Tag Archive | Birthday cake

Chocolate Cake with Ganache

I almost ended up buying a cake off the shelf for my son’s birthday.  Re is 17 today.  Happy Birthday, my dear!
Whipped up this last-minute cake with a simple ganache for him.

chocolate with chocolate ganache. c

chocolate cake with ganache. e

Chocolate Cake with Ganache

Source : Must try chocolate cupcake from my previous attempt (here) adapted from Anncoo Journal.  This recipe has been doubled to make a 9″ square cake.  Chocolate ganache from Joy of Baking.

Makes one 9″ square pan

Ingredients

200g butter, softened ( I used salted butter )

360g sugar

4 eggs

1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup boiling water with instant coffee powder

380g flour ( I use cake flour )

1/2 tsp salt (I omitted)

6 tsp baking powder

80g cocoa powder ( I used valrhona cocoa powder )

Method

1. Grease and line the bottom of a 9″ square pan.  Preheat oven at 160 degrees C.

2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder in bowl. Dissolve baking soda in milk.

3. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add essence and eggs, continue beating.

4. Add in the rest of the ingredients (milk, coffee liquid and flour ingredients), beat till smooth.

5. Pour batter into a 9″ square pan.  Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for about 50-55 mins or until skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6. Leave to cool on rack before decorating.

7. Prepare chocolate ganache and pour over the cake.  Decorate as desired.

Chocolate Ganache : 227g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces, 180ml heavy whipping cream, 28g butter and 1tbsp brandy/rum.

Method

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Set aside.  Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. ( Can also heat the cream and butter in the microwave.) Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand, without stirring, for a few minutes.  Stir gently ( as you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache) with a whisk until smooth.  Add in liqueur (optional).

Lychee Cake

A birthday cake for my niece, Alicia, who is celebrating her birthday today!  Happy Birthday, may all your wishes come true!

Source : Sponge cake adapted and modified from Bisous A Toi.   Lychee whipped cream by Hundred Eighty Degrees.

Makes one 8″ round cake

Lychee Cake

Ingredients ( Lychee Sponge Cake )

145g cake flour

15g corn flour

150g salted butter

65g fresh milk

1 egg

5 egg yolk, whisk gently with a fork

1-1/2 tsp lychee essence

5 egg whites,

100g caster sugar ( I used 90g )

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method

1. Preheat oven at 160 degrees C.  Grease and line 8” round pan.  Wrap the bottom of the baking pan with aluminium foil.

2. Sift cake flour and corn flour, mix well to combine. Leave aside.

3. Heat butter and milk till warm, do not let it boil.  Remove from heat and add in flour mixture.  Mix using wooden spatula.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bigger bowl.  Add in whole egg, egg yolks and lychee essence.  Mix till smooth.

5. Whisk egg white at low speed until foamy, add in cream of tartar and whisk at medium speed.  Add in sugar in 3 additons and whisk till soft peak ( I whisked till stiff peak, just like the way to make chiffon cake )

6. Using rubber spatula, scrape 1/3 egg white mixture into the egg/butter mixture.  Fold in gently. Scrape remaining egg white mixture and continue to fold gently until well combine.

7. Pour batter into baking pan and steam-bake for about 45 mins or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.

Ingredients ( lychee whipped cream )

2 tsp gelatine powder

8 tsp cold water

2 cups whipping cream, cold

1 tbsp icing sugar

1-1/2 tsp lychee essence

1-1/2 tsp vodka

2 drops rose pink colour

1 can of lychee – remove syrup, cut lychee into small pieces and soak with 1tbsp of vodka  for an hour  or overnight.  Drain well before using.  ( You may keep the syrup to make lychee vodka syrup )

Lychee Vodka Syrup :  Mix 1tsp vodka with some lychee syrup from the can of lychee.

Method

1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10minutes.

2. Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let it stand for 5 minutes.

3. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.

4. Remove mixing bowl and beaters from freezer. In the mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, icing sugar, rose pink colour, vodka and  lychee essence and whip  at high speed until slightly stiff.  Fold in gelatine mixture.  If not use immediately, refrigerate the whipped cream for use later.

