Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Sauces

I didn't pay too much attention on sauces previously as most of the time, when I ordered a dessert from a cafe or restaurant, I focused more on the main item rather than the sauces on the plate.    After attending the sauces lesson, I reckon sauces play such an important role in a dish.  Beside adding moistness and richness to the dessert, it complement the flavor as well.  It's interesting to see how the sauces can transform an ordinary dish to an attractive presentation.    Plating with sauces is another art!   Below art piece is crafted by our chef.

We leaned how to prepare 3 sauces, i.e. Vanilla sauce, Chocolate sauce and fruit coulis in this lesson.  With my not very creative brain, I used these 3 sauces and crafted this not very attractive art piece...lol
Here are the takeaway.
  •  Tempering egg is important in the sauce making as it's to prevent the eg yolk from setting while cooking the sauce.  
  • The temperature cannot be too hot ( >88*C) and also not to add too much hot liquid to egg to avoid scrambling/ coagulating egg. 
  • Once the sauce is thicken, use ice-water bath to cool down the temperature immediately to prevent curling.
  • Always keep out of the danger temperature zone (5-60*C).  Once it cools down, store in the chiller.
  • Dip a spoon in the thickened sauce and turn it over. Run a finger down the back of the spoon, if the mixture does not run into the path your finger made, the sauce is considered as done.

Vanilla Sauce
Ingredients: 400g whipping cream, 80g sugar, half vanilla pod and 2 eggs 


Method:
  1. Add cream and sugar in a heavy duty pot, stir well. 
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean from pod,  add to cream mixture (step 1) and stir well on low heat till steaming.  Remove from heat.
  3. Break up eggs in a bowl, pour half portion of the cream mixture to temper the eggs.
  4. Pour the egg mixture to remaining cream mixture and then stir on medium low heat till thicken (not too thick).  Remove from heat.
  5. Strain the sauce into bowl and cool down in ice-water bath.   
  6. Keep in chiller.

Chocolate Sauce
Ingredients: 120g water, 130g sugar,  45g cocoa powder (sifted) and 70g whipping cream

Method:
  1. Boil water and sugar in a heavy duty pot on medium heat, stir till no trace of sugar (become syrup) and remove from heat
  2. Add cocoa powder in, whisk well and cook under low heat. Whisk till combined and remove. 
  3. Add cream in and whisk till combined, bring to boil under low heat till the sauce is shinny and glossy (just a short while)
  4. Strain the sauce into a bowl and cool down in ice-water bath,
  5. Keep in chiller.

Fruit Coulis
Ingredients: 200g berries, 100g sugar, 40g water and 15g lemon juice (20g alcohol optional)

Method:
  1. Put all ingredients (berries, sugar, water and lemon juice if any) in a sauce pot, cook on low heat, stir and increase to medium-low till fruit becomes soft (the sugar draws out the liquid from fruit)
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook till sauce is thicken.
  3. Strain the sauce into a bowl, add alcohol is desired and cool down in ice-water bath,
  4. Keep in chiller.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Onion Bialys (lean dough)

I'm not a fan of onion breads, hence, I didn't keep any piece at home after brought back from school.  I gave all to my neighbor.  Hope they like it.

This Onion Bialys is using lean dough, hence, it's a crusty bread.  The method of the lean dough is similar to baguette recipe except this doesn't use preferment, it's straight dough. 
To make this dough, please follow the steps below. 
Ingredients:  600g bread flour, 480g water, 11g salt (can cut down), 3g yeast
                     
Method:

  1. Cut 4 unions into ring form and saute with some butter till soften.  Set aside to cool down.
  2. Prepare the bread dough by combining flour, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl and mix it till combined on low speed.
  3. Add in ice cold water gradually on low speed, mix till desired dough (become a ball) is achieved. Increase to medium speed till windowpane is achieved.  
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball and then cover it with plastic wrap in a bowl.  
  5. Leave it to bulk ferment for 2 hour but after 1 hour, remove the dough from the bowl,  slightly punch to degas the excess carbon dioxide from the dough (degas cannot be too hard), fold 2 slides to the center and then another 2 more slides. Round and ferment for another hour.  
  6. Dust table top with flour, use a metal scraper and portion each dough at 80g or  desired weight. Always cover the doughs with a baker's couche to prevent hard skin).  
  7. Take a dough, press to a rectangular shap,  fold two opposite corners together, repeat the same for another corners and round the dough. Seam side up and cover it with couche.  Continue this till completing all the doughs and allow all to rest for 15 mins (Bench rest).  
  8. Take out the dough to final shape.  Press a bit and round it to a ball, press the center to leave  a dent and add the onions on top.  (make up stage).   
  9. Leave it to proof for another 1 hour before baking (final proofing).
  10. Bake at 200*C for about 20 mins.
  11. Once bake, leave it to cool before slicing.

