Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mixer episode

My apologies for away from my blog for quite a while. Thanks and no thanks to TM, we now have our internet connection working back to normal after living in the stone ages for about 2 weeks! My good old Kenwood handmixer ended its life last wednesday while I was mixing the Choc Cheese Wave. The plastic bit on one of the paddles broke =( I panicked, initially as I had all ingredients out/weighed and some were half mixed i.e. definitely no chance of me pushing them back into their packets/containers. I thank my aunt-in-law for leaving her Cornell stand mix in the pantry so I used that as backup. I had to strain the cheese mix twice to make sure no plastic bits end up in the batter. Thank God i did!

Since Chinese New Year just passed a few days ago, some/most Chinese-owned shops are still closed til the 8th day into their new year. That includes Bake With Yen, the cake supplies shop I usually go to to fulfill all my baking needs. Having not anticipating this earlier, I had to resort to Carrefour for my butter and cheese for orders end of the week. I'm glad I have the habit of keeping extra cake boards and boxes in my kitchen. Going back to my broken mixer, my first instinct at that time was to get into the car and take a short 7 minute drive to The Gardens to buy every-serious-baker's essential kitchen tool, The KitchenAid stand mixer. Fortunately, I still had a tiny bit of willpower in me to restrain my erratic conduct. I bought it two days later, on the Friday heh heh heh in RED. My justification was that I needed one and that it'll last me throughout my baking years. My mum-in-law owns a white one, which she bought 10 years ago when it only cost about RM1600!!! My KitchenAid is still beautifully boxed, as I have yet to find a suitable nook for it to sit in.

I think I'll use it on Monday when Bake With Yen has opened, to bake a birthday cake for Wani's husband - a friend we met in the UK. I'm about to enter my experimenting-mood so I'll probably bake a tray of Chocolate Fudge Brownies next week. There goes my KitchenAid-semangat! (semangat=enthusiasm) =D

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Caramel Ruffle Brownie

My fridge died on me last night. I still had about 600g++ of Philadelphia Cream Cheese in the fridge and a couple blocks of Tatura butter. I was hoping that the technician would come over and get it fixed today, but, as slow as most Malaysian services are, they will only come in the next 2-3 working days! So I decided to bake two trays of Caramel Ruffle Brownies. I've announced the quick sale of the Brownies on my Facebook profile just in case someone might be interested, although in truth, I was actually baking them for the house. Since I haven't blogged about the Ruffle as I call it, so here is a descriptive entry of it.

The Caramel Ruffle Brownie consists of fudgy real chocolate that makes the base, and about 1/3 of Caramel Cheese, 'ruffled' with more chocolate brownie to make the top. It is made into perfection by not over-baking, so the Ruffle stays soft, moist and simply melts in your mouth. Nothing can be more horrible than a dry, crumbly brownie! The height of the Ruffle makes bite-sized portions possibly which adds to the ooohhh-aahhhs of indulgers.

Caledonia offers the Caramel Ruffle Brownie in one size only - 700g for RM50

Monday, January 12, 2009

M&Ms Temptation

I have a dear friend who is besotted/addicted or much simpler, just cannot see a packet of M&Ms without making her eyes bulge, gasp, and ending up with a satisfying smile on her face as if her life's goals have been wonderfully achieved =) That would be Jay, my psycho-Roxy-M&M-yoga instructor-friend who once upset her tummy by popping in a whole extra-jumbo-sized packet of Christmas' Limited Edition M&M in one go LOL!

So this M&Ms Tempatation (based on my Dark Temptation), as I call it, was created specially for Jay, by adding half a packet of crushed peanut M&Ms with the other half arranged around the cake and absent-mindedly dotted on it, hence the I-don't-quite-get-the-smiley-face on the cake according to Kim. This cake is loaded with chocolate, definitely not for the faint hearts! - extra amount of chocolate in the genoise, double portions of chocolate ganache between each three layers of sponge plus more chocolate ganache poured over the cake. Unbelievably, Jay still wanted to eat the cake with chocolate chip ice-cream!

The amount of M&Ms in the cake is nothing compared to her extra jumbo sized packet but I couldn't help but write the message "Dear Jay, please do NOT consume in one sitting". She ate half of the 1.2kg cake yesterday and that the remaining half will be gone today. I'll wait and see if she asks for emergency MC from work. Bet all the members will be anxious thinking that she's left mYoga again!

Friday, January 2, 2009

My 1st Engagement cake

I finally managed to decorate my first engagement cake that I've been worrying about for the past 2 weeks. It was the Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake made into an engagement cake. Like I said again and again, I've always been a baker, not a decorator. Decorating doesn't come as naturally as baking does. Although, I do try to decorate when need be =)

So I finally executed the cake decor yesterday. I started at 10.30am (it doesn't help that the night before was new year's eve! - lack of sleep) and finished my mess at 2.30pm - a good 4 hours of torture! The Velvet was iced with freshly whipped cream. I couldn't bring myself to ice it with buttercream or even fondant which would leave a nicer finish. I thought it would significantly affect the taste of my beautiful Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake! So whipped cream it was, like it or not!

I took longer icing the cake as I would with buttercream. The leaf borders, vines and writing were buttercream plus some sugarpaste flowers and a couple of hearts. My main challenge was piping the leaves. They keep breaking and didn't have a pointy tip. I got so frustrated on trying for 1/2 an hour until I finally managed to figure the problem out. I thinned my buttercream consistency with more water and added some piping gel, hoping that it would help with the tip. It did! Thank goodness! They weren't the perfect leaves I wanted, but they'll do! So I started piping the borders, assembling the flowers and hearts and did the vines on the cake.

The sides of the cake was quite bare initially. Kim suggested that i extended the vines, cascading down the sides to fill them up. It worked. Hence my proudly produced masterpiece. It was my first proper cake decor, looks amatuer-ish, but I'm proud enough to have produced it =) Thank you to Ridayatul for having faith in me to decorate her engagement cake. Enjoy!

[A Grand (2kg) Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake iced with softly whipped Vanilla cream, decorated with Vanilla buttercream borders and sugarpaste flowers/hearts]

New Year's Eve Projects 2

These were the cakes/pastries I made for our new year's eve BBQ dinner =)

Kims calls them the inside-out profiteroles. I didn't have the correct flour, hence the not so puffed up profiteroles. Nevertheless, they disappeared in the fridge! I didn't get the chance to take them out!

This was Hidayah's birthday cake. It hasn't got a name yet. But it's basically the Dark Temptation with an extra layer of dark chocolate mousse in between sponges. Beautiful!

This is the Cheese Fluff made into another birthday cake for Bang Bad's son. It's a sponge-cheese cake, with a soft, creamy melt-in-the-mouth texture.