Assembling

1.Trim top off sponge cake layer to make flat surface.

2. Slice the sponge cake horizontally into two layers.

3. Place one sponge layer cut side up on a cake board and lightly brush the surface with lychee vodka syrup.

4. Spread a thin layer of lychee whipped cream over the cake layer, and arrange cut lychee over it.  Spread another thin layer of lychee whipped cream over the lychee.

5. Brush the cut-side of 2nd cake layer with lychee vodka syrup, and with the brushed side down, on top of the lychee whipped cream, press gently to make level.

6. Do a crumb coat by frosting a thin layer of lychee whipped cream to seal the cake crumbs.  Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes.

7. Generously coat the chilled cake with lychee whipped cream, frosting the top of the cake first, follow by the sides.

8. Chill in the fridge for cream to set for an hour. Decorate as desired.

Happy Birthday, Remus!

Today is Re’s sixteenth birthday! Happy Birthday, my dear son! I’m always excited when come to baking birthday cakes, I can take as long as a week to pick a recipe and thereafter another few days thinking on how to decorate the cake.  It is no mean feat to ganache a cake.  If I say cream frosting is difficult, then I think ganache frosting is challenging.

Since Re mentioned that he likes to have a chocolate cake, I chose this Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake as it received raved reviews from many who tried.  The ganache shared in the recipe is different from the usual chocolate ganache, no whipping cream and chocolate chips,  but, condensed milk together with cocoa powder being used instead. Interesting, I thought.  Somehow I find the chocolate ganache is not solidified despite being chilled in the fridge overnight, it has the consistency of chilled condensed milk.  Anyone has the same problem? This steamed cake cracked a little in the centre and because the cake wasn’t flat, I trimmed off the uneven top which in turn affected the appearance – cake crumbs underneath the layer of chocolate ganache started to show up. So I made another half portion of ganache and pour over the cake, but still couldn’t cover the cake crumbs – guess the ganache wasn’t thick enough.  Or perhaps I should have placed the trimmed part face down on the cake board and use the cake bottom as the top for a better ganache result.  Nothing can be done now, I can only think of beautifying the cake with some white chocolate swirl chips….haha..

Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake

Source : Neyeeloh, with slight modifications. Click here for Esther’s recipe in chinese.

Makes one 8″ round cake

Ingredients

(Cake Batter)

180g butter

180g caster sugar

200g full cream evaporated milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten with a folk

100g cake flour

50g cocoa powder ( I use valhorna )

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp rum

Method

1. Line and grease a 8” round baking pan.

2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from heat, set aside.

3. Heat up the steamer.

4. When (2) is slightly cooled, add in beaten eggs and rum. Stir to combine well. ( I added rum in this step )

5. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together into a large mixing bowl, then pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to mix well ( the cake batter should be runny ).

6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and place it in the steamer, making sure that your cake pan is not touching the water.  Cover the top of the pan loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.

7. Cover the steamer and steam over medium heat for 45 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan before turning out for further decoration.

Ingredients

(Chocolate glaze)

200g condense milk

½ tsp vanilla extract ( I used 1tsp rum )

2tbsp vegetable oil

20g cocoa powder ( I used valhorna)

1/8tsp salt

Method

1. Combine sifted cocoa powder, condense milk and oil in a bowl and mix well.   Stir over low heat till thicken ( keep stirring all the time).

2. Add in salt and vanilla extract/rum, stir to mix well.

3. Let the chocolate mixture cool a little before spreading onto the cake.

Happy Birthday, Beatrice!

Today, my Bebe turns 14.  Happy Birthday, Beatrice!  We will have a simple dinner at home together with her grandparents, and plan to go for seafood dinner after her mid-term examination.  This morning her phone was flooded with birthday wishes on FB, SMS, What’sApp from classmates, school seniors, ballet dance friends, uncles and cousins.  Birthday wishes are still coming in…I think she has more friends than I have 🙂

Her Strawberry Mousse Delight :

Will update recipe soon..

