Friday, June 29, 2012

Banana Walnut Streusel Pound Cake

Salam all,

Helllloooooo people ;) Yup another update from this mental blogger :ppp.  Yeah I admit that I am mental cos if I am in the mood to bake and update, I will be doing it regularly.  Otherwise, u'll see me dissapear for a few weeks or months maybe....hehehez.  Please, please I beg u not to miss me when I am gone * shameful is that statement* pukes!!!  I think I am little crazy today....please bear with me haizzzz hormones, hormones.

Anyway let me tell u a little story abt this cake.  This is the first time ever that I am left with no eggs in the fridge ~ another sign of old age.  I usually will buy 2 types of eggs, one is free range for our sunny side up and a tray of eggs that consists of 30s for baking bcos they are cheaper.  After that I will transfer the 30s egg into 2, dozen cartons and stack the rest of the eggs on top of  the cartons and keep them in the fridge.  This way, I can save some space in the fridge.  I thought I had a total of 18 eggs when I decided to make the pandan chiffon last Wednesday but lo and behold, the bottom egg carton was empty.  Thus after making the chiffon I am left with only 2 eggs.  I have yet to get my *$* to the supermarket to get more eggs.....lazy, plus its too cold plus I didnt have the car today as hb was using it for work and I can list more reasons if I want to but naaahhh let me stop here hehehez.

This pound cake recipe, I have bookmarked ages ago and I have used the streusel recipe the other time when I made the feijoa streusel muffins.  The recipe is perfect as it calls for 2 eggs.  I know I can search for eggless recipes but why bother since I am all set to bake this yummy pound cake :ppp.  And.....I was also left with one lifeless banana that was exactly 100g, the signs for me to bake this cake were there thats why I shall not wait anymore.  The cake was a perfect size for us and it was so moist apart from the struesel topping falling apart when I tried to slice it.  Guess what.....I didnt waste a single crumb of the struesel, too crunchy and yummy to waste them.  Maybe that's why I am a little crazy today, I probably am a little sugar high......I had 2 fat slices of this cake yumzz yummzz and I want MORE!!! :D

Source : Happy Home Baking
Adapted from : 贝太厨房 and 欧陆点心&磅蛋糕 (Don't ask me how to pronounce or read this :ppp)

Banana Walnut Streusel Pound Cake
(makes a 18cmx8cmx6cm pound cake)

100g unsalted butter, room temperature
65g icing sugar, sieve
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g banana, mashed
125g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

50g walnuts

25g unsalted butter, room temperature
25g icing sugar, sieve
25g cake flour

To make streusel, place butter, icing sugar and cake flour in a bowl. With a fork, mix together the ingredients to form a soft dough. Leave in the fridge to chill.
Break walnuts into pieces, place in a baking tray and toast it in a preheated oven at 100degC for 10mins. Set aside to cool.
Line pound cake pan (18cm x 8cm x 6cm) with baking paper, set aside. Sieve flour and baking powder together, set aside.
Place butter in a mixing bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter for a few seconds on medium speed. Add half of the icing sugar and continue to beat till the sugar is incorporated into the butter mixture. Add the remaining half of the icing sugar and continue to beat till the mixture turns pale, light and fluffy.
Dribble in the eggs gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time, each time beat at low speed till incorporated into the mixture before adding. This step is important to prevent the batter from curdling. Even though some flour can be added to the batter to stop it from curdling, the texture of the cake will be affected. (Note: always use room temperature eggs to prevent curdling.)
Add in the vanilla extract and the mashed banana. Fold with a spatula till just incorporated. Do not over mix as it may cause the batter to curdle.
Sieve over the flour and baking powder mixture. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula. Once the flour is incorporated into the batter, continue to fold for 1 to 2 mins until the batter appears smooth and glossy. This step is important so that gluten in the flour will be formed which will help the cake to rise and expand during baking.
Pour finished batter into prepared pan. Spread batter and smooth top. Sprinkle the walnut pieces on top. Lightly press into the batter with spatula.
Remove chilled streusel dough from fridge. Grate the dough over the top of the batter. Work quickly as the dough will soften very fast (especially on hot days).
Bake in pre-heated oven at 170degC for 25 mins. Remove pan from oven and make a slit with a wet knife (dipped in water) across the middle. Return to oven and continue to bake for 35 - 40mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, and the top is golden. Unmold and leave to cool completely. Store in air-tight container or wrap in cling wrap. Pound cakes are best eaten the next day.

The moon was sighted at abt 3.30pm ish when I took this photo.  The skies were clear and it has been warm today.  One thing abt clear skies and warm day, it means that is gonna be a chilly night.  Hb said that it will be a -3 deg C but I checked on the net and it stated 1 deg C.  To everyone down under....keep warm and to the rest of the world....enjoy the weekend.  TTFN ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Salam all,

This morning I couldnt decide if I should make a traditional Malay kuih....putri salat or pandan chiffon cake. Well, I chose the latter as I have forgotten to soak the glutinous rice overnight which is required in the recipe.  I know that I can just soak the glutinous rice for a few hours but I dont think the one and only packet of coconut milk in my pantry will be sufficient for me to make the kuih either.

