Monday 13 November 2017

Sliced Pandan Cake with Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Nowadays, baking sliced cakes has become a trend. I had not done that before, but I thought it’s a great idea especially if we were serving the cake for a gathering. So I decided to experiment baking pandan sliced cake using the cupcake recipe I shared before.


I like the way it turns out... It makes a beautiful presentation. The size of each slice is small and the flavour is undeniably so awesome!

Below is the 10x10-inch cake which I made on Saturday. Each bite-slice is smaller than the one above, which I think is suitable when serving for gatherings.

Pandan Sliced Cake with Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream

200g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (double acting)
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla paste / essence
160g granulated / castor sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
*75g coconut milk (from a box) + 45g water
*2 tbsps pure pandan juice (Refer here on how to prepare the extract.)
*green colouring
* (combined & mixed)

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (I preheated mine to 200°C). Prepare a 10 x 10-inch swiss roll pan. Line the base and grease it with butter.
  2. Combine flour & baking power. Sift & set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, combine butter, vanilla & salt. Cream until smooth.
  4. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to over beat.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Place pan on the middle rack of the oven & bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cake is cooked.
  9. Cool cake completely on a wire rack before assembling.
Gula Melaka Syrup (for the buttercream, brushing and drizzling)
100g gula Melaka, crushed
2 pandan leaves, torn lengthwise & tied a knot
1/4 cup water

Combine water, gula Melaka & daun pandan in a heavy-based saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until all the sugar has melted. Then continue heating up the syrup & to thicken it slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, strain & leave aside to cool completely to room temperature. The caramel will thicken as it cools. 

Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream
2 large egg whites
70g granulated sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla paste
pinch of salt
2 tbsp gula Melaka syrup

  1. Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk continuously, keeping it over the heat, until the mixture reaches about 70°C and the sugar has dissolved (rub some between your fingers - if it feels grainy, it hasn't dissolved). 
  2. Transfer the bowl from the pan of simmering water to a pan of water at room temperature. Keep stirring the egg white mixture until it cools down. Then transfer the mixture to a mixer with a whisk attached and beat on medium-high for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks have formed.
  3. Turn down the speed to medium and start adding small chunks of butter, checking that it has incorporated before adding more. Keep beating until the mixture comes together, this will take about 5 minutes. (I removed the whisk and attached the paddle attachment just before adding the butter.)
  4. With the mixer running, add in 2 tbsp gula Melaka syrup, beating until well combined. Once ready, transfer the buttercream in a piping bag and place it in the fridge while preparing the cake for assembling.
  1. Cut the cake into 2, such that we have 2 pieces of 10 x 5-inch cakes.
  2. Place 1 piece of cake (top side down) on a cake board. Brush the cake lightly with some gula Melaka syrup. This step will help make the cake stay moist. (If the syrup is too thick, take some and dilute it with some hot water.)
  3. Using an offset spatula, carefully top with a layer of gula Melaka buttercream. Then place the second cake layer on top. For the crumb coat, spread the entire cake with a thin coat of buttercream using an offset spatula. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the cake from the chiller and spread the entire cake with more buttercream. The amount of buttercream used depends on your preference. I covered my cake with only a thin layer, looking half-naked! 
  5. Using a long knife, mark and slice the cake into squares. I sliced mine into 18 pieces (6x3). 
  6. Pipe buttercream onto each piece and drizzle the remaining gula Melaka syrup.
  1. Make sure the butter is softened at room temperature before beating it to produce a fluffy batter. 
  2. Ideally, the cake is left overnight before frosting. This way, the cake will be less crumbly.
  3. The above recipe yields a 10 x 5-inch layered cake. I cut it into 18 pieces. The buttercream recipe is just enough to layer the cakes, cover the entire cake with a thin layer and piping a rosette on each piece.
  4. I also made a 10 x 10-inch layered cake. For this, I used 2 recipes and baked each recipe in a 10 x 10-inch pan. After layering and frosting the cake, I sliced it into 49 pieces (7 x 7 slices).

Saturday 9 September 2017

Gula Melaka ( Palm Sugar) Chiffon Cake

I have a soft spot for gula Melaka, so I just love any cakes, kuih or even ice-cream that have this amazing ingredient in them. I've bookmarked this chiffon cake recipe for so long.... finally I managed to bake it a few weeks ago. Love it, love it, love it.

Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) Chiffon Cake

150g palm sugar or gula Melaka
100 ml coconut milk

6 egg yolks
4 tbsp vegetable cooking oil (corn oil/canola/sunflower)
¼ tsp salt
140g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder

6 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
40g caster sugar

1. In a small saucepan, melt the palm sugar together with coconut milk over low heat till the sugar dissolves. Remove and strain into a bowl.  Leave to cool.
2. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, then add in the vegetable cooking oil and salt and whisk until well combined. Add the palm sugar coconut milk mixture into the yolks/oil mixture. Mix till well blended.
4. With hand whisk, add in the flour and mix till well combined. Set aside.
5. Meanwhile, in another clean and dry bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed till frothy. Then add in cream of tartar and continue to beat until the bubbles become fine soft peak. Gradually add in caster sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak.
6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into egg yolk batter to lighten the latter. Then fold in the remainder in 2 portions, scooping from the bottom of the bowl and folding up until well blended. I find it easier to start with a hand whisk and then switch to a spatula to finish off the blending.
7. Pour into a chiffon cake pan and bake in pre-heated oven on the lowest rack, at 150 deg C for 45-50mins. Remove from oven and immediately invert the cake and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, use a metal spatula or knife and very carefully and gently remove the cake from the pan.
Recipe from Jeannie Tay.

Some notes:
1. This recipe is good for a 20-cm (8-inch) chiffon tube pan. But I used a 16-cm flower tube pan and another small pan to fill up all the batter. Do not grease the pan.
2. This cake is best eaten the next day when the flavour becomes more intense. If you want to consume on the same day, you may want to increase the gula Melaka a little.

Friday 8 September 2017

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Filling and Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

If you have been following this space, you would be aware that blogging here has slackened a lot.... that's ever since I agreed to take up more responsibilities at work. As a result, I've also seldom taken out my dslr for my photo shoots. But two weeks ago, I just had the urge to use the camera to capture some shots of my Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake which I shared on FB and IG. I just love the pictures.... No way would I be able to capture those beautiful shots with my iphone....

I realise that using the big equipment is not the difficult part. For me, it's styling the set-up for the shots that often takes up a big part of the whole process. Without fail, I would be perspiring at the end of the photo shoot. Come to think of it, if I just shoot close-up pictures, very minimal set-up is really needed for some nice shots. So, I should pick up my mojo and the  dslr camera and start taking nice food pictures, especially when taken at home...

The final week of term 3 was a short one because of Teacher's Day and Hari Raya holidays. Things in school were also slowing down after the term tests.. So I had the urge to bake something... and what better excuse to bake than to celebrate Teacher's Day!

I've been yearning to try some recipes by Lindsay of Life, Love and Sugar for some time..... Her cakes always look so moist and mouth watering. I decided to bake her very moist-looking chocolate cupcakes, fill them up with Nutella and frost them with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, my favourite kind of frosting. I totally love the cupcakes.... they are so moist, so chocolatey and so good!! If you are a fan of chocolate cakes, you must try baking these... they are totally worth the calories!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Filling and Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp espresso powder (I used 3 tbsp Nescafe instant coffee.)
1 cup boiling water

Nutella spread

1. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
2. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Add vanilla and espresso to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
4. Pour into cupcakes pans lined and bake at 300°F (150°C) for about 20-25 minutes.
5. When done, remove cupcakes from oven and cupcake tin and allow to cool.

Recipe by Life, Love and Sugar.


5 large (150 grams) egg whites
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar (I reduced this by 2 tbsp.)
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tbsp salted caramel sauce
more salted caramel sauce for the drizzle

1. Add egg whites and sugar to a clean and dry mixing bowl. Make a double boiler by placing the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk the egg white mixture constantly but gently until temperature reaches about 140°F (60°C) or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2. Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and attach it to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add the butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles, just keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add the vanilla, salt and salted caramel sauce and continue beating on low speed until well combined.
Recipe adapted from Handle the Heat.

1. Core the center of the cupcake.
2. Spoon a teaspoon or 2 of Nutella into the cavity.
3. Pipe the Swiss Meringue Buttercream onto the cake.
4. Drizzle salted caramel sauce.
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