Thursday, May 31, 2012

MIL's Brithday Cake & Marble Crumb Cake

Mid year school holidays! A nice little break for the kids from books and school. ;) As for me, as much as I love my time with my kids, I always find that my so call "free" time seems to disappear real fast with the kids at home. ;P And that is also one of the reasons why I am not posting as much. :P And before I disappear again for my short vacation, I would like to post up a couple of cake recipes which was done a little while back.

First is my MIL's birthday cake. I have chosen to bake the same Eggless Tiramisu Cake which I posted last month. Main reason for this repetition was because my MIL seems to love this cake a lot the last time I baked it. She even requested to leave an extra slice for her to enjoy the following day (this happens rarely). With that I knew she would love this tiramisu cake for her birthday.
I decided to steal the same decoration method as last year's birthday cake, which is to have a sponge cake wrap around it. Perhaps not as tedious but still quite a bit of work if I do say so myself, lol! I shall only post up the recipe for the dual flavor swiss roll cake here. Please refer to my previous post for the tiramisu cake recipe.
This Swiss roll recipe uses the Egg separation method "分蛋式海绵蛋" which yields one of the softest cake, even after refrigeration. For step by step pictorial help, please refer to my previous post here.

Ingredients for Dual Flavor Swiss Roll Cake: (makes a 13"x10")
Set A:
30g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large egg yolks
20g caster sugar
Set B:
4 egg whites
65g caster sugar
40g superfine cake flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder

  • Melt the butter and let cool until needed.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and greased it again. Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Again under double boiler, beat the egg yolks and sugar (from Set A) till triple in volume and thickens.
  • At the meantime, beat the egg white from Set B with gradual addition of the sugar and beat till mixture is stiff peaks.
  • In 3 separate portions, add the egg whites into the yolk mixture, folding gently till all is added in.
  • Sift in the cake flour in 3 separate portions as well, using the electric mixer at its lowest speed. Do this till there is no visible lumps of flour and making sure not over beating and deflating the mixture.
  • Take about 2 tbsp worth of the batter and mix into the melted, cooled butter mixture. Make sure it is well mixed and then add it back to the cake batter and gently stir to blend.
  • Take about 190g of the batter and mix in the 1 tbsp of cocoa powder until uniform in color.
  • Fill the 2 batters into 2 separate piping bags with a 1cm opening nozzle.
  • Pipe along the shorter side of the tray, alternating the plain and chocolate batter until all has been piped out.
  • Bake in the oven for 13 minutes or till tester comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before use.
  • Cut the cake into half length wise and should be long enough to wrap a 7" or 8" round cake. Alternatively, you can leave it as it is to make it into a Swiss roll cake. :))
Remember to save some mascarpone cream to cream around the cake so that the swiss roll can adhere properly. An adjustable cake ring would be very handy here.

A look at interior...from the last slice which I salvage after the celebration. :) Actually, I like this cake a lot too, it has this well balance taste of mascarpone cream, soft sponge cake and chocolate. I will definitely bake this again for more family gatherings later this year. ;)

I would like to submit this to Bake-Along No. 25 1st Anniversary: A Layered Cake.
It's my first time joining in and I'm so happy that I'm finally taking part in this bake along! (^o^)

The other recipe I wanted to post up is Marble Crumb Cake which I saw over at Daily Delicious almost a month back. I knew the moment I saw it, I have to bake it!
Its so hard to capture a nice picture with this dark and brown cake! Doesn't look as good as it taste, trust me on that. :P
Perhaps this shot will better show how yummy this cake is. Fine crumbs, chocolaty and cookie like crumb toppings. :) I doubled the recipe and posted here for my reference

Ingredients for Marble Crumb Cake (Makes a 7"X7")
Crumb topping
170g all purpose flour
16g cocoa powder
100g light brown sugar
100g salted butter

Mix all the ingredients together until it resembles bread crumbs. Set aside for use later.

230g salted butter
200g caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
230g all purpose flour
2.5tsp baking powder
130g dark chocolate, chopped
120ml dairy heavy cream (divided in 30g / 30g)

  • Heat 30ml of the heavy cream till almost bubbly. Add in the chopped chocolate and let seat for 5 mins. Stir well and let cool. Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Beat the butter and sugar till it's light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and continue to mix. Then beat in each egg, one at a time till everything is incorporated.
  • Sift in half of the flour, baking powder and mix well. Then add in 30ml of the heavy cream and mix. Then add in the remaining flour and mix well.
  • Take about 1/4 of the batter and mix the melted chocolate in.
  • Pour both batter in the prepared baking tin, alternating and then stir it with a tooth pick to create the marble effect.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes till the tester comes out clean. If the crumbs are browning too fast in the oven, cover it with an aluminum foil. Remember to let cool before slicing, else the crumbs will fall apart easily.
I had reduce the sugar by 30g, plus I used 70% cocoa chocolate verses using milk chocolate, so this is really not that sweet. ;)

