Thursday, 31 July 2014

Postage Stamp Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

My friend wanted a cake for hubby's birthday and I asked her about his preference... he likes chocolates and generally doesn't like cakes. Hmm... sounds like regular chiffon is out. Since I know the birthday boy as well, I know he likes coffee, doesn't like overly sweet stuff and Doraemon. And so, I came up with this small chocolate magic custard cake bursting with chocolate flavor that is enhanced by espresso, and packaged as a Doraemon postage stamp!

Unfortunately the postage stamp idea came only after I baked the cake. I should have used a square tin instead of a round tin. Oh well. The birthday boy still loved the look and taste of the cake :).

Look at that rich chocolatey custard layer and light souffle layer! I seldom get to taste the cakes that I bake for others nowadays but since this one had trimmings, I got to try :). The high cocoa content and espresso makes the cake really rich in flavor but the custard base and melt-in-your-mouth souffle gives it an interesting texture.

My recipe is adapted from whiteonricecouple, which I realise is where almost all other bloggers adapt from.

Ingredients (makes a 4.5" round cake):
1 egg yolk
33g icing sugar
28g unsalted butter
153g fresh milk
26g plain flour
11g cocoa powder
10g espresso (about 2 tsp)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg white
1/10 tsp cream of tartar
7g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line the bottom of the 4.5" pan with baking sheet and grease the sides.  You may choose to line the sides of the pan. As I used a pan with removable base, I covered the base with a layer of aluminium foil to prevent batter from flowing out.

2. Melt the butter and set aside. Combine milk, vanilla extract and espresso and warm it up. Sift together cocoa powder and flour

3. Beat the egg white in a clean metal bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Beat egg yolk and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Add melted butter and beat for 2 minutes until well combined. Add sifted flour and cocoa powder and mix well. Gradually add in milk mixture and use a hand whisk to mix it in. Batter will be very thick at first but becomes runny after all the milk is added.

5. Add the meringue into the egg yolk batter one third at a time and gently fold it in until no big curds are seen. You may find folding in using a hand whisk helpful.

6. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top but the center is still slightly jiggly.

7. Cool completely before removing from tin.

8. Trim the sides if you are serving the normal way. I used a jumbo straw to create the postage stamp shape.

9. Dust the cake with snow powder and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. I used a Doraemon cookie cutter to create the imprint on the cake, and then use a small sharp knife and toothpick to cut into the cake to create a clearer Doraemon picture.

Verdict was the cake tasted really good with the perfect level of sweetness. My friend loved the texture of the custard. The cake was eaten 4 days after I baked it though so the souffle layer was starting to break down. Something useful to keep in mind for future magic custard bakes.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Singapore Flag Brown Sugar Cookies

As national day approaches, I thought it would be fitting to bake something patriotic. Here are some brown sugar cookies dressed up as Singapore flags!

Not very professionally done but I just wanted to have fun and share the joy with kids in my neighborhood. This is a semi-planned bake as I had lots of leftover cookie dough from my upcoming birthday bake. My friend and her family loved everything about the elephant birthday cake I made for her little boy so much that she wanted an encore for her girl, but with a different design. Here's a sneak preview...

I used fresh beetroot juice to color it pink so no artificial coloring was used at all. But for the Singapore flag, I had to add a bit of red gel coloring to give it a deeper and brighter red color. Even then, I am pretty pleased to be using a lot less artificial coloring than I normally would. I have to thank Susanne for inspiring me to try :).

I began by preparing beetroot juice.
1. Peel and chop 2 beetroots into small cubes and boil for 10-15 minutes in about 100ml of water in a small covered saucepan.
2. Blend the beetroot with whatever remaining water there is in the saucepan.
3. Place the pureed beetroot in filter paper or cloth and squeeze as hard as you can to extract the juice. You may freeze whatever leftover juice there is in ice cube trays.

In order to print moon and stars on multiple flags on rather small cookies,  I made a template on a clear plastic sheet.

This photo was taken before I filed the rough edges with a nail file.

