Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cakes of 2012

In 2012, I attempted baking cakes, and I meant huge ones. One reason why I dislike baking cakes is because it is time-consuming - that is if it is baked and made from scratch, not premixes.

I baked Rainbow cake in August and Vanilla white cake with chocolate frosting and strawberries (I'm still thinking what I should name it as - the name is too long) in December.

If I were to bake cake for one, you must really be a special privilege guest to me. It is time-consuming and tiring for me to be doing so many things at one go. Especially that Christmas day, I baked cupcakes and cookies for my colleague and made the white cake for his birthday. And I took the entire day.

White Cake / Rainbow Cake
Not as yellow as it looks in the photo.

  • 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/3cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk at room temperature
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel paste colouring

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Butter and line as many 8-inch round pans that you have. If you have a weighing machine, weigh your mixer bowl and take down the weight of it.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Next, using your stand mixer or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed till light and fluffy.
  5. Change the speed to medium-low and mix in the vanilla extract and then slowly add the egg whites and blend till fully incorporated.
  6. Switch the speed to low, and using the wet-dry ingredients alternating method, add in one third of the milk and one third of the flour mixture. Keep alternating, ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary and mix it till it all comes together.
  7. Using your weighing machine, weigh the mixer bowl again and minus off the initial weight. Divide the weight by 6 (for rainbow) or 3 (for normal) and portion the batter in individual bowls accordingly to the weight that you have calculated. Each batter should get around 263g (6 layers) or 527g (3 layers).
  8. If making RAINBOW cake, using a toothpick or metal teaspoon, tint your batter using the gel paste colourings till you get your desired shades.
  9. Pour the batter into the lined pans and bake for 15 minutes (for 263g) or 20 minutes (for 527g) each.
  10. Once done, let it cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing it and letting it cool completely.

Recipe Source: LadyIronChef & Edited

In my opinion, this cake is still considered sweet the 2nd round I made, even though I got the recipe right this time.

I left these 3 layers of cake overnight because I ran out of butter for the lemony butter-cream (recipe below below) - but changed my mind to make chocolate frosting instead (when I chanced upon the below recipe). I thought I should make this instead of having the entire cake in white colour with only strawaberries.

Chocolate Rasps Frosting

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 80g milk chocolate
  • 120g soft butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate rasps
  • Freshly cut strawberries (optional)

  1. Using the double boiler method, melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until completely dissolved.
  2. Using hand mixer, mix cream cheese till fluffy.
  3. Pour chocolate-and-butter mixture into cream cheese and combine.
  4. Add vanilla extract and salt.
  5. Add icing sugar in, spoons by spoons.
  6. Add evaporated milk to desired consistency of frosting. (The more icing sugar you use, the stiffer your frosting will be.)
  7. Spread frosting with spatula between each layer of the cake, around and over the entire cake.
  8. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Touch up wherever necessary or go over the entire cake again with frosting.
  9. Spread dark chocolate rasps over the cake and decorate it with strawberries

Recipe Source: yankaykay & Edited
I had to shave chocolate myself because the readily-available chocolate rasps was out of stock - get a large dark chocolate baking bar and grate it.

I thought that this recipe is not like frosting because it is quite liquidy. Perhaps some adjustments need to be made to make it more chocolatey, less sweet and more "solid". That is my opinion.

Lemony Swiss Meringue Butter-cream

  • 9 egg whites
  • 1 ¾ cups (350) granulated sugar
  • 452g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract

  1. Using a double boiler method, put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. To know if it is done, test it by simply rubbing the mixture between your fingers. It should feel smooth and velvety.
  2. Once the mixture is cooked, transfer it to your electric mixer and beat it on high speed until room temperature. You should get a huge mass of white meringue when that is done.
  3. Switch the speed to medium-low and slowly add in your butter. Do not add all at once as it will crumble the meringue and the cream will not be smooth and fluffy.
  4. Once all the butter is in, switch the mixer back to high speed and whip it until it all comes together, for about 5 mins.
  5. Add in the lemon extract and beat briefly.
  6. To assemble the cake, simply put some frosting in between each layers, frost the entire cake.

Recipe Source: LadyIronChef

When I first looked at this recipe, I was surprised by the amount of egg whites used. What am I supposed to do with the egg yolks? I cannot possibly consume them like this LOL. In the end, I half the recipe because I ran out of butter -.- thus, you see the cake is not completely covered even though I tried my very best to do it.

Well, as you can tell/see, much effort is needed to be placed into making the entire cake, especially from scratch. So you must be really special to receive one from me (ok till date, no one except him has ever received one from me).

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