A different way to dress the cake.

Freshly and Lovingly done up : 6th Apr 2014

image

image

Someone called the cake I have done up yesterday an abstract art (see post on the 5th Apr 2014)

Perhaps the way I dressed it up today will look more like a cake.

If you have read the post yesterday ( the link above ), you will have known that I did not use the cream cheese frosting. So I have decided to dress up the cake using the cream cheese frosting that I have prepared instead.

I divided up the frosting into 2 portions. I added 1/2 tsp of charcoal powder into one portion and mix well.

I used a part of the plain portion to crumb coat the cake and let it chill for 1 hr.

After that hour of chilling, I scooped one portion of the plain portion into a piping bag followed by a portion of the charcoal powder cream cheese frosting into the same piping bag.

In this case, I piped the frosting into 5 vertical balls and I use the back of the spoon to create the design by dragging the frosting outward.

To be honest, my first attempt. I am trying to create a graduation of colour look. I used the same technique for the top portion and position black berries in the middle to create the center of a flower.

Enjoy.

image

image

Black. Any shades of it is perfect in my eyes.

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 5th Apr 2014

image

image

This cake was conceptualized a few months back but I just did not have the impulse to bake it until rcently. So I am ready today :). Actually I am ready yesterday night, so I did up the cookies dough at midnight and do the preparation.

Its a fabulous Saturday morning today. I woke up to the sweet sound of splattering. It IS raining. It has been so hot that a little cooling agent is more than welcome.

After getting my brew from starbucks, I am ready to get started.

I must say I am not able to get it exactly the same as I have conceptualize. Here is the blueprint I have done up a few months back. Please do not laugh. It looks really juvenile and I am embarassed.

image

The cake is too heavy for me to stack 4 layers. So I reduced to only 2 layers. The cream cheese frosting which I have prepared was not used as well given the cake does not need it. Anyway, I kept the cream cheese frosting recipe for you. You do not have to piece this up the way I did. You can always coat the cakes layers and the whole cake with the cream cheese frosting.

I know this cake can look better with brighter colours. The reason why I am not doing so is because I want to use natural ingredients to tint the cake. Charcoal powder and ground sesame seed are perfect. Charcoal powder is tasteless and its good for you. I know if I use shades of pink or blue, this cake will be even more perfect. But well, I have always like black and I think Black can be gorgeous too. :)

Ingredients :

The dry ( to be sifted together)
325g All Purpose flour
1 n 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt

The wet ( mix them all in a bowl)
1 Cup Milk
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Eggs

165g Unsalted Butter
280g Granulated Sugar

Directions

Cream both butter and sugar until light and fluffy in the mixer
Then alternate with the dry and wet and end with the dry ingredients. Ensure that they are well mixed before each addition. So effectively 3 parts of dry and 2 parts of wet. You can simply eye balled it.

Then divide it into 3 portions.

Add in 2 tsp of charcoal powder to one.
Add in 1/2 tsp of charcoal powder to the 2nd one.
Add in grounded Sesame seeds to the last one.

Bake them in a preheated over of 175 degree for 25 to 30 mins.

Once done, take it out and let it cool down for 10 minutes before taking it out of the cake pan and let it cool completely.

The cookies are made of the same recipe in the post on the 14th Dec 2013

The only difference is that I have divided up the dough into 3 portions.

Add 1 Tsp of charcoal powder into 1 portion.
Add 1/2 Tsp of charcoal powder into the 2nd portion.
Add 2 Tbsp ground sesame seeds.

Roll each dough flat and chill it for 2 hrs or overnight.

I prepared 3 different sizes of round cookie cutters. And cut it out this way. Once done, chill it for another 1 hr before filling up the cookies spaces with different colour cookies.

image

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cream cheese frosting

115g Unsalted Butter
225g Icing Sugar
8oz Cream cheese ( cut into cubes)
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
A little salt

Directions

Mix butter and sugar at low speed until well mixed before switching on to high speed to whip it fluffy and light. Then add in the cream cheese a cube at a time before finally adding in the vanilla and salt.

I prepped this early and store in the fridge.

Assembly:

I use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a hole in each layer before putting in a cookie inside. Stack it up and decorate with cookies in the same that you desired.

The crumbly texture

image

Did you see the cookies inside the cake? Two textures for your enjoyment. :)

image

Angels … I believe I have them with me. Thank you for the Nomination for Liebster Award.

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 30th Mar 2014

image

image

It is the fastest bake I have ever done. My sabbath day ends at 5.30 pm and i am rushing against time to do this bake. The daylights are running out and I need the lights to take the pictures.

Actually, I meant to bake this for the brains (Maiu and Rob) behind http://www.torontocooks.com.  They are like angels to me when they told me that they have nominated me for the liebster Award. I am very new to blogging. In fact, I never really feel the urge to do so until the nudging by friends. I never knew the amount of work involves until I dip my toes into this vast ocean of blogging. I am consider really shabby in my effort. All I do have is this passion for baking.

