Friday, 24 December 2010

Raspberry-Lychee Cheesecake, Merry Christmas!!

My two beautiful boys


Christmas is my most favourite time of the year...I love everything about Christmas, I love Christmas tree, Christmas lights, the holiday, the decorations, the food, the songs, the shopping, the gifts, all of the Christmasy stuffs... but most of all I love the gathering of families and friends.

One of my favourite dessert for Christmas is Raspberry and Lychee Cheesecake.
It's a very easy dessert to make and can be made in advance.
Christmas in New Zealand is summer, so for me this is a perfect chilled dessert that embodies the flavours of summer and Christmas :)



Raspberry and Lychee Cheesecake

To make this cake you need:

23cm sponge, recipe follows, or use bought sponge.

Basic sponge:
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1 Tbsp boiling water
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tsp vanilla essence

Filling:
1 1/2 Tbsp gelatin
1/4 cup water
500g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
500g fresh lychees or 550g can lychees, well drained
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g mascarpone
250g creme fraiche
1/2 cup cream, whipped
2-3 Tbsp Cointreau

Method:

Basic Sponge:
  • Whisk the egg and caster sugar together until thick and creamy.
  • Drizzle the hot water, melted butter and vanilla essence around the edge of the bowl and sift the flour on top.
  • Fold together gently.
  • Spoon mixture into 23cm greased and lined springform tin.
  • Cook at 180C for about 40 min or until risen and cooked through. The sponge will have shrunk from the sides and the centre will be firm to touch.
Filling:

  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to swell. Then dissolve by standing over hot water until melted. 
  • Sieve 3/4 of raspberries to make a smooth puree. Sweeten with 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Peel half lychees and remove the stones. Chop half the fruit finely and place in a bowl with any juice from the lychees along with the mascarpone, creme fraiche, whipped cream and remaining caster sugar and orange liqueur. Stir together well.
  • Gently stir in the dissolved gelatin and carefully fold through the raspberry puree.
  • Cut the sponge cake in half horizontally and place one half into the base of a baking paper-lined 23cm cake tin. Pour raspberries cheesecake mixture into the tin and level off. Sit the remaining sponge half on top and press down firmly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Remove the sides of the cake tin and peel away paper. Transfer to a serving plate and decorate with icing sugar, remaining raspberries, lychees and toffee shards.

Toffee shards:

Place 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with 2-3 Tbsp water and stir gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, stop stirring and boil rapidly until the sugar syrup begins to turn a golden colour. Pour out onto a baking paper-lined tray and leave to set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Happy baking and Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Apple and Walnut Cake


Few people have asked me the recipes for some of the cakes I baked and I'm happy to share the recipes here. I will be posting the recipes in the blog..so watch this space!

Here is one of my favourite recipe, my version of Apple and Walnut Cake.
The original recipe is from Woman's Day Kitchen, but I have altered it to my liking.

Recipe Ingredients
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar
  •  1 cup vegetable oil
  •  1⁄4 cup apple juice
  •  3 large eggs
  •  2 tsp vanilla extract
  •  1 tsp cinnamon 
  •  1 tsp nutmeg
  •  1 tsp baking soda
  •  1⁄2 tsp salt
  •  3 cups flour
  •  2 large Granny Smith (3 1⁄2 cups), peeled, cored and slice, I like to use Braeburn  or Pacific Rose.
  •  1 1⁄2 cups chopped walnuts

Method:

1. Heat oven to 180ºC. Coat a 10-in. tube pan with removable tube insert with nonstick spray.
2. Spread half of the apples and all the walnuts on the bottom of the pan.
3. Whisk sugar, oil, apple juice, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until blended.
4. Stir in flour until blended. Stir in the rest of apples.
5. Scrape mixture into prepared pan.
6. Bake 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes.
7. Let cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Remove sides of pan. Cool completely before lifting cake off bottom of pan.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Lighting McQueen 3D Cake and Cookies

 




So last week I was busy and this week it was super busy!
This week both my boys were sick. my youngest boy was sick first and on the day he got better was my oldest boy turned. So yes the birthday boy got sick on Friday and his birthday party was on Saturday. I thought of postponing the party few times, but I thought I would wait till Saturday morning and see how he was. Because the party was all planned out, I thought it would be a shame to cancel it..especially that the weather would be sunny and warm on Saturday. So Friday evening, I made the decision to keep going, make the cake, prep everything...I prayed and hope for miracle that he would feel better by the next day!

