Saturday 30 May 2015

Nigella's Mother-in-law's Madeira Cake

I was super busy the past two weeks as the school term was ending but I managed to bake this madeira cake last weekend. I had not baked or eaten madeira cake before but I was really curious after reading the posts linked to the Bake Along event. Great cake indeed.... rich with very lemony flavour and a moderately soft texture, not as dense as a pound cake and not as soft as a sponge cake. Good to eat just on its own or use it to make layered frosted cake as I've seen some bakers do.

Nigella's Mother-in-law's Madeira Cake

240 grams unsalted butter, softened (I added 1/2 tsp salt.)
200 grams caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
3 large eggs
210 grams self-raising flour
90 grams plain flour

  1. You will need a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches), buttered and lined.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.
  5. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice.
  6. Sprinkle with caster sugar (about 2 tablespoons should do it) as it goes into the oven, and bake for 1 hour or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
  7. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out.
Recipe by Nigella Lawson.

I'm linking this post to the Bake Along event hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from
Kitchen flavours and Lena from Her Frozen Wings.

Saturday 16 May 2015

Caramelised Cookie Cheesecake

This is the cheesecake that I made last Saturday. I used the same recipe as the Oreo Cheesecake I made before but this time I replaced the oreo cookies with caramelised cookies. This recipe is really a keeper, that’s not a surprise since it's created by a cheesecake teacher.  The cake is creamy, smooth & just slightly tangy. But the cookie crumb base was quite wet, not sure if it's caused by water sipping into the pan, which I doubt since I wrapped the base of pan with aluminium foil. So next time, I would bake the crust first before pouring the cake batter.

Update (30 May 2015):
Below is the caramelised cookies I bought, the Lotus Biscoff Biscuit & Caramelito. In Singapore, you can purchase them from Mustaffa, Candy Empire & Choco Express. I've also seen the Lotus brand at Fairprice Tampines Mall. 

Caramelised Cookie Cheesecake

20 caramelised cookies (I used Lotus Biscoff brand.)
70g butter, melted
Blend the cookies into crumbs. Pour in melted butter & mix well. Press into cheesecake pan - 9-inch (23cm) round or square cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5cm) sides, greased. Set aside in the freezer to firm.

3 packages (each 8oz/250g) cream cheese, softened
280g yogurt. (I used 2 small tubs of Marigold low-fat yogurt.)
150g granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 caramelised cookies (broken into quarters)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C). Wrap the base of the pan with aluminium foil if you are using the water-bath method.
  2. In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, yogurt & sugar on medium high speed for 3 minutes. (I beat until the cream cheese is smooth.)
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Fold in quartered cookies.
  6. Pour batter over frozen crust. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until the top is light brown & the center has a slight jiggle to it. (I baked using water-bath method.)
  7. Cool on a rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.
Recipe adapted from 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes by George Geary.

I am submitting this post to:
  1. Bake Along, an event organised by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours, Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids & 
  2. Little Thumbs Up (May 2015: YOGURT) organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY & hosted by Cheryl of Baking Taitai.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Lavender Earl Grey Cupcakes

My second daughter is a picky eater. She can eat a lot if she likes what she's eating. Otherwise, she can stay hungry for many hours. Cakes happen to be her favourite &, ironically, she is more adventurous  to try new cake flavours. She once tried a lavender earl grey cake from a cafe she used to work at & fell in love with it. And recently, she persuaded me to bake one & assured me that it would be worth it. Well...... I was quite hesitant at first because, unlike her, I'm more old fashioned. I like to stick to the traditional..... vanilla, chocolate or pandan. But I gave in as I was convinced that she'd like it & besides,  I got to blog about a new recipe! It's a win-win situation! 

If you are a milk tea drinker, it's easy for you to imagine the taste of these cuppies. But with the addition of dried lavender flowers, the soft & moist cakes also have a light & sweet floral smell. Pairing the cakes with cream cheese frosting was a good choice as the tangy frosting gives a good balance to the sweet cakes. The sprinkled lavender on the frosting not only makes the cupcakes pretty, but it gives off a stronger floral smells, but I wouldn't overdo it as it can be quite overwhelming...

Lavender Earl Grey Cupcakes.
80 ml (1/3 cup) milk
2 Earl Grey tea bags
100g cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried lavender
1/4 tsp salt
65g butter
90g sugar
30g honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
Frosting (I used cream cheese frosting, recipe follows.)
dried lavender for sprinkling on top of cakes

  1. Heat the  milk until very hot but not boiling. Place the tea bags in the milk and steep until very strong. You’ll know the milk is ready to be used when it turns a deep caramel color (about 10-12 minutes). You can even choose to do this step the day before you plan to make the cupcakes. Steeping the tea overnight will create a pronounced tea flavour in the baked cupcakes.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line muffin cups with paper bake cups. (I used 10 medium paper scouffle  cups.)
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, dried lavender & salt. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, honey & vanilla & beat until combined. Add egg & beat well.  Alternately add flour mixture & milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed  after each addition just until mixture is combined.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove cakes from pan & cool completely on wire rack.
  6. Pipe or spread frosting on the cuppies & sprinkle with dried lavender.
Adapted from Heather Baird @ BHG

Cream Cheese Frosting
130g cream cheese
30g butter
75g sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl & beat until creamy.

Saturday 2 May 2015

Marble Cake

I've been craving for marble cake these past weeks.... Since I had not tried any new marble cake recipe for some time, this would be a good time to try one. So on Thursday night, I quickly whipped up the mixture & managed to finish baking this classic cake before midnight.

I'm really happy how the cake turned out. My experience with baking marble cakes has not always had a happy ending, especially when it comes to the marble effect. I actually cut this cake just 10 minutes after it was out of the oven as I couldn't wait to see if I had succeeded this time. 

Besides the marble effect, I also like the texture and the flavour of this cake. It is moist, moderately dense with fine crumbs. It is not too sweet, so there's no need to reduce the sugar. The chocolate flavour is also quite intense even though it only makes up one third of the must be the Valrhona cocoa. So overall, this is a great recipe. You should try it and see if you like it.

Marble Cake

250g butter or margerin or a combination of both, at room temperature (I used unsalted butter only.)
200g caster sugar
4 whole medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour (I used cake flour.)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I used 3/4 tsp.)
50 ml fresh milk (room temperature)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.), mixed with about 2-3  tbsp boiling water to form a paste. Set aside to cool.
powder sugar for dusting on cake (optional)

  1. Preheat oven at 180 deg C. Line & grease a 22x10x10 cm loaf pan.
  2. Combine flour & baking powder, sift & set aside.
  3. Whip butter & sugar until pale & creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, & beat until just combined.
  5. Fold in flour in 3 parts, alternating each part with milk.
  6. Scoop out about 1/3 of batter into another bowl & add in cocoa paste. Mix well. Leave the remaining batter plain.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of plain batter into the pan. Then drop the chocolate batter on the plain batter. Continue doing this until finish. (I poured 2-3 parts plain & 1 part chocolate.) When all the mixture has been used up, tap the bottom on your work surface to ensure that there aren’t any air bubbles. Take a skewer or knife & swirl it around the mixture a few times to create a marbled effect. Bake at 180 deg C for the first 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160 deg C and continue baking for about 25 to 40 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan & leave to cool.
  8. Dust cake with powder sugar, if using, & slice to serve.
Source: rickeindriani_ordinarykitchen Instagram (with slight modifications to method)
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