Maiu and Rob gave me a push at a time when I am feeling the strain. I wish I can do better whenever I look at those full time bloggers effort. I wish I have more time and I wish I can do more marketing or linking with other bloggers to promote my blog. But somehow, I just do not know how to or am just really too bogged down by the full time job which I have in the finance sector as well. I wish I have more guidance and help.

Although Liebster Award is not one where I get judged and compete with other fellow bloggers, it still bring joy to me. It is not like I will get title like the best baking blog etc award. It seems more like an award bloggers gave to other bloggers to recognize your efforts. I will do an official post that fits the requirements of this Liebster Award in another post. For now, I really just want to thank Maiu and Rob for extending this invisible helping hand. Thank you.

To Maiu and Rob, this angel food cake is bake for you because you both are like angels in my life at this point of time. Thank you.

You can read about their post here.

Continue reading

Madeleines Isaphan

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 29th Mar 2014

image

I adored many of Pierre Hermes’s creations and seek to achieve equal standard where possible. Many a times, I toyed with the idea of quitting my full time job and take a year off to study pastry making in France. The thought of returning to school and starting a new way of life keep me awake at nights. I love to bake and really hope to have some form of professional certification under my belt. I really think I am lacking in the skill since I learn simply by just putting the recipe to work. I just read and do it. So there is always a lack in me which am feeling inadequate about.

I figured the fear of the unknown is the biggest inertia to putting this plan to work. Will I ultimately do it? Its a big question mark which I shall not dwell too much at the moment. For now, I am satisfying this baking urge with a simple bake from Pierre Hermes cookbook.

Adapted to suit the available ingredients in my fridge.

Ingredients :

130g Cake Flour sifted with 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
130g Clarified butter (I did mine by browning the butter over a low heat and let it cooled down)
20g Water
3 Tsp Rosewater
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
120g Granulated Sugar
130g Eggs
20g Honey
80g Chopped fresh strawberries
6 shredded organic rose petals

Directions :

Mix sugar, honey, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix to combine only. Fold in the flour/baking powder mixture until it is well incorporated. Add in the rosewater, water and clarified butter and combined wel. Lastly, stirred in the chopped strawberries and shredded rose petal. Leave in fridge for an hour or overnight.

Coat the desired molds with butter and a light dusting of cake flour. Scooped or pipe the batter into the molds and bake these in a preheated 190 degree oven for 10 to 13 minutes.

Cool these on racks and serve!

image

Kouign Amann – my way again….

Freshly and Lovingly Bake on : 22nd Mar 2014

image

image

Kouign Amann….pronounce seemingly as “qweeen ah man”… Honestly, I have no idea. All I do know is just to eat it in a sparingly manner. Too much fat involves and I figured that it will not benefit me in any way. However, the satisfaction that I derived from finally conquering my fear on laminated dough is priceless.

Its a rich sweet taste which I never forget. It was touted as a cross breed between pastry and croissant. I prepped the dough and butter block the night before.

Ingredients :

Dough
400g All Purpose Flour
12.5g Salt
3g Instant Yeast
15g Unsalted Butter
200g Water

Butter Block
325g Unsalted Butter
36g Cocoa Powder

Directions :

I did up the dough first by mixing all ingredients into the mixer and knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes. I mixed the ingredients without the butter for a good 5 minutes before adding the butter in and knead for the remaining time.

Turned out the dough into a clean bowl and cover it with clingwrap. I retard the dough overnight in the fridge.

After the dough is done, I basically cut up the butter into the mixer bowl and cream it. Then I add in the cocoa powder and mix it well. Thereafter, I turned it out onto a clean sheet of clingwrap and shaped it into a square shape. I wrapped it up and leave it in the fridge overnight as well.

The next morning, I took out the dough and flatten it. Roll it out into a big rectangular shape. Then I position the butter block onto the dough and wrap it up. I roll it flat out into a longish rectangle before folding it one third up and down. I will then turned it perpendicular and repeat the process for 3 more times before letting it rest in the fridge for 1 hr. At each roll out, i will sprinkle a layer of sugar onto it before folding it up.

After resting it for one hr, I will then roll it out into a 1 cm thick flat rectangle. In this project, I used  2 different sizes round cookies cutters to create the flowers. I will then take one big almond and press it in the center to create the look.

Bake these at a preheated oven of 170 degree for 30 minutes.

I shaped it in two ways. The first are shaped by rolling strips of the dough and proof and it in pastry rings.

image

image

The second shape is done using round cookies cutter, score and uses almond to push into the centre of the dough to create a flower shape.

image

The distinctive layers that really made me happy.

image