The Opinionated Baker

Not all of us are made of sugar and spice

Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Yuzu Chocolate Cupcakes

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The next few weeks are going to be very exciting. Singapore is holding its next general elections and my generation is going to be voting for the very first time.

Maybe it’s a self-centered point of view but it feels like we are living in a time of change. The rise of social media and the internet have helped to level the political arena. It helps too that Singaporeans are generally well educated and (hopefully) able to make logical macro type decisions that will benefit the country. (or am i just deluding myself?)

Yet, there are still my peers living around me who remain steadfastly apathetic and live with their eyes closed. They are too content with the world that surrounds them. When everything is going well in your life, it becomes easy to forget about the less fortunate who are working harder than ever just to put food on the table, or the ones who fall through the gaps and are forgotten by society.

Be it for the ruling party or the opposition, I hope everyone will vote very carefully because this is a responsibility that should not be undertaken frivolously.

In this climate of severity, the cupcakes that I made this time round feel somewhat more mature than usual. It might be the bitter tang of the yuzu fruit, or the heavy texture of the chocolate cake, but everything about it screams “adult”.

forblog

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Written by Musingsat

April 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

Japanese Light Cheesecake. It’s so fluffy!

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It’s been a long and bad week.

The markets are down, my test was disgusting *@#* and people were mean.

You know it’s been a bad week when you tally the junk food count and it goes something like this.

1) Slices of cheesecake, 4

2) Chocolate consumption in weight, 300gram

3) Chocolate chip cookies eaten, 10

4) Ice cream in number of scoops, 4

5) Burger King meals eaten whilst having project meeting, 2

6) Coke drunk, 1 bottle

7) Cereal eaten at midnight, 4 bowls

The list goes on…and I was only in school for 3 days!

You must be wondering why I still can fit through my doors. Not for long I’m sure, if this keeps up. So imagine my relief when I found a cheesecake recipe that both satisfies my need for comfort food and doesn’t weigh too heavily on the tummy fats. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Musingsat

March 4, 2011 at 6:23 am

Posted in Cakes, Cheese, Healthy

Valentines’ Day Carrots!

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I haven’t updated in ages I know. My bad. šŸ˜¦

So anyway, after 3 years of loveydovey-ness, i finally found out that my boyfriend dislikes chocolate! Oh the horror. This took place a month before valentines day.. and after giving him chocolate related foods for the past two years… oh the horror…lets not dwell on the past.. horror…

In addition, my boyfriend, (whom i have named BUNNY, solely because it rhymes with honey and wunny- do you pity him already?) NEVER eats enough vegetables. I tell him that he would never be able to poop properly if he doesn’t ingest sufficient bowel-moving, earth-shaking fibre. But does he listen? No. So of late I have been trying to sneak fibre into the cakes and cookies that I bake for him.

I am the mastermind! Beware my schemes!

I’ll be honest with you, this is the first time that my carrot cake has succeeded. And, this is NOT the first time that I have attempted carrot cake. This carrot cake right there below this line, has gotten rave (hopefully not out of sympathy) reviews and devouration (not quite a word, but an awesome descriptor).

EDIT (12 MAR 2011): I baked the cake again to use up my excess cream cheese frosting. It’s just as awesome as the last time. =) So don’t worry and go ahead and bake this!

car

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Written by Musingsat

February 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Cakes, Cheese, Healthy

Overcoming my fears- The Chocolate Domingo Cake

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The first time in my life that i baked a cake, it was a HUGE FAILURE. It looked beautiful, smelled beautiful and tasted like bitter cardboard.

That was the last time that i ever attempted cake baking…. until the other day, when my friends turned 21…

In junior college, we were a tight bunch and it seemed so cold to just purchase a cake from the bakery for them. So i swallowed my pride, and choked down my fear, and set about conquering The Cake.

To make matters worse, the place where we were meeting for their birthday was far from home and a normal cake with frosting/a cheesecake would never keep over the long distance. Travelling via public transport would also entail jostling and outright violence. Not a good cake carrying environment at all.

So i decided to bake The Chocolate Domingo Cake. Hailed as THE ONE by certain websites… i was banking all my hope on its amazingness…

Interestingly, this cake uses the reverse creaming method, and instead of just mixing it barely enough to moisten the dry ingredients, you have to beat it hard and beat it long. Much better in my opinion.

Rose Levy Beranbaum’sĀ Chocolate Domingo Cake

Ingredients:

42g Dutch cocoa powder
160g sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
156g sifted cake flour
200g castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 180ā€²C.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl combine all the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and half the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cakeā€™s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining cocoa mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

Scrape the batter into the prepared tin (23cm diameter greased and lined springform tin) and smooth the surface with a spatula. The tin will be about half full.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted near the centre comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.