7am the next day, he still had a fever! and I thought..oh no I have to cancel everything..the birthday boy is sick. Amazingly, just when I was about to cancel the party..at 9am, he was all better! Yay..! the party is still on!

I managed to finish the cake at the last minute..I'm not too happy with the patchy stony desert. It was supposed to have some grass and cactus, but I only had 5 min to complete the base...oh well..at least it is finished right?

Thank God the party went well..the kids were happy...and it is always great to be surrounded with good food and great companies!

Finally here it is, my son's 4th birthday second cake. He loves cars and I thought a 3D Lighting McQueen cake would be perfect for him and it was! He loved the cake!
 .


These are the cookies I made for the guests to take home.
Cars were never my thing, but when you have 2 boys.. you gotta to learn about cars!
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Farm Animals Mini Cupcakes and Lighting McQueen Cake.



What a week! It was so busy that it went by so quick...Yesterday was my oldest son's birthday. He turned 4 yesterday...it is such a blessing to watch him grow and.. oh how fast time flies. We didn't plan to have a birthday party for him this year, I thought a small celebration in his pre-school would do. But being a 4 year old..he requested to have a party and he even had a guest list! Now I had to organise 2 parties and make 2 birthday cakes for him! One small celebration in pre-school and one on the weekend for our family and friends.
One down, and another one to go!

This was the cake for the pre-school party.

On the same day.. was also my friend's daughter birthday. She has the same birthday as my son. I was requested to make Farm animals theme mini cupcakes....and I was delighted!

Here is Farm Animals Chocolate Buttermilk Mini Cupcakes.




Monday, 29 November 2010

Vintage Inspired Mini Cakes




This week I was inspired by Vintage design. I love anything vintage, there is something about it that is so intriguing. The story started when i bought this lovely vintage cake stand last week...I wanted to do something special to put on my new cake stand....and I didn't want to wait till Christmas to use it! So I decided to make mini cakes and ..... here they are my inspired vintage design mini cakes! They are perfect on my new vintage cake stand..aaaw...

These are chocolate cakes with vanilla buttercream icing.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Very healthy blueberry smoothies!



Good morning! I love smoothies for breakfast in the morning. This is my version of  healthy smoothies and it will fill you up and give you energy to start a busy day.

Very Healthy Blueberry Smoothies

1 small tub/ 125g of low fat any flavoured yoghurt you like. (I use Yoplait Delite)
1 piece of weetbix
1 1/4 cup of soy milk or regular low fat milk
1 bobby banana
1/4 cup of frozen blueberry (if you use fresh blueberry, you need to add some ice to this recipe)
couple of strawberries (you can also use any berries you like)

Blend all ingredients in the blender and voila!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Cenil, Traditional Indonesian Sweet




Rolls Tapioca Dessert or Cenil is Indonesian traditional sweet/dessert. It is definitely one of popular dessert in Indonesia. It is sweet and slightly salty, seasoned with grated coconut...oh it's just beautiful!
I have been craving for this dessert for a while...so I braved myself to try making this beautiful dessert.
The recipe looks simple but it's actually not an easy one to do. The same also with many other Indonesian dessert recipes...they look simple but they are not! .... anyway I did it and it was not too bad! But it could be better. Will try again next time!


Ingredients :
  • 250 gram Tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Red and green food coloring
  • 200 gram grated coconut
  • 125 cc boiling hot water
  • 100 gram Sugar
  • Salt

Instructions :
  • Mix the tapioca flour with sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix well.
  • Add the boiling water, mix it until smooth.
  • Divide the mixture into 2 parts, add green and red colouring to each batter. Mix well.
  • Boil water in a pan. 
  • Take a pinch of dough, shape with your palms to form a long round shape.
  • Drop them into the boiling water.
  • When the rolls float on top of the surface, they are done. 
  • Remove and drain, rinse with cold water so they won’t get sticky.
  • Roll them in grated coconut that has been seasoned with salt and sugar.
  • Ready to serve



Tips :
You can use desiccated coconut from local supermarket, however these need to be steamed first. Steam desiccated coconut by adding some water and salt. Steam about ½ hour and you get moist grated coconut, ready to use.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Kaloo Bear Cupcakes for Baby Caitlin 1st Birthday

Time sure flies! I can't believe that baby Caitlin is now 1 year old...children sure are growing up so fast, makes me feel old  every time the kids have their birthday! For baby Caitlin's birthday, I had the privilege to make her Kaloo Bear Cupcake theme that Caitlin's Mum has requested.
These are mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry buttercream icing.



