Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blueberry Cheese Layer Cake

I was overconfident when I tried to make this blueberry cheese layer cake.    This is not a new recipe, I only made some modifications to one of my old recipes.  I didn't expect it turned out so disappointing!  What went wrong?


I think... first, I cut too much of the sugar amount, the previous recipe in fact was already not sweet, with this further cut, it became very flat.    

  • Lesson learned:  just keep the same amount of the sugar or increase a bit more if the blueberries are too sour.
Second, I put too many flesh blueberries this round.  As we know, blueberries usually are quite sour, I was too lazy to cook to puree. I just placed them over the sponge cake and cover with cheese frosting. Given that both the spongecake and cheese frosting were mild in sweetness, the sourness of the blueberries became very tangy and sharp.  

  • Lesson learned: Add some sugar to the blueberries, cook as puree and mix with cheese frosting before spreading onto the sponge cake.  If not, omit the blueberries, just spread with the cheese frosting.

Third, this cake by nature is on the dry side, not like Chiffon cake which is moister.  I used to slice the cake into 3 pieces and spread them with cheese frosting but this round, I only sliced them into 2.   With such a thickness of sponge cake, it seemed further induced the dryness into the cake. 

  • Lesson learned:  brush a layer of syrup to moist the cake.  If not, slice into 3 pieces.
Forth, I used two 6" pans for 5 large eggs recipe.  Despite lowing the baking temperature to 170*C-160*C, the cakes still cracked on top.  I believe the pan size was too small.

  • Lesson learned:  use two 7" cake pans instead.




With all these wrong doing, how could I expect the cake to turn out good?  :<



Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.     
Al Franken



Double Chocolate Cake

My laptop ran into some performance issue a few weeks ago, it walked like a snail.  Each time, I tried to boost the system up, it took me at least half an hour.  On top of it, it always hung halfway I was surfing the net or blogging something.  So frustrating! It crossed beyond my limit to tolerate and hence, I had to send it back to hardware company to repair.

Thanks to my hubby for running this for me.  Finally, it's back to normal.  I realised that without a laptop, I still could surf the net, check my email but come to blogging, it's way too difficult to manage.  With the laptop is back, I am now able to update my blog.
Despite the laptop was down, I didn't do much baking lately.  I was too restless and lazy. For the following recipe, it is modified from Barry Apek's, I like the chocolate cake sponge, it's very chocolaty and not too sweet.  This cake is so dainty with the chocolate ganache.   You must try!



Preparation:  
  • Prepare two 8" round pans, (I use four 6" round pans) and line the bottom and grease all round.
Ingredients for Cake: -


-  100g Semi-sweet (55-70%) chocolate }
-  20g Cocoa powder                                } stir together 
-  200g Coffee hot                               }


- 225g Butter (unsalted)
- 120g Caster sugar

- 120g Brown sugar
- 3 medium Eggs     
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract


- 240g Cake flour }
- 8g Baking powder }  Sift all dry ingredients together
- 5g Baking soda        }
- 1/2 tsp Salt       }
- 200g Milk

Chocolate Nutella Ganache:
- 200g whipping cream 
- 160g semi-sweet chocolate (55-70%)
- 12g butter
- Nutella (optional)
- 60g Almond flakes

Method:

1.  Pour the hot coffee into a bowl with the chocolate and cocoa powder, and stir until all evenly melted. Set aside to cool.
2. Beat butter with the sugar (both)  until light and soft. 
Add eggs and vanilla essence, one at a time and continue to beat, until evenly incorporated.  
3.  Pour in the chocolate liquid (from step 1) and beat until evenly mixed.
4.  Take a portion of the chocolate mixture and add to the sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  Mix till smooth. 
5. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the chocolate batter in 2-3 additions, adding ½ the milk in between.   Gently mix until evenly incorporated.  Do not over beat.

6. Pour equal amounts into the prepared pans.

7. Baked at 175*C C from 35-40 mins.  Remove from pans, let it cool down and chill in the fridge for an hour.


Ganache
8.  Heat the whipping cream and remove from heat when boiling.  Pour the chocolate into the cream and set aside for 5 mins.  Add in butter, and stir all until a smooth shiny texture is achieved.  Set aside to cool.
9.  Take 70% of the chocolate cream, chill in fridge till thicken.  Remaining leave it outside.
10. Remove cakes from the fridge.  Spread a thick layer of thickened chocolate cream on top of one cake.  Stack another cake on top.  Coat all the sides with the remaining thickened cream.  Smoothen the slides. Return the cake to the chiller for 30 mins or more.
11. Remove the cake from the fridge. 
12. Pour the other 30% of the chocolate cream (which is liquid) liberally over the top of the cake and let it flow naturally over the sides. When done, place in the fridge to set.

13.  Coat all sides with almond flakes if desired. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Devil's Food Cupcake with Chocolate Cream Frosting

My class has started this week.  I felt so tired each day after the lesson.  It's either my 2 months break was too long or the lesson was boring.  I can't deny the lesson we learned is very relevant and it's an important knowledge, however,  it's too dry.  In some aspect, I think the course duration can be shortened by at least a day as it was quite draggy sometimes.
I am not going to write too much in this post as I am tired.  I just want to update this recipe for future reference.  I love the texture of this cupcake, it's really moist and chocolaty!    I adopted this from Anncoo Journal, thanks to her for sharing this.

Ingredients
- 25g unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 30g semisweet chocolate (56%)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup buttermilk ( 1/4 cup whipping cream mixed with 1/4 Tbsp vinegar, rest 2-3 mins)

- 1 large egg
- 60g brown sugar 
- 50g caster sugar 
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 45g canola oil 

- 75g plain flour                }
- ½ tsp baking soda         } sift together
- ¼ tsp salt                       }

Frosting (the amount is not very accurate as I didn't measure)
- 90g semi sweet chocolate 
- 50g whipping cream (optional)
- 50g whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 170*C.
  2. Combine cocoa powder and chocolate in a bowl,  pour in boiling water and let it sit for 3 mins.  Whisk until smooth and follow by buttermilk.  Mix well.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat egg, vanilla essence and sugars until light and creamy.  Add in oil and mix well.  
  4. Fold in flour mixture (flour & salt), alternate with chocolate mixture in additions.
  5. Scoop batter evenly among paper liners. Bake for about 18 -20 mins or until tester inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool in the pan and cool completely before frosting it.
  7. Frosting - Heat whipping cream till just boiling, add in chocolate and let it sit for 3-5 mins. Mix well and set aside to cool.  Whip whipping cream till soft peak and mix with chocolate mixture.  Chill for 20-30 mins before piping.

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