Saturday, 26 April 2014

Orange Chiffon Cake

I made this Orange Chiffon Cake two weeks ago. I decided to bake it after I saw Sonia posted hers. Sonia's chiffon cake looks so beautiful.... the texture reminds me of the cotton cheesecake. Mind didn't turn out as cottony as hers, so it means I still need to practise my whipping skill for the meringue. But I'm still happy with my chiffon cake!

This recipe is definitely a keeper. However, if I were to use it again, I'll make some slight changes. Firstly, I would add more sugar to the egg yolks as the cake was not sweet enough for me, I think it's because of the orange juice. I would also use the rind of a whole orange & add a tsp of Sunquick orange concentrate for a more intense orange flavour. 

Orange Chiffon Cake

3 egg yolks (A size) - at room temperature
15g caster sugar (Next time, I would add more.)
45g orange juice (I used juice from 1 orange.)
40g corn oil (I used canola oil.)
1/2 tsp orange rind (I would use rind from the whole orange in future.)
70g cake flour (sifted)

3 egg whites (A size) - at room temperature
45g caster sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice (I didn't use.)

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolk & 15g of sugar & immediately whisk until light.
  2. Add in corn oil, mix well. Then add in orange juice & rind & stir well to combine. 
  3. Add in flour, stir to well combine. Set aside.
  4. In a clean & dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites and lemon juice till foamy. Gradually, add in the 45g of sugar in 3 batches and continue to beat until soft peak is formed. (It takes about 4-5 mins using speed 3 if using a hand mixer.)
  5. Take 1/3 of meringue & use a hand whisk to mix well & lighten the egg yolk batter. 
  6. Now change hand whisk to a silicone spatula, fold in another third of the meringue & gently mix till slightly combined. Fold in the rest of the  meringue and gently mix till well combined.
  7. Pour cake batter into a 7-inch tube chiffon pan. Fill batter only until about 80% full.  This allows the cake to rise while baking & avoid shrinkage. Tap pan on the counter top to remove air trapped inside the batter.
  8. Bake at pre-heated oven at 170 deg C on the middle rack for 35mins - 40mins  or until skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven & immediately invert (turn upside down) the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
  10. To remove the cake from the pan, run a plastic or metal thin spatula around the inside of the tube pan and center core. 
Recipe by Sonia @ Nasi Lemak Lover.
I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Ann of Anncoo Journal.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Dark Chocolate & Orange Cake

The baking competition, Great British Bake Off, has now become my family's favourite programme. Recently, the final episode of the 2012 series was aired & John Whaite, a law undergraduate, was crowned the winner. The judges were particularly impressed with his Heaven & Hell Cake, an impressive combination of dark chocolate and orange cake & lemon and coconut meringue cakelets which was elaborately & stunningly presented. You may take a look at his creation & read more about his winning entry here.

That John was able to complete the whole assembly within 2 hours & without a hitch was just amazing! Just imagine, the recipe runs for three A4 pages & involves 27 steps! It's not surprising that the judges were extremely impressed with his creation as they found it 'stunning, beautiful, absolutely lovely, rich, very professional' & has 'perfect texture'. And as for John, he was 'most proud of the Heaven and Hell cake' as it reflected his interest in the kind of baking - 'elaborate, glamorous, and (one that) brings together different technical skills.’ And that certainly doesn't sound like me! LOL!

So I decided to do a simple & less glamorous adaptation of half of his cake & chose to bake just the 'hell' cake. It's a dark chocolate chiffon cake with a tinge of orange flavour sandwiched with orange jam & chocolate ganache. It's absolutely delicious, rich & very chocolaty. The texture is just perfect, very moist & spongy. The smooth & silky ganache is an excellent addition to it, making it the kind of cake you won't mind paying at least $6 for a small slice.  Just be sure to use premium chocolate & cocoa powder if you plan to bake it as it makes a lot of difference & it's absolutely worth it!

