Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Salmon, Dill and Potato Tart

I love making tarts and am constantly on the look out for savoury tart recipes. This is because my other half prefers savoury ones as compared with sweet tarts. Let you on another secret ..... I also tend to collect tart molds (plus cake pans - cheez does this make me a hoarder!) as well but till todate have not been able to find the stainless steel tart rings that is used by Helen of Tartelette . To buy these from overseas would cost me a bomb in shipment even though the item itself is very light.

On that particular day I was on the look out for recipes that called for smoked salmon as I had a small slab sitting in my freezer. I also had a frozen unbaked tart shell as well. At times when I get back from the office in the evenings and have a baking urge, I may whip up a tart shell and pop it into the freezer ... save it for a "rainy" day! I must say that such "urges" do pay off eventually.

Salmon tart 2


Salmon, Dill and Potato Tart
Recipe Adapted from BBC Food
Makes a 9" Tart - serves 8


For the Pate Brisee:

250g all purpose flour
150g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp fine salt
1 medium egg
1 Tbsp cold milk

Method for the Pate Brisee:

1) Sift flour and salt into a bowl.

2) Add in the butter.

3) Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles rough breadcrumbs.

4) In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg with the milk and drizzle it onto the flour mixture.

5) Using your hands, blend the mixture together and lighly knead to bring together. Try not to handle the dough too much.

6) Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, flatten it into a disk and chill for about 45 minutes to an hour.

8) To line your tart tray, I find it easier to roll the dough between two pieces of clingwrap plastic. Roll to about 3" wider than the base of your tray. Remove the top wrap.

9) Lift the dough using the clingwrap plastic and gently flip it into your tart tray. Press the dough onto the tray and trim off the excess.

10) Dock the base of the tart shell with a fork and then place it into the fridge for another hour.

11) Preheat oven to 190C. Bake the shell blind, for about 15 minutes. Then remove the parchment paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool before pouring in the filing.

Cook's Note:

You can also use your food processor. Just whisk the dry ingredients first. Then drop in the cubed cold butter into the processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Then slowly add in the egg and pulse until the dough comes together - do not overdo this otherwise your dough will be very hard.


Salmon tart 3


For the Tart Filing:

320g potatoes, whole
280ml pot single cream
2 eggs
1 medium onion, chopped finely
3 Tbsp chopped dill, extra for sprinkling
Zest 1 lime
200g packed smoked salmon, torn into strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method for the Filing:

1) Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 6-8 mins until tender, then drain. Remove skin and slice thinly. Set aside.

2) Beat together the cream, onion, eggs, dill, lime zest, salt and pepper.

3) Scatter half the potatoes over the bottom of the pastry case, then put half the salmon strips in the gaps. Pour over half the egg mix, then arrange the remaining potatoes over the salmon pieces and put the remaining salmon in the gaps between. Pour over the rest of the egg mix.

4) Bake for 25 mins until the top is lightly coloured and firm to the touch. Cool for 10 mins before removing from the tin, then serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with extra dill.

Salmon tart 1


Salmon tart 4

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cold Potato Salad

Don't you think that every BBQ should have a potato salad? I do! To me a cold potato salad sort of balances out the grilled foods. Plus it is really no joke standing over a BBQ pit in temperaturs of 24C and a humidity of 90s and still try to grill some sausages and chicken wings. So a cold dish works awfully well in such circumstances. Sometimes I envy those of you who live in much cooler climates .... it would be so much fun to have a BBQ, say in autumn or spring.

My ex colleague organized a BBQ at her place couple of months ago and I volunteered to bring some potato salad. It was a great gathering as I managed to catch up with other ex-colleagues, some of whom I have not seen for the last 10 years. We had so much food as well - satays, curry chicken, BBQ spicey stingray and calamari and chicken wings. Not forgetting we also had dessert after that.

