Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Someone told me that once you get something working out for you, the drive to keep doing it is 'just so unbearable', and I totally agree , LOL. The funny thing is that I didn't just got myself crazy about it, but I have 'a number' of bakers in Facebook going 'goo-goo ga-ga' over this cake too!! Oh gosh, I hope this is of a good cause, hehe........but I wouldn't say it's not, and I would dare to say, "once you try , you will want it ".......hahaha
Anyway, I would be a little surprise if you don't like this cake, though I know some of you that really doesn't. For me, now that I know how to bake this Kasutera Cake, I would choose this over any cakes , seriously!! I wasn't quite a 'cake person' though I do love to bake them........but , Kasutera is just something different, hehe
After trying out the original version of it, I was so in the drive to make another one and another one.....you might think I'm nuts!! My MiL thought so........she just doesn't get it why this cake is so special and so nice?? (Well, she doesn't really like it that much as she complaint that the honey has an after-taste after being bake........but I totally loved it!! I guess that is the 'indifference' between MiL and DiL.......kekekeke, sssssHhhhhhhh, just between you and me ya ;)
Well, like I said earlier, I just wanted to bake another one after the first, so I decided to try the 'Green Tea' flavor as I saw RotiNRice's Match Kasutera Cake was gorgeous, hehe
.........and so it was being baked. Verdict : "This is even better than the original. I don't know is it because it was "Green Tea" in flavor, that I love it even more! Anyway, you wouldn't understand what I'm trying to tell you here, unless you try it :p
The recipe to the first one was exactly the same, the only additional item added to it was , of course "Matcha Powder aka Green Tea Powder" - 2Tbsp, try to use the very good quality ones ;)
Let me know how you like it ya....till then, toodles!
Friday, March 9, 2012
Sometimes when it comes to afternoon tea-time, our minds will start running wild thinking about pastries, puffs, cupcakes, cookies and some goes for paus (buns) or bread......but I would prefer pie......for today, that is :)
To tell you the truth, I always juggle my lunch and teabreak together, as when I'm in the office, my lunch time was never on time (which is between 12.30 pm to 2.00pm). I'm always late and sometimes, when I'm too busy, I actually forgot about the time and also I tend to ignore the growling of my stomach, hehehe.......cruel of me huh, in fact I sometimes purposely do that as an excuse to go on a diet, LOL
Anyway, today, as I still have a portion of the leftover 'Sweet Shortcrust Pastry' that I have after baking my 'Mini Apple Pie' the other day, I decided to have another pie treat for tea-time ....and 'Blueberry Crumble Pie' takes the crowning , haha
So, here is the recipe for this treat, use back the 'Sweet Shortcrust Pastry' recipe and also the method of rolling out the pastry for the pie pan. As for the Blueberry filling, I bought a small tub (25ogm) of ready-made Blueberry Pie filling from BWM ( I didn't use all, too much and little sweet too) and as for the crumble, please refer below.
1/3 cup + 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
35gm butter, room temperature, cut to cubes, not melted
1/3 cup ground almond, pulse it in the food processor for a more fine texture
2 1/2 Tbsp castor sugar
In a medium bowl, place the flour and butter and using your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the ground almond and sugar and mix it in. Sprinkle over the blueberry filling and bake at preheated oven of 180~C for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Serve with your favourite English Tea or..... coffee is just as good too!
Happy pie baking, dear!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Hehe, from the title of this posting, you would have guessed it right that my 2nd attempt was a 'SUCCESS'. Yes, how could it not be, when after the last attempt (dated back then May 17, 2010), gosh!! can you imagine how long was that? I must be too terrified to even schedule the 2nd attempt., LOL
Anyway, after all these while, I have not stop looking and searching for a more simpler and straight to the point recipe for this cake. In fact, it happen right about the same timing, that just two days ago, Ann of AnnCoo Journal made her Castella Cake and posted it on Facebook. It kinda stir me up a little to give it a try again, and it's about time to overcome this fear of failing.......LOL
I took her advice to look out for the links that she has given - Roti N Rice and Yummy Workshop.com , and finally decided to give it a try. However, since the recipe that Ann got was from Roti N Rice, and Roti N Rice got hers from Yummy Workshop.com, I decided to use the later one, as it requires very few things that I already have it all in my kitchen. That's how my successful story begins........
