Mrs. Chan

Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Avocado Chocolate Marble Cake

In Apprentice Chef, Cakes on November 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I learned to eat avocados when I was in Mauritius. Working as a Quality Controller for a Hong Kong based apparel company, I was seconded for a year there. Behind our big colonial type hostel, there were these 2 very huge avocado trees. Pleasant memories. How the guys tried to impress by plucking mature fruits from those trees. Most times, we girls would wait for them to fall on the ground and gleefully gather our harvest of butter fruits.

There was only one way we ate it back then. May sound distasteful to some. Be warned.

My factory manager, Mr. Lee, bespectacled and walked with a little polio limp gave me my first lesson on preparing a sweet avocado dessert. He would cut the chilled ripened fruit into halves and remove the stony seed. On each of the shelled halves, we poured  a generous teaspoon of brown sugar into the hole that stony seed used to sit. Mash it to melt together, not too much, just enough. A little citric juice from a tiny wedge of lemon does wonder to the taste. Heavenly.

nice retro green

There are 2 very ripened Hass avocados sitting in the refrigerator. I am tempted to go back memory lane and prepare myself the dessert, just to reminisce that unforgettable taste. I had neither brown sugar nor lemons. I have to be careful what I produce, least no one help me to consume. It has to be either a guacamole dip or a sweet dessert.

I researched endless avocado cake recipes. Finally decided to adapt on an Avocado Pound Cake recipe by joythebaker.

The cake turns out slightly over moist. The chocolate marble adds flavour and I would say chocolate and avocado makes a great pair. If I were to do this cake again, I would convert the cornmeal to wheat flour.

looking good

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MARBLE CAKE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (used cornflour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3  cup buttermilk (adapted with full cream)
  • flesh of 1 ripe avocado mashed ( used 2 small ones)
  • some chocolate powder (for marble effect)

avocado chocolate marble cake

METHOD:-

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour the loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.
  3. Set the 2 eggs out on the counter to come to room temperature while you beat the butter and sugar.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until softened and pliable.  Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the avocado and beat another minute to incorporate.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after the addition of each egg.  Beat in vanilla extract.
  6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour mixture.  Beat just until combined.
  7. Scoop 2 tablespoon of mixture into a separate bowl. Add 2 teaspoon of chocolate powder and mix.
  8. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.   Pour mixture and alternate with the chocolate mixture for the marble effect.
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean.

great afternoon dessert

Guest Chef:- Chocolate Souffle by Miss Adriennely

In Cakes, Dessert, Guest Chef on August 21, 2011 at 8:28 am

hakkachan

Introducing Adrienne, my little girl who left for Melbourne at 16. I wanted her to experience life and study abroad which I had missed when I was younger. Now this little girl just turned 20, having a ball “growing up” and “being in a relationship”.

Growing Up

Well, I wouldn’t say Adrienne isn’t exactly spoilt. Well, you have to know that she is firstly, a LEO and secondly, the only child. So that speaks a volume. Anyway, she grows up heavily reliant on her grandma or amah to get her room habitable  and stomach filled. Today, 4 years of living away, we made discovery that Adrienne is actually quite kitchen savvy. At least now I do not have to hear unsavoury remarks from her future in-laws, if storming out a feast is wife material.

She loves food, adventurous and has great palate for taste, go size her up on her blog, Miss Adriennely. However, I shall reserve my comments on the keeping of her house.

hakkachan

In A Relationship

My princess, Adrienne took a holiday back to KL during her short winter break. That gave her a chance to spend time with the family, especially with my parents and her boyfriend Jose. I had bad experiences with long distance relationship, will try to understand why every little opportunity to meet up is precious, especially for new lovebirds like Adrienne and Jose.

hakkachan

hakkachan

My princess baked us a Tropical Pavlova but it collapsed into an Eton Mass. Agnes and I thought it was as delicious though. The combination of mangoes, kiwi and passion fruits was heavenly. She made redemption by baking us Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes and it kind of turned out perfectly as Molten Chocolate too. Deliciously served warm, delectable chocolate oozing with every bite.

hakkachan

hakkachan

Chocolate Souffle Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:- makes about 9

  • 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) (86 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) espresso or instant coffee powder or chocolate powder
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons (97 grams) sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
METHOD:-
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 standard-size (3-ounce) muffin cups with paper liners. In this case we used a cupcake tray and a few ceramic molds.
  2.  Stir chocolate, butter and cocoa powder together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth. Put the butter underneath the chocolate in the pan, so that it protects the chocolate from the direct heat. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
  3. Using electric mixer  beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Briefly beat lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract, into yolk mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and all of the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way.
  5. Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack, embrace it) and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack, where the cupcakes will almost immediately start to fall. It will be all the better to put your mint cream on them.

hakkachan

hakkachan

Sweet as it is, I wish them a great journey of self discovery.

