Sunday, April 20, 2008

Meringue Buttercream

This is quite good. Like the idea of have egg white in the buttercream. Recipe taken from Taste Goblet.

(this makes enough to cover and decorate a 8″ or 9″ cake, and about 15 reg cupcakes)

3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar (use white sugar for traditional buttercream, or brown for a caramel version)
150g butter, softened to room temperature (I used salted butter)
It is important that the butter be very soft but not melting.
1/2 tsp pure vanilla or any flavoring you want
food coloring, if desired

1. Whisk the egg whites over a double boiler. Ensure bowl is grease-free. Add the sugar and whisk lightly to combine. The idea here is to give the whites and sugar gentle heat from the steam of the simmering water, to dissolve the sugar.

2. Stir the contents of the bowl lightly with the whisk. Stir continously because you do NOT want the whites to get cooked.

3. Once the whites are ready, remove the bowl from the saucepan. While the whites are still warm, start whisking them, first at a low speed to allow them to froth up and then slowly moving up to high speed.

4. Whisk the whites until they have tripled in volume, are glossy and hold stiff peaks when you lift the beaters up.

5. Add the softened butter in tablespoonfuls. Beat until thoroughly combined before adding the next tablespoonful. The previously shiny and stiff meringue may now look disastrously soupy. This is normal.

6. Continue to beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it thickens. This can take anywhwere from 7 to 15 minutes, sometimes even longer. Ever so often, scrape down the bowl with your spatula.

7. After the buttercream thicken. Now, at this stage, you can add vanilla, flavoring and/or food coloring to the buttercream. Add in small amounts and blend in with the beaters on low speed. The frosting can be used immediately.

If the weather is very very hot and humid, bung the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to stiffen up the buttercream before using. It also can be refridgerated for 4-5 days in a clean, airtight container.

If storing in the fridge, let the buttercream soften at room temperature for about an hour, and then whisk or beat until it becomes fluffy again before using.

Chocolate Frosting

This is the frosting recipes that goes with the Old fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake from Cook's Illustrated.

454g semisweet chocolate
115g unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp table salt
1 ¼ cup whipping cream (cold)

I omit the corn syrup.

Melt semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, in a heat-proof bowl set over saucepan containing 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat unsalted butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Increase heat to medium; add sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and stir with heat-proof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate, butter mixture and heavy cream to clean bowl of standing mixer and stir to thoroughly combine.

Place mixer bowl over ice bath and stir mixture constantly with rubber spatula until frosting is thick and just beginning to harden against sides of bowl, 1 to 2 minutes. Place bowl on standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula until completely smooth.

Note: Do not substitute semisweet chocolate chips for the chopped semisweet chocolate in the frosting.

Chocolate chips contain less cocoa butter than bar chocolate and will not melt as readily. For best results, don't make the frosting until the layers are cooled, and use the frosting as soon as it is ready. If the frosting gets too cold and stiff to spread easily, wrap the mixer bowl with a towel soaked in hot water and mix on low speed until the frosting appears creamy and smooth. Refrigerated leftover cake should sit at room temperature before serving until the frosting softens.

Old fashioned Chocolate Cake

This recipe is taken from Cook's Illustrated. I quite like it and Shan love it too. She said this bears resemblance to Lana's cake. Hmm... =) Below is my version, I made it into cupcakes instead. Yup, again!

Makes 12 cupcakes

85g unsalted butter, very soft
7/8 cups AP flour
60g ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
15g Dutch-process cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 175 degree.

Combine chocolate, cocoa powder and hot water in medium heat-proof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add 2/8 cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.

Add remaining cups sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment.

Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg-sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.

Add softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition.

Add about 1/3 of flour mixture followed by 1/2 of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated).

Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, 45 to 60 minutes.

Frosting recipe found here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Southern Red Velvet Cake

This is also another one that I have been wanting to do. Recipe from Foodnetwork. I didn't manage to taste it. Red velvet cake usually should goes well with Cream Cheese frosting but I didn't have any in my fridge. Hence, I used chocolate frosting to sandwiched it and buttercream as the frosting. According to my cg, they loved the color and said it tasty too. I have made it into a cupcake instead of the whole cake.
I used my new tools, the silicon heart shaped cupcake from Wilton. It is about $19 for a set of 12, from Sun Lik. It is very easy to use and clean. A good investment here =)

Ingredient A
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Ingredient B
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Makes 16 cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius.

1. Sift all ingredient A together.
2. Mix all ingredient B together
3. Using a standing mixer, mix the A into the B until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
4, Divide the cake batter evenly. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Marshmallow Fondant

I have really been wanting to try out using fondant. I tried to do some search on it, and it seems just so complicated. After a long search, I settle on trying to make marshmallow fondant which I think it is the easiest. BUT I am still confused between a lot of variations like sugar paste, rolled fondant, uncooked fondant, poured fondant, etc. I don't really know what are the differences. (-.-''')

But at least, I manage to start some where. Below is the recipe from Sugar Inc. Thanks alot for the step by step instruction. =)

200 g white marshmallows
2 tbsp water
500 g icing sugar
2 tbsp Crisco white vegetable shortening (for greasing of the hands)

1. Melt Marshmallow with water in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 sec.
2. Stir marshmallow until fluffy.
3. Add in 1/2 of the icing sugar and mix well.
4. Ensure hands is greased with Criso. Add in the remaining icing sugar and knead the fondant.
(You may add more icing sugar if it is too sticky, add criso if it is too dry)
You may regrease your hand if it get sticky along the way.

You may add the color after step 4 if you are making different color. If you are doing just 1 color, you may add your desired coloring in step 2.

Recommendation: To keep overnight wrapped with cling wrap and put into airtight container before using. Else fondant may be kept in an air tight container wrapped in cling, refrigeration up to months.

Pralet from IK

This is also on my to-bake-list for a long long time. Finally, I did it. Eh, actually was unsuccessful the first time due to the mousse which was to watery. Was sort of successful on the 2nd try. But perhaps, I didn't really use good quality chocolate and I think I didn't do it with 100% heart. It didn't turn out that well.

However, this was highly recommended and rave in Imperial Kitchen. Below is the recipe from Jo.

PS: no pics, as it looks very ugly.

45g plain flour
10 g coco powder
2 eggs
70g sugar
26g corn oil

1. whisk egg with sugar till fluffy
2. add in flour n coco powder, and fold
3. add in melted butter and bake at 170 degree for 45 mins
(i use 7 inch pan)
4. when cooled, slice cake into 3 layer.

Praline crunch
90 g nutella
25 g bitter chocolate converture (mellted)
30 g feullteine
20 g melted butter

1. Mix nutella, melted chocolate n butter together.
2. add in feulletine and mix well

Chocolate mousse:
125 g whipped cream
125g bitter chocolate (melted)
1 eggs
28g sugar
10 g water
5tsp rum
5 tsp grand marnier

1. whisk egg till fluffy, at same time boil sugar n water together (be careful it will get burnt v easily)
2. when egg are fluffy, pour in syrup and whisk till cooled
3. melt chocolate and mix into the whipped cream, then add egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.
4. Add in the rum and grand marnier.

1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
170 g nestle cream
35 g Fine Sugar
60 g Unsalted Butter
1 Tabsp corn oil

melt everythg together and stir in corn oil.

1. put 1 layer of sponge in cake ring, put the pralien crunch on top and spread evenly.
2. put in 1 more layer of sponge then spread on half the chocolate mousse filling.
3. put in the last layer of sponge then the mousse again.
4. top with the frosting and let it set.