Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mocha Chiffon Cake



Another mocha chiffon cake for last Wednesday for a couple.

Just like any other mocha chiffon cakes that I made, it is sprinkled with cocoa powder on top.
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Pandan Egg White Cake

As you can imagine, I have an abundance amount of egg whites after making the wedding cake last week. So, one way of using it is making an egg white cake. It is healthier than regular cake and it tastes good too for sure.



This is a pandan egg white cake. I still have some buttercream left and a chunk of cheese left from the wedding cake, so I just made what I usually make with these ingredients. I make this so often, but somehow I've never get bored of them.

Now, I still have about two liters of egg whites left. I have a feeling that there will be more variation of egg white cakes coming ;)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First Wedding Cake



My friend asked me last December if I would do her a favor and make her wedding cake. I couldn't believe it at first. I felt some mixed feelings between excited, scared, and confused. I've always wanted to challenge myself and what is a better way to do it than making a wedding cake!

So, ever since that day, I did a lot of research, and I meant A LOT!!! I read hundreds of discussion forums, asked some wedding cake makers, looking at thousands of wedding cake pictures, etc. After some ups and downs and after at least a hundred changed designs and cake flavors, we (the bride and I) settled on a design and flavor.

To make the very long story short, the wedding was on last Saturday, June 21 2008. The theme color is peach and pink. The cake itself is a four-tiered cake, with 5 layers of cakes and 4 layers of fillings inside each tier. The cakes were all sponge cakes, baked fresh from scratch. Each layer was baked in separate pan because the cake was so soft and fragile that it can't be baked in one high pan and cut it into different layers. So, if you do the math, you'll know how many times or how many cakes I had to make. Not to mention that I forgot to incorporate the flour in one batch of batter, causing the cakes and 15 egg yolks go to waste. There are still a lot of stories behind the making of this cake, but it's just too much details.


It wasn't perfect, of course. There are still a lot of room for improvement, but hey, this is my first one. There are some people who had second, even third :). The color of the roses is not actually what I wanted, but that's the best we can get at the store that day. Everybody said it was really nice and the taste is very good too (hopefully they weren't saying that just to be nice to me:( ).

Now, I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted up from my shoulder. Don't get me wrong though, I enjoyed every part of it. Although this cake caused me a lot of mental pain and stress :P, I just can't wait to make another one!


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fondant Birthday Cake

My friend called me on Saturday night if I could and would make a birthday cake for two friends in her bible study group for Monday. I just couldn't say no although I had the whole day planned already for Sunday. Since I need to bring the cake to work, and before work, I have a class, the cake needs to be something that doesn't need refrigeration. I will leave the cake in the car for 2 hrs. under the sun. It wouldn't be pretty if I make some mousse cake and it all melted.

So, since all her bible study group loves the Indonesian classic cheesecake that I make many times before, I decided to go with this one again, and of course she didn't mind.



Instead of the usual 3 layers of yellow vanilla sponge cake, I use one pandan sponge cake for the middle layer, so when cut, you can see the pretty green and yellow cake color.
But this time, I don't want to decorate it the same way as the other ones before. I decided using fondant to cover the whole cake. I didn't have much time to decorate this cake at all. I started decorating it on Monday morning before I went to school and work.


So here's what I came up with. I wanted to cover the bottom border with fondant pearls but I just didn't have time. I don't have a larger satin ribbon, so I had to go with the small one :(. The piping is not so nice either (it was piped in such a hurry). It's not smooth at all.

The end result looks more like a bridal shower cake rather than a birthday cake. I think it's because the ivory color and the flowers. I need to practice more with fondant to get a very smooth surface.


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Mocha Chiffon Cake with Cheese Topping



This is the other snack to accompany the pudding last time. I made this kind of chiffon once for church's snack, and this lady liked it a lot, so she asked me to make this. She couldn't decide which one she wants more at first, whether she wants this cake or pandan chiffon cake. This is the first time someone prefer something else rather than the pandan flavor.

I dusted the cake with a mixture of cocoa powder and powdered sugar for additional flavor.
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Strawberry Shortcake



I made this 6-in strawberry shortcake for my co-worker at work. He's often bringing me fruits and veggies, such as strawberries, cherries, peaches, corns, asparagus. He lives in Brentwood, where most of the farms are.

