Coffee Walnut Cake

August 18, 2011


When I have my little cafe in future, this will be the “must-have” and signature cake for the cafe. Nothing subtle about the flavour of this cake. It is like a mouthful of expresso and a piece of walnut cake inside you mouth at the same time without the sogginess!  I was a bit concerned after decorated the cake because of amount of butter and sugar used in this cake! 1 1/2 stick of butter and about 500g of sugar!! BUT to my surprise, this is a rather light cake to eat, a bit sweet. The counterbalance of the bitterness of the undiluted coffee liquid, dark chocolate drops and coffee granules seem to even up the sweetness.

The Best cake I have ever made so far!

Ps. Would be great to share this cake with Chris!

PSS: Do click on the pictures to have a detailed look at the texture of the cake decoration..


This is a sugar-fueled dessert for your occasional “sugar fix” moments. This is a no-bake cake, so easy to make you must be careful not to make it too often!

If you have some chocolatey (or fruity) leftover cake laying around, use it for the base of this “cake”. Break up the cake and line the cake within a round mould on a serving plate. Use the spoon, firmly pack the cake to form the base.

For each cake, you will need one ripe banana. Peel and cut the banana into chunks. In a sauce pan, add few tablespoonful of water and sugar, bring to a boil until the sugar is caramelised. Lower the hear, add  the banana chunks and gently coat it with the caramelised  sugar until the outer part of the banana chunks slightly soften.

With the mould still around the cake, arrange the caramelised  banana chunks nicely on top of the cake and spoon a generous amount of the sugar syrup over the banana. Remove the mould and serve warm.

This cake is sweet, but additive!


This almond “tofu” basically is the same almond bean curd I made a while ago. Follow this basic bean curd recipe but play around with the shape and/or even add fruity ingredients to it to make it a pleasant surprise! This is quite a summery dessert, the cold kiwi soup make an eye-catching presentation for the pale bean curd.

To make the kiwi soup, peel two kiwi fruits, and blend it with one or two tablespoonful of syrup or honey, some carbonated mineral water.

Arrange the bean curd in a serving plate (or bowl) and gently pour the kiwi soup around the bean curd. Decorate it with a thinly slice kiwi fruit. Serve it cold.

TOTAL Split pots!

April 21, 2011


This is not really a product review as such, but more about the reaction/ feeling I have when first tasted these TOTAL Greek yoghurt split pots from FAGE

It tasted honest and real. You can always tell the honesty of the food you put in your mouth in the very first instance. Your taste buds will never lie to you.

We all know the taste of the authentic Greek yoghurt. So I am not going to say more about it, but what I think is the most impressive thing about these split pots is the accompanied compotes!
I personally think the Greek yoghurt will only work well with natural flavours. All these compotes tasted so much like home-made or collected from its natural source. The thick honey has no artificial aftertaste, the strawberry compote reminded me the jam I made last summer with whole strawberries in it. All the pieces of fruit in the compote adds another dimension to the soft and creamy yoghurt.

I do have one complaint about these TOTAL Greek yoghurt split pots though…THAT the amount of the various compotes is too little…!! Can we do something about it..:)

Finally, I have to thank Alison White from FAGE UK Limited for sending these samples for me to taste…


This is not really a cupcake, I really don’t remember the proper name for these tiny cake. But it was baked in cupcake tin, so let’s just call it cupcakes! I saw Jamie Oliver made these on his 30 mins meal TV programme the other day. I remembered he said 100g for all dry ingredients plus one egg, but one egg is not each to combine the dry ingredients together, so I added an extra egg.  IT IS dead simple to make and delicious with a cup of tea!

Ingredients: (make around 10)

  1. 100g Self-raising flour (sifted)
  2. 100g Almond powder (sifted)
  3. 100g Caster sugar
  4. 100g Butter (at room temperature)
  5. 2 Eggs
  6. Few drops of almond extract (optional)
  7. Any Jam (In this recipe, I use the blackberry jam I made during the summer)

Pre-heat the oven to 180’C.

Combine all ingredients (other than the jam) in a big bowl until a smooth paste. Line the cupcake tin with cupcake paper. Spoon about a tablespoonful of the cake mixture to the tin, and then a teaspoonful of jam, and finally top the jam with another tablespoonful of the cake mixture.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 mintues or until cooked and golden colour.

Nice with a cup of hot tea or cool ice cream!

 


I was once asked by someone, what would I cook to impress someone coming for dinner.

I think I am not the kind of home cook who would do things to impress friends who coming for a meal. I rather like to make food that somehow would reminded them certain events or places that they experienced. I often find clues of what my friends like through various of our conversations.

For some reasons, I have never the desire to make Black Forest gateau until yesterday! This desire of making this cake mainly because of my friend, Cynthia Cheong!

She and her friend have been touring around Europe for the last 50 odd days, and she was gutted that she did not manage to taste the real Black Forest gateau while she was in Black Forest! So I thought I will try to recreate Black Forest while they are staying at my place in Southend, Essex. UK! So a Black Forest in Southend! I have to admit, this is the first time ever I try to make this cake, it wasn’t easy! I made each of us a small individual cake. The off cut of the cake is now sitting in the fridge for future experiments!

This cake is a twist of a combination of 2 different recipes I found online!

To make the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. 240g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
  2. 300ml freah double cream

Put the cream in a heavy pan and bring to boil. Stir occasionally. In a big bowl, put the chocolate and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until a smooth paste achieved. Set aside to cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. Approximate 300g to 400g fresh cherries (pitted). Leave some with stem for decoration later
  2. 75 ml cherry brandy
  3. 60g caster sugar

Add all the ingredients in a pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cherry are just soft. Set aside to cool completely.

To make the chocolate cake:

  1. 125g self-raising flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 200g butter (softened)
  5. 5 eggs (separated)
  6. 150g caster sugar
  7. 1-2 tbsp instand coffee powder (or to taste)
  8. 2 tbsp coffee extract
  9. approximate 1/2 of the chocolate ganache

Pre-heat oven to 150’C. Line and butter the base and side of a 20cm cake tin.

Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together and set aside.

Beat the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until firm peaks. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk one at the time. Fold in the coffee extract and powder in the mixture and then the chocolate ganache. Mix well.

In several batches, fold the flour mixture and egg white alternately into the butter mixture (gently). Mix well to a smooth paste.

Pour the mixture in the prepare cake tin and level the top with a spoon.

Bake the mixture in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the care emerges clean. Remove from oven and cool for few minutes in the cake tin. Later, remove the cake from the tin, and set cool completely on a wire rack.

To assemble the cake:

Cut the cake into 2 halves (horizontally), and spoon the cherry brandy syrup over the cake. Add further cherry brandy if you prefer a bit more kick!

In a bowl, pour in 300ml fresh double cream and 2 tbsp icing sugar and beat until soft peaks. Put the cream in the pipping bag.

Place the bottom half of the cake in a stand. Pipe the chocolate ganache around the top edge of the cake. Put the cream in the middle and spoon the cherry compote on the cream. Place the other half of the cake on top of the cream mixture.  Line the two halves nicely and put it in the fridge to harden slightly.

Take the cake from the fridge. Use a cake palette knife, cover the side of the cake with the chocolate ganache. Depending on experience, try your best to make it as presentable as you can..(It wasn’t easy! I have never use a cake palette knife before for cake decoration, so I find it difficult and definitely required a lot of experience to make it nice and smooth!)

In a separate pipping bag, put in the remaining chocolate ganache. Pipe the chocolate ganache around the top edge (make it as presentable as possible). Pipe or Spread the cream over the top of the cake, and arrange some fresh cherries on the cream…You could also sprinkle some grated chocolate on top before serving the cake to your friends!

This is not a very sweet cake which is a good thing! I think!

I hope Cynthia and her friend are not too disappointed with the presentation!! But at least they have a taste of the Black Forest in Southend!

Sweet Potato Jelly

August 13, 2010


Recently I bought a Korean recipe book. I always thought Korean food is very similar to Japanese one. But a Korean friend of mine disagreed. According to him, what you will find in Korea do not necessarily found in Japan…food wise! After reading the basic of what makes Korean food distinctive to Japanese, I then realised there are many Mongolian influences in Korean cuisines!

In the recipe book, I came across a sweet potato jelly recipe, which to my surprise quite similar to the experiment I did a while ago! I thought I invented it…!! But the Korean version has a deeper and more refined taste than my experiment!

What I have just  made is a twist from the original Korean recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. About 2 cup of sweet potato chunks
  2. 4 tbsp Golden syrup
  3. 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  4. 2 tbsp powdered gelatine
  5. 2 tbsp tapioca pearls
  6. water enough to cover the sweet potatoes.

In a heavy pan, add the sweet potato chunks and water, bring the water to boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until soft. Drain the potatoes from the pan, keep the water for later.

In a bowl, mast the potatoes until smooth, add in golden syrup, sesame seeds. Mix well.

Measure 1 cup of the water used for cooking the potatoes (add more water if the left over cooking water is less than a cup). Bring the water to boil and turn to low heat, add the tapioca and powdered gelatine and simmer until the gelatine dissolved and the tapioca turned transparent.

Pour the gelatine to the potato mixture and stir well.

Grease a mould with a little oil (coconut oil preferably to add a distinct fruity scent to the dessert). Pour the mixture to the mould and set aside to set.

Once set, cut the jelly as you like and serve with sesame seeds topping or something interesting! (I topped the jelly with some Yukari!)

A nice and impressive party dessert I reckon!