Monday, 24 April 2017

Mini Lemon Pudding Cakes (Old Timey Pudding Cakes)

Does Magic Custard Cake rings a bell ? 
Oh !  It was so popular a few years ago in blogosphere as we were fascinated with "one batter when baked, it separated into three layers: a cake layer on top, a custard layer in the middle and another dense custard layer on the bottom".  I, too, baked the magic custard cake to join in the fun then. After awhile, I tried the chocolate version but the layers were not distinguished.  As my big kids didn't like a big cake with too much "milky and kueh-like texture", hence, I did not attempt other flavour like coffee or pandan.

Scouting for some cookbooks in the Library and "Dessert for Two" caught my eyes ... I like the idea of cookies, cakes and pies recipes just nice for 2 persons (Lazy me don't have to do my calculation to scale down the recipes ... hee.. hee!).  A recipe 'Old Timey Pudding Cakes' by the author "like the magic custard cake one batter and during the baking process, it separates into 3 layers : a pudding, a cake and a slightly crunchy meringuelike crust."

But these are just like Mini Lemon Pudding Cakes to me. We love lemony citrus cakes and these mini cakes are just perfect for our after meal dessert. (need not keep any unfinished portion in the fridge).

Recipe adapted from Cookbook Dessert for Two by Christina Lane
Old Timey Pudding Cakes
Yields 2 individual cakes (6-ounce ramekin x 2) <I used 3 ramekins as I don't have the exact size>

Ingredients :
65g caster sugar
1 egg, separated
80ml milk
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt (omitted as I used 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to egg white)
15g all-purpose plain flour

To coat the ramekins :
Some softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of caster sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 160°C and position the rack in the center.

2) Brush the ramekins with softened unsalted butter. Brush from bottom upwards. Then, coat the ramekins with caster sugar. And shake out any excess, set aside.

3) Separate the egg into yolk and white. (the size of my egg is 65g with shell).

4) Prepare water bath by filling an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish or pan with 2 cups of hot water or enough to come up about 1/2-inch on the sides of the ramekins.

5) In a clean small bowl, whisk the cold egg white and a pinch of salt (I used lemon juice) till foamy using the electric handheld or stand mixer. Beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue.

6) In another bowl, beat together the egg yolk, caster sugar, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice with electric mixer on medium speed. Add the flour and mix until combined.

7) Gently but quickly fold the meringue into the yolk mixture with a spatula or manual whisk.  Once the mixture is combined, pour it into the prepared ramekins. Fill about 90% full.
(Note: the cake will rise above the rim while baking)

8) Bake for about 40 minutes.  The cakes are done when the tops are lightly golden and spring back when touched. Tip the cakes out of the ramekins immediately, garnish with mint leave if you like and serve.

While my big girl finds it a little too sweet but my big boy likes it.  As for me, I enjoy it with a cuppa of rose tea!
Enjoy !

Happy baking and have a great week ahead ^-^!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake

Gula Melaka or palm sugar are widely and popularly used in Nonya, Malaysian, Thai and South East Asian cooking (including drinks and desserts)  …Just to name a few : Ondeh-Ondeh, Kueh Dadar, Sago Gula Melaka, Kueh Bingka with Gula Melaka, Chendol, Pandan Kaya etc. etc. 

Have some over-ripe bananas and since I’ve not added palm sugar syrup in cake baking, tried out this recipe with lots of good review.  Thanks to Jeannie Tay for sharing this recipe. Indeed, the texture is fluffy soft, fragrance of banana and palm sugar aroma that I could not stop with just a few slices at one go.  Shared some with my colleagues and they too gave thumbs up !

Recipe adapted from : Jeannie Tay. Below my slight adjustment made on eggs and sugar.
Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake
150g cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
180g banana (mashed with fork)
70g Gula Melaka syrup – Roughly chopped the sugar
70g canola oil
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt

Meringue :
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
75g caster sugar

1) To make the Gula Melaka syrup, place chopped Gula Melaka with 50ml of water in a small saucepan, cook on medium heat for about 8 - 10 minutes till palm sugar dissolves. Stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes until the syrup is slightly thickened in texture. Obtain about 70g and set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 160°C and position the rack in the center of the oven.

3) Line bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease it as well as the sides of the pan with some butter.

4) Sieve together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

5) Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

6) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy using a handheld electric mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue.

7) In a big bowl, place the mashed banana, oil, egg yolks, salt, gula melaka syrup and whisk the ingredients until combined with hand whisk.  Pour the flour into the mixture and mix until well combined. Do not over mix.

8) Using a hand whisk, gently fold in the meringue to the yolk mixture in 3 additions until it looks evenly mixed. Pour into the prepared cake pan at a height. Gently tap the pan a few times on table top to get rid of big bubbles.

