Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sponge Cake Roll?

Swiss Roll or Jelly Roll is actually a type of sponge cake roll. The origins of the term swiss roll are unclear and the cake originated in Central Europe and not Switzerland. This thin cake is made up of eggs, flour and sugar and baked in a very shallow rectangular baking tray. The cake is removed from pan and spread with jam or butter cream, rolled up and served in circular slices.

I thought of giving it a try and took this recipe from "Agnes Chang's Baking Made Easy"

4 eggs
100g castor sugar
1/2 tsp essence (any flavour - strawberry, coffee, vanilla)
120g self-raising flour, mix with 1/8 tsp salt, sifted
2 tbsp hot water
some jam or butter cream

1) Whisk eggs in a very clean bowl till frothy.
2) Add sugar and continue whisking till mixture is very thick and creamy. Add essence.
3) Fold in flour lightly using a whisk. Add hot water and mix well.
4) Pour into a lined and greased baking tray, bake in preheated oven at 220 degrees C for about 10-12 mins until golden brown. remove from oven.
5) Invert cake onto a clean sheet of grease-proof paper and remove the lining paper from cake.
6) Spread cake with jam or butter cream.
7) From one end, start to roll up using the paper to pull it tight.
8) Wrap up the cake with the paper and leave to cool before cutting.

* To make strawberry swiss roll, use strawberry essence and a few drops of red coloring.
* For mocha swiss roll, add 1 tsp coffee paste
* For chocolate swiss roll, add 1 tbsp cocoa powder into flour.


Monday, August 23, 2010

OREO - The Black Cookie with white cream.....

I think everyone young and old loves to eat Oreo cookies. There are so many companies imitating the Oreo cookies but the original is still the best. There are so many ways to bake using Oreo cookies to supplement the flavour. One of them is:

Oreo Butter Cake

 225g Cake flour
 1 tsp baking powder
 1/2 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
 85g unsalted butter                       
 150g caster sugar
 2 eggs, lightly beaten
 240ml non-fat natural flavour yogurt
 1 tsp vanilla essence
 80g Oreo cookies (roughly crushed)
 some Oreo for decorating

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line & grease an 8" round cake pan.
2) Sift Cake flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.
3) Cream butter, sugar and cream from the Oreo cookies till light and fluffy.
4) Ad eggs slowly, about 1 tbsp at a time.
5) gently fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture until combine, follow by 1/2 of the yogurt & 1/2 of the flour and mix then the vanilla extract and remaining yogurt and finally the remaining flour.
6) Lastly, add crushed cookies and mix well.
7) Pour into pan and arrange whole oreo on top.
8) Bake for about 40 - 50 mins.

Still can't get enough of Oreo? This is another easy recipe to follow and does not involve baking. It's the :

Oreo Cheesecake  
1 cup crushed Oreo cookies
50g butter, melted
500g Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 tsp gelatin dissolve in 1/4 cup boiling water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup dairy whipping cream, lightly whipped
100g Oreo cookies, crushed
50g Oreo cookies, roughly chopped

1) Combine cookies and melted butter of crust and press into spring form pan. Chill in fridge.
2) Beat Cream cheese and sugar until smooth. You can add the cream scraped from the cookies.
3) Fold in the gelatin mixture, lemon juice, whipped cream and lastly the roughly chopped Oreo cookies.
4) Pour filling onto prepared crust and refrigerate for 30 mins.
5) Sprinkle with extra crushed Oreo on top and refrigerate until set.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Puff Pastry

There are so many ways you can bake with puff pastry. And for those who are beginners like me, you can get the ready made ones from your local supermarket. Of course if you can make them yourself, so much the better. You can keep few packs of these puff pastry for usage in case you need to whip up a quick snack or light lunch. I would like to share few easy way to bake using puff pastry.

                          Crispy Tuna Pie
6 pieces Puff Pastry, thawed
2 hardboiled egg, cut into quarter
1 can Tuna in olive oil, drained and mashed coarsely
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated mozarella cheese
1/2 cup PREGO pasta sauce
Extra mozarella cheese

1) Lightly grease muffin pan and line with thawed pastry (shape like a cup)
2) Mix tuna with grated cheddar & mozarella cheese and PREGO pasta sauce.
3) Fill each pastry with quartered egg and tuna filling.
4) Sprinkle top with some extra mozarella cheese.
5) Bake in preheated oven 180 degree C for 20-25 mins until pastry is golden & crispy.
6) Serve hot.

                                 Hot Dog Roll

4 pieces Puff Pastry, thawed
4 sausages
4 slices Cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1) Spread 1 piece of sliced cheddar cheese on top of puff pastry.
2) Put 1 sausage on top of the cheese and roll it up tightly. Brush with water at the seams to seal them.
3) Brush the top part with egg yolk.
4) Bake in prehated oven for 20-25 mins until they puff up and golden brown.

Apple Wraps (No pictures)
2 sheets puff pastry                                     
4-6 apples                                                
1/3 cup sugar                                                   .
1/2 tsp cinnamon                                       
3/4 cup water                                               

1) Peel and chop apples to bite size pieces.
2) Place apples, cinnamon and sugar into a saucepan & cover with water.
3) Cook for 10 mins. Take off heat and starin excess juice into a bowl.
4) Place a large spoonful of apple onto each puff pastry. Take one corner of pastry and pinch it together with the diagonal corner.
5) Repeat with opposite corners. Make sure the pastry is pressed together firmly.
6) Glaze with strained apple juice.
7) Bake in preheated oven 180 degree C for 15 mins.

* There are various types of filling sold in your local bakery store including apple if you do not wish to make it but I would encourage you to try out this simple apple pie filling.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

King of the Fruits

It is the fruit season again. Everywhere you can see stalls / lorries with loads of fruits like rambutan, 'campulut', 'tarap'( a local fruit only available in Sabah), duku langsat, jackfruit, mangosteen  and not forgetting the King of the Fruit - The DURIAN. Sometimes we can make cake out of certain fruits and Durian is one of them.

For durian lovers, if you have leftover durian, just take out the flesh and freeze them for usage later. A good, delicious and aromatic durian cake will taste better with a ripe and good quality durian flesh but sometimes we can use flesh of durians that are not up to 'standard'. ( flesh not creamy or a little tasteless).

Here is an easy Durian Cake recipe taken from "Agnes Chang - I Can Bake"

Ingredients A: 250g butter                                    Ingredients B: 180g durian flesh
                      200g Caster sugar                                                4 tbsp milk
                      4 eggs                                                                  1/2 tsp durian essence (optional)
Ingredients C: 240g Self Raising Flour, sifted
                      1 tbsp Custard Powder, sifted
                      1/4 tsp salt

1. Cream butter and sugar of Ingredient A till light. Add eggs one at a time, creaming well after each addition.
2. Mix durian flesh and milk of Ingredient B and strain to get smooth and velvety flesh.
3. Fold in half of B and half of C mixture till well combined. Fold in the remaining B and C mixture till well mixed.
4. Pour cake mixture into a lined and greased 20cm / 8" round cake tin. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degree C for about 45-50 mins till golden brown and cooked.
5. Remove cake, leave to cool before serving.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Going Bananas....

           What to do if you have over ripe bananas and you do not want to make fried banana fritters (pisang goreng) with it. Well, there are many ways of baking with bananas like banana pancake, banana cup cake, banana cake and so on. A friend asked me for a good recipe for banana cake and I made this recipe taken from "Agnes Chang - I Can Bake".

Nice & Easy Banana Cake
240g plain flour (sift with 1 tsp baking powder & 1 tsp baking soda)
180g butter                                              
180g caster sugar ( I reduce it to 150g)
2 eggs,
4 ripe bananas (coarsely mashed to get 1 cup)
3 tbsp milk mix with 1 tbsp lemon juice
2 ripe bananas (sliced and squeeze with juice from 1/2 lime)

1. Cream butter & sugar till light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Mix in mashed bananas, milk mixture and flour mixture till well combined.
3. Pour into a greased & lined loaf tin or paper cups.
4. Arrange banana slices on top of cake as decoration.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degree C for about 20-25 mins till cooked and golden brown.
6. Remove cake from oven and leave to cool before serving.

* Other than banana cake or banana cup cake, you can also make it into Chiffon Cake which is a light, spongy and much healthier cake as it does not use butter. The recipe below is also taken from "Agnes Chang's book - Baking Made Easy".

(forgive me for the burnt top ;-)
Banana Chiffon Cake

Ingredients A 
 200g Self Raising Flour (sift with 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda and 1/4 tsp salt.)
100g Caster sugar (I reduced to 80g)
8 egg yolks
6 tbsp corn oil
1 cup mashed banana
4 tbsp water

                                              Ingredients B
                                              8 egg whites
                                              1/2 tsp cream of tartar
                                              100g caster sugar (I reduced to 80g)

1. Mix all the ingredients A in a mixing bowl to form a smooth batter.
2. Whisk ingredients B till stiff. Add A and mix in one direction using hand whisk till combine.
3. Pour mixture into a 25cm/10" chiffon cake tin. Bake in 150 degree C till lightly brown. Increase heat to 170 degree C and continue to bake till golden brown and cooked. (about 1 hour).
4. Remove from oven, invert tin and leave to cool before removing from tin.

