Dundee Cake



Hi peeps.. how is everyone doing? missing me much? hehe.. well to those that are on my IG.. am pretty sure ur not missing me as much lol.. i am on there practically every single day.. u can either see my bakes or pics of our daily routine.. (in case you don't know, you can find me under "bisousatoi" on IG and FB).

So its the time of the year again.. Sonia will be celebrating her 6th birthday in a couple of days time.. yearly without fail i will bake her a bday cake but this year i wont be able to do so on her big day as we will be in Adelaide.. yep.. we are flying there in a few days time.. it has been four years since we last set foot there.. hubs wasnt interested to go back to Australia simply bec the exchange rate was horrible and theres not much to do there.. usually when we fly somewhere its tied together with hubs work and since theres no work involving aussie land.. we ended up not flying there.. not even when we had the time for a short vacation.. places like Thailand.. Indonesia.. Hong Kong have more to offer in terms of a short gateway..

Anywho long story short.. hubs has finally pulled the plug .. after 10yrs working with the same company.. he finally tendered his resignation a month ago.. he wanted to try something new .. he wanted to meet new ppl and two opportunities came knocking at his door.. we were overwhelmed and at the same time excited for him.. this is his year.. year of horse for the horsey ppl hehehe.. so bef he starts working with the new co.. I suggested flying to Adelaide for a week and since we are there.. hubs has signed me up for a cake decorating class with Liz.. do check out her site Takes the Cake.. ty babe for always supporting my interest..

As for the family.. both my kids are doing well.. Hairi has got the travel bug and has been travelling.. he was in Paris and Amsterdam last month for a couple of days and is already planning for his next trip.. hes seeing someone and we couldnt be happier for him.. as for our little missy.. we hv registered her into one of the international schools here as hubs wants her to do the International Baccalaureate (IB).. Will still register her in one of our local schools in July.. i think.. as parents we want the best for our kids and am blessed to be given the chance to do so .. if we get into the local school that we want.. we will go ahead with that .. if not its going to be Chatsworth.. shes a fast learner and we are pretty confident that no matter where she ends up.. she will do well.. Insyallah..

Alrighty.. thats it.. i hv to get going.. this week has been a good rest week for me.. i decided to slow down with orders as my cousin is getting married and come Sunday our hols starts.. so hopefully if i can find time while in Adelaide.. i will update my blog and if not... keep a look out in my IG cos it is certainly much more quicker to upload travel pics there..

Take care and enjoy the recipe below.. alhamdullilah everyone enjoyed this cake.. its not as fancy as my pandan cake with gula melaka frosting that i baked last week but it is definitely one of my fav this week!! cheers!




Ingredients
250g cold salted butter - i used lescure unsalted butter and added 1/4 tsp of salt to my flour
200g of caster sugar - i used 100g muscovado and 100g of caster sugar
300g of flour - i used cake flour
100g of red, yellow , orange cherries - sliced and cubed
300g of raisins - i used mix fruits
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon or orange
1/2 tsp vanilla extract - i added
100g whole almonds

Method
Preheat oven to 150C.. greased and line an 8" round pan..
Cream butter for a couple of mins till creamy.. add sugar a little at a time and continue to cream till fluffy.. add egg one at a time and continue to whisk till blended.. add sifted flour, baking powder in three addition.. fold in ur mix fruits and fold in gently.. add lemon zest and also vanilla..

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread level using the back of a spoon. Arrange the whole almonds close together in neat circles on the top of the cake. Bake in the oven for 60 mins. mine was baked for 75mins

Check the cake after 50 minutes by inserting a wooden or metal skewer into the cake. When it’s done it should have just a few crumbs attached. Check every 10 minutes - it’s important not to overcook this cake so the centre will be a little soft.

Updates and a recipe - German Chocolate Cake



A zillion apologies will never justify my absence.. am sorry for my lacking in updating my blog.. i had wanted to update my blog while in Paris.. but i didnt.. i took photos.. i took along my lappy but i didnt update my blog.. most of the pics in my IG were taken fm my phone and those that i took using my SLR I made a flipagram video of in my IG.. follow me on IG ok cos i am not too sure if i hv the time to update a travelogue on my Paris trip in my blog.

