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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chocolate Desire Collection

After a few revisions on my chocolate ganache cake, I came up with this latest design which  I call 'Chocolate Desire'.

Why I called it with that name?
I topped the choco ganache cake with strawberry pie topping. The strawberries are placed along the perimeter of the cake and I let the puree to just slide nicely on the sides of the cake. The strawberry dripping on the sides gives that thrill for you come and take a slice. 

To add appeal, I put some contrast in color, I piped buttercream diagonally oriented on the cake top. Then I piped also buttercream around the cake sides. 

I made another  variation on my Chocolate Desire cake by baking it into 4 mini cakes pans and cutting each mini cake in half. This one I call 'Chocolate Desire Minicakes'.  I poured chocolate ganache generously all over the mini cake tops, followed with strawberry puree/syrup and just let them drip together to the plate. Whole strawberries are randomly left on top of the mini cakes as well.

The way the ganache and the strawberry puree syrup flows down from cake  delivers the thrill and just makes you want consume this very moist and rich 'Chocolate Desire' cake.

So that's it, my Chocolate Desire collection- rich, decadent and so moist keeps you wanting for more.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chocolate Ganache

Ganache.. I was curious what that is.. I often hear it from bakers or read it from cake recipes. I know its some kind of chocolate frosting.. But what ganache is all about?

Ganache is a rich mixture of chocolate and cream often used as cake frosting or filling. Ratio of chocolate to cream varies on its intended use and flavor.


The texture may depend on how you would want to use it. It could be light or dense. If you want it light, you have to use whipping cream instead of an ordinary cream.  Flavor could be milky to bittersweet.

Ganache can be made very easily. You just heat up the cream near to boiling, add  in the chocolate chunks and stir well until all melted. 
Butter and oil is added for shinier and smoother effect. Sweetness can be adjusted by adding sugar while mixture is  hot. Other flavorings can be added if desired.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Real Life Size Fondant Guitar Cake

Somebody requested me to make a guitar cake as a present  for the birthday of her husband, a Gibson Electric guitar. That was the first time I would be making a guitar cake. At first I was hesitant to take the request but eventually gave in to take the challenge.

I jump started with my guitar cake project by making a pattern. Yes, I did make a guitar pattern which I drew on a large parchment paper.  This was necessary so I would be sure my cake would take the shape I intended it to be. The size and shape resemble a real electric guitar. The length was about 40 inches. 

Three days before the cake was needed, I already formed the gumpaste volume knobs, tuning pegs, the neck, headstock, and the Gibson logo. The reason I made these in advance was because these things had to be dried so it could retain its shape when put on the cake. At that time, I did not have tylose so I have to give it more time to dry out. Tylose is being added to fondant dough  to convert fondant into a gumpaste, hence it would be easier to form different shapes as necessary.

For the parts which I intended to look like metal, I painted them with silver Americolor . This one is for airbrush but since I did not have a baker's airbrush, I applied it to the fondant just like a paint.

Now, time to think about the cake board. Since it was not possible for me to buy a cake board large enough to accommodate a real life size guitar cake, I used a 1/2 inch thick styrofoam reinforced by a plywood underneath in order to support the weight of the cake. I just covered the board afterwards. Foam board could work as well, but still , a plywood reinforcement is also needed, otherwise, the cake board will break in half  when carried due to the length of the cake.  

The rest of the job was done on the day before this cake was needed. I allotted  whole day for this cake project alone. Since my oven is not large enough for this cake, I baked 4 batches of 8x12inch vanilla chiffon, with a thickness of about 2 inches each, positioned them side by side. I applied buttercream in between pieces to glue them up together.

I placed the pattern on top then started to cut and carve the cake according to the pattern I made. I used the remaining chiffon to form the guitar neck and head. I sliced across the top of the entire thing  in order to make the surface of the  4 cakes all levelled and for them to appear just like 1 piece of cake once covered with fondant.  

