28 March 2011

Coconut & Double Choc Chip Cupcakes

This is my largest batch of cupcakes so far.  A grand total of 48 mini cupcakes in 2 flavours - coconut, and double choc chip.

Hope my friend and his colleagues enjoy these tomorrow. 

20 March 2011

Saffron Fried Rice

My blog buddy, KL, gave me some a lot of saffron she bought from her recent trip to Bali.  I'm not very familiar with saffron; only that when it's cooked with rice, it gives the most amazing aroma, flavour and colour to the rice.

To prepare the saffron, soak it in hot water for at least half hour to release it's flavour and colour.  Then use the liquid as you would in your usual recipe.  Today, it's going into my fried rice lunch :)  

Here's what I put in my fried rice...

And, of course, rice...

Garnish with a few crisp curry leaves, and it's ready!

I may not be blogging much for a while.  My donation drive received such overwhelming response that I think I will be baking with whatever free time I have.  But I will do a bumper post soon when most of the orders have been fulfilled.  It will be a post with lots and lots of pictures!

15 March 2011

Join me in helping Japan?

Today, I'm just feeling very fortunate to be alive, with a roof over my head, food on my table, my family and friends still alive...

I'm not sure the victims of the recent disaster in Japan can say the same thing.  My heart goes out to them, and to the brave rescue workers and volunteers who are risking their lives to help the people of Japan put their lives back together again. 

Picture from The Washington Post
Picture from The Washington Post

I may not be able to contribute in a big way, but I hope my small effort will go to helping someone in need.  

I'm reaching out to all my friends to help spread the word: 

I'm baking to raise funds for the Red Cross.  

For all orders I receive from now till 31 March, full proceeds will go to Red Cross for Japan. Please contact me at thebatterbaker@gmail.com if you'd like to help. 

Thank you for reading this post. 

14 March 2011

This is not a pie

Why did my scones become wedges?  There is a good reason...

I started making scones this morning; measuring the ingredients, following the steps I'm used to.  But when all the ingredients were combined, I wondered why my dough was so wet and mushy.  Something was not right...

I looked back at my recipe and realised I had only measured out half the required flour!!  Goodness, how did that happen?  No wonder the dough was wet and mushy.

So I added more flour and continued kneading the dough, but it remained a sticky mass.  So I thought: "OK, maybe the butter melted. Let the dough spend some time in the fridge and that should do the trick."  Right?  Wrong.  The dough was still sticky and impossible to cut.

I really didn't want to throw out the dough, so I pulled out my pie pan and decided to give it a shot - pressed the dough into the pie pan and sent it to the oven.  15 minutes later, I got a huge scone!

Actually, I'm kinda liking how these scones look.  Next time, I might just use my pie pan again to make scones  :)

Scone Wedges  
60g butter, cold
130g cake or plain flour
15g sugar (or up to 40g for sweet scones)
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100ml milk or whipping cream (or 1 egg + milk/cream to make 100ml)

Combine all dry ingredients.
Cut or blitz butter into flour mixture till it resembles bread crumbs.
Add milk/cream and mix till just combined.
Knead very gently till dough comes together.
Cut into rounds or press into a pie pan.
Bake at 190*C; 12 min for rounds, 15 min in pie pan.

Cheese Pound Cake with Fresh Cream n Frosties

Happy Birthday, Favian!

13 March 2011

Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake

This one's for chocoholics!  
A rich velvety fine-crumbed decadent chocolate cake, drizzled with smooth liquid chocolate... what more could a chocoholic ask for. 

This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum. It's simple and it uses a non-conventional method of cake making - not genoise, not chiffon, not wet+dry, not by creaming butter.  Reading the recipe, I was skeptical of the batter's potential to produce a soft cake.  I thought that without creaming the butter or whisking the eggs, it would just result in a dense, flat cake.

But it turned out to be a soft fine-crumbed cake with a rich cocoa flavour.  I bet this would be great as a seven-layer cake, filled and frosted with layers of rich dark chocolate ganache...  mmmm...

Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake
Makes enough batter for a 4-cup bundt pan. 

40g cocoa powder
80ml boiling water
2 eggs (100g without shells)
80ml water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
157g cake or plain flour
160g sugar (reduced from 200g)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
150g unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small cubes

Whisk cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, water and vanilla just until lightly combined.
Combine all remaining ingredients except the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for a minute or so.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture, beating till well incorporated. 
Scrape the batter into a greased bundt pan and smooth the surface evenly.

Bake at 170*C for 25-30 minutes till a skewer comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely in the pan before unmoulding. DO NOT attempt to unmould or move the cake while still hot - it will break up to pieces! 
When cool, unmouild into serving dish and drizzle a generous amount of warm chocolate ganache before serving. 

Kahlua Chocolate Ganache 
100g chocolate
80ml whipping cream
1 tbs butter
1 tbs Kahlua

Heat all ingredients. Stir till smooth.
If mixture is too thick, add water till a pouring consistency is achieved. 

09 March 2011

Mango Mousse Cake

Is it mango season?
At S$1 a piece, I couldn't resist.  I bought two to try.  Yes, just two.  Now I wish I'd bought more... One went to Mom, so I only had one left to for a Mango Mousse Cake I've been wanting to try.

Chiffon Cake 
Makes a short 8" round cake. For a more average-height cake, double the recipe. 
2 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
20g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
37ml oil
55ml water
75g cake flour
3/8 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
20g sugar

Combine all (A) ingredients, whisk till well combined and frothy.
Sift (B) over (A) and whisk till just combined. 
Whisk egg whites till frothy.  Add cream of tartar and sugar, and whisk till peaks have just turned stiff. 
Loosen egg yolk mixture with some whites. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the egg yolk mixture till the streaks disappear.
Push batter into baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. 
Bake at 170*C for 30-40 min till done. Invert on a rack to cool.
When completely cool, slice the cake into as many layers as you desire.

Mango Mousse
175ml whipping cream
2-3 tbs sugar
150g mango puree
100g diced mangoes

Whip the cream till peaks are soft. Add sugar, and whip till peaks are stiff. 

Add mango puree and whip briefly till just combined. 
If mixture is too soft, chill for an hour or so till the cream firms up. 

Once you have your cake layers and mango mousse ready, it's time to put it all together! On top of each cake layer, slather on some delicious mango mousse. Generously sprinkle the diced mangoes on top and cover with just a little bit more mousse. 

Place the other cake layer on top and press gently. Then slather on the rest of the mousse on top. As I made this on a weekday night, time was very limited, so I opted for the rustic look. 

With the tines of a fork and my trusty Ikea lazy susan, I dug the end of the fork into the mousse and gently turned the lazy susan. Gradually move the fork towards the centre of the cake and a simple decorative pattern emerges. 
Now, what d'ya think of that!

I'm submitting my rustic mango mousse cake to Aspiring Bakers #5: Fruity March (March 2011) hosted by Jess of Bakericious.