Saturday, January 20, 2007

If you have been visiting my blog you would have noticed that I have not been updating it as much as before.

Lately, my work has been keeping me very busy during the day and by the time I reached home, I am brain dead. I am still baking though, and I am still trying out new recipes about 2 or 3 times a week as this has always been my way of relieving stress. It is just that I have not been taking pictures of them or uploading them to the blog. Hopefully thing will return to normalcy for me and I can start to blog actively again.

Here is a roundup of some of the stuff that I have made the past week.

Special Chocolate Cake. This is one of my favorite no fail recipe taken from the Australian Women's Weekly and of which I have been using for years. It is easy to do, tastes rich and stays moist up to three days. I did not take a picture but it looks similar to the Cherry Chocolate Cake below minus the cherries.
Here is the recipe for my colleague Sharon who requested for it and for also for Annie from RH:

Special Chocolate Cake
500ml water
660gm caster sugar
35g cocoa powder
250g butter, chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
450g self-raising flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten

1) Preheat oven to 175 degree C.
2) Grease a 10" x 13" cake tin and line base with baking paper.
3) Combine water, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda and butter in a pot and heat without boiling till sugar is dissolved.
4) Increase heat and bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
5) Transfer to mixing bowl and leave to cool till lukewarm.
6) Stir in sifted flour and eggs and beat till mixture is smooth.
7) Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick/skewer in the centre of the cake. Cake is done when no crumbs sticks to the skewer.
8) Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool.

During the weekend, I tried a Steamed White Radish Cake taken from another blog. The ratio of radish versus rice flour/water initially scared me. I was apprehensive as to how the cake will turn out. Surprisingly, it was very good. It was robust, full of flavor and it tasted even better when lightly pan-fried. However, due to the large amount of white radish used, there was a tinge of bitterness in it. I made note on my recipe card that when making this cake again, I must squeeze out some of the radish juice to reduce the bitterness.
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From the same blog, I tried a very innovative pseudo Tiramisu cake made from Cocoa Puff biscuits. You add cream, which have first been mixed with rum and vanilla essence, to the layers of cocoa puff biscuits. Then you top with more cream, some cocktail fruits and set the top with jelly.
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The original recipe calls for Alsa Gulaman, a quick setting crystal jelly popular in the Philippines. I supposed I could find this at Lucky Plaza which is a haven for Filipino food products but I was too impatient to wait till my next trip into town. Since I do not have this on hand, I had substituted it with instant jelly dissolved in cranberry juice. It tasted real good. The biscuits have soften to a stage that it tasted like a rum soaked sponge and because I have added some Cheesecake candy oil to the cream, I feel as though I am biting into a cream cheese concoction..
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This last cake, a Cherry Chocolate Cake is a bonus because I have been begging this lady for the recipe for the longest time. She had refused to impart the recipe to me and preferring to make me one each time she visits. However I think my patience paid off after all these years of nagging and bugging her. She finally relented but not without making me promise not to share the recipe. I just love the moist and chocolately flavor of the cake and juiciness that comes from the cherries. Yum!


tweetybird said...

Hello Ginny,

Thx for sharing with us ur bakes / cooks. Yums! I like chai tau kueh too =)

I tried a cherry chocolate cake from AWW b4.. didn't turn out nice for me.. yours look so enticing!


delia said...

Hi Ginny,
I tried out the special chocolate cake but mine isn't moist. Don't know what happened. Have tried out the horlick doggie cookie and it turns out very nice. A few of my friends also took your recipe from me.

MyCookingEscapades said...

Hi Delia. Hmmmm.. did you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool sufficiently otherwise your flour will get cooked when you add it to the hot mixture.

delia said...

I did wait till lukewarm then only I add in the flour. Maybe next time, I will wait till it's cool. It did get moist the next day but after that it was all gone. Not yet up to the 3rd day. I might try it again.

Gina (from Taiwan) said...

Hi Ginny, your blog is so cool!!! You are almost a perfessional cook. I hope that I may taste your creations one day.

BTW, Happy Mother's Day! ^_______^ (I'm sorry for dalay)

Rusti said...

Hello Gina (Guai Nui-Er)
When you visit Singapore, I will bake for you ok.

karlsfoodie said...

thanx ginny for the choclate cake recipe
thumbs up =)

Anonymous said...

hi Ginny,
try your choco cake 2day .I use reg 1 cup of flour with 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt since I dun have self rising flour .i also cut the recipe in half . the cake is light and airy and dark in color but lack a chocolate taste . what went wrong . should I have use more cocoa powder ? can I replace the butter with veg oil ? thanks !

Rusti said...

Hi Diane
The amount of cocoa powder specified in the recipe is just right. Perhaps it is the brand of cocoa that you use. I usually use Phoon Huat's cocoa powder. Hershey's cocoa powder is very light in color, and in my opinion, tasted milder when compared with PH's. Perhaps,you can use Varlhona for a richer taste.

I have not tried oil in place of butter but I think it should work. Using oil has an advantage in that when the cake is placed in the fridge, it is still quite soft without having to return to room temperature.

Anonymous said...

hi Ginny,
I am from the US . I use KING ARTHUR flour and their baking ingredients. they have a boxed choco cake mix that is sooo good . very dark and moist but @ $5 a box {with shipping is more like 8 )which is just flour and all other ingredients I have in my pantry . so everytime i see a moist choco cake recipe i always try to see if that is" the one ". no luck so far .if I was to use oil instead of butter ,how much do you think ?Thanks a bunch for you time :)

iml said...

Stumbled upon your delicious blog today, while looking for boiled cakes. I am terrible at baking, and I hope the special chocolate cake will turn out good.