Classic Butter Cake

Butter Cake. One of the most baked cake in my household. I remembered when I first started baking, it was the butter cake. A rich, light, soft butter cake. It is loved by all.

However there are always ups and down when it comes to baking. The very first try received loads of feedback, mostly on ways to improve the cake as it was dry. The 1 comment I remembered till today was told to me by my aunt. She told me to place a tray of water when the oven is on preheating. The water would create steam to circulate the oven, therefore, keeping the cake moist and light. I use that method in almost every cake I bake today as the product would always be moist and fluffy. And that’s the kind of result you want in your butter cake.

This butter cake recipe is very versatile. Like from my previous post on the rainbow cake, the cake base is butter cake with food colouring to give the colour! You can go creative and decorate the cake with cream, sparkles and many fancy things to indulge in this simple cake. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for butter cake.

Butter Cake
Butter Cake

Butter Cake 

Ingredients:

(A)
250 gm Butter (I prefer SCS or Golden Churn Brand) – softened
85 gm Castor Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essense
A pinch of Salt
4 Egg Yolks
1 tbsp Milk
200 gm Cake Flour (if self-raising flour are used, just omit the 5 gm baking powder)
5 gm/ 1 tsp Baking Powder

(B)
4 Egg Whites
85 gm Castor Sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 175’c. Grease or line the 8″ baking pan.
  • Sifted together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Beat together butter, sugar, salt and vanilla essense until creamy and light with mixer.
  • Add in egg yolks, one at a time and beat until creamy. Add in milk and mix well.
  • Fold in the sifted flour slowly spoon by spoon into mixture till well mixed.
  • In a separate clean bowl, whisk eggs whites till foamy then add in sugar gradually. Beat to a soft peak and fold 1/4 into butter mixture. Mix well and fold in the rest.
  • Pour batter into baking pan and bake at 175’c for about 40-45 mins or until cooked(insert a skewer in the middle of the cake and it come out clean)

( Recipe credits from http://cookingcrave.blogspot.sg/2009/09/butter-cake-recipe.html# ) Cooking Crave blog has many other recipe, you should check it out while you’re there!! And by far, I always head back to Cooking Crave blog for their butter cake recipe!

Butter Cake
Mini Butter Cake

There are many variation of the shape and sizes you could do with this cake. I don’t tend to follow the baking tray asked, hence I’m always out to try new and more shapes for my butter cake! I hope you enjoy this post and recipe as much as I do! And please comment if you gave this recipe a try and I would see you next Monday!! Good Luck and Have Fun!!

Oh! Just for this week, there will only be 1 post up. Fret not, I’ll make it up to you all! So for now, enjoy the post!!

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Quick & Easy Healthy School Lunches!

As senior year approach, it’s another school year in Swiss Cottage. The canteen food are starting to bore me, it’s either noodles in this store or rice in the other. So in the month of February, i decided to whip up some quick and easy healthy school lunches for school!

However there are some things I got to take note when prepping for my lunches. Here are the do’s and don’t for packing food to school:

DO’S 

  1. Avoid gravies as it might leak and make a big mess in your backpack
  2. Always prepare food the night before school. You don’t want to get up early just to prep for your school lunches, don’t you..
  3. Bring food that are easy to pack.
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • DIY Pizza
  • Sandwich
  • Salad

DON’Ts

  1. Avoid using fresh cheese as it might turn bad before lunch and it would sour your own homemade food…
  2. Use less meat and more vegetables
  3. Cook the food with an easier alternative, like baking or stir-frying. Or to make it more simple, eat it raw! (only for vegetables 🙂 )

All in all, just have fun while prepping for your lunches, make your friends go “Wow” and fascinate them with all your creative and fun lunches.

