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Who Want Some Cheesecake??

Cheesecake for teabreak

Cheesecake for teabreak

Lately, cheesecake recipes kept appearing in the blogs & FB groups that I’ve followed..seemed like everyone is making cheesecake…since I’ve all the ingredients: eggs, creamcheese, butter, whipping cream and sugar..why not?..Baking took about 1hr..when it’s time to remove from the oven, i was really scared coz one of the common failure sunken cake..fortunately for me, it didn’t!! so here we are, my first (baked) cheesecake..taste wise can’t comment now, waiting for it to be chilled in the fridge…will update again after tasting it…

 

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Daniel’s Birthday Cake

Ice cream cake for my dearest son on his 5th birthday..

Another out-dated post…A project I’ve done in March for my little boy’s 5th birthday 🙂

Ever since I’ve started baking, I will always look out for recipes that will appeal to the taste buds of my dearest Trios.  My hubby don’t have sweet tooth so he’s out.

I remember the first thing I’ve baked for my kids were chocolate muffins.  They love it and my daughter told me “It was yummy Mummy, do it again”.   This was what kept me going.  Their positive reactions motivated me to keep on trying new recipes; hopefully they will love what I’ve made for them.  Of course, this means sacrificing sleep at times since I can only find some ME-time to relieve my baking itch while they are asleep.  But it is sure worth the effort to bake for your love ones.

So, I really wanted to do something for my dearest son on his 5th birthday.  In the past (when I’m still working full time), we always find the easiest way out, i.e. to order cake from bakeries like Prima Deli, Bengawan Solo, Swenson, etc.  It’s not cheap, many a times; we will spend at least over $150 for a 2kg cake.  Knowing that my son love ice cream, I was determined to make one for him.

I started to Google on how to make ice cream cake.  To my greatest surprise, it was really EASY to make one.  At the same time, I felt that we’ve been foolish to pay for such an exorbitant price for an ice cream cake that could cost easily below $50 if home-made!!!  Check out these videos on how to make ice cream cake:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inCz0ek4mOA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS33ib-3uls&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvQ0J9XZUtw&feature=related

As you can see from the above videos, one of the most important tool needed for the making of ice cream cake is a spring form tin.  A springform pan is a type of bakeware that features sides that can be removed from the base.  And all the above videos use Oreo biscuits which I personally don’t like it.  So in the end, I refer to this ice cream cake recipe and video from Quick and Healthy Meals.  Despite the bad quality video, I’ve watched it right till the end.  I like her style, she was really easy going when preparing the cakes (you watch it and you’ll understand what I mean).

Ice Cream Cake (adopted from Quick and Healthy Meals)

•1 spring form pan (a must) 8 or 9″

•1 box favorite cake mix

•1.5- 2 quarts favorite ice cream

frosting:

•8-12 oz cool whip

•4 oz instant pudding package

•1 c. milk

•1/4 c. powdered sugar

•optional stir in’s to put on top of (or in the middle of) the ice cream before the cake layer goes on top:

•brownies, (goey undercooked works best) broken in dime size pieces, crushed candy canes, candy bars, chocolate/carmel sauce, cookie pieces, pie filling etc, etc, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

1.mix cake batter as directed on box. (you may use one egg)

2.Pour about 1/2 cake mix into prepared (spray with PAM) spring form pan and bake as directed on package about 20-25 minutes. If you have 2 pans bake both at the same time.

3.remove cake from pan by running a knife around edge to loosen, taking off side and flip onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or aluminum foil. Don’t worry if it is lopsided, falls apart or whatever. It will be covered by “forgiving” icing. set aside. This will be your cake top.

4.Bake the other half of cake mix in the same spring form pan if you haven’t before. If you have two spring form pans the same size or 1″ difference, you can cook both at the same time. Do not remove second cake from pan. This is your cake bottom Let cool by setting in the freezer or on counter.

