… Chocolate lava cake – the softhearted …

In Hong Kong, they give this warm and gooey dessert a special name-心太軟, literally meaning “heart too soft”. I used to think that making this was hard and it required lots of techniques to cook the cake just right; once I saw a recipe that suggested to place a block of dark chocolate in the middle of the batter so that you will be guaranteed to get a flowing “heart” in the middle.

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I saw this short cooking video on a newspaper site and realised that it’s not as complicated as I thought. The chef said that chocolate lava cake is actually just a cake that is not fully cooked; and chilling the batter in the fridge before baking can also prevent it from overcooking. Most of the ingredients, namely flour, sugar, eggs and butter, are what most of us would have at home. All you need for preparation is to get a bar of dark chocolate for your pantry, then go on and make this dessert at home on a random cold winter day!
p.s. I even used disposable foil cake tins to make my lava cakes..

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… Banana Bread – easy and peasy …

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Banana bread is like a must have item in Australian cafes. The most evil way to enjoy your banana bread is to ask the staff at the cafe to “toast” your banana bread which he or she would butter up the slice and toast it with a sandwich press. In that way your slice would be hot, buttery and crispy on both sides, which has just brought banana bread to another level (lol)

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Banana bread is in fact not hard to be made at home; the key is to have 2-3 very ripe bananas at home. The quickest way is to blend the bananas into puree and mix everything together before throwing it into the oven. Even if you don’t have a blender, you can do it with a potato masher. Easy peasy 🙂
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… Strawberry and Watermelon Cake – when Black Star Pastry is no longer 10 minutes away from work …

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People go “huh?” when they hear of the idea of a watermelon cream cake. Honestly I couldn’t imagine how a rose scented cream cake with watermelon and strawberries would be like before I actually tasted one. And now even I have tried the cake a few times I still find it hard to describe to people how divine it actually tastes. Let me give it a go here: the cake is made of a few layers, at the top there are some fresh strawberries and grapes which are slightly tangy, with some chopped pistachios and rose petals. Then there are a few layers of rose scented cream; the cream is very rich with a light scent of rose (not the kind of heavy rose scent that tastes like soap). The brown layers that look like ‘cake’ are actually made of almond dacquoise (which is gluten free), it’s soft and full of nutty fragrance. Lastly, the watermelon slices in the middle make the cake feel very refreshing and is surprisingly matching with the rose scented cream.

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… Chestnut cake – lighter homemade version …

Dad loves chestnuts. I remember when I was a little girl, he always bought a full bag of roasted chestnuts (hand fried!) from the street hawkers in Kwun Tong on winter days, and the two of us always finished the bag in no time.
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This year I made him a chestnut cake on his birthday. The cake is lighter than the store bought ones because I’ve used vegan whipping cream and non sweetened chestnut puree. Instead of  chiffon cake, this time I had a sponge cake as the base. Sponge cakes have a relatively more robust texture and a stronger egg aroma.
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… Iron Man cake – the biggest project ever …

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I mentioned in my first post that I had only made fondant cake once. Mr iron man and I used to live more than 7000km apart (only for a short while) and some time before his birthday I had been thinking of a viable and affordable way to send him a home made Iron Man birthday cake. I did quite a lot of research on the design of the cake and to find a recipe that has a long shelf life but still manages to be (quite) tasty.
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The reason why I call this a big project not just because it was a fondant cake which wasn’t really my strength, but also because of the packaging and logistics involved. I got asked of the details of the shipment more than being asked about how did I make the cake(lol). So heres the website I used to ship the cake from Sydney to Hong Kong for your reference. I spent around $45AUD for an express shipment which took 2 working days for the cake to arrive; and I think that was pretty impressive!

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… Tofu cheesecake with brown sugar syrup …

I have got another no bake cheesecake recipe to share, it is especially for the tofu lovers out there! I have to say this recipe is not a vegan recipe and it won’t be healthiest tofu cheesecake recipe that you have come across (I saw some recipes with less sugar or has no inclusion of cream etc.), but it does taste lighter,  fluffier and less filling than the other cheesecakes. 

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Though the cake is light and mild, you would be able to pick up the taste of tofu at the first bite, as I added 350g of silken tofu into the cake. I also tried to make it a bit more visually attractive by dripping some brown sugar syrup on the surface and drawing some patterns with a long toothpick. 

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… Disney Frozen Cake – building a snowman …

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If you ask a little girl what her favourite Disney movie is, the answer is very likely to be FROZEN! I have been amazed by many pretty Frozen cakes that I saw on Pinterest (look at THESE!), so when I was suggested to make a Frozen cake I was really excited! We had got a lovely birthday girl who turned 9 in May this year and she is a big fan of Frozen, so we had decided to prepare this surprise for her 🙂

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