And below are the lunches I’ve made so far…

Mushroom with pasta
Mushroom with pasta

Inside this fusilli pasta, I added shiitake mushrooms, mixed herds, onion and garlic! Firstly, Boil the fusilli. While that is boiling, I sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil, till the onions soften. Add a good pinch of salt to the mixture, stirring them well. Secondly add mushrooms, cook till they turn slightly brown in colour and have shrink a little. Lastly, add your herbs, salt and pepper to season. And add your drained pasta into the stir-fry mixture and give it a quick toss! Wala! There you have it, your lunch! Pack into a lunch box when it’s cool and afterwards, cover it and pop it into the fridge before heading to bed and heat it up before heading to school.  The herbs are totally optional, I used herbs to enhance the flavour in my pasta.

Baked Mushrooms
Baked Mushrooms

I was adventurous when it came to this. Its another simple and healthy lunch for school. The ingredients are ham, spinach, onion, green capsicums, Panko breadcrumbs and your core ingredient, Mushrooms!  This dish is a no brainer. It’s simple, quick and healthy. I fry the ham and onion first, adding the spinach and green capsicums last. Then stuff the mixture into the mushrooms and top it off with the breadcrumbs and drizzle olive oil on the top and pop it into the oven at 160C for about 10 minutes or less. And your baked mushrooms is done! Again, like the above recipe, place it into your lunch box when cooled, then into the fridge and warm it before school!

And for my last recipe today is  Pasta in pesto!

Pasta in pesto
Pasta in pesto

I got to say, this dish maybe the easiest and quickest however it has a very strong herby taste and smell and it may not suit everyone’s tastebud.  For this dish, I boiled the shell pasta till they’re done and drained them and toss them in pesto and spinach! You don’t have to wait for this dish to cool before popping it into the refrigerator, as there aren’t much cooking involved, and moreover, this could be eaten cold!

Another few more ideas I am planning to do are Spring rolls, french toasts, banana muffin or bread! There are so many choices you can chose from for lunches! Let your creativity flow~

It was an enjoyable process prepping for lunches. I saved money and ate healthy food in school! It’s a win-win! I really hope you enjoy this post and food as much as I did and give a shot if you’re feeling healthy!! Thank you, Cheers, Have fun!!

Sugary Hearts for the soul

As Valentines day was just last week, I decided to share a late post on heart-shaped sugar cookies. The cookie was creamy, sweet and loving! It is somewhat like a shortbread cookie as it was pretty hard from the amount of flour used and the high oven temperature. Cookies like this should be eaten with a cup of coffee or tea with your love ones. And the steps to create love in the tummy starts below! Enjoy~

Firstly, start with a clean table top! The picture below is the aftermath of the baking. Don’t fret on the cleaning, it’d be fun if you’re doing it with your love ones! P.S. There’s plenty of flour involved…

IMG_2087

Second, Always prep your ingredients before you begin to whisk and cream. You might forget a little here and there if all the ingredients are not at sight or assembled together.

Thirdly, Just have a good time baking and shaping your love on the dough!

Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookie
Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookie

I used a basic sugar cookie recipe and used heart-shaped moulds to produce Heart-shaped Cookies!

Basic Sugar Cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 c. {two sticks} of REAL unsalted BUTTER, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tsp flavoring {pick what you like, I prefer almond}
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavoring. I use emulsions, but extract also works well. Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. I can tell the dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When I touch it, it has a little give, but does not stick to my fingers.
  2. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. Then, cut and bake at 400 degrees (200 degree C) for 7-8 minutes. This version makes 2-2 1/2 dozen, doubled, it makes 4-5 dozen

( Recipe from http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2011/06/basic-sugar-cookie-recipe-2/ )

My cookies came out great, most of them perfectly shaped, not many deformed cookies.

IMG_2092

I hope you have enjoy the post and if you try baking it, comment how are your cookies!

Well, I’ve come to the end of this post, hope you enjoy it and have fun baking!

 

A night of baking!

