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Friday 29 July 2011

Blueberries Buttermilk Cake

July is a month of birthdays celebration for few of my family members.  First, it was my sister Sandy's birthday, next, my brother-in-law Clifford and tomorrow would be my beloved Mom's birthday!

I baked this Blueberries Buttermilk Cake for my mom's birthday eventhough she is far away in Auckland now.  I know she will definitely love this birthday cake I baked for her eventhough she could not taste this cake.  I couldn't decide what cake should I bake and made a hasty decision for this Blueberries Buttermilk cake. I have made the Lemon Buttercream for the frosting but it didn't turn up well beating and made a flop in it.  I scrapped it off and I change it to whipped cream topping with blueberries sauce on top instead.  The frosting top was not done nicely, well I believe more practice would make perfect one day.

Here, I would like to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!  I wish you good health and be happy wherever you are.  I love you lots and lots Mom!

Blueberries Buttermilk Cake
Source from here Southernfood

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (1 add in 1 tbsp only)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)


Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. In mixing bowl, cream butter and shortening; add sugar gradually, creaming until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks; beat until very light. Add vanilla and lemon extract; blend well.
Combine buttermilk and vinegar. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture. Beat until batter is smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Add in the blueberries.
Pour buttermilk cake batter into greased & flour of two 8-inch layer cake pans.
Bake single at 350°. 35 to 45 minutes.

Blueberry Sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberry (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
 In a small saucepan, mix sugar, water and lemon juice and stir in cornstarch.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Add blueberries, cook until bubbly.  Chill.

Mom, I have cut the cake on your behalf........ to celebrate in advance!

Mom, here is your piece of cake....

Mom, take good care yourself and keep yourself warm...

Saturday 16 July 2011

Italian Cream Cake

It is my sister Sandy's birthday today!
I have been cracking my head for the past whole month what cake should I bake for her birthday.  Red Velvet Cake?  Hummingbird  Cake?  Cheesecake with blueberries topping?  Or Chocolate Cake?  And finally I made up my mind on this Italian Cream Cake.  I wanted to bake the Hummingbird cake for her but on the second thought, she is not a pineapple lover and so I have to skip that one.

Here you are my dear sister, I present you your birthday cake.... hope you like it and may you be in good health and happiness will come back to you all over again.

The original recipe call for whole cream cheese frosting topping but I adjusted it with some whipping cream mixed with the cream cheese in it.

And also I have used walnuts instead of pecans as pecans selling here is very costly.  I have to crush finely the walnuts so my dad can eat happily when chewing and biting the cake.  He has "teething" problem ....ha..ha...  I believe when the chef bakes or cook, have to consider the person who consume it have any difficulty or health problem on the food they eat, right?

 Sitting nicely on the side table of our dining table.  See the upper tier right hand side, that is a "towel cake".

Italian Cream Cake
For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (I used walnuts instead)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 450g cream cheese
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 160g icing sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cream, whipped till stiff
For the cake:
1.  Preheat oven to 170 Celcius. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
2.  Cream butter, shortening and sugar together in a large bowl. Add 5 egg yolks one at a time, until each is
     fully incorporated.
3.  Add dry ingredients, vanilla and buttermilk to butter and sugar mixture.  Stir in coconut and walnuts and
     set  aside.
4.  In another large bowl, beat 5 egg whites until stiffly beaten but not dry. Fold egg whites into cake batter by
     hand, being careful not to overmix.  Evenly divide batter between prepared pans.
5.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6.  Cool in pans on rack until cool to the touch.

To Make Frosting:
Beat cream cheese with butter till soft.  Turn mixer to low speed, add icing sugar a little at a time. Whisk till well blended.  Fold in the whipped cream.  Put in the refrigerator for an hour or two before spreading to the cake. 
    This is a three layers 8" cake.
    Will post how it look like after my sister cut it out... ok?  Oh, and one more thing, I would like to thank Sonia for sending me the Cake Leveler as a gift, if not my this cake wouldn't be that level cut out.  Thank you once again.