Anyway, what I wish to say is that, I read back the recipe that I used last time, it was so much complicated and overly detailed , that makes you feel that you need to be really cautious when making this cake. In fact, after baking my 2nd Castella, the truth behind this cake is........it's nothing that complicated, or hard, it's just that you need to keep it "SIMPLE" to your own understanding. Conclusion, I'm sorry to say, the previous recipe I used, is just too much unnecessary highlights :P
CASTELLA / KASUTERA CAKE aka JAPANESE SPONGE CAKE
Yield a 7' inch Square Cake
5 egg yolks (room temperature)
4 egg whites (room temperature)
125gm Castor sugar
100gm Bread flour (sifted)
15gm brown sugar ( I didn't measure mine, just sprinkle enough to cover the surface )
50gm honey + 2 -3 Tbsp hot water (stir to dilute)
I would strongly recommend that you guys check the 'step-by -step' method illustration put up by YummyWorkshop.com.
You will not get it wrong.....trust me!
OK, the additional things that I did apart from what YummyWorkshop mentioned in her recipe was......I threw my baking pan from a foot high to the table top counter , not once, but thrice!! LOL....ya, I know I can be quite crazy at times, that's how extreme I can be sometimes :P Guess what, I am really amazed as my cake did not sink or shrink a bit after the cooling down process!! Well, I don't know if the "throwing" really has an effect or maybe I'm just lucky , hehe
After wrapping my Castella Cake with parchment paper and cling wrap, stored it into the fridge for an overnight rest. Gosh, you seriously don't know how long the night has been for me to wait for the day to come, LOL
Today, early morning when I opened my eyes.....the first thing that came to my mind was ......my Kasutera Cake in the fridge!! I ran down, opened the fridge, took it out, and slowly unwrapping the package....like opening a bomb, haha........it was still gorgeous, and it's moist from the outlook of it. Using a really sharp knife, I trimmed off the sides, and then slice it to a thick small 'square shape' pieces as all Kasutera Cake looks in those blogs. I guessed that's how it was presented to people when you serve Kasutera Cake :)
In every cut, I can feel the cake is springy to the touch, the air-holes are so refine and there is no loose crumbs dropping from the knife, which shows how 'intact' this cake is eventhough it is so soft, like sponge, I really meant 'a piece of sponge' .....especially when you tear it, it really is like tearing a piece of sponge, LOL
Sigh, I better don't confuse you too much , if can't understand what I'm trying to say here, copy down this recipe and start baking it....you will understand exactly the way I feel about this cake :) I have fell in love with it, and you will be seeing me baking another version of Kasutera very soon.......the Green Tea flavor one , wish me luck ya!!
Till then, bake a Kasutera , and you'll love it, I can 100% guarantee you ;)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I had a terrible 'stiff-neck' when I woke up this morning , and I told myself......"what the.....it'a Sunday!! No!!" How can this happen on a Sunday? Oh......well, that wouldn't stop me from having and spending my Sunday like I wanted it to.....huh! Well, I still had a awesome Sunday with Hubby and the kids like any other Sundays, hehe. When I'm at Popular Bookstore, I was as usual browsing all the cookbooks that were being displayed at the racks, one by one, making sure I did not miss out any of it........especially the 'New Arrivals'.
As I was flipping through one of the Women's Weekly Magazine about Pies, I instantly remembered I have not been making pies recently....or should I say, quite a long time, :P OK well, let's make pie then for today's afternoon tea.....and that sounds good, hehe
Right after we reached home, I headed into the kitchen to dig out my pie pan that must have rusted in the cupboard, LOL....kidding! So, to start , I made my 'Sweet Short Crust Pastry', and as I have a tub of Apple Pie filling sitting in my fridge (can't remember when did I bought it, but it's still long before expiry, phew!), I'll take this chance to use it up ;)
Here's the 'Sweet Shortcrust Pastry' that I normally use whenever I make my pies and it's really easy-peasy, hehe...
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (good for any fruits / savoury pies)
200gm Plain Flour (I normally use HK Flour)
20gm Milk powder
110gm butter, cold and cubed
35gm Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp ice water
500gm Ready-made Apple Pie filling (you can also choose to cook up your own apple pie filling)
- Sift the flour, milk powder and icing sugar into a big bowl, add in the salt. Stir to mix well.
- Add the cubed cold butter into the flour, and using your fingertips, rub it until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time and knead the mixture to form a dough. Monitor in order that the dough will not be too wet or too dry. If either happens, that's OK, just more flour if it's too wet, or add a bit more water if it's a little on the dry side....no worries :)
- Shape the dough into a ball and using a cling wrap, warp it up and let is sit in the freezer for about 15 - 20 minutes.
- After 15-20 minutes rest, take the dough out of the freezer and roll it out in between 2 pieces of parchment paper...remember not too thin or too thick.....about 0.3mm would be good :) By the way, I'm using a 6" inches pie pan.
- Place the pastry onto the outer ring of your pie pan, gently pressing it in to the sides to fit the bottom of the pan. Using the rolling pin, gently roll across the top of the ring to trim off of the excess of the pastry.
