almond butter cake

almond butter cake2

A moist delicious butter cake with a nutty taste from almonds, adapted from one of my favorite recipes.

Almond butter cake

  • 250 grams salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 160 grams caster sugar, separated
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Bailey’s (can be substituted with milk, whipping cream or rum)
  • 180 grams cake flour
  • 70 grams almond meal, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  1. Line a 8 inch square pan. Preheat oven to 160 C.
  2. Beat butter with 140 grams of sugar until pale in color.
  3. Add in egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Add in vanilla extract and Bailey’s. Mix well.
  5. Add in cake flour, baking powder and almond meal. Mix well.
  6. Whisk egg whites with 20 grams of sugar until stiff peaks.
  7. Fold into egg yolk mixture in 3 portions.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cover the top with foil if it browns too quickly.

almond butter cake1

 

 

magic custard cake

magic-custard-cake

I finally tried this amazing cake. Yeah, I jumped on the magic custard cake bandwagon very late.

I’ve seen many bloggers making this cake a couple of years back. For some reason, the thought of folding in egg whites into that much liquid worried me, so I didn’t attempt it.

After the unintentional ‘magic cake-alike’ date cake I made a while back, I decided to give this a try.

Don’t let the ugly appearance fool you. Inside is lovely magic.

Magic custard cake (adapted from anncoo journal; originally from decoracion de mabel)

  • 5 eggs, separated (I used eggs that weighed 60 grams each, with shell)
  • 140 grams icing sugar
  • large pinch of salt
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 115 grams all-purpose flour
  • 480 ml milk, slightly warm (I used 445 grams milk and 35 grams water)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  1. Line a 8 x 8 x 3 inches pan. Preheat oven to 160 C.
  2. Beat egg yolks with icing sugar and salt until lighter in colour and thick.
  3. Add in melted butter and water and mix until combined.
  4. Add in flour and mix until combined.
  5. Add in milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  6. Whisk egg whites with 1 tbsp caster sugar until slightly over stiff peaks. Not too grainy though.
  7. Mix in 1/3 of meringue to the egg yolk mixture using a whisk.
  8. Fold in remaining meringue in 2 parts using a whisk or a spatula. Resist over-folding.
  9. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. I baked my cake for 55 minutes. A piece of foil was placed on top to prevent the cake browning too fast on the 20th minute.

magic-custard-cake1

The taste is quite fantastic. Soft souffle with creamy fragrant custard in the centre and a fudge bottom.

Notes:

  • I ran out of milk. So I topped up with water. Works okay. I was using full-cream full fat fresh milk.
  • I used 5 eggs because I did not have any 70 gram eggs. Turns out the 8 inch pan might be a bit too small. My cake rose quite high, above the 2 inch parchment paper extension at the sides of the pan, hence the ugly collapsed look. Upon cooling it shrank until shrivelled and uneven, especially the sides and was very painful to look at. Still nice to eat though.
  • I did not use a mixer when making this cake. Everything was done manually with a whisk, a spatula, a copper bowl and a stainless steel bowl. Not very much cleaning up to do! My favourite kind of baking. 🙂
  • If you should make this cake and it does not succeed, or you just want to know more about the magic of this cake, KitchenTigress gives very clear explanations and instructions.

dumplings (jiao zi)

jiao-zi

My first attempt at making chinese dumplings, also known as pot stickers or jiao zi 饺子 .

Dumplings (from Carol 自在生活)

Dough

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • 150-170 grams tepid water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add in about 140 grams of water. Mix well.
  3. Slowly add in extra water tablespoon by tablespoon, until a soft pliable dough forms.
  4. Place dough in bowl and cover with cling wrap. Leave overnight.

I made the dough at night and left it overnight out of the fridge. The next day, the dough was softer and could be stretched quite well.

Filling (adapted from Carol 自在生活)

  • 500 grams minced pork
  • 250 grams beijing cabbage
  • 2 leeks/scallions
  • 2 garlic chives
  • 1 knob of young ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (suggest 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt (suggest 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (suggest 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 tbsp water
  1. Chop cabbage into fine pieces. Add 2 tsp of salt and toss well. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Wash and chop scallions and garlic chives.
  3. Grate ginger and garlic.
  4. Wash salted cabbage well. Strain and squeeze out excess water.
  5. Add scallions, garlic chives, cabbage, grated ginger and garlic into minced pork. Mix well.
  6. Add all seasoning. Mix well. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes before wrapping.

Assemby

  1. Pinch off a ball of dough (about 20-25 grams) and flatten.
  2. Roll out dough into a circle about 5-6 cm in diameter.
  3. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough.
  4. Wet the edges of the dough with water and seal well.
  5. To cook, place dumplings in boiling water and boil for 8~10 minutes. Serve warm.
  6. To freeze, arrange dumplings on a tray and freeze. Once frozen, place in freezer bags for easy storage. To cook frozen dumplings, do not thaw. Extend cooking time to about 12 minutes.
  7. To make pot stickers, add a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan. Heat until hot. Reduce heat and carefully place dumplings on the frying pan, bottom down. When golden brown, add in enough water to cover half the height of the dumplings. Cover pan and cook until water is evaporated.

Dipping sauce

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • chilli oil to taste
  • julienned ginger (from a small knob)

Notes:

  1. I bought the minced pork from the supermarket and there was not enough fat in the meat. If possible, it is best to have 50% fats in the minced meat. This makes for a juicier dumpling. Mine were fine the day I made them but the frozen ones, when cooked, turned out a bit tough.
  2. The seasoning above was not sufficient for my taste. The original recipe used 50 ml of pork broth and added dried shrimps. I didn’t want to use dried shrimp. I also did not have pork broth so I just added water. The suggested amounts would probably be better.
  3. I thought I was being clever when I divided the dough and rolled out everything before wrapping. The dough was incredibly soft and stretchy. It all stuck together and therefore I wasted time doing useless stuff.