Wednesday, April 27, 2011


There were a few birthdays over the last week. I had already baked a White Chocolate cake for Sarah's birthday. She also requested for another cake as she had 2 celebrations with different groups of friends. So since there is already a white cake, why not a Black Forest Cake as well.

Again I had baked 2 layers of the Chocolate sponge and wrapped them in the fridge before assemblying them the next day (besides it makes them easier to handle).

I used the same buttercream frosting except I added melted dark chocolate.

I brushed the layers liberally with Rum before topping the chocolate cream . They are young adults, so a bit of alcohol is allowed.

Next is to layer the pitted dark cherries around the cake. More chocolate cream goes on top before they are sandwich together.

The sides and top of cake are covered with whipped cream.

Next place the paper cut out of the heart shape over the cake -and dust cocoa powder.

Gently lift off the paper and voila- the heart should be in the center!

Pipe the rosettes and place the maraschino cherries on top of them.

I felt the sides were too bare, so I added the chocolate rice around the base

I had also made the same cake for my brother in law's birthday which fell on the 24/4/2011.

Here, you can see that I am practising the rose again. It is getting better and better...



22/4/2011 is Sarah's 20th Birthday. She informed me that she is no longer a teenager, but a yound adult now. So for my pretty yound adult, I baked her a White Chocolate Cake with Cranberries and white chocolate filling. As she now deserve something more mature, I decorated the cake with a a bouquet of roses.

I stumbled upon the blog of I am baker and I immediately want to do this for Sarah.

I had baked 2 layers of the White Chocolate cake last night. Kept them wrapped in the fridge and finish assemblying the cake tonight.

I simmered some frozen cranberries with orange juice, cinnamon, brown sugar. The mixture is then puree and sieved and ready as a filling between the layers.

I used the same buttercream frosting in the recipe.

Got to beat the buttercream till light and fluffy. I added melted white chocolate to the buttercream as I wanted a more intense flavour of the White Chocolate.

Spread the layers with the cranberries puree and then the white chocolate buttercream frosting. Coat the top and sides of cake as well with the frosting.

Trying my best to pipe the perfect rose! This method is very forgiving- you just have to scrape off what you don't like and start over again till you are satisfied. But beware of the frosting melting !

Almost getting there...

I was very satisfied with the result. Of course there is always room for improvement.

If you do not like the all white effect, you can always use some colour dust on the roses.
But for my special young lady, the white roses for her kindness and goodness.

Monday, April 18, 2011



There are a lot of birthdays this month. My niece's birthday fell on 14/4/2011 and being a weekday, I was not able to bake her a cake. So I baked her this Chocolate Banana Cake on Sunday.

I had some bananas sitting in the fridge and the skin are already darken but inside its just ripe. So actually, if you cannot finish your bananas just throw them in the fridge and make use of them later.

I had 2 options for this cake.

The first recipe use sponge cake and chocolate cream.

The second recipe was taken from Zang Toi's recipe which he serve in his New York cafe. I decide to use his recipe as I like cake better than sponge.

Instead of a square cake, I baked it in 2 cake tins and should have got 4 layers. However, I broke one layer and hence the cake is only a 3-layer cake. Anyway that's good - 3 in Chinese -lively- good omen for birthday!

The cake uses a chocolate sauce and then top with sliced bananas. There is no extra cream/frosting between the layers. The chocolate sauce is very yummy.

The final layer is topped with the chocolate sauce left plain. I did not had the opportunity to get a good picture of a slice of the cake as she was not at home when I delivered the cake.

But the cake is very good-soft and chocolatey.

I will try the sponge cake with the chocolate cream filling another time.

After that, Sarah tested a packet of the pre-mix of Macaroons. A 250 gm pre-mix costs RM10.90. We were told that we should be able to get 50 macaroons from it. She only had to mix it with warm water, whipped it up for 5 minutes and then baked immediately.

The amazing thing is that they puff up very nicely and develop those characteristic "fuzzy legs" almost immediately! There is definitely no such thing as "failed attempt" here.

However, I cannot vouch for the taste. They are not chewy nor do they melt in your mouth. And you can detect the chemicals smell.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


There are 2 dogs in my house. Toto is the miniature Schnauzer that my sister's boss gave me. The daughter was to busy to take care of him and she herself doesn't like dogs. So the poor dog was turned over to us otherwise he will be given over to the pound. He is a very "naughty boy"- playful and yet so trustful and such a good companion for me on my "home alone days". Recently I rescued PhowPhow from the roadside. It has been raining the whole morning and as we were passing, I saw her sitting in the rain by the roadside. I made my daughter turned back and got down to her and she was so willing to allow me to pick her up and follow me home. She must be somebody's abandoned or missing dog. So I decided to adopt her. She is such a pretty and dainty lady (when she is not roughing it out with Toto). So, I attempted to make some doggie biscuits for them. Who will have the first biscuit?
This dough is a healthy and its vegetarian dough- no meat or chicken stock except eggs are added. Besides its whole meal flour- so for Toto who has sensitive skin, it good for him.

I got a doggie biscuit cutter - its a bit too big. I found that if I squeeze the centre portion first and then press down the sides, the shape is much better- more like a doggie bone !

Got to bake them in moderate oven for around 45 minutes - to get a dry biscuit.

The aroma actually is very appetising.

The biscuit got to be quite thick otherwise it burns easily during the long baking time.

This the last batch and by then, I have an ideao of how thick the dough and the baking time to get a perfect lightly brown biscuit.

This is the first batch that was almost burnt - luckily rescued it in time.

The dogs loved them and they taste good- yes I have eaten them too.

Gave some of them for my friend to feed the strays around her neighbourhood.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We make use of a lot of egg yolks for the pineapple tarts each Chinese New Year. Most of egg whites goes down the drain. We had not thought of making use of them. Now with cost of living going up, recycle, reuse and reproduce are on everyone lips nowadays. So in the spirit of green living, it came to our minds to make good use of each items and not waste.

I have decided to experiment making meringue. Easy to make, cheap to make but time consuming to bake!

Yes, to get that crispy and dry meringue, so that it actually like melts in your mouth takes quite a long wait in a low oven. I find that unless they are properly dry out, they tends to "sweat" and becomes sticky when cool. So it is really imperative that they are slowly bake till they are dry.

Meringue -basically egg whites and sugar beaten together till stiff and glossy. The trick taught by Anna Olson- just a few drops of lemon juice and a tablespoon of cornflour did the trick as well to hold their shape.

Have to get my hands steady to pipe nice rosette.

Still trying to improve on the looks.
The final products - light, airy, crispy and melt in your mouth coffee meringue kisses.

Verdict :-

1. Jennifer said "too sweet" - alright to reduce sugar next time

2. Evon said "a bit coarse" - don't know what she means.

3. Yoke said " Very nice- very successful"

4. Sarah said " melt in the mouth"

5. Elaine said "anytime better than the commercial ones. "

Well this is not the end of experimenting. Will have to improve more so that they will be ready for sale before Chinese New Year comes around.