9) Make a water bath by pouring 3 - 4 cups of hot water into a tray/dish. Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 70 minutes at 160°C.  If the top of the cake becomes too brown, tent it with sheet of aluminium foil and continue baking.  
*Note : I tent it in the last 20 minutes of baking. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

10) Remove the cake pan from oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes or until cake has pulled away from the sides before inverting on to a smooth flat plate. Remove paper lining and re-invert on to a rack to cool.

Enjoy !

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Banana Walnuts Chocolate Chips Muffins

Of course muffins can be served as any time snacks.  But we love to have them for our brekkie. Quick and easy banana walnut muffins with some chocolate chips added.  Ain't get enough of these nutty aromatic sweet banana muffins to kick start the day.

Recipe adapted from : simply recipes
Below my slight modifications made.
Banana Walnuts Chocolate Chips Muffins
Ingredients yields 12 muffins
75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
200g, about 3 ripe bananas, thoroughly mashed
90g castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee (optional)

Dry ingredients A
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
168g self raising flour

Dry ingredients B
80g chopped walnuts (toasted or raw)
35g mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners or use individual muffin cups.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients A.

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the mashed bananas into the melted butter, followed by castor sugar, egg, coffee and vanilla extract and whisk to combine with a manual whisk,

With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet banana mixture into the dry ingredients A just until combined. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough muffins).  Quickly fold in the dry ingredients B.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 180°C  for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack or serve warm.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Madeira Cake (II)

What is Madeira Cake ?
According to wikipedia, extracted few paragraphs:
“Madeira cake is a sponge cake in traditional English cookery.
It is sometimes mistakenly thought to originate from the Madeira Islands; however, that is not the case as it was instead named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine from the islands, which was popular in England at the time and was often served with the cake.”

How does a Madeira cake taste like ?
 “A pound cake with tender crumbs, golden and comes with a crispy top which gives the cake a bit of 'character'.” Lena Frozen Wings

“The crumbs are soft and lemony with the light fragrance of the rum which I've added.” Joyce Kitchen Flavours

“My first bite is like yum... because of its sugary crusty topping. It follows by a robust buttery taste but with a hint of lightness from the lemon.” Zoe Bake for Happy Kids

Above were some comments by some blogger pals when we had a “Bake-Along #79” event about two years ago on theme Madeira Cake (Nigella Lawson). I too joined the fun “Bake-Along” and baked mini cakes here instead of a loaf or whole cake.  I missed those bake-along events ....
My big kids loved those crispy sugary crusty top mini butter cakes. 

A cake that's easy to bake with a unique crispy sugary crust.  Decided to bake one 6-inch size cake for the family. 

Recipe adapted from :
Below my slight adjustment made for a 6-inch pan size.

Madeira Cake
Ingredients :
120 grams unsalted butter (softened)
80 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 eggs (the size of my egg is 55 grams each with shell)
150 grams self-raising flour, sifted (I used all self-raising flour instead of a combination of plain and self-raising flour)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
2 teaspoons caster sugar for sprinkling the top

Method :
1) Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

2) Lightly grease the sides of the 6-inch pan with removable base with butter.  Line the base of the pan with lightly greased parchment paper. Set aside.

3) In a mixing bowl, cream butter, lemon zest and caster sugar with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrapping down the sides occasionally.

4) Add the eggs, one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each. Beat on low speed until incorporated.  Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice and Grand Marnier.  

5) The batter is very thick. Scoop batter into the prepared pan, spread and level the top with a spatula.  Sprinkle with the caster sugar and bake in preheated oven at 170ºC for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

ha ha ! I'm amazed ... even the crack seemed to have "character"!
6) Let cool on a wire rack completely before serving. 

a ray of sunlight reflected on the cake :)
Glad that this light butter cake turned out well ... browned crispy sugary crust, lemony taste with tender crumbs.  

Enjoy with a cuppa of tea ... Happy baking ! 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Mango Apple and Stem Ginger Crumble

Occasionally we love to have some piping hot fruity oatmeal crumble for our brekkie on some cold mornings.

Chanced upon a crumble recipe with added stem ginger.  “Stem ginger refers to chunks of ginger candied and stored in simple syrup.” If you are unable to find ready stem ginger in the supermarket, it is not difficult to make one.  I made a small jar of stem ginger in advance and keep it in the fridge. Glad that I could use the ginger or syrup for other bakes or desserts.

Recipe reference
Stem ginger
For the ginger - Peeled and cut into half inch cubes about 12 pieces
65g sugar (add more if you prefer sweeter)
120ml water

Method :
Boil a small pot of boiling water, blanch ginger for about 10 seconds.
Drain and repeat 2 more times.
In a small saucepan, add blanched ginger, water and sugar.  Bring to the boil then reduce the flame and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water and sugar forms a slightly thick syrup similar in texture.
Pour into a container, let cool and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Recipe source for the crumble :bbcgoodfood
Below my slight modifications made.

