Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Battenberg cake

I don't remember how long ago did I come across this cake from Sprinkles Bake's blog, but my mouth had watered from the pictures and next thing...it went on my "Must Try" list.
With the help of Wikipedia, I had learned that the name of this cake created to honor the marriage of the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England's to Prince Louis of Battenburg of Germany and that the four checkered pieces represents four princes, Louis, Alexander, Henry, and Francis Joseph. How cool is that, to have a cake in your name.

I decided to give this light sponge cake that you can find only in England a try.

Spring Battenburg Cake

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 cup, but due to the marzipan wrap, i reduced it)
3 medium eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tsp milk (if the batter is too thick)
1 drop of red food color
1 drop of green food color
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 1/2 cup marzipan (store-bought)
1 1/2 cup white fondant (ready-made)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your pan, and line it with parchment paper. The original recipe called for 10x7 inch pan, and divide them with parchment paper for the two colors, but I happen to have a 7x4 pan, so i used that. For more instructions on how to divide the pan, please click here.

In a medium bowl, mix your flour with salt and baking powder, set aside.

Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, with good mixing after each addition then mix in almond extract. Turn the mixer to low speed, and gently add flour to the mixture. Add 1 to 2 tsp of milk if the batter is too thick, I ended up adding about 3 tsp. The batter will be thick but should be easily spooned out. Divide the batter into two equal amounts, color one with red food color (remember, i add just a little bit to create a pink color) and another one with green. Spoon batters into prepared pans and bake for about 15-45 minutes, depend on the size of your pan, or until a toothpick inserted came out clean.

When the cakes are done, trim each color into two long cuboid cakes. Melt the apricot jam, and brush them on sides of the cake that you will attach other color into. Stack each color with alternating color creating a 2 x 2 square.

Roll out your marzipan thinly, and stack the cakes on the marzipan. Roll the cakes tightly covering it with marzipan. You can stop here and serve or you can add another thin layer of white fondant to cover the whole cake. Use the back of the knife to create a criss-cross patern on top, and add decoration pearls to where each line meets.

Source : Slightly adapted from Sprinkles Bakes

The cake itself is delicious with apricot jam and almond flavor but one tip that I want to share, make sure you trim the crust of the cake because otherwise you will end up with a crunchy cake. Also, try to roll out your fondant (if using) thinly because of the over sweetness of it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

If you are like me, buying buttermilk just to try out my "certain" theory of an excellent red velvet cake, then end up with almost a carton full of leftover buttermilk, and try frantically to find other recipes with buttermilk, and didn't feel like making those recipes just yet but the buttermilk is about to expired (pleaseee raise your hand if you're like me...otherwise, i will feel very very lonely), then i have a solution for you, why not try to make it into a smoothie. I can tell you that not only it's fulfilling, but also delicious. This recipe is my go to recipe for breakfast smoothie nowadays. Simply put different types of fruits each day and you are good to go.

Anyway, here is the recipe :

Ingredients :
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 ripe banana, cut into pieces
1/2 cup fresh strawberry, cut into pieces
honey, add to taste
pinch of salt
1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients, except honey, in a blender with a high speed until smooth and ice is no longer crumbly. Pour into glass and add honey to taste.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What's for Dinner Tonight? Korean Mixed Vegetable and Seasoned Rice (BiBimBap)

I love a lot of things about Korea, whether that is Korean dramas, Korean music, Korean actors and actresses, Korean weather...okay, scratch that last part. But I'm sure I share this passion with a lot of people from all over the world.

If you haven't heard of Nanta (Cookin') Show, I highly recommend you to watch it, it's been performed all over the world. It's similar to Stomp but with a cooking-related twist. It's so great of a show that you never get bored watching it, I know because I had seen it twice (both in Seoul and in here). You can see the preview here

Back to my love for all things Korean, Korean food especially. Most people, if asked about Korean food, Kimchi is usually the first thing come to mind. It's the most known dish from Korea, and Koreans always have Kimchi on their meals.

