Saturday, March 31, 2012

New York Cheesecake

If you are a facebook fan, you'll not easily miss your friends' birthday if they open it to public or friends.  I don't have a habit to remember people's birthday except my family, in the past, I used to missed my friends' birthday unless they reminded me.  With facebook, it becomes very handy and I will make an effort to greet the birthday's boy/girl if I notice it.  

However, for myself, I like the privacy, I wanted to keep it as low profile as possible.  I prefer to celebrate birthday with my family only.  When friend sends me birthday calendar request, I normally ignore. I guess everyone has their own preference to decide how they want to live their life ... I guess I belong to the group who prefer quiet and something simple.


This cake was dedicated to one of my very close colleagues who just celebrated her birthday on Wednesday.  She was once craving for this and requested me to bake for her family's birthday previously but at that time, I didn't take up the offer because I traveled pretty often and dared not commit.  It was lucky that the prior night had no night call and allowed me to spend the time for baking.   


This recipe is not new, it's one of my favorite.  Instead of 8" cake, this time round, I baked two 6" (round) cakes.  I brought one for the birthday girl, and the others, my hubby brought it to office to share with his colleagues.  The birthday girl was touched and she liked it so much.   My hubby's colleagues raved about it as well.  All of them suggested me to open a shop.  Hmm ... I think I just want to keep this as a hobby for the time being ...


Here you go ..  The New York Cheesecake recipe if you want to give this recipe a try.  Cheer!



Ingredients
- 130g digestive biscuit
- 75g butter (melted)
- 500g cream cheese
- 160 caster sugar
- 1 no. lemon zest (not too much)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 110g cottage cheese
- 4 no. eggs (abt 60g)

Preparation
- Preheat oven at 150*C.  Baking Time: 1 hr 15 mins.
- Baking pan: Two 6" spring form. Outer wrapped with foil and base greased and lined with baking paper.
- Prepare boiling water for water bath baking method.

Method - Biscuit Base
1. Crush digestive biscuit into crumbs with rolling pin, add in melted butter and mix till well combined. Pour into baking pan and press till even and level. Chilled for later use.
  
Method - Cheesecake
2. Beat cream cheese, caster sugar, lemon zest and vanilla essence at medium speed till smooth (abt 5 mins).
3. Add cottage cheese and continue to beat till smooth. (abt 2-3 mins)
4. Add in eggs, one at a time at low speed and mix well after each addition (abt 1 mins).
5. Remove prepared pan from fridge and pour batter onto biscuit base in step 1. Remove bubble if any.
6. Bake in water bath at 150*C for 75 mins or until the centre is set. 
7. Run a small knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake. Cover the cake with cling and chill for at least an hours before removing from pan.
8. Chill in fridge for another 5 hours before serving.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mango Cheese Layer Cake

My hubby's colleague is leaving the company,   I wanted to bake her something to bid farewell since we know each other for more than 20 years.  Frankly speaking, I was once working in the same company but I didn't know her well during my stay.  Without my hubby, I probably have forgetten her and most of the people there since I left them more than 20 years.  Can't image how time flies!  We were the young and pretty girls  ...


Initially, I was cracking my head as to what to bake, my hubby gave me a hint -something with mango.  I have a few mango cake recipes which are good, I decided to choose the cream cheese's as it's my favorite.  Although it was a 6" cake, I was surprised it weighed a kilogram after assembling everything altogether.  When comes to the icing part, I have to admit I have lousy skill and totally not creative.  Seriously, I need to invest time to take up some lessons to improve my skill..


Although I tested the cake before, I wasn't very confident I could maintain the same standard since this recipe was baked once only.  I was quite worried if it didn't turn out good.  Phew! I realized that my worry was unnecessary after receiving the appreciation note from her. She said her family like it very much, the cake was just perfect - not too sweet and not to rich, the combination of the cream, the sponge cake and the mango blend very well.   I am really glad that she enjoyed this cake with her family and wishing her all the best in her future endeavors!


Layer cake definitely needs more work but I would say it's worth the effort for this cake.  If you are interested in baking for someone, please follow this link - for this cake, I halved the recipe.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cake Again!!

Chocolate fudge cake again?!  Yeap!  Baking for my daughter and her friends as they are craving for it again.   My weekend has becoming very busy with baking lately, is it a good sign?  Well, I guess so since there are people appreciating my baking.  However, on the other hand, I don't encourage people to eat too often since these are high calories and unhealthy stuffs.    We should control and restrict the intake of amount.  


