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Pick Me Up….

Well, well, well….it’s been a while since I’ve actually been on time posting a DB challenge. I’m not too sure whether it’s cos I’m so excited about it, or whether it’s cos I really won’t get the time to do it tomorrow since I’m gonna be stuck at work all day till late at night!

If people were to ask me what my signature cake is, it’d be a really toss up between Tiramisu and Chocolate Banana Cake. Tiramisu cos I’ve become such an expert at it and after all trials and errors, have found what I think in my opinion is the best tiramisu. Chocolate Banana cos it was born of my craving for Secret Recipe’s Choc Banana Cake and over time I’ve come up with my version of which has never failed me in any event.

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

When Feb’s challenge was announced, I was like “Yes!! Something right down my alley! I should nail this with my eyes blindfolded!” Now I’m beginning to sound cocky but what-the-heck…we are all allowed to be like that once in a while! :p

Although loving my personal recipe for tiramisu, this challenge was in many ways new to me. For one, I’ve never done it the traditional way with zabaglione and marsala wine. And for another, I’ve never made my own cheese, much more mascarpone cheese! *Whee!* This is so exciting!

For those who don’t know, this Italian dessert is literally translated as “pick me up”. And this name is indeed well suited for this ever so tempting and mouth-watering wonder! I modified the recipe a little as I like my tiramisu a little bit more cheesy and definitely with more alcohol in it! I was tempted to try new flavours but in the end decided classic was definitely the way to go.

TIRAMISU

(Recipe source: Carminantonio’s Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007 )
This recipe makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the vanilla pastry cream:
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

For the whipped cream:
1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream (we used 25%)
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract

To assemble the tiramisu:
1.5 cups brewed espresso, warmed
1/4 cup tia maria + 1/4 cup amarula liquer
2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Method:
For the zabaglione:

  • Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
  • In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.
  • Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream:

  • Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
  • Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
  • Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)
  • Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream:

  • Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu:

  • Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Now to start assembling the tiramisu.

  • Working quickly, dip the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
  • Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
  • Repeat to create 2 more layers, using as many ladyfingers as required and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
  • To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.

MASCARPONE CHEESE

(Source: Vera’s Recipe for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese)
This recipe makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese

Ingredients:
474ml (approx. 500ml)/ 2 cups whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method:

  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. If you do not have a thermometer, wait until small bubbles keep trying to push up to the surface.
  • It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.

LADYFINGERS/ SAVOIARDI BISCUITS
(Source: Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home)
This recipe makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2″ to 3″ long) ladyfingers.

Ingredients:
3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons /75gms granulated sugar
3/4 cup/95gms cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner’s sugar,

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
  • Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed. It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
  • Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off; you could also use a Ziploc bag) and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 5″ long and 3/4″ wide strips leaving about 1″ space in between the strips.
  • Sprinkle half the confectioner’s sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers their characteristic crispness.
  • Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar.
  • Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft.
  • Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack.
  • Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. It’s hard to believe that we’ve gone through 37 days in 2010. My NY’s resolution was to spend a bit more time blogging. However, like most, if not all, my NY resolutions, it didn’t materialize :) .

After 3 months, I’ve finally gotten Li San’s wedding photos of CY. Li San and I have known each other since our first day in Australia. Looking back, I can’t believe how our paths have crossed and what a blessing she’s been in my life. It feels like it was yesterday, Krys, LS and I were walking down the streets of Hobart, shopping and chatting away. I still remember us staring at our shadows on the pavement and laughing about how we looked like Charlie’s Angels. 3 very different girls, from 3 very different family backgrounds, with 3 very different personalities but one common thing – friendship without boundaries and inhibitions. These 2 gals have been nothing but a solid support in my life and that speaks a lot, as people who know me well, will know I’ve always had more close guy friends than I have girlfriends. Seeing how we’ve all grown in the last 7 years brings a huge smile to my face.

It was a pleasure and an honour for me to have had the opportunity to make LS’s wedding cake. LS and Jeeuk are certainly a couple you can say have seen the test of time and distance. I have to say not only was I proven greatly wrong, but was very impressed by how 2 people stayed together for so long despite the  distance – with one in Vancouver and the other in Hobart! Thank you so much guys for allowing me the joy of being a part of your journey towards a lifelong of laughter and love.

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Well, well, well….another month has passed and once again I bring to you this month’s DB challenge. We have gone back to the good, old classic – everyone’s (or nearly everyone’s) favourite – cheesecake. The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes and she has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. The DB-ers had the freedom to do anything they wanted with this cake – flavours, decoration – everything entirely up to you – basically the sky is your limit! 

 

I’ve probably mentioned before that Alan’s favourite dessert is cheesecake. If he could, he’d have cheesecake and only cheesecake for his 3 meals! However, he’s a really classic and traditional eater so in order to ensure someone finishes this cake, I had no choice but to succumb to his classic tastes. :( In the end, I decided on passionfruit and lime – something to celebrate the near end to fresh summer fruits. 