Tips and Tricks from School - Lean Dough (Preferment)

The different between lean dough and enriched dough is lean dough only contains flour, water, yeast and salt (sometimes may have very little fat).  If the recipe has more ingredients than these 4, it's considered as enriched dough.  Breads made with lean dough have a hard that crunches when you bite into it.  It's also has chewy crumbs.  Unlike enriched dough bread, it's softer and less chewy crumbs.

The lean dough bread that we made for Baguette and Epi in ACI used 66% of hydration and 33% of preferment.  

To derive the amount of the ingredients to mix with preferment dough, below is an example: 
                                                                                             Amount of Ingredients for bread dough
Bread flour (100%) -> 4000g                                                              3340g (4000g - 660g)     
Water          (66%)   -> 2640g                                                              1980g (2640g-660g)
Salt              (2%)    ->  80g                                                                     80g  
Yeast           (1%)    ->   40g /3 =13g                                                     13g
Preferment   (33%) ->   1320g (break into 660g flour & 660g water)

To make baguette and epi, it requires very high temperature, e.g 270*C with steam-injected oven.  As most of the home ovens cannot reach to that high temperature and don't have the steam injection, I was told that the result of home baked baguette will not be able to achieve very crusty effect.   I am very curious about this and I will certainly experience at home one day.  

For this bread, our chef did all the mixing for the dough as the preferment was huge.  We only did the shaping, proofing and baking.  Hence, I could only vaguely remember the steps with the help of some of the videos I took.

Baguette/ Epi/ Dinner Rolls Recipe  
For us to make small portion at home, below is the amount of the ingredients.
Preferment:  100g bread flour, 100g water and pinch of yeast
Bread dough:  569g bread flour, 273g water, 16g salt (can cut down), 3g yeast

Method:
  1. Prepare the preferment by mixing flour,  water and a pinch of yeast together in a bowl. Cover and leave it to ferment for 16 hours.
  2. Prepare the bread dough by combining flour, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl and mix it till combined on low speed.  
  3. Add in ice cold water gradually on low speed, then the preferment and mix till desired dough (become a ball) is achieved. Increase to medium speed till windowpane is achieved (about 10-12 mins).  
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball and then cover it with plastic wrap in a bowl.   
  5. Leave it to bulk ferment for 2 hours but after 1 hour, remove the dough from the bowl,  slightly punch to degas the excess carbon dioxide from the dough (Degas cannot be too hard), fold 2 slides to the center and then another 2 more slides. Round and ferment for another hour.  
  6. Dust table top with flour, use a metal scraper and portion each dough to desired weight (baguette 260g, epi 260g and dinner roll 120g). Always cover the doughs with a baker's couche to prevent hard skin)
       
  7. Take a dough, stretch a bit,  pull the top into the center and pressed on.  Pull the bottom to the center, pressed on  and round to a cylindrical shape, seam side up and cover it with couche.  Continue this till completing all the doughs and allow all to rest for 15 mins (Bench rest).
  8. Take out the dough to final shape.  Stretch into rectangular, take half of the top and bring it into the center and press it down with finger tips.   Pull a bit more dough from the top, repeat the same for 1-2 more times.   Pull to the bottom half all the way to cover the done side, press it down with finger tips again.  Press the seam side to ensure no gap and then roll to desired shape.  Please see below figures for clearer illustration.
  9.    
  10. Place each dough between couche fold to prevent the dough from proofing into each other.    Dust with flour and covered with couche.   
  11. Leave it to proof for another 1 hour 30 mins before baking (final proofing).
  12. Once bake, leave it to cool before slicing.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Enriched Dough

When it comes to baking, bread is not my forte.  The bread training was intensive. Though it was exciting, sometimes it could be stressful as our chef was quite demanding at times & always chased after us to do it faster & properly.  Nevertheless, I still very appreciate his guidance as he really tough us a lot, and we were loaded with so many delicious breads home.

