Angel food cake with lemon curd

IMG_1130ALook at this cake, not having a smooth side, imperfection decoration, simply because I don’t have the patient to decorate the cake or making it smooth. It is just beyond me! I think the way this cake looks will tells you it is home made.

Most people will have an answer said this is chiffon cake base, eventually it is not chiffon but angel food cake base. There are three basic cake commonly use as base. Sponge cake, chiffon, angel food cake. Three of them content light airy interior.

Sponge cake, made with butter, sugar, flour, eggs. It contain whole eggs Their leavening comes only from beaten egg whites (no baking powder or soda), and they have little or no butter. Is very common with eggy,  yellowish, crumble texture, light as well. It is a versatile cake that you could add any flavour.

Chiffon cake, made with eggs, sugar, flour, water and vegetable oil but no butter. It is very light, slightly dry if you just eating the cake itself. Chiffon cakes are light like sponge cakes, but the egg whites are not beaten separately. Chiffon cakes also generally contain oil so they are more tender and moist than sponge cake.

Is an obsession throughout South-east Asia, in Japan there are whole bakeries devoted to it. Chinese schoolchildren eat it as a snack. In the Philippines the ability to turn out airy chiffon is the test of a good home cook. Yet few in Britain know about it, despite our collective love of cake. I remembered when I was a kids, I had green pandan (pandanus amaryllifolius or screwpine leave) chiffon cake, it is very soft, spongy, dry. Often it made me choke when I eating it too quickly, simply because it is tasty. Most housewife in Asia would perfecting this chiffon cake recipe and by making them as light as possible, adding flavouring in it.

Angel food cake, made with egg whites, sugar and flour. It is even lighter than chiffon cake, Angel food cakes have no fat or leavening (such as baking powder). They are leavened with beaten egg whites and they have a high proportion of egg white to flour.

The following recipe was adopted from Mary Berry that made it at Master class of the Great British Baked-Off. I think this cake make a good center piece on your dinner party. You will need a special mould for this cake 25cm angel food cake pan or chiffon pan

Cake ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 10 large free-range egg whites
  • 2 large lemon, grated zest only
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt

Lemon curd ingredients (this makes more lemon curd than you need for this cake)

  • 10 large free-range egg yolks
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 large lemons, juice only (±200ml)
  • 2 large lemons, grated zest only
  • 175g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 passion fruit

Topping

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C) and arrange an oven shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Sift the flour and 100g/3½oz of the caster sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk or mixer on a high speed for one minute until frothy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, or until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Increase the speed and add the remaining 200g/7oz of caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time to form firm, but not stiff peaks.
  3. Sprinkle over one-third of the flour mixture and fold gently to combine. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds of the flour mixture folding gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
  4. Transfer the batter to a 25cm/10in angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the centre of the batter to remove any pockets of air. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down onto the tin’s cooling legs, or place over the neck of a wine bottle. Leave to cool for at least one hour.
  6. Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of cake to remove it from the pan. Invert onto a plate. Carefully use a palette knife to separate the cake from the base of the pan. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. For the lemon curd, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a large pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir the sides and base of the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pass through a sieve into a large jug. Fill two 350g/12oz glass jars with the lemon curd and seal with lids. Cover the remaining curd with cling film and leave to cool.
  8. For the topping, whisk the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the topping over the angel food cake and, using a palette knife, coat the top and sides of the cake, smoothing as you go.
  9. Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Stir the passion fruit into the reserved, cooled lemon curd and drizzle over the angel food cake before serving. You may want to use just one of the jars of lemon curd to serve with the cake and save the other to eat separately.

Note: Do not be tempted to grease the tin – it will prevent the cake from rising properly. If you want to cut back on fat or have a dairy intolerance, this is a great cake to make. The cake itself doesn’t contain any butter and you can easily swap the toppings for a fruit syrup or jam if you want to make it completely dairy-free. The egg yolks are used up in a job lot of lemon curd, but you could always buy in a good jar lemon curd and save your yolks for another use.

