Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Daniel, my Good Old Friend

Tomorrow is my friend Daniel's birthday. I must have known him for more than 12 years... ha, at a blink, 1 full horoscope cycle liao! I knew I had to bake him a cake... though I have absolutely no idea if we will be meeting up cos he sms to say:

> Don't bother to bake, I am catching a play.

> Don't worry, you can eat the cake off my blog!


D's sister is a staunch Buddhist who is a vegetarian so I tried to bake the eggless butter cake. It seemed like a sensible choice for them to be able to share the cake. Unfortunately my eggless cake failed; there's not enough structure to hold up the cake. It was too crumbly to hold. I had to eat it with a spoon! After the last crazy baking week for Sheen's birthday, I resolute to have less stress and more fun this time round. So instead of spending time troubleshooting the recipe, I just go right to the tried and tasted recipe.

When I was preparing Sheen's cake, Gina suggested Steam Moist Choc Cake which was created by a very talented baker Lady Vanilla - a Singaporean who now lives in Netherlands. This is just the right recipe for me cos I am down to 2 eggs in my fridge... not enough for a sponge or chiffon cake.

Ta-da: The overall result is not fantastic but much much much better than the mess I created at my sis' birthday

The small "Happy Birthday" disc and fondant lettering was a last minute job... I got the wilton lettering set, thinking it was make my life easier but look at it...
I had a hard time trying to remove them from the backing... and broke quite a few along the way. In the end, there's ain't enough alphabets so I need an alternative.... Ya, fondant... yep, luckily there's a box at home on standby!

I do not like the taste of fondant, but will always keep a box at home cos it is so easy to handle... it's as easy as child's playdoh!

No worries I thought to myself as I promptly took out the fondant lettering and numbering set. Finally I have a chance to use it. Fantastic!

I coloured, knead and mold the alphabets. When I am done, I tried with my might to take the letters off the mold.... No amount of coaxing or picking will get the letters out in a complete piece. I even tried to dust more cornstarch (like the "A"), and tried with crisco but nothing work. The instruction said freezing 10min will help. Forget it.

In the end, I used the trusted alphabet cookie cutter set! Not as pretty, but it works. Whoosh, that save me another disaster!

(PS: I researched for other user's experience... Conclusion - we can safely blame it on the crappy fondant tool set! If the manufacturer is responsible enough, they should have recalled the product. $36 for the plastic sheets is exorbitant!)

Steamed Chocolate Cake - Super Moist!

188gm Corn Oil
¾ cup castor sugar (I used fine sugar since it gets dissolved in step 1 anyway)
175 ml Evaporated Full Cream Milk
2 Eggs, lightly beaten with a folk
1 cup of Plain flour (I used gold medal unbleached flour 10% protein)
½ cup of Cocoa powder (I used Varlhona)
½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Baking soda (can be omitted since varlhona is dutch-processed)
½ tsp Vanilla Extract ( I used Kahlua instead)
1 tsp choc emulco

  1. Combine sugar, Evaporated milk, vanilla extract or essence and oil in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, off fire and keep warm.
  2. Add the beaten eggs into the slightly cold Evaporated milk mixture and stir till well mix.
  3. 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).
  4. Heat up the steamer (medium fire). If the fire is too high, your cake may get a dome.
  5. Lined and greased a baking pan. Pour the batter into prepared pan and tap the pan a few times on the tabletop to remove any trapped air. Place the pans into the steamer and cover the top of the pan loosely with a piece of aluminium foil. - do not skip this as it prevent the condensed steam from dripping onto the cake.
  6. Steam over medium heat for 45 mins (mine took 30 min only).
  7. Cool the cake in pan before turning out for further decoration.

I used the chocolate glaze, once again, a recipe taken from Kitchen Capers:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.

  2. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute then gently stir until chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Gently stir in the vanilla.

  3. Transfer glaze to a small bowl and cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and let cool for 5 minutes at room temperature before using.

To glaze the cake:
Place the chilled cake, still on the cake round, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Slowly pour the hot glaze onto the center of the cake. Smooth the glaze over the top and sides, letting the excess drip onto the baking sheet.


My Bake Notes:

  • I see other bakers can get very pretty smooth glaze on their cake... unlike mine. For a start, the surface of the steam cake is quite pokey. Perhaps I will do better with thicker frosting.
  • I start to jot down the type of flour I used cos I learnt from my trials that the flour can make quite a difference in the texture of the cake, due to the different percentage of the protein content.
  • The cake is very choc, only reserved for chocolate-holics!
  • Pretty things are good, useful things are better. (heehee, haven't get over the fondant mold set!)


Bevis, once again, come and kapoh kapoh when I was decorating the cake. He kept eating the fondant by lumps. I had to distract him by letting him roll out the fondant and make out his name! Boy, I was impressed when he can tell this "mama's playdoh" is called fondant!
All went into his stomach right after this!


Art of Eating said...

Nice looking cake, simple and nice. hmmm is the thoughts that counts.

Probably i should get myself a new toy ... alphabet cookie cutter set to play with. Or in case of emergency.

Cookie said...

Heehee. The alphabet cookie cutter is a good investment, do get one when you come across... not easy to find the right size. I got mine for $12.50. Also keep some fondant (bakel or pettinice brand is better than Wilton) at home.