We learn enriched and lean dough for this module.    For enriched dough, we made Hot dog bun, Burger bun, Custard Cinnamon roll and Pullman loaf.   For lean dough, we made Baguette, Epi and Onion Bialys.

Breads need a lot of proofing time, we need to be patience and not to rush for it.  Bread making seems more troublesome than cake baking but I believe once I master the technique, I should have no problem to bake difference types of bread.

Here are the takeaway.

  • Salt and yeast must be placed apart from each other
  • Always use ice cold water not to overheat the dough
  • Don't over deflate the dough, just stretch, pull and slightly pressed on

Enriched dough 
Prepare for Egg wash:  cream mixed with egg to create shine and soft crust effect.

(I)  Hotdog Bun and Burger Bun using Butter Buns dough

Ingredients: 500 bread flour, 30g sugar, 25g milk powder, 6g salt, 8g yeast, 1 egg, 230g ice cold water, 50g butter
  1. Combine flour, egg, sugar, milk powder, salt and yeast  (egg to be placed in the centre) in the mixing bowl and mix it till combined on low speed.
  2. Add in cold water gradually on low speed, mix till desired dough (become a ball) is achieved.
  3. Pressed the butter to flat, add in to dough and mix on medium speed till windowpane is achieved.  
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball and then cover it with plastic wrap in a bowl. 
  5. Leave it to ferment for 1 hour till the dough has double in size (Bulk ferment,)
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl, slightly punch to degas the excess carbon dioxide from the dough (Degas cannot be too hard).  
  7. Dust table top with flour, use a metal scraper and cut the dough into 2 portion first for easy portioning to desired size.   
  8. Portion each dough to 60g (or desired weight), always cover the doughs with a baker's couche to prevent hard skin.  
  9. Take a dough, (a) for burger bun, stretch a bit and fold four corners to the center; (b) for hotdog, fold top and bottom to the center and press into a cylindrical shape. Seam side up and cover under couche.  Continue this till completing all the doughs and allow all to rest for 15 mins (Bench rest).  
  10. Remove dough from bowl (a) for burger bun, final round it to a ball; (b)  for hotdog bun, roll the dough out to a long stripe and wrap the chicken frank  (Make up stage)
  11. Egg wash the buns and leave it to proof for another 1 hour before baking (Final proofing)
  12. Egg wash the buns once more.  For burger bun, sprinkle some sesames on top if desired. 
  13. Bake at 200*C for 20 mins or till golden brown.  
  14. Once bread is doneness, transfer to tray and let it to cool.

(2) Pullman loaf


















Ingredients:  400g bread flour, 20g milk powder, 10g sugar, 5g salt, 4g yeast,  20g butter, 235g ice cold water (for one 11cmx11cmx19cm loaf pan)
  1. Combine the flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and yeast (salt and yeast to be placed apart from each other) in a bowl and mix it till combined on low speed.
  2. Add in cold water gradually on low speed, mix till desired dough (become a ball) is achieved.
  3. Pressed the butter to flatten, add in to dough and mix on medium speed till windowpane is achieved.  
  4. Add in green tea or turmeric powder or other colouring if desired and mix well.
  5. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball and cover it with plastic wrap it in a bowl. 
  6. Leave it to ferment for 2 hour but after 1 hour, remove the dough from the bowl, dust some flour on the table top, slightly punch and deflate the dough to expel out the excess carbon dioxide (Degas cannot be too hard). Pull and shape into rectangular and put into loaf tin (seam side up) to proof for another hour.  
  7. Use a metal scraper, portion the dough to 30og (or desired weight), round the dough into cylindrical shape, seam side up and cover under couche and rest (Bench rest)  for 15 mins.  Repeat the same step for remaining dough.
  8. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray gently. 
  9. Take out the dough to final shape the dough.  Stretch into rectangular, take the top half and bring it into the center and press it down with finger tips.  Take the bottom half and bring it up to the center and press it down with finger tips again.  Press the seam side to ensure no gap.  
  10. Put the dough in a greased loaf pan with seam side down and leave it to proof for another 1 hour.
  11. Bake at 200*C for 1 hour, take it out from pan immediately and let it cool.  


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Filling and Icing

No baking today, it's simply to assemble the cake, i.e. get ready the whipped cream and learn the cake icing technique.