To make the layer cake baking less time consuming and hassle, normally,  I will bake one 8" and one 6" sponge cake together and then store them in the freezer.  I will take it out when I need it but I normally try to clear them within a month. Separate the sponge cake baking and the icing/frosting work into two days helps to make the baking more enjoyable and less tiring.  

If you would like to give this recipe a shot, please follow this link.


P.S.  If you want to  increase the amount of  chocolate or filling, the max is 20% more as this cake is already quite chocolaty and moist.
  
Cheer! Enjoy baking!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cake

It's Friday!!! TGIF. Somehow, I felt so weak this week. I couldn't sleep at night and ended up, my day became very lousy as I couldn't concentrate my work. Yesterday, I was so worried about my vision as suddenly it went blur. After applying some eye drops and took a short rest, I was glad the vision came back. I guess I must be overtired ...

I really look forward to a break! I am glad that finally, it's Friday. Although I still have a day and a night call to go, at least I can put work aside and relax tomorrow ! Am I getting old, can't cope with the stress and long hour work? I had been in such demanding role for two decades, although previously, sometimes I felt stressful I didn't have such feeling. Now, I always feel I don't have enough energy level to sustain ... Time to retire?

Enough grumbling and let's talk about baking. This Chocolate Mousse Cake was made last weekend. I used the same sponge cake as I baked for Chocolate Fudge Cake, the filling was from Brownie with Chocolate Mousse recipe. This combination blends pretty well, however, I still prefer the Brownie with Chocolate Mousse. Brownie gives a richer and chocolaty taste as compared to chocolate sponge cake with mousse. Anyway, it's a good try!

I will try to update recipe during the weekend.  Stay tuned!


Recipe updated on Mar 17.
Prepare one piece of 6" chocolate sponge cake, slice into 2 pieces.  Pls take half portion of this recipe


Mousse Filing Ingredients
  • 200 g whipping cream + 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 7 g gelatine + 1 tbsp of water
  • 120 g dark chocolate 
For the ganache:
  • 80 g dark chocolate
  • 80 ml liquid cream
  • 1 tsp rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp golden syrup
  • 20-30g chocolate wrap (optional)


To prepare the chocolate mousse:
  1.  Beat whipping cream and sugar under cold water till stiff.  Keep in fridge for later use.
  2. Mix gelatine with water, melt under double boiler hot water. Keep warm.
  3. Melt chocolate under double boiler hot water, stir till smooth.  
  4. Remove whipped cream from fridge, stir in chocolate (slight warm) and gelatine.  Mix well.
  5. Place a layer of sponge cake on a 6" loose pan, spread  70% of chocolate mousse on top of sponge cake evenly
  6. Cover with remaining layer of sponge cake and spread remaining chocolate mousse over the whole cake and ch
  7. ill in fridge.   
To prepare the ganache
  1. Add cream into heavy duty cooking pot, bring to boil.  Off fire and then add in chocolate, golden syrup and rum.  Slowly stir till smooth.  
  2. Let ganache cool down (still runny) and then spread eveny over the cake.
  3. Line the sides with chocolate wrap.
  4. Chill the cake in the fridge till set before serving.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mango Mascarpone Mousse Cake

A friend of mine complained about her contribution not being appreciated despite she put in so much effort. It's ironic that if your role isn't recognized by the team members, your existence become transparent especially working with a brand new team.

I encountered the same thing before, although I was upset initially, I think I still kept my cool and continued to work with the team. Over time, I managed to gain their respect and recognition. Perhaps, I was more patient or probably I was luckier ... 

Whenever a new colleague joined, I always tried to help them and guide them along if I could. However, please don't expect this from everyone as a lot of people just don't share. People have become very individual and selfish these days. How sad the world is these days!

Enough talk about work! Let's get back to my main subject now.  Since my call has been cancelled and the night is still young, I will update the photo for the cake I baked last weekend.  Stay tuned for the recipe.  Soon to come!    


Updated recipe on Mar 17.
This cake is very light and refreshing but as compare to other mango cheese or cream cake, I prefer the formal recipes. 

Prepare a 8" sponge cake.  Sliced horizontally into 3 layers.


20g Sugar syrup
1 Mango, cut into small cubes.