French Apple Cake

In Apprentice Chef, Cakes, family festivities on May 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

hakkachan

I was introduced to David Lebovitz by Agnes.

But then, we never really got started on his recipes. Many that we have bookmarked. Either we have butter but no whip cream, and we may have fresh vanilla but no butter.

A week ago, Coco called us and declared that David’s French Apple Cake is a must try. She baked it one evening with Mitch, and it was awesome. This couple ate half and decided to reciprocate the other half to their kind neighbour. None for us.

Agnes kept reminding me that we MUST bake this cake. Suddenly 2 afternoons back, I got an SMS from Agnes that she has gotten a variety of apples and I was supposed to get butter and other baking stuff. Message was clear, we are baking this simple but tasty cake.

    

   

INGREDIENTS:-

3/4 cup (110g) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples (a mix of varieties)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum – we could find any and omitted it
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature

METHOD:-

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.

2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.

5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter

6. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.

7. Fold in the apple cubes until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.

8. Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.

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hakkachan

hakkachan

hakkachan

It was actually quite simple. No need for Kitchen Aid whatever, just a hand whisk and a deep stainless steel bowl.

This French Apple Cake is so simple that I decided to teach Min, my niece the step by step how to do it. Although they were in a hurry to get back home to Malacca, I managed to convince Min that I would be good to pick up on a simple apple cake/pie recipe and handy for potlucks and home parties.

hakkachan

Whisking can be a social activity. Firstly, I showed Min how to whisk the eggs till foamy and to gradually add in the sugar. Continue whisking. Now that you have sugar inside, the batter is heavier to whisk. Hence, we invited Min’s mom, my adopted sister to help out. She gladly welcomed the invitation to be inside my photography too.

hakkachan

I am thankful that I have my maid with me in the kitchen. Baking becomes a joy, no worries of washing and cleaning up the mess after. Besides, she can be handy to do the not so “glamorous” tasks, like peeling, coring and dicing the apples.

I loved these organic orange coloured yolks that Edward bought for me. Momsie and I have been complaining the low quality eggs we are buying off shelves. Pale and anaemic; not great for kaya and butter cakes.

hakkachan

The recipe asked for dark rum and the nearest I could find in Stevie’s liquor collection is this Barcadi, and it truly adds flavour to the cake.

hakkachan

We have only a very small oven in Sungai Long, temperature control is a bit of a problem because the heating device on top and bottom are very close to the cake. I didn’t want the cake to be overbaked or burn. I turned the temperature down to 160C and put a strip of foil to cover from the 40 minute onwards. We baked this cake for 50 mins but I think I could leave it there for another 10 more.

hakkachan

Min is happy with the outcome and has accepted the tips of leaving the cake a little longer. Our cake is  moist and delicious. So I guessed, it is a matter of choice if you want it drier to bite.

hakkachan

I am glad that I am home for the weekend. There is so much to catch up with my little sister, Lee Lee.

hakkachan

The French Apple Cake doesn’t taste like a cake, doesn’t taste like an apple pie, so it is an interesting recipe. I am not a big fan of cinnamon and totally a fan of this recipe. To me, it is a very simple and delicious apple pie/cake. So delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

hakkachan

Just before they left for Malacca, Min and I ran through the recipe again. I am sure she is going to attempt this soon. You should, and I bet you will not regret a bit.

Bon Appetite.

Little Chan’s Cake a.k.a No Butter Sponge Cake

In Amateur Cook, Apprentice Chef, Cakes on May 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm

hakkachan

Contemplation. Contemplation.

The night was still early. Dinner was over before half past seven and just didn’t seem right to be retiring for the evening.

Should we bake a bread or a cake?

Little Margaux Chan beamed.

Yes! Yes!

Let’s bake a Little Chan’s Cake.

hakkachan

Margaux was so eager to bake with us and it would be sad to turn her down. She kept chanting, let’s bake a Little Chan’s Cake. A Little Chan’s Cake it shall be.

hakkachan

My memory told me, no more butter. I didn’t give up on butter. There ought to be some lying around. Sadly, after rummaging the fridge, I found less than 20grams of butter. Not enough to even think of making pancakes.

Brilliant moms, Agnes and I, we quickly search for a cake recipe without butter. Random can be dangerous, as we did not sit and ponder things through. Moreover we were trying to finish the baking fast so that Margaux can be put to bed in time.