 

 

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

Ingredients:

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs

1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted

2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature

1 cup / 210 g sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream

1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)

2 fresh limes – juice and zest

4 fresh passionfruit

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lime juice, lime zest and passionfruit and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

 

 

 

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It’s been awhile since I last updated this blog. So much has happened I don’t even know where to begin….

And just so you know, this time round, I do have a valid reason for being MIA. Now, for the moment everyone’s been waiting for…*drumroll*….Alan and I relocated to Sydney at the end of Dec 08/early Jan 09! So yes, it’s a big change for both of us as we’ve been in tassie for 6 years and no where will ever feel like home the way tassie has been for us both, especially for me. Tassie is where I discovered myself, where I discovered my passion in life& where I found myself accepted and loved by the ones around me. Tassie will always hold a very special place in my heart and will always be home to me.

Anyway, because of the relocation, we haven’t had internet connection at home since the end of Nov and just getting around to going online has been a real pain! We are still trying to settle the internet and phone line at our new place in Sydney but things are not looking too good so it’s going to be awhile before I can fully update this blog religiously.

Next, I’m really excited to announce that after missing the last 2 challenges, I’m back with Feb’s DB challenge! Gosh! Just slightly short of a year since joining the DBers, I didn’t realise how big a part of my life they’ve become. I’ve been feeling so empty and guilty for missing the last 2 challenges, I told myself that even if it means having to go to an internet café and post feb’s challenge, I’ll do it! Yeah I know I’m a bit late as the dateline as yesterday. But I was at work till really late at night and back again at work at 5am so getting to somewhere with internet access to do this post is a challenge in itself!

Feb’s challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE‘s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. It was exciting just knowing that this month’s challenge is a recipe from non other than my home country’s famous chef – Chef Wan!! Being the month for Valentine’s Day and all, the challenge was meant to be something we could do for our valentine. Well, I’ve never been much of a valentine day celebrator, so I decided that I’ll be making mine for a good friend of mine who celebrated her birthday yesterday! Who said valentines day has to be about lovers. I feel that the greatest love one could have is the love shared with friends who’ve seen you through good and bad times!

choc-ic-cake-6

In line with the theme, I made mine in an 8 inch round cake tin and cut it into a heart shape thereafter. Early this month when Kaye and I went for coffee, she said she hasn’t been successful in finding the “ultimate” chocolate cake here! So, I decided I’m going to give her an overdose of chocolate! Rich, muddy chocolate cake with creamy, gooey dark chocolate ripple ice cream! Yum!! :p Since this is my first time making this cake, and this ice cream, I decided what the heck, I might as well make another first timer – homemade Turkish delight!

choc-ic-cake-2

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino

Recipe from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

Ingredients:

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

Method:
1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry). 
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C. 
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

 As for the Turkish delight, I got my recipe from Gastronomy Domine.Being my first time, I didn’t know what to expect and what turned out was simply a delight! Just bear in mind though, when you remove the TD from the fridge it’ll be really hard and difficult to chew. Once it’s been left at room temperature for a while, you’ve got yourself yummy Narnia like TDs! :p

turkish-delight-2

Turkish Delight

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
2  1/4 cups water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup cornflour 
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (this stops the mixture from crystalising)
1/2 tbsp essence of rose water
1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar for Americans)
1/8 cup extra cornflour

Method:

1. Boil the sugar with the lemon juice and 3/4 cups of water. Use a jam thermometer and remove from the heat when the syrup reaches the soft ball stage (115C).

2. While you are boiling the sugar syrup, combine the cream of tartar and a cup of cornflour with 1.5 cups of cold water. (Using cold water should prevent lumps.) Mix well and bring up to a simmer, stirring all the time. Continue stirring at a simmer until the mixture has made a thick, gluey paste. Stir the sugar syrup into this paste. (If you end up with lumps at this stage, push everything into a saucepan through a sieve with the back of a ladle.)

3. Simmer the sugar and cornflour mixture, stirring every few minutes, until it’s a golden-honey colour and about 120C (this is halfway between soft and hard ball on your jam thermometer, and will take about an hour).

4. Divide the mixture into two, and pour it into prepared trays lined with oiled cling film. I used a small tupperware as I wanted turkish delights with a bit of height to them and found that with my trays they were really flat.

5. Add rose water and a few drops of pink food colouring and stir. Cover and chill for a few hours until set.

6. Turn it out and slice the set Turkish Delight into cubes, and roll in a mixture of 1/2 cup icing sugar and 1/8 cup cornflour so that they don’t stick together. Store in airtight boxes between layers of greaseproof paper, well-dusted with the icing sugar/cornflour mixture.

turkish-delight-3

As for my amazing Chocolate Ripple Ice Cream, I got it off The Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis. In my hastiness I forgot to take a photo of the finish tub of ice cream, and when I opened the freezer today, all that greeted me was a miserable one scoop left in the tub! Obviously, it wasn’t picture worthy, so you’ll all just have to take my word that it was sensational and use your imagination to picture the final product! :)

Chocolate Ripple Ice Cream

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks

75g castor sugar

1 tsp cornflour

300ml semi-skimmed milk

250g dark bitter chocolate

25g butter, diced

2 tbsp golden syrup

90 ml single cream

200 ml whipping cream

Method:

1. Combine egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk till thick and foamy. 

2. Heat milk to just boiling and gradually add to yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Return mixture to pan and cook over gentle heat, stirring constantly until custard thickens and is smooth. 

