Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Daring Bakers July, 2010 Challenge: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

It's the Daring Bakers Challenge post again and as exciting as waiting for the new challenge to be revealed every beginning of the month, blogging about the completed challenge was as delighted and exciting too. Celebrating the 7th month of me as a member of the Daring Bakers, I specially dedicate this challenge to myself and since this month was also the month of my birthday…….so I told myself I'm definitely going to make this cake and no matter how busy and how late I'll be tied up with, it will be done before the posting date……..and YES! I did it!!In fact this July month has more to celebrate than I have ever thought, 1st – it's MY birthday, 2nd- it's Ian birthday, 3rd - I'm entering into the 7th month as a Daring Bakers and 5th – my blog had reached a 1,000 readers count already since I started this blog almost a year ago. I knew it was not a big figure to shout about, but I'm a very 'easily satisfied' person in terms of things like this………heheJ Anyway, a big and sincere 'THANK YOU' to those of you who have been kind enough to hit the button and read my blogs, tried my recipes and also visiting me once awhile to check if I'm still baking…….LOL ;) Thank you so much for your support and time, and I promise that I'll bake more and also to try to keep the post as relevant as possible (not baking today and posting weeks later, sorry!)
So, coming back to making the posting up to date, let me cut things short by introducing this month's challenge from Daring Bakers and it is hosted by Sunita of Sunita's World – Life and Food. Sunita is celebrating her 3rd year in Daring Bakers and that makes me counting exactly how many challenges she has attempted……wow! What an achievement, congrats, Sunita!! She has chosen the Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake from Taste of Home. In this challenge, we are asked to bake the Swiss Roll, make a batch of Vanilla ice-cream and Chocolate ice-cream and a Chocolate hot fudge sauce before we proceed to assembling the whole cake. Cool…..was what I said when I saw the notes.
It took me two days to complete this challenge as Day 1 was all about making the ice-cream, however, I have decided to just make the Vanilla Ice-cream only as I still have a tub of Cookies and Cream ice-cream in my freezer and I don't want to squeeze another one in it. So I settled for just plain Vanilla ice-cream which turned out really good, and easy to make.

 Here's the Vanilla Ice-Cream recipe:
*This ice-cream was made without an ice-cream maker, FYI.

2 ½ cup / 625ml of whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, minced or 1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup / 115gm castor sugar
  1. Grind together the sugar and vanilla in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and whisk lightly till everything is mixed together. If you are using the vanilla extract, grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar along with the vanilla extract to the cream.
  2. Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
For the Swiss Roll, kindly refer to my previous blog on Chocolate Swiss Roll for the recipe.

Then, to make the Chocolate Hot Fudge Sauce , this is the recipe:

1 cup / 230gm castor sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp Cornflour / cornstarch
1 ½ cup / 355ml water
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and water.
  2. Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, until it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla extract. Keep aside to cool.
Now, we have come to the assembling of the Swiss Swirl Ice-cream Cake, this is a very tedious part and it requires a little bit of your patience and creativity. Ready?? Hehe……
  1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices (approximately 2cms each).
  2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film / plastic wrap.
  3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with the seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
  4. Soften the vanilla ice-cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice-cream, on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put back into the freezer till firm (at least 1 hour).
  5. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice-cream, cover and freeze till firm (at least 1 hour).
  6. Soften the chocolate ice-cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.
  7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outside of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened wit hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
  8. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Slice with a sharp knife , dipped in hot water for a clean cut.

Happy Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake Making!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ORANGE BUTTER CAKE………For a Friend :)

Friends are the best gift you would ever have in this world! I love this phrase and I'm also very happy that I have a lot of good and sincere friends that have walked with me in my life of good and bad, ups and downs……..and are still with me no matter how crazy I can be ……at times , LOL. Since tomorrow I will be having lunch with a few of my close friends (aka the 'crazy' ones) , I decided to bake a cake for one of them (Joanne), as to celebrate her coming back for good to KK after leaving us to JB for work a year ago. We have been looking forward to her come back every holidays………then she finally decided to return for good ……...YEAH!!!I searched the blogs for new additions from the other dedicated bakers to get some inspiration on what to bake………although I have a whole list of recipes that are lining up in my 'TO BAKE' list…….sometimes you just want to get away from the rotten list and search for something new :P
I saw this recipe - Orange though Butter Cake, ya, I know……it was nothing new to me and to you too, right? But what actually caught my attention is the texture of the cake in the photo posted by the blogger, it was so moist and the crumb was so fine…….then when I read the ingredients , I found out that it doesn't use orange juice or orange essence ……but only grated orange zest! So, I decided to give this a try and find out what it is like to bake an Orange cake without the essential orange juice…….but just the zest. Give it a try too………………it definitely won't disappoint you I am very satisfied and all my friends who tasted it…….gave a thumbs up!! Thanks to Little Teochew for sharing this great awesome recipe :)

Orange Butter Cake
Recipe:- 195g all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 170g butter, softened
- 225g sugar
(I used 180gm, but still find it a bit sweet, maybe 150gm is enough)

- 1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
- 1 ½ tbsp orange zest
(I used orange zest grated from 1 orange only, because 1 ½ Tbsp of orange zest is a lot to me, and I don't want the cake to have that after-taste)
- 12 tbsp whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 9-inch* cake pan (I used a loaf tin instead).

2. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

3. Set the mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy and creamy for about 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the orange zest and mix well, then whole egg and then egg yolk. If the mixture curdles, just add 1 tbsp of flour and continue mixing.
( I did not add the additional 1 Tbsp of flour because my mixture did not curdle)
5. On low speed, add in the dry ingredients into the mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk, and ending with flour.

6. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears thoroughly blended. The batter should look thick and creamy.

7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife.

8. Bake at preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until it reaches a dark-gold color and an inserted cake tester comes out clean.

9. Let to rest in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cake stand or platter. Allow cake to completely cool before slicing.       

Happy Baking!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to My ‘Trendy Boy’ Ian……you are 11th!!

Happy Birthday to you my dear Ian…….you are 11th!! Looking back to the eleven years that have past us by so fast, I can't believe that is was actually eleven years ago. What I can say is that I'm glad you are borne into this world as my son, I would exchange nothing for you as you are so dear to me and to your dad too. I still remember seeing you the first time in the clinic after the anesthetic went off, and I regained my conscious………the nurse brought you into the room to me. You are like a gift that God has sent from heaven above to me and your dad after all the losses that we have encountered before your arrival. I'm so happy to have you, IAN!! I will always love you my dear son, xoxo.You have grown so much over the 11 years of your life, and I'm so proud of you…….I always will!
So, for Ian's birthday, we did not celebrate big as he also wanted it to be as simple as possible, he was telling me that he only want to celebrate big when he is 12 years old, as that time, he will be parting with some of his school friends to go to their own preferred high school. So, I promised him that he will have a birthday celebration at home next year ;)
This year, he only wanted to treat his classmates some cupcakes and spend his birthday at home with a little family celebration with his brothers, sisters and mum & dad. So, I made him some 'Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream frosting' and he chose to decorate it with some soccer balls, as he said he started to like watching soccer already since the FIFA Worldcup 2010….hehe, that's good, now I have another football companion to cheer over the matches with……LOL
Here are the cupcakes that I made and was then sent to his school for his classmates to eat and celebrate with him on the 23rd July…..^-^

Then, on the actual day I decided to make a whole cake for him to be cut and celebrate at home. I have never tried 'edible icing image' before and however found that it's really easy to use and it's very presentable too. I made a 'Chocolate Sponge Cake and Oreo Fresh Cream' as frosting, then top with red glaced cherries and croquent flakes as decoration.
Here are the photos of the celebration……cheers, Ian!

Happy Birthday to IAN, Mummy loves you forever, muaks!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rich Chocolate Swiss Roll

Swiss Roll is nothing new to me too :P…..though you might think it is as you actually don't see any of my post here are related to Swiss Roll, right? Ok, to tell you the truth, I have attempted Swiss Roll a few good times, if I'm not mistaken, this should be my 3rd time. The last two times failed and were forced to end up as a Sponge Sandwich Cake instead…… as not to end up in the waste bin when I frustrated, LOL.This is my 3rd attempt, as I would never give up on what I failed, but it does take me quite some time to go back and give it another try…….well, at least some cooling off period, haha. The reason why I attempted this Swiss Roll project again is because I'm having a 'Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake' challenge from The Daring Bakers for July month and I was left with only less than a week to complete it and post it up……oh oh!!....die or try, LOL…….of course I'm choosing the later (just kidding), there's no life sentence in Daring Bakers, but as I have missed two of their challenge already, I wouldn't want to miss any again if possible as I still have another 5 months before the year-ends.
I decided to try the recipe that was chosen by the Sunita, the Daring Bakers Challenge theme host for July. She has posted a Swiss Roll recipe which I'm quite confident to do as it's very straight forward and easy to understand with all the 'step-by-step' picture instruction (really good)!! Thanks Sunita, with your guided instructions, my Swiss roll finally made it to the serving table looking nice and neat… cracks and messy filling, spilling or seeping out from the sides of the seams. It's so tempting to see it that it actually made a few of my friends wanting to make it right away after seeing the photographs that I posted in Facebook……^-^
If you are feeling the same too…….roll it up……it's as easy as it looks ;)

Rich Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)

For the cake:
6 medium sized eggs
225gm castor sugar and some extra for rolling (I used only 160gm)
45gm plain flour + 40gm unsweetened cocoa powder, sift together
2 Tbsp boiling water
A little oil for brushing the pans
For the filling:
500ml whipping c
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (I used 1 tsp vanilla extract)
70gm castor sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius. Greased the baking pans (2 pans of 11x9 inches) with a little oil and line the greaseproof paper. If you are using one pan to bake at a time, then let the pan cool completely before using it to bake again for the next cake.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and sugar and beat till very thick for about 10 seconds. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
  3. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly into the corners of the pans. Place a pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the centre is springy to the touch.
  4. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle some sugar over it. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
  5. Starting from the shorter side, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, the seam side facing down. Repeat the same for the next cake.
  6. For the filling: If using vanilla pods, grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processor till nicely mixed together. If using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own, and then add sugar and extract to the cream.
  7. In a large bowl,
    add the cream and vanilla –sugar mixture and beat till very thick. Divide the cream between the two completely cooled cakes.
  8. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, spreading it evenly and leave at least ½ an inch on all the edges. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Cut and serve.

Happy Swiss Roll baking !

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Birthday, My Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Birthday to ME!! Haha…....this sounds so funny, normally I used to wish people 'Happy Birthday' and not to myself. Anyway, this year I wished myself 'Happy Birthday' early Sunday morning when I woke up……as I was feeling very happy, and also very satisfied as I have lived another year filled with love, happiness and the best of health and also………some of the things that I wanted to do or achieve, has indeed been done and achieved. Well, I thanked the Lord for all his abundant blessings that he has showered upon me, without Him, I really wouldn't know where am I now………..and in what situation I'll be in. Praise God!!Well, I was very happy this birthday as I received tonnes of birthday wishes from friends and relatives, my boys treated me to a Pizza Hut dinner and Hubby gave me a birthday present that I really like (though I must say it'll take me sometime to master it, hehe) – it's a Samsung Wave GT-S8500!! What else could I ask for?? I'm really blessed with all these, thank you so much !!!
Then, getting back to my baking……..eventhough it's my birthday today, I'm definitely going to bake something, moreover it's a Sunday………… can I not bake, right? Hehe………….. So, I ran through my 'To Bake' list that I have listed all the things that I wanted to try to bake …….and there it is……."Red Velvet Cupcakes"!! Perfect choice for this occasion and also since I've baked 5000 cupcakes in the last 2 days……and the mood of baking cupcakes are still hot in my blood, why not!!??
I told the kids, "Mummy is going to bake cupcakes for my birthday"………and guessed what Angelica said? "Huh? Mummy, you are baking cake for your own birthday, then they'll be no surprise already lo??" LOL……….I couldn't stop laughing and assured her that "it's OK, Sweetie, Mummy already has a lot of surprises from you all". By the way, this Red Velvet Cupcakes has already been sitting my list for almost a year now, if I'm not mistaken, so I'd better bake it now before it sits there for another year, hahaha. The recipe was adapted from 'The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook' and I only did a little alteration in the method part :p

