Archives for posts with tag: baking

I love coconut milk, and I adore the aroma of coconuts. Even so, it is a rare occasion that I actually make something with it. 

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What’s even rarer is for me to bake a biggish, celebratory-like cake such as this one. It is because it is not essential to bake such cakes when it is not a special occasion. Then again people say everyday should be a celebration because we are alive and well! Hooray! (Erm, no..). Speaking of coconuts, I have big bags of shredded coconuts that needs to be used up. You see, I once had this business of selling baked coconut shortbread hearts, but then one day they turned out quite bad and as a result, my business ended there and then. What a shame. *tear*

 

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COCONUT CAKE

Cake Ingredients:
16 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
5 eggs

Frosting Ingredients:
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup fresh coconut water
3 cups freshly grated coconut

Directions:
Note: This frosting isn’t supposed to keep too well, so it’s best to frost the cake the day it’s being served. However, to spread out the work, you can make the layers in advance. Really, I should also admit that we ate this cake for days after I made it and it stayed delicious, so while I’m sure it’s best to eat it the day you frost it, I wouldn’t toss the leftovers (if there are any, that is.)

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9″ cake pans (I use Wilton’s Cake Release), line with parchment paper rounds, and grease the parchment paper as well. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl (or measuring cup), whisk together buttermilk, coconut milk, and vanilla. Finally, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale, light yellow, and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture with the mixer on low speed before increasing the speed to high and beating for a few seconds to smooth out the batter.

Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans, bang on the counter to remove air bubbles, and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 30-35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely. Wrap the cake layers and freeze until firm to make them easier to manage (at least 30 minutes). Once firm, use a large serrated knife to carefully cut each cake layer in half horizontally to create four layers. Rewrap and refreeze these layers until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. Let this sit while you boil the sugar, syrup, salt, and water together in a saucepan over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cook until a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees F, about 4-5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, drizzle in the hot syrup and add vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the frosting has stiff peaks and is only slightly warm, about 3 minutes.

Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer onto a platter or cake decorating turntable. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of coconut water over the cake layer and spread it around. Spoon about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting onto this layer and spread it thick, letting it spill a bit over the edges all around. Top with 1/2 cup of grated coconut. Continue layering cake layer, coconut water drizzle, frosting, and coconut. On top of the cake, drizzle the last 3 tablespoons of coconut water before covering the whole top and sides of cake with the remaining frosting. Spread it thick and billowy and use a cupped hand to lightly press grated coconut all over the surface of the cake — it’ll hide any frosting imperfections! Store cake in the fridge. Serve either chilled or after letting it sit out for about 20-30 minutes to take the chill off.

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Tempted by sin to indulge in a chocolate fix, I woke up at the dead of night and feeling somewhat restless, I grabbed a small jar of Hazelnut chocolate spread, some flour, a bit of sugar and vanilla, two cute eggs, and a bowl and whisk. There and then I decided to whip up a batch of super easy, no fuss, 3 ingredient brownies. 

Yes, I said it. 3 Ingredient brownies. 

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It makes me so happy making and nibbling these because they took so little effort and yet produced a whammy of a result. They were deeply fudgey, not overly chocolatey with a hazelnut twist, and so, so good. 

3 INGREDIENT BROWNIES

  • 1 1/2 cups of Nutella (or any other chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

1. Mix nutella, vanilla and eggs (one at a time) with electric beater or whisk vigorously by hand with a whisk.

2. Whisk in vanilla and sugar, then flour.

3. Pour into a lined baking pan and bake at 200 degrees c for 20 minutes, or longer if needed until the interior is cooked.

 

So, so divine. Underbaking it slightly makes it extra indulgent, with a more fudgey interior. 

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These are my mother’s favorite: Chocolate almond Friands.

My first ever baking attempt was baking a batch of friands for my mother’s birthday. I loved making them so much that I kept baking the same recipe again and again in hope to perfect it. Thankfully, progress was evident as the friands became better and better with every new attempt.

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I find that if you use really, really good quality chocolate, the flavour transforms incredibly. Also, by buttering the tins, you get a nice crunchy, buttery exterior that my mother loves.

1 cup almond meal
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
6 eggwhites
140g butter, melted
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped almonds

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Place the almond meal, icing sugar, flour, baking powder, eggwhites, butter and chocolate in a bowl and whisk until combined.

3. Spoon the mixture into 12 x 1/2-cup capacity lightly greased oval-shaped or muffin tins and sprinkle with the hazelnut.

4. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

5. Using a palette knife, loosen the edges and remove the friands from the tins immediately. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving

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I made this incredible ‘bread’ upon my brother’s request. You see, I made a deal with him. If he gave me money, I will bake him whatever you wanted.

“Hmmm…” He thought deeply, “Banana cake!”

Typical, I thought.

So I flicked through Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From my home to Yours” and came across this fantastic recipe. Well and truly, it is a killer! Moist, chocolatey, gorgeous, and delectable. Try it guys! (Also it does not require a mass amount of bananas like most banana bread recipes!)

COCOA-NANA BREAD
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1/2 cup store-bought chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan; place on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other. (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.)
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute, until softened.
  5. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition.
  6. At this point, the batter may look a little curdled — it’s okay. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas.
  7. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Still on low speed, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the bread loosely with a foil tent to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes (total baking time is between 70-75 minutes), or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (If you use mini-loaf pans, plan on four pans. The mini-loaves will bake faster than the larger loaf, so check them first at 25 minutes and expect them to bake for 40-45 minutes, depending on your oven.)
  9. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the bread and unmolding it. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

These shortbread cookies are AMAZING.

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I got it from the Pioneer Woman’s blog. They taste divinely sweet and buttery, with a traditional crumbly and sandy texture that dissolves on your tongue. So indulgent!

Because the dough was a tad tricky to handle, I mixed in a few tablespoons of water. Then I cut them out into star and heart shapes, baked them for a bit more than 20 minutes (because I suppose mine were thicker than the ones made in the recipe) and devoured them. Simple and budget-friendly cookies. YUM.

SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks Plus 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (Scant) Cornstarch

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together. Sift in flour and cornstarch and blend together using a pastry cutter until the ingredients all come together. (If mixture seems excessively dry, cut in 1 more tablespoon of butter—but only if you really need it.)

Form dough into a big ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Roll onto a lightly floured surface and cut into rounds. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes. Do not allow shortbread to brown; the edges should have the faintest golden tinge.
Check your oven sooner if it runs hot.

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