Wednesday, 28 November 2007

happy birthday to me!

coz i don't do no baking on my birthday, i got this amazing cheesecake and the yummy chocolate cake! yeah!


Wednesday, 14 November 2007

that same day...

The same day, because I knew I always have some leftover cream (and this time ganache as well) I baked a sheet cake merging the regular sponge recipe (30:30:1) and the chiffon shortcake recipe.

The ingredients-

30*6 gm flour
30*6 gm sugar
1*6 eggs

These are the regular sponge ingredients, apart from this I also added ( going the chiffon way),

Half a tablespoon baking powder
Half a teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Incase you don't have leftovers, for the filling you'll need-

Chocolate Ganache (Bring to the boil half a cup of cream in a saucepan, remove from heat and add around a quarter pound chopped semisweet chocolate to it, swirl the pan so the cream covers the chocolate, let it rest for five minutes, then whisk till smooth. Let cool, it will firm up as it does that.

And around half a cup of whipped cream, whipped with confectioner's sugar added according to your taste (around four tablespoons should be fine)

Then I proceeded as for the chiffon shortcake (check out the post before this one), with the exception that I used all the yolks as well, so that my yolks to whites ratio was 1:1. Also I noticed that using more water yields a softer cake. I cut the cake into two layers, sandwiched the layers with the ganache and then covered them with whipped cream, and it was good!


1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, the baking powder, salt and 150gm sugar.

3. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks, vanilla essence, lemon zest, oil and water until smooth. Stir in the flour to form a smooth mass.

4. Beat the egg whites, slowly adding the remaining sugar, until stiff peaks are formed.

5. Fold in a quarter of the egg whites into the flour mixture. Fold in the rest.

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

7. Let cool.

Assembling the cake:

Slice the cake into two layers. Sandwitch the layers with ganache. Cover with whipped cream.


Chiffon Shortcake with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

A family friend, who is like family only, recently moved to a better job, so had been wanting to make a Congratulations Cake, which I did finally a few days back. Got a bit enthusiastic and tried something new with
hmm... good results.

I decided to bake a chiffon shortcake and ice it with whipped cream and to add some flavour I layered it with chocolate ganache. Oh well you could argue that chocolate makes everything good!

I adapted the recipe for Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake from the Joy of Cooking (also of course I used no strawberries).

Cake layers:
11/8 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 and 1/4 cups superfine or regular sugar, divided
Half a tablespoon baking powder
Half a teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
5 large egg whites at room temperature

1 cup heavy cream
Half a pound semisweet chocolate, chopped.

And a cup of whipping cream for covering the cake ( though I used 25% cream, and was really happy when it stiffened up! It was very light and make the cake taste better, not at all buttery, greasy or heavy. Though am not sure if it will work everytime).

1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have a 9-inch round cake pan ready, lined with parchment paper.

2. Sift the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt twice together into a large bowl.

3. In a another bowl, beat the yolks, water, oil, zest and vanilla on high speed until smooth. Stir into the flour mixture until smooth. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar, and beat on high speed until the peaks are stiff but not dry.

4. Use a rubber spatula to fold a quarter of the egg whites into the flour mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, only until the egg whites are no longer visible. Overdoing it will deflate them.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake it until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6. Let the cake cool before taking it out of the pan and peeling off the parchment paper.

7. Make the ganache: Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan, remove from heat and add the chocolate and swirl to cover all the chocolate. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Whisk with a hand whisk until smooth. Let cool. Whisk again.

8. Add some sugar to the whipping cream and whip it with an electric mixer till stiff.

folding in the whites...

cooling and slicing the cake...


Assembling the cake:

Split the cake into three layers or even two would be fine I don't know how I managed three! I made a ring of whipped cream before pouring in the ganache so that it wouldn't leak later. Spread the ganache and top with the other or another layer, depending upon how many you have. Cover the top and the sides with whipped cream, decorate with chocolate curls if desired, or pipe the leftover ganache.

Early on I was planning a white on white cake, but then I felt it looked too plain so I piped on some ganache and added a few chocolate curls (a firm piece of chocolate and a vegetable peeler).


Friday, 2 November 2007

Halloween goodies!

Well, my 3-year-old is totally into Halloween now, so I decided to have a small dress-up party for her and her friends, since I'd be working on the actual day of Halloween. I didn't want to make anything too spooky for preschoolers... so I let the theme be pumpkins, no bloodshot eyes and severed hands.
First, I apologize for the poor photos, the one thing my husband did that day, and he messed up!

Anyway, the cake was this devil's food Halloween cake

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from Gourmet magazine. The original recipe has a chocolate spider, its legs extending over the sides of the cake, a really neat idea that I want to try next time. The cake itself was yum, though I wonder if it would have been better with chocolate instead of cocoa powder. I did have another devil food's cake recipe using chocalate from Nick Maglieri's book How to Bake, but my stupid fridge had frozen the sour cream his recipe calls for. Anywho, everyone said they liked the cake, though my 3-year-old was a little freaked out by the orange and black icing. The icing was an amalgam of this quick vanilla buttercream icing I found online and the frosting in the Bon Apetit recipe. I also stuck some of Wilton's Halloween sprinkles along the edges, very unprofessionally.
The cupcakes were plain vanilla, to which I added half a cup of chocolate chips, using the same frosting. This was my first time piping anything, and while the spiders' webs weren't hard, my spiders turned out rather double-jointed and my attempt at a bat was unrecognizable!