We followed this recipe from BBC but I would suggest you adopt this one from JeenasKitchen that has a more descriptive recipe to success.

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
METHOD:-
  1. eat through the milk in a small plan until bubbling at edge. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix at high speed, eggs, until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is smooth and well blended…about 5 min.
  4. At low speed, blend in flour mixture until smooth. Add warm milk and lemon peel, beating until combined. Immediately pour batter into ungreased, 9-inch cake pan.
  5. Bake 30 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely. Then serve.

hakkachan

Little Chan is impressed with her cake. We didn’t have the heart to explain the difference between a cake baked well or other wise.

hakkachan

I bet, for Margaux this is the best Little Chan’s Cake in the world.

hakkachan

Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

In Apprentice Chef, Cakes, Hakkamui Cooks on May 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Momsie’s banana is a hit.

2 combs were brought back on Sunday and before we knew it, Margaux has consumed a comb. It wouldn’t be sitting at Agnes’s kitchen for too long either as we both are pretty confident to start our baking adventure with a dish that calls for banana.

Agnes quickly scoured David Lebovitz, her favorite food blogger stationed in Paris and we found this Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake. We would suggest you follow his recipe to the T and the outcome will be tremendous. Absolutely a fun dish to bake.

For the topping:

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (60 g) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water or butter; cubed, at room temperature
3-4 ripe medium bananas
a few drops of lemon juice

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup (250 g) banana puree (about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, regular or low-fat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80 g) chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1. To make the topping, place the brown sugar and water or butter in an 8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan. Warm the pan directly on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until the sugar is thoroughly moistened.

If using water, simmer the mixture for about 45 seconds. If using butter, stir just until the sugar is moist and bubbling, then remove from heat. (It won’t melt completely smooth, and there may be a few bare spots, which is normal.) Let cool to room temperature.

2. Peel and slice the bananas in 1/4-inch (1 cm) slices. Arrange them in slightly overlapping rows over the melted brown sugar. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice.

3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Mix in the granulated sugar.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, egg, egg white, banana puree, sour cream, and vanilla.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until almost combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.

7. Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter over the sliced fruit.

8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake feels just set in the center when you touch it.

9. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake to help it release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.

Agnes and I had a few false start though. Although we visited a nearby cake ingredients supply shop, Blue Sea, we did not obviously had a proper shopping list. Had we visited David’s website prior to our shopping trip, our cake would have turned out as it actually should.

Anyway, this is truly a very interesting episode for Agnes and I, both amateur but enthusiastic bakers. We didn’t realise that we ran out of normal wheat flour, the most important basic ingredient for any baker. As the banana cake is named, an up-side-down cake; we had our total process a little choppy and turbulent as well. Thank god, it did not dampen our mood at all.

For one, we had no choice but to use wholemeal flour which made the texture of the cake a bit stiff. I can imagined if we had used normal flour, the cake would have been moist and tender. I don’t find it offensive and I think some may like the hearty feeling of this bite.

Our greatest anxiety had little to do with the flour, we did not have sour cream. So could our baking project turn sour? There was small glitch in communication and we had to improvise. Thankfully, Mr. Google has all the answers to your query and soon we were making buttermilk as substitute by adding lemon juice into milk. I just had to keep my fingers crossed as it did not look or taste anything like sour cream.

Searched we did the entire kitchen but we found no 8 inch square tray but a 9 inch round one. Agnes’s stuffs are still packed in boxes and all over the place, hopefully in a couple weeks her kitchen will be well equipped for our future baking adventure.

It was a long 40 minutes wait and our banana cake turned out fantastic; both in appearance and taste.

a pound that wasn’t

In Apprentice Chef, Cakes on March 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

In my case, NO.

I baked a pound cake that wasn’t worth its weight but do not let this somewhat deformed cake puts you off. This is a Quasimodo, ugly on the outside but golden on the inside. Truly aromatic, with generous use of real, rich condensed milk and flavoursome.

Most food blogs would boast a successfully cooked dish. Yours truly decided to be honest to show you what can really go wrong for a apprentice baker like me. I have butter fingers, nothing bakes well through this pair of hands. Either floppy, gooey or burnt.

Isn’t it despairing? You get so excited, motivated to cook a pound cake after watching hundreds of beautifully published recipes. I am a sucker for be well photographed pics, the centre piece and depth of field to emphasized the dish. Jun Belen, the one in particular won over the others. He is a professional photographer and an avid food blog. And his pound cake calls for condensed milk.

I need to consume some before they get expired this coming June.

