Friday, April 18, 2014

Trial Batch 1: Butter Cake

17th April 2014:
So I baked my first trial batch butter cake. It was supposed to contain canned pears but there is nothing at home but canned pineapples and longan.... Zzz. 

Egg mixture: Everything was beaten using a Breville WizzMix 320 watt hand mixer. 

Egg mixture to speed of 4 till it was fully creamed. This took roughly 6 mins.

This was then followed by the blending in of the sifted baking powder + cake flour which I incorporated in fully before adding the UHT fresh milk+ vanilla extract.

Sifting is important to ensure there are no lumps in the batter, and to incorporate air into your batter.

The cake cooked through except for the last 3cm from the bottom which looked a bit raw, after 25 mins at 150 degree celscius. So I chucked it back into the oven for 5 mins + residual heat from the oven.

The top was a little more brown and firm, but ended up charring some of the almond flakes so I had to remove it quickly!

For glaze,in a porcelain bowl, I microwaved some strawberry jam with water for two mins and brushed over. Normally we use a pot, but reflecting on it, it just takes up too much washing up !!

Outcome: so far it tastes okay, but need to get feedback from the Guinea Pigs later...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trial Batch 1: Genoise Sponge Cake

Batch 1: 
now for this recipe, I made it the same way as the Molleaux chocolate cupcake yesterday. (15/04)

 However I had a bit of problem with it as it didnt turn out soft and fluffy and seemed a little heavy, as well as raw in the middle. 

I am not sure if it was the salted butter or If I had a bit of problem with one of the processes. Will have to try it out again. 

Batch 2: (16/04)
So today I decided to make it again. To make things in a more organised fashion, I decided to get the mise en place in place first.

1) First, I spread cooking oil using a pastry brush on the round cake tin. In school we used a cooking spray, but that's a bit expensive but convenient. I cut out the outline of the baking paper and lined it. 

2) Next, I melted 40 grams of salted butter in the microwave so it became liquid and had enough time to cool down. I used salted butter as it was the only butter I had at home. 

3) I then weighed out the other ingredients. For flour, I opted to use Nona Cake Flour vs the Bakers Flour, which I will leave it for heavier weighing fruitcakes and cakes. 

4) I used the Beville WizzMix (320 watt) on speed 4 to beat up/whisk the egg mixture for about 6 mins. The mixture looked fairly thickened in size so I stopped. 

I used a sifter to pour the flour in (lazy technique, please don't follow me!!) and folded it in the flour using a whisk, being very careful with the aeration. 

Then in the final fold, I poured the liquid butter down the side of the bowl. 

I left it in the oven to a temperature of about 150 Celsius and about 25 mins. 

.... Unfortunately half way, my friend Remus and gang decided to hurry me up through the process.. So I had to quickly chuck it in the oven.

I was waiting for the cake to bake as they came in. Remus made an observation that I could still leave the cake to bake (there was about ten mins of baking time) even if I left it in the oven and turned the timer to zero and let the residual internal heat (which could be up to ten mins) inside the oven to bake the cake. 

I decided to do that when the timer had about five mins left... Zzzz

The reason for this is, Remus does the same for the chicken that he bakes in his restaurant (he manages an Indonesian cuisine restaurant).

 Instead of baking the chicken at 35 mins as per the recipe, he asks his staff to bake it for about 25 mins, as they have a tendency to forget during busy service times, and the residual oven heat ends up over cooking or burning the chicken!!

Outcome: the cake turned out fine surprisingly... It didn't burn and was soft and fluffy. Thank God!!

Trial batch 1: Molleaux Chocolate Cupcakes

15th April 2014: 
Even being back in KL, I'm still physically tired. Today I went for a Decleor aromassage facial and Decleor hot stone massage. The body massage was sixty minutes and first trial price at Rm125. The facial was part of a package which I had bought from last year. 

Anyways, came home and had a long nap... Really needed it! 

But anyways, decided to start on the baking trials today. Unfortunately I only found salted butter in the fridge. I don't know how it will affect the rest of the recipes, but well...for baking in general, unsalted butter is preferable as it allows the chef to have better control of the taste of the cakes.

Outcome and findings:

Chocolate Molleaux Cupcakes: 
did the baking in three batches. Unfortunately because the oven is so small, I had to divide the baking of items into a few times. I couldn't really control the top and bottom temperature as it was just one preset dial. 

I had scaled the recipe down to 12 cupcakes but even that was quite a lot for a small oven. I tried baking the cupcakes with out a mold. That was a bad idea. For this particular recipe, the mould actually protects the batter from over cooking. It is still edible but it won't help me pass during the exam!!

What we are looking for in this recipe is to have a soft middle. It takes about 12-15 mins to bake, and will look a bit liquidy. But that is okay, as the chocolate bit will set. I don't think I will have so much trouble with this batter, but next I want to try baking it in a bigger oven so I can use the bigger moulds. 

Feedback: So I brought the cupcakes out for an outing. (Nothing else to eat...) the ones that I made without a mould was surprisingly quite well received... (Although that won't help me pass the exam) 

As for the moist cupcake (as per the recipe) I think the texture takes some getting used to.

My parents thought it was a little sweet, though my mom thinks it has some aroma... 

Need to try making next batch soon!!


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