Pandan Chiffon Cake

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My mother has been baking a lot recently and she’s only been baking this chiffon cake. She likes to perfect a cake before moving on to the next cake. So if she’s on to chiffon cake, it’s going to be chiffon cake for the next few months.

Anyway, I’m not really complaining because this pandan chiffon cake is leagues ahead of the store-bought ones. And it’s a local flavoured kind of cake so it’s popular amongst everyone, especially the elderly.

I’ve been feeling a bit down lately and in the midst of my unhappiness, I felt that I wanted to make other people happy so I decided to bake two cakes for the cleaners in school to eat for their tea break. I’ve always wanted to do something to show my appreciation for their hard work and also because most of them are old and cleaning toilets isn’t the easiest thing to do. The least that I could do was bake them something to show that someone actually appreciates what they do 🙂

Some aunties were quite lukewarm towards my gesture but some aunties were overjoyed and I guess even if I could only make one aunty smile, baking the cake would have been worth it 🙂 No words can describe the joy that filled my heart when I saw how genuinely happy the aunty was. I’m thankful that I can be a blessing to others through the talents God has blessed me with. I hope that in the midst of all our busyness, we remember to be a blessing to others!

Anyway, here’s the recipe for the Pandan Chiffon Cake! It’s a really easy cake to bake, takes less than 30 minutes, so there’s no excuse to not bake this for the people you love! 🙂

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Ingredients
5 egg yolks
20g of sugar
100g cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
100ml coconut milk
2 tbsp pandan juice
3 tbsp cooking oil

5 egg whites
60g sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Directions
1. Whisk egg yolks and 20g of sugar until thick.
2. Whisk in coconut milk and pandan juice.
3. Whisk in sieved flour and baking powder.
4. Whisk in cooking oil. Set aside.
5. In another bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar and 60g of sugar until stiff peaks.
6. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the flour mixture.
7. Repeat until all the egg whites have been folded in.
8. Pour into mould (you can buy from Phoon Huat!) and place in preheated oven of 145 degrees Celsius.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake has separated from the middle ring.

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Fudgy Brownies

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I took one mouthful of this brownie and I knew that the search for the best recipe for fudgy brownies was over. This is a clear winner. If chocolate could cure illnesses, this fudgy brownie would be a miracle drug.

Everyone who ate this was unbelievably happy. My father texted me “I’m eating your cake now & wow 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 ” and D said “I’m super impressed.” The best part is that this brownie recipe is quite idiot proof. I mean how hard is it to whisk stuff together? The batter can be mixed up in 10 minutes and hey, you’ve got an impressive brownie.

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Ingredients
170g unsweetened chocolate
230g salted butter
200g granulated sugar
4 large eggs
10ml dark rum
170g all-purpose flour

Directions
1. Melt chocolate and butter over bain marie (fancy term for hot water bath)
2. Whisk in sugar and egg yolks, one at the time.
3. Whisk in rum
4. Sift flour into mixture and fold.
5. Pour batter into 8×8 inch square tin.
6. Place in preheated oven of 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes (the doneness of your brownie depends on how fudgy you want your brownie to be. The more undercooked your brownie is, the more fudgy it will be.)
7. Let the brownie cool before slicing. For really clean cuts, put the brownie in the fridge before cutting.

Banana Buttermilk Bread

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I was so blown away by the banana bread at The Lokal that I promised myself to recreate it. Soft, moist banana bread, swimming in a swirl of homemade yogurt, topped with caramelised bananas and toasted hazelnuts; it sounded easier to try to bake it than to take a MRT down to Outram and walk to The Lokal under the hot sun. So, here’s my attempt at banana bread and I think I can skip the trip down from now onwards.

