Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pandan Chiffon

a few weeks ago, a teacher proudly brought her orange chiffon cake for us to taste. it was nice, though a tad tangy. i was thinking, if she could make a chiffon cake, that also means i could too.

so today, i bought a tubed pan, and made the cake. seriously, 10 years ago, i wouldnt have dreamed of making the cake. especially light and airy cakes. i was pleasantly surprised to see that mine is really a chiffon, springy, wobbly, airy pandan chiffon!

here's the recipe, which i've taken from amy beh's column in the star

6 egg whites
125g castor sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
6 egg yolks
100g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
5 tbsp corn oil
2 tbsp pandan juice
100ml thick coconut milk (squeezed from 1/2 a grated coconut)
140g self-raising flour, sift

Pandan juice:
5-6 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces
3-4 tbsp water

To obtain pandan juice, put pandan leaves and water in an electric blender and blend to a fine pulp. Strain the juice and measure out two tablespoonfuls for use.

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until just stiff.Whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence until light and creamy. Add in corn oil, pandan juice and thick coconut milk. Mix well.Stir in sifted flour and fold in carefully and gently to mix.Pour egg yolk mixture lightly into the egg white mixture. Mix evenly with a metal spoon or a plastic spatula.Pour batter into an ungreased 22cm tube pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until cake is well browned and firm to the touch.Remove cake from oven. Invert pan immediately. Leave to cool, then remove cake from pan with the help of a thin-bladed knife.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

sponge cake mania

i had always hated making sponge cakes. why? i think, to make sponge cakes, one must have a lot of patience. 2 years ago, i made a black forest cake that someone ordered. the cake sank in the middle! later, it turned out that i used a lot of raising agents. then, last week, the cake i made shrank! it wouldnt matter if it's just 1 layer, but i wanted to make 2 layers using 2 different pans, so 1 cake was smaller than the other.

yes, making sponge cake can be frustrating at times. i find making cheesecake easier. but this doesnt deter me from continuing my quest to become a perfect baker.

yesterday, i had this mood for making coffee cream and nut roll, except that it's not in the form of a swiss roll, but a normal cake. i used blue key recipes, and i was surprised to find that the cake actually taste nice! so here's the recipe for coffee cream and nut roll:

sponge cake
100g self raising flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ovalette
1 teaspoon vanilla (i put in some instant coffee diluted in water)
1/4 cup melted butter

butter cream
125g butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon evaporated milk
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons water
chopped nuts

whisk all the ingredients except for melted butter. using a spatula, blend in cooled melted butter into the sponge batter. pour the batter into the pan (or tray). bake at 200 C for 7- 10 mins or until cooked.
spread cake with coffee cream and sprinkle chopped nuts.

coffee butter cream
cream the butter, icing sugar and milk together until light and fluffy. dissolve coffee with water. blend into the cream.

i'm so pleased with the cake that today i made another one - it's chocolate sponge with coffee topping. it's the cake in the pic. i used non-dairy whipping cream and added some coffee essence and instant coffee powder.

here's the ingredients for chocolate sponge cake:

3/4 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup caster sugar

sift the flour and cocoa 3 times. beat the eggs until thick and pale. add in sugar gradually and continue to beat until it turns pale yellow and glossy. using a metal spoon, fold in sifted ingredients quickly and lightly. bake for 20 mins 180 C or until the sponge cake is lightly golden and shrink from sides of the tin.