20 January 2008

Birthday Baking - Part 2

Okie! I'm back with the recipe! Did you miss me?

White Chocolate Orange Cake with Cranberry Jam

100g white chocolate
110g butter, softened
120g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 heaping tbsp grated orange zest
160g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
120ml milk

50g sliced almonds, lightly toasted
4 - 5 heaping tbsp cranberry jam, warmed
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 - 3 tsp warm water
icing sugar, to dust

- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
- Beat sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy (~ 3mins). Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing to mix 30secs between additions.
- Add melted chocolate and orange zest. Beat for 30secs.
- Fold in 1/3 of sifted flour mixture and then 1/2 of the milk.
- Repeat until all the flour has been well incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Bake in a greased and lined 7" baking tin for 35mins or until a testing pin inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too rapidly, cover with aluminium foil.
- Turn cooked cake out to cool on a wire rack before proceeding to assemble.
- When cake is cooled, slice into 2 rounds with a large, serrated knife. I find it easier to cut by placing turning the cake and cutting slowly from the circumference to the center. If the cake has a dome, even the top by cutting the "extra cake".
- Spread cranberry jam generously over the bottom half of the cake and top with the other half of the cake.
- Mix 1 tbsp of icing sugar with the warm water, 1 tsp at a time, to get a paste. Spread this thinly over the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds to cover the top of the cake.
- Dust with icing sugar.

I think I did mention about messing up the cake quite a bit. In order to provide you with full information and also entertainment, here's what happened:

(In no particular order)
1. I was lazy and skipped lining the tin so the cake got a little stuck. And a part of it broke while I tried to, frantically, get it out of the pan. But I pieced it back, so you can't see it.
2. I used a mixture of white and brown sugar so the cake wasn't as white as I would like it. It's got nothing to do with taste, but if you wanted it to look better, I'd suggest using only white sugar.
3. I wanted to make a white chocolate ganache for the outside of the cake, but due to miscalculations, it just wouldn't thicken up. So I have a lot of chocolate "sauce" left.
4. My almonds were more than lightly toasted. They were quite, erm, well-browned. So I covered up with icing sugar so you wouldn't notice.
5. So in my recipe I've included an icing sugar paste to spread over the cake. It's to act as *glue* for the almonds to stay on the cake. As you guessed, I didn't think of it when I was in the middle of trying to fix the above 4 problems of my cake. And my almonds were falling all over the place when I cut the cake.
6. I think 5 glitches are enough for a poor birthday cake.

13 January 2008

Birthday Baking

Here's what I promised to be up by this week! My belated birthday cake! I kinda messed up quite a lot here and there, but that'll come later. Fortunately I was able to do emergency rescue procedures to salvage the cake and make it look presentable!

I don't have much time to post today, so I won't have a recipe yet. But let's hope it'll come soon, okie? =p

11 January 2008


red riding hood in paris, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

It's a special day today!

10 January 2008

I'm Alive!

Yup! Well and kicking! I've been neglecting my blog for quite some time, although I seriously wonder if anybody besides MH realised. Saying sorry for that is so overrated, am I right? I've been cooking and baking bits here and there, fiddled with perfectly fine recipes and gotten disastrous results, etc. Thing is I really want to bake and cook more and photograph even more, but my sister's been waking up way past my "shooting studio's" premium sunlight-receiving hours. Plus it's monsoon season and I don't seem to be able to get my camera on my tripod (I must be stupid). So it gets a bit depressing to photograph when light conditions are poor.

Apple and Cranberry Cake

Okay, so excuses aside. I have a recipe to share! Bea's recipe, to be exact. Apple and cranberry cake. Really easy and quick. I'm not going to post it here because I didn't make drastic changes to it: decreasing the sugar a little and tossing in some fresh cranberries with the dried ones. And you so should visit her site if you haven't done so before! I think I might add more fresh cranberries next time or just use it solely because I like the sourish juices it lends to the whole cake. I also sprinkled some cinnamon and sugar on top before baking so it would neutralise the sour cranberries a little.

The photos below have got nothing really to do with this post, but I thought I'll just show you that I've truly been cooking and baking recently. Hehe.

Cold Cha-soba

This is my idea of comfort food! The cha-soba didn't really taste of matcha or any cha for that matter, but I love it! It's like instant noodles but much tastier! I topped off with some shredded Japanese cucumber and a simple omelette. I added chili flakes for an extra seasoning and it was really refreshing.

Orange Yoghurt Cake

A total baking disaster! I fiddled with a recipe I had from my one and only dessert recipe book and ended with a very dense cake. Like kueh. It tasted fine, just had a weird texture. Must not mess with recipes again.

I actually have something that I've planned to come up with tomorrow, but, somehow my plans were foiled. So I hope to be able to get it up by the start of next week because school starts then. Tata!