Icing is not my forte, I have never ever done a good icing job before.  Icing cake at home can be very challenging due to hot weather, many a times, the whipped cream couldn't hold up longer enough before I finished the whole cake.  People say practice makes perfect, the practice today is definitely not sufficient, more practices are needed at home.

I realized the whipping cream could be easily whipped in the aircon kitchen to  stiff peak and had no problem to leave it outside for long before using it.  It didn't soften. This is something I can never ever achieve at home.  Next time if I need to ice a cake at home, I think I should  consider to turn on aircon to keep the temperature down.

We did two cakes assembly today.  One is Jam Roll, the other is Black Forest Cake.   The takeaways  for today:
  1. Skin off the cake to prevent crumb gets into whipped cream when icing.
  2. Brush a layer of syrup onto sponge cake for the purpose of  making the cake moist and infuse flavor.
  3. After rolling the cake, use a cake board or a rolling pin to tighten the cake by pulling the parchment paper.
  4. It's not necessary to roll the cake when it's warm, the recipe is key.
  5. To slice the cake, slowly turn the cake while moving the knife a back and forth motion.  Always look out the front slide.
  6. It's important to get the top layer of the cake as smooth as possible as well as the slides.  We can use palette knife to achieve it.
  7. Use turn table for layered cake icing.  
  8. etc
After today, we are ending the cake practical sessions and next Monday is the exam for both theory and practical.  Stress!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Sponge Cakes

It was a long day as we spent the whole day in the kitchen baking 4 different types of sponge cake in a row.  It is very confusing with the different types of method used,  to ensure I get my head on straight, I better summarize them before I forget .  

The difference: 


Genoise style vs Traditional Sponge Cake: 
  • Genoise style calls for gently warmed eggs (over bain marie) till 42*C  then move back to the mixer on maximum speed till it reaches full volume.  Traditional sponge doesn't need to warm eggs, it simply whisks egg mixture on maximum speed till it reach full volume.  Genoise sponge is moister and has a finer texture as compare to traditional sponge as the heat helps the eggs and sugar mixture to achieve the greatest volume, they will have more air and be bigger.  Also the heat will stabilize the mixture allowing again for the greater volume in the egg mixture.

Genoise/ Traditional Sponge vs Roulade style:
  • Genoise or Traditional Sponge uses whole eggs whereas Roulade uses separated eggs.  For Roulade, egg whites are to be whisked till ribbon stage before adding egg yolks, oil and flours.  Separated beaten whites have the best potential to form voluminous and stable foams (structure) because of its unique proteins, ample water and lack of fat.  The separated egg method (roulade) will achieve a fine grained texture. 


Method for each type of sponge cake:


Chocolate or Genoise Sponge Cakes ( warming method)

  1. Whisk eggs (whole egg) slightly on low speed,  add sugar slowly a little at a time on medium speed.  Once the sugar is fully mixed in, move the the mixing bowl that contains with egg mixture over bain marie (double boiler).   Hand whisk the egg mixture, when the temperature reaches 42*C, move the egg mixture back to the mixer and whisk on maximum speed,    Once the egg mixture reaches full volume (slight ribbon stage), lower to medium speed to stabilize till ribbon stage (foamy) achieves.  
  2. Pour the foamy egg mixture to a big mixing bowl, gradually fold in sifted flour a little at a time with a large rubber spatula  until the flour has disappeared.  
  3. Sacrifice a small portion of the batter, mix in with either (a) melted chocolate butter mixture or (b) melted butter** till incorporated and then mix the butter mixture into the remaining batter from step 2, gently fold in till well incorporated before transferring the batter to a pan and baking.
** (a) If it's a chocolate sponge, prepare melted chocolate butter mixture in advance, i.e. melt butter under bain marie, once melted, add in cocoa powder and stir till well combined.  
     (b) If it's a vanilla sponge, prepare melted butter in advance, i.e. melt butter under bain marie (double boiler)




Traditional Sponge Cake 
  1. Whisk eggs (whole egg) slightly on low speed, add sugar slowly a little at a time on medium speed.  Once sugar is fully mixed in, switch to maximum speed and whisk till full volume (slight ribbon stage).  Lower to medium speed to stabilize till ribbon stage achieves. 
  2.  Pour the foamy egg mixture to a big mixing bowl, gradually fold in sifted flour a little at a time with a large rubber spatula  until the flour has disappeared.  
  3. Sacrifice a small portion of the batter in melted butter,  fold till incorporated  and then mix the butter mixture into the remaining batter from step 2, gently fold in till well incorporated before transferring the batter to a pan and baking.

