Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chocolate Bread

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The name Chocolate Bread is a misnomer as this is really a very rich chocolate pound cake. It is probably called a bread as it resembles a dark rye bread.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The bittersweet coming from the Dutch processed cocoa powder and a good brushing of Kahlua syrup makes this pound cake so deliciously aromatic. (Recipe taken from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berandaum)

23g Dutch processed cocoa powder
44g boiling water
6g vanilla
150g eggs (without shell)
125g cake flour
175g sugar
3.7g baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
184g unsalted butter (room temperature)

1) Mix cocoa powder with the boiling water till smooth.
2) Let mixture cool and stir in the eggs and vanilla.
3) Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the sugar to the dry ingredients and stir well to distribute the sugar.
4) Put the flour into a medium sized mixing bowl, add half the cocoa mixture and the butter. Mix well with the paddle attachment for 1 minute and scrap down the sides.
5) Gradually add in the balance chocolate mixture in two batches, beating well after each addition.
6) Pour mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan (8" x 4") and bake at 175degF for 50 to 60 minutes or till a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
(cover loosely with a buttered foil after 25 minutes to prevent overbrowning.
7) Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool further.

Kahlua Syrup (Optional - for brushing to add extra moistness)
Boil 1/4 cup water with 2 tbsp sugar till rolling boil. Cool and add 1-2 tbsp Kahlua
Brush onto the top of the cake (still in the pan) immediately on removal from the oven. After 10 minutes, turn out the cake and brush the sides with more syrup and leave to cool

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Memory of Mum

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here is the Zebra sandal atop a Shoebox Cake which I made for my mum's death anniversary yesterday. The shoebox was a Red Velvet Cake sandwiched with a Peanut Butter buttercream and covered in Marshmallow Fondant. The Shoe and barcode are made out of gumpaste. The shoe is branded Lilly after mum's name.

I had intially intended to make a pink sandal with a bow that was dusted with pearl luster dust.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Alas, the shoe collapsed and I had to redo everything from scratch. It was a good learning experience though because for the pink shoe, I did not make a very good template to dry the sole. The sole was rolled too thin and I had only used a cardboard folded into shape to support it while it was drying. So the gradient was too sharp and it looked weird. I also removed the cardboard circle supporting the toe cap too early which resulted in it collapsing.

For the Zebra shoe, I had cut a block of styroform into a drying platform for the sole.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The sole was rolled thicker and marked with stitching marks. Straps were attached and supported with crunched cling wrap to hold it's shape while drying.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The Zebra shoe atop the Shoebox.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Close-up of the front.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The front of the shoebox with it's barcode.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The insides of the Shoebox, Red Velvet Cake with a Peanut Butter buttercream.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A Bailey Good Cake

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I have a very nice no-fail buttercake recipe given to me by Hugbear. The other night, I decided to give it a twist by adding Baileys Irish Cream to it. The result was a lovely moist buttercake, richly perfumed with the liquer. So what should I call this cake? A Baileys Buttercake? No....! Immediately I wanted to play on the word 'Baileys'.

I recall as kids, how we like to use a certain colloquial line to taunt each other, especially when we are punished by our parents, teachers or any adults for that matter. It goes like this: "Balley Good! Ang Moh Jiak ChooRoot". Roughly translated, it means "Very Good. The Westerners are Eating(Smoking) their Cigars". This 'You Deserved It' taunt is usually accompanied by an exaggerated action of putting the left palm underneath the right armpit, and then pumping the right arm up and down against the left palm. A very silly and comical action I must say. Honestly I do not know what is the connection between being punished and the Westerners having a smoke! Puzzling isn't it! But it was then, as a kid, a fun way to gloat over your friend's misfortune.

So with this funny thought in my mind, I named the buttercake a Bailey Good Cake.


300gm sifted self-raising flour
250gm butter
220gm fine sugar
6 eggs (large)
1tsp Tiramisu flavor
1/2tsp Capuccino flavor
1/2cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liquer

1) Grease and line an 8" or 9" square tin. Preheat oven to 180degC.
2) Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3) Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well between each egg.
4) Add the flavoring essence & Baileys and beat well to combine.
5) Fold in the flour.
6) Bake for approx 40mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Breakfast Treat

Tried my hands at making Chee Cheong Fun or Steamed Rice Sheets this morning. My CCF were real mini measuring only 18cm in length and 1.5cm in diameter. The commercial ones are about 25 to 30cm in length and 3-4cm in diameter!

The batter being steamed in a stainless steel cooking pot.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

All rolled up.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Smooth and slippery CCF served with a Hoisin-Chilli Sauce.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Chewy Mochi Bread

I was reading the Sunday Times today and came across an article titled Doughnut or Puff? Just chew on it. The article is about a new food fad called Chewy Junior. According to the reporter, "the pastries look like doughnuts without holes and are filled with cream inside......but unlike cream puffs and doughnuts, these baked foods have a pleasantly chewy dough". Hmmm this sounded like just what I have made on Saturday afternoon. I cannot confirm this fact as I have not tasted the CJs but my guess is that these are none other than Baked Mochi.

I had purchased two packets of this mochi premix from Taipei a month ago. I had the Mochi Bread (as this is what it is called on the label) baked in muffin cups. Some were filled with redbean paste before baking and others had custard 'pumped' into the hollowed centres after baking. They were crispy on the outsides and chewy on the insides.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The CJs sold at the shop came in various toppings:- strawberry dream, oreo chocolate crunch, coffee muesli crunch. These offerings surely gave me an idea what to do with the 2nd packet of mochi premix that is sitting in the larder.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Roll & Slice

At last, I was able to turn out a decent swissroll that DH & DD gave their stamp of approval. My previous attempts were not exactly failures but they were not that fine in texture. Thanks to Lucy who shared her recipe, the Ariana Swissrolls turned out soft and silky. I was so happy that I quickly make one more to be shared with my colleagues tomorrow. Thank you Lucy. Muack!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Something else which I made last week was the Black Forest Chocolate Slice. I simply mixed melted butter with some crushed Marie biscuits, chopped dried cherries and chocolate chips together. The mixture is then pressed into a square tin before chilling. Melted chocolate was then drizzled over the top and voila! Black Forest Chocolate Slice.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket