Classic Fudgy Brownies

These brownies are so easy to bake. I made these last weekend for my steamboat gathering with my friends and these brownies received good responses! It’s slightly crisp at the top and fudgy and moist at the bottom. Some brownies sold outside are hard and dry and the cost like 3 bucks a piece??? Why not bake it yourself at home. They are super easy to make w just some simple ingredients that you prolly can find them at home and this recipe is almost foolproof! They are easy to store. Just pop them in an air tight container and they can be kept for a couple of days. I completely forgot about the cocoa powder until they are sitting in the oven and the best thing is they still tasted incredibly good!!

Ingredients ( adapted from Laura Vitale)
5 ounces of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
7 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate, melted
1 Cup of Sugar
2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp of Salt
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp of warm Water
1 tsp of Instant Espresso Powder
2/3 Cup of All Purpose Flour

steps:
1) Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 by 8 inch square pan with non stick cooking spray and lay the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

2) In a small cup mix together the warm water with the instant espresso powder, set aside.

3) In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and espresso mixture. Beat until all is combined.

4) Add the melted chocolate and whisk, add the dry ingredients and mix everything together until it’s incorporated but don’t over mix.

5) Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs but not wet batter.

6) Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cut into bars and serve

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Orange Chiffon Cake

I dragged my family to Chinatown Siahuat two weeks ago. That place is fabulous. I can absolutely spend the whole morning there. My awesome mum helped me restock quite a number of baking utensils and i finally replaced my old n short chiffon tin with a brand new 20 cm chiffon tin from SiaHuat. I really think that chiffon tins are overprice. After my pandan chiffon cake,  I finally re-bake my orange chiffon cake after my first attempt in a normal cake tin! The cake wasn’t too dry nor moist. Just the right texture for chiffon cake!! Do give it a go!!

Ingredients: ( Slight amendments from SmallSmallBaker to fit 20 cm chiffon tin )

4 yolks
26.6g sugar
40g Vegetable oil
53.3ml Orange Juice
approximately zest of 1-2 oranges
66.6g flour
4 egg whites
66.6g sugar
6.66g corn flour

steps:

1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves. |
2. Gradually add in vegetable oil, followed by Mandarin orange juice and zest.
3. Sift cake flour twice and add into egg yolk mixture. Mix until just combined. Set aside. 4. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.
Add in combined sugar and corn flour mixture gradually and continue whisking until stiff peak form.
5. Gently fold in the egg white into the egg yolk batter (in step 3) in 3 batches.
6. Pour the batter into an ungreased chiffon tin. Give the tin a few slight knocks on the tabletop to remove air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 35 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and invert the tin immediately onto a cooling rack.
8. Unmould the cake only when it is completely cool.

Soft, moist n fluffy ^^

Chocolate Decadence

I can’t wait to share this recipe and i urge you to try this because this cake is heavenly delicious. It’s dense, ultra rich & chocolatey. Nobody knows it’s a healthier version. And… the best part about the  cake is that… A SLICE ONLY CONSIST OF 164 CALORIES! Can you believe it??? This is absolute good news to those who are on diet and weight conscious people.  INDULGE WITHOUT A PINCH OF GUILT. I can’t emphasise enough how amazing this cake is! Although it takes a little extra effort but it’s all worth it. I am definitely going to make this again. Definitely.

Ingredients ( Adapted from EatingWell)

  • 7 ounces 60-70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preparation

  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan (1 1/2 to 2 inches deep) with parchment paper and coat the sides of the pan with cooking spray. Put a kettle of water on to boil for Step 6.
  2. Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning (especially around the sides and bottom edges of the pot), until the mixture begins to bubble. Boil gently, stirring constantly, for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes (the mixture will get very thick and then you may notice that it thins ever so slightly as the starch cooks). Scrape the hot mixture immediately over the chocolate and cocoa. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The batter will be very thick. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  5. Gently fold about one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.
  6. Set the cake pan in a larger baking pan and place on the oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into the baking pan to come a third to halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the surface of the cake is slightly crusted and springs back when gently pressed, 25-30minutes. (The cake will still be quite gooey inside.  I inserted a toothpick but it didnt come out clean.  )
  7. Leavve your cake to cook and preferably refrigerate (strongly encourage) it for a couple of hours before cutting it. I cut mine after it has cooled slightly and the cake was in a mess! It was so crumbly.

