilla bean buttercream
3) Strawberry puree

Pink Strawberry Butter Cake (adapted from Sky High by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne)
*I made a half recipe

1 3/4 cup GF flour blend
1/2 cup oat flour
1 cup sugar
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp strawberry puree (recipe below)
4 egg whites
1/3 cup milk

1) Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line two 6-inch round baking tins with parchment.

2) In the bowl of a standmixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Meanwhile, mix the flours and baking powder in a medium bowl.

3) In another bowl, mix the egg whites and milk together.

4) Add the flour mix and strawberry puree into the creamed butter and mix well (it will look like strawberry icecream!). Add in the egg and milk mixture in 3 additions, mixing well before adding the next. Turn mixer up to medium high and beat for 30 seconds.

5) Divide mixture evenly into the prepared tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from baking tin. Let cool completely.

6) To assemble, slice each cake into 2 even layers. Place one layer on the bottom of the plate andspread a layer of strawberry puree on it. Freeze for 10 minutes to allow the puree to set before spreading a layer of vanilla bean buttercream on it. Top with the next layer but this time, spread the vanilla bean buttercream directly on it, no need for strawberry puree. Repeat with the next layer, spreading strawberry puree, freezing and then vanilla buttercream. Top with the final layer and spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake.

Strawberry Puree

3/4 pound frozen strawberries, thawed

1) Blend the berries and it’s juices until you reach a smooth puree. If it’s still semi cold, microwave it in bursts of 15 seconds until it reaches room temperature. Use 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp for the cake.

2) Place the remaining in a small saucepan and reduce over a medium flame, stirring constantly, until get a thickened puree. Remove from heat and let cool.This is for the cake layers.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 sticks butter, softened
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

1) Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a standmixer or heat proof bowl set over a bain marie. Heat the mixture, whilst whisking gently, until you reach 55°C. Remove from heat immediately and whisk on high until you get a thick glossy meringue. (It’ll take about 5-8 minutes by machine and probably 10 by a hand held electric whisk).

2) Beat in the butter using a paddle attachment (I guess you’d continue with the hand held whisk if you’re taking that route) until buttercream comes together into a light but firm consistency. If it looks goopy, just keep whisking! Whisk in vanilla bean seeds. Set aside until ready to frost cake.

 

 

 

 

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{100th Post} Melting Nutella Cake

I was thinking of doing a “100 things about me” entry for the 100th entry.

But you would probably be asleep before you’re done with number 20. So let’s just shrink it down to a “10 things about me” post. And if you’re feeling generous and gossipy, you should pull up a chair and join in. Tell me a thing or two about yourself. I hope someone out there reads this. It’ll be a pretty sad one person sharing party. Just sayin’

Okay, in no particular order, here are 10 random things about me.

1) I am petrified of birds. All kinds, even stuffed animals. Even the scary evil goose from Kung Fu Panda 2.

2) My favourite flavour of gelato is pistachio

3) In elementary school, I went through a whole spelling test spelling ‘Simon’ as ‘Simone’.

4) I really, really like milk chocolate.

5) I grew up as a Barbie type of girl. I still am.

6) I don’t like wearing skirts. Denim shorts are my weakness.

7) I find it weird when people I don’t know call me Vic and not by my full name.

8) When I start to get body concious, I remind myself to be thankful that I have all my body parts intact.

9) I can’t lie upside down for too long, or stare at the ceiling for that matter. I get a whirly headache.

10) My boyfriend can’t touch his toes.

Okay, so I cheated. The last one isn’t about me. I couldn’t think of anything else.

But the important thing to note here is that I come with cake. The sort that people like because it’s gooey, creamy and contains chocolate and Nutella. Plus it’s easy to whip up and presents itself as a fairly forgiving dessert even if you get it wrong and say…got distracted by this recipe and left it in the oven 2 minutes too long.

You can even bake this in the morning for breakfast and then warm it up at night while watching re-runs of CSI.

Melting Nutella Cake (adapted from Willie’s Chocolate Bible by Willie Harcourt-Cooze, a birthday gift from some of my loveliest friends)

20g almond meal
2 eggs
90g sugar
90g chocolate, 100% bitterness
75 butter, unsalted
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/3 cup Nutella mixed with 1 tbsp Bailey’s (optional Bailey’s)

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease 6 1/3cup capacity ramekins (or use a jumbo cupcake tin).

2) Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Stir gently until you get a smooth, shiny mixture. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar until the ribbon stage.

4) Fold in the chocolate/butter mixture until almost homogenised. Add in the almond meal and fold until just combined. Spoon 2 tbsp of the mixture into each ramekin. Drop 1 heaping teaspoon of nutella into each cavity and cover with another tablespoon with chocolate mixture. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately with chocolate sauce and icecream!

Chocolate Sauce

60g dark couverture chocolate chips, 55% at least
80g whipping cream

1)Place the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl.

2) In a small saucepan, heat the cream over a gentle flame until small bubbles start to form. Remove from heat immediately and pour half over the chocolate. Stir gently before adding in the rest of the cream. Stir slowly until chocolate is completely melted and a smooth sauce forms. Use immediately or store in the fridge and warm up in the microwave when needed.

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