Category Archives: Bake

Cheesecake, with an intentionally burnt top

  

Cheesecake is one of my early indulgences I remembered I indulged. Lazy days after junior college classes (or even in university) were spent at coffee bean, ice blended and a Chicago cheesecake on the table. Which probably cost about the same as now ($6?) come to think of it. The portions then at coffee bean seemed bigger. We could share a slice of cake for hours. Or maybe it’s beacause we savoured it much slower than. Then I remembered how my home economics class used to teach us a no bake version which was bleah.

Anyway, this recipe is fail proof. Might have been the recipe that got zzz baking. Considering how the ooooos and ahhhhhhs yummy sounds edged him to try others. It’s  still a firm favourite of mine.  

Recipe for 9 inch cake 

15 digestive cookies, finely crushed
60g butter, melted 

500g Philadelphia cream cheese
150g sugar
150ml sour cream or yogurt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon lemon (or orange) juice
Some lemon (or orange) zest

Combine crushed digestives and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Press into 9 inch cake tin (with removable base). Put into freezer.

Preheat oven 160 deg C. Put 2 wire racks, one in the middle and one at the bottom. Pour some water into a baking tray and place it on the lower rack. This will “half steam, half bake” the cheesecake.

Put all the rest of the ingredients into mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Mix till well combined and smooth. (If using yogurt and the mixture curdle slightly, it’s fine!)

Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 40 mins.

To achieve slightly burnt top, switch to top grill setting in oven for the last 5-10 mins. Keep an eye!

Remove from oven, cool in room temperature for an hour or 2. Cool in fridge for at least 4 hours before removing from tin and cutting. 

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Cookie monster cupcake with molasses dark chocolate chip cookie

cookie monsters, ready to invade xiaoliang’s school

Have you seen anything cuter? Especially when it’s made for a class of 20 three year olds’ monster party??!!

Xiaoliang certainly was proud of her daddy’s work,the teachers said she made sure each if her classmate had one monster and they were enjoying the cake.

Recipe

Use your favorite cupcake recipe. I did a simple vanilla cupcake with a cream cheese frosting

Decoration
Eyes: Marshmallow (cut into appropriate size) and chocolate pearls.
Fur: Dessicated coconut and blue coloring.

Molasses dark chocolate chip cookie
125g butter, melted and lightly browned for deeper flavours 
2/3 cup raw sugar
1egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons molasses
1.25 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of teaspoon salt
1cup of dark chocolate chips (I used callebaut 70.4%)

Melt and brown butter slightly. Meanwhile mix flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another (large) bowl, mix sugar and molasses. Add browned butter into sugar mixture and beat for 2 min. Add vanilla. Add egg. Beat for a min. Add flour mixture, stir to combine. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. 

Form balls of dough using a ice cream scoop. Can freeze the unbaked cookie dough balls or bake immediately in a preheated 180deg Celsius oven for 12-13 mins.

zzz’s way of eating a cookie

Frozen-themed dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting

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Sisterly love is cool, so are magic powers. Oh and a really stylish queen and the energetic bouncy smart aleck sister. This probably explains why the animation film Frozen is so popular worldwide. It’s been a year since it was released and it’s popularity obviously is pretty much unshaken.

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So here we have 2 sisterly cousins belting out (screaming) the frozen theme song ‘let it go, let it gooooooooooo” every now and than. Never mind if the audience is a willing one or if the situation is appropriate. The self proclaimed queen Elsa and princess Anna always get their frozen fix.

Recipe
Cupcakes (makes 30)
230g butter
120g dark chocolate (valrhona or callebaut)
270g raw sugar
4 eggs
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cocoa powder (valrhona)
0.5 tsp salt
(Optional) 1 tbsp espresso powder
225ml milk
1 tbsp vinegar

Melt butter and chocolate together over a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 180deg Celsius.
Line 30 cupcake tins.
Combine vinegar and milk and set aside.
Mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda together in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the eggs until frothy. Add sugar and whip for a minute. Add cooled chocolate and butter mixture and mix well.
Add two-thirds of the dry mixture, stir to roughly mix. Add milk+vinegar, followed by remaining dry mix. Stir to just combine with no visible lumps.

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop about 46g of batter into each cupcake tin (about 1 slightly heaped scoop for my scoop)
Bake in batches of 10. 17-18 mins.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.

White chocolate buttercream frosting

250g white chocolate (I used callebaut)
340g butter
2.5 cups of icing sugar
90 ml whipping cream

Melt white chocolate over double boiler, set aside to cool.
In a large stand mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes. Add cooled white chocolate and beat for 1 minute. Taste. Add more icing sugar and beat to reach desired sweetness. Add whipping cream and beat for 2 minutes.
Use a star tip to pipe a swirl on each cupcake, doing a circular motion from outside in.
For alternating white and blue, divide the frosting into two. In one, mix in a little blue food colouring until the desired colour is obtained. Scoop a large spatula of each frosting into one piping bag and pipe.

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Birthday Brownie

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The ‘H’ on the birthday cake says it all. Happy hwee yee! Happy birthday!

The jason pollock design was made by xiaoliang. Neeedless to say, she loved it. Both swinging chocolate ganache on the cake and eating the cake.

