Saturday, July 24, 2010

Japanese Matcha Red Bean Madelene Cake

 Just back from Sydney last night.  The weather in Sydney was quite wet and cold when I was there.  Since it was a short trip, beside company, I didn't explore anywhere as there was not much time left after the dinner and conference calls.
 
Glad to see some more new faces during this trip.  For many of them, I had some exchanges with them before but this was the first time I could associate their face with their name.  With the expense control, any non-customer travel is hard to justify.  If not because of this key project, I don't think I would have chance to meet them up.
 
Although I still felt tired, I couldn't stop myself from baking.  I decided to choose the Japanese Matcha Red Bean Madelene Cake recipe as I wanted to finish the red beans which was left over from last bake.  This was a new recipe and therefore, I had no idea how it would turn out.
 
Glad that the cake is very delicious.  It's fluffy, moist and soft, has similar texture as chiffon or sponge cake.  I cut down the green tea amount as I don't like the after taste but I think I could increase a bit more since the green tea taste is very mild. This is definitely a good treat for breakfast or afternoon tea!

 If you are interested in trying out, here you go..   Japanese Macha Red Bean Madelene Cake...

Preparation 
-    Preheat oven at 170*C for 15 mins.  Baking Time: 35-40 mins.
-    Baking pan:  Pan line base with baking paper and bake on the lowest rack.  (Don’t grease the side)

Ingredients
-    4 large egg yolks
-    60g caster sugar
-    1 tbsp fresh milk           
-    125g butter        
-    125g top flour                      }
-    1- 1.5 tsp green tea powder   } sift together
-    1 tsp baking powder             }
-    ¼ tsp salt
-    150g canned red kidney beans
-    4 large size egg white
-    50g caster sugar
-    ¼ tsp cream of tartar 

Method 
1.    Whisk egg yolks and sugar together till well incorporated.  
2.    Microwave butter for 20 sec (till melted) and add together with milk into egg yolk batter (step 2).
3.    Sift flour, green tea powder and baking powder together and then add with salt into egg yolk mixture (step 1).
4.    Stir in kidney beans and mix till well combined. 
5.    Whip egg white till bubbly (30 sec), add in sugar and cream of tartar till soft peak (abt 2 more mins).  
6.    Take 1/3 of egg white and mix into egg yolk batter gently.  Repeat the same for remaining portions till finish.  
7.    Pour the batter into 8" baking pan and bake at 170*C for 35-40 mins with top and bottom heat.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Black Forest Cheesecake

Getting busier ahead, the work is piling up plus has to make a couple of business trips again. Weekend seemed to be too short and passed too fast.  I really treasured those time I spent with my family and I am feeling some phobia to fly again :(
If not because of searching for some cookies to bring along for the business trip, I didn't realize there were two cans of dark cherry in the kitchen cabinet, this is the problem of stocking up.   Many a times, I lost track of how much baking ingredients I stored at home and when I realized it, some of them had already expired.
 
Since I had been wanting to try out this black forest cheesecake recipe, I was glad about this "discovery".  However, due to the fact that the recipe wasn't very clear with the instruction, I made a stupid mistake by adding too much of cornflour to cherry syrup, as a result, it became too thick and I had to throw it away .  

Despite some hiccups, this cheesecake turned out pretty good although it tastes more like chocolate cheesecake.  My younger daughter likes it so much!  

 

Here you go.. Black Forest Cheesecake recipe... 


Preparation:
-    Preheat oven at 160*C.  Boil water for water bath.  Bake on the lowest rack  for 60 -65 mins.
-    Baking pan:  8” spring form pan wrapped with foil.  
-    Scrape 200g of chocolate and chill in fridge for later use


Ingredients: 
-    1 tin dark sweet cherry (separate cherry and syrup)
-    10g cornflour (diluted with 2 tbsp water)
-    500g cream cheese
-    150g caster sugar
-    1 tsp vanilla essence
-    3 large eggs (65g each)
-    5 tbsp cocoa powder (sifted)
-    250g whipping cream (whipped)
-    250g chocolate (shavings)
-    8 no. maraschino cherries 

Method:
1.    Separate the cherry from syrup.  Bring cherry syrup to boil, add diluted cornflour and simmering under low heat till thicken. (1-2 mins). Leave to cool.
2.    Beat cream cheese, caster sugar and vanilla essence at medium speed till combined (abt 1 mins).
3.    Add eggs one at a time into cheese mixture (step 2) and continue to beat till smooth.  (try to scrap sides to ensure no lump)
4.    Pour 3/5 of the cheese mixture into a baking pan. Arrange drained cherries over.  Put aside.
5.    Add cocoa powder to remaining cheese mixture.  Mix well and pour over the cherries mixture.
6.    Water bath at 160*C for 60-65 mins or till centre cooked.  Leave to cool and freeze for 1 hr.
7.    Spread the cherry cornstarch (from step 1) over the cheesecake.  Freeze for at least 30 mins.
8.    Cream whipping cream till stiff.  Ice the whole cake and coat sides and centre top with chocolate shavings.
9.    Decorate with rosette (use no.2) of cream and maraschino cherry as desired.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Red Bean Chiffon Cake

Red bean is a common ingredient for Chinese and Japanese dessert but not very common for cake baking.  I had never tasted any red bean cake before this bake and therefore, I was eager to find out how it turned out.    Overall, I think it's worth a try although it's not as tasty as Pandan and Yam Chiffon Cake.  

 

Here you go ... Red Bean Chiffon Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
- 4 Egg Yolk
- 26g Caster Sugar
- 45g Oil
- 70g Coconut Milk + 25g milk
- 104g Top Flour (Sifted)
- Pinch of salt
- 5 Egg White
- 52g Sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 140g Red Bean (if you use unsweetened red bean, mix with 25g sugar first)

Method:
1. Add egg yolk with 20g sugar, whip till sugar dissolved.
2. Add in coconut milk, milk and oil, mix well.
3. Add sifted flour and pinch of salt into egg yolk mixture and stir quickly till no lump.
4. In another mixing bowl, beat egg white and then add in sugar and cream of tartar till stiff.
5. Fold into egg yolk mixture into 3 times till well combined.
6. Gentlely in sweeten red bean and pour into 8” tube pan.
7. Bake at 165*C for 60-65 mins.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Traditional Butter Cake (II)

Lately, the weather is very stuffy and warm especially for me who works from home.  I wanted to go back to office but somehow, I didn't make it.. it's either there were calls last minute or I was too lazy...  In fact, there is very little motivation to go office because most of my closer colleagues are working from home these days.   It's hard to find lunch partner if I didn't book them in advance... :(
 My elder daughter is preparing herself for her "U" life, lately she was so occupied everyday with her new friends and it's hard to find time from her.  I guess after her U starts, the time with her will be much lesser since she has decided to stay in hostel.  As parent, I guess we will need to prepare and adjust ourselves.  I was sharing this "grievences" with one of my ex-boss, he thinks it's so natural for the kids not to miss their parents unless somethings happens.  He talked from his experience as he only missed his parents when he went oversea study.  Sigh!

Luckily, my second one is till young but I bet another few years down the road, she will behave like her sister. By then, I probably have to find something to make myself very busy else, I'll be very miserable as the house can be very empty and quiet...

Probably, I should take up an oversea assignement since the kids no longer need us to take care of them.  I was hoping to retire and tour around the world but this might not be realistic as how long my saving can sustain such life.  I think I still need a job to maintain a decent living.  I'm not sure whether I worry too much or .... it seems my hubby doesn't think about it .. his life is about watching movie if he has nothing to do ...    

I'll be travelling again next week to Sydney and the week after to Beijing.  All these trips only come in with short notice.  It's quite disrupting as intially, I had some plans to bring my elder for another short trip before her U starts.  I also thought of bringing her along to Sydney but given that the flight has been fully booked plus I need to be back for next trip to Beijing.  Guess I'll have to wait for her school break.  
 
The weather should be nice in Sydney but food there is quite expensive as compare to Singapore. Anyway, I'll be there for few days only.  I don't look forward to Beijing this time as the weather will still be very hot.  Luckily is a short trip ...

Since the kids and my hubby were not at home (two went out, one went tution), I baked this butter cake to kill my time.  I tried this recipe previously but not very successful,  hence, I had the urge to bake again with a slight modification. This time, it turned out very good, very delicious.  It's not too buttery, not too sweet, it's mosit and soft (and not dense).  The only defect is the mixing part as it is not very even.  I should have stired a few more strokes.  Anyway, I am happy with the result.  

Here you go.. Traditional Butter Cake Recipe - take 2.

Ingredients:
-     200g chilled butter
-     85g caster sugar 
-     5 egg yolks 
-     3 tbsp condense milk    }
-     15g milk                      }
-     1 tsp vanilla essence
-     150g plain flour (sifted)
-     1 tsp baking powder (sifted)
-     5 egg white
-     50g caster sugar
-     1/4 cream of tartar

Method:
Prep: lightly grease the base of a 7" square cake tin and line bottom with baking paper. Oven at 165*C.

1. In a bowl, beat butter and sugar by machine until light and fluffy (3-4 mins).
2. Add the yolks one by one, beat well after each addition (don't overbeat)and then add the liquid (milk and vanilla essence).
3. Fold in the flour in 2 or 3 batches and mix even.
4. Whisk egg whites, and then add in sugar and cream of tartar until stiff.
5. Fold the stiff egg whites into the butter mixture until well-blended but don't over-do it or else, the whites will deflate.
6. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake at 165*C for 50-55 minutes until wooden skewer plunged into middle of cake comes out clean.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Durian Butter Cake

I planned to experiment the black forest cheesecake yesterday as I had prepared all the ingredients since few weeks ago.  However, given that I had to "get rid" of the durian puree (if possible) that left over from the Father's day bake, I had no choice to bake another durian cake.  I was quite tired of durian cream puff and durian cream cake since I had made these a couple of times last months.  I ought to try something new ...
 
