Thursday, April 17, 2014

Eggfree baking: Raspberry Blackout Cake

It was my supervisor's birthday this week so birthday cake baking time!!! One of my friends is currently on an egg-elimination diet as her daughter is egg allergic (aww.. poor girl) so I wanted to make a cake that was EGG FREE. I have previously made an eggless chocolate cake but was also looking for something a little different.
I found this recipe from a vegan baking blog and my first impression was YUM!!! The photo looked awesome!! A 3 layered chocolate cake with chocolate ganache dripping off the sides....and bright pink raspberries carefully placed on top! I only make a 2 layered cake and unfortunately didn't have any fresh raspberries around so used frozen.  My cake is also NOT vegan because I used cow's milk.. but you could always use almond or rice milk like in the original recipe :) But I have to say the cake was super moist! and had the perfect amount of sweetness.

If you are wondering about the egg substitute, the raspberry jam actually helps bind the cake together in place of the egg.

Raspberry Blackout Cake
Recipe adapted from Cookies and Candids

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
285g raspberry jam (reserve 1/2 cup for batter)
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup caster sugar
Fresh/frozen raspberries for decorating

Chocolate ganache
100g dark chocolate melts
80ml thickened cream

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and line 2 8-inch round cake pans.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine milk, oil, 1/2 cup raspberry jam, vanilla and sugar in large bowl and mix with electric mixer until jam mostly dissolved (small clumps are ok).
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in batches and mix until everything is incorporated.
5. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cook in pans.
6. To make chocolate ganache, place chocolate and cream in bowl and melt over double boiler. Allow to cool and it will thicken.
Spreading jam and ganache on the layer of cake~

7. When cakes have cooled fully, spread one layer of cake with thin layer of raspberry jam. Drizzle with a layer of chocolate ganache. Place the other layer of cake on top and pour over ganache. Decorate with raspberries.

So give it a go! Whether you are egg allergic or have just ran out of eggs :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Work Catering #41: Now this is a blondie!

If you saw my post last week on Blondies vs. Brownies, you may have realised that I didn't actually make a "blondie" because there was no white chocolate involved. However! This week's recipe is DEFINITELY a blondie! and a deliciously packed one too~ It's filled with all the good stuff: white chocolate, milk chocolate chips, walnut, banana. I really liked the texture of the crunchy walnuts in there and you can actually taste the banana (my brother said "it just tastes like you are eating a banana" XD).

Banana White chocolate Blondie
Recipe adapted from Daily Delicious

150g unsalted butter
300g white chocolate
300g cater sugar
2 eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g walnuts, chopped
120g chocolate chips (milk or dark)

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and line 20x30cm baking pan with baking paper.
2. Melt butter and white chocolate in saucepan over medium heat.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and banana and mix to combine.
4. Stir in half of flour and baking powder. Once combined, stir in the rest of the flour along with chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.

Yummy packed blondie!
Next up is another bundt cake! (I told you I'm in a bundt cake mood =p). I wanted to try out the "swirl" again since my last swirl bundt cake didn't turn out that well. I'm really happy with this one! and the cake wasn't too sweet either~ had a lovely mocha taste!
Mocha Swirl Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from Mainly Baking

4 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
4 1/2 tbs caster sugar
3 tsp instant coffee granules
4 tbs water

2 1/2 cups (320g) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch fo salt
1 1/2 cups (320g) caster sugar
200ml light olive oil (I used vegetable oil)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
200ml milk
2 tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in the milk
100g dark chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 180oC and grease bundt tin.
2. Place cocoa powder, caster sugar, coffee granules and water into small bowl and mix until they form a smooth paste. Set aside.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, oil and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until mixture is thick and pale.
5. Reduce whisk to slow speed and mix 1/3 of flour mixture alternately with the milk until smooth.
6. Weigh out 400g of batter into a bowl and mix in the cocoa paste mix.
7. Using 1/3 of each batter at a time, layer them alternately into the bundt tin, starting with the light coloured coffee batter.
8. Bake for 45-55min or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in tin then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
9. Decorate with melted dark chocolate.