Cold potato 2


Cold Potato Salad
Serves 4
Recipe Adapted from "Classic Essential - Potatos" published by Periplus Mini Cookbooks


Ingredients:

600g waxy white or red potatoes unpeeled (eg. russett potatos)
1 large sized red onion, finely chopped
1 small green capsicum, chopped
1 small red capsicum, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped spring onion

For the Dressing:

3/4 cup (185g) whole egg mayonnaise
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice (add more if you like it a bit sourish)
3 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp dried mixed herbs or Italian herbs
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method:

1) Boil potatoes in big pot of water until cook. If potatoes are very large, cut them in half. Drain and cool completely. Then remove skin and cut into 1" cubes.

2) Combine the celery, onion and capsicum with the cubed potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

3) In another bowl, add all the ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4) Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with spring onion. Cover salad bowl with clingwrap and place into refrigerator for about an hour. Serve cold.


Cold potato 1



Cold potato 3

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rice Congee with Meatballs

Congee or porridge is eaten through Asian countries and can be consumed from breakfast to lunch to dinner. It is made from rice which is the staple carbohydrate in this part of the world.

When I did a search on the word "congee", Wikipedia threw up different names for "congee". In Burma it is called San Bohk which literally means "rice boiled". In Cambodia it is called Babaw. In China and Hong Kong it is called Zhōu. In India it is known as Ganji. In Indonesia it is called Bubur. In Japan it is Okayu whilst in Korea it is Juk. The Filipinos call this Lúgao and the Thai people would call it Chok (โจ๊ก) And in Vietnam it is known as Cháo. In fact the word in some languages sound pretty much alike such as in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Most Asians would have grown up eating congee in one way or another. To us it is the ultimate comfort food .. be it when you are well or when you are ill. So it is not surprising that I cook this quite often at home. My hubby loves it whenever I cook congee especially the thick plain congee and have many side dishes such as stir fried vegetables, egg omelette, cold chinese tofu, fried luncheon meat, pickled chinese cabbage and braised ground peanuts to go with it. This particular weekend which also happened to be wet and cold, was calling out for rice congee for dinner. So I made a meatball version and it was extremely, extremely comforting!

Congee 1


Rice Congee with Meatballs
Serves 4

Ingredients for the Congee:

200g long grain rice, washed
7 cups (around 1750 ml) water
2 teaspoons chicken stock granules or 1 chicken cube
2cm ginger, skinned and smashed lightly
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon ground white pepper

Ingredients for the Meatballs:

200g minced pork with a bit of fat in it (you can use minced chicken as substitute)
2 Tbsp sliced green onion
2 Tbsp sliced coriander
2 Tbsp sliced chinese celery
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
6 waterchests, chopped into small pieces
2 Tbsp chinese preserved turnip, finely minced (can be found either Asian groceries either sold loosely or canned version)
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoon chinese wine
1 Tbsp corn flour

For Garnishing:

Fried shallots
Sliced green onion and chinese celery
A drizzle of sesame oil
Dash of ground white pepper

Method:

1) Place all ingredients for the congee into an electric rice cooker and cook using the congee mode. Stir occassionally.

2) Mix all ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl. Stir to combined all the seasoning. Using your hands, shape the balls into 3/4 size of ping pong balls. You can make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator in a air-tight container.

3) Once the congee starts to thicken (at this time the congee should be almonst cooked), drop in the meatballs. Cover the rice cooker and cook until meatballs are done.

4) To serve, dish hot congee into bowls and sprinkle with garnishings.

Cook's Note:

If you do not have a rice cooker, you can cook this over a stove. Just make sure you keep an eye on your congee to prevent burning and over boiling. Best to cook congee in a non-stick pot over medium fire in this case. Once the congee starts to thicken you can drop in the meatballs and cook them for about 15 minutes for doneness.


Congee 2


Congee 3

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cornflake Cookies

I always remember cornflake cookies as one of the many variety of cookies that would be served in our house during Chinese New Year. In fact you would probably find this cookie being served in most Chinese homes during this festival period.

I'm not sure why I had a graving for cornflakes cookies a few months back. As I really could not remember the recipe my mum had used, I randomly took one off the internet. I tried it out but somehow the cookies did not turn as I had hoped. So I dropped an email to my sister who is currently residing in Melbourne to ask for her recipe. Ever since I tried out her recipe, I've made these cookies on four separate occassions.

