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.

 

 

 

 

Let it snow! Easy Holiday Cake

P1140326A This is one of the cake that impressed on the Christmas table of course not the look like this. I got this bundt tin purposely for this holiday cakes. You can get it online.

You could make it as spiced holiday cake too by half the vanilla and add 2 teaspoons each of ground cinnamon and ginger and half teaspoon of ground cloves.

Ingredient

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and put a baking sheet in at the same time.
  2. Butter or oil your large, regular or fir-tree shaped bundt tin. (I use oil-sodden kitchen paper to do this)
  3. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time into the sugar mixture, whisking each one in with a tablespoon of flour.
  5. Fold in the rest of the flour, and add the yogurt and vanilla extract.
  6. Pour and spoon the mixture into your greased tin and spread  evenly.
  7. Place the tin on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and cook for 45 to 60 minutes until well risen and golden. After 45 minutes, push a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Let it sit out of the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Gently pull away the edge of the cake from the tin with your fingers, then turn out the cake, hoping for the best!
  9. Once cool, dust with icing sugar pushed through a small sieve.

Thinking of fresh snowfall on the alps, then you will sing along Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

P1140335AA

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.

Visitandines

P1130434AAThis little French petit four named visitation, I loved the idea of this little cake. As its name Visitandines (Visitation) the visit of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. I have no idea what is this petit fours to do with that; but for me I take it as visiting gift to a friend, is a good idea for a visit instead of empty hands.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/ 325ºF/ Gas Mark 3.
  2. Grease 10 cm (4-inch) barquette moulds with butter.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, almonds, lemon zest and softened butter.
  4. In a separated bowl, whisk the egg white to soft peaks with an electric whisk, (I like to use hand whisk with cooper bowl it works like magic) then slowly fold into the mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into prepared tins. Bake for 30 minutes.

I loved it simply because it is easy to make, is best as small bite during tea time. Hope you going to enjoy this little petit four. Bon appétit.

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.

Lemon Madeira with Berries

P1150174A Cake lover will definitely love this small and yet fabulously to eat. I made this for my friend request something new from the tradition patisserie.

I made lemon madeira and sandwich it with home made lemon curd, topped with crème pâtissière and fresh raspberry and blackberry. I love the colour of berries shine on the cake and look very summer and sunshine too.

As I loved madeira cake on its own, the golden-yellow colour with crack usually (but this I had it remove to assemble to be a sandwich cake. If you would like to try just the madeira cake on its own, here is the full recipe for this cake. You could just stop where the cake is finished to cool, but I can’t stop myself to develop  more and make it interesting.

Madeira cake:

  • 240g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar,plus extra for sprinkling
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 210 self-raising flour (you can use plain flour with 21g of baking powder)
  • 90g plain flour
  • Fresh raspberry and blackberry

Lemon curd:

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 40g sugar
  • 45g butter
  • 2 egg yolks

Crème pâtissière:

  • 3 large egg yolks (roughly 60g)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g Cornstarch
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 250ml whole milk
  1. To make the lemon curd, put the lemon zest and juice, salt, sugar and butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have melted.
  2. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then add to the pan and whisk vigorously. Return the pan to a low heat and whisk constanly as the curd starts to thicken.
  3. Don’t stop whisking or the egg will curdle (if the curd starts heat and pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl.
  4. Place cling film in direct contact with the curd and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  5. To make the cake. Preheated oven of 170ºC. Grease and line two 12cm round spring form cake tins.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.
  7. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally, the lemon juice. Sprinkle with caster sugar (roughly 2 tablespoons should do it)
  8. Bake  for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a cake taster comes out clean. Remove to wire rack and let it cool in the tin before turning out.
  9. To make the creme patissiere. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and thick, then whisk in the cornstarch.
  10. In saucepan add the vanilla extract into milk, bring the milk to a boil and switch off the heat.
  11. Pour the milk in a slow stream on to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously all the time.
  12. Return the mixture to a clean pot and continuously whisk over a medium heat. Make sure to scrape theside and  bottom of the pan, otherwise it will burn. The cream will start to thicken. Once it release a bubble or two, take it off the heat.
  13. Pour on to a tray lined with clig film. Cover with cling film (pat the clig film so it sticks directly on to the cream) and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.
  14. When the cake is cool, level the cake by cut off the uneven top then spread the lemon curd onto one of the cake, sandwich another one on top.
  15. Spread the creme patissiere on top of the cake then top with raspberry and blackberry.  Done!

I hope this recipe bring a really enjoyment on your table. Have fun!

Madeleine

Image

In the picture doesn’t it look promising to you? But this little cake has a history behind, as I know it was from France. Here is a article from a writer named Albert Jack.

In the remembrance of Cakes Past: The Petite Madeleine

She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called ‘petites madeleines’. which looks as though they had been moulded in fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place… at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…

Small sponge cakes baked in distinctive shell-shaped moulds, madeleines are now among the most recognizable cakes in the world compared to financiers and visitandines thanks to Marcel Proust (1871-1922) and his In search of Lost Time. Eating a madeleine (in the passage from the book quoted above) sends the narrator off on a very long journey into involuntary memory. But who was the original Madeleine that they were named after? Some sources suggest that she was a French pastry chef working for the deposed king of Poland, Stanislaw Leszczynski. Forced by an assassination attempt to seek exile in France, he and his family moved to the Chateau de Commercy in the commune of Commercy in north-eastern France. When in 1755 Madeleine Paulmier became his pastry chef, she supposedly invented the cake to cheer up the exiled king.

But the cakes are much more likely to be named after a very different Madeleine, for Madeleine is also the French name for Mary Magdalen, the former prostitute and follower of Jesus. Several orders of nuns have taken her name and that, twinned with the cake’s distinctive scallop-shell shape (the points out above), would suggest that the cakes were originally baked with more religious purpose in mind, and scallop-shell been worn as a protector in those day, perhaps to remind those who ate them that while, like Mary / Madeleine herself, we are all sinners, we are also pilgrims on a hopeful journey to find God.

No matter what happened in the past of madeleine, now we remembered a little story about it and pass it on to the next generation. Let’s bake it and enjoy! Stay tuned for my recipe update tomorrow, you will going to have a lift by madeleine.

Gingerbread Mountain

P1140827AP1140810AI know this is not Christmas at the moment, but I do enjoyed the smell of gingerbread wafting through the house when it started to “talk” in oven.

When the cake is ready, I have no idea how should I decorate it and then I found some Christmas trees and deers. It make the cake more seasonal treat (although not at this time of year) and for the final touch with some icing sugar to “snow” on it. There is the Christmas centre piece.

The trick of this cake is the more day it aged more sticky they are, unfortunately it can’t even lived in the cake tin more than 2 days because everyone will just have a piece when they step in the kitchen.

Recipe of Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake
  • 150g Plain flour
  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Zest of Lemon

For Lemon Drizzle

  • 4 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • Lemon Juice of 1 Lemon
 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Grease and line the loaf (8 x 20cm) with baking paper and line it with a little over hang on the length sides of the tin. (It is easy for you to pull the cake out later)
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder in a bowl then put in lemon zest and use a fork or whisk the combine. Set aside.
  3. Use the wooden spoon to beat the butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy then you add in the caster sugar and continue beating until the sugar is fully combine without the sandy texture when you leaf the spoon up. (This way by beating butter first before you adding sugar will soften the cake and make the cake much moist)
  4. In the same bowl add the eggs one at a time, beat until fully combine.
  5. Use a metal spoon and fold in the flour, make sure incorporate the air into batter. Do not over flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased and lined loaf tin, using rubber spatula and spread it around especially to the corner of the loaf, try to push the batter slightly higher on the sides of tin, like making a rectangular well. (The reason, usually the middle of cake will rise before the sides of the cake does) Bake it for 20 – 25 minutes
  7. While the cake is in the oven. You can make the lemon drizzle. Squeeze the whole lemon into saucepan and discard the seeds, and add in the sugar and heat it up until the sugar is fully dissolve and lemon released its citrus aroma is only takes 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
  8. When the cake is come out from the oven, insert the cake with skewer into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Prick the warm cake with fork, then pour the drizzle onto the cake, the juice will sink into the cake and keep it moist and sugar will have a lovely crisp topping.
  9. After the cake been in the tin for 20 minutes then you can remove the cake together with the baking paper and leave it to cool on rack completely.
  10. Well keep in air-tight container for 3 to 4 days, freeze it up to 1 month.

Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate Lava Cake 1 Chocolate Lava Cake 2This is one of my favourite chocolate puds, fit for any serious chocaholic! The rich glossy melting middle is to die for, and it can be served straight from the oven, cold, or warmed through in a microwave or conventional oven. Which ever way you choose, this pudding will not disappoint any chocolate lover. I’m thinking of trying a different version with a caramel sauce in the middle.

I used 72% of cocoa solid chocolate to make this delicious dessert, which is quite high because the intense chocolate flavour is diluted with the flavours from the sugar, flour and butter. I love to serve this to friends when they visit, as the moist center with the oozy chocolate comes out like lava from a volcano, and when you spoon it in your mouth, your heart feels like it’s being melted by chocolatey lava! Here is how I do it.

Ingredients

For coating 6 ramekins

  • 30g soft butter
  • 30g unsweetened cocoa powder

Chocolate filling

  1. Prepare 6-8 ramekins by brushing them with butter and then dusting with cocoa powder. Make sure to tap out all the excess cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the chocolate with butter in a bain marie (a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt them in the microwave on low setting.
  3. To make the filling, put the cream in a pan set over a low heat, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the grated chocolate and stir until melted. Finally, stir in the butter for a smooth, silky chocolate. Set aside to cool.
  4. Combine the sugar and flour in a bowl. Mix the melted chocolate with the eggs followed by the flour and sugar. Divided the mixture between the ramekins fill in three-quarter full with chocolate mixture.
  5. Transfer the cool chocolate filling into piping bag fitted withsmall round nozzle, or to a heavy-duty food bag (just snip off the corner to use).
  6. Pop the piping nozzle into the middle of the chocolate mixture in each ramekins and squirt in the filling (the mixture will rise almost to the top). Keep in the refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes or until the edge are firm and the centres slightly runny. Test by inserting a toothpick in the centre – it should come out wet. Leave to rest for 2 minutes before turning the cakes out of the ramekins on to plates.

If you decide to serve this dessert, make sure your main course is not too rich, because this pud packs a punch of overwhelming chocolate flavour, both inside and out. It will definitely satisfied your guests.

This dessert could be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or for those concerned about their waistline, a little creme fraiche.