Full cake!
Close up of cake.. yummy moist texture
Loving the swirl ^__^

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cream cheese swirled chocolate bundt cake! Another farewell cake :(

Another farewell.. =( This time for a friend who finished her PhD :) so I guess it's kind of exciting~ she went back to Malaysia so decided to make a cake for her. This cake was inspired by this chocolate bread I tried from THE DOUGH COLLECTIVE in Sydney. I hope this place comes down to Melbourne! They have all kinds of bread, but one of the best is the Double Chocolate Finger Roll - chocolate bread with chocolate chips and chunks of cream cheese. It's DELISH!
Cream cheese swirled Chocolate Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from Baker Street


Cream Cheese Swirl
1/4 cup caster sugar
250g cream cheese, softened at room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate cake
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
113g unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicard soda
1 tsp vanilla essence

4 tbs icing sugar
2-3 tbs milk

1. Preheat oven to 180oC and grease bundt tin.
2. For the cream cheese batter, beat the cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until well combined. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Set aside.
3. For the chocolate cake, combine all ingredients in large bowl of stand mixer. Beat at low speed, scraping the bowl often until all ingredients are moistened. Increase speed until well combined.
4. Pour ~3 cups of batter into bundt tin. Spoon cream cheese layer over batter without touching sides of pan. Cover with remaining batter.
creating a swirled pattern
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 30 minutes then remove and cool completely.
6. For the glaze, mix sugar and milk together in small bowl until you reach a spreadable consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Cream cheese centre! YUM!
Ok so it's not much of a "swirl" but more of a "chunk" of cream cheese~~ but still yummy ^^ I think I'm in a bundt cake phase~ Been looking up many bundt cake recipes so stay tuned for more :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Work Catering #40: Blondies vs. Brownies

Which do you like better? Blondies or Brownies? I made both for work last week~! Well technically the blondies weren't "blondies" because they didn't have any white chocolate in them... and it was a bit biased because the brownies had cream cheese and Kit of course the brownies won XD But they were both yummy :D 

I was still in a Kit Kat phase from last work catering, so I decided to use them in a brownie!

Kit Kat Cream cheese Brownies
Recipe adapted from Bakerella
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 x 45g package Kit Kat bars

Cream cheese topping
250g cream cheese, softened at room temp
2 eggs
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180oC and grease and line a 20x30cm baking pan.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder in medium bowl and set aside.
3. Melt butter in microwave. Stir in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until well combined.
4. Add dry ingredients. Stir until combined then pour into prepared pan. Gently press 16 individual Kit Kat bars on top of brownie batter.
5. To make the topping, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time to mix until combined.
6. Gradually add icing sugar and then vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour on top of brownie batter.
7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Place a sheet of foil on top of pan for the last 10-15 minutes to avoid over browning.
8. Remove from oven and cool completely. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before slicing and serving - I was too impatient and I think that's why it was quite hard to slice XD was too warm and sticky! haha

Falling brownies....
The cream cheese topping wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was quite soft and pretty sweet but I think the layer was just the right thickness! Any thicker and it would have been overly sweet.
Did I tell you that some of these were stolen? :O
I put them in the work fridge overnight and the next day most of them were gone~
To balance out the sweetness we have some tart apple harvest "blondies". I like the texture of the nuts on top and also bits of cream cheese ^^

Apple Harvest Blondies
Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl

150g unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar (divided)
3 large eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essense
2 medium apples, peeled and chopped (I used granny smith apples for tartness)
125g cream cheese (you can freeze to make it easier to chop later)
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 170oC. Grease and line 20x30cm baking pan. 
2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of brown sugar. Mix well and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
3. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla essence and mix well. Fold in apples.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Chop cream cheese into small bits and mix with nuts, cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Pretty moist and full of fruit :D
and Golden!
I wonder why they are called Apple harvest blondies... 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The FACS cake - for all the science nerds out there!

I don't think many people will get this post.. it's a bit of a science "inside-joke" but nonetheless I want to share it with all of you XD

My friend left 2 weeks... off to pursue a new and exciting job! So although it is sad and I will miss her... I'm also excited for her! and it's not like I can't go visit and vice versa! haha! So this cake was made for her farewell!

I can't take any of the credit because she once showed me a picture of a cake that she suggested I make, but I guess I never had the opportunity to make it, until now! It's a FACS cake~ FACS stands for .. (ok .. nerd time!) Fluorescence-activated cell sorting. It's basically a method to distinguish different cells based on their markers and then you use this machine to analyse them. (I know all you can hear me say is "blah blah blah" xD so let's get to the recipe!!!)

I used my trusty One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe (all credits go to I bake for you). After letting the cake cool, I frosted with vanilla icing and then went creative with my icing pen and sprinkles! Lots of fun :D

The whole lab had a laugh and enjoyed the cake and said it was really moist (yay!). Although I'm not a professional cake decorator, I do enjoy the occasional cake design =p

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Work Catering #39: have a break! Have a KitKat .. cheesecake!