To serve: Soak the blade of a thin knife in a cup of very hot water until warm. Slide the knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake. Place a piece of wax paper on top of the cake. Invert a plate over the wax paper and invert the pan onto the plate. Remove the pan and peel away the paper liner. Place a serving plate over the cake and turn the cake right-side up again; remove the wax paper. Dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting each slice.

Note*

– store in the refrigerator in an air tight container fir up to two days

Pandan Chiffon Cake

I bookmarked the recipe a million years ago and i only baked this last weekend. The perfect combination: Pandan + Coconut. What can be better than this? The fragrant smell of the pandan cake absolutely filled my living room while it’s baking in the oven. My chiffon cakes are always so short. I guess partly is because of my chiffon tin. I have been wanting to get a higher chiffon tin but i just couldnt bear to spend that few bucks since this is still working well. Just that my current tin is shorter and wider? Hmm. Chiffon cakes. They looked no big deal at first sight. In fact, they are the opposite. In my opinion, i think they are harder to tackle compared to cupcakes and muffins. I guess to bake anything successfully, its essential to understand the objective behind the steps! Sadly, I am still far away from mastering chiffon cakes. This is my 4th attempt baking chiffon cakes! Check out my coffee chiffon cake here. Back to my pandan chiffon cake, its a little too moist. The problem lies here. Original recipe calls for 1tbsp of homemade pandan paste. I didnt want to use the artificial pandan paste bought in stores, so i dilligently pound my pandan leaves. However, it requires a long time ( about a day) for the pandan solution to settle because we only want the concentrated part of the pandan solution. I was too excited and couldnt wait for a day so i substitute that with 75 ml of my pounded pandan solution. My cake ended up slightly too moist but the pandan taste was fantastic. Since this was my 1st attempt with Pandan Chiffon, i decided to use the instant coconut milk from the store. But i believe that fresh coconut milk will certainly provide a better flavour.

 

Pandan Chiffon Cake [ Original adapted from Small Small Baker ]
Ingredients (makes 16cm chiffon tin)
(A)
2 egg yolks
20g sugar
A small pinch of salt
30g vegetable oil
40g coconut milk
75ml of homemade pandan solution ( Original recipe calls for 1tbsp of pandan paste.)
(B)
55g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
(C)
3 egg whites
45g sugar
Method
1. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Put coconut milk in saucepan and let it simmer under low heat for about 2-3 mins.
2. Gradually add in vegetable oil, followed by coconut milk and pandan paste, and stir until well-mixed.
3. Fold in sifted cake flour and baking powder until well-mixed. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add in sugar gradually and continue whisking until stiff peak form.
5. Gently fold in the egg white into the egg yolk batter (in step 3) in 3 batches.
6. Pour the batter into an ungreased chiffon tin. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 30 minutes. (I bake at 180 deg C for the first 10 minutes, then reduce to 170 deg C for the next 20 minutes, for my 6 inch tin.)
7. Remove from oven and invert the tin immediately onto a cooling rack.
8. Unmould the cake only when it is completely cool.

Pandan Madeleines, Japanese Milky Madeleines

I met my cousins for dinner today. Yesterday night, I was all hyped up and prepared a batch of three different flavours of madeleines for my cousins. HOWEVER, I WAS SO CARELESS THAT I LEFT THEM AT MY WORKPLACE. I only realised it while i was already halfway through the journey. How can i be so careless right. Thankfully some of my colleagues are working OT tonight. So, they helped to finish the madeleines. If not, they’ll end up in the dustbin on Monday morning. I have been wanting to experiment different flavours of madeleines after my previous attempt baking lemon madeleines. I really adore these little french cakes.

1. Pandan Madeleines

20120528-185613.jpg
Soft & Moist Pandan Madeleines.