Bef i go on and on abt whats new with us.. i just want to thank all the lovely ppl in my IG and FB.. the messages that I am getting daily asking me abt my well being.. abt how i am coping right now.. I feel blessed and thankful..

1st Jan was the day my dad was admitted to CCU.. he has been sick the last few months and became very weak on the eve of new year that we decided to take him to the A&E.. found out that his diabetes was at a critical stage.. he was rushed to the CCU unit where he got proper care and medication.. the family is being tight-nit during this period of time (which is important).. both my sisters and my mom took turns to sleep over.. dad was knocked out for the first two days.. he was blabbering and couldnt even remember what he was talking abt.. mom was pretty aware of the situation and was always on guard whenever she saw dad's doc.. after five days in CCU.. doc decided to release him to the normal ward and he has been warded there for the past few days.. hes better now... talking and not falling asleep every five minutes... hes laughing lots too which i hv not seen for over a year.. hes sitting down on his own and eating properly... started to read the newspaper and magazines again which he lost interest many months ago... i am thankful to Allah for this... us sisters were strong and supported each other.. sis Wati has not been back to work ever since dad was admitted and i dont know what i would do without them... love u girls so much!

While dad was in CCU.. my grandma was admited to ICU.. shes been worried sick abt dad that it somehow deteriorated her health.. she was bleeding internally and there is only so much that we can do (she's 89)... she was in ICU and a few hrs ago they pushed her to the recovering unit.. she can still recognize us.. shes still talking eventho she looks weak today.. may Allah gv her strength to go thru this period of time..

Looking back at what is happening right now... it makes me realise how important it is to hv a strong bond in a family.. no matter how tough the situation is... if u hv a strong family foundation.. u will come out on top..

So ok... lets move on.. there are too many new recipes that i want to share but time is really not on my side.. the interest that i once had seems to be going south.. i dont know if i will be able to update my blog as often as bef but one thing is for sure... i will keep my blog running as long as i can.. this blog is after all abt sharing recipes..

.. and abt my family.. Sonia is growing into a young girl.. shes in K2 and will be 6yo in two months time.. Hairi has been travelling and is going to Paris next week.. err i think.. hubs is still travelling and was in Jakarta two days ago and will be in China whole of next week.. i still hate it whenever he has to travel but thats how it is.. am thankful that hes been working hard to provide us well.. overall we are good and settling into the brand new year.. taking one day at a time..

Alrighty since this post is all abt family bonding... i wanna share a few pics taken on my bday.. eve of xmas.. the day Mr Santa give away prezzies hehe



And oh yes.. bef i call it a day.. heres the recipe of my bday cake which i prepared a few hrs bef my family members arrived.. enjoy and pardon for the not so good quality pic of my cake.. took pic using my phone :o)


Ingredients
2 cups / 228g cake flour
1/2 cup/ 27g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz/113g bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
1/2 cup/120ml boiling water
1 cup/242g sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup/ 227g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups/400g granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, seperated, at room temp
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Chocolate Frosting
85g bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
1/2 cup / 113g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup / 113g confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

This recipe uses coconut pecan filling but i opted for salted caramel cream cheese frosting .. why? simply bec i didnt hv enough time to prepare the filling :oP

Make the cake
1) Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease the bottom and sides of two 9" round cake pans. Dust the pans with flour

2) Sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl, set aside

3) Combine the chocolate and boiling water in a bowl and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool until repid.

4) In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and vanilla extract, set aside

5) In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, abt 1 min. Gradually add 1 1/2 cup of sugar and beat at high speed until well blended and light, abt 3 mins. Reduce speed to medium and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the rapid chocolate and mix until blended. If ur mixer has a splatter shield attachment, attach it now.

6)Reduce the seed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with sour cream in tow additions and mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl fm the mixer stand and set aside.