Cornflake 2


Cornflake Cookies

Ingredients:

85g sugar
113g unsalted butter
141g self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups lightly crushed cornflakes

Method:

1) Beat soften butter and sugar until light in colour.

2) Add egg and vanilla extract.

3 Fold in flour in one go and shape the biscuit dough into the size of small limes.

4) Roll the dough balls into the cornflakes and place on a lined baking tray about 1 1/2" apart.

5) Bake cookies in a preheated oven of 160-170C for 15-18 mins

Bakers Note:

To make self-raising flour, mix 150gm plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder.
For variation to the cookie recipe, you can add in 1/2 cup of raisins or cranberries.


Cornflake 1


Cornflake 3

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daring Cooks Challenge with Nut Butters

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and
Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies . They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

Nutrition research suggests that nuts are good for your health. Nut butters, or pureed nuts, make it easy to use nuts in cooking. Although peanut butter is a staple in North America, most popular as the star ingredient in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and beloved in peanut butter cookies and other sweets, it's seldom used in preparing savory dishes. Nut butters -- including not only peanut butter but almond, cashew, and walnut butters -- are common ingredients in many Asian and African countries, used in a wide array of savory dishes. Nut butters add complex & interesting flavors to dishes, provide body & thickness to sauces, and can be used to replace the dairy fats or other oils in recipes.

I was very excited with this month's challenge as using nuts in cooking can be found in a number of Asian recipes. I decided to go all out Asian this month and be even more adventurous than normal. In fact I decided to come up with two recipes. The first recipe is Gado-Gado or Indonesian Salad with a Peanut Sauce.

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gado 1


Gado-Gado (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce)
Recipe Adapted from "Meals from Asian Kitchen"
Serves 4 - 5


Ingredients for the Salad:

300g water convolvulous (kangkong), cut into 3" length, blanched
500g beansprout, cleaned and blanched
200g longbeans, cut into 3cm length, blanched
300g cabbage cut into bite sized and blanched
400g cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces and blanched
4 hard boiled egges, cut into quarters
3 large soya bean cakes (taukwa), fried and cut into 1" cubes
200g boiled potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
3 pieces of tempeh (fermented soya bean cakes), fried and cut into bite sized pieces
2 - 3 cups of prawn crackers

Ingredients for the Sauce:

500g raw peanuts
20 fresh red chillies
150g shallots
4 cloves garlic
2" x 2" piece shrimp paste (belacan)
80g palm sugar (gula melaka) cut into small pieces
50g tamarind paste, soaked in 225ml water
Oil
Salt to taste

Method:

1) Prepare vegetables and other salad ingredients and arrange on a large platter. Set aside.

2) Grind chillies, shallot garlic and shrimp paste and set aside.

3) Roast the peanuts, cool and remove skin. Pound coarsely. Boil the peanuts in 1 litre of water for an hour over low fire. Stir occassionally

4) Fry the grinded paste with 3 tbsp oil until fragrant. Remove and add this to the peanuts which have been cooking for 1 hour. Stir well to mix and cook for 5 mins.

5) Now include the palm sugar, tamarind sauce and salt to taste. Simmer for another 5 mins. Transfer to a serving bowl.

6) Serve salad with prawn crackers and peanut sauce.

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My second recipe is Glutinous Rice Ball or Tang Yuan (汤圆 in Chinese), also known as Ah Balling, is a Teochew Chinese Dessert. Basically, it comprises glutinous rice balls served in a hot sweet soup, such as peanut soup or even ginger soup. It has a filling which can be made of peanut paste, yam or black sesame paste. In Chinese culture, it is traditionally served on Dong Zhi, the winter solstice. By eating tang yuan, you welcome in the winter and become one year older. Tang yuan makes a delicious winter snack and is easy to prepare. Despite its association with mid-winter, it can be enjoyed at any time of year. I decided to make mine with a black sesame paste filling.

tangyuan 2


Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Black Sesame Paste (Tang Yuan)
Recipe Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Ingredients:

8 oz. glutinous rice (sticky rice) flour
180 ml water (3/4 cup water)
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)

Ginger syrup

50g of fresh ginger
80g of sugarcane rock sugar
10g of pandan leaves (tied into a knot)
10g of chrysanthemum flowers
4 cups of water

Method:

1) Lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium fire until you smell the aroma of the black sesame seeds. The sesame seeds will start popping when they are heated, so use your lid to cover. Don’t burn the black sesame seeds; transfer them out and let cool as soon as they smell aromatic.