Sorry... another cheesecake post! But this one is different!! it's got KITKAT bars in it XD I have made a similar cheesecake using Tim Tams.. and Cherry Ripes. Any other suggestions for chocolate bars? =P

Also made some blueberry cookies. I always enjoy putting fruit into cookies but usually I used dried fruit however this time I tried out fresh fruit! Enjoy the recipes :D

KIT KAT Cheesecake Slice
Recipe adapted from Bakers Corner
250g plain chocolate biscuits
100g unsalted butter, melted
375g cream cheese, softened
1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream
2 tsp powdered gelatine
1 1/2 tbs boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence
180g Kit Kat, coarsely chopped
45g Kit Kat, extra, coarsely chopped

1. Line a 20x30cm pan with foil.
2. Process/Crush chocolate biscuits until fine. Add butter and process until well combined. Press mixture firmly over the base of prepared pan. Refrigerate while making filling.
3. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in condensed milk and cream until well combined. Dissolve gelatine in water, then add to cream cheese mix. Beat in vanilla then fold in chopped Kit Kat pieces.
4. Carefully pour mixture into prepared base. Sprinkle with extra Kit Kat pieces and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut in squares and serve.

Look at the Kit Kat chunks!! XD
Brown Sugar Blueberry Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Baker Upstairs

113g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs milk
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen)

1. Preheat oven to 190oC. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix well to combine.
3. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with mixer on low speed. Mix until dough comes together then add milk. If dough still dry and crumbly, add 1 tbs milk at a time until it comes together.
4. Carefully fold in blueberries. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Remove dough from fridge. Roll teaspoonful of dough and place on baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

I'm not sure if it was because I used frozen blueberries, but the cookies were a bit soft. I think the moisture from the frozen blueberries may have softened the cookies after they were baked however the flavours were still there. It actually tasted like cookie dough so I didn't mind ^^ The cinnamon, brown sugar and blueberry went really well together.
Cookie time!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Work Catering #38: So CHEESECAKEY!!

If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I LOVEEEE CHEESECAKE!!! It's the one cake that I could live off if I was ever stuck on a deserted island... and I wouldn't be sick of it XD There are just SOOO many different cheesecakes out there! Baked.. frozen...chocolate.. fruity... mini... slice...  the list goes on!
So for catering this week I decided to bake a classic carrot cake with a twist. Surprisingly I have not made carrot cake before! (GASP! I KNOW!) It's such a classic and I love the cream cheese frosting (MY FAVOURITE FROSTING!) so I discovered this recipe that combined carrot cake with cheesecake - a twist on the original cream cheese frosting. The base is carrot cake, while the topping is baked cheesecake. This slice is best served chilled so try and be patient and chill in fridge before eating ^^ if you can...
ok i know.. uneven layers >_>
Carrot cake cheesecake slice
Recipe adapted from The Sweets Life

Carrot Cake
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 raisins
1 1/2 cups grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
1 large egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil

500g cream cheese, softened
1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 180oC and line rectangular baking pan (20x30cm) with baking paper.
2. Beat all carrot cake ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixture until a thick dough forms (a stand mixer is great for this). Press dough into prepared pan, spreading an even layer. Set aside while you prepare filling.
3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk until smooth. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl. Add sour cream, salt, vanilla and eggs. Mix until combined.
4. Pour cheesecake mixture over the carrot cake base, spreading evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just set. The centre should have a slight wobble.
5. Allow to cool completely before covering and refrigerating until bars are set, for 2-3 hours or best overnight. Cut into squares and serve chilled.

Was def a winner at work! they loved it :D
One bite is not really enough...
Next up are these cute little choc cheesecake cups! The smaller the dessert.. the more you can eat right? XD These are just the right size and no bake! You could make them in larger cups or even a cake tin, just double the recipe.

Chocolate Cheesecake cups
Recipe adapted from DK learns to cook
250g Nice biscuits
100g butter, melted
4 tbs cocoa powder

250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
150g dark chocolate
150g thickened cream

1/4 cup milo

1. Process/Crush biscuits with cocoa powder until fine. Add melted butter and mix well. Press 1/2 tsp into base of small cups.
2. Beat thickened cream until soft peaks form and refrigerate. Melt chocolate in microwave and allow to cool.
3. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in icing sugar and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Mix melted chocolate into cream cheese mixture until combined.
5. Mix 1/3 of cream into mixture. Add remaining cream and fold until no white streaks remain.
6. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture into cups. Dust with milo and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. 
Lots of mini cups! mmm

dont forget the spoons! hehe

Looks like chocolate mousse yeah?
So get out there!! Make some cheesecake!! :D I'm sure I'll have many more cheesecake recipes to come! But here's some you can check out :)