Ingredients: makes about 16

2 Large Eggs
1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar (100g)
1 tsp of Vanilla Extrac
t 1 cup of All Purpose Flour (120g)
¼ tsp of Salt
¼ tsp of Baking Powder
½ cup of Unsalted Butter, melted
1 tbsp coconut milk
A handful of Pandan Leaves ( about 5)

Steps:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spray 2 Madeleine pans with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

2) Pound the pandan leave and add 1/2-1 tbsp of water s and squeeze them through a strainer. Dispose the residue.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the eggs and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes on high speed or until the mixture thickens and develops a light pale color.

3) Add the vanilla,coconut milk pandan extract,, flour, salt and baking powder and turn mixer down to low and slowly stream in the melted butter. Mix until everything is well incorporated but don’t over mix.

4) Divide the batter evenly in the pan (do not over fill) and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden and brown around the edges.

5) Let them cool for about 2 minutes in the pan, then invert them on a cooling rack and let them finish cooling. Sprinkle with confectioner sugar if desired

NOTE: Pandan Madeleines. Overall, they are pretty fragant but i guess the pandan flavour can be further intensified. I’ll pound more pandan leaves and extract more juice. This is too sweet for my liking. I’ll reduce the sugar level in future.

2. Japanese Milky Madeleines ( Adapted from frozenwings )

20120528-185846.jpg
I know they look kinda oily but they are not! They are just shinny?!? which i have no idea how they became like this. As compared to the  pandan madeleines, they are chewier and rounder despite filling each madeleine pan with the same amount of batter. Does anybody knows why? Is it due to beating of the egg whites?Hmm..
Ingredients ( makes 18small cakes)

120gm Cake flour
20gm corn flour( cornstarch)
15gm milk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
15gm honey
1 tbsp hot water
100gm unsalted butter
50gm double ( heavy) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs (140gm)
a pinch of salt 150gm Japanese sugar( jo haku tou) or caster sugar
Method:

1.Preheat oven to 170C. Sift together flours, milk powder and baking powder. Combine honey and hot water in a bowl.

2. Place butter, cream and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water and heat, stirring until butter has melted. Set aside.

3. In another heatproof bowl, beat eggs and salt with a whisk until yolks break. Add sugar and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix well. When egg mixture is warm, use an electric mixer to beat on high speed unti light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Reduce speed to medium and continue beating for abt 1 minute. Add honey and mix well.

4.Gently fold in flour mixture with a spatula. Add cream and butter mixture and fold until just incorporated.

5.Spoon batter into a piping bag and pipe into paper cups or greased madeleine pans. Bake for about 25mins until madeleines are light golden in colour . Cool on a wire rack . Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Note*: They do have a strong taste of honey. Milk taste isnt too strong. You probably could adjust it according to your liking.

3) Orange Madelienes.

Recipe is the same as the prvious batch of madeleines i baked except that i replaced lemon with Orange. Orange Flavour could further be enhanced. Prolly add more peel and orange juice into the batter.

Ingredients: Makes About 16

2 Large Eggs
1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar (100g) 1
tsp of Vanilla Extract 1 cup of All Purpose Flour (120g)
¼ tsp of Salt
¼ tsp of Baking Powder
½ cup of Unsalted Butter, melted ½ tsp of Grated Orange Zest Powder Sugar (for dusting)

Steps:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spray 2 Madeleine pans with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the eggs and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes on high speed or until the mixture thickens and develops a light pale color.

3) Add the vanilla, lemon zest, flour, salt and baking powder and turn mixer down to low and slowly stream in the melted butter. Mix until everything is well incorporated but don’t over mix.

4) Divide the batter evenly in the pan (do not over fill) and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden and brown around the edges.