 After forming the guitar shaped chiffon, I covered the whole thing with buttercream. Then started to cover the guitar cake body with fondant, trimmed the excess and smoothed carefully. I took extra caution not to tear the fondant or else I have to redo everything. Smoothening on the curves was a little tricky specially on the narrow curve near the guitar neck. After covering the body, I then worked on to cover  the guitar neck and head with fondant as well.

Prior covering the cake with fondant, I tried to color my white fondant dough deep black. 

But I only had less than a small bottle of  Chefmaster black gel color available when I started. I thought I had enough. But after using up almost all the content  of the small bottle of  Chefmaster black gel,  the  result was just a gray fondant.  The black color gel I had was not enough for the volume of the fondant I made. After long hours of kneading, it then finally came to me to just paint the surface black to save kneading time and food color as well.

So I decided to proceed  to cover the entire  guitar cake with the gray fondant I came up with and then just painted it black using the remaining Chefmaster black gel I had.I got a nice shiny deep black color which I wanted it to be. But since the food color used  is a gel, you won't expect the color to dry immediately.

I then placed a pre-painted wood-stained color  fondant on the guitar neck, which I also did in advance. 

 I started to attach the volume knobs, the tuning pegs, the Gibson logo, and all the other details. For the string, I piped vanilla buttercream along the guitar neck length. I was able to pipe only 4 strings instead of 6. I left it that way since I was afraid to redo and ruin the already piped buttercream for the string.

The difficult part of piping the string was to be able to keep the piped buttercream as straight as possible so as to imitate tightly  tensioned strings. As you may notice, my strings were not perfectly straight.

At last I was done with the final touch which was the  string made of buttercream.
I boxed up the cake, ready for the next day delivery. It was a long day but worth it.

Happy baking!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Make a Cinnamon Roll ?

It was late in the afternoon and it was raining so hard as the storm is passing by southern Luzon, I can't do anything but just look through the window and  observe the surroundings as I marvel on the zero visibility of my neighbor's houses while both the fog and the rain cover the area here in Silang Cavite. Thinking of what to do to keep myself busy, it came to me to bake my own fresh smelling cinnamon rolls. I never made cinammon rolls for quite awhile. I thought of trying this new recipe I got and see how it differs from the first one I made months ago. This recipe calls for a combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour instead of using bread flour alone. I used to bake cinnamon rolls using bread flour alone, but I was never satisfied on the softness of the rolls.  Making use of all-purpose flour in combination with the bread flour provides an effect  of softer rolls, This one I would want to share with everbody else, having issue on hard cinammon rolls outcome. This is commonly encountered by home bakers. So here's how the recipe goes...

Here are the things I prepared:

1 1/2 c all-purpose Flour 
2 c bread flour 
1/4 c sugar
1 tspn yeast
4 tbspn shortening
1 1/2 c warm water
1/4 cup milk 
5 tbspn melted butter for brushing

1/3cup of all purpose flour for dusting

For the cinnamon syrup:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tspn cinnamon
5 tbspn water
1tspn canola oil ( or butter, whichever you prefer)

Follow these simple instructions:

Combine all dry ingredients.

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water (warm not hot).  Yeast should be frothy after about 5min. If yeast mixture do not become frothy, discard the yeast. This means that the yeast is already dead. Dissolve another teaspoon of yeast from a new package.

Combine the wet ingredients. 
Make a well at the center of the  dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients at the center.

 Mix until you form a dough. If the dough feels sticky, you can add all-purpose flour little by little until the dough is manageble to knead. 

Once you can hold the dough already without it sticking to your hand, get it and place on a clean  work surface dusted with flour. Knead by hand for at least 10 min (longer kneading time, the better). This will promote formation of gluten or the molecular cross-linking of the bread structure. This cross linking is responsible for having chewier baked bread.