Hopefully these 2 cakes have inspired you to bake something nice for your love ones this holiday. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake (伯爵茶戚风蛋糕)

I realize it has been awhile since I last baked a chiffon cake. And on top of my to-do chiffon bake list was this Earl Grey flavor. I have always wondered how a tea flavored chiffon would taste like. And being a home baker does gives me the chance to try out all sorts of special flavorings. Apart from the usual pandan and orange flavor, I bet you can't find these chiffon cakes in your nearby bakeries. :P So I guess being a home baker does have it's advantages, heehee. ;D However, I consider myself quite a practical baker, I will usually bake stuff that my family will consume, heehee. So you won't see me baking something out of the ordinary here. ;P
Earl Grey being one of my favorite teas to drink, so it was an obvious choice to use. Plus my previous successful attempt on the Earl Grey Maccarons, I was further encouraged that it will be nice. And I was right. :)
I got this recipe from a Japanese Bake Book (Tawianese translation) call 西点学习大百科. It was recommended by Grace from Kitchen Corner and it was definitely a good buy. ;)

Ingredients for Earl Grey Chiffon Cake (fills a 20cm tube pan)
Egg Yolk batter:
5 egg yolks
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
80ml vegetable oil
30g Earl Grey tea leaves or 3 sachets Earl Grey tea
180ml water (original calls for 200ml, I had left over)
120g superfine cake flour
2/3 tsp baking powder

Egg White batter:
5 egg whites (original calls for 6)
90g caster sugar
  • In a heat proof saucepan, place 180ml water and the tea leaves/sachets in. Heat up till almost boiling. Off the fire and let the tea soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat up the egg yolks and 30g caster sugar till it is slightly thickens. About 5 minutes.
  • Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil and continue to beat till well incorporated.
  • Then pour in 180ml of the brewed tea (cooled) and continue to mix till all combined and smooth. Then add in 2 sachets of Earl Grey tea grains into the mixture, stir well .
  • Lastly, sift in the cake flour and baking powder, then mix well till no visible lumps.

  • In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till foamy. Then gradually add in the rest of the 90g caster sugar and beat till stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold in the whites to the flour mixture in 3 separate portions, making sure it is well combined. Then pour the batter into the tube pan. Give the pan a light tab on the base to push up the bubbles. Or you can use a chop stick and lightly swirl in the pan to remove bubbles.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes till tester comes out clean.
The aroma from the tea was fabulous. Evident but not strong, slightly fruity scent and mildly sweet. And the cake was tender and moist, just how I like it. :) If you are worried about the tea specs in the cake, it is really small and you will not even notice it when eating. ;)
You can see that the cake is indeed soft and fluffy. I will definitely bake this cake again. ;) Hope you will give it a try too!

Have a good week ahead everyone

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Honey Wholewheat Loaf and Tuna Cheese Buns

The kids' mid-year exams are finally over and I finally have a breather from all that hectic revisions (almost sounds like my exam!). I guess I am just a typical stay-home mum that always worries about their kids' work more then they do! Anyway, school work aside, I'm glad I get to do my regular bakes and bread is definitely one of them. I must say I have a weakness for bread, and if I have to survive on one food and one food only, I would choose bread, hahaha!

Today's bread recipe was done a month back and now I finally got the chance to post it. I must say this wholewheat bread recipe is really good, and I have already made it twice! ;) Not only is it healthy, it's one of the softest wheat bread I have made. ;)
I found this wonderful recipe from a book I found in the library call "吐司麵包的烘焙技術". A Japanese publication, translated in Taiwan which consist of so many wonderful bread loaf recipes. I literally spent hours studying it. ;)) I've ask my brother to purchase this book for me from Taiwan...can't wait for it to arrive! (^o^)

This recipe calls for a starter dough which needs to be chilled up to 12 hours. So do a little prep work will be good. I actually left this starter dough in my fridge up to 36 hours the 2nd time I bake it and it was still good. ;)
I have made slight changes and portion the ingredients to my needs. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients for Honey Wholewheat Loaf (Using Starter Dough technique):
Pre Dough:
60g whole wheat flour
60g bread flour
120ml water

Mix all of the above ingredients together till well combined. Store in an air tight container and chill the fridge up to 12 hours.

