Friday, November 14, 2008

Full Dress Rehearsal

There's no post in the past week as I have been working hard to get this recipe right - the last one has a very strong egg white smell, and also, many parts of the cake looks heavy and dense like this . I do want to bake a decent cake for Sheen's birthday falling on Nov 14!

This is the final rehearsal in the run up to the party tomorrow!

Come, help yourself to a slice:

Just taken out from the oven. I like to smooth top... the hole that you see on the cake is made by my skewer test:

This is the bottom of the cake - "swee swee" this time round :-)

The last one was very patchy and dense on some parts of the cake. I panick and turned to the Guru. Very shortly, Gina replied to my questions:

Q: The top of my top looks perfect but when I reverse the cake out, I can see dark patches on the bottom. Is it becos I did not fold in the cocoa batter with egg white well enough?
" didn't mix the batters evenly, so there is more concentration on one end of the cake.

Q: Is there a time limit how soon the folding must complete?
"Time limit? more like don't over do it. Do a good 5 to 8 sweeps of the spatula when you mix the batters. As long as you don't see 2 different colours of batter, you should stop stirring or mixing."

Q: The cake has a strong egg white smell. Anyone has similar encounter? I added 1 tbsp dark rum in (A).
"Egg smell should not be evident if you have added cocoa and rum. Its only evident when you don't add any flavouring. Also, when you steam a cake, the egg smell usually is stronger. "

Got it, Gina.

This recipe is from Florence in Kitchen Capers - she baked this into a beautiful black forest cake! I followed the method upto step 9 only to get the chocolate sponge cake .

Black Forest Cake
4 egg yolks
40g sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp rum (I used 2 tbsp dark rum)

85ml corn oil, warmed
25g cocoa powder

135ml warm water

125g cake flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder

4 egg whites (I used 5 whites)
½ tsp cream of tartar
50g sugar

15 fresh cherries, pitted and halved
15 canned pitted sour cherries, halved
400ml whipping cream whipped with 2 tbsp icing sugar

80g shaved Lindt Dark Chocolate
Fresh cherries


  1. Mix ingredients (A) well with a hand whisk.

  2. Stir cocoa powder in warmed oil until dissolved and pour into yolk mixture.

  3. Stir (C) into yolk mixture.

  4. Sieve ingredient (D) and stir it into yolk mixture.

  5. Whip egg whites in a clean mixing bowl until big bubbles are formed. Add in the cream of tartar and whip until white in colour.

  6. Divide 50g sugar into 3 portions and add a portion at a time into egg white slowly while whipping the whites. Whip until stiff peaks formed.

  7. Pour ½ white into yolk mixture and blend well.

  8. Pour yolk mixture into the remaining egg white mixture and blend well.

  9. Pour batter into clean baking pan and bake at 175C for 45 minutes or until cooked.

  10. Invert cake and leave to cool. Then cut cooled cake into 2 layers.

  11. Whip the cream with icing sugar until stiff.

  12. Add pitted fresh and sour cherries into a small portion of the whipped cream.

  13. Sandwich the cake with (12).

  14. Decorate as appropriate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

To decorate the cake:

  1. Do the filling then around the cake but leave the top bare.

  2. Shaved all the chocolates onto a large baking sheet, hold the top and bottom of cake with both hands, roll the creamed side of the cake on to the chocolate shavings, gathering as much shavings as you can

  3. Settle the cake onto your cake board and do the top creaming.

  4. Spread a layer of cream on the cake this will seal in the crumbs. If you have time, freeze again after the first layer . Else, add on more cream and spread again. This way it won't be so messy trying to stick the choc shavings onto the side of the cake.

  5. Freeze the cake overnight and refrigerate the whip cream the same day. The next day, assemble everything and allow about 4-6 hours to defroze in the refrigerator before eating. As soon as you take it out, you start decorating... it will probably take ½ to 1 hour before you are done. So by that time is already starting to defrost.

I used the fudge recipe given by Sophie in no place other than Kitchen Capers! :-)))

Chocolate Fudge Topping
550 ml water
1 tsp instant jelly (I used gelatine leaf)
150 g fine sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
60 g hoen kwe flour
100 g cooking chocolate (chopped)
2 tbsp chocolate emulco

Method for Chocolate Fudge

  1. Boil water, sugar, instant jelly, salt and chocolate emulco.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine hoen kwe flour and cocoa powder with a little water ( water from 550 ml). Mix well.

  3. When water boils, remove from heat. Pour hoen kwe mixture into water and mix well with a whisk.

  4. Return the whole combination to the stove ( slow fire ). Keep whisking until it’s bubbly (boiling), thick and shiny ( about 2-3 minutes).