This is the first time for me to use the real pandan juice for my baking.  I really like the pandan aroma wafting from the oven and I told myself just now that I will use the the real pandan juice from now on (that's if I am not lazy :ppp)  One thing I noticed abt using the pandan juice is that there is no bitterness like when I am using the pandan essence.  The only thing I am dissapointed with my cake is, it collapsed while it was in the oven.  I only realised my mistake right now while copying the recipe to my was bcos the recipe calls for SELF RAISING FLOUR!!!  What did I use??  All purpose flour of course....DOH!!!  Ohhh and another thing that I am still having problem when baking chiffon is the large holes in the cake.  Haiiizzz chiffon....chiffon, I've yet to master u bleeaarrggghh!!!

Luckily I only made half of the recipe and for everyone's info.....the cake is gone, finished, no more...habis.  Jannah ate more than half of the cake.  She kept on asking me if she can have the cake right after I took it out of the oven.  When I told her that it needs to be cooled she said that all she wanted was a tiny bit of the cake, sized of a crumb.  I shooed her away hehehehez.  When I took out the cake of the mould and wanted to photo it....she came again asking for a slice.  I gave her a slice and the slice grew into half a CAKE and more.  Oh well, I am glad that the cake is gone cos one thing for sure, hb is not gonna eat it and Jannah has the tendency of wanting to eat freshly baked cakes only.  If I were to give the same cake to her tomorrow, she will say that it is yucky.....aiyayayay :D

Source : PickYin @ Life is Great

Pandan (Screwpine) Chiffon Cake
Recipe from my mother's friend, original source unknown, makes a 25cm 5-inches tall cake.

These are PickYin notes that I've copied from her blog.  Thank you for the info PickYin.
Notes: I didn't have any self raising flour as I don't often bake with it so I made my own by using 180 grams all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder and a ¼ teaspoon salt, based loosely on the conversion method at Deb's Smitten Kitchen. This recipe has over 80% of flour over liquid ratio so it is a very stable chiffon. It is kept soft and moist with the equal amount of egg yolks used as opposed to the whites.

I realized after speaking to a few friends wanting to make this cake that many do not own a 25cm bundt or angel food cake tin. There are two ways you can handle this situation without getting a bigger tin. The first is to make the entire recipe, pour enough batter into ¾ of your tin and bake the rest in lined muffin tin(s) for about 30 minutes. The muffin-sized cakes will be more dense but will still be great. Alternatively use the following tin size-number of eggs conversion to modify the recipe.

14cm tin - 1 egg
17cm tin - 2 eggs
21cm tin - 4 eggs
23cm tin - 6 eggs
25cm tin - 8 eggs

For the ½ cup pandan leaf juice:
10-12 pieces pandan leaves *
3-4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional) **

For the flour batter:
180 grams self-rising flour
100 grams castor sugar
8 egg yolks
6 tablespoon corn oil
¼ tablespoon baking of soda

For the meringue:
8 egg whites
100gm castor sugar
½ tablespoon cream of tartar

Pre-heat oven to 170°C and position a wire rack at the lower third rack. Prepare a clean 25cm chiffon cake tin, do not grease.

Wash and cut the spears of pandan leaves into ½ inch pieces. Place into a blender and add 3 tablespoons of the water. Blend to form a thick paste, add another tablespoon of water if it is difficult to blend. If you have a mortar and pestle, pounding the leaves will be easier and less water will be required. Remove and squeeze out all the liquid from the paste through a fine strainer. You should be able to yield close to ½ cup of liquid. To top up and make exactly ½ cup, you can either add some coconut milk, which will go nicely with the pandan flavor, or add more water.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a small bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the corn oil to form an emulsion. Add the pandan leaf juice or pandan leaf juice plus coconut milk mixture. Mix well before adding the sugar and whisk till sugar has melted. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk well into a smooth batter, there should be no lumps. Set aside.

On high speed of a stand or hand held mixer, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar. Start adding the sugar once the egg whites begin to foam, gradually in 3 additions. Beat till the meringue is smooth and glossy, with stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.

Immediately stir in approximately 1/3 of the meringue into the flour batter. With a flexible rubber or silicon spatula, fold in the meringue gently and mix well. Once a roughly homogenous mixture is achieved, add the rest of the meringue and repeat the gentle, light-handed folding process till the cake batter is well combined. Scoop from the bottom of the bowl to ensure no meringue or flour batter is left unmixed. Do not beat or overwork the batter as this will knock out the air you've put into the meringue.

Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin. Using your spatula, dip it into the batter right to the bottom and make circles around the tin twice. This is to remove any large air bubbles possibly trapped while pouring in the cake batter.

