Tuesday, April 24, 2012


When my colleague walked in the office holding this cake... My jaw dropped in awe!!! it was so AWESOME! I think she realised as well because she said "look at your face!" HAHHA Well who wouldn't have that expression when you saw this cake! It looked like a REAL CRAB!!! I think she should be a professional cake decorator! ;)
So much detail went into the decorating!! Look at the different tones of orange!
Although she didn't actually make the cake or icing from scratch, there is a lot of skill in shaping and painting it to look like a crab. She used mini jam rolls for the cake and pre-made frosting to decorate the cake. Then used a paintbrush and food dye to get the great colours :D

I made some fishyrons to go with the cake~

Poor fishies going to get eaten by Mr crab ><
Oh and if you are wondering.. why a crab of all things? This cake was for a friend as a congratulations on getting an award =) She is researching on Shellfish allergy, hence the crab!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Green tea layered cake

So this month's Aspiring Baker's theme is "layered cakes", hosted by Sam of Sweet Sensations, something I don't often bake so thought that this would be a good challenge! I think the last layered cake I made was a Victorian sponge cake.. and before that an Opera Gateau. So, to try something different I started looking up recipes for Green tea layered cake. The recipe I chose looked quite simple (haha! yes I go for easy and simple recipes =p) and in the end tasted pretty good. It didn't turn out as "green" as I would like and an aunty even commented "Is it green tea flavour? Why is it brown?" >_< but I think maybe I didn't add enough green tea or maybe other's put green tea colouring.

Well the icing was green =p and the cake was nice and moist as well :) It was lots of fun! Here's the recipe so you can try it out as well! I don't think this is limited to green tea flavour, you can add cocoa powder for chocolate, or vanilla essence or even do different colours! Have a go!

Green tea layered cake
Recipe adapted from www.greenteatoday.com/recipes/green-tea-cake-recipe

1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb soda
5 tsp green tea powder (add more for a more pronounced flavour!!)
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup yoghurt (I didn't have any so substituted this with 3/4 cup milk)
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs

Green tea icing (double or even triple this for thicker layers of frosting)

1 1/4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, soft
2 teaspoons green tea powder

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and line round cake tin.
2. Sift flours, bicarb soda, salt and green tea powder into large bowl.
3. In another bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Stir in vanilla essence.
4. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk.
5. Mix well and pour batter into prepared cake tin. Bake ~50-60 minutes or until skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool cake on cake rack for ~30 minutes before slicing.
Looks nice just as it actually =p
7. Meanwhile, make green tea icing by beating icing sugar, margarine and green tea powder together until smooth. Keep in fridge till use.
8. Slice cake into 3 even layers.
3 even layers~ I even used a ruler!! ^^
 9. Spread icing on bottom layer and top with second layer. Ice second layer and sift over green tea powder. Add final layer, spread over icing. Sift over green tea powder and white chocolate ganache (i had some leftover so might as well put it to use =p).

First layer iced~
Second layer iced and sprinked with green tea powder~ just for some extra flavour~
Complete! Drizzle with white chocolate ganache for extra drippy effect :P

Slice for you!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Take 2!

There are many times when I have tried out a recipe and failed (yes! it's true!) or it doesn't turn out quite as expected. There are always room for improvements and so this blog entry is dedicated to my second attempts and 2 particular recipes: the cantonese egg tart and banana bread. If you recall from my previous blog about egg tarts, I didn't have the proper egg tart tins so they didn't turn out so well. The pastry was quite thick and the tarts didn't look very presentable.. BUT thanks to K who bought the egg tart tins for me from Hong Kong~~ we were able to bake them again =)
You can find the recipe for cantonese egg tarts here.
Baking in the oven~~

Ta da~~ done ^_^ they could have been a bit more brown...

but they tasted delicious :D
My first attempt at banana bread did go quite well but it didn't look that great. So when I tried again I decided to decorate the top with sliced bananas and a few oats! Much better :) You can find the recipe for banana bread here.
Cooling in the tin~~
Mmm.. I can smell the banana ~~
sliced up! you can see the chunks of banana goodness ^^
So when you think u have failed.. just try again :) I mean.. that's what baking is about yeh? Experimenting.. trying out new recipes... and improving them!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baking with weetbix ~

I think I have been in a loaf/bread phase because apart from macarons, that's what I have been baking ^_^ They are very simple to make because there is no "creaming" method involved. Just throw all ingredients in a bowl.. mix mix mix.. pop it into the oven and hope it turns out alright =p
Looks so healthy right?
I guess you are thinking HUH!? You can bake with Weetbix!?? well apparently you can ^^" I found this recipe on the side of a weetbix box. Actually it was a Coles brand whole wheat biscuit cereal. My mum who usually eats Weetbix for breakfast said that the Coles brand tasted different so I thought.. hm.. maybe if no one is going to eat it I can use it to BAKE ^__^

So here is the recipe! The original recipe was for banana and date loaf but i didn't have any dates so substituted with cranberries =) I think any dried fruit would be good :)

Banana and cranberry loaf

5 whole wheat biscuits, crushed
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 ripe bananas, mashed + 1/2 banana sliced for decoration
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 large egg lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and line loaf tin.
2. Combine wheat biscuits, flour, sugar, cranberries, banana and cinnamon in large bowl. Mix in milk and egg until well combined.
3. Spoon into lined loaf tin and decorate sliced banana on top. Sprinkle a few crushed wheat biscuits on top and bake for 45-50 minutes or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Decorated with bananas ^^
sliced up and ready to eat =D
Surprisingly a tasty loaf and healthy too! You wouldn't even realise there were weetbix in there! (my colleagues couldn't either ^^)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pop Pop Pop!

Poppy seeds are a great baking ingredient! Whether they are in cakes or muffins or sprinkled on top of bread buns, they give a great texture of crunch and POP! =D One of the items on my "invisible-in-my-head" to bake list was an orange and poppy seed cake. I had been looking up a few recipes but none that I really liked (most of them used heaps of butter). Then one day a friend of mine posted a pic of some orange and poppy seed muffins she had baked! they looked perfect and she told me they didn't use butter but oil! the recipe looked quite simple so I decided to give it a go =D

Orange and poppy seed muffins
Recipe adapted from Cooking for One

Finished product =D
2 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil but I'm sure vegetable or any other oil is fine)
1 cup milk
1 whole orange
1 tbs poppy seeds
1.  Preheat oven to 200oC. Lightly grease 12 hole muffin tin.
2. Place orange in pot of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Take orange out of water and place in another pot of boiling water for another 15 minutes. Take out orange and allow to cool down.
3. Place flour in a bowl. Stir in baking powder, poppy seeds and sugar.
4. Whisk oil, egg and milk gently in separate jug. 
5. Chop cooked orange into small pieces and use stick blender to blend orange. If you don't own a stick blender you can manually chop orange into smaller pieces (I was lazy so I did this =p)
6.Stir oil and milk mixture into dry mixture and add chopped orange. Do not overbeat or muffins will be tough.
7. Pour muffin mix into muffin pan. Bake for ~25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Mmmm tastes best straight out of the oven ^_^
You can serve with cream cheese icing but they do taste quite nice just the way they are. If you don't have that big a sweet tooth, these muffins are just for you! not too sweet but lovely crunch of poppy seeds and orange flavour =)

cooling in muffin tin~

I am still looking for a good orange and poppy seed cake recipe so if you know any that you would like me to try out, just leave a comment ^__^ I'm happy to take any requests!!