 This Red Velvet Cupcakes has a very distinguish ton of red and it stands out really well especially when you pair it with Vanilla Cream Cheese buttercream. The red from the cake and the white from the buttercream is a perfect match!! If you like the look of this cupcakes here in my blog…….then you should try it ^-

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes (Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)
Makes 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:
60gm Unsalted butter, room temperature
150gm castor sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
10gm cocoa powder
20ml red food coloring (gel/paste)
½ tsp vanilla essence
120ml buttermilk
150gm plain flour
½ tsp salt (you can omit this if you are using salted butter)
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar (I omitted this one)

Ingredients for Vanilla Cream Cheese Buttercream:
300gm Icing sugar, sifted
50gm unsalted butter, room temperature
125gm cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla essence

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius. Line the cupcakes cases on the baking tray. Set aside.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg and beat until well combined. Add in Vanilla essence and food coloring and beat until the color is mixed evenly through the batter. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the batter is evenly mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, add cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda and salt to the sifted flour. On slow speed, slowly add the flour mixture, then buttermilk in 3-4 intervals, alternate by starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Beat until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Spoon the batter into each casing filling only about 60% or 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes depending on individual oven. To check the doneness of the cake, the top will bounces back when lightly touched and the skewer will comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
  7. Leave to cool completely on the wire rack before frosting.
  8. For the frosting : in a mixer, beat half the amount of icing sugar and butter until well mixed.
  9. Add in the cream cheese and beat well. Add the remaining icing sugar into the buttercream until you get the consistency you wanted. *Don't worry if you happen to use more that 300gm of icing sugar, as it varies on individuals.
  10. When you get the correct consistency, you are ready to frost your cupcakes!

Happy Birthday to ME and Happy Cupcakes baking to you!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Participation in a 2-day, 5000 Cupcakes Project

I saw this blogpost from Boutique Cupcakes a month ago about them securing a 5000 pieces cupcakes project to use as a gift for the 5000 guest who will be attending the Official Opening of the Wisma Wanita somewhere along Jalan Tuaran on the 18th July 2010. They were recruiting 10 volunteers who are willing to help them with this 2-day, 5000 cupcakes project. So I emailed in to enquire what will be required from us as a volunteer in terms of skills in baking or so forth. They replied and I was being selected and a month later, here it is……..the 5000 cupcakes project in 2 days is ON!!!

I wouldn’t elaborate so much on the whole process as I think the photos I have taken will more or less tells the whole story, though not in details, but I will leave the detailed write –up to Boutique Cupcakes, while I write on my part here……;)

What I can say after the completion of the project was…..a great satisfaction achieved and it was indeed a very tiring process…….but I have no regrets as it was an experience that I truly will remember and cherish forever, as you don’t get to participate in events like this everyday…….so a big CHEERS!!! to Boutique Cupcakes for giving me this opportunity and here’s wishing you all the best in your new outlet that will be opening soon at Lintas Station.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A ‘Special’ Chocolate Bundt Cake