Friday, 19 November 2010

My first chocolate soufflé

I made my first chocolate soufflé last night and yes it was successful! I searched for few soufflé
recipes on the internet and found this one, Easy Chocolate Soufflé from www.realepicurean.com.
Since this was my first soufflé I decided to try this one...and the title says it all...it was easy and also delicious! Since I can't eat too much sweet..I shared this with hubby. I had few spoonful and he had the rest. You know what they say, everything in moderation!

Easy Chocolate Soufflé Recipe – Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 100g (3.5 oz) good quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt Excellence 50% Cocoa solids)
  • 50g (1.75 oz) Golden Caster Sugar
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Butter
  • Single Cream, optional

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees c (300 degrees f), and rub the inside of 4 ramekins with butter.  Set to one side.
  2. Place your chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of heating water.  This will allow your chocolate to melt without burning; stir it to help the process along.
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl.  If you’re using an electric whisk (as I did) then start off slowly, speeding up once the eggs start to thicken – at this stage you should also start to slowly pour in the sugar while whisking.  Stop once the eggs form a glossy, thick mix which forms fairly stiff peaks (they do not wilt when you stop whisking).
  4. By this time your chocolate should be melted; take it off the heat and mix in your egg yolks, then stir in one spoon of your egg white mix.
  5. Take your chocolate mix and add it to your egg whites.  Fold until combined but do not stir fast or over-stir – this will beat the air out of the mix.
  6. Spoon into your ramekins and smooth the edges with your thumb (this helps them rise evenly).
  7. Put the ramekins straight onto your shelf for 25 minutes.  Don’t open while they’re cooking or they’ll collapse.
Few extra tips I learned from watching Master Chef:
Grease soufflé moulds well with slightly softened butter. Butter base and sides with a pastry brush, then brush up the sides - you want an even coating of butter. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to set the butter, then repeat the process - for the second buttering, be a bit more generous with the butter. Sprinkle sugar into each mould and roll ramekin around so the sugar coats the butter, tipping out any excess. This forms a lubricated crust so the soufflé can rise easily. 



Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Cakes cakes cakes!

I made few birthday cakes in the past, thought I share them here in the blog.

I made this cake for my son's 3rd birthday...his 4th birthday is next month and he asked for Disney Lighting McQueen car birthday cake...that would be a challenging one, but I'm actually looking forward to it. I love a challenge!





This was a birthday cake for Tristan's 5th Birthday.


A jungle themed cake for my youngest son 1st birthday with rainbow layered cake. Sadly due to the bad weather...rain and windy day...I decided to run to the party room while carrying the cake on my hands...and yup the monkey and the palm tree collapsed! So from this experience I learned 2 things: Firstly, never run while carrying a cake no matter how bad the weather is. Secondly, always take photos of the cake right after it's finished! :)







 This was a cake for a good friend of mine for his special birthday.








Hello Marble Chiffon Cake


Here it is my first post..say hello to Marble Chiffon cake...
Chiffon cake is one of my favourite cake in the world.
Moist...light...and very delightful :)
So I found this old recipe in my Mom's old cook book (what i meant with old is 1978 cook book..this book is a little older than me!)..and really wanted to try it and so I did! The cake came out beautifully..and almost perfect.

For those who wants to try this, here is the recipe:

1 cup of egg whites, about 7-8 eggs (room temperature)
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup cooking / vegetable oil
3/4 water
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

mix together and set aside to cool:
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 sugar
1/4 boiling water

Sift together into a bowl:
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

  • Make a well in center of dry ingredients, add the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites until frothy. Beat in cream of tartar, add gradually, beating well after each addition 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat until round peaks are formed.
  • Slowly pour egg yolk mixture and gently fold together until just blended.
  • Pour half of batter into another bowl, pour cocoa mixture gently folding until blended.
  • Immediately pour alternate layers of dark and light batter into 10-in tubed pan, rotating pan as you pour. Cut through batter with knife or spatula to give a marble effect.
  • Bake at 325F / 170C for 55min, then at 350F / 180C for 15 min, or until the cake surface spring back when lightly touched.
  • Immediately invert pan on end of tube, wait until completely cool before removing cake from the pan.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

welcome

thank you for visiting my blog, i am new to this, so i will start posting my baking journeys here... watch this space! : )