Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Decorate With Fondant Workshop - Cake Decorating Ideas

Cake decorating can be really fun as ideas are limited only by one's imagination.  There are millions of cake decorating ideas out there and if you run short of any, just google on the internet and you will be able to be inspired with the many ways to decorate cakes and one of the simplest that I like working with is to decorate with fondant.

Once you know the basics of fondant decorating, you will find it fun and simple.  Fondant decorating is just like playing with play dough.  :D  Except that fondant can be eaten. 

Here are some simple fondant works done during a 'decorate with fondant workshop' that can be used as fondant toppers.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Semolina Cake Recipe (Sugee Butter Cake)

Very often, when I mention Sugi Cake, or Sugee Butter Cake, many people do not know what that is. Stating that the sugee butter cake is made of semolina, the next question is:- What is semolina?

Briefly, semolina is the coarse endosperm grains of the wheat kernel when separated from the bran and the germ upon being processed by corrugated steel rollers.

Sugee Butter Cake for Chinese New Year

Sugi Cake for a friend's wedding
There are basically two types of semolina cake recipes, the traditional type of sugi cake is the heavy and dense semolina cake which is typical of a Eurasian wedding cake.  The other type of sugi cake is light and moist which my brother loves.

Here is the lighter version of the semolina cake recipe.

Sugee Butter Cake Recipe

5 egg yolks
90 gm castor sugar

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
90 gm castor sugar

225 gm butter
120 gm semolina

10 gm milk powder
80 gm HongKong flour (low protein flour)
1 tsp double action baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
40 gm ground almond

 1 dsp brandy (optional)

1.  Cream C till white and fluffy.  Leave aside for 1 - 2 hours.
2.  Cream A.
3.  Fold C into A.
4.  Whisk B till stiff.
5.  Add D and B alternately into the semolina butter mixture.
6.  Add E if preferred.
7.  Pour into a 7 inch cake tin.
8.  Bake in preheated 180 degrees Celsius oven for approximately 30 minutes till golden brown.

Do try out the recipe above and let me know how it turned out.  :D  Happy Baking!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

What Is Semolina?

So what exactly is semolina?

As Wikipedia puts it, semolina is the coarse middlings from certain types of wheat and grains such as rice and corn. When wheat kernels are processed via corrugated grooved steel rollers, the bran, germ and endosperm are separated.  Due to the narrow space of the rollers, the endosperm is broken down into coarse grains and this is semolina.  The semolina can then be ground into wheat flour or used in the production of other types of food.

The semolina particles are very coarse, depending on the various grades and quality and usually ranges from off-white to yellow in colour.

A packet of semolina, also known as sugi

Semolina can be used for cooking or baking.

Eurasians typically love the semolina cakes or sugee butter cake, also known as sugi cake, which uses semolina as one of its main ingredients.

South Indians use semolina to make the rava dosa, a dish which resembles a thin pancake but without the eggs.  North Indians use it for their sweets such as the sugi halwa.

Americans boil semolina with milk and sugar to get semolina pudding.

Semolina is also used in the manufacture of pasta, cereals, cookies and desserts.

A point to note is that semolina contains no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium.  At the same time, semolina is rich in several B vitamins.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Coolest Birthday Cakes - Casino Birthday Cake Designs

Had a tough time thinking of some of the coolest birthday cakes to make for mum-in-law's 84th birthday in August, which happens to fall on National Day of Singapore as well. Looked through various birthday cake designs and theme cakes and finally came up with a casino themed cake for her as she loves to go to the casino.

Instead of a poker cake, visualized a baccarat game where there was a tie as well as a pair and of course a winning hand!

Here is the preparation for the fondant birthday cake...

Started off with the playing cards.  Decided to do with the biggest cards in the pack which is the four aces...  This was quite a challenge as all the pieces had to be hand cut as I do not have any cutters for this.
Ace of Clubs and Hearts
Ace of Diamonds and Spades
Next was the preparation of the casino chips.  Tried to get as close to the actual colours as I could.  As I did not have the correct mould cutters for this, had to make do with bottle covers, etc...
Casino Chips
Thought it came out pretty well, except that it was very time consuming, especially for the white edges.