5) Let them cool for about 2 minutes in the pan, then invert them on a cooling rack and let them finish cooling. Sprinkle with confectioner sugar if desired

Chocolatey layered cake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY gorgor!! Last Tuesday was my Bro-in-law’s birthday and I baked this for him! Chocolatey layered cake. Super simple and easy. All you have to do is to bake the cake and stack them together. It is a very forgiving chocolate coating and it’s pretty simple to apply this coat on the cake. The original recipe (adapted from cookiefleur) calls for a steamed chocolate cake. But I was still madly in love with the “Everyday Chocolate Cake” that I used in my Chocolate Mousse and Blueberry Layered Cake, so I replaced the steam Chocolate with the Everyday Chocolate Cake. The cake is so rich and moist!! As the Chocolate Coating uses condensed milk(which is already very sweet), I cut down on my sugar for my cake recipe.However, I think it is still too sweet. I’ll reduce the amount of sugar further in future. I baked my cake in an 8X8 inch square pan and divided the cake into two equal halves (4X8 inch). My cake is pretty short. So if you want a higher cake, you probably have to double the amount of ingredients for the cake.

1) For the Cake:

Ingredients:
– 45g all purpose flour
– 10g Cocoa powder
– 1/2tsp Baking powder
– 55g Dark Chocolate
– 100g butter
– 60g caster sugar (I’ll reduce further in future)
– 2 eggs

Steps:
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease an 8-inch square tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

Measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Use a wire whisk and whisk the dry ingredients together until they are all well-mixed and evenly distributed.

Measure the dark chocolate and unsalted butter in bowl and microwave until the chocolate n butter melts. Microwave on medium high with an interval of 15-30s. Stirring at each interval.

Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to cool down slightly (the eggs will scramble if added to a hot mixture).

Crack in one egg into the chocolate mixture. Whisk the mixture (yes, same wire whisk!) for 30 seconds until it is fully incorporated. Whisk in the second egg, and then whisk in the vanilla extract.

Sift a third of flour mixture into the chocolate batter and folding gently using a large metal spoon or rubber spatula. until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.

Transfer the cake batter into the lined cake tin. Bake for 15minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Making ahead:
Make the cake 2 – 3 days in advance and keep in an air-tight container at room temperature.

2) Chocolate Coating
Ingredients:
-½ Can of Condensed milk. ( I used low fat. Haha!)
-½ tsp Vanilla essence
-¼ cup canola Oil
-¼ cup of cocoa powder (sift the cocoa powder. I only had about 45g of cocoa powder. So, I added some dark chocolate until the total weight is 60g)
-¼ tsp salt

steps
Combine the sifted cocoa powder, condensed milk and canola oil.

Stir over low heat till mixture is smooth and shiny, making sure to stir all the time to prevent burning.

Add salt and vanilla essence. Stir well.

Let it cool a little before use.

Assembly
Apply chocolate coating. Stack the cake together. Pour chocolate coating all over. My chocolate coating hardens a little because it stayed for abit longer at room temperature. Quickly apply it while it’s slightly warm. Enjoy.

Chocolate Mousse and Blueberry Layered Cake

For the past few days, I’ve been working on a blueberry chocolate layered cake. It was love at first sight when i saw the “ Chocolate, Mousse, meringue and Blueberry Curd Layered Cake” by foodismylife. The cake looks so beautiful. What can be better than a combination of my favourite chocolate and blueberries? Inspired by her cake, I was motivated to make this. It was a bold move because i have never baked a layered cake before. I have 0 knowledge about layered cakes (ie: how should they be sliced.., everything about mousse, ganache…). Although i forgo the meringue and the chocolate borders, it still tasted really delicious. I love the richness of the chocolate cake. Absolutely Chocolatey. You’ll be amazed with yourself. Well, at least I was! HA. Since this was my virgin attempt, i decided to make in smaller amount in case it doeant turn out well. It was WAY btr that what i expected. So, to all that hasnt baked a single layered cake, give it a go! You’ll be impressed, trust me.

They are in fact very tiny. Just about the size of your thumb. I cut into eight slices per ramekin cake.

Ingredients & Steps: ( bakes 2 ramekins ) [ For the full recipe on 8 inch Round cake, please click here]

1. BLUEBERRY CURD (adapted from …

1/2 lemon juice
1 lemon zest
62.5 grams blueberries
3/8 tablespoons water
37.5 grams sugar
21.25g butter ( Room Temperature)
3/4 egg

-Peel the lemon zest and juice the lemons.