The recipe for brown sugar cookies is the same one I have been using as kids really love it. This time I scaled it down to a small quantity of dough so you may want to double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

Ingredients (makes about 12 Singapore flags):
87g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
28g unsalted butter
37g light brown sugar
1 tbs golden syrup
1/4 egg (about 12g)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Royal icing mix (sifted)**You may make your own royal icing from scratch.
Beetroot juice
Cool boiled water
Red gel food coloring

1. Sift first 3 ingredients together.

2. Rub in butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Stir in the sugar.

4. Combine egg, golden syrup and vanilla essence, then add to the flour mixture. Knead until smooth.

5. Place the ball of dough between 2 baking sheets or cling wrap and roll to 1/4" thick. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Cut dough into 4 x 6cm rectangles and place on a tray lined with baking sheet. Make sure there is at least 2 cm spacing between cookies as they will expand. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies sit on the tray for 5 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

7. Prepare royal icing for icing the cookies. Add a bit of beetroot juice to some royal icing sugar until it reaches a consistency of toothpaste. Add some red food coloring until desired shade is reached. Use a wilton #3 tip to pipe a rectangle. Empty the icing into a bowl and add a bit more juice to thin it until consistency is like thickened cream. Use a teaspoon the carefully scoop some into the red rectangle and use a toothpick to spread the icing to fill the rectangle.

8. In a similar way, add a bit of water to some royal icing sugar in another bowl until the consistency is like toothpaste. Pipe a white rectangle under the red one and then fill it.

9. Use the template to paint in the moon and mark out the position of the stars when the red icing is dry. I find that because the stars are so tiny, the template doesn't print them out very well. I used a toothpick to paint each star instead... you can see, I gave up painting the last 2 stars :p. Too time consuming! I didn't ice one cookie at all as I didn't have time.

10. Dry the iced cookies in the oven at 90-100 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes as they tend to get a bit soft after icing with royal icing premix. Store in air tight container after cooling down the cookies.

My kids get to eat the not so pretty ones...

...but they are still pretty yummy!

All the mummies of the neighborhood kiddies went "Wow!" over the cookies and the kiddies can't wait to eat. Glad to share :).

Happy birthday Singapore!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Cars Snowskin Mooncake

I actually have been making mooncakes for many years, way before I went into baking! :) Reason being that my hubby loves snowskin mooncakes :p. It was a yearly event that I would make snowskin mooncakes for him.

Just a walk down memory lane. These were my first mooncakes in 2007 using traditional moulds! My hybrid-colour mooncakes were actually quite unique at that time :).

This year I bought some cool cute cars plungers so I couldn't wait to try them out! The plungers are really much easier to work with! No more knocking the mooncakes out and making a din LOL! Snowskin mooncakes are really easy to make because no baking is required and it is like having fun with playdoh :). I used a basic recipe from Happy Home Baking and Amanda's blog.

I made pandan and strawberry snowskin mooncakes with lotus paste and chocolate snowskin mooncakes (blue and yellow) with chocolate lotus paste. I chose a bright and happy colour scheme for the cars :). Phoon Huat has an excellent variety of lotus pastes! I made sugar free ones the year before but I thought they lacked the "pang" so this year I bought the normal ones again.

Ingredients: (makes 10 small 5cm diameter mooncakes)
100g Koh fun
70g Icing sugar
30g Shortening
120g Cold water
Few drops of pandan paste and strawberry paste
Few drops of chocolate liquor
Blue and yellow food colouring (small dip with toothpick)
*Some Koh fun for dusting the moulds

150g chocolate lotus paste
150g lotus paste

1. Sift Koh Fun and icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Rub shortening into the flour mixture.
2. Gradually mix in cold water till a soft dough forms.
3. Split the dough into 4 and knead in pandan paste, strawberry paste, chocolate liquor with blue and yellow colouring respectively.
4. Divide the snowskin dough into 20g for each mooncake (for my small moulds).
5. Divide each lotus paste into 30g lotus paste per portion for each mooncake filling.
6. Pair the white lotus paste with the pandan and strawberry snowskin, and the chocolate lotus paste with the blue and yellow chocolate snowskin:
- Dust the mooncake moulds.
- Wrap each portion of filling with a portion of snowskin.
- Press into mooncake mould firmly.
- Push out (letting go at the same time) and chill before serving.

Remember to keep everything in an airtight container so that they stay soft! They were yummy! I can't wait to make some sweet Hello Kitty ones next week! =)

With love,
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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Black Glutinous Rice Chiffon Cake Encore!

