30 March 2012

Marble Matcha Castella (Kasutera 长崎蛋糕)

The castella cake flu bugs spread so fast, I didn't manage to escape :)
The subtle sweet tastes, the smooth, delicate and bounce texture, I baked it not one, not two but three times in two days! My son rushed into the kitchen asking for a piece of what I baked when he smells the aroma! However, my cake is far from the perfect flawless castella-cake's definition which requires bottom and top of the cake to be flat with not a single ripple; cake texture to be poreless.

There are many different recipes for baking a yummy castella, I can't recall which castella cake was the first one I saw, but recently saw Ann baked her beautiful Matcha Marble Castella, her zebra marble pattern cake is exquisite! Zoe had her Japanese Honey Castella Cake. Sonia finally success baking her Castella.  Angie used spelt bread flour to baked her Matcha Spelt Castella and there is where I came to discover Biren from Roti n Rice recipe. 
Biren baked the castella cake without using the traditional wooden mould. Moreover, she did not use the cake stabilizer. This really increase my interest in trying out the famous castella cake using her recipe. Biren has a detail photos illustration on how to bake this cake, if you are interested in baking castella, hop over to her blog :)

* Note: you may noticed the photos are not so clear, this is because I am using the D80 which I am not familier with, please give me some time :)

28 March 2012

Gabriel, Gabriel you are 4!

This post is a bit overdue due to Gabriel was down with tummy flu and then the virus spread to WT and then me... I am glad that this year we celebrate Gabriel's birthday a week earlier (on 17 Mar 2012), he was sick since 21 Mar until now. We are in the process of recovering!

Gabriel insisted to celebrate his birthday with his teachers on 23 Mar, so I baked the 3D fondant cake for him to bring to school. The cake was baked on Wednesday and decorated it on the same day, keep the cake in the box and store at a corner of the room, swtich on air-con and switch it off when thinking of the electricity bill which needs to pay :) It was ok on Thursday, but Friday morning when I checked on the cake, I saw the cake sponge a bit distorted on the side!!! The fondant on top of the cake is way too heavy for the cake sponge to shoulder... luckily, it is time to bring the cake to school!

There is lot of things in life we value, but what is better than seeing the smile on my son face. When his teacher show off his birthday cake to his classmates, I can see his eyes glued on the cake, waiting ...

he loves this moment. Cutting cake by himself!

Serving food to papa, mama and all his classmates before sit down and eat his cake. Good boy, well done!

Nursery and Playgroup classmates 2012.

17 Mar birthday party cake, which I bought from Cupcakedivinity with $200.

Grandpa and grandma flew in from Penang to celebrate Gabriel's birthday party. He was really happy to see them, kept asking Grandpa "are you staying?" ...mama also hope they can stay!

Lunch buffet ordered from Smiling Orchid, the adult food is good but...the kid menu one is not!! As Gabriel invited his classmates to party, so I ordered additional food from Smiling Orchid kids menu items... the mini hawaian pizza looks soggy and the mini tuna croissants are as hard as stone!!

22 March 2012

Fondant Birthday Cake

Finally I make it! A 10" Dinosaur Fondant Cake!

Tomorrow is Gabriel 4th birthday and he will be celebrating it at school with his classmates and teachers. He has asked for a dinosaur cake long ago and I have practised to bake/make it many times, sometime it cross my mind to change plan to buttercream cake thinking of I don't have the skills to make the fondant cake.

There are many time I told myself not to stress out as the last resort is just buy a cake and bring it to school :) I baked the cake in the early morning of Wednesday and decorated it with fondant on the same day, it took me a good 8 hours! Until now my arms still feel the muscle pain from too much kneading, sitting there with the head down all the time is no joking, getting a stiff neck and a good laugh from WT mentioned I lack of excercise :)

I appreciate this learning journey, the self challenge bring up another role of me as a mother to this little boy... I need to bake his birthday cake :) Lot of you inspired me, you bake the beautiful cake for your kids even with so much daily errands. Initially I didn't have the confident on cake deco, but after a few rounds of trying, I've indeed fall in love with this activity :) Thank you my friends for helping me to success!

Homemade the "Happy Birthday" banner for the cake.

Farewell to my hand held mixer of 12 years. She stopped half way while mixing the cake batter and I had sense she have some problems few months back, I told her "come on, finish your last mission!" She completed the mixing duty. She has done a good job and her last mission is Gabriel's birthday cake!

To prevent trimming of the cake domb or to get a flat cake top, cover the cake with a piece of wrapping film/ clean cloth while it is just out from oven, gently press down the cake while the cake is still hot. A technique mentioned on "I am baker" blog, it really work!

20 March 2012

Chocolate Yam/Taro Buttercream Rose Cake

This is my second chocolate yam/ taro layer buttercream rose cake!  I tell you, I'm addicted to this design :) This round I'm still using chocolate cake premix for the sponge and filling is the yummy taro with whipping cream. I went to a few PH outlets looking for the 1M decorators tip but to no avail, so I used the wilton 2E decorators tip, the cake deco looks prettier than my previous cake deco

You may refer to I am baker blog for how to pipe the roses.