What will be your first reaction or response when you hear the word "special" ? I don't know about you, but when I hear this word, I'm there to look out or search for something that is beyond the 'normal'. Well, this recipe definitely had me curious when I first saw it in this blog site. It didn't put down as special, but it was titled under "Mum's Chocolate Cake"………and I was having that kind of feeling that this chocolate cake must be something special compared to the rest.True enough it contained something extra ordinary in the ingredients that I don't normally see in the other chocolate cakes' recipe……..and that is "Strawberry Jam"!!! Yes, you didn't see or hear wrongly……it is Strawberry Jam indeed!! I don't find it weird but I find it kind of special…….so I decided to change the name to "A Special Chocolate Bundt Cake" instead of 'Mum's Chocolate Cake' because I wouldn't want to claim that as my mum's chocolate cake…….then that will be really weird especially when my mum doesn't bake at all, LOL.
I didn't give it a second thought, but ran straight to the cake ingredients store and get all the things I needed…….and headed home to bake. I decided to bake this cake for a friend/colleague (Elaine) of mine from Miri, Sarawak, who will be here over the weekend for some school fairs that we will be attending together. She likes my baking and often request me to bake for her…….of course I'd be happy to do that ^-^
By the way, this cake recipe comes with a frosting, but I didn't do the frosting because I prefer the cake to be plain and therefore I just sprinkled some snow powder / icing sugar on the cake only. Here's the recipe and I really suggest that you take it down, and try baking it someday when you free ;)

 A Special Chocolate Cake (aka Mum's Chocolate Cake in The Cake Mistress' blog site)

Ingredients for Cake:
125gm unsalted butter, bring to room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
60gm plain flour
¾ cup buttermilk
115gm castor sugar (I used 80gm only)
2 large eggs
40gm Self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
60gm cocoa powder
½ cup Strawberry jam

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Lightly grease a 18cm / 7 inch round cake tin. (I used a bundt tin instead)
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until thick, pale and creamy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour in the jam and beat until mixture is smooth.
  4. Add bicarbonate soda, then sift in the flour (plain+SRF) and cocoa powder, folding them in gently with half of the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour and buttermilk, continuing to fold until just combined. The mixture should resemble a thick chocolate mousse.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touch and a skewer inserted to the centre, comes out clean.

  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto the wire rack to cool completely.

     Note: Just in case you want to frost your cake, this is the frosting recipe…….
Ingredients for the frosting:
300gm icing sugar
100gm unsalted butter, room temperature
40gm cocoa powder, sifted
50ml whole milk

Method for frosting:
  1. Beat the icing sugar , butter and cocoa powder with an electric mixer until well combined.
  2. Add milk, then whip the frosting with the beaters for around 5 minutes. This makes it nice and fluffy and helps dissolve some of the icing sugar.
  3. When the cake is completely cook, slather the top with the frosting.

Happy Chocolate Cake baking !

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Learn2Bake July Part 1 Challenge – Crumble Cake (Strawberry)

Yes! I'm done with my Learn2Bake July Part 1 Challenge early this time, finally! Usually I'm always fighting time to get it done before the dateline. Well, this July month is definitely a busy month for me both for work, and for my own personal things. Anyway, let's just say I'm always left with not enough time to do a lot of things that I planned to do. I still have a list of things that I wanted to do, want to bake and wanted to get it done before certain dates……..sigh, looks like I need more than 24 hours a day. Well, I don't know how many of you out there are complaining the same thing as me …………"Not enough time" for almost everything!! LOLAnyway, I'm glad I completed the challenge, as being the head of the Learn2Bake Club, I guessed it's my duty to show the members some determination in getting something bake if you have to or given the task to. To tell you the truth, I have got this item in my baking list since late June – a request from my SiL (Emily). So, since this is what we have to bake for this month's challenge, I gladly completed it and then sent it over to my SiL, whereas the other half I brought it to the office for a visitor friend from Miri (Elaine) for taste testing.

The recipe chosen for the challenge was adapted from this blog – My Kitchen Snippets and I have baked this Crumble Cake / Slice before and it was featured in my previous blogs, right here. The only changes I made this time is the filling – instead of Blueberry, I substituted it with Strawberry. You can check out the recipe from here, and as for the filling flavor, you can use any other pie filling you like. Tell you what, you must make time to bake this cake, it will become one of your favourite on the tea-time list.

Happy Crumble Cake baking!