2) Use a mini food processor to grind the black sesame seeds until they become fine. Transfer the ground black sesame into a wok, add sugar and butter and stir well to form a thick paste. If they are too dry, add more butter. Dish out and let cool in the fridge. (This will make the filling easier to handle)

3) In a big bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with water until it forms a smooth paste and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide it equally into 16-20 balls (depends how you like the size, the bigger the size, the easier it is to do the filling). Flatten each ball in your palm, and then use a pair of chopsticks to pick up some black sesame paste and lay it in the middle of the flatten ball. Fold the edge to seal the dumpling. Lightly roll it into a ball shape using both palms, very gently and delicately. Set aside.

4) Prepare the ginger syrup by boiling the water. Add the ginger and screwpine/pandan leaves (optional) into the water and boil for 10-15 minutes with medium heat. Add sugar and chrysanthemum flowers and boil for another 5 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and reduce to about 3 cups of water. Add more sugar to taste if you like.

5) Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop the dumplings into the hot boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, transfer them out and into the ginger syrup. Turn off heat and serve the black sesame dumplings in a bowl immediately.

Cook’s Notes:

Don’t be too greedy with the black sesame paste. Use moderate amount for your dumplings or else the dumplings might “burst” when you roll them into balls. They might also “burst” during boiling.

You want to boil the dumplings separately so the ginger syrup doesn’t get cloudy. In case some of your black sesame dumplings burst, you will not ruin the ginger syrup.

If you wish to have the black sesame dumplings without the ginger syrup, just boil them in the hot boiling water and serve your dumplings with that hot water. Eat only the dumplings, but not the hot water.


tangyuan 1


tangyuan 3

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bittersweet Citrus Tart with Jasmine Rose Petal Cream

I have been eyeing this tart recipe for a long, long time. I finally decided to give it a go. I have made tarts before but never ever a pure chocolate one. To me this seems like eating melted chocolate over a cookie - pure indulgence! I guess it's pretty close.

The original recipe actually called for an egg beaten over simmering water and then boiling water added to the mixture. This was then added to the melted chocolate. I tried this out but somehow the egg became a bit scrambled. Furthermore it had a very strong egg yolk smell which I didn't really fancy. I ended up throwing the egg mixture away and omitted it altogether from the recipe. With this change, the tart filing itself somewhat resembles chocolate ganache. I can't say that I hated it, in fact it was the opposite! It was eating pure dark chocolate at it's best.

Choc tart 3


Bittersweet Citrus Tart with Jasmine Rose Petal Cream
Recipe Adapted from "Pure Dessert" by Alice Medrich
Makes one 9 inch-round or a 4-by-12-inch rectangular fluted tart


For the topping:

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon good-quality jasmine rose petal tea leaves (you can substitute with your favourite tea leaves but ensure that it compliments with the citrus fruit flavours)
1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste

For the crust:

113g unsalted butter, melted
20g sugar
/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
110g all-purpose plain flour

For the filling:

220g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped if using block (alternatively you can use chocolate coins. I used 70% cocoa chocolate)
70g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon each, very lightly packed of grated orange zest and grated pink grapefruit zest
Candied Citrus Peel, for garnish (optional)

For the candied citrus peel:

4 bright-skinned oranges, 2 grapefruit, or 6 to 8 lemons, limes, or tangerines
1 1/2 cups water
150g sugar, plus more for dredging

To Make the Topping:

Make the cold tea infusion for the topping early in the day or a day ahead. Stir the cream and tea leaves together in a bowl. Cover and chill for 8 to 12 hours (or over night). Even if you are not using the cream right away, strain the tea out and discard it after 12 hours. Refrigerate the cream until needed.

