Friday, December 6, 2013
It's been raining in Singapore lately. It's actually quite nice as the rain cools the sunny island down. We only get to enjoy cool weather (< 30 degC) this time of the year.
One of my nieces is interested in baking and came over to my place to "borrow" my kitchen a few times now :D I am happy to share what I have learned so far. One evening after baking, I asked her if baking is tiring (because it is for me), and she said it's not. I was surprised with her answer and quickly realized that she was not tired because I had been the one doing all the washing! :D Thus, I told her that I would let her do everything next time, including washing :D This is important so she will realize that it is in fact quite tiring to work in the kitchen, especially in Singapore's warm weather!
After gym today, I baked the Matcha Rolled Cake again. I finally purchased a new 35 x 24 cm baking pan 2 days ago at Phoon Huat, just to make this :p In my previous 2 attempts at baking the rolled cake, the cake layer was too dry and thin. This time, the cake layer turned out perfect (well, almost :D), just the right thickness, and thus softer. There is a Chinese saying 工欲善其事，必先利其器, our ancestors were indeed wise :) For the best result, always follow the recipe closely, including the size of the pan. Which is also why I seldom risk changing the pan size or recalculate the ingredients to fit my baking pan myself. This is a task for an experienced homebaker or an experienced professional patissier :)
I followed the same recipe previously, the Cooking With Dog's recipe. Some of my nieces are not a fan of azuki beans, so after this, I will attempt a chocolate version - hopefully, it will taste as good as this :)
Happy rolling! :)
Sunday, November 24, 2013
My friend saw my posting on Matcha Rolled Cake and messaged me immediately to book a date to come down to my home to try :D I think the photo must have looked pretty good. I customized the rolled cake for her as she does not fancy Azuki beans. After cracking my head and researching online for about a week, I decided to go with strawberries. Strawberries with matcha is perhaps the safest bet.
Using the same recipe from Cooking with Dog, I attempted the rolled cake once again this morning. I should probably take out the cake sooner (I took out after 18 mins) as my pan is bigger than the one stated in the recipe (thus, thinner batter). The matcha cake looks a bit more brownish as I compare it with the photos of the previous one I made. This time, I did not roll it as nice as the previous one - the filling looks a bit "loose".
I wanted to bake one more cake for her and another friend who were visiting together. My friend likes Tiramisu and cheesecake. I did some homework on tiramisu, but decided that it is too complex for my level of skill :D So I made Oreo cheesecake bars instead. Thanks to Ann from Anncoo for sharing this recipe. It is easy to follow. For the chocolate ganache, I used 70g whipping cream and 140g Ghiradeli semisweet chocolate chips. My presentation did no justice to this cake - the ganache looks funny sitting on top of the cheesecake. I think I should've spread it out using a spatula, instead of cutting the cheesecake first :p We all learn from mistakes, I guess :)
My two friends analyzed with me on the matcha rolled cake, we think it is a little too dry and perhaps a little more whipped cream will balance it up. Or I may have to get a baking pan that is of the same size as the one used in Cooking with Dog. Nevertheless, they like the strawberries as filling as it tasted refreshing.
The cheesecake was well received. It was actually not very heavy, as only one block of cream cheese was being used. They suggested that maybe the 100g natural yogurt helped made it less cheesy.
It was a nice catch up over tea and cakes, and their feedback will help me improve in my baking :) They were my ex colleagues, and it is interesting that my baking interest has helped me stay connected with many of them.
I must give credit to my friend who was the photographer of the day :)
Thursday, November 14, 2013
|My first rolled cake!|
|My not-so-pretty rolled cake|
Hi everybody, my name is Baking Scientist. Today I am going to make Matcha Rolled Cake (^v^) hehe.. Do you like Cooking with Dog? I simply love to watch their videos. It's amazing that the dog is able to sit still throughout the time its master is cooking - so cute! :D Same time, the step-by-step video is perfect for beginners in baking like me :)
This is the my first rolled cake! I saw this video perhaps a year ago, but that time I only owned a 19 inch toaster oven, which was not big enough to fit a pan of this size. I upgraded my oven recently to a built-in one, and the universal pan size was about 30x35cm, a bit too big for this recipe, but I just couldn't wait to try :p That perhaps explains why my rolled cake is kind of thin :p nevertheless, the cake is very tasty :) I followed the recipe and method very closely. As expected, I was not able to roll the cake nicely - since I was not able to roll sushi or kimbap properly either :p
Today is the last day of school of the year for my girl, and we are both very happy - she is free to play all she wants, for now, and I will not need to nag at her (to remind her to study, check her work, reprimand her when she made repetitive careless mistakes, etc.). I am someone who really hates nagging, so this school holiday break is a good break for me too :)
Happy school holidays & happy baking! :)
Saturday, October 26, 2013
For a person like me who is more of a "doer" than a "planner", getting my hands at things works better for me. Yesterday, I finally completed the fondant cake for my daughter. Since last month, I have been planning and practicing on the fondant toppers - hello kitty, doraemon, roses, flowers, ribbon bow, angry birds, etc... Finally, I did Blossom from Powerpuff girls :p The only reason is, it is easier to make 2D Powerpuff girls with the tools I have :D Originally, my girl requested for a My Little Ponies cake, which was too challenging for me :D We negotiated and she requested for any cartoon, and if I could make Powerpuff girls, she would be very happy.