I had about 600g of durian puree left in the fridge.  This amount is just nice for a 8" cream cake or a recipe of cream puff.  I browsed through the stack of cookbooks I bought, I found durian cheesecake and butter cake recipes. I remembered I tried baking durian cheesecake before, it didn't turn out that well as cheese and durian didn't blend very well.  I therefore decided to try out the durian butter cake

I didn't put too high hope on this recipe but I guessed it's no harm.  I like durian cream cake as the combination of whipping cream and durian puree are perfect match but I find it hard to swallow when creamcheese mixes with durian as it's too rich and too strong.  May be I don't have a strong taste bud.  Same for chocolate cake,  if it's too rich, I can't take it as well.  

Since I had doubts about this recipe,  to convince myself, I went through other bakers' experience and comment.  Most of them seem very satisfied with it and they recommended.  Since most bakers' recipe use similar ingredients although with some variations, I believe the outcome would not vary too much.     After this research,  it gave me more confident and allowed me to give this recipe a shot.  
 
When the cake was in the oven baking, I could smell a very strong "aroma".  I couldn't describe the smell, it was very distinctive but certainly not very fantastic.  In fact, I didn't really like it.  I took a bite after the cake was out from oven.. OMG! It was way too strong for me ...  I am fine with durian fruit or cream cake but durian with butter after baked, the smell is too overwhelming however,  my hubby said "it's good".  Since this is a pound cake, it carries the same texture -i.e. moist and dense.  I didn't want to keep anything at home since I think beside my hubby, no one else can take it.  I therefore give all away...
 
I think the problem lies with too much durian puree in this recipe (in fact, I have already reduced 20%).  If the durian amount could cut down to half, the flavor/ taste may be more subtle and blend better.  However,  if you are durian lover, you may think otherwise and this recipe may be able to win your heart.

Here you go.. Durian Butter Cake recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 250g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs (65g each)
  • 200g durian puree
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence 
  • 230 self raising flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 20g coconut powder 
Method: 
  1. Grease a 8" round baking pan. Preheat oven to 170*C 
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  3. Stir in durian puree, milk and vanilla essence. Fold in sifted flour, baking powder and soda , and coconut powder. Mix until well blended.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven at 170*C for 45 minutes or until cooked.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Japanese Green Tea (Matcha) Cheesecake

Last weekend, my family visited Ichiban Sushi for lunch again and I could not resist myself from ordering the Matcha Cheesecake as after the last try, I like it so much.  In the past, I liked their original flavor but after trying out the green tea's, I've changed my preference.    As compare to other Japanese cheesecakes, this matcha version is not very cotton-like, I believe it contains more flour. 
 Since I wasn't very satisfied with my previous Matcha Cheese Chiffon Cake bake, I decided to find another recipe and  hoped to be able to achieve similar standard as Ichiban Sushi.  If I could make it, I believe I could stop my craving on this and I could share this delight with my families, friends and colleagues ...
 
I found a few receipts but decided to adopt the one from umamimart.com as it contains more flour than others.  The only reservation I have is the sugar level and therefore, I cut down 15% from the original recipe , I also replaced the milk with whipping cream since I still had the leftover from the last bake.  On top of it, I cut down half portion of green tea powder as I prefer a more subtle flavoring ... 
 
My verdict is this recipe is a keeper.  It's really very yummy!  Not overly soft and light, the texture is just nice and I dare to say that it can compete with Ichiban's and believe you will like it. 

Matcha Cheesecake Recipe 
Preparation:
-    Preheat oven at 160*C.  Boil water for water bath.  Bake on the lowest rack  at 75-90 mins.
-    Baking pan:  10” (or two 7") spring form pan wrapped with foil 
Ingredients:
-    250g cream cheese   
-    100ml whipping cream (original recipe uses milk)
-    50 g  butter
-    6 egg yokes (each egg at 65g)
-    ½ tsp green colouring
-    60g cake flour                                                       }sifted together
-    20g corn starch                                                      } and mix well
-    1 ½ tsp green tea powder ( original recipe uses 1tbsp }
-    6 egg whites
-    118g sugar (140g in original recipe)
-    1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method

1.    Double boil cream cheese and milk until cheese is melted. Stir in butter. Set aside till cool.
2.    Stir in egg yolks and green colouring.   Fold in sifted flours and green tea powder till evenly mixed.  Set aside.
3.    Whisk egg whites till frothy and foamy. Beat in sugar and and cream of tartar gradually till stiff peak formed.
4.    Fold in 1/3 egg white foam into cake batter (step 2). Repeat the same step for remaining egg white foam till combined. 
5.    Pour batter into a 10" round (or two 7") cake pan or spring form tin (must wrap with foil) and place into a large baking pan filled with hot water.
6.    Baked in preheated oven at 160*C for 1hr 15 mins. Cool completely before chilling. 

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