Friday, November 23, 2012

Green Tea Japanese Cheesecake (with Red Bean)

This week is a slow week as my boss and my US colleagues are celebrating Thanksgiving holiday.  Thanksgiving is a big festival in US, most of them celebrate Thanksgiving as a time to get together with family or friends. Although it's a two-days public holiday in US, Thursday and Friday, quite no. of my colleagues have started on leave since Monday.


Although in Singapore, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, the word of reflection for this day should be gratitude. We should always be thankful, grateful and appreciated for whom who have rendered us help or assistance  in some way or another in our life.  

The two most important people in my life I have to thank:  one is my mum, the other is my hubby.  Although I didn't grow up in a wealthy family, I had a very simple childhood, my mum couldn't afford any luxury goods for us. To me, that's enough as what my mum instilled us was value, not material.  

Why has to thank my hubby?  Frankly speaking, I married to him in early my 20's, I think I wasn't  very mature and didn't know what I really want at that time.  With him, he gave me a lot of freedom and support to pursue things I desired.  In the early part of my career, I spent my entire life focusing on work, he didn't complain.   Even with bringing up my children, my hubby played a much more active role than me.  And when I wanted to pursue my hobby, he was always there supporting me.  What can I ask for more?  

Along my career life, there was a couple of bosses who gave me a lot of support and guidance which I need to thank them.  Without them, I might not have established where I am today.  Although I am not in senior position, I think success is not measured by the rank of your position, it's about whether you're happy and satisfied with where you are.  

While my US colleagues are celebrating the Thanksgiving,  I must be thankful for this festival as my night is free without conference calls! I could give myself a break and do a bit more baking. Woohoo!


This is not a new recipe, you can refer here.  I only added extra Red Bean to the batter. 
Happy Thanksgiving !

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Durian Chiffon Cake

It seemed like durian is in season again.  Joy to the durian lovers.. I'm one of them! However, durian is so fattening,  I'm very concious of its calories and therefore, always control my craving :(
Last weekend, when my hubby and I passed by the durian stall, we couldn't stop our urge anymore and  bought a box of Mao San Wang and 3 more normal durians.  


The Mao San Wang was so good, so tasty! We really enjoyed. Yum Yum!  However, for the normal durian, one of them was totally tasteless.  Instead of throwing away, I decided to use its meat to  bake a cake. 


Durian Chiffon Cake was in my to-do list for a long time, finally, I had a chance to try out.  I don't have durian essence at home, I replaced it with 1 tsp of vanilla essence instead.  As the durian itself was tasteless, I did't have high expectation of its turn out.  Although it's not very tasty, the texture was good, it's soft and light.  Overall, it's still a decent cake. 

Although I wasn't very satisfied with this bake, I decided to give this recipe another chance but in next bake, I will use a better quality durian plus 1/2 tsp of durian essence.  I believe it should turn out good.

This recipe is originated from Kevin Chai but I found it from Auntyyochana blog.  Below recipe is with slight modification.  Happy baking!

Ingredients:


Egg Yolk Batter:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 45g caster sugar
  • 150g durian Puree
  • 1/4 tsp. durian essence ( I used vanilla essence)
  • 120 ml coconut milk + 30 ml milk
  • 4 tbsp (60g) Corn oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 140g top flour (sifted) + 1 tsp baking powder

Egg White Foam:
  • 7 egg white
  • 90g Caster Sugar

Method:
  1. Whish egg yolk and sugar together till light and pale, stir in durian puree and essence, coconut milk and oil. Still to mix.
  2. Gently stir in salt and sifted flour. Mix till combined. 
  3. Whisk egg whisk till slightly frothy  gradually spoon in the sugar till finish. Whisk at high speed until frothy and at soft peak form ( abt 3 mins)
  4. Gently fold beaten egg white into egg yolk batter into 3 batches.
  5. Pour batter into a  9" chiffon cake pan. Bake at 170*C for about 50 mins or until cooked.
  6. Remove cake from oven and invert the pan onto a wire rack and leave it to cool completely.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blueberry Cheese Chiffon Cake -Must try!

Was I crazy about chiffon cake lately as I had been baking chiffon cake  few weeks in a row ?  I think I was.. I suddenly like the combination of chiffon and creamcheese as it gives a light, smoother and creamier texture as compare to pure Chiffon cake.

