Sunday, January 8, 2012

Old-fashioned Sponge Cake

During my childhood, we usually enjoy the simplest things to eat. A basic sponge cupcake was a no.1 tea time snack for everyone. It has a light spongy texture. So light and not too sweet to enjoy with our favorite teas or coffee.

And so to relive my childhood and also letting my baby enjoy it at the same time, I started seaching for these simplest recipe.

I found this recipe from Held by love, Baked from scratch which she called Paper-lined sponge cake. A "retro/oldies' kinda cake.

I'm amazed by the simple ingredients and so simple steps. And the texture of this cake is soooo good that its's even good to eat it on it's own.

To bake this, we either need a paper cup lined with parchment paper in each and every one of them to create a high cylindrical cupcake as this cake needs to rise. Me being lazy practical , I bought a high cup muffin tray from IKEA which look like this.

Old-fashioned Sponge Cake
( I seriously forget how much this batch made but if I'm not mistaken it was about 30 minis )

4 eggs

100g cake flour
100g castor sugar
12g spongecake stabliser
25g milk
90g melted butter

  • Put all the ingredients except the melted butter into a mixing bowl
  • Beat everything on high for at least 7 mins until ribbon stage. This means that if you use your whisk with batter to write an “8″ on the batter won’t sink in but will appear visible for a while. This will be the right constitency for your batter.
  • Add in melted butter at this stage and mix in thoroughly.
  • Line some papercups with into the muffin pan.
Pour batter into the lined cups abt 3/4 full and bake it in a preheated oven at 190C for about 20 mins. When done, remove the cake from the cup immediately and leave it on wire rack to cool.

Like mushrooms sprouting out from the oven.

 Nothing else beats this fluffy cake during our afternoon tea time.

2 thumbs up for me!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chocolates - Which one?

I always got confuse when a recipe called for bitter sweet chocolate, dark chocolate and so on. Some needs melting and some chocolates can't be melted.

And So I came across an article by Martha Stewart Everyday Food, Issue Jan 2011 - Thank god for IPad! which I thought was helpful.

Not very detailed but it was enough for a novice baker like me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Choux Pastry

I had a very good book on how to make a choux pastry. And I have been following this unfailing recipe.

I was actually learning her skills on cable tv when I decided to buy her book years ago. Bake by Rachel Allen. She has a ccoking school in Ireland and that is why her deliverance is always simple, precise and understandable.

What is choux pastry?

Choux pastry is a light pastry dough. It is either spooned or piped into shapes and then baked for custard puffs, chocolate profiteroles or eclairs. And it is deceptively easy to make.

I had decided to make some Custard puffs a few days ago for a friend who just love custard so much more compared to chocolate.

And here I am sharing the recipe here.

But first the techniques of making a choux pastry.

Choux Pastry
( Makes about 850 gm )
Quantity would depend on the size of you desired choux. I like mine bite size so I got around 25 spooned choux.

100 grams strong white or plain flour ( I used plain flour )
Pinch of salt
150 ml water
75 grams butter
3 eggs, beaten


Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Place the water and butter in a medium sized saucepan with high sides ( not a low saute pan ) set over medium-high heat, stirring, until the butter melts. [1] Allowthe mixture to come to a rolling boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Add the flour and salt. [2] Beat the mixture very well with a wooden spoon until the mixture come together.

Reduce the heat to medium and replace the saucepan, stirring fro 1 minute until the mixture starts to 'fur'. ( Slightly sticks to the base of the pan ) [3] Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1 minute.

Pour 1/4 of the beaten egg into the pan [4] Using the wooden spoon, beat very well. Add a little more egg and beat well again until the mixture come together. Continue to add the egg, beating vigourously all the time, until the mixture has softened, is nice and shiny and has a dropping consistency. [5] You may not need to add all the egg or you may need a little extra. If the mixture is too stiff ( not enough egg ) then the choux pastries will be too heavy, but if the mixture is too wet ( too much egg ) they will not hold their shape when spooned onto a greaseproof paper.

Place teaspoons of the mixture on the baking sheet, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) between them, then bake on a high shelf in a pre-heated oven – gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) – for 10 minutes. After that, increase the heat to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C), and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the buns are crisp, light and a rich golden colour

Although the pastry is best used right away, it can be placed in a bowl, covered and chilled for up to 12 hours until ready to use.

It is easier than I thought it was going to be. Try it!