Thursday, November 26, 2009

My pandan chocolate cake...

I just had to try this Simple Buttercream Icing by The Culinary Institute of America and it is absolutely delicious!!! I've placed it in between a layer of chocolate cake (bottom) and pandan cake (top). I'd modified a Pandan cake recipe and overall, I thought it wasn't too bad but for people who loves dark chocolate like DH and friends, they loved it!! What I like about this recipe is how moist the chocolate layer is...

I'd used Green&Black's organic 70% dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder and next time I think I'll just make the chocolate layer and leave the pandan layer out as I thought the chocolate overpowered the pandan flavour and smell.

Here's the recipe for dark chocolate lovers out there:

150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 eggs
400 ml coconut milk
125g butter, softened
2 tbsn pandan juice
160g castor sugar
12 tsp pandan essence
1 tbsn caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
100g Green&Black organic black chocolate 70% cocoa - if you don't like your chocolate bitter, you may want to use milk chocolate instead of black chocolate.

1. Preheat oven to 160C/350 f (convection)
2. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add castor sugar (160g). Bring to a boil, stirring slowly to dissolve sugar. Set aside to cool.
3. Sieve the cake flour, baking powder and salt and pour half of the mixture into another bowl
4. Chop the block of chocolate and melt using a bain-marie.
5. In a bowl, combine egg yolks, coconut mixture then pour half of the mixture into another bowl
6. Place pandan juice and pandan essence into one coconut mixture and combine well. Add one bowl of flour mixture and stir well.
7. Place melted chocolate into the other coconut mixture and combine well. Add one bowl of flour mixture and stir well.
8. Whisk the egg whites lightly and add in the cream of tartar and castor sugar (1 tbsp). Continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff. Split half into another bowl.
9. Gently fold half the beaten egg whites of one bowl into the pandan mixture and blend well. Then fold in the remaining egg whites and work very lightly with a spatula.
10. Gently fold half the beaten egg whites of the other bowl into the chocolate mixture and blend well. Then fold in the remaining egg whites and work very lightly with a spatula.
11. Place the mixtures into two cake tins ( greased and floured for easy removal ) and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean
12. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on a rack.
13. When cake is cool, spread the Simple Buttercream Icing in between the chocolate layer and pandan layer. Decorate top of cake with more icing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


A CUPCAKE BOUQUET with the World's Premier Culinary College
Get the recipe: The Culinary Institute of America is the world's premier culinary college. Culinary school chef instructor Alison McLoughlin demonstrates how to create a floral bouqet out of cupcakes. ...

Orange Chiffon Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (divided use)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp grated orange zest
8 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place paper cupcake inserts inside cupcake pan.

Sift the flour, 1 1/4 cups of the granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, egg yolks and orange zest. Mixing by hand with a spoon or rubber spatula, blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Continue to mix until the batter is smooth and evenly blended, about 2 minutes.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they are foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the cream of tartar. Continue to whip until the whites from medium peaks when the beater is lifted about 4 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/2 of the whipped whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining 1/2 of the whites into the batter.

Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and bake until a skewer inserted near the center of on of the cakes comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, 15-20 minutes.

Allow the cakes to cool and remove from pan.

Lemon or Lime Chiffon Cup Cakes
Replace the orange juice with 10 Tbsp water and 6 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Replace orange zest with lemon or lime zest. Continue as directed.

Simple Buttercream Icing
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted, plus extra as needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk plus extra as needed
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until it is very light in texture, 2 minutes.

Add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on a low speed until the sugar and butter are blended, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Increase the speed to medium and, with the mixer running, add the cream in a thin stream.

Increase the speed to high and whip the buttercream until very smooth, light, and a good spreading consistency. Adjust the consistency if necessary by adding a bit more confectioners' sugar or cream.

Note: Once blended, buttercreams can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To use after refrigeration, let the buttercream soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until it is a smooth, light spreading consistency, 3-4 minutes.