Filling 

  • 2 1/4 tpsp gelatine powder
  • 4 tpsp water
  • 250g Mascarpone 
  • 45g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g mango puree
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Prepare Filling:

  1. Soak gelatine in water for 10 mins.  Double boil over low heat until gelatine has dissolved.  Leave to cool.
  2. Beat Mascarpone and sugar at medium speed until creamy.  Add lime juice, mango puree and gelatine mixture, mix well.  Put aside.
  3. Beat whipping cream with sugar until soft peaks from.  Fold 1/3 of cream into Mascarpone mixture, gently fold in remaining cream until just incorporated.
To assemble: 
  1. Place a layer of sponge cake into a loose cake pan, moisten with some sugar syrup. 
  2. Pour 1/5 of filling over sponge cake, scatter into mango cubes and cover with another 1/5 of filling.
  3. Place the second layer of sponge cake on filling, repeat the same as step 2.
  4. Place the last layer of sponge cake on filling, pour remaining filling over and spread evenly.
  5. Fill in fridge for 4 hours before serving.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cake

I could not believe how lazy was I! My last exercise was 2 months ago which was during the Christmas period, I could totally relax myself for exercise because I was on leave. However, once I am back at work, I am back to routine. Somehow, weekday is always busy with office work, weekend will be occupied with other priority. I know this is full of excuse I was just not motivated to exercise.

I am glad that I managed to go for cycling yesterday. I supposed to visit my mum yesterday, since my eldest brother wouldn't be there, I changed my plan to Sunday. The kids were all out for their program, it's a good opportunity to go with my hubby for a ride since we only have two bikes at home.


With the park connection now fully connected, from one end to another end, it's about 9km. Therefore, the journey to and fro could take as long as 2 hours. My hubby and I enjoyed the ride, however, sitting on that tinny saddle for 2 hours, our butt got so hurt and pain. Oh gosh!


Enough said about exercise, let's get back to baking. My elder was telling me how delicious was the chocolate cake she ate yesterday with her friends and craved for another one. Since I have no other commitment today, I decided to use my favorite chocolate fudge cake recipe to bake one for her as I know it will not be wrong.  Glad that everyone like it so much!


If you are interested in this recipe, please follow this link.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pandan Coconut Cake

It's Friday night!  TGIF!  What should I do?  Originally, I supposed to attend a conference call at 9pm but just received a reschedule notice to next week.  Sigh!  Always give me such last minute notice else I should have planned something else outside of work.  

 I really don't understand why people can't anticipate meeting reschedule or cancellation in advance, it seems to be a norm these days in my working environment.  I feel so annoyed when I have to wake up early in the morning or stay up late for the call.  I wish they were more considerate :(

Since the call is postponed and I want to keep work off my mind, I think I should take this opportunity to update my blog.  I baked this Pandan Coconut Cake last Sunday as I wanted to get rid of the left over Pandan juice from the Pandan cupcakes.   I wasn't sure whether it's because of me over mixing the batter, the texture seemed dense for this cake.  In addition, it's a bit dry but overall, the taste was good, it's rich and buttery.   If I have a chance to bake again this, I'll make ensure I take care of this detail and not to over bake.  




If you are the butter and Pandan cake lover, I bet you will like this cake. Here you go ...

Pandan Coconut Cake Recipe
(Adopted from Alex Goh, Creative Making of Cakes with slight modification)

Ingredients
  • 160g Butter
  • 120g Sugar (can cut down to 110g)
  • 3 Eggs (lightly beaten)    }
  • 35ml Coconut milk         }  premix together
  • 1.2 tsp Pandan juice      }
  • ¼ tsp Pandan paste      }
  • 144g Cake flour
  • 2/3 tsp Baking powder
  • 15g Corn flour + 1 tsp vanilla essence (Original was Custard powder)
  • 20g Desiccated coconut (bake at 140*C for 8-10 mins)


Topping
  • 30g Butter                  
  • 20g Icing sugar
  • 50g Desiccated coconut


Method:
1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
2. Add egg, coconut milk, pandan juice and paste a little at a time and cream till smooth and light.
3. Fold in cake flour, corn flour, baking power, vanilla essence, desiccated coconut and mix till well blended.
4. Pour it into 7” square cake pan
5. Mix all the ingredients of topping and sprinkle on top of the cake.
6. Bake at 175C for 40mins.

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