Rolling in the Cream.

IMG_5830.JPG

Rolled cakes are a staple in Hong Kong bakeries and it is cake that I grew up eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. With the right amount of cream to cake ratio and the soft sponge cake - what is there not to love?

The coffee shop near our workplace has a great selection of rolled cakes, ranging from matcha to london fog. Seeing the selection of cakes as we pick up our coffee has inspired us to make our very own rolled cake . Since I am a coffee addict, we thought making a coffee flavoured cake is best. We used the Coffee Rolled Cake recipe from the cookbook, Tokyo Cult Recipes. It was surprisingly easier than we expected - everything from preparation to assembling the cake. The difficult part was making sure the cake is rolled with the cream, with the right amount of pressure, but not with too much strength that will cause the sponge to break apart.

The whipped coffee cream is to die for! There was extra and we saved it for another night to dip strawberries into. Never waste cream!

- Ken

Twisted.

DSC04715.jpg

The inspiration behind baking pretzels was while I was eating pretzel crisps.  Ken offered a bag and as I was snacking on them, I thought - let's make pretzels and that's how we fell into this rabbit hole. 

When it comes to baking bread, I always worry that the dough isn't going to rise - but the dough rose!  Rolling out the dough into a pretzel shape proved to be the most difficult for me, but no obstacle for Ken.  My dough dried out and became all wrinkly, while his pretzels were moist and shapely.  The usual, Ken can make anything.  I didn't realize that pretzels had to be boiled with baking soda prior to baking it in the oven and the reason is to puff the dough out.  

Baking these were a real treat to accompany our evening of watching season two of Westworld.  The big mistake? Adding too much salt thanks to me being way too generous.  Other than that, it's a fun to-do and it's quick. 

Bon apetit!

- Robyn

Just give me the frosting!

DSC04229.jpg

Happy Valentine's Day!  What more fitting than to bake red velvet cupcakes and we're giving Toronto some love again because the recipe is from Bobbette and Belle.  Our friend has been giving non-stop raving reviews of Bobbette and Belle's red velvet cupcakes and generously lent us her cookbook and encouraged us to bake it.  

Baking the red velvet cake was a piece of cake...except it did turn out a bit dry.  It may be due to the fact that we were intensely focused on the frosting, which we also made an error with.  We were supposed to follow the cooked cream cheese frosting, but unknowingly followed the cream cheese frosting recipe.  But, with good intentions, the latter turned out amazing.  We found ourselves sneaking the frosting and wanting more each time.  Luckily, there was a lot leftover and we have it stocked in our freezer, waiting to pair it with whatever we can imagine: toast, fruit - you name it!

Another difficulty that we definitely need practice on is piping.  Using ziplock to hold the frosting, we practiced and practiced and settled with the top five best looking cupcakes.  The added red sprinkles really takes away from the amateur pipe work.  

The cake was dry, but the frosting makes it a 10/10.  

- Robyn 



Bobbette & Belle's
SOUTHERN RED VELVET CUPCAKES
{12 Cupcakes}

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 stp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup buttermilk (room temperature)

1 tsp red food colouring

1 tsp white vinegar

1tsp pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs (room temperature)

 

    Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla. 

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil and sugar on medium speed until will combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

    With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Blend after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix the batter. Using a spoon, divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling approximately two-thirds full.

    Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. For even baking, rotate the pan front to back halfway through. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Ice the cooled cupcakes using a spoon, a small offset spatula or a piping bag and tip. Because of the cream cheese in the buttercream, the iced cupcakes may be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours; after that, they should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring the cupcakes to room temperature before serving. The cupcake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


    Bobbette & Belle's
    CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
    {12 cupcakes}

    Instructions

    In a medium saucepan, bring an inch of water to a simmer.

    In a large heat proof bowl, combined the egg whites and sugar. Place over the simmering water and whisk gently until it reaches 140F. Immediately pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 

    Whisk on medium-high speed until the egg whites have cooled to room temperature, doubled in volume and hold medium peaks, 8 to 10 mins.

    Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and add the butter a few cubes at a time, and beat until the butter is fully incorporated before adding more. Once all the butter has been added, continue to beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy, 1 - 2 min.

    Add the vanilla and return the mixer to medium speed. Begin adding the cream cheese a cube at a time, beating until the cream cheese is fully incorporated before adding more. Once all the cream cheese has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 more min.

    Use immediately or store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Bring buttercream to room temperature before using. 

    Ingredients

    4 large egg whites (1/2 cup)

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature

    1 tsp pure vanilla extract

    1/4 cup cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature