Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu......means pick me up, my absolute favourite Italian dessert. Tiramisu is a cool, refreshing Italian dessert that once tasted, leaves an indelible impression on you. I love the creamy mascarpone and the mellow coffee flavour.
I decided to turn this classic dessert into a delicious cake. I decided to bake two cake sponge cake and soaked them in espresso syrup and covered with creamy mascarpone frosting. The cake is sprinkled with a layer of cocoa powder and covered in a layer of chocolate shavings. I then decorate with ladyfingers around the edge and secure it up with a ribbon.
My guess all "mmmmm"-ed and "aaahhh"-ed as they were eating and I can honestly say that this was one of the most delicious cakes i have ever made. I might be bias as tiramisu is my favourite dessert.

  • 115g butter, softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cup cake flour **
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup single cream

Preheat oven to 180C/165C for fan oven. Lightly grease 2 9" baking pans.

Sieve cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix in the cream.

Divide batter evenly between baking pans and bake for 30 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when touched. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Espresso extract:
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 tbsp hot water
In a small bowl, whisk together espresso powder and hot water. Set aside.

Espresso syrup:
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in kahlua and 1 tbsp espresso extract. Set aside.

Filling and frosting:
  • 1 cup of cold whipping cream
  • 225g mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua
  • 150g semi-sweet chocolate shaving
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • 20-30 ladyfinger
In a large bowl, whip whipping cream until it form stiff peaks.

In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and Kahlua. Whisk in the remaining espresso extract. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone  mixture.

To assemble:

If the top of the cake have crowned, use a long serrated knife to trim off the top of the cakes to make them level. Place one cake on a cake plate. Using a pastry brush, soak the top of the cake in 1/3 of the espresso syrup. Spread the top with 1/3 of the mascarpone frosting. Sprinkle with 50g shaved semi-sweet chocolate.

While the second cake layer is resting on the counter, soak the top with another 1/3 of the espresso syrup. Carefully flip the cake upside down and place the cake on top of the other, soaked side down. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining espresso syrup. Spread the remaining mascarpone frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder until the mascarpone frosting os no longer visible. Press ladyfingers onto the mascarpone frosting on the outsideof the cake, spacing them evenly apart. Secure ladyfingers with a ribbon lightly ties around the cake. Sprinkle remaining chocolate shavings over the top of the cake.

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

** for cake flour, for every 2 cups of cake flour the recipes calls for, add 13/4 cups of plain flour and 1/4 cup of cornstarch.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Blueberry and almond tray bake

Went to the vege & fruits stall and saw the blueberry thats so fresh and juicy. Can't resist and bought some. Have no idea what I am going to do with that, decided to google and found this recipes on Woman's Weekly.


For the base:
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 level tbsp castor sugar
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
For the filling:
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • a few drop of almond extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g blueberries
For the topping:
  • 2 tbsp flaked almond
  • icing sugar, for dusting

To make the base: Prepare a rectangular tin (26 x16.5cm), lined with baking paper.
Add the buttter, caster sugar and flour into a food processor and whisk until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg until the mixture starts to look like coarse breadcrumbs. Tip the mixture into the base of the tin and press it down firmly to give an even layer.
Chill the base for 10-15 minutes until it's firm.

Set the oven to 180C (160C for fan assist).

To make the filling: Place the butter in a bowl and whisk until soft. Add the castor sugar and cream them together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the grounds almomds and almond extract. Gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg. Beat in the rest of the flour. Spoon the mixture over the base, and spread level.

Scatter the blueberries over and press them into the sponge mixture and then top with flaked almonds.

Place the tin in the centre of the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the mixture is a light-golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the traybake is cold, dust icing sugar over the top and cut into 15 squares to serve.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Blueberry White Chocolate Coffee Cake

This is one of the cake that I like to kickstart my day with. It is not too sweet, has nibble of white chocolate, tart berries and crunchy almond topping. You may replace the almond with half cup of chopped hazelnuts.
This cake is so simple that you can prepare it in 10 minutes, bake it for 30 minutes and serve it in 10 minutes later. Deliciouzzzzz

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 55g butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
  • 11/2 tbsp coarse sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped almond

Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 9 inch round or square baking tin with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside

In a large bowm cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract and almond extract until smooth. Stir in about half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and then the rest of the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Fold in berries and white chocolate chipsto evenly distribute them. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into even layer. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and chopped almond.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool completely before slicing.

Mee Siam (Spicy Rice Vermicelli)

Mee Siam which means Siamese noodles is a dish of thin rice noodles (vermicelli) in spicy, sweet and sour light gravy.  There is also a dry version, which is essentially stir-fry the rice noodles with the same spices used in the gravy version.

Originally a Thai dish, it became a Nyonya speciality eventually. Mee Sian uses a few ingredients which brings out the peculiar taste- tau cheong (preserved soya beans), chilli, dried prawns and tamarind juice. The combination of spicy, swet and sour taste makes Mee Siam dish appealing to many.

Ingredients: ( for 2-3 persons)
to be blend together:
  • 5 shallots
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 6-8 dried chilli, pre-soaked for about 30 mins to softened
  • 45g dried prawns, pre-soaked for about 30 mins to softened
  • 2 tbsp tau cheong (preserved soya beans)
  • 20g of tamarind paste, pre-soaked with 1/2 cup water and squeeze for the juice

  • 500g of fresh prawns
  • 400g mee hoon (rice vermicelli), pre-soaked for an hour until softened, drained
  • 1 piece of tau kwa, fried and slice into cubes
  • 8-10 stalks of chives (kuchai), cut into 2" long
  • 200g beans sprout
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil

for garnishing
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten and fry into a thin omelet. Fold and slice the omelet thinly
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced

Using a blender or food processor, grind the blended ingredients into s fine paste and set aside.

Heat up the wok with the oil. Once the oil is heated, fry the blended spice paste until aromatic and oil separates. Add in the salt and sugar.

Add in the prawns, stir fry until half done, then add in the mee hoon (rice vermicelli) an keep stirring until the spice paste has been well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or sugar to taste. If the noodles taste bland, add a little fish sauce to taste.

Transfer the noodles onto a big serving bowl and garnish with omelet strips. chilli and lime wedges. Serve immediately.