26 July 2011

Simply Bake A Cake & Eat It Day

Mum Goodwin's Chocolate Cake
 This morning, I woke up feeling like having some cakes. Family and friends have been asking me about baking. Here they are; this is what I do when I simply bake a cake and eat it. Please bear in mind; this is the entry level instead of the advanced one. Hope you can learn a tip or two from the steps.



1. Do the Researches:
I will Google a recipe or pull out all my cake books – if the photo shows a delicious looking cake or has a good review, I will go and bake it. It doesn’t apply to the luscious novelty cakes I am making. They are tested recipes from the professional cake artists in Australia. This will go further in relation to the level of attitudes. Let’s just keep it simple here.


Google is the cost effective way to bake from scratches. For me, I love to know how the other professional cake artists bake. This allows me to improvise and adapt to a great recipe of such my family and friends would definitely enjoy.


I don’t bake from the cake mix. First, I do not know what ingredients are in the mix and they are overly sweet to us, although it does guarantee it will turn out a 100% good looking cake.


* Today, I am baking a chocolate cake I saw on the Food Network by Julie Goodwin (The Australia First Master Chef). I haven’t bought her book yet but someone generously shared the recipe on the Internet. I may buy the book if this cake turns out as good as it looks in the photo.


2. Baking Tools:
This is the prep list that you can find in the supermarkets. Again, this is a list what I can’t bake without them. Different people will have different tools they need in the kitchen.
My Baking Tools
A. Measuring spoons – you can measure salts, baking powder etc
B. Dry ingredient measuring cups – you can measure flours etc
C. Liquid measuring cups – you can measure milk etc
D. Weighing scales – baking is all about weight rations. If you use a scale, you know that you are spot on
E. Bowls – don’t mix up with your cooking bowls
F. Cake pans – I prefer light colour pan because they are less to burn the cake; however, if you have the darker pans; make sure you drop the oven temperature by 10 degrees and keep eyes half way through
G. Electronic mixers – it is a huge help to cream the butter until pale and fluffy
H. Sifter - sifting breaks up clumps, adds air to the flour which helps produce lighter cakes and makes measurements more uniform
I. Oven thermometer – temperatures can be checked to insure it remains consistent throughout the baking time.

3. Prepare Ingredients:
As a home baker, I have most fine ingredient from the speciality shops or importers instead of the local supermarkets. The quality of the ingredients you use will determine the final taste of the cake. Although the fine ingredients for baking normally sell on a huge quantity through the importers, you will be able to find the small quantity in the local speciality shops. They are expensive but it’s worth to invest. After all, this is a delicious cake for you and your loved ones. You want them to be healthy and satisfied.

Ingredients For This Recipe

* Mum Goodwin’s Chocolate Cake –
125g cocoa power (Callebut cocoa powder or Organic cocoa powder)
375ml hot water (do I need to say more)
180g unsalted butter (Western Star) – Soften [room temperature]
550g caster sugar (CSR and do not use white sugar)
185ml milk (Pauls and use only full cream) – [room temperature]
2 teaspoons of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
½ teaspoon salt (fine pink salt just personal reference)
450g self-raising flour (I use white wings or organic flour)
3 eggs (free range and 70g each egg) – [room temperature]

* Dark Chocolate Glaze –
5g of dark chocolate (Callebut)
150ml boiled cream

4. Steps:
After years in the baking wilderness and learnt the tricks of the trade from many top pastry chefs; let’s take some actions now.

a. Preheat the oven 160 degrees fan force
b. Liquid measuring cup – stir cocoa powder and hot water together; set it aside to cool
c. A bowl – Sift salt and self-raising flour together (I run out of the unsalted butter so I use the salted butter; so simply I just need to sift the flour only)
d. Another liquid measuring cup – combine milk and apple cider vinegar
e. Mixer bowl – cream butter and sugar on a medium speed until pale and fluffy (if you don’t have the scraper beater, make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl, this prevents the chunk butter stays underneath) It takes times to complete this stage; so be patient
    i. Beat in one egg at a time on a medium speed (mix well before add the next egg)
    ii. Beat in 1/3 of flour mixture and beat on the low speed
    iii. Beat in ½ of milk mixture
    iv. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk mixtures
v. Finally, stir in the chocolate mixture
f. Cake tin – I use the bundt cake pan; I use the cake release spray to enable me to release the cake easier later. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. I want to do something naughty. I add the “Caramello” chocolate in the batter.
g. Oven – Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes according to the recipe. The early sign to see if the cake is well cooked is that the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and when you touched it; it springs back. You can also check it with the cake tester. The tester comes out clean means its ready.
h. Cool off – Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes and leave it to cool down completely on the cake cooling rack.
i. Chocolate Glaze
    i. Pour boiled cream over chocolate and stir until combined and glossy
    ii. Leave to cool at room temperature

5. Presentation:
This is what you are waiting for with all the hard works. Place your cake on the cake stand or a beautiful plate. Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake.
It’s time to cut it, serve it and eat it.

Thank you for stopping by!
Happy baking~
Beth xoxo

21 July 2011

Dessert Table


Caramel Heaven Dessert Table
Salad Bar & Drink Station
  
I have celebrated my 33rd birthday with 15 beloved family and friends last night. It was a magical night. The party was last until nearly midnight from 5:30PM. It was this fun. Hubby did a good job on bringing out some good steaks, lamb chops etc.

I think a backyard barbecue is more casual by nature and allows my guests to hang out and relax. I also served three types of salad. Young guests was simply easy to please by playing my baby niece's toys and some balloons.

Here is my first dessert table. It's called "Caramel Heaven" due to its colour scheme. I have several desserts made by the super yummy Belgian Caramel Chocolate.

This year, I don’t have a theme, so a dessert table can bring a sweet touch to it. After all, what could be sweeter than sharing sweet memories together with your close family and friends?

Here is how I prepared it!




Cake and Desserts: baking mama
1. Caramel Milkshake
2. My Handbag Birthday Cake
3. Allergy Free Chocolate Cake Pops
4. Pocky Strawberry
5. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
6. Mini Choc Mudcake Cupcakes & Caramel Choc Ganache
7. Milk Chocolate Mousse in a shot
8. Raspberry Mousse Chocolate Cups
9. Lemony Whoopie Pies
10 Mudcake Cupcake Favours
Homemade Desserts
All desserts were gone before the night ended. Every treat is a winner. There is the most asked one which was the "whoopie pie" because no one knew what it was before the party and they loved it.

Stands and Jars: baking mama
Favours: baking mama
Monogram Wall Decal: Janey Mac through Etsy.Com
Pom Poms: Ah-Tissues
Fabric: white table linen and tulle from Spotlight

Drink Station:

I am always thinking the less the better but when it comes to take the actions; it’s always the other way around. Since I have a dessert table, I guess there is no harm to have a drink station. It is small due to the numbers of the guest. According to the expert, it is to avoid congestion in one area and to keep the guests mixing.
Labels: Our Sweet Events
Drink Cooler: IKEA

Well, I guess this is it. I can't wait to plan my next party. Hands up if that's you.
Happy birthday to me. :)

Thank you for stopping by!
Happy celebrating~
Beth xoxo

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