Vanilla Roulade (meringue method)
  1. Whisk egg whites on low speed, once bubbles appear, add sugar a little at a time on high speed (not max) and beat till slight ribbon stage (foamy).  Reduce the speed to medium to allow the meringue to be stabilized.  
  2. Once the medium peak reaches, add egg yolk mixture** on medium low (egg yolk is fat, will not increase the volume) a little at a time.
  3. Add oil a little at a time on medium low and continue to mix till well incorporated and transfer to a big mixing bowl.
  4. Add flour a little at a time and fold gently with a large spatula until flour has disappeared.
  5. Pour the batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, level the surface with an angled palette knife before baking.

**Egg yolk mixture - mix yolks and honey in a bowl, mix well. Add in vanilla essence and mix slightly.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - CHIFFON CAKE & CHEESECAKE

Today, we learn how to bake Chiffon cake and Cheese cake.  Though these are not new to me, I still find the lesson helpful.  

I always puzzled why my chiffon cake has many big air pockets despite me tapping it on the counter (to force air bubble to surface) before placing into oven but today, I manage to achieve with very little air pockets.  The chiffon came out with very nice texture, i.e. soft, light, fluffy and moist.  




Tips to take away from today's lesson:

Chiffon Cake
  1. Preheat oven at 17*C.
  2. Whisk Egg yolks on high speed (not max), then add sugar gradually and mix till pale.
  3. Reduce speed to medium and add water and orange juice/ paste (flavoring), mix well.
  4. Further reduce speed to medium low and add oil into the egg mixture, mix well.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients (i.e. flour and baking powder)  a little at a time till thicken.  Set aside.
  6. To beat egg white for meringue, start with low speed.  Once the bubbles appear, increase to medium speed, add cream of tar tar and mix till more bubbles appear.
  7. Add sugar a little at a time on high speed (not max) and beat till ribbon stage (foamy).  Reduce the speed to medium low to allow the meringue to be stabilized and stop beating when it achieves medium peak.
  8. Sacrifice a portion of meringue (step 7) to egg yolk mixture (step 5), fold till combine.  Fold half portion of meringue into egg yolk mixure, mix well.  Repeat the same for remaining meringue.
  9. Pour the batter into tube pan.  Bake at 170*C for 30-45 mins.
  10. Invert doneness cake immediately over cooling rack to prevent it from collapsing on its own weight.
  11. Allow it to cool down completely before unmould the tin.

Cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven at 150*C
  2. Wrap cake ring with aluminum oil (2 layers to ensure it's thicker)
  3. Beat cream cheese on low speed to soften, add sugar a little at a time on medium speed and beat till no trace of lump.  Lower the speed slightly and beat till cheese mixture becomes super soft.  Don't overbeat else it becomes ranny
  4. Add the egg yolks to cheese mixture, use low speed and add yolks one at a time and mix till they are just barely mixed in.  Not to overbeat the yolks as over beating puts too much air into the batter (air trapped inside the batter) and will change the texture of the cheesecake - i.e. it becomes too light and not rich.   The escaping of air will also cause the cake to crack.  Cracking can also be caused by high baking temperature.
  5. Add all flours into cheese batter (point 2) at one go on low speed but only mix till 50% incorporated.  Add in melted butter and continue to mix on low speed till smooth. Don't overmix.  Set aside.      Note: Flour added to the batter is to prevent cracking as easily from overbaking. The starch molecules will actually get in between the egg proteins preventing them from over-coagulating.
  6.  Whisk egg whites (this recipe uses separated egg method) on low speed till bubbles appear, increase speed to medium and gradually add sugar on medium high and whisk till the meringue till medium peak only.  
  7. Always try to scarify a small portion of the meringue to soften the cheese mixture to make the mixing process easier.  Once the mixture becomes softer, add  all the remaining meringue in and gently fold in.
  8. Add in lemon zest and fold gently.  Mix well.
  9. Pour int cake ring and bake cheesecake in bain marie.  Bake at 150*C for an hour or until set.
  10. Leave it to cool down and put to chill for at least an hour before serving.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - BATTER CAKE

After 3 weeks of break, I am back to ACI to continue the Higher Certificate in Asian Pastry and Baking training program.  This program is heavily focused on the practical, it's pretty comprehensive which includes 8 modules, i.e.  cakes, breads, filling/sauces/creams, pastry, cookies, noynya dessert, waffles/pancakes/ crepes and the experimental baking. Wow! Sound interesting and exciting, right?