After at least 10min of kneading, dab the dough surface with oil and place in a large bowl. Cover with cloth. Leave for about 30 min (take note that i used warm water for the dough so the yeast is active and my  house temperature is about 25-29 degC, If you're house temperature is colder, leave for a longer time), for the dough to rest. This will allow the yeast to work and release air (nor really air, but carbon dioxide as a by-product). After 30 min, punch down the dough to release the air.

With  the help of a rolling pin. Roll out the dough about  10x12 inch rectangle.

Brush butter onto the surface of the flattened dough. Put on brown sugar and sprinkle cinnamon all throughout the surface too. Spread the sugar and cinnamon uniformly on the surface.

Roll the dough into a log.

Cut into 1.5 inch thick. You will be able to yield more or less 18 cinnamon roll pieces. As you cut each piece, position them on a baking tray. Each piece should be placed about 1 inch apart to allow space for rising. Brush butter onto the rolls to prevent drying.

Leave  the dough for at least 2 hours in a warm area. My house is not warm enough so, I left mine overnight, about 6 hours. It's alright, I'm not in a hurry anyway to have these baked. I would want to have these rolls for the next day breakfast. And I want to eat cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. Otherwise, if you want to have the rolls in a short time possible, you can set your oven at very low temperature, put the tray in, leave the oven door ajar (to allow humidity flow into the oven). Leave for 1hour proofing. In this proofing stage, yeast continues its job to ferment the flour. 

After the proofing step, the rolls should already double in size,  Bake for 20 min at 325deg. I bake my rolls at the topmost layer so the roll tops will brown nicely before the bottom does. When I use the middle layer, the top usually becomes pale, but bottom browns faster which i do not want to happen. If you use the  topmost layer, the radiating heat from the top metal (or ceiling)of your oven will make your bread top to brown faster than the bottom. 

After 20min of baking, take the baking tray out. Transfer the rolls on a cooling rack. 

While cooling ,combine 1/2 cup of sugar,1 tspn of cinnamon powder, 1tspn of oil and 5 tbspn of water. Mix thoroughly, then heat the mixture until sugar is dissolved. While hot pour to the top of the cinnamon rolls. Let them cool.

If you prefer to serve them hot, you may, but if you'll have to pack them like for school snack, you have to let them cool totally so the syrup will set.   

My Minion Cake

Just last week, I have received another order of fondant cake. The customer wanted to have a minion cake for his son. Since the Despicable Me movie has came out, there are lots of people being fond of the cute little minions of the movie. This has been one of the characters  that many customers wish to have for their kid's party. But guess what, this cake is made not for a kid, but an adult who is so fond as well on minions.

The minion cake I created was made of 4 layers of vanilla and mocha chiffon, stacked alternately in order to come up with an 8-inch  high cake. The icing in between each layer was made of vanilla and mocha as well.  For the layer  just underneath the fondant, I used vanilla buttercream also.

Creating this minion cake was fun. But I was a little worried if this cake would be able to stand up firmly during transport since the diameter of the cake is smaller compared to the height. The diameter is 6 inches by the way.

At first, I attempted to make use of a round  styro as a cake drum and place a dowel at the center all the the way to the styro just to be sure cake won't fall off. But I have changed my mind. I just used an ordinary cake board since if I'll be using a styro, I will have another problem of how to cover the styro top neatly and not having the creases that will be formed on the rounded edge of the styro.

To counteract the possibility of cake tipping due to its height to diameter ratio, I made sure I put buttercream on the cake board just before I placed the first layer of chiffon.The hat of the minion, as you noticed is slightly slanted. I have inserted about 4inches of dowel in order to hold the hat in place and at the same time, hold every chiffon layer together in place.

Another challenge I encountered was during the carving of the head to round the edges, some of the parts crumbs off. I knew , I had to refrigerate the cake first before I carved it to prevent crumbing off,  but I didn't. I then had to correct the roughness before I cover it with fondant. I filled and smoothen the damaged edges with buttercream frosting.