Hope you are not sick of seeing pulut hitam chiffon cakes yet :p. I am still trying to clear the queue for this cake! I baked 2 today! One 15cm chiffon cake and one 17cm chiffon cake.

Here's one...

...and the other is another cake with arabesque motif exactly like my previous pulut hitam bake because my mum liked that a lot. I must have been bitten by the leaf bug. My previous bakes,  ombre lime chiffon cake and black forest chiffon cake, have leaves in them. I couldn't resist piping on some falling leaves on this cake! I used a mixture of royal icing sugar and snow powder dissolved in a bit of boiled water to make the icing and piped using a wilton #5 tip.

I stuck with my recipe except that I kept the temperature at 150 degrees Celsius after 40 minutes of baking instead of lowering it to 140 degrees. I found my previous bakes slightly underbaked so I decided to try baking at slightly higher temperature towards the end. As a result my cakes shrunk less and you can see from the picture that the cake remains really tall.

I still used homemade cake strips as they are really helpful in making the cakes rise higher and more slowly.

Be careful when handling the cakes as they are really soft despite the higher flour to liquid ratio. I accidentally dent  a cake simply by having butter fingers :(.

For now I am still enjoying the wonderful aroma of this cake as I bake  even though I can't get to eat it. Still glad to be able to share this cake with others :).

With love,
Phay Shing
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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Rainbow Chiffon Cake with Semi-painted Flowers

This is another pastel rainbow chiffon creation for someone who loves rainbows, maybe as much as I do! :) I love how sweet it looks!

I slightly modified my previous recipe Pastel Rainbow Chiffon Cake to remove the steam baking whom many have asked if it was necessary. As a result, I have increased the liquid and vanilla content and also reduced the baking time to get a moister cake. I also took this chance to experiment with semi-painted flower decorations, i.e. painting a layer of royal icing followed by sifting snow powder over so that the snow powder adheres like paint.

5 egg yolks
33g sugar
65g vegetable oil
70 ml water
8 ml vanilla extract
100g cake flour
Wilton colours

7 egg whites
75g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

The detailed recipe and pictures are now in Creative Baking: Chiffon Cakes!

Here's how the semi-painted flowers look like after drying! :)

And finally... rainbows peeking out from the window! :)

Thank God that the rainbow chiffon was well-received and they loved it :).

With love,
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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Black Forest Chiffon Cake

My friend wanted a black forest cake for her dad's birthday that is not too sweet and not too high in fat (but as yummy as possible so dairy cream was used instead of whip topping) so I came up with this :).

I filled the cake with cream only between 2 sandwich layers and on top to minimize the amount of cream and used less sugar to fulfil my friend's requirement. I loaded the cake with lots of cherries and used fruit liquor to ensure that the cake is still packed with flavor.

I love the simple but elegant design of my ombre lime chiffon cake so I decided to use a similar design for this black forest cake. I melted some dark chocolate and piped out some leaves on a baking sheet with template of leaves drawn on the reverse side. I didn't know what to do with the excess chocolate so I piped out teeny chocolate kisses :p.

The recipe is adapted from Do What I Like. There aren't that many black forest chiffon cake recipes around to begin with but I tried looking for one. My friend preferred chiffon cake as the cake base as it is lighter and vegetable oil can be used instead of butter.

Recipe for chocolate cake
Ingredients (makes two 7" layer cakes):
3 egg yolks (65g eggs)
11g caster sugar
60g canola oil
100g water
2.5 tsp kirsch or rum (I used Choya because I am drinking the rest of it :p.)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
20g cocoa powder
92g cake flour
1/6 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40g caster sugar

1. Line base of 7" round pans with baking sheet and wrap the exterior with homemade cake strips. This ensures that the cake will be level. You may choose to bake without cake strips but reduce baking time by 5-10minutes,  or you may choose to make a single tall cake and then slice into 2 or 3 layers. Adjust baking time accordingly if you are doing so. I prefer not to have the hassle of slicing cakes :p.

2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

3. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and all sugar has dissolved. Add in oil and whisk until well combined. Add water, kirsch and vanilla extract and mix well.

4. Gradually add in sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until no trace of flour can be seen.

5. In a clean metal bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. You should be able to overturn the bowl without the meringue falling out.

6. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue in 3 additions until no trace of egg whites can be seen.

Scoop the batter into the 2 pans and level the batter with a spoon or spatula. Bang the pans on the table a few times to release any trapped air bubbles.

7. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 150°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake is cooked through. You may test using a skewer or by gently pressing the top of the cake to see if it springs back.

8. Let the cake cool in the pan upright for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling it inverted on a cooling rack.

Freshly baked chocolate cakes!

You may wrap it up with cling wrap  and freeze it until it is time to assemble.

Assembly of black forest chiffon cake
250ml whipping cream
2 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs cool water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Canned cherries, drained
Fresh cherries for decoration
2 7" chocolate cakes
Some dark chocolate for decoration

1. Sprinkle gelatin in water and let it sit for a couple of minutes until the gelatin has absorbed the water.  Microwave at medium high heat for 20 seconds or until the gelatin has dissolved.

2. Take 2 tbs of cream and warm it up. Add the warm cream to the gelatin mixture. Add vanilla extract to the gelatin mixture. Set aside.

3. Use an electric mixer to whip the whipping cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in gelatin mixture and gently whisk by hand until firm peaks form. Be careful not to over whip or the cream will separate.

4. Place one layer of cake on the cake board. Pipe or apply a layer of cream. Add canned cherries.

5. Add a bit of cream before placing the other layer of cake on top. Pipe a layer of cream on top of the cake. Add chocolate decorations/ shaved chocolate and fresh cherries.

You may trim the stems of the cherries if you prefer a neater look.

My friend is looking forward to having this healthier version of black forest cake with her family. Will update with reviews :).

Update: Cake was very well received by my friend's family, from the really young to the elderly. Even my friend who is not a cake person enjoyed it :). They really loved the fact that the cake is not too sweet or creamy and is loaded with fruits. So maybe if you are considering a healthier version of black forest cake, this cake fits the bill!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Singapore Flag Red Velvet Chiffon Cake

This is an early National day bake for my son who is currently into world flags. Check out his drawings :p Drawings can be improved but they are so dear to me!

I used natural red colouring from beetroot to make the red velvet chiffon cake, similar to my previous post Red Velvet Racing Cars Chiffon Cake. I managed to grab hold of some beetroot powder online, so I couldn't wait to try it out. Without the proper acidic pH, the beets will turn brown. So to keep the colour vibrant and red, make sure that you use natural cocoa powder (which is more acidic than its Dutch-processed cousin) as well as baking powder (and not baking soda), and of course buttermilk.

Here's how the beetroot powder looks like.

 Recipe for red velvet chiffon cake is adapted from Heart of Mary.

Red velvet chiffon cake (17 cm chiffon tin)
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
39g vegetable oil
36 ml buttermilk
15 ml beetroot puree + beetroot powder
5 ml vanilla extract
60g cake flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
red colouring (optional, to darken if you feel beetroot is insufficient)

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Prepare beetroot puree. Boil 2 fresh beets chopped into cubes (left pic) till soft in 50 ml water (right pic) and puree the mixture. *You can freeze the extra in small 15 ml cubes for use within the month like baby puree.

2. Preheat oven to 160°C.
3. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, buttermilk, beetroot juice, and vanilla extract.
4. Add in sieved flour and cocoa powder and whisk till no trace of flour/powder is found. I further added beetroot powder (over 1.3 tbsp) till the mixture is very bright red. If you do not have beetroot powder, you can use red yeast powder or red colouring.
5. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Gently fold in the meringue into the batter in 3 additions.
7. Bake the chiffon cake at 160°C for 15 min, then 150°C for 30-33 min or when skewer comes clean.
8. Invert when cake is removed from oven and unmould by hand and spatula when the cake is cool.

I used a mixture of royal icing and snow powder, stirred into to a paint-like consistency to paint the moon and stars on the chiffon cake. I didn't measure the amount exactly but the consistency is somewhat like "ribbon-stage consistency. Make sure the amount of snow powder added is thick enough so turn the mixture white.

