Thursday, November 05, 2009

Whos up for cake?

I have a mild obsession with baking. I bake then remember how messy it is and I put away the flour, sugar, icing sugar for a month or two. Then it begins again.

I dreamt of a three tier cake, but not only three tiers but three differnt flavours! And one icing to combine the flavours! An interesting mix... nor was I interested in making one big mother of a cake! I wanted to make toy tier cakes. (packs less on the hips)

So I thought about what cakes I would like to make. and I wanted a compliment of flavours. I was thinking about a hot lemon and honey drink. I like the combination of sweet and zest, and it seems like a great starting block... So what other flavours would go well with that? There was Lemon and Vanilla, and also Ginger and Lemon! Sorted! And then thinking of my first taste of Sweetness's lime and poppy seed biscuits - the icing can be lemon and poppy seeds!

Now I figured out I wanted to make small cakes – Gotta find small cake tins... hrm let see. I have a 20cm and a 22cm. Too big. I would like something a lot smaller please. Can I find it? No!. (I can find small loaf tins, but round? Nope.)

Was this the end of Eva’s baking future? Had it finished before it had started? Ha! Little you know of Eva’s ingenuity! Cake Baking with Ceramics! Okay its not exactly new. But it was a new adventure. Would it work? Would it shatter? Into a thousand pieces like her dreams, or would the glass hold on and cradle perfect circles of sugary goodness? Time will tell. Stay tune for the next episode of.... Baked in the Face!

Sorry Sugar talking.

So the baking in ceramic, surprisingly went very well. Will do this more often.
Ginger cake yielded perfect tops and an amazing aroma! The Vanilla cake had too much baking powder and each ramiken looked like mount edna. And the Honey Cake. Well I had to make some changes here. I only had 100g of honey so I used 100g of golden syrup. Figured that GS is sweeter than honey so I reduce the measurement to 200g. To that I added butter and sugar, and brought to a simmer on the stove. Let it cool and check temp before adding eggs. Taste dirty spoon. PHOWAR!!! God that stuff is tops! Buzzing now. Continue baking.

And if you need visuals, I did take a time lapse while I was cooking

Oh and before I forget. NEVER bake in black.

The Recipes – from the WWW. Just google the cake names
The Very Best Vanilla Cake Recipe
Yield: 2 8-inch cake layers
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cups sugar
½ Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
11/3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Heat oven to 350ºF (180*C). Line dishes, line bottoms with wax paper and spray the paper.

2. Beat butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with mixer on high speed 1 minute or until well blended. Add eggs; beat 2 minutes or until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in milk and vanilla (batter may look curdled), then beat in flour just until blended. Divide batter between prepared pans; spread evenly.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Run small knife or spatula around edge of cakes to release. Invert cakes onto wire rack, remove wax paper and cool completely.

Ginger Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar or baking sweetner
1 tbl spn fresh grated ginger
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tea spns baking powder
1 tea spn vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Preheat the oven at 350 F for about 10mins.
Sieve together flour and baking powder, keep it aside.
Mix butter and sugar(or sweetener) till they are well mixed. Now add eggs, vanilla extract and mix well till the eggs are mixed. Pour in milk and mix again.
Now add the flour-baking powder mixture, a little at a time, mixing it all the time. When everything is incorporated well, add the grated ginger and mix.
Grease a baking dish, dust it with some flour. Pour the cake batter into it and bake at 350F for about 40mins or till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
While serving, dust with some confectioner’s sugar or decorated it.
Makes : 6-7 big pieces
Preparation time : 10mins (excluding baking time)

Devonshire honey cake
250g clear honey , plus about 2
tbsp extra to glaze
225g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
3 large eggs , beaten
300g self- raising flour

1. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/ conventional 160C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round loose bottomed cake tin. Cut the butter
into pieces and drop into a medium pan with the honey and sugar. Melt slowly over a low heat. When the mixture looks quite liquid, increase the heat under the pan and boil for about one minute. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes, to prevent the
eggs cooking when they are mixed in.
2. Beat the eggs into the melted honey mixture using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture, beating until you have a smooth, quite runny batter.
3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
4. Turn the cake out on a wire rack. Warm 2 tbsp honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to give a sticky glaze, then leave to cool. Keeps for 4-5 days wrapped, in an airtight tin.

Royal Icing:
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
Beat eggwhite and lemon juice, in the mixer on low, add the sifted sugar slowly in batches. Keep beating until all the sugar is added. Do not lick the spoon. This stuff is leathal.
Scoop a small part out and dilute with a bit of water or more lemon juice, so its the consistency of honey. Then strategically pour it on so it runs over the sides.

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