Updated as at 8th July 2012

For Sponge Cake : click here for recipe.

For Strawberry Mousse : recipe from Aunty Yochana

Ingredients

400ml UHT whipping cream ( I used Pour and Whip Non-Dairy )

350g strawberry puree

120g sugar ( I used 90g, you may need to adjust to your taste )

1tsp strawberry paste ( I omitted )

25g gelatine powder mixed with 100g water ( I have only 20g gelatine powder left, so I mixed with 80g water )

Method : Mix strawberry puree, sugar and strawberry paste ( if using ) into a saucepan and warm it over a stove to melt the sugar.  Then add in gelatine mixture.  Leave to cool.  Fold in whipped cream.  Keep in the fridge for use later.

For Sugar Syrup :  Mix ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water.  In a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Cake Assembly :  Trim top off cake layer to make flat surface.  Slice the cake horizontally into two layers.  Lightly brush the surfaces (cut sides) with sugar syrup.  Place one cake layer (cut side with sugar syrup face up) on a cake board.  Pour strawberry mousse on top of the cake.  Place the other cake layer (cut side with sugar syrup face down) on top of the mousse.  Brush sugar syrup on the cake layer and pour mousse on top.  Cover the sides with the balance mousse.  Leave in the fridge to let it set for at least 4 hours.  Decorate as desired.  Serve chilled.

 

Green Tea Mousse Chiffon Cake

3.8, Happy Birthday to Melvin!

Green Tea Chiffon Cake, a recipe from my favourite cookbook ‘Okashi Sweet Treats Made With Love’.  Recipe will be updated soon..need to rush out to send this cake to the birthday boy!

Updated 9th March 2012

Cake receivers said this cake was soft and delicious while green tea mousse was light and yummy.   It would be better that the cake was sliced into half and spread with a thin layer of green tea mousse on it.  I think they like the mousse, LOL. 成功!

Green Tea Mousse Chiffon Cake

Source : Chiffon Cake from Okashi Sweet Treats Made With Love ( with modifications )

Makes one 8″ tube pan

Green Tea Chiffon Cake

Ingredients

70g pastry flour ( I used cake flour )

10g green tea powder

5 egg yolks

20g caster sugar ( I omitted )

70g water ( I used fresh milk, warmed )

60g canola oil ( I used  olive oil, warmed )

180g egg whites, about 5 eggs ( I used 5 egg whites )

90g caster sugar

10g rice flour or corn flour ( I used rice flour )

50g chocolate chips ( not included in original recipe )

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

2. Sift flour and green tea powder twice.

3. Combine egg yolks and sugar ( I omitted sugar ) in a bowl and mix well.

4. In a saucepan, warm up water ( or fresh milk ) and oil .  Add the warmed mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  Add in flour and green tea powder mixture and combine well using a hand whisk.  Set aside.

5. Combine sugar and rice or corn flour.  Beat egg whites until foamy.  Add half of sugar mixture and continue beating for a few minutes, then add remaining sugar mixture and beat until egg whites are glossy, with stiff peaks.

6. Add one-third of egg whites into egg yolk mixture and fold in gently, then add the remaining egg whites, chocolate chips and fold in gently to combine well.

7. Pour batter into an ungreased chiffon cake tube pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked.  When cake is done, remove from oven and invert the cake, leave to cool.

Green Tea Mousse

1tsp gelatine powder

4tsp cold water

1 cup whipping cream, cold

1tbsp green tea powder

1/2 tbsp icing sugar

Method

1. Chill the mixing bowl and beater in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle gelatine powder into a bowl of cold water, let it stand for 5 minutes.

3. Place the bowl in a pot, using double-boiling method to dissolve gelatine.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

4. Remove mixing bowl and beater from freezer, combine whipping cream, green tea powder and icing sugar and whip until slightly thickened.  While beating slowly, gradually pour in the gelatine mixture into the whipped cream mixture.  Then whip the cream at high speed until slightly stiff.  If not use immediately, refrigerate the whipped cream for use later.