    Herewith, after the cake been sliced......

    Friday 15 July 2011

    Serradura Dessert (Sawdust Pudding)

    Serradura literally in Portuguese means "sawdust".  The sawdust meant in this dessert is all that from the crushed Marie biscuit and the condensed milk added in made this dessert more creamier in taste.  As this dessert is easy and simple to make; and since I have some left over whipping cream I better make use of it or else it will have to go down to the waste disposal.

    250ml Whipping cream
    100g Marie biscuits
    50g Condensed milk (or to your sweetness taste)
    1 tsp Vanilla essence

    1. Crush Marie biscuits finely either by using a food processor or put in a ziploc bag with rolling pin method.
    2. Whip whipping cream to soft peaks. Add vanilla essence and condensed milk (Suggests you add 2/3 
         first, taste, then add more if it needs sweetening). Continue whipping until stiff peaks.
    3. Transfer the cream into a piping bag. (fitted with a plain 1 or 2 cm nozzle)
    4. Place a layer of biscuit into individual moulds or cups and pipe a layer of cream on top. Repeat until filled. 
        (Suggests that don't put too much biscuit, or the cream will adhere to only the top bits and the 
         dessert will look messy)
    5. Chill in the freezer for two hours. When serving, leave it out for a bit (around 10 minutes) for it to soften.

    I love dessert with some fruits in it .... especially strawberries.

    Tuesday 12 July 2011

    Red Velvet Cake

    Red is all over and the red is so seductive...... yes Red Velvet Cake.  The look in it is so delicious and tempting.  I have bookmarked to bake a Red Velvet Cake for months ago and only until now.  Though some might not dare to go ahead to bake by the amount of red colouring in it, but once in a while I think it is alright.  Maybe, I should think to use Beetroot as an alternative to the red colour.  What do you think, bakers?

    Red Velvet Cake
    This delicious cake adapted from Bisousatoi

    1 ¼ cup sifted cake flour
    ½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp salt
    1 tbsp cocoa powder
    1 tbsp red colouring
    ¼ cup (abt 57g) soft unsalted butter
    ¾ cup sugar
    1 egg
    ½ tsp vanilla extract
    ½ cup buttermilk
    ½ tsp vinegar
    ½ tsp baking soda

    1.  Preheat oven to 175C.
    2.  In a bowl, sieve flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
    3.  In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and red colouring and stir well until
          form a paste.
    4.  Using a stand mixer, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg
          until blended.  Add the vanilla extract and cocoa powder mixture.  Beat until
          well blended.
    5. Add in sifted flour and buttermilk alternately.  Beginning and ending  with
         flour (F, M, F, M, F).
    6.  In a small bowl, combine vinegar and baking soda and add it to the batter.
          Stir well with a spatula.  Pour it into a 6” cake pan and bake it for 40-50 mins.
    7.  Once cool, slice cake into two and spread cream cheese frosting, spread all
          over the cake too.  Chill it for few hours.

    Cream Cheese Frosting
     125g cream cheese
    50g unsalted butter
    80g icing sugar
    1 cup fresh cream, whipped until stiff

    1.  Beat cream cheese with butter until soft.
    2.  Turn mixer to low speed, add icing sugar a little at a time, whisk until well
    3.  Add whipped cream, stir through with a spatula.

    Still need to master on the cream cheese frosting.  Quite watery even have chill it in the fridge for an hour! Anyway, this cake is very yummy.  I love cake using buttermilk in it.

    Monday 11 July 2011

    Profiteroles or Cream Puff

    I remember the first time I bake this Cream Puff was way back when I was studying in the Home Science class.  It was fun baking this mini cream puff.  I almost forgotten how to make this cream puff.   After I started working, I don't have time to bake, so mostly buy at shops or the frozen cream puff.  Believe me, those frozen cream puff do taste as good too. 

    Cream puff or profiteroles can be eaten with whipped cream filling or with vanilla ice cream.  Or you can cut strawberries pieces and mix into the whipped cream filling.  