As with the covering of the fondant to the cake, I had no problem at all, I was able to cover the entire cake with yellow rolled fondant easily. After that,  I cut  blue fondant for the jumpsuit. I added a stitch effect on the edges using a fondant quilting tool to make it look more like  real clothes. I then worked on the eyes and glases, the  lips and the tongue. The feet and legs are made  of pure fondant, no chiffon underneath. I applied a generous amount of shortening while kneading the  black fondant for the feet to give it a shiny effect. By the way, I put a dowel all the way thru the legs to be able to attach it to the body and to hold the black feet in place as well.

 So there it is, my minion cake..I was able to deliver it to the customer safely.

Having to see the happy face of the receiver upon seeing this cake, makes all the hardwork worth it. I hope you liked it too...

For my other cake creations, please visit my facebook page as well:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

Makes 12 pcs  of 3oz muffin




    ½ C brown sugar
     ¼ C white sugar
    1 ½  C flour
    1 egg
    ½  tspn baking powder
    ½  tspn baking soda
    ½  C cold water
    ¼  C veg. oil
    ½  C milk + ½ tbspn vinegar   (mix and  let this curdle, this is a substitute to sour milk)
   1/8   tspn fine salt
   ½  tspn Cinnamon
   1/4 tspn nutmeg
   1  apple cored  peeled and  chopped

For the streusel:
   ¼ C Flour
   ¼ C Brown Sugar
   ¼ tspn cinnamon powder
   1 tspn of water.
   2 tbspn Softened butter



     Preheat oven @350deg

      For the streusel: 

          Mix all ingredients for the streusel  until crumby.
       For the Muffins:  

  1. Combine dry ingredients . Mix very well so all dry ingredients will be distributed evenly  and so powder mixture will get loose.   
  2. Add oil, water then add sour milk . Fold the mixture with spatula until dry ingredients are all incorporated to the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. For muffins, the final mixture should still be lumpy.
  3. Fold in the apples pieces.   
  4. Pour  in greased muffin pan or muffin pan with paper cups.
  5. Top with struesel.
  6. Bake for 25min @350degC

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fondant 101

What is a fondant ?  A fondant is a sweet confection being used in baked pastries.  The word, in French, means "melting", coming from the same root as  'foundry' in English.

There are 2 types of fondant, one is called Poured Fondant, which is commonly used as fillings in cakes and other pastries. The other type commonly used is the Rolled Fondant. The name itself suggests how it is being prepared to be used for baked pastries.  In this article I will elaborate more on the rolled fondant type.  This is the one I often use for my cakes and cupcakes.

Rolled fondant can be made in 2 ways.  One method  is by mixing confectioner's sugar to a hot mixture of  glycerine and glucose. This is then folded carefully  in order to come up with a dough. To get better pliability, some adds gum improver.  Kneading is necessary in order to get the right consistency of the dough.  The second  method is by melting marshmallow in low heat or in microwave oven , after which,the melted marshmallows are poured on a confectioner's sugar and folded until kneading is possible. Since marshmallow already  contains  gum improver ingredients, there is no need to add one.  In order to prevent drying which might result to cracking, shortening is being added.

Either of the 2 methods yields a play-dough- like material which can then be rolled-out and used to cover the cakes or can be shaped into any figure you may wish. .

I personally prefer to make fondant using the second method.  Why? It's because, the second method is less sweet as compared to the first method and as per experience, I can produce better texture of fondant that won't break easily as I cover my cakes.  The first method is also very sensitive to humidity. Fondant is generally   sensitive to humidity but fondant from marshmallow tolerates humidity better than the one made with glucose.Aside from those mentioned, you can get better flavor  for your fondant by using marshmallow due to the presence of vanillin in marshmallows.

However, if  you hate the fuss of preparing your fondant from scratch, ready-made fondant are now available in baking shops. This is great if you are in a hurry for to prepare your fondant cake for an event, but of course, this option is more costly than preparing your own.