5.When cake and pan are cool, remove ice cream from freezer to soften. Start scooping ice cream onto the cake in the spring form pan. Smooth the ice cream as you go and fill in all holes or gaps. Don’t be afraid of really pushing the ice cream on the cake to get rid of air holes. If you want to use optional stir in’s, this is the place, on top of the ice cream, or in the ice cream. Put the reserved cooked cake on top and gently push down to not have any gaps, this will fill in the sides. Place in freezer until frozen. This depends on your freezer temp, overnight is best. Make the frosting.

FROSTING:

6. mix 1 c. milk with the

7.4 oz instant pudding and whip. This will be a thick pudding. Add the 1/4 c. powdered sugar and stir in 8-12 oz. of cool whip.

8.When mixed, remove cake from spring form pan by sliding a knife around the edge. You may need to put your knife in water. Unclamp the pan and gently take off. You will serve the cake on the bottom of the spring form pan.

9.Frost the top and sides making sure not to miss any areas. You may need to get the counter messy or put the cake on another pan to get if off the counter. Quickly put into freezer for at least 3 hours. I don’t cover it. Will keep uncovered 5+ days.

10.To serve: let sit on counter 10 minutes or we just saw through frozen cake.

11.2:1 favorite is chocolate cake, mint chocolate ice cream and chocolate instant pudding.

My Experience / Outcome:

I use Betty Crocker’s yellow cake mix to do the above and I did not follow her frosting recipe as I did not have the ingredients on hand.  In the end, I just spread Nutella over the cake top and did not even bother to frost the sides.  It was kind of a time consuming process as you need time to soften the ice cream and then chill the cake after assembly.  But this cake was sure a hit for the family, especially the birthday boy!  What else can be wrong with cake and ice cream?  Oh yah, just a gentle reminder before you make this cake, please make sure that there is ample space in your freezer J Good luck!

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Pandan Kaya Chiffon Cake

A cake to celebrate Mother’s Day..母亲节快乐!

I’ve been real busy recently and hence was MIA (missing in action) from my blog for quite a while…despite so, I’ve continued to cook and bake as and when just that I was too busy to upload into my blog.  Here’s one “big project” that I’ve tried in May 2012: Pandan Kaya CakeJ.

It was Mother’s Day and I’ve decided to make a cake for my mother-in-law and myself (mother of three) to reward ourselves for the hard work we’ve put in. I’ve been holding back the making of this cake for the longest time. When I saw this Pandan Kaya Chiffon Cake recipe from Blessed Homemaker’s blog, I very much wanted to try it. The cake looks nice and elegant.  This cake comprise of layers of chiffon cake and kaya layers.  I ever tried this type of cake from Bengawan Solo and it was awfully yummy!  However, the steps were tedious, besides making the cake and slicing it into layers; you have to prepare kaya agar agar layers that “sits” between the cake layers.  I guess the most challenging part is to assemble the cake, meaning to put layers of cake, kaya, cake then kaya. In addition, the making of this cake is extremely time consuming since there is a waiting time for the kaya agar agar to set and chilling of the cake before serving.

Pandan Kaya Cake recipe (adopted from Blessed Homemaker)

Ingredients

(A)

4 Large Egg Yolks

40g Castor Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

(B)

60ml Corn/Sunflower Oil

130 ml Pandan Juice ** blend 8 pandan leaves with 140ml water

(C)

150g Cake Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

*sifted together

(D)

4 Large Egg Whites

40g Castor Sugar

1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar

Method

  1. In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks and sugar till sugar dissolves.
  2. Add oil and salt, whisk and add pandan juice. Stir well.
  3. Fold in sifted flour and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in Cream of Tartar and beat till soft peaks.
  5. Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  7. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into a 8″ round pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
  9. Bake at pre-heated oven of 170 deg.C for 15mins.

10. Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for another 30 mins.

11. Reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for a further 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.

12. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it’s completely cooled.

13. Layer into 4 layers and set aside for further use.

Kaya Layer
Ingredients
(A)
1000g water
280g
sugar
80g butter

(B)
400g pandan juice
400g coconut milk
120g
corn flour
1 packet/13g agar agar powder (plain)

Method

  1. Stir (A) together in a pot and boil over low flame.
  2. Mix (B) together and add into (1). Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and boils.
  3. Let the kaya cool slightly before icing the cake.