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I only decided to bake this bread at the last minute so I ended up with not very ripe bananas. Here’s a tip if you find yourself in my situation, bake the bananas at 120 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. The skin will turn black but the insides will be ripe and sweet! Other than the trouble of finding ripe bananas, the rest of the steps are super easy. Just mix everything together and tadah, you get a beautiful loaf of moist banana bread 🙂

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Ingredients
5 medium bananas, very ripe
150g vegetable oil
100g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp dark rum
2 eggs
75g buttermilk
210g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp molasses

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Butter and line your loaf tin with baking paper.
3. Mash the bananas.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, vanilla, rum, eggs and buttermilk.
5. Add the mashed banana and set aside.
6. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
7. Fold the dry ingredients into the banana mixture until just combined and pour into your prepared tin.
8. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

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I first came across this cake while searching the Internet for my birthday cake. It seemed really easy to make and it promised a densechocolate cake which was enough for me to bookmark it down for my birthday cake. I was almost sure that I would be baking my own birthday cake but my mother wanted to bake it for me instead since I baked her a birthday cake for her birthday. Her cake was a disappointment though, I’m sorry Mother, for she over-baked it which resulted in an overly dry chocolate cake.

Reading the recipe now, I can understand why she would over-bake it since the recipe states a total of 45 minutes of baking time. Uhhh, that’s way too much. I made this cake again today and made sure that I kept checking on the cake but sadly, I still think I over-baked my cake too. I only baked it for 30 minutes but it didn’t turn out as moist as I would have liked it to be. So maybe I’ll take it out at the 25 minute mark next time? Anyway, every oven is different. So what might take 30 minutes in my oven may take 40 minutes in yours, so just keep checking on the cake every 5 or 10 minutes. I guess patience and perseverance gives you your perfect cake. Wow, the 3Ps.

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The cake itself though, isn’t that fantastic on the first bite. The chocolate taste doesn’t hit you yet. Only when you take the second bite will you fully taste the dark chocolate. And it is only then when it starts getting addictive. Soon, the slice of cake will be gone and you’ll be reaching for seconds :>

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Ingredients
1 cup soft unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
113g 80% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon
1 cup freshly brewed coffee

Directions
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in eggs until well combined.
3. Fold in melted chocolate
4. Fold in brandy
5. Sieve flour and baking soda together.
6. Fold in one spoonful of flour mixture then one spoonful of coffee. Alternate until all is combined and you end up with a smooth, fairly liquid batter.
7. Line 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and grease a smaller loaf pan.
8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
9. Pour batter into loaf pans, leaving 1 inch from the rim of the cake pan to prevent overflowing.
10. Bake the cake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
11. Lower oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius and bake for another 15 minutes. Take smaller cake out at 20 minute mark.
12. Let cake cool completely in the loaf pan before turning it out. It is best to enjoy the cake a day later, but that is assuming that you can wait. I can’t.

Flourless Lemon Cake

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It’s Day 25, I’m still on my Pseudo-Atkins diet even though I’ve cheated a number of times which may or may not have resulted in my lack of weight loss, whoops. Here are the lies I’ve been telling myself these past few days:

1. Mexican food has no carbs.

2. Corn tortilla is made of corn only.

3. Ice cream is made of ice and cream, it’s just water and fats.

4. Carrot soup only has carrots.

5. Flourless lemon cake is made of almond flour and eggs. Sugar? What sugar?!

Let’s forget the fact that I’ve been cheating (teehee) and focus on how amazingly easy and delicious this flourless lemon cake is. I jazzed the original recipe up a bit because I felt that it was not lemon-ey enough. Once the cake came out of the oven, I drizzled lemon juice all over the cake. I think I got a bit too excited with the prospect of cake that I drizzled a tad too much and ended up with a soggy cake. I apologise to all my friends who had to eat the soggy cake and I promise I will be more careful next time.

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The cake holds up because the egg whites are whisked to medium peaks, forming the structure of the entire cake. I love how no butter is used at all in this cake. Makes it seem so healthy 🙂 And almonds, almonds are good for your health right?

Just make this cake. It’s good for your health.