Anyway, yesterday morning I was watching ArirangTV's show last night where they did a coverage on Korean food in New York. I won't go on the detail of that show but basically my mouth was watery from that coverage, so I decided to do the most basic Korean dish : BiBimBap, which translated to "mixed meal". It is served as a bowl of warm rice with sauteed vegetables and red-chili paste (gochujang). At Korean restaurant, you can usually see the on the menu "Dol Sot bibimbap" which is Bibimbap in a "dol sot" or stone bowl for extra crisp and crunchy rice.

It was say that this dish was introduced back in the war day where the soldiers needed a quick meal before going to war and that was how the women mix everything with the rice for convenient. Later on, the dish was also created out of all the leftover food from the ancestor's ritual ceremony. Source : my Korean friends.

So this is my version of it.
Ingredients :
1/4 cup Ground beef
1/4 cup kimchi
1 handful of bean sprout ( I use regular bean sprout)
1 handful of spinach
1/2 carrot, cut in stripes
3 pcs of mushroom, thinly cut
1/2 zuchini, cut in stripes
1/2 onion
1 egg
2 bowl cooked rice

Beef Marinate:
1/2 tsp (sugar, cooking wine, soy sauce, sesame oil)
1 clove mince garlic
a pinch of salt and pepper

For the bean sprout:
1/2 tsp sesame oil, a pinch of salt

For the red-chilli paste:
3 tbsp Red pepper paste (Gochujang)
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp sesame seed
1/2 tsp minced garlic


1. Mix beef with marinade in a bowl, set aside.
2. Wash and remove the end of the bean sprout. Put bean sprout in a medium pan with boiling water, cover and boil for about 10 minutes, when they are done, mix in a bowl with sesame oil and salt.
3. Sautee individually each vegetable (carrot, zucchini, mushroom, onion) in a small amount of oil for about 10 seconds, add salt.
4. Fry the marinated beef until they are done.
5. Fry the egg, you can do a sunny side up or omelette and then thinly sliced.
6. Mix all ingredients for the red-chilli paste and give it a good stir.

To assemble:
Put warm rice in a bowl, and start arranging your vegetables forming a circle on top of the rice.
Put the ground beef in the middle and the fried egg on top of it. Last, put the paste on top of the egg.

To eat:
Mix everything with a spoon until all mix and red in colour, and....dig in.

Warning : the sauce is spicy, so if you're not familiar with spicy food, it's best to avoid this dish. But only if you are sure you won't regret this because it is so deliciousss.

Recipe: adapted from Aeris Kitchen.
Aeris Kitchen put an excellent video on how to make this dish, you can view it here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Carrot Cake

To celebrate Easter, I tried (and i mean really really tried) to bake Easter cookies because I'd seen hundreds of jaw-dropping, mouth-watering Easter cookie decoration all over other people's blogs, and here I thought, hey why not? I would like to give it a shot. Easter cookies are cute, adorable, and most of all, you can give them to friends and family to celebrate Easter.

So, I did and I did terribly, i gave up. I don't know if it's the lack of proper equipment, lack of patience, or both that made all my Easter egg cookies looked like they came out from the grasp of cookie monster (okay, maybe i exaggerated a little bit). All I can say is they were not blog-picture worthy. One good thing though, they tasted great, even without the Royal Icing on. However, I promise to improve on my cookie decorating skill and that will be my half-year's resolution.

Anyhow, since I failed terribly on the cookies, I decided to bake a cake. There's a carrot cake recipe that I have been wanting to try and I think: Easter = Easter bunny = carrot cake. They are very moist and exactly how i want my carrot cake to be. For the decoration, I've been wanting to learn to use buttercream frosting, so when I looked at this beautiful Hydrangea cake from I am Baker, I knew I got to try making them. You can see the tutorial here. Enjoy!