To assemble the cake upside down

  1. Pour 1/2 portion of kaya in first, then layer with cake.
  2. Pour in balance kaya and layer with cake.
  3. Using a small plastic bag, pipe in the kaya at the edge.
  4. Chill cake in fridge before serving.

To assemble the cake upright

  1. Place a layer of cake at base of cake pan (I use one with removable base).
  2. Pour in 1/2 portion of kaya and layer with 2nd layer of cake.
  3. Pour in balance kaya and leave to set.
  4. Chill cake in fridge before serving.

My Experience / Outcome:

True enough, it was a big mess when I did the cake hands-on! Here’s all the challenges, I’ve encountered during “production”.

Making of chiffon cake: This was relatively easy, I’ve got the cake done up nicely. BUT slicing the entire cake into equal layers was a challenge! As my cake was relatively “short”, I decided to slice it into two (instead of three) layers. To do so, I’ve adopted Blessedhomaker’s “toothpick” method .  It was really time consuming to put the tooth picks all around the cake. With the toothpicks as guide, I still find it difficult to bring the knife evenly across the cake at the middle!

Of course, if you have another baking tin of the same size (which unfortunately I don’t have), you can just pour the cake batter into two separate tins for baking and save the hassle of slicing the cake into layers after that.  Later on, I discovered that there is a clever invention and aid to poor “slicer” like me!  Cake Leveler (wow! new vocab) to the rescue!

Making of kaya layer: I’ve blended the pandan leaves with water as instructed in the recipe. The pandan juice turned out bitter and the colour was distastefully ugly, very dirty green. As this was the first time I’m extracting juice from pandan leave, I just followed the instruction on the recipe, without even the slightest idea how concentrated should the pandan juice be. Now that I think back, I think my pandan juice was a bit too concentrated as the kaya agar agar layer tasted bitter.  To prevent this from happening, I’ve done some research about extraction of pandan juice and found quite a lot of information on how to extract pandan juice from Wendy’s blog. With this information on hand, I hope I’ll get a better tasting kaya agar agar layer next round.

Assembling the cake (upright method):  You may think that this is a relatively easy step.  How not true! In fact, this step was the most demoralizing and messy step of the entire process!

Being a novice in making agar agar, I was not sure how should the consistency of the kaya agar agar mixture be before pouring it on top of the cake layer.  When I’ve completed the steps to make kaya agar agar layer, the mixture was very watery (not sure is it too much water or too little agar agar powder).

The minute I poured the kaya agar agar mixture onto the cake base layer, I was going like “Oh my gosh!!”  The mixture just dripped down the cake without the “hardening-of-agar-agar” effect (kaya layer should be like agar agar on top of the cake)! What the hell?!! The more I poured the more it flowed down, and I was really worried that the cake would become soggy after soaking with so much mixture that I’ve poured onto it!! Trust me, at this stage, I was totally frustrated and about to give up already!  It was in a freaking mess, coz the mixture was really sticky and it kept on dripping and flowing downwards (I’ve to place a cookie sheet below to collect the “leakage”).

In the end, I managed to find a round shape spring form pan that could fit exactly the circumference of my cake. I quickly transferred the cake layer over and continue pouring the mixture. With little gaps at the sides, the kaya agar agar mixture sort of being “contained” and can see a thin layer formed (finally!). Now that I think back, I realised my mistake. I should have waited for the kaya mixture to cool down a bit, let it “solidify” slightly before pouring onto the cake layer. At least, it is less “watery” and would yield better control.

After so many hiccups and the big mess, I sent the assembled cake into the fridge and let it chill until the next day without harbouring high hope on it. But to my greatest surprise, I was greeted by a not too bad looking cake!! Taste wise, cake was okay but the kaya agar agar layer was bitter and the grated coconut was not well-received by the kids.  After so much hassle and not-so-pleasant review by my tasters, I’m not sure when I will pluck out the courage to try it again.