 

 

 

 

American muffin

IMG_0835American muffin, one of the easier thing you could do in the morning, forget about the ready made muffin carton from supermarket,  don’t even mention what kind of ingredient had gone into the box. When you think about it, why you have to pay the extra money for the carton box, plastic bag that holding the dry mixture? This took about 30 minutes to make from scratch to its glory finish. Unlike English muffin, American muffin are quick breads. They are light, savoury or sweet buns made with a slightly more puffed, richer dough than scone. They are very popular breakfast bread.

I remembered the first baked goods I made is while I lived in UK is this American muffin, I started to curious about food and that had inspired me to write about them. American muffin is a versatile snack for any occasion too. I remembered there is one time muffin used to be a “haute” food in Asia for years and then cupcake took over the market for a very long time until every housewife thinking to perfect a cupcake or even taking a cupcake lesson. It is like a food trend in Malaysia. For me decoration is one of the worse I ever done. I’m not like Martha Stewart can perfectly done each of them, I don’t have the patience.

I have a basic recipe and variation

  • butter for greasing
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml milk
  1. Butter the twelve 6cm muffin tins or deep bun tins. Set the oven to 200°C . Sift the dry ingredient into a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter. Mix with the egg and milk in a separate bowl. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir only enough to dampen the flour, the mixture should be lumpy. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, as lightly as possible, filling them only two-thirds full.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes, until well risen and browned. The cooked muffins should be cracked across the middle.
  4. Cool in the tin for 2 – 3 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Variations

  • Walnut Muffins. Increase the sugar to 100g. Add 75g chopped walnuts before adding the liquids. After filling the muffin tins, sprinkle with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and extra finely chopped walnuts
  • Blueberry Muffins. Reserve 50g of the flour. Sprinkle lightly over 225g firm blueberries. Stir into the mixture last.
  • Jam Muffins. Before baking, top each muffin with 1 teaspoon sharp-flavoured jam.
  • Raisin Muffins. Add about 50g seedless raisins before adding the liquids.
  • Orange Apricot Muffins. Add 50g chopped ready-to-eat dried apricots and 1 tablespoon grated orange rind before adding the liquids.
  • Wholemeal Muffins. Substitute 100g wholemeal flour for 100g of the plain flour. Do not sift the wholemeal flour, but add it after sifting the plain flour.

There still many variation of recipe you could find it online, I adored Mrs. Beeton‘s recipe simply because I like the Old English writing as you read it, as it is back in the time. I don’t really ready about the history about American muffin, I’m not sure how it appear.

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Sambuca baci

P1170077I tried it from Nigella’s recipe, as she said almost as light as butterfly kissed on flower. These almost like doughnuts but made of scented, sweet air. Italian called it kisses (baci)

Believed me your first bite of these will definitely wanting more. Beside it is easy to make too. I don’t think you can resist to eat them once is come out from the frying pan.

Here is how I started, you will need one egg, 100g of ricotta mix both in a large bowl, beat it together until smooth. Then you adding in 40g plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons sambuca liqueur if you don’t have sambuca, you could used lemon or orange juice, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest. Beat the mixture again to make a smooth batter.

Pour about 2cm vegetable oil or any flavourless oil into a frying pan, and heat until a small piece of bread sizzles when you drop it into the pan and browns in about 40 seconds (the temperature should be at about 180ºC). And keep your eye on the pan at all times.

Oil a teaspoon measure and gently drop rounded teaspoons of the ricotta batter into the pan; about 4 at a time is much manageable.

The little baci will puff up slightly and turn golden underneath, if you lucky enough you will see the baci will turn itself around to get the sun tan. Otherwise you could flip them over carefully with an implement of your choice, to colour the other side as well. Watch out that the oil doesn’t get too hot: turn the heat down if they are browning too quickly.

Once they are golden all over, lift them out with a slotted spoon and place them over plate lined with 2 sheets of kitchen paper, to get rid of any exceed oil. Carry on cooking until all the mixture is used up, then turn off the heat under the oil. Once the  baci have cooled a bit, push the icing sugar through a small sieve to dust them thickly.

