Friday, July 31, 2009

- Chicken Farm Special Project: The Quest for The Real Red Velvet Cake! -

This month, the Chicken farm members had decided to have a special project. The reason for this project came from the problem of the new member.

She made the red velvet cake using the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf, and the result was not edible (the reason is the book has a problem from the publishing process you can download the correction here: )
So, we have an idea that we like to find the delicious red velvet that will make us happy!

I searched for the recipe from my cookbook collection, and I got about 10 recipe!
But for the frosting, after I made the white frosting, and ate it with the cake, I felt it's not the one that I looking for. I talked to my friend (Koy) and she suggested this cake will be great when pairing with the cream cheese frosting. So, I choose the cream cheese frosting from the book ...............

As I made the second time, I didn't want to make the same plain cake, then I decided to turn the simple red velvet cake into the three tiers wedding cake. I frosted the cake with the cream cheese frosting then cover the cake with the fondant.
And now I got the red velvet cake that I like, delicious and beautiful ^ ^.

Note: I didn't take the photograph of how-to make the fondant and how-to decorate it. I will show you next time that I make it because this is my first time to use the fondant to decorate the cake.

Red Velvet Cake
Make 9inch two layers cake


Unsalted butter softened
caster sugar
vanilla extract
Egg separated
Plain flour
Corn flour
baking powder
good-quality cocoa powder

Red food colouring
(use2tbsp liquid colour or ½ tsp thick red food paste) - I use ½ tsp thick red food paste with 1 tsp liquid colour

Pinch of salt
1 tsp
white wine vinegar
I tsp
bicarbonate of soda

Cream cheese frosting

Unsalted butter
Cream cheese
Icing sugar (sifted)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Butter and flour the sides of two-9 inch cake tins and line the bases with parchment paper.

Measure the buttermilk ‘with the food colouring and mix together. It should be very red, so add more if you need to.

Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolks, one by one, beating well after each addition.
Sift one-forth of the dry ingredients into the butter and eggs mixture until just combined.

Then pour in one-third of the buttermilk mixture and mix until just combined. Continue, combining a third at a time, until both are incorporated.

Whisk the egg whites and salt in a large, spotlessly clean bowl until stiff peaks form.
Add one-quarter to the batter and mix. Add the remaining egg whites in three stages, folding them in gently with a large metal spoon until just incorporated, leaving as much air in the egg whites as possible. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda until it bubbles up, then gently fold this into the batter.

Quickly pour the batter into the two prepared tins and smooth the tops. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

To make the icing, beat all the ingredients together to a thick cream. With a palette knife, spread a layer of icing on one cake, then press the other on top. Spread the rest of the icing over the top and side of the cake, swirling it attractively. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, and keep in the fridge as the icing will soften at room temperature.

- Chicken Farm Special Project:
The Quest for The Real Red Velvet Cake! -
The red velvet wedding cake

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge #32: Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

I think about skipping this challenge, well, not because I don't want to make it, but I have a lot of work in a last few days. Anyway, I really want to try it!

So, I just made each step in each day (and I can manage my time), I made the cookies in day one and made the marshmallow and the glaze in the next day, then I just finished in time ^ ^.
I have a problem about the yield of the recipe, I got a lot (I mean really "LOT" about 150 pieces), did I do anything wrong?

And for the marshmallow, I had to add more water in the gelatin more than 2 tbsp, I use 3 tbsp and I don't know is it the cause of the problem that my marshmallow is quite soft (I couldn't beat it to stiff peak).

Anyway, it's very interesting to make this recipe, I had a chance to make the marshmallow, which I really want to make it a long time ago, ^ ^. So, I have to thank you Nicole, I had a good time making the marshmallow.
The finished cookie is good, esp. if you love chocolate and marshmallow!

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies (I got about 150 pieces!)

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.

3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface (I use 2 pieces of parchment paper, it's easier- dailydelicious). Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.

8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes (I use 12 minutes - dailydelicious) or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Homemade marshmallows:

• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water (I used 3 tbsp - dailydelicious)
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.

2. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.
7. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
2. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
3. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.

4. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

July 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge #32:

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mini Brownies Cupcake: Chocolate-chocolate in one bite!

I like to go to the convenient store and the shelf that I have to visit is the chocolate shelf! Well, most of them are sweet but I always try any brand that I get my eyes on.
So, I always end up with a lot of cute little packages, one with nut, with fruits or sometimes, I get my favorite like snickers, mars or etc.

But this time I see this one, Morinaga's bitter chocolate, (well, I think most of you are the same as me, when something say that it has less calories, and taste good, you might want to try, haha)
The package of this chocolate got my attention, only 20 kcal per piece, it's very little ^ ^.

After tasting one pieces, I think about the transform it into something more delicious. (I have to tell you that, there is nothing strange with this chocolate, the fact is the piece is very thin >*<, so one piece, very little calories. The taste is good and it's easy to buy, just around the corner of my home ^ ^.) I transform it into this little gem, I adapt this recipe from the little loaf (it's not small enough, I want it to be bite size). So, from the loaf, I use small foil cupcake mold instead, add more chocolate in the recipe (well, I think you can add more up to 35 g). So, with each bite, you will get the taste of the brownies and when it's small, so each one of them has a little calories too ^_^.

Mini Brownies Cupcake

Makes 8 (6x2.5cm piece)

Caster Sugar

A pinch of salt
Cake flour
Cocoa powder
¼ tsp
Baking powder
Unsalted butter (melted and cool)
Bitter chocolate (cut into small chunks)
Pecan nut

Preheat the oven to 180 °C
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together.

Beat the egg with sugar and salt until pale, pour the flour mixture into the egg and whisk to combine.
Pour the melted butter into the egg and flour mixture, whisk to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chunks, then pour into the molds, and place the pecan on the top of the cake.
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until puff up and cooked through.

Mini Brownies Cupcake: Chocolate-chocolate in one bite!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Double honey ice cream: Honey flavor ice cream with home made honey comb

As the weather still hot (as always >*<), I think a scoop of ice cream will be great. And this time, the flavor of the ice cream is something that I like, the HONEY.
I like the one with a great fragrance , but if you not totally love or don't have , any kind of honey will be good too. The honey in this recipe make the ice cream texture real good, and very easy to scoop too.
I reduce the honey in the recipe (I use only 80g, but if you love your ice cream to be sweet, you can use 100g of the honey).

The honey comb is very easy to make, the trick is to boil the sugar until color (the darker is more flavorful but beware of the bitterness too), and when adding the bicarbonate of soda, let the mixture boil heavily and your honey comb will be crunchy.

So,no matter how the weather is, having a scoop of the delicious ice cream will be a good time, right?

Ice cream

Runny honey
Vanilla extract
Whipping cream
Egg yolks

Honey comb

Golden caster sugar
½ tbsp
Runny honey
Bicarbonate of soda

Start by making the ice cream .

Warm the honey in a small pan over a low heat

In another pan heat the cream and milk together until just below boiling point.Pour the hot cream mixture over the eggs whisking constantly. Return the whole lot to the pan and set over a low heat stirring constantly until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Strain into a clean bowl.

Add the warmed honey, vanilla and mix thorough. Cover and then chill for at least 2 hours before churning in an ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions

To make the honeycomb tip the caster sugar into a saucepan and add the honey and 2-3 tbsp water. Bring slowly to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil steadily until the caramel becomes honey coloured. Add bicarbonate of soda and, working very quickly, swirl the pan to mix evenly.
Immediately pour into a greased baking tin set on a heatproof surface (I use silicone baking paper) and leave until the honeycomb is completely cold and brittle.

Break the honeycomb into pieces and gently mix through the ice cream mixture. Tip into a freezer-proof container and cover with the baking paper (to prevent the droplet of the water to drop into the ice cream) and freeze until needed.

Double honey ice cream:
Honey flavor ice cream with home made honey comb

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Blondies: Easy cookie in one bowl!

Peanut butter is my darkest secret, I can't stand it, well, I have to eat them all, haha. I know that not all the people love it (and some are allergic to it), but I always love it.

I got this recipe from the Olive magazine issue July 2009, the name of this recipe is the main thing that I change ^ ^.
Because the name "Blondies" don't refer to the real feeling when you eat this!
This cookie is like a dense peanut butter cookie, and each bite you will love it. The peanut and white chocolate getting along very well, and the best is this cookie is not too sweet. I end up eating a lot of it, haha.
I reduce the amount of the white chocolate in the ingredient, not because I want less of it, because the amount in the blondies is the same. But the white chocolate for drizzle over the blondies is too much. I use only 50g of it, not 100g (or if you want a white chocolate to cover the blondies, use 100g).

The blondie is very easy to make, you only need one bowl for it, so less washing too, ^ ^. I hope that you will love this blondie, especially for the people who love the peanut butter as I do.

Peanut Butter Blondies
Makes 12

Crunchy peanut butter
Dark brown sugar
Cake flour
1½ tsp
Baking powder
Vanilla extract
1 tbsp
White chocolate (chopped)

Line and butter 20 x 20 cm pan.
Preheat the oven to 160 °C

Melt the peanut butter, butter, and sugar together (I use microwave), let the mixture cool.

Add the flour, eggs, vanilla, and baking powder and mix, add milk.
Stir in 150g of white chocolate and pour the mixture into the pan.

Bake until the blondies are puffed and cooked through for 25 minutes.
Let the blondies cool.

Melt the rest of the white chocolate and drizzle over the blondies.
Cool before cutting into the squares.

Peanut Butter Blondies: Easy cookie in one bowl!


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