Archive | March, 2011

Basic Butter Cake

30 Mar

I’ve been trying to make an ideal “butter cake”.

Butter cake is simple yet is very difficult to make it very good as I mentioned in the earlier post. They tend to be a bit dried, and you feel like your mouth gets dried while eating them.


I made this butter cake by using different method from the regular one. Which is, to add in melted butter at the later stage instead of using softened butter in the initial stage.

This way is something similar to making genoise (sponge cake), so the texture becomes more moist, soft and fluffy. So if you don’t want to feel the heaviness or buttery cake, this might be a good way to make it more light. It seems to be good for cupcakes too.


As usual I applied rum on top of the cake right after I took it out from the oven. It gave the cake a very nice rum taste and also helped the cake become more moist…


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Milktea Butter Cake

26 Mar

It’s been more than 2 weeks since the earthquake happened… Although there are still many ongoing problems including radiation leak and lack of electricity, it seems like people’s life style is getting back to normal.

As you may know, during the chaotic period last week, people rushed to supermarkets to get food supply enough for their family members to last for many days, so that most of the stuffs went out of stock.

Lack of electricity refrained most of the bakers from baking and many baking classes decided to suspend the class for the time being. In such situation, some people continued to bake breads and give them away to neighbors to suppliment their meals. People tried their best to help others.

 

So as many of us went back to a normal life, I also started baking.

This is a milk tea butter cake I baked using earl grey tea leaves.

 

 

I like the moment of  the cake growing inside the oven, and also its smell.

 

I put some condensed milk so it tastes like milktea!

 

Maccha Rollcake

14 Mar

We’ve been hearing the news of earthquake that happened in Japan last week. It’s so bad that I don’t know what to say..

My family and friends that live in Tokyo were safe. I called them immediately after I heard the news but the phone lines, both land and cell phones, didnt reach and made me worry. After a couple of long hours, my mother finally smsed me saying that all my family members were ok.

My sister’s family lives in Ibaraki prefecture, which is quite affected by this earthquake, and my mother was visiting them on the day and seemed to have experienced an unusual shake at their 16F apartment. Gosh! They rushed down using the stairs and escaped to the elementary school yard in front of their house. We are trained to escape to the open area or hide under the table from avoiding things fall down on you when the big earthquake happened (although I myself never experienced such a huge earthquake that required us to escape outside)…

All the transportation stopped and the city became chaotic. My brother-in-law had to cycle back home taking 3hrs (which usually take him for about 1hr by train), and my younger sister had to walk back home taking 1 and a half hour. Some of my friends walked back taking 4hrs, but many of them stayed in the office that night. My father stayed in the hotel as well.

Many more earthquakes have been happening continuously and the situation is getting more and more severe. Nuclear radiation problem, lack of electricity… I just wish that it won’t get worse than it is and many people can be saved as much as possible…

By the way, I celebrated my 30th birthday in such situation. (My birthday is on Mar.14th) I was not so much in a celebration mode but made a maccha roll cake.

Standing in the kitchen and baking made me calm down and forget this tragedy for a while…

I put red bean and cream inside.

This is the good maccha color – vivid green

I like baking so much.

Cocoa Finanche

11 Mar

Finanche is one of the cakes I make whenever I have extra white egg in the fridge.

Because egg yolk is used more in baking, I always end up having stock of white egg in the freezer. When that happens I’d bake finanche or macaroon. (Btw, egg white lasts more than a month in the freezer so you can keep it that way. Egg yolk should be used within a day or two.)

Since chocolate and orange makes a good combination, I put sliced orange in this cocoa finanche.

It was delicious!

M** Caramel Pound Cake

9 Mar

What flavor do you think this pound cake is?

It’s a Mango Caramel Pound Cake!

I made a very unique and tropical looking pound cake using dried mango.

Dried mango is hard as it is so it’s soaked into cirup for a while and made soft beforehand. I put caramel on top thinking that it would sink while baking but it remained on top and gave cake actually a nice shiny look.

You can see the melted caramel from this photo. Right after taking out from the oven, I put cirup on the cake surface using brush. The cirup contains cognyac. This not only gives cake a nice flavor but also avoids cake from getting too dried.

The moment I cut a slice the scent of mango and cognac extended to my nose… hmm… I love the smell of the baked cake!

Rum Butter Cake

6 Mar

This is Rum Butter Cake I baked.

Butter cake is called “Quatre-Quarts” (4/4) in French since it is made from 4 ingredients – flour, butter, egg and sugar in equal portion (1 pound each). This is a rum version of quatre-quarts.

I love the flavor of rum so much that you’ll be seeing many of my cake containing rum. Just smelling the rum bottle makes me happy… haha…

The simpler the cake is, the more difficult it is to make the texture and taste nice. Cakes such as sponge cake (genoise), pound cake and roll cake are the ones.

Butter cake tastes better on the next day but I couldn’t wait to have a slice today. I had it together with iced mint tea. It was great!

Strawberry Tarte for Ohinamatsuri

3 Mar


March – My favorite month of the year! Because of my birthday, my younger sister’s birthday and some events waiting for this month like “ohinamatsuri” and “ohanami” (cherry blossom), I’ve always felt that this month was special for me. And now it’s also my nephew’s birth month who was born on Mar.1st 2010!

By the way, I made strawberry tarte for my daughter’s “Ohinamatsuri” celebration.

Ohinamatsuri dated on Mar.3rd is a japanese traditional celebration for girls to wish their health and prosperous future. What about boys? Boys’ celebration is “Childrens’ day” on May 5th which is an official national holiday.

About a month before Ohinamatsuri, families with daughters put out “Ohinasama” (japanese traditional dolls) in their living rooms. There are various kinds of ohinasama, but the most simple ones would be 2 dolls of prince and princess. Then there are ones with 3 servants (which makes it to 5 dolls in total), 10 dolls set, and the largest will be 15dolls – prince, princess with 13 servants.

I have 2 ohinasama in my house. One small one which I brought to Malaysia when I got married and the big one which my mother sent for my daughter all the way from Japan this year. I was not expecting to have ohinasama this year, so it was a great surprise!

Prince, Princess and 3 women servants

It is said that you have to put ohinasama dolls back in the box within a week after celebration (Mar.3rd); otherwise your daughters will miss their marriage chance! I don’t really believe in this kind of story but just in case I’ll put them back within a week. hehe… The dolls will be kept nicely in the box until the following year.

Back to strawberry tarte, I made them thinking that it would be suitable for the date.

I wanted to decorate it more nicely but with no time it became a simple strawberry tarte – tarte, creme d’amande (almond creme), creme diplomate (castard creme + whipped creme) and strawberries on top. It was Very good!

Besides I normally buy cameron highland strawberries but this time I bought slightly more expensive Korean strawberries… It was sweeter and bigger in size.

Even though my daughter wouldn’t remember this date, as a mother I was very happy that we could celebrtate her first ohinamatsuri!