- Take a fork and lightly prick the surface of the pastry to release any air bubbles trapped beneath and use your fingertip to lightly press on it.
- Put the pastry back into the freezer to rest for another 10 -15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175~C, and place a piece of aluminium foil on top of the pastry and blind bake it with some dried beans (I used soya beans) for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the dried beans and foil after baked, and let it cool for about 5 minutes on the rack. Then fill the pie pan with the apple pie filling , not to full, just below the brim of the pan will do. You can decorate the top with the leftover of the pastry , cut it into strips of about 0.5cm width and weave it like a basket .
- Bake it for about 25-30 minutes , take it out, let it cool on the rack before removing it from the pie pan. Serve hot......it's really yummy!!
p/s: Don't forget to make a good aromatic cup of coffee to go with it ~wink!
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Do you have cravings that sometimes makes you wonder.....are you pregnant? Hahaha....nah, definitely not me, I meant pregnant....I'm 101% not pregnant, and this craving comes because it's missing this particular ingredients too much.....and that is 'CHEESE'!! Yes, I haven't been making anything cheesy lately, hmm.....funny, why? In fact I do have a big block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese sitting in my fridge, if I'm not mistaken , since January, unopen :p
Ok, that is normally not like me, I would never let a piece of cheese or chocolate sit in my fridge untouched for so long.....sigh! I knew why, I was busy with cake orders in January and then , there was the Chinese New Year, and then my SiL's wedding, and then.......cake orders again......never ending it seems!! Well, today I get a weekend of free time to myself with no orders to bake, in fact it's already done last night, waiting for collection only :)
I finally get to use my cheese and bake something........but am just too lazy to heat up the oven on a really humid and hot Saturday afternoon, especially.........the kitchen where my baking is done.....always wets me in sweat, duh!! How I wish I can renovate this place and fix an air-cond in it........OK, stop the dreaming and start the baking, kekekeke :P
Like I said, the weather today was really hot, I saw the temperature hitting 31 degree and that really turns me off.....but a craving of cheese has to be satisfied!! So, to keep myself from not having to heat up the oven and sweat like a pig, and to satisfy my craving for something cheesy.........I chose to make , not bake, a "Non -Bake Kahlua Cheesecake (in fact it's Bailey, but I don't have one, so did the substitution, hehe) which I found the recipe from Bisous `A Toi :)
NON-BAKE 'KAHLUA' CHEESECAKE (Yields a 8"inch Round Springform pan)
1 small pack of Malteser candies - crushed (OK, I don't have these, as I wouldn't have let any pack of Maltesers sit in my fridge for more than 10 seconds :P)
160gm crushed digestive biscuits
80gm butter, melted
250gm Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened (I used 300gm to satisfy my craving, kekeke)
1 tsp vanilla extract
30ml Kahlua (should have double-dose it)
200ml dairy whipping cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 Tbsp gelatine powder (I would use 1 Tbsp +1/8 tsp in future as I find that the texture is too solid)
1 Tbsp butter
50gm dark chocolate
- For the Base : mix the crushed Maltesers and biscuits with melted butter together. Press with the back of a spoon to evenly smooth the base of an 8" inch springform pan. Place the base into the freezer for about an hour or so, while you prepare the filling .
- Put the boiling water into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatine powder evenly, leave to 'bloom' for about 2 mins. Stir to dissolve.
- In microwave , melt the butter and chocolate in a 30 sec burst, stir to combine. (I used 'double -boil instead as I don't like to use the microwave oven to melt things :(
- In a mixer, or if you prefer a whisk, whip the whipping cream till medium peak form and then chill it in the fridge. (Pls take note that while you whisk the whipping cream, 'DO NOT OVER WHISK' or else you will see the cream seperating and that is ruin!!)
- In the same mixer bowl (as suggested by Rima, you don't need to wash it) , cream the cheese and sugar on high speed until smooth, beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the gelatine mixture and beat in to combine. Fold in the whipping cream and remove your base from the freezer.
- Pour about 1 /4 of the batter into the chocolate mixture, stir to mix.
- Mix in your Kahlua to the 'white cheese batter' until fully combine. Pour about half of the batter into the tin, add half of the chocolate batter, swirl to combine. Add other half of the white cheese batter , then top with a spoonful of the remaining chocolate batter , swirling to marble patterns.
- Chill overnight , and to serve, run a knife along the sides of the cake to unmould it, and 'voila'.......enjoy!!
p/s: You will find that my cheesecake did not have the swirls , as I was getting a little heated up already in the kitchen, so just add the chocolate mixture to the white cheese batter and then add the Kahlua, and stir to combine all........hehe, sorry!! But, the outcome of the cheesecake is still 'satisfying'!