This month is the month of giving and receiving. As adults give joy and happiness, children receive the joy of collecting red packets. As for me, i do my part for giving quality food to my family. A week before Lunar New Year, my mum and grandma requested for me to bake butter cake, as it has always been a tradition for butter cake to be present during the Lunar New Year. However, i baked the butter cake with margarine as my grandma could not take the dairy smell of the butter, hence i changed accordingly to her liking.

On the eve of the eve of Lunar New Year, i stayed up all night baking the cake as the next morning, my family could devour on the fresh margarine cake! I spent the night creaming, whisking and baking. I had lots of fun throughout the night.

In the process of baking the margarine cake, i baked a marble cake as well. I used coffee essence instead of chocolate to enhance the smell and flavour of the cake. However, the amount of coffee essence i used was inadequate, hence the colour of the coffee infused in the cake was not noticeable. Nonetheless, the texture and appearance was great.

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Top left: Marble cake , Top right: Margarine cake. Middle: Leftover batter of     margarine cake
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Marble cake batter before popping it into the oven!

I received great comments about my cakes from my relatives and i appreciate every single feedback from my family as that’s what makes the cakes in the future better. Baking is my passion and hobby and i would love to improve as much as i could, to produce quality product for my friends and family to feast on.

And to end off this post, here’s a picture of the Marble cake!

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Rainbow Craze!

Being a foodie in Singapore, i am always out trying different variety of food. Recently, there’s loads of people buzzing about rainbow cakes. A rainbow cake is a layered cake with different colours of the rainbow. So i decided to check it out through social media. Massive amount of people were posting about how amazing the cake taste and looks! The pictures fascinated me with the colours and layers, so i decided to take things to my own hands to create a rainbow cake for my friend’s birthday.

Firstly, i divided a basic butter cake batter into 3 portions. I could not do 7 portions as my batter were insufficient. Then i added drips of different food colouring into each batter. I use orange, blue and green colour. Then i popped each batter into the oven, one by one.

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Orange, green and blue layers!

Secondly, i assembled the layers after they have baked cooled. I made Nutella cream for extra  flavour on the cake and to combine the layers together. It was my first time doing the Nutella cream and something went terribly wrong. Too much icing sugar was added and the cream tasted so sweet that it overpowered the taste of the cake. So note to self and others, always taste and adjust the recipe to your liking. In the end, I covered the whole cake with cream and bind the layers with the cream in between.

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The final product! Icing for the words and the Nutella cream covered cake.
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The inside of the cake.

It was a big mess while prepping the cake but i had a really good time doing it. The cake was not perfect but it gave a really rustic and homely style to it. I was glad i tried out this rainbow cake, and i would most definitely do it again.

Shaved ice in the heart of Chinatown

As Chinese New Year approached, so does the weather. The weather have been warm and humid for the past month. I decided to take a trip down to Chinatown for some shaved ice. Shaved ice is an ice-based dessert with fruits and jelly. Having a cold dessert on a warm night is heaven on earth. The store is located in the heart of Chinatown, usually packed on Saturday, however my friend and i were lucky enough to enjoy the cold dessert at the shop itself. The menu includes both hot and cold desserts, so fret not and bring the whole family down to indulge on sweet treats after dinner.

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert
Mei Heong Yuen Dessert
Mango Snow ice
Mango Snow ice ($5) 

We enjoyed the bowl of snow ice with a Chinese New year ambiance, which was red, lively and joyous. I would definitely make a trip back to Chinatown to savour an ice-cold bowl of shaved ice!

If interested, you can find the shop @

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert 味香园甜品 (Chinatown)
65-67 Temple Street
Kreta Ayer Conversation Area
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 1030am to 8pm
                        Sat – Sun 1030am to 10pm
Or at
Mei Heong Yuen Dessert 味香园甜品 (ION Orchard)
2 Orchard Turn
#B4-34 ION ORchard
Tel: 6509 3301
Opening Hours: Daily 1030am to 10pm