Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A deep dark secret... an almost Awfully Chocolate Cake

"Almost Awfully Chocolate..." was what attracted me to this recipe shared by Jamie, celebrity and owner of Twelve Cupcake
Indeed it is - very moist, deep and dark chocolate that I haven't had for a long time.  The cake turned out to be a hit even though I mistakenly used Valrhona cocoa powder (which is dutch-processed) when the recipe call for "not dutch processed" in the original source.

The cake is really so dark - almost like black!

Double Chocolate Cake

Here's what I did:

85gm semi sweet chocolate (i used 60% choc)
1 cup brewed coffee (I used Nespresso :-))
- Combine both.  There were enough heat from the freshly brewed coffee to melt the chocolate.

2 eggs
1/2 cup veg oil
1 cup buttermilk (add 1 tbsp lemonjuice to 1 cup milk if you dont have buttermilk. let it stand for at least 10mins)
1/2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract (or vanilla extract/essence)
- these are the wet ingredients

1 and 1/2 cup sugar
1 and 2/3 cup self rising flour
1 cup natural cocoa powder (e.g. Hershey)
1 and 1/3 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
- sift the above dry ingredients together


(preheat oven to 180deg celsius - for cupcake, and 160C for big cake)
1. beat eggs (on speed 2 for about 3mins on my Kenwood mixer) till fluffy.
2. add all the wet ingredients (including coffee and choco mixture) and combine well. that’s really quick with the mixer.
3. add all the dry ingredients which you’ve already sifted and mixed together.
4. combine it well with the mixer. that’s quite quick too.
5. pour batter into cupcake liners or cake tins (line the bottom with baking paper so it’s easy to remove cake later)
6. bake for ~21 min (for cupcake) or ~50mins (for cake) or until the skewer/satay stick comes out clean when you poke the center of the cake with it.
7. let cake cool completely before frosting.

Frosting - I halved Jamie's recipe:
100ml whipping cream
20g butter
200g semisweet chocolate

1. microwave above and stir til it’s a smooth mix.
2. cool the mixture cos it might be too watery to spread before that.
3. Pipe the frosting when cupcake is cool.

The cake stores very well - it is soft even when just taken out from the fridge!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Eggless Pineapple Tarts - new recipe

I make pineapple tarts every year.  This year, I saw it from Facebook that many of my friends also decided to make their own pineapple tarts.  Ha, I am just glad that I have a good 5 years head start!!!
What's more?  This year, I decided to be a good girl and grate my pineapple instead of leaving them to spine endlessly in the electric blender.

See how fibrous the grated pineapple are!

When I attended the formal baking lesson, the chef actually use the same jam for both open and close tarts.  But I always feel that they should be different:  the jam  for closed tart should be drier or else the dough will crack while the dry jam will be harden on the open tarts. 

So I made 2 different type of jam:

For the dough, i use the interesting recipe from Kitchen Tigress (whom, btw, has much a wonderful blog!).  After using the creaming method and rub-in method, I am only too excited to test-drive the boiling method!

KT was kind enough to advice that this recipe is only suitable for close tarts as "it is very delicate and crumbly", and the pattern made mould was indeed puff-up in the oven and all I got was a fat characterless blob.   But I really wanted to keep this buttery pastry for my sister who has a penchant for both all-things-buttery and open tarts.  Stubborn.  My problem lah.

To cut the long story short, I had a fun time playing with the dough, and after using up 1 kg of Elle Vire butter (yes, I am a slow learner as far as baking is concern =p), I figured out the trick to make it more pliable for open tarts and retain its form after baking.  You wanna know...  c'mon, send me some Elle Vire!

 Swee boh?

Just as KT put it - 101% buttery and melt-in-your-mouth!

RECIPE - Pastry for Pineapple Tarts
(from David Lebovitz via Kitchen Tigress)

360 g unsalted butter
60 ml vegetable oil
75 ml water
60 g sugar
½ tsp salt
600 g plain flour

1. Put all ingredients except flour in a pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Continue boiling till foam subsides and colour darkens.  Alternatively, weigh pot and contents before heating, then boil till weight is reduced by about 65 g.

2. Turn off heat. Tip flour into pot. Mix thoroughly and leave till just cool enough to handle. Knead to make sure mixing is even, adjusting with 1-2 tbsp water if mixture is crumbly, or 1-2 tsp plain flour if sticky. Use a cookie scoop to divide the dough into equal parts.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ushering the Water Snake Year

Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone! 

For me, I can't wait for the dragon year to be over; it hasn't been my greatest year in so many ways, my numerous health problem and more importantly mum's health which eventually took her away from us. 

What I do know is that when you are at the bottom of your luck, the only direction it can go is UP! 

How was your luck?

Here's my usual eggless Pineapple Tarts using this recipe.