Nigella's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

I saw this particular chocolate cake repeated by The Little Teochew several times. I went through the recipe countless time and was kind of sceptical about putting everything in a bowl and blitz to mix and voila! Yummy chocolate cake.. Curiousity got a better of me, I bought a small tub of sour cream (as Ju mentioned, sour cream is irreplaceable, not even with yoghurt!) and I get to work on that day itself. Why wait? I needed breakfast for the boys on Monday.

The ingredients required are very very simple! Do give it a try.. the recipe uses round cake pan, but I made them into cupcakes. No compromise on the taste or texture at all. Very soft and delectable.

Nigella's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake (makes 18 cupcakes)
(recipe sighted here)

- 200 g plain flour
- 200 g caster sugar (I reduced this to 150g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (I use less than 1/2)
- 40 g cocoa powder (Valrhona of course)
- 150 ml/g sour cream
- 175 g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs (65g each)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract

- All ingredients above must be at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 180C and prepare cake tins (line and butter) or like me, prepare cupcake liners.
- Put all the above ingredients into a food processor (I was too lazy to wash my food processor - yes, I bought it but not used it before) or mixing bowl.
- Blitz everything together until well mixed.
- Divide the batter equally among the prepared tins or fill each cuppies till 1/2 full.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a thin skewer comes out clean.

Told you it was really a very simple and straight-forward recipe. Preparation time takes less than 5 minutes and I get nice soft fluffy cuppies that stay moist even after 2 days!

Coffee Buns

Roti boy craze started in KL many years back. I can remember the super super long queue at KLCC and One Utama. Slowly, the fad dies off (just like how bubble tea was as well).

I introduced coffee bun to Zach last year and he is HOOKED! I know.. a 5 year old boy hooked to coffee be it buns, sweets or ice coffee drink from Starbucks and Coffee Bean *guilty*

He saw me baked many different type of buns every week and each time he will asked "Mummy, are you making coffee buns for me?" My reply "Next time okay Zach? Coffee buns need many hours and is very difficult. Mummy promise." The day finally came! I woke up earlier than usual yesterday (being a Sunday) because the Husband was working overnight and we would not be going out for breakfast. I am thankful I have all the ingredients on hand, so no rushing out to stock up. :) I Googled for coffee bun and picked Grace's Kitchen Corner recipe. Feeling excited, I felt it will be nice to include the filling as well. No regrets because it gives the bread some moist to it so it is not very dry.

Second proofing - still unsure why I can never get a nice round-shaped buns

Coffee Buns (recipe from Grace's Kitchen Corner)

250g bread flour
38g caster sugar
3g salt
4g yeast
1/2 beaten egg
135g fresh milk* (I replaced this with coffee flavored milk)

Bun filling
100g butter*(softened to room temperature)
35g brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

* I felt using salted butter for the filling will be the best combination

50g butter
40g* icing sugar(I reduced this to 30g icing sugar)
38g beaten eggs (approx. 2 medium sized eggs)
50g plain flour
1 tsp granulated coffee powder

- Prepare the bun filling & topping first.
- Filling:
  • Using an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and pale in color
  • Add in vanilla extract and mix well
  • Place the butter mixture into fridge for it to set.
  • Divide it to 10 equal portions (I use a small ice cream scoop)
- Topping:
  • Whisk softened butter with icing sugar until combined.
  • Gradually add in beaten eggs and coffee mixture. The batter will look curdled but don't worry. It will be fine after adding plain flour.
  • Mix until well incorporated. Pour into piping bag and keep in fridge until ready to use.
- Dough
  • Using breadmaker (Function 8), add in all the wet ingredients followed by dry ingredients (do note that do not add in butter at this point.
  • When the dough is smooth, add in butter and let the machine knead the dough until it is ready to proof.
  • At this juncture I stopped the machine and remove the dough.
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal portion (approximately 50g each) and shape them into round balls.
  • Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll-out each dough and add the filling. Seal tightly else the filling will ooze out during baking.
  • Place each doughs on baking tray about 2 inches apart from each other.
  • Cover dough with cling wrap and proof for 60 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 200C 10 minutes before the final proof is done.
  • Pipe the topping to the dough in spiral form.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.

Preparing the topping

The result of this bun? Soft coffee-flavored bread with crispy crust! Love it..

Chiffon Cakes

I have been baking alot of chiffon cakes lately. It was disastrous for the first few times, either it did not rise beautifully or it was too dense. I agree with the saying Practise makes Perfect.. I saw from Culinary Kitchenette and those oh-so-beautiful chiffon and I must get it right!

The balance batter which was baked in cup - don't you just love the cupcake liner?

I have since tried twice baking chiffon and the result was almost-perfect! The look, texture and it! From the same FB group page, the ladies unmould their chiffon using bare-hands, I googled on how to do it and gave it a try.. it was surprisingly easier and the cake has lesser crumbs.

I swear by the recipe from Kevin Chai but do note on the number of eggs use as well as the size of your tube pan. I will try out the recipe from the book I bought recently from Eslite Taipei *after I get them translated*.

The recipe below is for Orange Chiffon Cake but you can replace the orange with any liquid of your choice. I've tried it with Coffee and Pineapple as well. :)

Orange Chiffon Cake (Kevin Chai)

Egg Yolk batter
7 egg yolks (65g with shell)
50g sugar* (I reduced it to 30g as the oranges that I used are sweet enough)
60ml orange juice* (I increased this to 75ml to give it more taste)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp orange rind
4 tbsp cooking oil (I used corn oil, canola is fine too)
1 tsp orange flavor (optional, which I omitted)
110g self-raising flour
Drops of orange coloring (optional, which I omitted)

 Egg White mixture
7 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (I reduced to 1/4 tsp)
130g sugar* (I reduced it to 80g)

- Preheat your oven to 170 degree.
- In a clean bowl, combine egg yolk, sugar, salt, orange juice, cooking oil and orange rind.
- Add in self-raising flour and mix until batter is formed. Set aside.
- In another clean bowl (I use some vinegar to remove oil and other residue from the bowl), beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peak form.
- Add sugar gradually (while beating) and beat until almost still peak. I took about 3 minutes from the above step to reach this stage.
- Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites to the egg yolk batter. Follow by the next 1/3 of the egg white. Mix well at each addition until all egg whites are well combined.
- Pour mixture into a 20-inch tube pan. Give it a few knock against the countertop.
- Bake the chiffon cake for 45 minutes - 60 minutes or until the cake skewer comes out clean.

Passionfruit Chiffon - look at how short and dense the cake was (FAIL!)

This looks promising but see next picture below - it collapsed as well.

Coffee Chiffon

Marble Chiffon - the very first chiffon that I unmould by hand

The latest bake - Pineapple Chiffon Cake