Bake at 170°C for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for another 45 to 50 minutes or until cake is done. The cake tester should come out clean. Don't fret if the top of your cake cracks a little, this is normal.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately overturn it to cool completely, up to 2 hours. I like to do this over an upturned funnel as the legs of the chiffon cake tin are not long enough to avoid the top of the cake touching its resting surface - the cake should rise to the same level or slightly higher than the center tube. You can also use a narrow necked bottle but ensure that it's stable enough to support the weight of the cake.

Release the cake by running a sharp, thin knife along the sides of the cake tin and subsequently the bottom of the tube. The cake is meant to be served upside down as it is heavier on the top - you have no idea how many times that single piece of cake toppled as we took photos.

Cake keeps well chilled in an airtight container or cling wrapped up to five days (three if using coconut milk).

* For a better recipe, I will update this amount in weight once I make the cake again (it totally escaped me on a Sunday morning). Pandan leaves can be found fresh at Asian markets. For best results use the longest and darkest leaves you can find. Where fresh leaves are not available, some Asian markets stock frozen leaves or pandan paste, which are the next best alternatives. If using the paste, dilute 1½ tablespoons with water to make ½ a cup of liquid.

** Coconut milk is optional and will enhance the pandan flavor of the cake. I used freshly squeezed first press from a few handfuls of grated coconut flesh. If using coconut cream, dilute a tablespoon of coconut cream with a tablespoon of water.

Ok that's all folks.  Do read ur recipes correctly otherwise u will end up like me @_@.  Maybe I need progressive lenses so that I can read properly haiizz signs of old age ahakkksss.  TTFN ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Whoppie Pies

Salam all,

Hmmmzz where was I??  Still here I supposed.  Not a single entry for the month of June so far.  Alhamdullilah I am given the chance to at least upload an entry now ;)  Winter knocks on our door on 1st of June, and I must say that this is the coldest winter I am experiencing.  I am probably getting old and couldnt handle the cold anymore :(  Last year, we didnt even turn on the heater as our little house is cosy enough and insulated....or it was probably was a mild winter last year and only got chilly towards the end of winter.  This year, I couldnt stand the chill at all, the lowest temperature was only -2 degrees C.  We turned on the heater on the 2nd day of winter and I was even wearing extra clothing & socks at home, I even cranked the heater dial to the highest and I was still freezing.  Alhamdullilah, last week onwards.....its been raining and it wasnt that freezing like the 1st and 2nd week of winter.  I am back to wearing a tshirt and long pants at home...and lucky me my fingers arent frozen while typing this entry ;)

My bestie was supposed to come over to NZ for a holiday this month....but due to unforeseen circumstances her plan has to be cancelled.  Me and bestie did planned to go to a few places which includes going to Mount Ruapehu to experiece snow.  During the planning, I told hb that bestie was gonna come over and so he applied for leave.  His leave was approved for 3 weeks but we didnt go anywhere.  Allah is the best planner after all and alhamdullilah, Hb got paid extra this month and he bought a PS3 for himself, bought Jannah an alcheapo android tablet that I am almost claiming it right now.  Both of us are addicted to playing the puzzle games hehehez.  He gave me some money which I am still holding on to....dunno if I should get an Ipad 3 or another lens hmmmzz.

Due to the cold weather, I have been snuggling in bed, hibernating most of the times hehehez.  As our water supply pipes are not insulated underground properly, it did got frozen a few times when we had a few frosty mornings. Hb said he was gonna fix it.....that was 2 years ago aiyayayayay.  One morning, I had a bad tummy ache and I hate to go to the toilet when its freezing @_@  Arrgghhh and just imagine when there's no water when u finished ur business....haiizzz I had to drag myself out to the cold and defrost the pipe by pouring hot water on it.

I havent been blog walking or opening my blog to avoid the temptation and drooling over yummy looking pictures that other fellow bloggers posted on their blog. The past few weeks, I did baked a few warm desserts like apple crumble, chocolate lave cake, self saucing pudding but couldnt be bothered to photo them.  They have to be consumed while they are still warm and as the days are shorter during winter, I couldnt be bothered to play around with the camera settings to photo the yummy desserts under my kitchen light *another excuse aye* :pp I did take an order of 250 pieces of the polka dot apams and that was all.  As for today, I finally surrendered to Jannah's constant bugging that she wanted to do some baking.  I decided on these whoppie pies that I have bookmarked for a long time now and am glad that I baked them.  Jannah ate them non stop and hb's question everytime I baked anything chocolatey is "Did u use the flash cocoa or chocolate?  These are really yummzz and rich."  The answer is YES ;)

Source : Rima @ Bisousatoi
Adapted From : Joy of Baking

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder - i used valrhona
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla essence
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm strong coffee or !/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm water

Note : I used cream cheese frosting for the filling.  You can get the recipe here

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating well. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a small measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and coffee (or water). With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk/coffee mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. With moistened fingers or with the back of a spoon, smooth the tops of the cookies.
Bake for about 9 - 10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hopefully I can battle the cold for a few more entries this month before its over ;) For now, I am going for my walk that is.  TTFN.