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Friday, July 21, 2017

Castella cake

Here I am, chasing the long gone Castella bandwagon. But then, it is better late than never! This cake is very different from all I have ever baked. Got me rock and roll just licking the batter! 

Verdict : I prefer the unbaked batter because the honey is more pronounced. Cake is 'chewy' and even with the reduced sugar tastes rather sweet. But the wobbly-ness of the cake while cutting is a show by itself.

Here’s my recipe based on Rumbling Tummy’s, one of my most reliable and repeatable sources.

Credits Rumbling Tummy with adaptations

Ingredients :
5 new eggs
100g sugar, milled to powder

110g bread flour, sieved twice

Milk mix : 40g low fat milk, 40g honey, 10g canola oil


1.   Line a 6 inch square pan fully.

2.   Heat the milk mix for 20s to combine honey and milk mixture. Set aside.

3.   Beat eggs and sugar on high until pale and frothy ( ribbon stage ). Reduce whisking speed to rid air pockets.

4.   Preheat the oven to 170C at this point.

5.   In 3 additions, add flour and milk mixture. Fold in between additions. I whisked on lowest speed until mixture is just combined.

6.   Transfer batter to tray, drawing lines on batter with a skewer to rid pockets. Tap tray twice.

7.   Bake at 170C for 50 minutes or until cake surface is tan. Drop tray on the worktop once. It is said to prevent shrinking.

Most recipes requires an overnight cooling in the fridge. But the cake was needed to be shown off at my fortnightly small group meeting, so it was served about 6 hours later.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Coconut cheesecake, New York Style

I couldn’t shake off the good memories of coconut in a cheesecake eaten at a restaurant in Howth, Dublin and this cake is meant to dispel the notion that it cannot be had back home. Mine did not come with all the fancy chocolate and jam paintings on the canvas of a white china plate but trust me, it tastes just as good.

Base :
50g melted butter
3 pieces of digestive

Cheese filling :
250g cream cheese, 1 block
1 Tbsp soft brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn flour
1 egg
40ml whipping cream
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
juice of 1 kalamansi
2 Tbsp dessicated coconut

Procedure :
Prepare and line a small pie tray. Mine comes with removable base.

To make base, process biscuits with melted butter.
Transfer buttery crumbs to lined tray.
Pat to compress biscuit base.
Chill until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 200C.

For the filling,
Whisk cream cheese, sugar and corn flour on low-medium speed until well mixed.
Add egg, cream, vanilla, kalamansi, coconut. Do not overbeat or aerate the cheese mixture.
Pour onto biscuit base. Smoothen out.

Bake at 200C for 25 minutes or unless cheese filling is about to tan.

Chill for minimum 3 hours.



Friday, July 7, 2017

Pandan chiffon ( that pandan leaves down the road )

An enthusiastic friend gave me too much pandan leaves for re-potting and those that had its roots damaged went into making this. Getting pandan ‘juice’ from the leaves is tacky but I am proud to say, no artificial essence has gone into the making this cake.

Just the kind of thing to feed the bunch of friends whom I love tonight.

Ingredients :

A: 3 yolks, 25g castor sugar, 50ml pandan water,50ml melted coconut butter
B: 75g cake flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder
C: 3 whites, ¼ tsp cream of tartar, 50g castor sugar

To make pandan juice, harvest 1 big pandan plant, cut leaves to 1 inch segments.
Process leaves with 2 cups of water until pulpy.
Sieve. Let pandan water sit for 2 hours.
Drain off carefully and retain the bottom bit of  the dark green pandan juice.
Set aside 50ml of juice and 50 ml of melted coconut butter, combined.

Preheat oven to 170C.

Prepare pandan cake flute. Do not grease the tin.

To make egg batter, beat (A) ; 3 eggs yolks , 25g sugar, 50ml pandan juice+50ml melted coconut butter on high speed .
Sieve in (B) and mix well.
To make meringue, whisk (C ) ; 3 whites, cream of tartar and 50g castor sugar

Fold in meringue in 4 portions to egg batter.
Transfer to pandan cake flute. Tap to rid air pockets.
Bake at 170C for 30 minutes.

Cool cake. Invert cake and tin over a heavy can until tin is cool to the touch.
Use a thin, sharp knife and release the cake from the tin carefully.
Handle carefully and leave to cool completely before storing.
Good for 2 days.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rye biscotti ( low GI challenge )

I made this very dunkable biscotti with liberal adaptations from a biscotti recipe. As I combed through the fridge for ‘healthy, low carb’ materials for my biscotti, I went over the top and out came this unbreakable, superbly dunkable biscotti that can withstand a cup of very hot coffee.

Almost unbreakable and travels well. Not to be eaten as it is by those with weak teeth.

Makes about 25 thin pieces.

Dry :
100g wholemeal wheat flour
100g Rye flour
1.5 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp flaxmeal flour
100g chopped walnuts
50g chopped cranberries
20g white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp coconut sugar

Wet :
30g white miso paste
50ml low fat milk

Method :
Preheat oven to 170C with baking rack.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Stir the miso with the milk until it is homogenous.
Add wet components to the dry component.
Mix with a stirrer until the mixture is damp and comes together with compacted by hand. Add milk by the Tbsp to achieve this texture.
Use a glove or wet hands to compress the damp mixture into a flat loaf, about 2cm in thickness.
Transfer the prepared loaf to a lined tray.
Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven. While still warm, cut to thin strips , about 1 cm thick each. A very sharp knife is needed to do this.
Baked at 160C for 10 minutes, cut side up, on lined tray.
Turn the biscotti over to the other cut side and bake again at 160C for 10 minutes.
Cool completely and keep in an airtight container.
Keeps well chilled.