7) In a clean mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at low speed util frothy. Add the cream o tartar and mix just until blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the whites are fluffy and begin to form soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Increase speed to high and whip the whites until they are glossy and smooth and form stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the chocolate batter one third at a time, Scrape the batter into prepared pans and smooth the tops

8) Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 mins, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks for 20mins.

9) Run a small knife around the edge of each pan to loosen the cake. Invert each cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Make  the frosting
1) Put the chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stiring frequently until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl fm over the pot and set the chocolate aside to cool until repid.

2) In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, eat the butter at medium speed until creamy abt 30 sec. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat at high speed unti the repid chocolate at low speed, mixing until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase the speed to high and heat until the frosting is slightly aerated.. abt 1 min. Use the frosting immediately, or cover tightly and set aside at room temp for up to 3hr

Recipe adapted fm The Cake book fm Tish Boyle.. Bake it ok cos hubs said.. the cake is the mother of all chocolate cake hehe

Cheerios!

Salted caramel truffle tarts - FINALLY!



[On 13th October: Its late .. will update soonish.. missing my space here .. night night xoxo]

How do i begin.. where do i start.. each time i start to type in something.. i end up deleting it.. its been awhile.. been too long since i last pinned my thoughts here.. suddenly i feel like a virgin all over again muahahaha

I hv been well.. not been travelling that much this year.. every year come December.. i will sit back and try to think of what i hv done for the year.. i had wanted to do something more fruitful this year and i think i managed to do that.. i wanted to bake more celebration cakes and i got to do that almost every week.. each week i will keep it to two or three orders of bday cakes cos i know that if i were to take in many.. i will not be able to enjoy what i am doing.. i love to try out new designs for my cakes.. even if i hv to keep on using the same technique (customer request) i will still try to make it look a little different..

With that said.. guess what.. hubs signed me into another macaron class in Paris... am super excited to be able to learn more on macs.. there are never ending things u can learn abt these little devilish thingy called Macarons.. its not true that once u mastered it.. ur good to go.. hopefully with all my knowledge on baking .. i will be able to open up classes and teach to those that are interested to learn abt baking.. i know for sure that if u hv the passion for baking.. u will be able to bake just abt anything under the sun..

So ok.. lets get on with this long overdue recipe.. i guess with all the FB and IG spreading viral on anything that uses salted caramel.. there is no harm for me to share another good salted caramel recipe.. i hv a few which i hv shared bef in my previous post.. i personally like this recipe tho.. always remember when it comes to making caramel.. keep a close watch on ur sugar .. dont burnt it or u will not like the taste..

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE CRUST
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons. confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Prepare the Crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Evenly press each portion into the bottoms and sides of 6 3.5-inch tartlet pan with removable bottoms. Refrigerate tartlet shells for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, prick the tart shells all over with a fork. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, about 13-15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

FOR THE GANACHE
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped - I used Valrhona
Vanilla Fleur de Sel for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare the Ganache: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Spoon ganache evenly over tartlets and refrigerate until set, 3-4 hours. If desired, sprinkle tart with sea salt and slice. Serve cold.

FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL
Makes about 2 cups

400gm sugar
165gm butter
250ml cream
Salt to taste -i used Fleur de Sel

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the sugar in a heavy based pot and as soon as the sugar has all dissolved, remove it from the heat and add the butter in parts whilst continuously whisking . warning it is VERY hot - the butter will splatter quite a bit, just keep whisking and ensure that you do not touch this sauce.
Return the pot to the heat and add the cream immediately, still whisking vigorously.
When the sauce has become smooth and amalgamated (this happens quickly) remove it from the heat and add a good sprinkle of salt which dissolves.
Allow it to completely cool and stir in another good sprinkle of salt which remains in its granular form.

Notes
If you add the cream to the sugar too soon it may split. If this happens return it to the heat and continue heating and stirring vigorously and it should amalgamate to form a sauce.

Crust and ganache recipe is fm My baking addition

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