Mango Apple and Stem Ginger Crumble 
1 small red apple, peeled, cored and diced in cubes
1 teaspoon light Muscovado sugar or brown sugar
About 2 tablespoon of water

1 small mango, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped into small cubes
2 small pieces of stem ginger, chopped finely

Crumble topping:
40g plain flour
40g rolled oat
40g unsalted cold butter, diced
3 tablespoon light Muscovado sugar or brown sugar
40g walnuts very roughly chopped

Some soft butter to grease the ramekins

Position the rack in the center and preheat oven to 180°C.  (Note: The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly).
Lightly grease 3 ramekins with butter and set aside.

In a small saucepan combine all the Ingredients A and cook with low flame for about 5 mins. Stirring occasionally. Cook till apples are just tender.

Off the flame and stir in the mangoes and stem ginger.
Spoon the fruit mixture into ramekins.

Combine the flour, light muscovado sugar, rolled oats in a big bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the walnuts. Spoon the crumble mixture over the fruit mixture.

Bake at preheated oven 180°C for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Need to be careful while having this piping hot brekkie that's served straight out from the oven.  Very satisfying ... fruity, nutty warm crumble with a hint of woody spice flavour.  Enjoy !

My note: Will add more stem ginger for more gingerly taste in my next crumble bake.

Happy baking !

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Peanut Butter Cookie Bownies

My big kids love brownies. And for me, baking brownies ain't that cumbersome. It saves me the hassle to take out the electric mixer, all I need is a wire whisk and spatula (or wooden spoon) to mix the mixture in one or two bowls ... like here, here, here or here.

But I've not baked one with cookie dough ... I mean cookie dough and brownies together. Always think that it's a complicated recipe. Actually it's not that complicated afterall ... just 'assemble' the two types of mixtures in the pan.  And ... a few more utensils to wash!


Recipe adapted from : Lovely Little Kitchen
Below my slightly adjusted version as I've reduced the quantity of caster sugar.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bownies
8 inch square pan
Ingredients for the brownies
113g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g all purpose plain flour
35g cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for cookie dough
53g vegetable oil
70g caster sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
45g creamy peanut butter
126g all purpose plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Methods :
Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

Line an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease with some butter. Leave excess parchment paper hanging over the sides for easy removal from pan.

To make the brownie batter:
1) Combine the dry ingredients : the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a clean bowl. Set aside.

2) In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat with a whisk. Stir in the caster sugar till dissolved.

3) Off the heat and stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until just mixed and pour into the prepared pan. Level the top evenly with a spatula and set aside.

To make the peanut butter cookie dough:
1) Combine the dry ingredients : the flour, baking soda  and salt in a clean bowl. Set aside.

2) Whisk the oil and caster sugar in a jug. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and peanut butter and continue to whisk till combined.

3) Pour the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. With a big spoon, mix and stir the mixture to form a dough.

4) Drop cookie dough evenly by rounded tablespoons onto the brownie batter.

5) Bake about 22 - 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until just set in the middle. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, do not over bake.

6) Remove the brownie from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Looks like polkadots brownies 

Moist, fudgy, chewiness ...
That's the combination of cookie dough and brownies together. So yummy !

AND oh ! well ... they are so absolutely sinful too!
So enjoy whichever way you want ... top with some ice cream, drizzle some chocolate fudge ! 

Enjoy and happy baking! 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Lemon Almond Cake

I would crave for almond cake occasionally …  This lemon almond cake is light and fluffy with a hint of lemon tangy.  Simply love the sweet nutty aroma while the cake was baking in the oven.

I halved the recipe for a 6-inch size cake, just perfect for the 3 of us to enjoy our afternoon coffee/tea break.

Recipe adapted from :Simply Recipes Flourless Lemon Almond Cake
Below my slightly modified version

Lemon Almond Cake
6-inch springform pan or pan with removable base

For the yolk mixture:
2 eggs yolks
1 tablesppon lemon zest
35g caster sugar
80g ground almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For meringue:
2 cold egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
35g caster sugar

Icing sugar to dust (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

2) Grease the sides of the 6-inch springform pan with butter or spray.  Line the base of the pan with lightly greased parchment paper.

3) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric hand mixer. Add in the caster sugar in 3 additions.  Beat till soft peak.

4) In another large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, lemon zest, and caster sugar with electric hand mixer until smooth.

5) In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth (about 30 secs to 1 minute).

6) Using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue into the almond mixture in 3 additions.

7) Scoop batter into pan, level the top with spatula and bake in preheated oven 170ºC for 25 minutes.  If the top gets browned too quickly, tent with aluminium foil in the last 10 minutes of baking. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

8) Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, release the springform pan sides, and gently move the cake (on parchment) to a cake serving plate.

To serve, dust with some icing sugar & some fresh berries if you like.

From the look, thought it would be dense.  But the texture is light and soft. Enjoy !