This week is on cake module.  Today, we learned batter/ butter cake and its baking technique.  For anyone who has the baking experience, they may find it too elementary.  However, I found it useful as I realized I was using some wrong methods or didn't use the best method in the past.  With the helpful tips from our chef, I believe I will be able to make better cakes.

Tips to take away from our lesson today:

  1. When inserting the skewer or toothpick in the center of the cake to examine for doneness, it's important to hold for 3 sec before removing so that it's more accurate to tell whether cake is fully baked or not.
  2. Using the cake ring wrapped with aluminum foil is a better choice for cake baking instead of cake pan (with bottom) as it makes the unmould process more efficient. (after note:  from my experience, the cake bottom always sticks to the foil, hence, I think there is s a need to grease the foil) 
  3. Using baking tray for layered cake is a better choice as it can achieve uniform thickness for each layer.  Using cake pan, the cake will need to be sliced evenly and this can be very challenging for people who are not very skillful.
  4. The ideal fat temperature while creaming is 21*C, it will achieve optimum result by incorporating more air into batter and making the baked products more lighter in texture.
  5. The ideal ingredient temperature for beating eggs and sugar for foam based cake is 42*C.   At this temperature, the eggs will reach a greater volume and the heat will make the egg mixture more stable so as to minimize the risk of collapsing. 
  6. To cream butter, we should start with slow speed to break up the cubes of butter. Increase to medium speed and mix till sightly pale before adding the sugar a little bit at a time.  Continue mixing at medium speed till doubled in mass and lighten to a yellowish-white color (light and fluffy)
  7. To beat egg white for meringue, we should start with low speed.  Once the bubbles appear, we can increase to high (not max) speed and add sugar a little at a time.  Once the the egg white becomes foamy, reduce the speed (not min) to allow the meringue to be stabilized.  The friction from the beating gently warms the whites, allowing its proteins to improve their elasticity so that they take on air more easily and eventually gain more volume.
  8. The meringue  for butter cake (egg separation method) should be beaten till medium peak only- as long as the meringue doesn't drop when overturning the mixing bowl, it's considered as good.
  9. When mixing butter cream into meringue, we should start with a small portion of meringue (at low speed) so that the butter cream is lighter and easier to mix.
  10. When egg is added into butter cream and it starts to look curdle, we should add a bit of flour to mix with curdled batter, this way, the batter will resume smooth.  

Sunday, November 13, 2016

BUTTER CAKE

So many bloggers rave about Mrs. SK Ng's Butter cake, I have not tried it before, I will definitely bake one day but not today. Today, I will stick to my old recipe.  In fact, the recipe I have uses the same method as Mrs. SK Ng's, i.e. egg separation method.  Hence, I think the texture from both recipes will produce similar texture, i.e. cottonly soft.  

This was baked after I finished my cheese chiffon cake bake, all in the same afternoon. To appreciate and be thankful of my helper's effort in cleaning up the aftermaths of my baking, I gave her this butter cake for her to share with her friends in their outing next day.   She was so happy and grateful about it.

If you are tired of your version of butter cake, why not try this  recipe? 

Butter Cake Recipe
Ingredients:
-     120g chilled  butter
-     45g caster sugar

-     60g egg yolks                     
-     2 tbsp condense milk        
-     10g milk                              
-     1/2 tsp vanilla essence     
-     1/2 tsp rum (optional)     

-    90g cake flour (sifted)
-     2/3 tsp baking powder (sifted)

Meringue:
-     120 egg white
-     30g caster sugar
-     pinch of cream of tartar

- 40g walnut

Method:
- lightly grease the base of  3"x" 8" loaf  tin and line bottom with baking paper. Preheat oven at 160*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 milk (both), vanilla essence and rum.
  3. Fold sifted flour and baking powder into 2 to 3 batches and mix even.  Set aside.
  4. To make meringue, whisk the egg whites till slightly foamy (30 sec), add sugar and cream of tartar in 3 separate rounds and beat until egg whites are glossy,  at medium peak (about another 3 mins).
  5. Use a big spatula, take 1/3 of the whites and gentle fold into the batter (from step 3). Continue remaining 2 with same method and mix till well blended.  Don't over-do it or else, the whites will deflate.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf tin and bake at 160*C for 35 mins.  Open oven, sprinkle walnut over the batter and then bake for another 10-15 mins (total is about 45-50 mins) or until wooden skewer plunged into middle of cake comes out clean.   (if the top is over charred, cover with a foil).
  7. Remove from oven, unmold and rest to cool.