Ingredients for cake:
1 pack of chocolate sponge cake premix
1.5 cup of water
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 eggs

1. Pour cake mixture into mixing bowl together with eggs, and water. Using electric mixer mix for 30 second in medium speed, then add oil and mix in high speed for 2 mins. The cake batter will be lumpy and shinny.
2. Pour the batter into 10" baking pan, bake at 180C for 45 mins.
3. Set a side to cool, cut into two layers. Set aside for later use.

Ingredients for yam/taro filling:
1 medium size yam, ~250g (peel, steam until soft)
250ml whipping cream
2 tbsps sugar

1. Mash the soft yam/taro together with whipping cream and sugar, mix well. Set aside for later used.

Ingredients for buttercream:
250g, 1 stick of butter (soften)
3 cups of powder sugar
3 tbsps milk
2 drops of blue food colouring

1. Beat the soften butter together with powder sugar using electric mixer on low speed for 30 second, add 1 tbsp of milk and food colouring.
2. Beat on medium speed for 1 min, add another tbsp milk. Add milk again if the buttercream consistency is too stiff.

Cake assemble:
1. Place a layer of chocolate cake on cake board, apply the yam filling on it. Place another layer of cake and cover the whole cake with yam/taro filling.
2. Place the cake into fridge for at least an hour.
3. Place the buttercream in pipping bag, and decorate the cake as desire.
4. Place the cake back into fridge for an hour before serving.

12 March 2012

Oolong Tea Rye Cottage Loaf (65C tangzhong method)

Have you ever try to eat bread with Chinese tea? Can you image how the taste like? Cottage loaf that usually goes with balsamic vinegar carry that special taste of Chinese Oolong tea. This is another beautiful recipe from the Japanese baker 松本洋一. The original recipe is without rye flour, as I love my bread to have a crisp crust, I added rye flour. Another thing is I don't have natural yeast, I substituted it with lower quantity of instant dry yeast.

The lazy me didn't finely chopped the Oolong tea leaves and you can see bit and pieces of tea leaves all over the bread texture, anyway the tea leaves wouldn't stack between your teeth when you chew the bread, I ate the bread without realize there is tea leaves. What can I say about the aroma of this bread...is simply lovely!

I find my kitchenAid really do a good job in mixing the bread dough. Of course, my hands still place an important part in "feeling" the dough.

Use a sharp knife and slash an X on the loaf.

ToTT, a kitchen wonderland, you can get a lot of baking and cooking stuff there including professional tableware. I was so happy to see they sell the proofing basket with different sizes and colour, if you don't like the plastic one, get a traditional ratten one :)

It was so easy to dislodge the bread dough from the basket, simply place a piece of baking paper over the basket and flip the basket, the dough just fall out "unhurt" ^_^

                           Address for ToTT: 896 Dunearn Road 01-01A, Singapore 589472

Recipe for 65C tangzhong please refer to here.

Recipe adapted from 松本洋一 with changes
250g bread flour
100g rye flour
15g natural yeast (I substitute with 5g of instant dry yeast)
5g sugar
4g salt
100g tangzhong
140g Oolong tea brewed (I used 80g as 100g tangzhong is added)
5g Oolong tea leaves, finely chopped
some bread flour to spread on the mould

1. Place bread flour, sugar, salt and Oolong tea leaves in mixing bowl. Make a whole in the middle and add yeast, tangzhong. Mix the mixture with electric mixer and gradually add the Oolong tea.
2. When the mixture come together as rough dough, increase the mixer speed to medium, mix until the dough is smooth and form elastic film.
3. Place in a grease bowl, spray with water and cover the dough. Let it proof until double in size. 
4. Punch down the dough to release air. Roll into round shape and cover with wet clean kitchen towel, let it rest for 30 mins.
5. Spread bread flour on the bread mould. Place the dough in it. Let it proof for another 60 mins. 
6. Transfer the dough to the baking tray, slash the dough with an X and spread water on the dough.
7. Preheat oven to 200C, bake for 25 mins or until loaf turn golden brown.  

07 March 2012

Coconut Macaron Ice-cream Sandwiches

I am joining the blog hop event: Cook Like A Star for the first time, it is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids. With my tight daily schedule and a nagging hubby, ya nagging on why I need to spend so much time in the kitchen doing my baking :) I've to find a fast, fresh and simple recipe. This is the one, Coconut Macaron Ice-cream Sandwiches by Donna Hay, not only easy to prepare but taste good with baked dessicated coconut too. 

This dessert is a good treat for kids, a browning crispy coconut crust and sweet ice-cream filling will delight theirs day!

05 March 2012

Dinosaur Fondant : Success!

This dinosaur fondant is my third attempts. My first fondant (which I made in early Feb)melted after sitting in the room temperature for 5 hours, I thought it could be because of the condensation from the cold buttercream underneath the fondant cake. I placed my second attempts inside the freezer then fridge before moved the dinosaur figurines to the room temperature as suggested by a web forum discussion, it was a wrong decision! The dinosaur became sticky and very messy!  

01 March 2012

Playing with Fondant

These dinosaurs were made after the Dinosaur fondant cake , it is part of my experiment with fondant, to test how long the fondant dinosaurs can last on room temperature (So that I know whether is feasible for me to make a fondant cake for my son or not, is my last thought to have a bleeding cake for his birthday). As you see in the first picture, the fondant figurines bleed ... it was just out from the fridge.