Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vegan Chocolate Cake

1 November 2007


I tried this Vegan chocolate cake yesterday as I'm very curious about how a cake that does not contain any butter, egg and milk would taste like. It's not a very beautiful cake. I'm not sure if I bake enough or not. The cake is quite dense and moist. The taste I would say is ok. Can't compare it with other chocolate cakes. But it's definitely a healthier cake and probably would taste much better with frosting.


Ingredients (8 inch round)
300g self raising wholemeal flour (I use self raising flour)
50g cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
250g caster sugar
few drops vanilla essence
9 tbsp sunflower oil
350ml water

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar and vanilla essence, then gradually beat in the sunflower oil and water to make a smooth batter.
3. Pour the cake mixture into a lined and greased tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
4. Bake at 170C for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave in the tin for about 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.


Bake another Marble chocolate cake today for my mother's friend.

I have also bought a bottle of bakeable green tea powder. Will try out some green tea cake soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Meme

I've noticed that recently a lot of people have been tagged for a meme. Thanks Bernice for tagging me too!

Five Things

Found in my room:
- PC/printer
- Mini hi fi
- Big study table
- Books/Magazines/Recipes
- Bed/wardrobe

I have always wanted to do:
- Start a business (many ideas but no planning)
- Own a shop (best if related to food, like cafe, ice cream/snack/cake shop)
- Travel to many many countries (will be great if I can stay at each place longer)
- Learn more about baking
- Learn a new skill (like new foreign language, attend new courses, etc)
- Learn piano (when I was young)
- Have a healthier lifestyle (eat healthier food and exercise)

Found in my bag:
- Wallet
- Umbrella
- Handphone
- Keys
- MP3 (sometimes)

Found in my wallet:
- ATM cards
- IC
- Money
- Library card
- Other cards

I am currently into:
- Baking and blogging
- Looking for recipes from other food blogs
- Learn more about baking (flipping through baking books whenever I'm at the bookstore and borrowing baking books)
- Watching dramas online
- Selling my stuffs at auction

Candidates to tag:
Seems like a lot of people have already been tagged.
Just you: sweet-tooth!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apple Pie

21 October 2007

Something must be wrong with my brains today. I miscalculate the amount of flour and almost create a disaster for the apple pie.

The recipe uses 125g of low-protein flour and 125g of high-protein flour. I carelessly convert it as 125g plain flour only. Should be 250g plain flour right? What a silly mistake! And I only realize it after finished baking the apples pies!


I was wondering why the dough is so watery. In the end, I just continue adding more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. And that's how I manage to save my dough. I hope it doesn't affect the taste of the apple pies. Luckily, it is actually better than what I expect.


These apple pies don't look like apple pies right? Usually apple pies are baked in pie pans. But since I do not have one, I cut out 2 sheets of dough using a round cutter, place a piece on the tray first, put in the apple fillings, then lay another piece on top and press to close the edges. Kind of ugly right, but it's ok. :)

Photos taken with my handphone as I don't have the camera with me today.

Ingredients
Pastry:
250g plain flour
160g butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
75ml iced water (I place water in the fridge for 30 minutes)

Filling:
(A)
110g apple, cut into small cubes
130ml water
10ml lemon juice (I did not add)
50g sugar (I reduce to 40g)
(B)
30ml water
1 tbsp cornflour
(C)
10g butter
2g cinnamon powder (I omit this)
1g nutmeg powder (I omit this)

Some egg, beaten for glazing

Method
Pastry:
1. Sift the plain flour in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until small crumbs are formed.
2. Mix salt, sugar and iced water until fully dissolved.
3. Add the water mixture in step 2 into the crumbs mixture in step 1. Fold and knead with hand until dough is well combined. Do not overmix until too smooth. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Filling:
1. Boil ingredients (A) for 10 minutes.
2. Mix ingredients (B). Add (B) into (A) and cook until the mixture thickens.
3. Add in (C), mix well and cool.
4. Bring out the dough. Roll and press into a thin sheet. Use a round cutter to cut out 2 sheets of dough. Place a piece on the tray first, put the apple fillings in the centre, then lay another piece on top and press to close the edges. Brush the top with a layer of egg. Prick holes on the top with a fork. Continue until all ingredients are used up.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for about 20 minutes until nice golden brown.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Banana Chiffon Cake

13 October 2007



It was only 2 days after I made my 1st chiffon cake. I can't wait to try another chiffon cake again. :) This time a Banana Chiffon Cake, recipe is also taken from "Chiffon Cake is Done" by Kevin Chai. Oh, I didn't buy that book, I "copy" the recipe when I'm browsing books at the bookstore. Hehe...

I must say I have started to like banana cakes. It is so soft and spongy that I think a 6 inch chiffon tin seems a bit too small for my family. Each of us only get to eat a small piece and seems like not enough for us to eat!

I think I did a better job this time. I'm more used to beating the egg whites. I will set to a low speed when beating the last batch of sugar so that I can control the consistency better. I check by tilting the mixing bowl, if the mixture does not flow and remain in shape, then it is probably around there. But the mixture must still remain smooth and glossy and not overbeaten. I think I still need more practice to be very sure. Another thing I discover is that I need to turn the cake upside down AS SOON AS it is removed from the oven. I remembered for the Milo chiffon cake, I was very slow and that's why the cake sank very fast. This time it is a bit better. But I think it will be good if I can do it faster. Lastly, I can't seem to remove cake properly. As you can see from the photo, parts of the cake on the sides still remain in the tin!


Ingredients (portion reduced to using 2 eggs for 6 inch tin)
2 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
20ml oil
60g banana puree (1 medium banana)
15g sugar
35g plain flour
1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
30g sugar

Method
1. Combine egg yolks, salt, sugar and beat until pale in colour. Add oil and mix well. Add banana puree and mix well.
2. Fold in plain flour and bicarbonate of soda until batter forms.
3. Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Add in sugar gradually in 3 portions until stiff peaks form.
4. Gently fold in egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture, 1/3 at a time.
5. Pour mixture into ungreased tin and bake at 170C for 25 mins.
6. Remove from oven and quickly turn the chiffon cake upside down on a wire rack.
7. Wait for the cake to cool completely before removing it from the tin.

Friday, October 12, 2007

1st chiffon cake

11 October 2007



Inspired by Happy Homebaker, I bought a 6 inch chiffon tin and eagerly tried to bake a Milo chiffon cake yesterday. It was exciting to see the chiffon cake rise inside the oven until quite high. At the same time I felt a bit uneasy, worrying that it would sink down. Then the expected result came. It sank within seconds after I removed it from the oven. As a result, the cake was in a funny shape when I cut a portion out.


Nevertheless, the taste is very good and it is soft and cottony, although the milo taste is not strong. I'm not very sure why the chiffon cake sank so fast. Not sure also whether I have beaten the egg whites to the right texture. Guess I have to try again. I think my family will like chiffon cake better because it is healthier. :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Chocolate Torte

5 October 2007




I finally try baking this Chocolate Torte today, another recipe that has been in my recipes-to-try list for a long time. Mine did not crack and sink a lot. It is flaky on the top and soft and moist in the centre. I have never tasted a Chocolate Torte before. But this Chocolate Torte is surely one of the best. Thanks to Happy Homebaker. She's like my half-teacher in baking and I always visit her blog for new recipes and tips for baking. :)

Recipe from Happy Homebaker