My son loved the special cake for him! :)

With love,

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Butterfly Life Cycle Snack Time Fun

"Can you arrange the life-cycle of the butterfly in order? "

This is another trip down memory lane.  Long before I started my baking adventures, I was having fun by playing with my kids' food. Sometimes it's purely for entertainment, sometimes it's for educational purposes. My "food art" was by no means anywhere near professional standards but it was good fun :).

 I had inspiration one day to have some fun with biscuits, fruits and cheese, my kids' staple for snack. I didn't have a big hoard of cookie cutters back then so all I used as tools were tooth pick, straws and butter knife.

See if you can arrange the squares in order ;). My elder kid was still in kindergarten then and learned about the butterfly life cycle in school so this was a particularly fun snack.

You may wish to try this with your kids too :).

Bits of food used:
4 plain crackers
Some pizza Pocky sticks
A slice of mozzarella cheese
A grape or two
A bit of avocado
A bit of strawberry
Some pomegranate seeds
Teeny bit of seaweed strip

All the above and add a dash of imagination, and you have a fun and educational snack for kids! Feel free to use whatever you have at home to adapt this idea.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Horse Japanese Sweet Bean Buns (using Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast Recipe)

It's really fun that my children are starting to be involved in my bakes. They have started to request for all kinds of animals for snacks and I have become their "zoo master" who whips up all sorts of animals ^_^". So this week's request was a horse and this is my valiant attempt at a horse (phew!). Yee haw! :p

Anyway, my family cannot get enough of the sweet Japanese red beans! I chanced upon another type of sweet red bean in Daiso called "Japanese sweet bean jam with whole azuki beans". Oh, it's so good you can eat it on its own! This time I tried using the famous Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast recipe for making the bun dough. I have been wanting to try this straight dough method that yields really soft bread recommended by Phay Shing, and I was further piqued the recipe is so similar to the Panda Japanese milk buns that were so soft. For the un-inclined, Wu Pao Chun is a world champion bread bakery in Taiwan. Their Red Wine Longan bread has won numerous medals in top class world bread making competitions and long queues often form at their entrance for their limited award-winning breads.

Recipe for the bun dough using Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast is adapted from Aunty Young. I have used the recipe used the dough function on my breadmaker to prepare the dough, but you can also knead it by hand and let it proof.

Ingredients (makes 8 buns)
Bread flour 300g
Castor sugar 24g
Salt 4g
Butter 15 g
Fresh milk 198 g
Yeast 3g

1. Put the ingredients into the breadmaker pan according to the sequence below:
- Add the wet ingredients first: milk.
- Add the dry ingredients next: bread flour, sugar at the side, yeast in the middle (dig a small hole).
- Select dough function on bm. When the mixture is being combined around 2-5 min later, add in the salt and the softened butter.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Japanese sweet bean jam with azuki beans into 30g balls each.

3. After the breadmaker is finished with the dough function, transfer the dough out onto a lightly floured table and punch it down (top left pic).

4. Divide the dough into eight 60g balls for the horses. Divide the rest of the dough into sixteen 2g balls for each ear. Let the dough rest for 10 min under cling wrap.

5. Flatten each 60g ball into an oval disc (top row, middle pic) and place an azuki bean ball on top (top row, right pic). Roll the dough over on the long side, pinch tight and place them with its pinched sides facing down on the baking paper.

6. Stick the ears onto the top of the buns and pinch the edges to make them pointed (see bottom row, left pic). Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rise for 60 min (bottom row, left pic). *Meanwhile, preheat the oven meanwhile to 190°C.

7. Prepare 1 tsp cocoa powder with 1 egg yolk for painting on the brown mouth patch, eyes and hair. Brush them on with a fine brush after proofing before going in to the oven (bottom row, middle pic).

8. Lower the temperature to 140°C before placing the buns at the lowest rack. Bake for 22-25 min or till the bread sounds hollow when you tap on it (bottom row, right pic).

I painted the nostrils with charcoal powder mixed with water. Just use a fine brush to paint it on. I gave the horses some sweet rosy cheeks using food markers just for fun :).

Homemade buns are always over packed with fillings! :D Check out the yummy sweet red beans spilling out! I found the bread really fine, soft and fluffy though it was a straight dough method! The caption says it all :D.

With love,
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Friday, 18 July 2014

Ombre Lime Chiffon Cake with Lime Curd and Cream

My friend wanted me to bake a gorgeous cake she saw on the Internet and that's how this cake came about :). Presenting my humble 6-layered Ombre lime chiffon cake with lime curd and fresh cream.