Main Dough:
All of the above starter dough (there is no need to let it reach room temperature)
360g bread flour
8g instant active dry yeast
8g salt
40g sugar
20g honey
12g milk powder
210ml milk
30g butter, room temperature

A can of tuna, drained and mix with some mayo, 1 tsp powder sugar, 1/4 salt & 1/2 pepper
3 slices of cheddar cheese
  • Knead all ingredients of the main dough together, except the butter. Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth. Add butter. Knead until stretchable and pass the window panel consistency.
  • Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for 30minutes till double.
  • This recipe is enough to make a 9X5 loaf and 5 buns. So weigh out 600g for the loaf and the rest of the dough, divide into 6 equal portions. For the loaf portion, divide into 3 equal portions of 200g. Flatten each portion with your hands to drive the air out. Roll it into square shape, cover and let rest for 5 minutes before shaping.
  • For Loaf: Flatten the dough to drive the air out. Roll each out into a rectangular sheet with a rolling pin. Fold about 2cm from both sides towards the center and roll it out again. Roll the dough up like swiss roll (the width should be the same as the tin) and out them into the mould. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions. For the buns, shape them to whatever shape you desire. Then fill the buns with the tuna filling and seal nicely. Cover with cling wrap.
  • Let it prove for about 30-45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80 to 90% of the depth of the loaf tin. You can either cover the lid or bake it open top. Omitted the egg wash if you want to make it a vegetarian version. Bake in 175C for 30 to 35minutes for the loaf and 13-15 minutes for the buns.
Even with the addition of wheat, this loaf was surprisingly soft, even on the following day. My kids down it happily, not knowing the wholesome goodness packed in the bread. ;)

I made some tuna cheese buns as well. But after it's out of the oven, I realized I should have used those pizza topping cheese instead of the regular sliced cheddar's way too "toasty" looking. :P
A shot to further convince you to try out this healthy recipe. ;)) Try it and you will know wholesame can be tasty too. ;) Hopefully I would be able to post up more recipe from this wonderful recipe book. If you are bread lover like me...stay tune! ;D

Have a great week ahead all! Cheers!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pan Seared Meat Dumplings (鲜肉馅饼)

Hi there all! Almost seems a little foreign when I want to start a new post on my blog. :P Haven't blog for more then a week now. ;P Been busy with kids and house, so just didn't quite find the energy to write up a post at the end of the day, although I am still cooking/baking away. But I figured I can't just dump and ignore my blog altogether now, at least not yet, hahaha! Anyway, bare with me and I will try to post when I can and I thank those new followers and regular readers for their support!

Today's recipe was actually done awhile back but only manage to post up now. It's actually a Chinese dish which are usually served in dim sum restaurants, call Pan Seared Meat Dumplings (鲜肉馅饼). Traditionally, these dumplings are filled with pork, but I will leave the meat choice to you, chicken, pork or even beef, whichever you fancy. (^_^) Sometimes these dumplings can be filled with chives (韭菜) and thus it will be called chive dumplings (韭菜馅饼).
You most probably have seen and tasted these dumplings before, but perhaps the shape of it might differ. Some might look more like a mini curry puff shape which most of us know them as 香煎饺子. Whatever the shape might be, I think these are pretty delicious and worth making them at home.
I got the recipe from Carol's book "麵點新手必備的第一本書 ". There are so so many recipes that I want to try in there, but gave in to this one. ;)

Ingredients for Pan fried Meat Dumplings (鲜肉馅饼) - makes about 16
500g mince meat (I used pork)
3 to 4 sprig of green onions
3 slices of ginger minced
50 ml chicken stock

1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (米酒)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Dumpling Skin:
300g plain flour
100ml boiling water
80ml water
1/4 tsp salt
  • To make the filling, mix everything together using chop sticks to stir in. Make sure the chicken stock is completely mixed it. The meat should be soft and pasty like.
  • Add all of the seasoning into the meat mixture. Again mix till all is well combined. Chill in fridge for later use.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, add in the flour. Make a well in the center and pour in the boiling water. Then use a wooden spoon and stir in the flour. Mix till combined and then add the rest of the water in.
  • Knead till the dough comes together to form a smooth and non sticky dough. Cover with damp cloth and let rest for 20 mins before use.
  • Divide the dough into 16 portions. (I like mine bigger) Roll the portions round, cover and let rest for 10 mins.
  • Take a portion of the dough and roll it flat into a round flat circle. Place a tbsp of the filling in the center. Seal up the dumpling by pleating the edges to the center. (see picture) Seal the opening and press lightly to flatten the dumpling. Repeat for all the other portions.
  • Heat up a pan (I used my HappyCall pan) with a tsp of cooking oil at medium-low heat. Place about 8 dumplings in and cover the lid. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then open lid and flip the dumplings and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Note that because HappyCall uses pressure cooking, so it tends to cook faster then normal pan. Please adjust the timing as per needed by checking the seared surface, it should be golden brown.
  • Remove from pan and serve immediately with thinly sliced ginger and vinegar.
Once you take a bite, you will taste the crispy skin follow by the juicy and meaty interior. And you won't be able to stop at just one. ;)
I love eating with ginger and vinegar... it brings out the sweetness of the meat. ;) In fact, call me weird but I love vinegar in several of my food, lol!
I am happy to submit this to this month's Aspiring Bakers #19: Dim Sum Affair (May 2012) hosted by SSB of Small Small Baker。 
Thanks for staying on the read my post. Have a great day all! Plus good luck to all the students that are having their exams now! ;)