WHATEVER WENT WRONG?

Right. What could go wrong Joanne? A simple basic cake like this is just too easy for anyone, even amateurs.

I thought I thawed the butter that just came out of the refrigerator. It would be impossible to go into the mixer. I didn’t want to wait for it to thaw naturally. Instead, I happily thought I was a genius to melt that chunk of butter over the stove. Clever me, right?

There is no short cut. Got my little brother to get me some butter to replace from a grocery store nearby.

Castor sugar and fine sugar. Fine, I didn’t read properly and hastily used the sugar I joyfully grabbed the one nearest on hand. They are the sugar for my hubby’s kopi, coarse and took me a long time to beat them down with the butter.

Lastly, I could read temperatures!

I could not tell the knob on the baby oven, is readings in Celsius. So, imagine when Jun Belen asked for a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven, I rapped it to 325 degree Celsius.

I was liked brewing an atomic bomb.

The cake cooked quickly . Burning at the sides and top too fast. Luckily, I realised it “soon enough” and lowered it down. By then, the pound cake has gone through enough abuse. Look at the cake bursting in the middle because the sides are too hard for it to beat through when it rises.

Anyway, I am not easily disheartened. I am a mother, and mothers always try salvage situations.

It would be a disappointment if I told everybody, there is not gonna be any servings of this much awaited orange flavoured pound cake with condensed milk. They are so looking forward as the aroma of this milk has conquered the entire house. What an enticement? To end up with nothing?

I decided to cheat a little. Trimmed off all the slightly burnt and rubbery sides.

All is not lost.

In no time, the cake was consumed and I got a thumbs up for a pound that almost wasn’t 16 ounces. Imperfect in every way, but so great it tasted. I bet my family members are biased.

moist chocolate cake

In Apprentice Chef, Cakes, Dessert on March 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

i so want to celebrate. i have butter fingers and never, never, ever baked anything successfully in my life. i dreaded the oven and squealed at any recipes that has to do with baking.

silently, i resorted to recipes that say “steam” and i have many a success with white radish steamed cake and yam cake.

but i want an easy cake that is almost like a baked cake but one that i could steam. i scoured the internet and found this “steam” moist chocolate cake.

Steamed Chocolate Moist Cake

INGREDIENTS:

180g          butter

150g          caster sugar

200ml       evaporated mil

2                 eggs

120g          plain flour ( i decided to add some flour)

50g            cocoa powder

1/2 tsp      baking powder

1/2 tsp     baking soda

1/2 tsp     vanilla essense ( i substituted with orange flavoured essence)

METHOD:

  1. Combine caster sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla essense and butter in a saucepan.
  2. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, turn off the fire and keep warm.
  3. Add the beaten eggs into the slightly cold evaporated milk mixture and stir till well mix.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl, then pour the eggs mixture over the flour and stir till well mix (cake batter should be runny)
  5. Heat up the steamer.
  6. Lined or greased a rectangular pan or a 8 inch round baking pan.
  7. Pour the batter into the lined pan and place the pan into the steamer and cover the top of the pan loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.
  8. Cover the steamer and steam over medium heat for 45 mins.
  9. Cool the cake and spread the chocolate fudge toppings.

Chocolate Fudge Topping

INGREDIENTS:-

1/2 can       condensed milk
1/2 tsp        vanilla essence ( again i substituted with orange flavoured essence)
1/4 cup       corn oil ( there was only peanut oil so i used extra virgin olive oil)
1/6 cup       cocoa powder,sifted
a pinch of salt

METHOD:

1. Combine the sifted cocoa powder,condense milk and oil.

2. Stir over low heat till thicken (stirring all the time).

3. Add in salt and vanilla extract or essence.

4. Cool the chocolate topping a little before spreading on the cake.

5. Quickly put it into the refrigerator to set, at room temperature the fudge will melt.

i found 2 recipes, san’s blessed moments and thelazychef , combined, adapted to this simply easy to make chocolate cake. i tried the first night and it was not completely successful. the middle of the cake just would not cook and runny with gooey chocolate. reason i think was i overlook the instruction to likely foil the top. i was so kiasu, i wrapped the foil tightly and there was over steaming and heating. my second guess is, 100 gm flour was too little and i topped them up to 120 gm.

joey, a sweet friend plies singapore and shah alam almost weekly. a dear friend i made through tweeter. hubby enlightened me that malaysian distributed condensed milk is palm and not dairy based. fortunately across the causeway, we can get the forgotten, natural and real milk. i am delighted that this recipe calls for its use and i can run them down and make my next order through joey. thanks.