    Profiteroles adapted from here
    Makes 20-24

    200g cold water
    ½ tsp sugar
    85g unsalted butter
    pinch salt
    113 plain flour
    4 medium eggs, beaten

    For the cream filling:
    2 1/2 cups double cream
    1 tbsp icing sugar

    1.  Preheat the oven to 200°C.
    2.  To make the pastry, place the butter, water and sugar into a large saucepan.
    3.  Place over a low heat to melt the butter. Increase the heat and add the flour and 

         salt. Remove from the heat and quickly beat the mixture until it forms a smooth paste, 
         stirring continuously. Once the paste curls away from the side of the pan, transfer the 
         mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.

    4.  Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, stirring vigorously until the paste is smooth and 

         glossy. Continue adding the egg until you have a soft dropping consistency. It may not be 
         necessary to add all the egg. The mixture will be shiny and smooth and will fall reluctantly 
         from a spoon if it is given a sharp jerk.

    5.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Dip a teaspoon into some warm water and 

         spoon out a teaspoon of the profiterole mixture. Rub the top of the mixture with a wet 
         finger and spoon on to the baking tray. This ensures a crisper topping.

    6.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown, if too pale they will become soggy when cool.

    7.  Remove from the oven and prick the base of each profiterole. Place onto the baking tray 

         with the hole facing upwards and return to the oven for 5 minutes. The warm air from the 
         oven helps to dry the middle of the profiteroles.

    Prepare the filling: 
    1.  Lightly whip the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip. When the 
         profiteroles are cold, cut them in half and using a piping bag with a plain nozzle, pipe the 
         cream into the middles. Alternatively, you may also enjoy filling them with small scoops of 
         vanilla ice cream.

    Puff awaiting to put whipping cream in.....

    Tuesday 5 July 2011

    Puff Pastry Egg Tarts

    When I saw this Puff Pastry Egg Tarts at NasiLemakLover , I told myself I must make this one day.  I loves Egg Tart very much, regardless whether it is the shortcrust pastry or the flaky type, as long as it is with the egg pudding in it.  Delicious!

    I was a little greedy and over pour the egg filling in it and lucky me it didn't spill out.  Using the ready made puff pastry made it easier.   Why not for a change instead of making that tedious type of flaky egg tart though it may be of different texture!

     Out from oven......

    Saturday 2 July 2011

    Claypot Pork Belly With Salted Fish

    I've bought the Claypot for quite sometime but didn't get the chance to use it to cook any dishes till yesterday when I suddenly browse through one of my cookbook on claypot dishes, and here, Claypot Pork Belly With Salted Fish.  Since I have all the ingredients with me, why not cook something different for dinner.

    Claypot is an ideal choice for braising and stewing food over low heat as it heats evenly and retains heat well.  Ingredients cooked over a long period of time in a claypot are soft and tender,packed full of their natural flavours and emit a unique aroma that can only be achieved by cooking in a claypot.

    Ingredients :
    300g pork belly, slice about 0.5cm)
    25g salted fish
    2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
    3 dried chillies, cut in 1/2" section (I use fresh chillies)
    5 slices ginger
    1 stalk spring onion, cut in 1/2" section or coriander
    6 cloves shallots, cut in thin slices
    1 onion, section in 4 pieces
    2/3 cup water

    1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
    1/2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 tbsp potato starch

    1 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 tbsp thick soy sauce
    1 tsp sugar
    1/2 tbsp shoaxing wine

    1.  Combine well pork belly slices with marinade and set aside for about 30 minutes.
         Scald in hot oil and drain well.
    2.  Pan-fry salted fish in oil until fragrant.  Set aside.
    3.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a claypot, add shallots, garlic, ginger slices and chillies to fry until fragrant.
         Stir in the pork belly slices and toss well.  Add in the soy sauce and thick soy sauce to combine
         well.  Add in water and sugar and bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer over low heat
         for about 3 minutes, add salted fish and continue to cook until the gravy is fairly dry.
    4.  Stir in spring onion/coriander and onion to toss well briskly, drizzle over shaoxing wine and serve.