Thursday, June 30, 2011

experimenting with various flavours

Having successfully tried out the easy chocolate cake recipe and falling in love with the taste and texture, early this month, I decided to be more adventurous and experimented with various flavours using the same recipe.

To make the process easier, I used muffin tray again instead of cake pan even though the recipe is meant for cake. I omitted the cocoa powder and in place of it, tried adding raisins to a quarter of the mixture, one whole tea bag of green tea leave (from a Japanese brand) to another quarter, one whole package of instant coffee granules to another and finally some blueberries (I happened to have just enough left in the fridge) to the last quarter.

To my utmost surprise, maybe I had too many failures previously, all 4 flavours turned out yummy. The blueberry ones were most delicious, followed by raisins (though not exciting), coffee and green tea. I think the green tea leaves were not meant for baking and therefore the taste was weaker but it was still quite delectable. It was a happy day for me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

awfully easy chocolate cake

Couple of months ago, on the quest to restart my baking journey, I started searching on the web for a really easy cake recipe. It took me awhile before I stumbled across the blog of txfarmerying's easy chocolate cake recipe.

I thought to myself: this is so simple - it requires very basic ingredients, there is no need to use any complicated equipment (even mixer and weighing machine are complicated to me) and best of all, only a few items to wash up. I decided I must give it a try.

Easy Chocolate Cake
1) Sift and mix together the following:
- 3 cups of unsifted flour
- 1.5 cups of sugar (I further reduced to 1 cup to fit my personal taste)
- 0.5 cup cocoa powder (I happened to have Van Houten)
- 2 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of salt
2) Make 3 holes in the powder mixture, pour into each holes : 1 tsp of vanilla essence, 2 tsp of white vinegar and 0.5 cup of oil (I found the last ingredient to be too much and reduced to using 0.5 cup in total)
3) Pour in 2 cups of water to the powder mixture and mix with wooden spatula (I used plastic spatula). Do not overdo.
4) Pour the mixture into 9 inch baking pan and put in 162C pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes . Only 20-25 minutes if put into muffin mold.

It was also mentioned by txfarmerying that milk can replace water in step 3 in order to create cake with more supple texture. I decided to divide the amount into 2 batches and try both water and milk. To differentiate the 2 batches, I sprinkled some crushed almonds on the 'water' batch. I used muffin tray instead of cake pan.

The recipe was really easy to handle and judging from my previous failures in baking, I do not have high hope for this but the result was really tasty chocolate cakes.

The darker colour batch on the left was done using water and the light brown ones on the right were from the milk batch. The ones done with water are more moist but the ones done with milk have a slight fragrant milk taste with fluffier and lighter texture, which both hubby and I like. Those eaten on day 2 and 3 actually tasted better, maybe the cakes matured?

The success from this recipe definitely boasted my confident :), it was a good start.
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