He told me once that he likes strawberry cream cake so much. Just a plain white cake, with lots of whipped cream and strawberries (he's very American). So, I decided to make him one to say thank you using the super sweet strawberries I bought at farmers' market.

This is the same as the strawberry shortcake I made, but I brushed the cake with Grand Marnier to moisten the cake a little although the cake itself is soft and moist already. I used Cointreau before, but this time, I'm using Grand Marnier to flavor the cream. Both are French orange liqueurs.

Again, I was in a rush when making this cake. I started decorating it I think about 45 mins before going to work. It seems like a long time for such a small cake, but combine with other things I did, it wasn't much time at all. You can see clearly that the whipped cream is not smooth, but he told me that he liked it so much. So, that's enough for me.
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Pudding with Creme Anglaise


This pudding is for one of the member of our church. She was going to go out of town for a weekend gathering and she wanted to bring something. So, she asked me if I could help her with it and she decided to bring a pudding a a chiffon cake.

It is a chocolate and vanilla pudding with fruits inside. I only had strawberries and cherries on hand at that time, so that's what I used for the middle part of the pudding. The chocolate layer was made using both bittersweet chocolate as well as cocoa powder, making it very chocolaty. Egg yolk was added to both layers of pudding for a smoother texture.

Accompanied the pudding is an espresso and rum creme anglaise. I said it so many times before that I love this combo so much. And I hope she will like it as much as I do.

As much as I wanted to decorate the pudding, making it look nice, I can't. She asked me if I could just leave the pudding in its mold because she will be driving for 1.5hrs, thus making it easier for her to transport.

These pictures are not the best one in the world. I was in a complete chaos trying to finish everything else, but it's better than nothing :).
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Taiwanese Bread

I haven't updated this blog for a while now. My life is still as busy as a horse (if not more). I hardly have time to just sit and relax. There are too many things to do. But during all my activities, I managed to bake some bread for my niece's and nephew's breakfast.



I have been wanting to try my hands at Taiwanese bread for a while now. It is made with different bread making process than usual bread. You have to make the pre-dough, the sponge, and the main dough. I started making the bread at 10 in the morning and finished at 4pm. It is very time consuming and very labor intensive. I expected this bread to be super soft, but the result is the same as the Soft Bread I made before even though this one is much harder to make. In fact, the soft bread has a slightly softer texture compared to this one. But, they're pretty much the same.

I filled them with Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread), bananas, choc. sprinkles/choc. rice, cheese, raisins, and almonds.


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Friday, June 6, 2008

Black Forest Cake with a Twist

It's been a while since the last time I updated this blog. I've been super busy being a full-time student, an employee, and a soccer mom for my niece and nephew. It's just way too long if I have to describe my responsibilities. Not to mention the preparation for the upcoming big event in a couple of weeks (more of this later) and other stuff. I feel dizzy just thinking about it.

I made some stuff during these past couple of weeks, but didn't bother taking a picture or blog about it. They're just regular stuff, such as chiffon cake, swiss roll, etc. But I made a birthday cake yesterday.

So, I just realized on Tue afternoon that my sister-in-law birthday is on Thursday the same week. I freaked out a little. Usually, it takes me a couple of days at least to think about what cake I want to make, size, decorations, timing, and everything. I always try not to make the same cake over and over again, so I can practice and experiment more, unless it is an order from someone else and they want the cake I've made before. So, not being able to decide quickly and doing tons of other stuff at the same time, I decided to make black forest cake. She likes chocolate, and besides, she's never tried my Black Forest cake before. But this time, I added a twist to it. I added a thin layer of blueberry preserves in between the layers. So, the components of the cake are chocolate sponge cake, rum simple syrup, blueberry preserves, rum whipped cream, black cherry, and chocolate cream. The whole thing is then covered with rum whipped cream and decorated with dark chocolate fence and red maraschino cherries.



I haven't tasted the cake though since I was so full last night and wasn't in the mood of eating chocolate stuff. But judging from my family's responses, my niece and my brother had second (and he's not a big fan of chocolate either), I think I did a pretty good job (self-appraisal :)) .



Oh and by the way, I experimented with different decoration for chocolate cake with the mini version. Hmm....I think I should let the chocolate sheet cover up the whole cake rather than leaving a space in the middle. I'll try that next time.
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