On the westcoast, people seem to be especially green and ecofriendly. By this point, you have probably heard about the 100 mile diet, where people eat foods produced within a 100 mile radius of them. That’s right, folks… it’s possible! (Albeit a bit more pricey. I try to buy local, which allows foods to be packed with the utmost nutrients and saving on pollution from the transport by cutting down on the journey travelled.
The key to this is cooking seasonally. As it is blueberry season here, the blueberries came from an organic U-pick farm. Oh, how I love U-pick! It’s a smorgasboard of berry delights, and you can eat until your fingers and tongue turn blue while you’re getting the exercise from picking the berries. In addition to this, the eggs are from a local free-range chicken farm. This free-range thing is really not just a trend, as many civic establishments will only be allowed to use such eggs from now on. So this is my entry for the Earth Food Monthly Mingle.
While I didn’t source the flour and other ingredients from local sources, I know that it could have been done. Although I’m trying to incorporate slowly this local eating so that a practical balance can be achieved. But making a conscious effort to buy locally is my little way of reducing my footprint.
This coffee cake is the most addictive recipe ever! I must warn you, that once you’ve made it, you better have someone to share it with, or you might find yourself eating the whole thing unknowingly. Freeze the extras to be safe. It’s jam-packed full of antioxidant blueberry power, and with only a moderate amount of butter, so it’s well worth the baking effort.
Ok, I think that I’ve done my last basic cake experimentation. My oven is asking me to make something else. Enjoy! I adapted this recipe from Lily’s recipe for Pandan Chiffon Cake. But since I don’t have pandan juice readily available in my pantry, I went with the ever so trendy matcha.
Taste: Today, I made a luxurious tasting coconut milk chiffon cake. The matcha provides antioxidants and a nice light taste. The coconut taste is barely noticeable. If you had not been told that there was coconut in it, you would not detect it. But it adds to the moisture of this cake.
Texture: Very soft and even moister than the Chinese sponge cake! Continue reading
So, I’m on the continuing quest to find a good cake recipe to act as a base for my celebration cakes. Today, I went with a recipe from a friend. Strangely enough, it comes from a baker from Safeway. But I’m assured that this wasn’t made for the store, but for his personal use. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Safeway baked goods. It’s just that they aren’t exactly known for Asian-style cakes).
Taste: This one is moist with a light crust on the outside. It is a Chinese-style sponge cake. It’s similar to what you would buy in a Chinese bakery, where they sell it as a paper-lined sponge cake and “gai dan goh”. Or in a Chinese fresh fruit cream cake. If you wish, you can add some vanilla for a nice fragrance. But I generally leave it out if it will be in a filled cake.
Texture: Definitely sliceable when cool. The texture is just a bit drier than the hot milk sponge cake, which makes it more sliceable. But as you can see, the crumb is also very fine. There are a few tricks to getting the crumb this way. It doesn’t work for me everytime. But when the egg whites are just beaten in the right way, they will produce this nice crumb. It stays moist when well wrapped in plastic wrap or a cake case. Let me know if you would like to know how I beat the meringue. Although it’s a pretty forgiving recipe.
Coming off the delicious high of the chocolate lava cake and cookies, I wanted to make something low fat. So I opted for a simple cake. The hot milk sponge cake is nice and easy because it doesn’t require you to beat the egg white and yolks separately. I believe that this changes the crumb of the cake a bit. Compared to the chiffon cake, this cake has a very fine and even crumb with no opportunity for large air bubbles.
For this recipe, I adjusted a hot milk sponge cake recipe I found on RecipeZaar. I used directions from Alice Medrich’s hot milk sponge cake because her sponge cake is the best I’ve ever made. It retains its moistness days later and freezes very well. However, there are many egg yolds and more fat in that I recipe and I wanted to see if I could cut down on that.
Taste: The aroma was nice and it was definitely delectable. For my tastes, it was a tad on the sweet side. So I think that I would cut back on the sugar to 1/3 cup and see if it still tasted sweet enough. I will try to cut down on the baking powder to 1/4-1/2tsp. I think that this might have affected the depth of the flavour, so I would adjust this before increasing the butter a bit.
Texture: It was very very soft and moist. I really liked the fine crumb of this compared to the chiffon cake. So I think that I would prefer to make this to the chiffon cake because the crumb is more beautiful. Sorry, but the picture doesn’t do it justice. The compromise is in the height of the cake, as it is not as high as the chiffon. But this cake will also give more consistent results, and there is not as much room for error in the folding. Continue reading
So, it was bound to happen. I was happily going on my baking ways, when this horribly ugly cake came about. I was practising a new recipe, as I’ll be having a baking potluck with a few close friends. They really like lava cake, so I decided for a trial run. But yuck, it did not work. Basically, I whisked a whole egg with some salt, sugar and vanilla. Then I folded in some melted dark chocolate and butter, followed by the tiniest smidgeon of flour.
I had hid a bit of white chocolate in the batter to melt and ooze out. But the result was that the chocolate sunk to the bottom. (Not enough flour perhaps?) And the white chocolate did not really melt, while the dark chocolate was still quite raw. The whole concoction tasted quite eggy. The plus side was that it was a small recipe and it didn’t take too much of my time or my beautiful chocolate. In the garbage you go! And I’m just disheartened enough to try again… 🙂
(I’m not including the recipe for obvious reasons.)
One of my favourite blogs to try recipes from is Do what I like. Almost every recipe that I’ve tried from there has been a winner. In my rampage for low fat cake recipes, I’ve tried her chiffon cake.
In my mind, the key to a successful chiffon is that it is still soft and moist the next day. This is a big problem with sponge cakes for me, as it becomes hard and chewy very quickly. Luckily, this one was still just as delicious the next day. I scaled her recipe to use 3 eggs in a 9″ tube pan because I didn’t want to waste too many ingredients if it failed. But it worked and rose beautifully. The taste is just right for me, not too sweet. I think that I may try to cut the sugar back just a bit more. And I may want to play around, substituting strawberry puree for orange juice.
Look at the fine texture. Small crumbs, and not many big holes.
Have you ever craved something so much, you’d go out to the store 5 minutes before closing just to get the ingredient you needed?? That’s me with chocolate. Ahh. the 5th food group. That’s surprisingly healthy as well. Luckily, this time, I have padded my pantry with chocolate to last me a good while, should I not bake excessively.
So… due to my new-found glut of Purdy’s white chocolate bars, I have had to find something to do with them. Googling up white chocolate recipes was not easy, lemme tell you. I wanted white chocolate recipes that were not too buttery in themselves, as white chocolate is luxurious enough as it is.
Finally, I stumbled upon a recipe from Godiva’s website. It was for white chocolate cheesecake muffins. Not feeling the need to gain 20lb, I opted out of the cheesecake and settled to gain 10. Oh boy, were these worth it. It you like a crispy top, these are the muffins for you. I halved the recipe and took out some oil and sugar. It didn’t compromise the taste from what I could tell. The texture of the insides are nice and soft. Truly, best eaten warm. And it took me less than 1/2hr to put together and eat. A big plus!
Next time I try this, I think I’ll flavor half of it with matcha and do a marbled loaf. Or I might switch it up and make them in madeleine pans, which would give these a really cute shape.
Plus, this is my first submission ever to a blog event. Sugar High Friday’s -Cravings.
It’s not really that time of year yet. But the weather has been rainy and cold here of late. So that warm apple cinnamon taste definitely helps.
I can’t remember exactly where I pulled this recipe from because it was a while ago. But it’s very easy to make with nice results. I added a jam glaze and icing sugar on the top for some extra impact.
Verdict: The taste was a bit bland. I should add more sugar next time. Also, the cake ended up being a bit flat. It might fare better in a 8″ pan. But it looks like I spent a lot of time on it 🙂