The hard work started from early morning and lasted for about 4 to 5 hours. I baked the chocolate cake, using the recipe here. Thank you very much to Everybody Eats Well at Flanders for this yummy recipe. The cake is moist and light, plus it is not very difficult to do. I can understand why it is her favorite recipe :)
As I do not have very much fondant left after practicing over the 3 weeks period, I baked a 6" cake. It is a good idea as it's the first time I made a fondant cake, so small cake will be easier for me to handle. Under the fondant is a very thin layer of chocolate buttercream, just to crumb coat the cake and make sure the fondant adhere to the cake. I rolled the fondant too thick, and did not realize until we cut the cake :p
As all mothers will say, all the hard work and effort is worth it when you see your child's smiling face :) My girl jumped with joy when she saw the powerpuff girl :) At least the cake got the girls all excited - they went "wow, so cute!" at Blossom :D
It is really fun working with fondant, but at the same time, it is very tiring. I think it's a good idea to buy ready-made fondant if you are attempting it for the first time.
Happy baking! :)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Lately, I have been practicing decorating cupcakes with fondant, as well as finding the ultimate cupcake recipe to prepare for my daughter's birthday at the end of this month. It may be too exaggerating to say that the preparation has been "nerve-wrecking", but sometimes it does feel that way! :p I have not done fondant for more than a year.
I've met with so many obstacles and made lots of blunders, just to name a few:
- originally planned not to use buttercream, tried ganache following the instructions in cutesweetthings and Bake Like a Pro, but seems like even using 2:1 ratio of chocolate to whipping cream, the ganache just will not harden :p as you can see from the photo above, the fondant kind of "floated" on the ganache - reminds me about the flooding in Singapore last weekend :p
- tried making marshmallow fondant, which turned out really messy as I made some mistakes with the sequence of the steps :p
- bought the ready fondant from Phoon Huat to make my life easier :p It was pretty easy to work on. Except when I tried to practice yesterday, the fondant was very very sticky. Yesterday happened to be one of the most humid and hot day, maybe that's why? Guess I will have better luck if I follow instructions kindly shared by Fait Maison - work in an air-conditioned room.
- because the fondant was sticky, when I tried making roses, the "petals" stuck to one another, argh :p
- after making around 4-5 trips to different Phoon Huat outlets, I equipped myself with some necessary tools - but you can never get enough of fondant tools! there are endless types of cutters, moulds, blah blah.. $$$ I did not want to spend too much as I may not make fondant cake that much. So I bought mostly cookie cutters :)
Anyways, these cupcakes are very yummy. I used a simple ganache - 50g Emborg 35.1% fat whipped cream and 100g Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips.
Now, what do I bake for my princess's birthday?? :p
Note: Thanks to QiQi, BLAP, Fait Maison and cutesweetthings for selflessly sharing their knowledge.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
I baked this banana chocolate chips cupcakes for breakfast this morning. This is a simple recipe to follow. Thanks to Carol 自在生活 for sharing this wonderful recipe :) Carol is a 大师级的博客喔 ：）
In order to make the cupcakes more appealing to my daughter, I added chocolate chips to the batter together with the mashed bananas. And she likes the cupcakes! :)
The recipe can be found here.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
It's been a while since I last baked cookies. The other day, my niece offered me a piece of chocolate chip cookie, I was expecting it to be crunchy - no special reason but because that has always been my ideal kind of cookie :D but it turned out to be soft :p After that, I could not stop thinking about crunchy cookie. The only way is to bake them myself :)
Thanks to this recipe shared by Dodol & Mochi. This is exactly the kind of crunchy cookie I love. You know how some cafes serve a tiny cookie next to a cup of coffee or tea? :D I always think that one piece is not enough to go with my coffee :D Finally, I can have 2 or 3 or more pieces of cookie to go along with my tea on a lazy afternoon :)