Brownie with peanut butter frosting and jackson pollock-ed chocolate ganache

Recipe
For a 9 by 9 inch brownie
300g 70% dark chocolate, valrhona or callebaut
200g butter
160g raw sugar
4 cold eggs
170g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder (optional)

Melt butter, chocolate and sugar in a mixing bowl placed atop a saucepan of simmering water. Stir gently to mix and encourage even melting. When melted, set aside to cool while we prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Preheat the oven 170 deg C.

Add the eggs one by one, whisking (by hand is fine) to mix into the chocolate mixture. Add flour salt and espresso powder. Whisk to combine.

Pour into a parchment lined 9 by 9 cake tin and bake for 22-24 min. (That’s my oven, yours may be different!)

Peanut butter frosting
1cup creamy peanut butter
50g butter
1/4 cup icing sugar (or more to taste)
Beat all ingredients together to form a nice and smooth frosting

Allow the brownie to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate ganache
100g dark chocolate
100ml whipping cream (30+% fat)
Put chocolate into a medium bowl and cream into a saucepan. Heat the cream to a gentle boil. Turn off heat, count to 10 and pour into the bowl containing the chocolate. Let it stand for a minute. Stir till smooth.

Allow ganache to cool for at least 15 mins. Use a spoon to form streaks of chocolate on the frosted brownies.
Optional: decorate further with random scattering of valrhona crunchy chocolate pearls.

Brioche

 

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Recipe

This is a 2-stage recipe, best to start in the night, and bake on the following day.

375g bread flour
40g sugar
5g salt
7g instant yeast
60ml lukewarm water or milk
3 eggs
100 g unsalted butter cubed and softened

Mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water/milk in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook fixed on. Mix well. While mixing add eggs one at a time. Add butter cube by cube. Keep mixing (I used my kitchenaid at speed 2) for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth. Transfer into a medium bowl, cover with film and rest in fridge overnight.

Take the dough out of the fridge in the morning. Allow it to sit for half an hour at room temperature. Form 6-8 balls of dough. Either put the balls into a baking tin or free standing as is. Cover with a lightly damped cloth and proof for 3.5 hours.

Preheat the oven 200 degC. Once the dough goes into the oven, reduce temperature to 180degC. Bake for 20 mins. Reduce to 160degC and bake for another 10mins or so.

White Chocolate Matcha Greenies

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Greenies kind of reminds me of pots of plants or even erm Martians?

But cake?

So that was what it was. Cake. Brownies actually, except that its literally green. Not in a bad way of cos. But because its full of awesome bitter sweet matcha amd white chocolate! Matcha and chocolate never goes wrong.

The product is a very nice melt in your mouth combination that leaves a lingering matcha after taste. Goes well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream too.

Recipe
225g unsalted butter
220g white chocolate
175g raw sugar
4 eggs (cold)
160 grams all purpose flour
40g ground almond (a by product of my homemade almond milk!)
1/3 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
15 g matcha powder (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tsp vinegar

Melt butter, white chocolate and sugar over very low heat or in a double boiler. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven at 170 degree Celsius.
Put all the dry ingredients together and mix well.

Add the eggs into the cooled butter-chocolate mixture and whisk by hand for a minute or two.

Add vinegar and the matcha flour mixture.
Transfer to a 9 by 9 inch (or 9 by 12 inch) pan. Bake for 25 mins.

Singaporeans born on my era would remember those pandan used to be served by our mothers for a quick breakfast or snack.

The soft moist chiffon cake that simply melts in your mouth and you just can’t stop at one piece (but I learnt to, its a deceivingly light cake)

Although the pandan cake was made from bottled pandan extract and food colouring, I kind of missed it, especially now that we don’t get the same quality nowadays from the bakery franchises here.

Zzz made a version with pure pandan juice extracted with the hurom slow juicer. And oh my! The pandan smell is heavenly! Oh and xiaoliang loves it too!

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Homemade pandan extract
1 large bunch of pandan leaves (abt 20 leaves)
Water for washing
Hurom slow juicer

Wash the leaves thoroughly. Snipe of the white parts. Remove the center veins(this is probably optional, didn’t want to stress my machine too much). Cut the leaves into 10cm strips. No need to dry.
Feed the wet leaves into the slow juicer fitted with the fine sieve and juice cap on.
Yields about 2 tablespoons of pandan extract.
It can be used immediately or may be kept in fridge for up to 5 days.
Depending on recipe, it may be used as-is, or leave to stand in fridge for 2 days, so that the suspension separates. If left to separate, remove the top almost colorless liquid layer to obtain a more concentrated extract. (Heston and friends, use the centrifuge machine!)

Pandan sponge cake/cupcake
100ml fresh milk
About 1 tablespoon concentrated pandan extract from above
30g butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup cake flour
1/3 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
2 tsp vinegar

Heat milk and butter together until butter just melted. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
Preheat oven 165 degC
Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs by hand or with machine for 4 mins. Gradually add sugar and continue to whisk for another 4 mins.
Add flour mixture and stir to just combined.
Add pandan extract into milk and butter, stir to mix. Add vinegar.
Add the pandan milk mixture into the batter and mix to just combine.
Transfer into cupcake moulds or cake tin.
Bake for about 20 mins, depending on the mould, or till the kitchen smells of pandan, or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Transfer to a rack to cool 5-10 mins after removing from oven.