Dark Chocolate & Orange Cake

30g cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
115ml hot water
5 egg yolks
225g golden caster sugar (or regular caster sugar)
80ml canola oil (or sunflower oil)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp Sunquick orange concentrate (optional)
1 orange, zest only
160g cake flour (combined with the bicarbonate of soda & sifted)
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 egg whites

  1. Preheat oven at 180 deg C. Grease & line two 20cm round pans.
  2. Combine cocoa powder & hot water. Stir until cocoa powder dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Combine egg yolks & caster sugar in a mixing bowl & whisk thoroughly  until light & pale. (I used a hand whisk.)
  4. Add in canola oil, salt, vanilla paste, Sunquick orange concentrate, orange zest & cocoa mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add in  sifted flour & mix till well combined. Set aside.
  6. In a clean & dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peak.
  7. Gently fold beaten egg whites into egg yolk batter in 3 batches until fully combined.
  8. Pour batter into the 2 pans & bake for about 20-25 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove cakes from the pans & place on wire racks. Leave to cool completely.
  10. Remove top skin of the cakes. Wrap in a cling wrap & place in a freezer for 10 minutes to further cool & firm up the cakes.
Chocolate ganache:
300g dark chocolate (I used Valrhona chocolate block.)
150g whipping cream
100g quality orange jam

Place the dark chocolate and cream into a bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate has melted. Mix the cream well into the chocolate. Set aside.

  1. Remove the cakes from the freezer and spread one with one-third of the ganache and another with the orange jam. Sandwich the cakes together. 
  2. Using a palette knife, cover the outside of the cake with another third of the ganache. Carefully place the coated cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
  3. Remove the cake from the freezer & add another coating of ganache (using it all up) to the cake.
Adapted from recipe by John Whaite, winner of  Great British Bake Off 2012

I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Ann of Anncoo Journal.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Magnolia Bakery's Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made these Red Velvet Cupcakes last weekend & only managed to post the pictures in my FB page when the cakes were just out of the oven. I wanted to share the pictures & recipe here soon after but it was just impossible. My father & both my parents-in-law are in the hospital. That & my regular daily activities  have kept me super busy & when I come home in the evening, I'm just too exhausted to do anything!

These cupcakes were made using the recipe by the renowned Magnolia Bakery. I've read good reviews about this recipe, just like its vanilla cake recipe which I used to make my pandan cupcakes. Once again, Magnolia Bakery's recipe gets my thumbs-up! The cake is very delicious & moderately sweet. It goes well with the not-so-sweet cream cheese frosting. Its light & moist texture makes it such a delightful dessert. No wonder many who have tried baking & tasted it are full of praise for the recipe. Besides, it's quite easy to make since the recipe uses the creaming method, so not much mess to clean up!

  1. I used only half the original recipe & it's good for 22 medium cupcakes. 
  2. I also converted the measurement into metric & made some changes to the  method. 
  3. The cream cheese frosting is the one I usually used for my cinnamon buns. I used less than 140g of sugar as I didn't want the frosting to be too sweet.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

165g cake flour (not self-rising)
12g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
100g unsalted butter, softened
180g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste.)
2 eggs, at room temperature
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk (I replaced buttermilk with a mixture of 1/2 cup milk & 1 tsp vinegar.)
1/2 tbsp red food colouring (I used Star brand artificial cochineal red colour.)
1/2 tsp vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour a cupcake pan (12 cupcakes). If using liners, no need to grease. I used 22 medium paper cups.
  2. In a small bowl, sift the cake flour, cocoa powder & baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, salt & vanilla until very light and fluffy, about 5 mins. 
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a measuring cup, stir the red food colouring & vinegar into the buttermilk. 
  6. Fold in the flour into the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated & the mixture is smooth but do not overmix. 
  7. Divide the batter among the prepared pans or paper cups (I filled mine 3/4 full.) Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 mins, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. 
Adapted from recipe by Magnolia Bakery.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
250g cream cheese
70g salted butter
140g powdered sugar (adjust according to your preference)
1 tsp vanilla paste

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth & creamy. To ice cupcakes, mound  frosting on top of each cupcake and use a spatula to make a swirl on top. 

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