CHEESE CHIFFON CAKE

I recently went to Penang for a short holiday.  The last time I visited I was  a student. Time flies!  It didn't trigger me  it was so many decades ago.  I didn't have much impression about Penang since my last trip were on  a package tour with some of my classmates. We only spent a day in Penang  and if I am not wrong, the key itinerary was to a temple.  

This time, I went with my hubby on a free and easy trip.  I prefer free and easy as I have better control over my itinerary, accommodation and schedule. We stayed at ParkRoyal Penang Resort along Batu Ferringhi Beach on my 1st night.  The staffs there were friendly and helpful, the room was very spacious and breakfast was satisfactory.  I would say it was relaxing.

On the 2nd and 3rd nights, we moved to a boutique hotel in George Town as we wanted to have easy access to George Town attractions.  I booked into Le Dream Boutique Hotel because the review of them were excellent plus it's within our budget (S$100 per night).  I would agree with the review, their service is superb!  I would recommend this hotel to friends if they are planning for holiday to Penang.  This hotel provided awesome breakfast though the spread was not that wide, all the dishes were delicious.  If you didn't like the breakfast buffer, you could order ala carte from their menu (limited selection), they would specifically cook for you.  The service they provided is far beyond 5 stars hotel, they provide free afternoon tea from 3:30pm-5pm, free ice cream, biscuits, tea and coffee after 5pm plus a movie every night.  On top of that, they provide transport within 3 km distance from hotel but an hour advance booking is needed.  The location for this hotel is so convenient  to move within George Town. We had an amazing and wonderful stay at Le Dream Boutique Hotel.  
After back from vacation, I was so lazy to do anything.  Luckily, after 2 days of idling, I finally bucked up and recharged.  I became so energetic and kept searching for recipes to do some bakes .. 

Here you go ... 

Cheese Chiffon Cake Recipe

Ingredients
Cheese mixture:
- 135g milk
- 125g cream cheese
- 80g butter 
- 150g  cake flour - sifted
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence 
- 120g egg yolk (abt 6 big egg yolks)

Meringue:
- 265g egg white (abt 7 big egg whites)
- 120g caster sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar (optional)

- 1/4 tsp pandan paste
- 1 tsp pandan juice


Method:
Preheat oven to 165C.

  1. Cook butter, cream cheese and milk together in heavy duty pot or over double-boiler until thicken (not too thick) and let it cool.
  2. Add in flour, salt, and vanilla essence, alternate with egg yolk and whisk well with each addition, stir till smooth and set aside.
  3. To make meringue, whisk the egg whites till slightly foamy (30 sec), add sugar and cream of tartar in 3 separate rounds and beat until egg whites are glossy,  at medium peaks (about another 3 mins).
  4. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the cheese mixture (step 2) until combined.
  5. Repeat the same for remaining 2 portions of the meringue, gently fold till well combined.
  6. Divide batter into 3 portions.  Take 1/3 of the batter (step 5), add in pandan paste and juice, mix well to form pandan batter.  The remaining 2 portions are cheese batters.
  7. Pour one portion of the cheese batter  into a 20cm (8") tube pan, level it.
  8. Scoop the pandan batter and spread over the cheese batter.
  9. Scoop the remaining cheese batter and spread over the pandan batter evenly. Drop the pan gently on counter top to remove air bubbles.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven (at 165*C)  for 30-35 mins and then lower to 160*C for another 25 -30 mins ((Use a toothpick and insert into the center of the cake, if it's come out clean with no streaks of batter, it should be done)
  11. When it's done, remove from oven and set aside to cool (at least 2-3 hours). It's not necessary to overturn the cake as it's quite dense and will drop out  if overturn the pan.  
  12. Remove the cake from pan and serve. 

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