Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Birthday bake: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee cake

It was my cousin-in-law's birthday a few weeks ago and so wanted to bake a cake for her! I knew that she'd probably get a lot of chocolates and cakes so wanted to go for something a little lighter! Then I remembered this AWESOME BRIGHT COLOURFUL cake I saw on .. (yes that's right!) Sally's Baking Addiction blog! Actually everything she makes is quite colourful but this cake really did stand out with her bright almost-hot-pink raspberries ^_^ The recipe seemed easy and I had all the ingredients in my pantry (don't you love those kind of recipes!) so here it is!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
3 Tbs (45g) unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (31g) plain flour
1/2 cup (64g) slivered almonds

2 cups (250g) plain flour
3/4 cup (150g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 1/2 cups raspberries (fresh/frozen)

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and line 8 inch square baking pan/dish.
2. Make streusel by gently mashing cold butter in small bowl. Add flour, sugar and mix with fork. Add almonds and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, baking powder, salt and egg. Beat on low until everything combined, remembering to scrape down the bowl if using stand mixer. Do not over mix.
4. Spread half of batter into baking pan/dish. Layer with half of the streusel, then most of the raspberries and chocolate chips. Repeat with rest of batter and streusel. Top with remaining raspberries and chocolate chips.
Layer 1
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Loosely over with foil after 20 minutes to prevent sides from over browning.   
Big slices!
Slice for you!
The colours of the cake were really vibrant! However, the cake was a little bit too dense and I think it was due to over mixing... ideally I wanted the texture to be more crumbly and cakey... but the flavours were still there :) Hope she liked it ^^and if she didn't... it's the thought that counts right? XD

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Work catering #42: It's MAGIC! (magic custard cake that is..)

I had seen this cake on quite a few blogs and was quite intrigued! How could a cake form these 2 distinct layers from one cake mix! One of the reasons why I wanted to bake it because I wanted to see if it was true! and it WAS!!! Amazing! Just like magic :) You can flavour it with any flavour you like. I went for green tea but you can go for chocolate... orange etc.

Green Tea Magic Custard Cake
Recipe adapted from Little accidents in the kitchen
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1 cup (120g) icing sugar
105g plain flour
1 tbs green tea powder
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp white vinegar
2 tbs (30g) caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160oC. Grease and line a 8 inch square baking pan. Melt butter and set aside to cool completely.
2. Whisk together the egg whites and vinegar till soft peaks form. Then whisk in the sugar till holds stiff peaks. Leave aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and icing sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.
4. Whisk in cooled butter. Sift in flour and green tea powder and whisk until batter is smooth.
5. Combine milk and vanilla in saucepan and bring to simmer. Remove from heat and whisk into the batter (the batter at this stage might look really wet but don't worry, just go with it!).
6. Fold in the egg whites gently into the batter in 3 additions.
7. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden. The cake should still have a bit of jiggle. Allow to cool completely before cutting or refrigerate overnight and it should be easier to slice :)

Before serving, you should take it out of the fridge to get to room temperature because it tastes nicer =p Straight from the fridge kind of tastes like mochi!
Just looks like a normal cake but....
ta da~ magic 2 layers :D
Close up of the fluffy top layer and smooth custard bottom layer
Next up is something a little sweeter =p Back to my CHEESECAKES! This time with Toblerone =) This original recipe made an 8 inch square cheesecake but I thought the cheese layer might be a bit too thick so I spread it in a larger rectangle cake pan.
Toblerone Cheesecake Bars
Recipe adapted from Once upon a cutting board
250g sweet biscuits (I used Arnott's Nice biscuits)
100g unsalted butter, melted
500g cream cheese, softened at room temp
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 sour cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup Toblerone chocolate, chopped
60g Toblerone chocolate, chopped
100g Toblerone chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 160oC. Grease and line rectangle (20x30cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Process/crush biscuits until fine crumbs. Add melted butter and mix until combined. Press into base of baking pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.
3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla essence until smooth.
4. Stir in the chopped Toblerone pieces and pour mix on top of base and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle jiggles when you shake the pan.
5. Allow to cool on rack until reaches room temperature then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or best, overnight before serving.
6. For topping, drizzle the melted chocolate on top of cheesecake. Sprinkle chopped Toblerone pieces.
YUM!!! so much Toblerone~~
Ready for service!
Bite size Toblerone goodness!
Having a break from catering this week but don't worry! Lots more baking to come ^___^

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 Kats...so 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