** The texture of this Banana Chiffon Cake is very soft and the aroma of banana while baking makes your mouth water. I find I have to adjust the temperature of my oven (its a small table one) which is why the top part burn easily as it really 'rise' during baking and the heat from the top of the oven was too much. - I really need to get a bigger oven...:-)

Do try it this all time favorite recipes!.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cup Cakes Galore

Remember that I mention I joined the "Learn2Bake' Club in Facebook? Well, the challenge given for the month of May (the 1st part) was Cup Cakes where we have to bake and 'dress' the cupcake for mothers day. Oh dear....I have actually never made a cupcake before. The ones I did was premix muffin bought from supermart. But...I gave it a try and the result was disastrous!!! I actually made 4 attempts until the leader of the club aka 'sifu' took pity on me and drop off some cupcakes which she made for me :-( Here are some pix of the unsuccessful cupcakes I made and before the 'dressing'.

After few attempts on my own and some practise on decorating the cupcakes, I manage to 'master' the making of cupcakes but I still need to have more practice on the decorating. Here, I would like to share with you my favorite recipe:

Lemon Cupcake                                       
(makes 24)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
11/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 tbsp lemon zest & 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk

1) Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. set aside.
2) Cream butter & sugar till pale & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporate.
3) Beat in zest & vanilla.
4) Fold in flour in 3 batches alternating with milk and lemon juice.
5) Fill cups to 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees c for 25 mins.
6) Cool before frosting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Variety of Butter Cakes

After few successful attempts in 'mastering' butter cake plus few complaints from children (until they start feeding our pet dogs with butter cake) it was time to have some variety in my baking. But er.........I can just bake butter cake for the moment and dare not venture to other types of cakes so......I started digging old recipe books (bought ages ago supposedly to start my baking interest :-) and found few variations to the basic Butter cake. Ha! least the children were satisfied.

Marble Cake  - Just keep 1/4 portion of the cake mixture and mix in cocoa paste. (1 tbsp cocoa powder add 3 tbsp hot water and mix to a paste).
                   - Spoon the cocoa mixture on top of the plain mixture and use a small knife to draw lines to get marble effect.
Crunchy Cheese Cake - Fold in 100g grated cheddar cheese together with flour mixture. Just before baking, sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top.

Orange Butter Cake - Use 4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 tsp grated orange rind before pouring batter into pan.

I would like to share with you this cake which I remember being baked constantly by my great baker & cook sister who resides in Cameron Highland now. (If I had interest back when I was young, she would have been my teacher). This recipe is taken from the book "Agnes Chang's Baking Made Easy"

                                           Pineapple Upside down Cake

2 small cans pineapple rings, drained
8-10 red cherries, cut into 1/2
240g butter
200g caster sugar (may reduce if do not want too sweet)
4 eggs
240g self-raising flour, sifted
4 tbsp pineapple syrup (from the can pineapple)

1. Arrange pineapple rings onto a lined and greased 22cm/9 inch baking tin. Put 1/2 red cherry in  the centre of the pineapple ring. Keep aside.      
2. Put butter and castor sugar into a mixing bowl and cream till light.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Fold in sifted flour, 1/3 at a time. Mix in pineapple syrup till well-combined.
5. Pour cake mixture on top of pineapple rings and spread evenly.
6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for about 45 minutes till golden brown.
7. Remove, leave to cool before inverting onto a serving plate to show the pineapple rings on top.                               

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hi & Welcome

I am a mother to 3 teenagers and work from home which give me lots of time in my hand. I started having interest in cooking & baking after seeing my friends post their 'products' in Facebook. I did attempt baking years ago but it always ended up in failure. When a friend started the 'Learn2Bake' club in April 2010 thru Facebook, I signed up and gave myself a chance to try baking again.

The  1st challenge was "Back to Basics - Butter Cake". I remembered baking butter cake using premix bought from stores and also the outcome of the cake which was a disaster as it was always uncook in the middle.

This challenge requires us to bake from scratch which means no premix allowed. I have to say it sounded easy but my 1st attempt was not a disaster but also not 'pretty' but edible..ha.ha.. After some advice from friends and members of the club, my 2nd attempt was great. Thank you all for the advice :-)

My 1st attempt - with cracks and almost burnt top.

My 2nd attempt was much better. With advice to cover with aluminium foil halfway thru baking, I managed to get a 'nice looking' butter cake.

Here's the easy recipe for you all to try out.

200gm Self-Raising Flour (you can use 1 cup plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking soda)
120gm caster sugar
250 gm Butter
5 eggs

1)Pre-heat oven to 180~C (remember to always pre-heat your oven 15-20 before you bake)
2) Sift the flour.
3) Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
4) Cream the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the egg, mix well after each addition.
5) Fold in the flour and mix well until all the flour are incorporated into the batter.
6) Line the bottom of a 7" round baking tin with parchment paper / greaseproof paper and lightly greased the sides of the tine with butter.
7) Bake the cake at 180~C for 40-45 minutes, or until the skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.