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Ingredients for Cake
4 Eggs
Zest from 4 lemons
4 Tbsp + 4 Tsp sugar
1.5 cup almond flour
1 Tsp baking powder
Milk

Ingredients for Lemon Syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
Sugar, to taste

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Grease loaf pan
3. Separate eggs, yolks in a medium-sized bowl and whites into grease-free bowl.
4. Beat yolks with 4tbsp of sugar. Add ground almonds, baking powder and mix until smooth.
5. Mix in milk until dropping consistency.
6. Whisk egg whites until medium peaks, adding the remaining 2 tsp of sugar.
7. Gradually fold in egg whites into yolk mixture to form light & fluffy batter.
8. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
9. While baking, dissolve sugar in lemon juice over medium fire.
9. Upon removing from oven, use a satay stick to poke holes in the cake and drizzle lemon syrup over.
10. Let cake cool before removing and serving.

Nutella Cake

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This is by far the most fattening cake I have ever baked and I was totally freaking out while baking the cake because

1. I emptied the huge nutella jar.
2. I used up an entire bar of Cadbury dark chocolate.
3. I finished up half a block of butter.
4. And the frosting was a dark chocolate ganache which required cream.

It was so funny because I called Vivian after baking my cake and before making my ganache and was screaming “IT’S SO FATTENING! HELP!” But in the end we just decided to forget the calories and just whip up the ganache too.

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Anyway, the cake was a birthday cake for a good friend of mine (his photo is so unglam HAHAHAHA; photo credits to vivian) whom I treasure a lot and who has been pigging out on my cakes so I had to make a cake which I had never made before. Googling nutella cake gave me a Nigella Lawson’s recipe which looked so amazingly moist and dense that I could not resist trying it. Apologies for the lousy quality photographs that I took with my iPhone because it was a late night bake, I had no time to style the cake and we were famished. On a side note, it was a successful birthday surprise! 🙂

I had to use both my mixers to make this cake. One to whip the egg whites and the other to cream the butter. Other than the extensive washing I had to do (which thankfully my helper helped out with), this cake was relatively easy to make. I love the addition of rum into this cake (call me an alcoholic) and how the cake rises in the oven but sinks when it is cooling, and I just know that it is sinking and condensing into this chocolate haven.

Everyone loved the cake and demanded it for their birthday hahaha which would be terrifying because that means we would be eating it 3 more times this year and omg the fats. It’s so dense and moist, perfect with the crunchy hazelnut bits all over the cake. You can’t go wrong if your cake is mostly made of nutella and chocolate anyway. It’s a cake I would definitely make again if I ever have a tub of nutella lying around but let’s hope the tub of nutella won’t appear soon. Meanwhile, it’s time to gym.

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Ingredients for the cake
6 large eggs (separated)
1 pinch of salt
125 grams soft unsalted butter
400 grams nutella (1 large jar)
1 tablespoon rum
100 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams dark chocolate (melted)- I love using Cadbury Old Gold 70% Dark Chocolate

Ingredients for the ganache
125 ml double cream
1 tablespoon rum
125 grams dark chocolate

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.
3. Cream butter and nutella together until light and fluffy.
4. Add in the egg yolks one by one until well mixed.
5. Add in the rum.
6. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites on low speed until stiff peaks form. You can add 1 tbsp of sugar to stabilise the structure.
7. Add a dollop of egg whites into the batter and mix.
8. Gently fold in a third of the egg whites at a time into the batter.
9. Pour batter into a 9 inch springform tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.
10. Melt dark chocolate, rum and double cream in a heavy-based saucepan until chocolate is just melted.
11. Whisk until desired thickness.
12. Cool baked cake, do not remove from the base. Pour ganache onto the cake.

The Only Carrot Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

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Happiness is when you finally found the cake of your dreams :’)  This is a super moist carrot cake and I looooove super moist carrot cakes. It’s why I love PS cafe’s carrot cakes, just that they burn such a huge hole in my pocket (it’s at least $10 per slice with very little cream cheese) that the pain I feel from paying cancels out the joy in the eating. The next best carrot cake in Singapore would probably be from Cedele just that the cake is too dry for my liking and too small. I either have issues with the price or the size, which is great motivation for me to whip something up in the kitchen.

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Anyway, this recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction, though I made some minor adjustments. It is super easy to make, all you need is to whisk the wet ingredients together and then dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then out comes a super duper moist carrot cake. If I haven’t emphasised it enough yet, this cake is so amazing you have to try it.

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Ingredients for Carrot Cake
200g light brown sugar
180ml vegetable oil
60g yogurt
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
260g very finely grated carrots

3/4 cup raisins (optional)

Directions for Carrot Cake
1. In stand mixer on medium speed, mix brown sugar and oil together.
2. Add in yogurt, beat for 60s. Mixture should be thick.
3. Add in eggs, one by one.
4. Add in vanilla extract
5. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.
6. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture, fold until just mixed.
7. Fold in carrots and raisins.
8. Pour into 9 inch springform tin.
8. In preheated oven of 175 degrees Celsius, bake the cake. Check at 20mins.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
600g cream cheese, at room temperature
200g butter, at room temperature
100g icing sugar

Directions for Frosting
1. Using handheld whisk, whisk all ingredients together.
2. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Snickerdoodle bars

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My friend brought these snicker doodle bars to school and lamented about how bad it tasted, saying that she was only giving it to us because no one in her family liked it. To her surprise, all of us at school loved it and I loved it so much that I decided I needed one tray to myself. I’m such a pig teehee.

This is so easy to make (it’s a typical cake batter) and the flavours are universally loved. It’s cinnamon and sugar. Who doesn’t love cinnamon sugar?! The only gripe I have about this is that it’s supposed to be soft in the centre but it doesn’t turn out that way. I don’t think it’s me though because my friend had the same problem but you could give it a try if you don’t mind cake-y snicker doodles!

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Ingredients
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For Cinnamon Sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Grease a 13×9″ baking dish.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated.
6. Beat in the vanilla.
7. Beat in the dry ingredients on low speed until just combined.
8. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it as evenly as you can.
9. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter.
10. Using a teaspoon, drop dollops of the remaining batter over the cinnamon-sugar mixture. The cinnamon-sugar mixture will still be visible in many areas.
11. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar.
12. Bake for 25 minutes.
13. Cool on a wire rack.
14. Cut into squares

Lemon Madeleines

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Lemon Madeleines

When I feel like whipping up afternoon tea really quick (in 15 minutes), I’d always make madeleines using the recipe adapted from my trusty Marie Claire cookbook, Marie Claire Cuisine. I love this cookbook for its simplicity and variety. It covers the basics for all meals and most of the time, the recipes can be trusted. I found my cookbook in a bookstore in the Australian suburbs of Bendigo for $20 and literally jumped for joy because the only alternative to buying this book is going online and it is probably second-hand.

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Anyway, I’m sure you would want to buy this cookbook from amazon once you try this recipe. It produces Madeleines so light and fluffy that you just can’t stop popping one into your mouth. I don’t like my madeleines browned with a harder outer covering but if you do, then just lengthen the baking time. Also, I got bored with plain old lemon madeleines, so I decided to make it prettier by adding a few drops of raspberry juice and swirling it around, just for fun 🙂

Lemon Madeleines

Ingredients
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
60g of all purpose flour, sifted
1.5 tsp of lemon juice
50g of melted butter

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Using electric whisk, whisk eggs, sugar and lemon zest until pale and thick.
3. Fold in flour.
4. Gradually fold in lemon juice and melted butter.
(*Remember not to over mix!)
5. Place in madeleine moulds and bake for 5 minutes.

Enjoy! 🙂