Next was preparing the alphabets for the words, "PAIR" and "TIE".  This was to make it look just like the baccarat gaming table.

Now came time to bake the cake.  After baking the cake, covered it with a light green fondant base, followed by placing the designs that had been prepared.

Inserting the custom made casino fondant pieces
Stacking up the casino chips
More chips = more money
Design at side of cake

Some purple flowers to decorate the base

Some red roses as well
Finally, after a few hours, the cake was ready.  Here is a picture of the cake which I am proud of and I feel that this is one of the coolest birthday cakes that I have come up with on a full fondant birthday cake ...

The cake also has a winning hand!  Whoever bet on pairs and ties would have won!  At the same time, these wins are normally paid out 8:1 or greater...  :)  Which means even more money coming in at the casino.

Final picture of the full fondant birthday cake - casino birthday cake designs
And time to sing Happy Birthday to the grand old dame...
Including the candles

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baked Cheesecake Galore

WOW!  Over the last few months especially, I have been playing around with cheesecake recipes following some books and modifying some recipes.

Below are some of my trials with baked cheesecakes ...  :)

Mango cheesecake

Beer cheesecake - but not that much taste of beer & don't worry, you will not get drunk...  LOL

My favourite Durian cheesecake

Oreo cheesecake
Oreo cheeecake with chocolate topping

Double cheesecake

Pandan cheesecake

Chocolate chip cheesecake

Mango cheesecake (another variation)

Chocolate liquer cheesecake (was a little too rich for me)

Japanese cotton light cheesecake (have yet to master making this in a bigger pan)

Orange mascapone cheesecake

Marble cheesecake

Feather light cheesecake
New York cheesecake
I must admit that it was fun trying out the various baked cheesecake recipe and testing them out.  It was such a sense of satisfaction when it came out well...  :) & especially when getting compliments from others!  That indeed made the long hours in the kitchen worth it.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coolest Birthday Cakes - Mickey Mouse Cake

With tons of Mickey Clubhouse cakes on the net, my neighbour picked a few as samples for me to go by when making for her 2 year old daughter's birthday celebration.  This is one of the coolest birthday cakes and making use of the ever popular Mickey Mouse as the theme of the cake.  Note that this is not an original design.

In order to start getting the whole cake done up properly, three to four days in advance, I started preparing Mickey's head with black fondant mixed with gumpaste as I needed to get it to stand upright, and especially for the ears to stick on and not fall off.

Mickey's head was the last to be placed...

All the stars, hearts as well as alphabets had to be prepared in advance so that they would have time to harden and stand upright.  The flowers and leaves were fun to make as I started to visualize the cake with some colourful flowers and butterflies as well.

Mickey Mouse Cake - one of the coolest birthday cakes

 It was a joy to see such a cheerful Mickey Mouse cake, especially after days of planning...  The Mickey and friend figurines were purchased and provided by the customer.

The back of the  Mickey Clubhouse cake
Did not expect the pot of flowers which Minnie Mouse is standing on to give me a challenge, but had to re-do it as I found that it was difficult to get Minnie to stand up straight there and she kept leaning either forward or backward.  However, it all finally came together.  :) - Birthday Party Supplies

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Snowskin Mooncake

Personally, I prefer the snowskin mooncake as compared to the traditional baked mooncakes. The snowskin mooncake is not only easy to make, yet it has a nice soft texture as well as comes in a kaleidoscope of colours and flavours. Best of all, it tastes pretty delicious!

Recently bought a set of mooncake moulds from Hong Kong during my recent trip there and here are some of the results...  :)  Prior to these new moulds, had made some snowskin mooncakes as well but forgotten to snap the pictures.

Pandan snowskin mooncake
Testing out my durian snowskin mooncake

Another of my trials - black sesame snowskin mooncake

Black sesame with lotus and durian snowskin mooncake

Green bean, red bean and the ever popular durian snowskin mooncakes

With the Mooncake Festival this year falling on 12th September, 2011, was too busy preparing the mooncakes and baking other goodies that this post just got updated after all the hectic schedule over the past few weeks.

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