-Place the zest, juice, blueberries, water and sugar in a pot over low heat. Stir the berries constantly until the berries have softened and are releasing juices, about 10 minutes.

-Strain the blueberries into a clean pot to remove the lemon zest and blueberry skins (I skipped this).

-Add in the butter and stir until all the butter has melted. Stir in the eggs gradually. Cook the blueberry mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, which will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

-Transfer the curd into a clean container, let cool completely, cover and refrigerate overnight to let it set

Note* Make the curd up to one week in advance and store it in the refrigerator

2. Simple Boozy Syrup

20 grams sugar
50 ml water

– Place the sugar and water in a small pot.
– Bring the mixture to a boil, swirling the pot to dissolve the sugar crystals. Boil for 2 – 3 minutes on high heat then remove the pot from heat.
– Let cool to room temperature.

Make ahead: Make the syrup ahead and store up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

3. Chocolate Cake (Everyday Chocolate Cake)

22.5 grams all purpose flour
5 grams good quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
27.5 grams good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
50 grams unsalted butter, can be cold or at room temperature
grams caster sugar
1
egg

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease ramekins and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

Measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Use a wire whisk and whisk the dry ingredients together until they are all well-mixed and evenly distributed.

Measure the dark chocolate and unsalted butter in a large heatproof bowl and melt them over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally

Remove the heatproof bowl from the pot. Add in the caster sugar and whisk gently – not all of the sugar will dissolve, it’s ok if the mixture is grainy. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to cool down slightly (the eggs will scramble if added to a hot mixture).

Crack in egg into the chocolate mixture. Whisk the mixture (yes, same wire whisk!) for 30 seconds until it is fully incorporated.

Sift a third of flour mixture into the chocolate batter and folding gently using a large metal spoon or rubber spatula. until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated

Transfer the cake batter into the lined cake tin. Bake for 15-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Making ahead: Make the cake 2 – 3 days in advance and keep in an air-tight container at room temperature.

4. Easy Chocolate Mousse

28.75g semi sweet chocolate, chopped
31.25 ml Whipping Cream

-Melt the chocolate and let it cool to lukewarm. Whip the cream to soft peaks formed and fold in the melted chocolate.

-The mousse should be made just before assembling the cake so that it will be soft and liquid-y enough to pour it into the mould.

5. Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze

62.5ml heavy cream
75g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp golden syrup

Heat the cream in a microwave for 30 seconds on medium high. Add in the chocolate and microwave at 15 seconds interval, checking the mixture and stirring it at each interval until all the chocolate has melted. Stir in the golden syrup and let cool for 30 minutes.

Refrigerate the cake while you prepare the final assembly.

STEPS:
1. Make the Blueberry Curd, Simple syrup and Chocolate Cake. Slice the cake horizontally and ensure it is level. ( These can be made a few days in advance. Blueberry Curd and Simple Syrup have to be stored in the fridge. Chocolate Cake can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature)
2. Make the Chocolate mousse and assemble the cake. Line the base of the ramekins with parchment paper. Place a piece of chocolate cake, apply a layer of simple syrup on the side that is facing the ceiling. Spoon the mousse onto the cake, add blueberry curd, cover with mousse again. Apply simple syrup on another piece of cake and put it on the mousse. Give a slight press so that everything is compressed together.
3. Cover with a plastic sheet and freeze it for about 2-3 hours.
4. 30 mins before the cakes are done, make the dark chocolate ganache glaze.
5. Take the ramekins out from the freezer. Dip a knife in hot water and wipe it with paper towels. Run the knife along the sides of ramekins. Turn the ramekins upside down and use yr hand to catch the cake.
6. Pour the chocolate ganache over. Spread out with a spatula and leave it till it stops dripping. Pop them in the fridge. Serve in a couple of hours/next day.

My blueberry curd failed. I guessed i overheated it until it became v dry and sticky. :/ Although they dont look beautiful but i think this attempt enabled me to overcome my initial mental barrier to bake layered cakes. It unravelled a new level of the baking world. Right now, I am so excited to bake layered cakes. ^^