  5. Remove from heat. Pour in the cooking chocolate and whisk well. Done. Use almost immediately.

  6. Spread a layer of chocolate fudge topping on top of one layer of cake. Cover with second layer of cake. Coat the whole cake with the topping. Let it cool before refrigerate for 2 hours.

The Taste Test:

  • I have not eaten Lana cake for a long time, so I asked a colleague, a Lana regular, to comment. She said, "Lana cake is more fluffy, and the fudge is thicker. ... but this is good!". Smart girl, year end ranking coming... better say the right thing!!! :-)))
My Baking Notes:

  • The sponge cake receipe has the right level of sweetness for me! Already very low sugar, so there's no need to cut back anymore. I am encouraged to frost the cake, in fact!
  • Initially I find the chocolate taste overpowered by the egg white, so I added 1 tsp of chocolate emulco. This greatly improves the choco-ky-ness.
  • In another trial, I used 30g of melted varlhona chocolate instead of cocoa powder, good enough for me to skip the choc emulco.
  • This cake will get better if left overnight first; for me, the egg white smell was gone!
  • Becos I am a new hand taking a long time to fold in the egg white into batter, many bubbles pop right under my nose. To compensate for the loss, I added 1 more egg white. *heehee*.
  • To ensure chances of success in whisking the whites: I clean all my utensil first with soap, then run under hot water. Finally, I rub them with white vinegar. Ya, kia-su. I cannot afford to fail after sacrificing so many eggs! Sorry hens.

As Gina (super chef from KC) correctly point out, this is quite a challenging recipe. Personally I find it tough having to balance the need to fold in the mixture very well and evenly for a perfect cake, at the same time, to ensure that we maintain as much air in the batter.

For me, it was a bold move cos I live to hear enough horror stories from my friends ranting the countless failures they had encountered. I wouldn't have made this if not for Sheen's birthday. So when push comes to shove....

Moral of the story? You smart enough to figure out lah!


gina said...

Bravo! I was still thinking about you on the plane! Wondering how you are going to cope today.Next time you can make one for me to eat. I am a Lana cake fan too. Although not allowed to eat too much chocolates. :(

gina said...

you have been tagged by me...

Cookie said...

Dear Gina,

I made it - thanks for all your tutorial and guidance!

It's my pleasure to bake for you, my dear SuperChef. Then you can tell me how it is compare to the real Lana ones.

What cannot eat so much chocolate? Health? Choc is happy food meh!

Sorry I am abit internet idiot- What is "tagged by me"?

gina said...

I am allergic to many things..and Chocolates are one of them! :( luckily I don't have cravings for it.

Cookie said...

Don't worry, I will make a small small one for you. So small that it won't trigger allergy :-)

Claire said...

Hi Happy Cup,

Am asking if the recipe you used for this, was it light, soft and spongey? I'm looking for a really good chocolate chiffon cake recipe because I want to make a Hawaiian Dobash cake (the frosting looks like yours btw but they used cornstarch instead of Hoen Kwe (green bean flour). If you could give me your thoughts or if you have a really really good chocolate chiffon cake recipe...please do post! You have a great website...please do keep up the good work! Thank you!

Cookie said...

Hi Claire,
Thanks for coming by!

This is a chiffon cake recipe which is meant to be light, soft and fluffy.

The reason why I say "meant to be" is becos chiffon is one of the most challenging recipe... I have tried many many times... the posts you see are just part of it!

To get the light & fluffy texture, we need to maintain as much air (in the egg white) as we possibly could. Yet if you use too few strokes in folding, you end up with gummiess like one of my failed cake.

You can see Florence's blog here - some got it right, many flopped too, so I think the recipe is good. I only need more practice.

As for the chocolate taste, using a good cocoa powder will make hell lot of difference, I promise you this. The best you can get locally is varlhona, or Cacao Barry (which is rare but possible). Forget about van houten if you want a good choco taste.

Do let me know if you have other questions.

Good luck!

ivy said...

Hi Gina,

I am just wondering how many gelatine leaves shld i use to replace the instant jelly powder?

Cookie said...

Hi Ivy,

I am not Gina ;-)

BTW, I used 2 gelatine leaves (each leaf = 2g).


ivy said...

So sorry Cookie,

My apologies for calling you the wrong name.This information is very helpful...thanks alot!

ivy said...

Hi Cookie,

My apologies!thanks for the wionderful information!Really appreciate it..

Cookie said...

Hi Ivy,

You are most welcome. Do let me know how yours turn out, k?