I didn't follow the recipe as it looked really sweet and buttery but copied the cake deco as it is really beautiful. Since my friend prefered something less sweet, I decided to come up with my own version using a butter-based chiffon cake recipe, with lime curd added to provide a really intense lime experience.

I adapted the lime curd recipe from here and made it in advance. You may wish to serve the cake with cream alone.

Lime curd recipe
43g unsalted butter (room temperature)
112g caster sugar
1 large egg (65g)
1 large egg yolk
79g fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp grated lime zest

1. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Slowly add egg and egg yolk and beat for 1 minute. Mix in lime juice. Mixture will appear curdy so not to worry.

2. Cook mixture over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Increase heat to medium and keep stirring until mixture thickens. It should leave a path on the back of the spoon. Do not boil!

3. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Transfer to a bowl and press cling wrap on surface of curd to keep skin from forming. Chill in fridge. The curd can keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

For the chiffon cake layers, I chose the cooked dough method to produce a really soft but not so springy cake. I thought this type of cake texture would be more suitable for a cake with so many layers and cream sandwiched in between.

Lime chiffon layer cake recipe
Ingredients (makes six 7" round flat layers):
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
90g fresh milk
40g lime juice
2-3 lime zest
60g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
115g cake flour, sifted
Green and brown gel food coloring

8 egg whites**(You may have to divide the ingredients for meringue by 2 or 3, or even 6 times depending on how many 7" pans you have and the size of your oven.)
110g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line the 7" round pans with baking sheet at the bottom. Do not grease the sides.

2. Cook milk, juice, butter and vanilla extract at low heat until all the butter has melted. The saucepan should not be so hot that you can't touch it with your fingers. Once the butter has melted, take the saucepan off the heat and pour in all the sifted cake flour. Quickly stir with a spatula or wooden spoon while the mixture is still warm.

3. When no trace of flour can be seen, gradually add in egg yolks to prevent the batter from separating. Stir in lime zest.

4. Divide the egg yolk batter into 6 equal portions and add green (or green and brown) food colouring until a desired shade is obtained for each shade of green, leaving one bowl uncoloured. Take note that the final colour will be lighter after the meringue is added.

5. In a clean metal bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat for a minute or so (before soft peaks) then gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Sugar is added in earlier here as all the sugar is added into the meringue with none in the egg yolk batter. This is to ensure that all the sugar is dissolved by the time you reach the stiff peak stage.

6. Fold in the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three additions. Slowly pour the batter into the lined pans and level it.

7. Bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove cake from pan and gently peel off the baking sheet. Let the cake cool completely with a baking sheet over it it prevent it from drying out. Proceed to prepare the meringue for the next batches and bake until you have completed all 6 layers.

I only have 2 pans so I had to bake 3 rounds.

Assembling ombre lime chiffon cake
6 7" lime chiffon layer cakes
Some lime curd
400 ml whipping cream
2 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs cool water
4 tbs icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh blueberries
Fresh mint leaves

1. Sprinkle gelatin over a mixture of lime juice and water. Wait for a couple of minutes for the gelatin to absorb the water. Heat in microwave on medium high heat for 30 seconds or until gelatin has dissolved.

2. Warm up 4 tbs of whipping cream and add it to the gelatin mixture. Add in vanilla extract and mix well. Set aside.

3. Use an electric mixer to whip the whipping cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in gelatin mixture until firm peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat or the cream will separate.

4. Place the uncoloured layer cake on the cake board. Pipe a layer of whipped cream and add some lime curd on top.

5. Place the cake with the lightest shade of green on top and repeat with cream, curd and cake from the lightest to darkest shade of green.

6. Top the last layer with cream, a ring of mint leaves (optional) and finally blueberries in the middle.

I am already drooling while assembling :p.

I'm linking this post to Bake Along for this week's theme of Chiffon Cakes jointly hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Lena of Frozen Wings.

** Update: The cake was finally served about a day plus after I assembled. Here's the feedback I got from my friend... "Cake was very yummy! Good because not too sweet. Not too sour either the balance just nice! I like. Refreshing."

With love,
Phay Shing

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