Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Although I had done a fare bit of baking lately, I just feel my energy level remains low and sometimes, somehow I feel that baking has no longer a joy for me, I bake for the seek of satisfying my daughter's craving or getting rid of ingredients that are expiring or some one's birthday, etc.


So many cookbooks I bought have become white elephant, I only like to browse them.  I normally don't dare to try their recipes without anyone tested before as I had some bad experience with some of the cookbooks, the cake didn't turn out as expected.  I don't blame the recipe, it could be me, my skill but the problem is once bitten, twice shy.   That's why I prefer to adopt tested recipe online as it's safer.  
Although this recipe wasn't tested, I decided to give it a try.  This is a chocolate banana cupcake, surprisingly, this cupcake turned out so great, it's excellent. It is chocolaty, spongy and moist.  If you eat it for breakfast, you don't need the layer of chocolate ganache, it's already very tasty.  The chocolate ganache definitely adds extra richness but I think it's too heavy for breakfast, it's good for tea break.


I will definitely bake again.  Want to join me?  Recipe here.

Ingredients (make 8 cupcakes):

  • 125g butter
  • 115g brown suger
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 120g cake flour                            } Sift
  • 1 tsp baking powder                   }  together
  • 2 1/2 (or 3) tbsp cocoa powder} 
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence/paste
  • 3 small banana (roughly mashed) - abt 200g
Method:
  1. Preheat oven at 170*C.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown suger together at low speed till light and fluffy (abt 4-5 mins).
  3. Add egg a bit at a time, mix well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and cocoa powder) into step 3,  manual fold till well incorporated.
  5. Stir in vanilla essence/paste and fold in mashed banana and mix well.
  6. Use a ice cream scoop, spoon batter into cupcake case until 70% full.  
  7. Bake for 25-30 mins or till fully baked.
  8. Remove and let it cool completely before frosting (if desired).
I used Chocolate Ganache for frosting - can't remember the exact amount, you can try the following combination if you can't find one.
  • 100g dark chocolate 
  • 80g whipping cream
  • 15g butter



Chocolate Cheesecake

Happy Birthday!  This rich Chocolate Cheesecake was baked for my younger daughter for her birthday last week.  Time flies! Our baby had grown another year bigger, however, she still remains like a kid and that's something worrying us.  

Too much computer time or immersed too much into cyber world has inhabited her ability from dealing with the real life situation, she has a lot to learn and experience.  I think  we as parent also play a part to be blamed as we were too protective of her and led her to rely on us too much.  We have decided to let go and hope that allows her to learn how to be independent going forward.
This cake is absolutely sinful.  Imaging the calories of chocolate double with cheese, I don't need to say more.  Overall, this cake was good but not great.  I guess I'm not a person who knows how to appreciate rich and solid cheesecake these days  as it is too much to digest.

If you're a big fan of rich cheesecake cake, you may like it.  Below is the recipe modified from Bakericious.



Ingredients : 
(for One 7" cake pan or One 4" & One 6" cake pan - loose bottom wrapped with foil)
  • 140g Oreo Cookies (remove the creme), crushed
  • 60g unsalted butter (melt)
  • 75ml whipping cream
  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 355g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g cocoa powder 
  • 10 pcs Oreo cookies- crushed (I think this is extra, you can skip)
Chocolate Ganache:
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 60g whipping cream
  • 20g butter

Method:
1. Melt the butter under microwave for 25 sec and then pour into the crushed Oreo cookies.   Mix well and press the crumbs onto the cake pan base and chilled for later use.
2. Heat up the whipping cream in a heavy duty cookware, add in the dark chocolate and stir well and till smooth. Put aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 160°C.  
4. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time and beat again till combined.
5. Add chocolate mixture from step 2 and stir well. 

6. Sift in the cocoa powder and crushed Oreo cookies (if you desire), and combine till mixture is smooth.
7. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared cake pan with the cookie base. Water bath at 160*C for 45 to 50 minutes or the cake center is a little "wobbly".
8. Remove from oven and let cool for awhile.
9. To make chocolate ganache, boil the whipping cream in a heavy duty cookware, add in chocolate and butter and then mix well and till smooth.
9. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the cake and let it cool completely before refrigerating. Chill for at least 4 to 6 hrs before serving.
10. Decorate the cake as your desire.

Monday, April 29, 2013

American Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

You might not believe, before this bake, I had never tasted the American Carrot cake  although this is one of the popular cake here.  If anyone talked about carrot cake, first thing struck me would be Chinese Carrot cake as I couldn't image how the chemistry reaction of the carrot and batter would turn up after baking.  One thing for sure was I had no desire to try out previously.    

Because of my daughter's craving, I decided to give this cake a try. After browsing through some of the blog posts, I decided to adopt the recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover since she highly recommended it. As American cake tends to be denser and heavier in texture, it's not my cup of tea. However, my daughter and her friends quite liked it. Although the texture was dense, this cake actuall was quite moist.

Here is the recipe for this Amercian Carrot Cake.  A slight modification from Nasi Lemak Lover's.   Cheer!