Each time I opened a cane of Blueberry filling, I have a hard time trying to finish it.  I don't like to keep the leftover for too long as it takes up space in the fridge.  In addition, I tend to forget them after a while and end up have to dump them.

Since I have this left over blueberry filling from my last bake, I decided to try out Cheese Chiffon Cake with Blueberry.  I managed to find a couple of recipes online and adopted the one from Blessed Homemarker but replaced the fresh blueberry with Blueberry filling instead.

For the first bake, I followed her recipe almost to dot, the cake turned out a little wet/ moist, other than that, it's a very delicious cake.  Since I used blueberry filling which contained more liquid, I cut down the milk amount when I did my 2nd bake.  

After this finetune, the bake came out perfectly.  The texture was just right, not too moist, it's very refreshing and not too creamy.  It's really marvelous!  I brought the 2nd cake to my mum's place and shared with my sibling and nieces, they all liked it so much. 

I took a lot of pictures for the first cake but not the 2nd one as  I was too tired to take out my DSLR  again.  I just used my iphone to take a few pictures, you could see the image quality is not very good when it is enlarged.  Anyway, this bake made my day! 


I strongly recommend you to give this recipe a try if you like blueberry.   Here you go. Cheer!


Blueberry Cheese Chiffon Cake Recipe
Ingredients

  • Group (A) - 100g cream cheese, 35g butter, 20g milk
  • Group (B) - 5 large egg yolks
  • Group (C) - 85 top flour, 1 tsp baking powder (sifted),  pinch of salt
  • Group (D) - 6 large egg whites, 90 caster sugar
  • Group (E) - 150g blueberry filling, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (premix)
  • ** Make sure the blueberry filling is concentrated, not watery.  If not, cut down to 120g and increase the lemon juice to 2 tbsp.
Method
  1. Preheat oven 170˚C.
  2. Cook (A)  cream cheese, butter and milk over double-boiler until well blended and thickens. Remove from double-boiler and let it cool down.
  3. Add (B) egg yolks into cooled down cheese mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Fold in (C) flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.
  5. Beat (D) egg whites until frothy, add sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks (abt 3 mins).
  6. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into cheese mixture, gently with a rubber spatula until just blended. Repeat the same for remaining 2 portions.  
  7. Take 1/3 portion of the batter (plain) out and put aside.
  8. Add (E) blueberry filling, lemon juice and vanilla paste into the 2/3 portion of the batter.
  9. Pour half of Step 8 (blueberry batter) into a 8-inch chiffon cake pan,  then pour in the plain batter from Step 7.  Last cover with the remaining of the blueberry batter from Step 8. Bang the pan on a hard surface to release the bubbles. 
  10. Bake at 170*C for 45-50 mins.
  11. When the cake is cooked, invert the cake to cool. Remove the cake from the cake pan when it is completely cool.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pandan Chiffon Cake - more egg white version

I didn't have any intention to bake Pandan Chiffon cake since I wasn't a fan of pure Chiffon cake as I felt it's too sweet and plain.  On my last bake when I was searching for Pandan recipe which contained creamcheese, I chanced upon a review posted by ieatishootipost talking about everything you need to know to make a perfect Pandan Chiffon Cake.

In his post, he compared 4 recipes that he tested and strongly recommended his wife's Aunt's 30 year old recipe, i.e. Kiamniamwong's recipe.   This lured my curiosity to find out the verdict.

I used to have a Pandan Chiffon cake recipe that I baked everytime for friends and colleauges, it was tested and everyone liked it.  Since Dr. Tay had strongly recommended his Kiamniamwong's recipe,  I decided to give this a shot.  

I follow his ingredients almost to the dot except I skipped cream of tartar since I can do without it.  His recipe called for 25 cm tube pan, I realize that using my 24 cm tube pan, I couldn't fit in all the batter.  I had to scoop some out into a small tube pan (9 cm).  

To my surprise, this recipe is really good! It's so perfect to me.  I love the texture and it's not too moist.  My previous recipe is soft and light but I find it too moist.  This recipe is not too sweet as well. I believe I will bake again!

If you like Pandan Chiffon Cake, I strongly recommend you to use this recipe instead.  Enjoy baking!

