Sunday, 24 April 2011

Another Lighting McQueen Cake from Disney Cars movie

Another Lighting McQueen Character 3D cake from Disney movie Cars. I have a strong feeling that this cake will be even more popular when Cars 2 movie is out later in June :)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Baked NYC Chocolate Almond Truffles

Baked is a well known bakery that is located in NYC. I first heard about them from the Oprah show, for their famous brownies. She recognized their brownies as a "favorite thing".

They has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show, the Today Show, the Food Network, and the Style Network.  Baked has also received awards from Time Out, French Culinary Institute, Citysearch, and America's Test Kitchen.  

Their first book, Baked:  New Frontiers in Baking was published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang in October 2008, and became a best-seller and was a favorite of NPR, People Magazine, Martha Stewart and Oprah.
So when I came across their book in the library, I couldn't resist to not borrow it and try their recipes.

The first thing that I tried, happened to be these truffles. Just because I had all the ingredients in my kitchen :) These truffles are to die for!...they are super yummy and they are easy to make...a little messy but very worth the mess and the calories!

So here goes the recipe:

Milk/Dark Chocolate Almond Truffles

For the truffle centers:

8 ounces milk chocolate (you can also use dark chocolate)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1tsp almond extract or Amaretto liqueur

For the truffle coating:
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Tempered milk/dark chocolate

To make the truffle centers:
  • Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. 
  • Place a fine-mesh sieve or strainer over the bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the cream just to a boil. Add the almonds, cover the saucepan, and turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer the almonds in the covered saucepan for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, and pour the cream through the sieve directly over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes.
  • Gently stir the mixture from the center outward until it is smooth and shiny.
  • Add the almond extract or liqueur and stir to combine. Cover the entire bowl in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 5 hours or until firm.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop the truffles with a small melon baller or tablespoon, and drop onto parchment paper in balls. (it's okay if they are not perfectly round)
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Rolling the truffles:
  • Place the almonds on a large plate.
  • Remove the truffles from the freezer and use fondue fork to dip each truffle in the tempered chocolate.
  • Drop the truffle in the almonds and turn to coat with almond pieces.
  • Put the almond-coated truffles on the baking sheet to set.

Notes: For more variety, you can coat these truffles with icing sugar or chocolate sprinkles. Of course I found the almond coating was the best.

Truffles can be store in an airtight container, between layers of wax paper for up to 1 week.

Happy baking!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Pink Piggy Birthday Cake

Another dose of cuteness...a Pink Piggy theme cake for a16th birthday. The bottom is a 7" vanilla cake and the pink piggy top is also a cake.

I had a lot of fun making this cake! This is definitely one of my favourite cake. I just wished that I could take better pictures of this cake during the day so that I could get a better lighting. But unfortunately, the cake was done in the evening and there was no time to do it in the morning.
O's better than no picture at all :)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Sour Cream & Rhubarb Cake

I made this cake for my Dad's birthday cake few weeks ago. Since he loves rhubarb, I thought this cake would be perfect for him. We grow our own rhubarb, and it was perfect timing as they were ripe and ready to use.

I can not remember where I got this recipe from...whoever you are thank you for sharing this recipe.
This rhubarb cake is scrumptious and beautifully rustic! and now I'm sharing it with you :)

This is the original recipe:

Sour Cream and Rhubarb Cake

2 1/3 cups Self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
60g butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tsp vanilla extract
240g sour cream
4 cups rhubarb (cut 1cm chunks)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 cup caster sugar (you can reduce this if you prefer, it will just be less crunchy on the top)
1/3 cup flaked almonds (optional)

Pure cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
  • Preheat your oven to 180C and grease a 26cm round cake tin.
  • Mix together the flour, salt and 1 and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl with a whisk and set aside.
  • Put the butter and brown sugar into a separate bowl and beat till the mixture resembles (and feels like) wet sand.
  • Once the butter is fully incorporated, add the egg and beat will till the mixture is fluffy and creamy and there are no more lumps of sugar.
  • Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat in till well combined.
  • Mix in the flour on low speed till combined, then add your rhubarb chunks and stir briskly to make sure that the rhubarb is completely coated in batter.
  • Once the mixture is combined, scrape it into your prepared cake tin and sprinkle the top liberally with flaked almonds and caster sugar.
  • Bake the cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or till a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 

Playing around:

I have added some chopped apple into this batter and it's easily turned into Apple-Rhubarb cake. Instead of 4 cups of rhubarb, reduce it to 3 cups of rhubarb and add 1 cup of chopped apple.
    Happy Baking everyone!