If you are not eating them straightaway, pop the pre-sugared, cooked baci on the wire rack over a tin in 150ºC oven and keep them warm for up to 1 hour.

If so inclined, serve with a shot of sambuca or an espresso. I might make another batch for teatime. Yum!

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Mini coffee & walnut layer cake

-19I love this little baby cake which I made for a special occasion of my friend’s new born baby to seduce my friend’s sweet tooth. The sparkling shine glazed walnut looks like fossil been wrap in a amber colour of lava. I posted on Nigella’s cookalong to share the new twist of her recipe here is the link http://www.nigella.com/cookalong/2013/09/entries/156

For the sponge cake

For the frosting

For the glazed caramel walnut

  • Approx. 6 to 8 walnut halves (to decorate)
  • 2 tbsps of water
  • 100 g of caster sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.
  2. Put the halved walnut onto a baking tray bake lined with baking paper in 180°C for about 3 to 5 minutes or until turn lightly brown. Then remove it from the oven and let it cool complete.
  3. To make caramel sugar, in a saucepan put together sugar and water on a heat to completely dissolve the sugar, (neverever stir the sugar) until you have a light brown then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Using a thong or chopstick dip the walnut onto the warm caramel (be careful is a hot sugar syrup, don’t get it on your hand) and place the dipped walnut onto baking tray with lined baking paper. Set aside.
  5. Butter six 7cm / 3inch mini square tins and line the base of each with baking parchment.
  6. Put the walnut pieces and sugar into a food processor and blitz to a fine nutty powder.
  7. Add the 225g/2 sticks butter, flour, 2 teaspoons espresso powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
  8. Add the milk, pouring it down the funnel with the motor still running, or just pulsing, to loosen the cake mixture: it should be a soft, dropping consistency, so add more milk if you need to. (If you are making this by hand, bash the nuts to a rubbly powder with a rolling pin and mix with the dry ingredients; then cream the butter and sugar together, and beat in some dry ingredients and eggs alternately and, finally, the milk.)
  9. Divide the mixture between the 6 lined tins and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch or insert a skewer into the middle and it come out clean.
  10. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.
  11. When the sponges are cool. Carefully half the mini cakes by using bread knife, you can make the buttercream.
  12. Pulse the icing sugar in the food processor until it is lump free, then add the butter and process to make a smooth icing.
  13. Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add it while still hot to the processor, pulsing to blend into the buttercream.
  14. If you are doing this by hand, sieve the icing sugar and beat it into the butter with a wooden spoon. Then beat in the hot coffee liquid.
  15. Place all the halved sponges upside down on your cake stand or serving plate.
  16. Spread with about half the icing; then place on it the second halved sponges, right side up (i.e. so the 2 flat sides of the sponges meet in the middle) and cover the top with the remaining icing in a ramshackle swirly pattern. (I used piping bag with some decorated pattern to piped the buttercream on the top)
  17. This cake is all about old-fashioned, rustic charm, so don’t worry unduly: however the frosting goes on is fine. similarly, don’t fret about some buttercream oozing out around the middle: that’s what makes it look so inviting.
  18. Gently press the walnut halves into the top of the icing all around the edge of the circle about 1cm apart.
  19. For the final touch, place the glazed walnut on top of the frosting.

A very easy cakes yet so inviting to eat and this is not exactly like you see in Parisian patisserie window, I enjoyed it by just looking at them.

Actived Baking Soda

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I had done silly mistake yesterday while I was baking a lemon cake, I used equal quantity of plain flour, sugar, butter, lemon zest and 2 eggs to make a batter then I sort of wanted to ease the job by add the lemon juice into the batter after I had mixed everything together in the bowl. Then I can play with Tiggy (cat) while the cake is in the oven.

When the cake turn out, it sunk in the middle and it tasted like baking powder water. The reason is acid of the lemon making the raising agent work even quicker by the time I pour the batter and putting the cake into the oven, the raising agent had nearly disappear, that is why the cake only raising halfway and collapse in the middle. Then I have to offer a whole loaf cake to the bin. Now I learned a lesson of try not to ease the job when is not necessary.