4. Pour it into a bowl and stir in 150g of chocolate  till melted. Cover, leave to cool then chill. 

5. Melt remaining chocolate with butter in a saucepan. Add in golden syrup. Heat gently, stirring until chocolate and butter have melted.

6. Stir in single cream. Heat gently, stirring until smooth, then leave to cool.

7. In an ice cream maker, stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture till thick. 

8. Add alternate spoonfuls of chocolate sauce and ice cream into a plastic tub and freeze for at least 5-6 hours. 

choc-ic-cake-7

 

 

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Time sure flies! Before you know it another month has passed and it’s time for another DB challenge. After exploring 2 month’s of savory delights, we have once again returned to wonderful world of sweet delicacies. This month, I am really proud that for once, instead of leaving it till the week of posting to complete my challenge, I had mine all done and completed by the first week of November! :)

caramel cake

Well, it’s time to unveil this month’s challenge – Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting. This month, our hostesses are: Dolores from Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex from Blondie and Brownie and Jenny from Foray into Food. I decided that not being a caramel fan myself, I was gonna bless some people with this really lovely cake. And the lucky winners were the boys involved in the Teen Challenge program here in Tassie. For those who do not know, Teen Challenge is program that’s been running for more than 30 years, helping young people with life-controlling problems, namely drugs and alcohol. I was in-charge of event setup for our church women’s conference recently and was privileged enough to have these boys come along and assist me with the setup. If it wasn’t for them, I honestly would not have known how I’d be able to complete the event successfully! Therefore, I decided that I’d bless them with something that will hopefully brighten their day. And since I wasn’t going to get a chance to sample the cake, I made 2 tiny cupcakes for myself and Krys just so I could get a taste of the cake. 

caramel cake

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

By Shuna Fish Lydon 

Ingredients:

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. 

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

CARAMEL SYRUP

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)

Method:

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Method:
Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

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You are not going to believe this! Pearlyn in her hastiness to upload the photos of the engagement cake accidentally logged herself out of her flickr account! Sighz…I’ve been making sure that I don’t do that as I can’t seem to remember my password! What’s worst is, I’ve forgotten the answer to my secret question as it was AGES ago when I setup my yahoo account! Oh gosh! There goes access to all my previous photos! Oh well, something good has come out of it. Since I’ve had to create a new account, I now have 200 free photo uploads again! :)

Technically I can’t call this my first 3D cake since I’ve made the piano cake early this year but what the heck! It was nonetheless equally, if not more, exciting and challenging! As mentioned in the previous post, when I saw this design lying on the counter of my cake supply shop, it was love at first sight! I knew this is THE cake and it fitted perfectly seeing the theme of the engagement was fairytale! Making it was a whole new issue altogether! Lucky for me, the aunty at the shop is an amazing, friendly woman and agreed to photocopy the cake  picture so I could use as a guide and lent me some of her personal collection so I could make the walls and stuff. Everyone who saw the picture of the cake thought there was no way I could reproduce it. Alan definitely had no faith in me and was more than prepared for me to fail! Talk about supporting your partner! :@ But, boy! I do love a good challenge and was pumped up to prove my “critics” wrong!

Well, in the end, I came close to reproducing the original but added my own touch to it. Don’t ask me “Why elephants?!” ! Cos even I do not know the answer to that question. I know it would have been a lot more romantic and prettier if I had made a boy and a girl but call it lazy, call it cute, or me simply being cheeky, but once again, when I saw these elephants while web surfing, I knew they were THE ones! :)

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So, what do you want? The good or the bad? I think….the bad news should come first…hopefully then the good news can make up for it. It’s once again the time of the month for July’s DB challenge. However, after much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to opt out of this month’s challenge. Being unemployed means every cent counts. When the challenge was first announced I was really excited. However, I needed a reason and an occasion to make this cake. None came, so in the end, I decided I was not in a position to spend extra money or something which would most likely go to waste. I will however, attempt this challenge the instant I’m given an opportunity.

I know that many will visit the site today in anticipation of July’s challenge. So…for the good news, I’ve decided to post up the few cake orders I’ve been busy with in the last couple of weeks.

First up is a Tiramisu I made for Krys’s colleague’s husband. I opted for a more general sorta design as the cake was to be cut up into small pieces and served as dessert.

Next, was a Chocolate Banana Cake. This was my first time making chocolate butterflies and I had lotsa fun. It was obviously for a girl as I seriously doubt any guy would appreciate a cake decorated in butterflies.

The next was my pride and joy! Haha! :) But seeing that up till now, I’ve been mastering the art of using chocolate decorations in most of my cakes, I’ve decided it was time to work with sugarpaste. As this was a Mississippi Mud Cake for a 6 year old girl, teddy bears and lotsa pretty, colourful gifts should not go wrong.

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