1. Green tea Chiffon cake
I made this greentea chiffon cake on the name day of Mr. Bear. In Poland, as you may already know, beside the birthday, people have their own name day. Most people has their name after some saints, which means some people who don’t have saint names don’t have their name days as well. But just imagine you can only name your babies after a bunch of names, how boring! Anyway, some people like it as name day doesn’t remind them as they’re one year older.
This is the first time I bake with a cake form with a tube in the middle. I thought part of the success of the cake is due to the extra heat provided by this tube. But after bake the same recipe again using a regular round cake form, I see that it doesn’t really matter. The cake still hold its shape pretty well.
The advantage of the tube cake form is that you can cool the cake up side down on a bottle neck. The problem with the tube cake form is that it’s more difficult to release the cake from the form. You don’t want to be brutal, so what I did was tapping it out and pray. This praying worked, this time!
Because of the shape of the cake, it’s more challenging for a piping-cream fan like me. So I just pipe whipped cream all over the cake, disguise the clumpsy piping trail with lots of chocolate shaves (mine curved because I accidentally put it under a hot light before shaving), and a rain of toasted almond. The combination of almond, chocolate and cream never fails, on anything, including a greentea cake.
The recipe for the green tea chiffon cake is from Noinieu web blog (in Vietnamese)http://www.gocbep.com/2008/03/bnh-bng-lan-tr-xanh.html
2. Apple Pie
I have a speacial interest in making pie, though this apple custard pie is a complete failure to me. It has a crack in the shell, and worse, I only discover it after blind-baking. I blame this crack for the warm butter in the dough which made it more difficult to roll, next time I’ll make the dough my way. Not knowing how to fix it, I ignored and poured in the filling. But as you can never get away with problem just by ignoring it, minutes after sitting in the oven, the filling started leaking out of the shell. What a disaster! I could imagine how soggy the shell would become when soaked in the custard filling, and the apple boats which were supposed to be like ‘tips of the icebergs’ now stuck out its whole skeleton.
To my surprise, the pie managed somehow to hold its general shape.
Of course, it’d look much better when the custard doesn’t leak out. But looking at it from an angle, the cinnamon sugar gave the apples some cute brown tops.
Have a bite of this brandy-smelling apple pie. Yes, another mistake of mine was that I put too much brandy essence into the pie, so the apple flavour was nowhere to be found and the brandy was very distinct. The poor apples must have been drunk!
Anyway, leaving out the mistakes which are absolutely my own faults, I encourage people to try out this recipe from Joy of Baking http://www.joyofbaking.com/AppleCustardTart.html
A farcry from the original tart, but I promise I’ll improve it next time.
3. Carrot cake
I’m never sweet on carrot cake, although the recipe I use requires only 2dl of oil, which is affordable to the reputation of a healthy cake. I personally prefer soft sponge cake to rich, dense, brown cakes. And this loaf of dark aromatic goodness looks magnificent but way too masculine for me.
Yes, it’s with walnuts and cinnamon, and nutmeg and brown sugar. Its aroma prevails in any room it stays in. But I always prefer to call it a cake, rather than a bread. So this is what I did.
The big chunks of walnuts made it a bit tricky to get a clean cut. But i like to show off the walnuts rather than to mince them, and a carrot cake is supposed to be a bit rough, isn’t it?
Well, carrot cake is always said to be accompanied with creamcheese frosting. But i was short of creamcheese, so i used buttercream in stead. My first time of making buttercream too. A forced marriage, but not so horible. Mr. Bear commented that ‘it’s a good cream!’
The recipe for this super-healthy carrot cake is from my Norsk bakebook. So i’d recommend folk to search for a similar recipe online, for the sake of my laziness. There’re bunches of good recipes out there, and carrot cake is not so sophisticated that you need to stick to a secret recipe to ensure success.
4. And something completely out of my memory …
I see now that cakes require an attitude, understand it, respect it, be humble and patient with it, and most important of all, go for it with passion. Happy baking!