To Make the crust:

1) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2) In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. If the dough seems too soft, let it stand for 5 minutes to firm up.

3) Press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. To avoid ending up with extra-thick edges, press the dough squarely into the corners of the pan. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; press it down with the back of a spoon or prick it with a fork, if it bubbles up. Let cool completely on a rack before making the filling.

Choc tart 4


To Make the filling:

1) Place the chocolate, butter and citrus zest in a small heatproof bowl (stainless steel is best). Sit the bowl of a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate and butter until it is completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk a few times until the ganache is smooth and silky.

2) Pour the ganache filling into the cooled tart shell and spread it evenly. Place in a covered container (or cover with an inverted bowl if you don’t have an appropriate container), and refrigerate at least until the filling is set (about 4 hours), or up to 2 days.

To serve:

1) Remove the tart from the refrigerator 20 - 30 mins before serving to soften the filling and bring back its sheen. Remove the pan sides and place the tart on a platter.

2) Whip the jasmine-infused cream until thickened. Add the sugar (you want the cream only gently sweetened so that the sweetness doesn’t overpower the subtle flavor of the jasmine and the tea) and whip until it holds a soft shape, or a little stiffer if you plan to pipe the cream.

3) Using a pastry bag, decorate the tart with the jasmine cream or serve plain wedges with dollops of cream. If desired, add the Candied Citrus Peel.

Make the candied citrus peel:

1) Use a sharp knife to score the peel of each fruit into quarters (or sixths if using grapefruit), cutting just through the skin from the top to bottom all around. Use your fingers to strip the peel from the fruit. It’s okay if some fruit is left on the peel for now. You should have 3 to 4 cups peel. Save the fruit for another dish.

2) Place the peel in a 3-to-4-quart saucepan and fill the pan with cold water, leaving just enough space for it to boil. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. Drain the peel and dump it into a large bowl of cold water to cool for a minute. Drain and return the peel to the saucepan. Repeat the entire blanching and cooling sequence twice for thin-skinned Meyer lemons or tangerines, three times for oranges, regular lemons, or tangelos, or four times for grapefruit. (Blanching rids the peel of excess harshness and astringency and tenderizes it. The number of blanchings is not cast in stone. With experience, you may increase or decrease the number to get the tenderness and flavor that you like. Even fruit of the same variety varies in texture, skin thickness, and bitterness, so use my guidelines as you will.)

3) After the final blanching and draining, use a small sharp knife to scrape only the mushiest part of the white pith gently from the peel, leaving thicker lemon, orange, and grapefruit peels about 1/4 inch thick and thinner tangerine or Meyer lemon peels about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the peel into strips or triangles or whatever shape you like.

4) Place the peel in a smaller (2-quart) saucepan with the 1 1/2 cups water and the sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Wash the syrup and sugar off the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush or a wad of wet paper towel. Adjust the heat and very gently simmer the peel uncovered, with little or no stirring, very gently until the syrup registers between 220°F and 222°F (104°C and 160°C) and the peel has been translucent for a few minutes — this will take a little more or less than an hour.

5) Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the peel to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, to catch the syrup drips. Spread the peel out in one layer and let cool and dry overnight.

6) Dredge the peel in sugar to coat. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the peel will keep for several months.

Choc tart 1


Choc tart 2

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blackforest Cake

There are very few types of cakes which my hubby eats and this particular Blackforest Cake happens to be one of them on his "elite" list. This cake has all the ingredients he enjoys in a cake - whipped cream, a light chocolate sponge, chocholate shavings and sweet cherries. You know what, I do agree with him too! I've made this cake on many occassions and had not have time to get down to posting the recipe until now. It takes no time at all to put together. In fact the cake can be made a day or two ahead of assemblying and can be kept in a air-tight container in room temperature. Once assembled, it needs to go into the refrigerator and keeps well for 2 to 3 days (that's provided you still have left overs). I absolutely guarantee that you will ask for second helpings ... I do, that's for sure as one is definitely not enough!

blackforest 2


Blackforest Cake
Makes two 7" cake or one 10" cake)

Ingredients:

10g cocoa powder, sifted
100g self-raising flour, sifted
30g cornflour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
70g corn oil or any other vegetable oil
5 egg yolks
85g water
1/2 tsp chocolate paste (you can substitute with chocolate or coffee emulco)
5 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
120g sugar (I reduced it to 110g)

For Decoration:

Whip & Pour whipping cream
1 can of sweet dark cherries
1/4 bitter-sweet chocolate coins
Chocolate shavings
1 tablespoon thickened cream
Maraschino cherries for decoration

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 180C. Line the botton of your cake pan - do not grease the pan.