5. Assembly : Cover the chiffon cake with green tea mousse and decorate as desired.

Fresh Mango & Cream Sponge Cake

This is my second attempt on baking sponge cake by using a good recipe.  I literally forgotten about steam baking the sponge cake, and went on a normal baking.  Age is catching up with me, I didn’t realize this mistake until I started writing this post!  I think I have to admit to getting older, LOL! Luckily the blunder I made didn’t affect the taste and texture much.  I prefer the one baked in waterbath, this normal bake was good though.  Both were smooth but the one baked in waterbath was smoother and velvetier.

Click here for recipe.

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Do you know anybody whose birthday is on February 29?  For those who are celebrating their birthdays on February 29th 2012, IT’s time for a real birthday!  Happy Leap Year Birthday to all leaplings!  Made this for a friend, Jolene who’s celebrating her real birthday today, ‘Wishing you great happiness, a joy that never ends.   Happy Birthday to you!’

I will post the recipe soon…stay tuned…

Updated 6th March 2012 :

I love this sponge cake, it’s soft.  Thanks to Rima of Bisous A Toi for translating and sharing this wonderful recipe. I noticed this cake tends to shrink both from the sides and at the top as it cools down, but it didn’t bother me at all.  After all, it’s unnoticeable upon frosting.

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Source : Bisous A Toi “Strawberry Shortcake Royalewith slight modifications. Click here for original recipe.

Makes one 8” round cake

Ingredients
( Sponge Cake )

145g cake flour

15g corn flour

150g salted butter

65g fresh milk

1 egg

5 egg yolks – whisk lightly with a fork

1tsp vanilla extract

5 egg white

100g castor sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar

( Mousse )

Whipped cream

Sugar syrup

250g Strawberries or more ( some to be thinly sliced, balance reserved for decorating the top of the cake )

Method

1. Preheat oven at 160 degrees C.  Grease and line 8” round pan.  Wrap the bottom of the baking pan with aluminium foil ( I wrapped with 2 layers ).

2. Sift cake flour and corn flour, mix well to combine. Leave aside.

3. Heat butter and milk till warm, do not let it boil.  Remove from heat and add in flour mixture.  Mix using wooden spatula.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bigger bowl.  Add in whole egg, egg yolks and vanilla extract.  Mix till smooth.

5. Whisk egg white at low speed until foamy, add in cream of tartar and whisk at medium speed.  Add in sugar in 3 additons and whisk till soft peak ( I whisked till stiff peak, just like the way to make chiffon cake )

6. Using rubber spatula, scrape 1/3 egg white mixture into the egg/butter mixture.  Fold in gently. Scrape remaining egg white mixture and continue to fold gently until well combine.

7. Pour batter into baking pan and steam-bake for about 45 mins or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.

Whipped Cream
2 tsp gelatin powder

8 tsp cold water

2 cup whipping cream, cold

1tbsp icing sugar

2 tsp kahlua or 1tsp vanilla essence

Method

1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10minutes.

2. Put the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let it stand for 5 minutes.

3. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.

4. Remove mixing bowl and beaters from freezer. In the mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and kahlua or vanilla and whip until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture. Then whip the mixture at high speed until slightly stiff.  If not use immediately, refrigerate the whipped cream for use later.

Sugar  Syrup
1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Method

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Assembling

1.Trim top off sponge cake layer to make flat surface.

2. Slice the sponge cake horizontally into two layers.

3. Place one sponge layer cut side up on a cake board and lightly brush the surface with sugar syrup.

4. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer, and arrange sliced strawberries over it.  Spread whipped cream over the strawberries.

5. Brush the cut-side of 2nd cake layer with sugar syrup, and with the brushed side down, on top of the whipped cream, press gently to make level.

6. Do a crumb coat by frosting a thin layer of whipped cream to seal the cake crumbs.  Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes.

7. Generously coat the chilled cake with whipped cream, frosting the top of the cake first, follow by the sides.

8. Chill in the fridge for cream to set for an hour or so. Garnish with the reserved strawberries.  Decorate as desired.