Ingredients
Group 1:

- 6 Egg Yolks 
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 115ml Vegetable Oil
- 100g Coconut Milk + 40g milk
- 2 tbsp Pandan juice
- 2 tsp Vanila essence
- 1 tsp Pandan paste

Group 2:
- 200g Top flour (sifted)
- 2 tsp baking powder

- 1/4 tsp salt

Group 3:
- 9 Egg Whites
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 1g Cream of Tartar (I omitted)


Preparation
- All Ingredients are at room temp. Separate Egg into egg whites and egg yolks.
- Preheat oven 15-20 mins at 170*C . Lowest rack.
- Baking pan: Prepare 25 cm Chiffon Tin (no lining of baking paper). 

- Total baking time: 50-55 mins.

Method

1. Mix Group 1 - Beat egg yolk with sugar till pale (about 3 mins) and then add in all the remaining ingredients from group 1 (Oil, cocount milk/milk, pandan juice and vanilla/pandan essence/paste). Mix well.

2.  Add Group 2 into Group 1 - Add flour, baking power, salt into step 1.  Whisk till incorporate well.  Put aside.

3. Beat egg white till slight foamy (about 30 sec) and then add sugar and beat till soft peak (about 3 mins or slightly longer).

4. Gentle fold 1/3 of egg white into batter (from step 3), repeat the same step for egg white till complete and mix till well combined (don’t over mix).

5. Pour batter into chiffon tin up to 80% full.

6. Bake at 170*C for 50-55 mins

7. After baked, turn over immediately and rest for 6 hrs to cool.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blueberry Butter Cake

Why weekend flies so fast?  I really enjoy and embrace every moment I have for the weekends, I believe everyone does! Nowadays, I tried to maintain my exercise regime during the weekend as it's important to keep up to a healthy lifestyle.  

Weekend also becomes an opportunity for me to practise photography skill.  After I own a iPhone, I no longer carry a camera around except on a long holiday trip.  I am very satisfied with iPhone performance, beside the image quality, there are  so many apps available which I could enhance the photo quality.   I love it!


Earlier on, I was contemplating whether or not to change to Samsung Note 2 as many of my colleagues did it because of the screen size.  I do agree I like larger screen but somehow, I prefer iPhone's picture quality and I will stick with it.

Exercise and picture taking become my weekend affair these days.  I like to share the pictures with friends and colleagues via facebook.  It's very encouraging when people "like" them.  I tried to dedicate some time for baking during the weekend, somehow, baking becomes lower priority over exercise these days.  It's lucky that I was able to "churn" out one bake this week. It's just a simple cake, i.e. Blueberry Butter Cake.

This butter cake was moist, soft and buttery.  It's not a new recipe, I baked it before.  If you would like to give this recipe a try, here you go ...


Preparation:
-  Preheat oven at 170*C for 15 mins.
- Prepare 1 loaf pan (8"*3") and 1 small loaf pan (6" x 2.5").

Ingredients
- 190g butter
- 150g caster sugar 
- 1 1/2 tsp elmusifer
- 3 eggs (60g each), slight beaten
- 210g cake flour                       } sift together
- 3/4 tsp baking powder      }
- 45g milk                           premix together
- 20g condense milk       ]
- 100g blueberry pie filling 

Method:
  1. Beat butter, sugar and elmusifier on high speed for 5 mins till fluffy and light.
  2. Add eggs into few portions gradually at low speed and mix well.
  3. Fold in flour and baking powder with spatula (if use mixer, pls use the lowest speed) alternate with milks.  Mix till well incorporated.
  4. Pour half of  the batter into greased mould.  Cover with blueberry filling and pour reamaining batter over filling with spatula.  Gently swirl batter for marbeled effect.
  5. Bake at 170*C for 35-40 mins or till cooked.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pandan Cheese Chiffon Cake - Finally satisfied

After a failure attempt, I decided to search for another recipe since my last weekend could be fully dedicated to baking.  I managed to find a recipe from Jane's Corner, it looked good and therefore, I decided to give it a shot. 

I was keeping my fingers crossed since I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  From my past experience, because of individual preference, some of the recipes which were deemed as "excellent" didn't fit my taste buds.   

This recipe has lesser butter content and no coconut milk,  I believe it is healthier.  I made a slight change to recipe, I use one tsp of pandan paste plus 2 tsp of pandan juice instead of 10g pandan essence.   In addition, I add one extra egg white.   To my surprise, I was very satisfied of its turnout, it's very light, fluffy and with stronger pandan aroma.  I was glad that the attempt is worth the effort!