Cake Ingredients (make TWO 2"x6" loaf pans):
  • 130g cake flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon powder
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 150g finely shredded carrots
  • 100g corn oil
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 80g walnut, chopped 

Method
1. Sift flour, 
baking powder and baking soda and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
2. Add in caster & brown sugar and then salt.  Stir well.
3. Add in carrots, corn oil, vanilla extract and egg, beat for few minutes till mixture well combined.
4. Add in walnut and dried fruits, mix well.
5. Pour in a greased and line baking pan, bake at pre-heated oven 175c for 40mins.
6. Cool on a wire rack and slice horizontal into 3.
7. Apply cream cheese frosting (refer to below for recipe) in between each slice and last cover the top with remaining frosting.  Decor as desired.

Cream Cheese frosting
  • 150g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 40g butter, at room temperature
  • 70g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp lemon juices
  • Finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
Method
1. Beat cream cheese and butter till light and creamy (abt 3 minutes).
2. Add in icing sugar and mix well on low speed.
3. Add in lemon juices and lemon zest, combine well.
4. Store in fridge for later use.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mango Cheese Chiffon Cake

Pardon my obsession, chiffon cake again!  I had been baking chiffon cake quite often lately  and omitted butter cake, I think I enjoy the fluffiness texture with the combination of cheese, it really tastes good. It's not too plain and not too rich, just strike the balance.



The push of baking quite often lately was because of that 1 kg cream cheese as I had to clear it within a week after opened the packaging.  It was so difficult to get rid, after the blueberry light cheesecake bake, there was still another 350g left.  Since I had been wanting to try mango flavoured cheese chiffon cake for some time and both mango and cheese were available, there was no excuse not to experiment this combination.


This cake turned up very decent.  Despite adding 1.5 tsp of mango essence, the mango flavour wasn't powering .  I think I still prefer the blueberry or pandan flavour but somehow my elder daughter likes it.  I guess it's very much dependent on individual preference.   Anyway, I think it was a good try!


Mango Cheese Chiffon Cake Recipe
P.S.  Therecipe is for TWO 9" cake, you need to use a very big mixing bowl, else it's very difficult to handle.  Suggest you to cut this recipe to half as it's easier to handle.

Ingredients (Two 23" cm tube pan):

  • 50g butter
  • 350g cream cheese
  • 30g whipping cream
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs (whole)
  • 60g cake/top shifted flour (I use half each)
  • 60g corn shifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g mango puree 
  • 1 1/2 tsp mango flavouring
  • 10 egg whites
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Method:

  1. Double boil butter, cream cheese and whipping cream and whisk until smooth.  Remove and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in egg yolk and whole egg one at a time, mix till incorporated.
  3. Add in all the flour and baking powder, mix till smooth.
  4. Stir in mango puree and flavouring, mix well.  Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually whisk in sugar and cream of tartar. Beat until firm.
  6. Lightly fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into cheese mixture.  Fold in remaining egg white mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into tube pans.  Bake at 170*C for 15 mins and then lower to 160*C for another 45 mins. 
  8. Remove from oven and invert cake pans onto a cooling rack.  Leave to cool for 3-4 hour before removing from pan.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blueberry Light Cheesecake

Buying a kg of cream cheese from Phoon Huat  is so economical, it's less than the amount you pay for 2 blocks (250g each) of Philadelphia's.  However, the headache is once the packaging is opened, the cream cheese has to be consumed within a week.  Since I still had some blueberry filling left over from previous bakes, I decided to try the recipe from Anncoo (which I had bookmarked it for almost a year).  I use 1.5X of the recipe  as I wanted to clear as much cream cheese as I could.  Overall, this cake tunred out really good, this recipe is a keeper.  My family, my sis-in-law and others who tasted this cake, all gave me a thumps-up.

If you would like to have a lighter version of cheese cake, this recipe might fit you (modified from Anncoo)


Ingredients:
Base - Three 6" loose cake tin
  • 180g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 120g butter - melted
  • Mix all the above ingredients and press onto the cake tin base.

Filling:
  • 450g cream cheese (keep at room temperature before use)
  • 40g caster Sugar
  • 100g whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp rum (optional)
  • 6 small (or 4.5 big) egg yolks (small -50g, big-65g)

  • 6 small (or 4.5 big) egg whites
  • 50g Sugar (half portion to egg yolks and egg whites)
  • pinche of cream of tartar
Method:
  1. Cream the cheese and sugar together.
  2. Slowly add in the whipping cream together with vanilla flavour,  lemon juice and rum. Beat the mixture till light and fluffy and smooth at medium speed. 
  3. Scrape bowl and add egg yolks one at a time until all combined and transfer to a larger bowl.
  4. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar till peak form. Use spatula to fold egg whites to cheese mixture. 
  5. Pour cheese mixture into prepared cake tin.
  6. Steam bake at 160C for about 1 hour and leave to cool.
  7. Measure 300g blueberry pie filling in a pot, add 1tsp of lemon juice and put on low heat till blueberry pie filling becomes warm then spread on to the cheese cake.
  8. Put Blueberry cheese cake in fridge for at least one hour before serve. 

Chocolate Banana Cake

Just wanted to clear the sponge cake as it was kept in the freezer for almost to 2 weeks.   My daughter threw me a good idea - Chocolate Banana Cake as she just tried it the week before and she liked it.

Since there was two bananas at home and I had enough dark chocolate in the fridge , I decided to take her suggestion.  This was just a simple chocolate ganache with banana sponge cake.  Overall, the turnout was pretty decent.  She said if I could add more banana, it would taste much better. 

I couldn't remember the portion of the chocolate I used, anyway, I believe this is a popular cake and you should be able to find a lot of recipes out there.

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