Let the cake cool in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Reinvert so that the top is up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.

Decorate with icing sugar, no frosting needed!

And it was well worth the effort. =)

Written by Musingsat

August 2, 2010 at 10:19 am

Posted in Cakes, Chocolate

The Bakerzin Sale. AWESOME STUFF.

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Bakerzin is having a 30% sale off its cakes till the end of August!

Isn’t that amazing?

An ENTIRE ARMY of cakes at 30% off… The glass surrounding their beautiful cakes must be really strong to withstand all that drool and lust.

Yes. LUST! Who wouldn’t be lusting after those amazing cakes?? Went there with my friends yesterday to chill and we managed to try 3 of their sweets.

The undisputed winner was the awesome oreo cheesecake. Not too thick or cloying as some cheesecakes tend to be… this one was GOOD.

A close runner up was the strawberry shortcake. If the oreo cheesecake was the sexy siren luring all dieters to their doom, the strawberry shortcake has to be the sweet girl next door. It pales in sexiness but it makes up for it in sweet simplicity. The two balanced each other off nicely.

We also tried the irish cream souffle…. but for sweet addicts like us, the bitter coffee taste of the syrup did not go down too well. Apparently the chocolate is better… but i won’t know till i go again… SOON! =DD

With more than a month of the amazing sale…. Ā think i can safely bid my diet farewell. Good bye diet, let us meet again at the end of August!!

Written by Musingsat

July 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

Strawberry Jelly Cheesecake: My sister’s birthday!

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What better way to start off this blog than to document the very first time that I ever baked specifically for a special occasion, AND succeeded at it? =)

Ironically, the item at issue here is a no-bake cheesecake. (is that a hint?)

Each time I bake, I always make sure that my calculator is sitting there next to me. I can never use a recipe directly without making any changes to it, whether it be to the sugar level, or the quantity. And. My mental math skills suck. =(

Jelly Cheesecake (Adapted from Taste.com.au)

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 125g Morning Coffee biscuits, processed to fine crumbs (I multiplied this by 1.5 and used Marie biscuits)
  • 80g butter, melted, cooled (similarly multiplied by 1.5, if i make this again, i will multiply by 2.0 instead)
  • 375g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (I used raw sugar, it’s healthier and the grains were not that visible)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I used 1.5 tsp)
  • 200ml cream
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 85g packet jelly crystals

Method

  1. Line base and sides of a 3.5cm deep, 16cm x 26cm (base) slab pan with baking paper. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press into base of lined pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in cream. Place water into a small bowl. Sprinkle over gelatine. Stir until gelatine dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly (see p21). Beat gelatine into filling until combined.

  3. Pour filling over base. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until set.

  4. Meanwhile, make jelly, following packet directions. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour into a shallow dish. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or until jelly starts to thicken (like consistency of thickened cream). Pour jelly over cheesecake. Refrigerate for a further 3 hours or until jelly is set. Cut into squares to serve.

    At this point, I decided to take advantage of the strawberry season and add fresh strawberries into the cake. I did this whilst waiting for the jelly to cool… (which took a very long time).

    Thanks to my mom for the beautiful korean strawberries that she bought back from the heartland shops. The awesome thing about living in Singapore is that you forever have fruits from whatever country is in season and at budget prices. =)

    I think I am somewhat a perfectionist freak when it comes to baking. I went to google, typed in strawberry cake, and actually researched on cake decoration styles… I even had to plan the amount of fruits I would need. Good grief.

    Here is how it looked like on the cake itself.

    Beautiful isn’t it?

    However, after this, disaster struck and the jelly was a total killer. See, i didn’t exactly chill it for long enough before pouring it in. I thought that if i chilled it, the consistency would be too thick to properly spread out for a beautiful finish. BIG MISTAKE.

    Did you know that spring foam pans have gaps in them? The liquid jelly happily flowed into the pan and out of it. In horror, I watched it fleeing from my pan. It was like some horrible car wreck, with the survivors frantically trying to stem the blood flow of the victims. Horrible. I tried tape and everything but nothing worked, it just kept on flowing happily.

    Finally my mom came up with the perfect solution. We grabbed the pan, stuck it on a low bottom plate and rushed it into the freezer. Thank God for mothers.

    This is how it looked like before removing the #^$@*&^# spring-foam.

    The moment of truth, how would it look without the pan??? =O

    It was greatly loved by all. Thank God for miracles. =)

    Happy birthday Jie. I love you terribly even though I never show it much. =) I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday cake! It was worth the effort.

Written by Musingsat

May 13, 2010 at 10:46 am

Posted in Cakes, Strawberry