Hydrangea Carrot Cake

Ingredients :
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups grated carrot
1 cup chopped pecan

Cream Cheese filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans ( I omitted this)

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease and flour your pan, I use 2 8-inch round pans, you can use 9x13 inch or cupcake, but to make it bouquet-like, I used round pans so I can carved them later on.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, white and brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots, fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated ovens for 40 - 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

To make frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese until well blended. Add confectioner sugars 1 cup at a time. Finally add in vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Resource : slightly adapted from allrecipes

As you can see, I need to improve my piping skill, and holding the tip backward doesn't help it at all. My hubby still loves the look of the cake and most important of all, it tasted great. Hmm..another thing to put on my to-do list : Improve my piping skill.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Strawberry Parfait

It's been a while since i posted here, last time i checked, it was year 2010, and hey..look at what year now, 2011. Though it's only been the third month of the year, I feel time are moving so fast. Before you know it, bam! it's christmas time. Though for some people in tragedy who are desperately need helping hand, time seemed to move slower. My heart goes to all victims in the recent Japan's natural disaster. They are still waiting for our helping hand, so do whatever you can to help...donate to your local donation center or even here to help them. Every prayer & help do count!

Aside from the tragedy, I had made a resolution to lead a better life, including eat the right food. Our body is our temple, right? Well, i haven't take care of my temple in a while, i eat what i feel like eating, and the holiday festivities craziness made to too lazy to go exercising my temple. Anyway, now that I gained 2 kg, it's time to get back into shape. I stumbled upon someone's blog (can't remember which one now) but it inspired me to create this strawberry parfait, which not only is healthy & nutritious, but delicious too! What more can you ask out of that?

Strawberry Parfait
Makes : 1 individual serving glass

Ingredients :
3-4 pieces of strawberries (cut in halves or however you like)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 cup of greek or natural or vanilla flavor yoghurt
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup oatmeal cluster / your fav. oatmeal cereal

Different varieties of your fav. peanuts can be added (optional)

How to:
1. Mix pre-cut strawberries with sugar, set aside for 10 minutes. This step is optional, some people do like their strawberries fresh-out-of-the package but with local strawberries here are so sour that I prefer to coat them with sugar and let them give me a little bit of juices, yum...
2. In a small bowl, put yoghurt and honey, and mix them with a spoon until blended well.

Now it's time to assemble.

Put half of strawberries in the bottom of the glass, pour half of the yoghurt, topped with half of your oatmeal clusters. Repeat the layers and finally, dig in...!

What's good about this is, you can eat it at anytime of the day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner...and you'll be guilt-free! At least that's how i feel.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pet Society Theme Cupcakes

What?? two posts in one day??? is it a miracle?
I've been trying to catch up with all the cakes & cupcakes that haven't seen the light of this blog yet and so yeah.. two posts in a day..who knows i might post the third one in a few moment..(but if lunch are calling me, then sorry..two posts they are..!) ^^So one of my best friends from high school was going to celebrate her birthday with us friends, so we decided to give her cupcakes for her birthday. so we were thinking to give a Pet Society theme cupcakes, seeing how she really loves that very-popular game on Facebook where people from different parts of the world, different genders and ages, come together to play it, me included :)) She, can be described as the guru of Pet Society with our other friend as her apprentice.

So, i started to open my pet society account (after a long time) and researched on her pet character, and here's the result:

It's sooooo harrrdddd to create those little characters including the mayor, who supposedly the mayor of the society, and the logo which I had to hand crafted it carefully. But all those hard work paid off when we saw she was really happy with the cake. wheeeww...*wiping sweats* Here's a picture of her with the cake:

Ben 10 cupcakes

Which kid doesn't love Ben 10 cartoon, the alien-fighting 10years old kid with the famous omnitrix watch that turn him into 10 different shapes of alien with different powers and capabilities? My nephews are practically glued to television when it comes to Ben 10. Sure, the stories are great, the images are excellent, but let me tell you a secret, it's every bakers and cake decorators nightmare he..he..i mean, have you seen the shapes of all those aliens?

When i was to do a birthday cake for a 5 year old boy, my first question is always, what character does he like? and as expected, Ben 10 was the answer. So, racked my brain on how to do a good Ben 10 cupcakes and here's the result:

What do you think? My sister thought i did a good job and requested one for her son (no problem sis, i figured not much pressure coming from my own 3 year old nephew) ^^. But from what i heard, the 5 year old birthday boy loved it too. Yayyyy...i think cake decorators are alien fighting heroes too!