2) Put the egg yolks, oil, water and chocolate paste into a bowl. Whisk to mix together.

3) Add the cocoa powder, self-raising flour, cornflour and baking powdder into the egg mixture and stir with a whisk until it is smooth and combined. Set aside.

4) Whisk the egg whites until foamy. Then add the cream of tartar and whisk for about 1 minute on medium speed.

5) Increase to fast speed and slowly add in the sugar. Whisk until still peaks and glossy.

6) Add 1/3 of the egg white into the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining 2/3 and fold in gently so as not to deflate the mixture.

7) Bake in oven for about 25 - 30 minutes.

8) Remove from oven and cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing.

To Assemble:

1) Slice the cake into half.

2) Whip your whipping cream until stiff (I used "Whip & Pour" as I find that it is more stable in high humidity)

3) Melt about 1/4 cup of chocolate in the microwave (take care not to burn the chocolate). Add about 1 tablespoon of thickened cream and stir to mix. Leave to cool.

4) Lay bottom half onto a cake board. Smear the sliced top with the melted chocolate and then cover it with whipped cream. Scatter the top with canned sweet cherries. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the cherry juice. Alternatively you can use kirsch or cherry brandy.

5) Place the other half of the cake on top and cover the top and sides with more whipped cream.

6) Then cover the sides of the cake with chocolate shavings. Using a large star piping tip, decorate the top of the cake. Decorate with maraschino cherries and sprinkle the center of the cake with more chocolate shavings.

7) Refrigerate in the fridge for about 3 hours before serving.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

iPhone Cake

I think I really stretched myself this time round when I agreed to do a farewell cake for a colleague of mine who was moving back to the UK. He said the order was for Monday and would be for the office. When I asked him what he wanted, he immediately zoomed in on either a Blackberry or iPhone cake! I guess it must be the "in-thing" to have cakes replicated into IT gadgets. I had to give it some serious thought first before giving him a confirmation. I didn't want to make a promise and then not deliver. That night I did a bit of research on Flickr and found pictures of similar fondant cakes made in such shapes. I must say that one particular Blackberry fondant cake was really, really good!

I finally decided an iPhone would be much simplier and omit out on the wording bits .... my writing skills using royal icing simply suck .. in fact suck big time! I really need to practise on this more often. Over the next few days, I drew up my game plan on how to approach the cake. The cake size would be about 12" by 9.5". Should not be too fat as iPhones are pretty slim. It would be 2 layers of Chocolate Fudge Cake frosted with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting between the layers and around the cake as well, before being completely wrapped in fondant.

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I worked my time-table a week backwards from actual delivery date. The early part of the week was to do a "mock-up" drawing of the actual size of the cake with the applets to be used. I found out that there could be a few designs for a particular applet. Take for example "Messaging" (this is the 1st green applet on the left). The one I have made here is with a plain bubble. There is one which actually has the word SMS inside the bubble. I guess I learnt a bit more about the iPhone whilst doing this cake.

The very next evening I whipped up several batches of home-made fondant. By Wednesday evening I was blending the colours into little balls of fondant which would be used for the applets. On Thursday evening, I worked on the applets, which are all handmade and left them aside to dry out completely. On Friday night, I baked the layers of chocolate cake and frosting. Once cooled the layers were wrapped in foil, placed into the refrigerator for it's final assembly on Sunday. The assembly itself took a lot longer than I had anticipated, 6 hours in all and by the time I finished it was just past 6.00 pm. I was truly and totaly tired out by then. The photos don't really look that good as natural light was unable by then and I had to use the camera flash to do the job.

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