If you're tired of plain Pandan Chiffon, you may want to give this a try - Pandan Cheese Chiffon Cake.   Cheer!


Ingredients
  • Group A  - 40g butter, 125g cream cheese, 50g milk
  • Group B - 35g topflour/cakeflour, 15g cornflour, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Group C - 5 egg yolks, 2 tsp panda juice, 1 tsp panda paste
  • Group D - 6 egg white (5 big+1 small), 90g caster suger

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Cook Group A - butter, cream cheese and milk together in heavy duty pot or under double boiler until thicken and let it cool slightly
  3. Add in Group B - both flours and salt, stir till smooth.
  4. Add in Group C-  egg yolk one at a time with pandan juice and paste, whisk well with each addition.  
  5. Use a cake mixer,  whisk Group D - the egg whites till frothy, gradually add in the sugar and whisk till 80% peak form.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until combined.
  7. Repeat the same, fold in the rest of the meringue lightly in 2 portions until well combined.
  8. Pour batter into a 21cm (8") tube pan and bake in a preheated oven at 160*C for 50-55mins.
  9. Remove from oven, invert cake onto table till it cool down.    
  10. Remove cake from pan and serve.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pandan Cheese Chiffon Cake

I realized nowadays,  I buy cookbook just to keep as collection, I hardly use the recipes as I don't really trust most of the authors because I hardly have any success unless someone recommended.

Last weekend, when I was reading thru' one of my newly bought cookbook, I was enticed by a Pandan Cheese Cake picture.    It was tempting and therefore, I decided to experiment using my Cream Cheese Chiffon Cake with Choc Chip for the Pandan's.

What I did was to remove the chocolate chip, replace 55g of milk with 40g ofcoconut milk and 15g of pandan juice.  In addition, I added half tsp of pandan paste to enhance its fragrant. 

How was the turnout?  My daughter commented the butter had overpowered and the pandan taste was too light.  From her impression, Pandan chiffon should be very light and fluffy but this texture seemed too dense for Pandan.  Obviously, there is a lot of room to fine tune this recipe. 

Nevertheless, it's a good try  but I'll not post the recipe since I don't think it's worth to keep.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Matcha Cheese Cupcakes

Lately, I had a catch up with one of my colleagues who is on LOA (aka long leave).  The meaning of life for her seems has changed after stopping work, she is now pursuing something different and might intend to do a career switch.  Her reason is corporate role is too demanding, if she continues to find a role in the company, she will not be able to spend enough time with her young children. I agreed.   Looking at our colleagues around, many of them are working very long hour, some of them require 24x7 commitment.  Is this life?  

Life is not just career and material.  I realized that if we don't set our expectation too high and we don't  always strive for excellence for everything in life, life will be very beautiful as too much burden/ baggage on our shoulder will make ourselves miserable.  I am learning to slow down and take thing easy ...

Enough said about work and philosophy. Let's talk about baking.  Lately, I've been crazed with cheese chiffon cake.  After the chocolate chip version, I tried the green tea version.  I used the same recipe except replaced the the choc chip with 1 tsp of green tea powder.  If you like stronger green taste taste, you could double the dosage.   For this batch, I baked in cupcake cases as it's easier to handle and distribute.  However, I still preferred chiffon version as the cupcake turned out more moist.  Probably it's due to the shorter baking time.  

If you like green tea version, here you go.. pls refer to following recipe.  


Ingredients
- 135g milk
- 125g cream cheese
- 90g butter
- 150g  top flour - sifted
- 1 tsp green tea powder (if you add more if you prefer stronger taste)
- pinch of salt
- 120g egg yolk (abt 6 big egg yolks)
- 265g egg white (abt 7 big egg whites)
- 120g caster sugar

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 165*C.
  2. Cook butter, cream cheese and milk together over double-boiler until thicken and let it cool.
  3. Add in flour, green tea powder and salt, stir till smooth.
  4. Add in egg yolk one at a time, whisk well with each addition.  
  5. Use a cake mixer,  whisk the egg whites till frothy, gradually add in the sugar and whisk till 80% peak form.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until combined.
  7. Repeat the same, fold in the rest of the meringue lightly in 2 portions until well combined.
  8. Pour batter into a cupcake cases. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 mins.
  9. Remove from oven and let it cool down.   Keep in fridge for few hours before serving.

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