Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Today’s Birthday Contest

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Can you tell me whose famous face this is? They are celebrating their birthday tomorrow!!

actress

Happy Birthday Harry! He turns 26 today!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

When I say the english Harry, it may bring up thoughts of Harry Potter!  No, no – I’m talking about Prince Harry.  Seems like only yesterday I was watching Charles and Diana’s wedding; and here we are, 29 years later, and their youngest boy is turning 26.  A hearty Happy Birthday to you Harry.

We here at Bake Me A  Wish! have a special fondness for his dedication to the British army, given our support of American Troops.  If you’re not aware, Harry is training to be an Apache helicopter pilot and recently gave up seats to wounded veterans for a charity concert; he also refused complimentary tickets so that he could purchase them “just like everyone else”.  Sounds like someone in the royal family has his head on straight (despite some youthful indiscretions).

princeharry

Um…. Shark Attack?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

holly-cowshark-head

V-8 Cake– 8 Layer Vanilla Cake

Friday, September 10th, 2010

When I first heard of the V-8 cake, I thought it might be another tomato based cake although this time with the popular spicy juice. Well, I was wrong. Instead, it is a multi-layer vanilla cake that looks intensive to cook and just as intensive to eat! You could do all this – or just order a Vanilla Bean Cake for Bake Me a Wish! :)

V8 Cake

July 25th, 2010

Yes, that’s right. I decided to make Adriano Zumbo’s V8 cake. Not a car cake as might be thought by the name, but a gorgeous cake composed of eight different layers of vanilla. Vanilla crème chantilly, toasted vanilla brulee, vanilla water gel, vanilla glaze, vanilla ganache, vanilla macaron, vanilla dacquoise, vanilla chiffon cake, vanilla almond crunch… hmmm.. that’s 9 layers… oh well.

After the pressure test episode on MasterChef, I had loads of people coming up and asking whether I would be making the cake – with all of them hoping to get a chance to try it.

I haven’t made anything from this series of MasterChef, even though there was one other dish that looked very gorgeous and tasty. So, I decided to make this cake (unfortunately not using all the beans used here, and substituting vanilla essence for some – as they are quite expensive). I also didn’t use any of the titanium dioxide in the glaze or chocolate. I know this would have made a gorgeous colour, but it would have been difficult to get a hold of, and I thought that 12.5g was a little large for the cake. The cake still looked gorgeous, without the brilliant white look.

I am glad tonight’s episode is the last MasterChef, as hopefully I can get a bit of my time back – I haven’t been visiting people blogs, getting enough sleep, blogging as much as I’d like and experimenting with some of my own creations.

My notes on making this cake:
I didn’t use all the vanilla beans, due to expense. I used half the number here + vanilla essence.
I made my own almond praline paste – not sure if it’s what it’s supposed to be like, the recipe is at the bottom of this page.
I made my own miroir glaze – this recipe is also at the end – it makes more than required (about 1/3 extra).
I didn’t use Titanium dioxide – the cake still looked gorgeous.
I made my own 20cm acetate box – cutting out a 20cm x 20cm square + 4 20cm x 9cm recatangles (although these were too large and could have been 20cm x 7cm). Sticky tape the rectangles to each side of the square, then sticky tape together. Use cardboard for supports on the bottom and each end.)
You can use projector sheets or sheets that cover the front of a book for acetate in this recipe.
I thought the ganache was a bit more difficult to get smooth than more traditional ganaches (pouring hot cream over the chocolate). Although with lots of pressure from the food processor – it came together in the end. I would suggest cutting it up finely to begin with, otherwise cream goes everywhere. This also made around 1/3 too much I think.
In place of the 1.5g gellanin the vanilla water gel, I used 2 sheets gold gelatine (4-5g) to get a jelly layer.
I used All Bran wheat flakes instead of the pailette feuillitine, but only 20g of it.
There was way too much vanilla syrup. I would suggest doing 1/4 of the recipe or less.
There was too much brown sugar crumble – this could have been cut by half.
There could have been a bit more vanilla creme chantilly made, as this was a little short for me… Make 1/4-1/2 more.

Enjoy!! If you decide to make it :)

V8 Cake

Recipe by Adriano Zumbo on MasterChef Australia 2010 (series 2)
see my notes above

2 vanilla beans
100g blanched almonds
Sugar spheres, to serve

Vanilla crème chantilly
4g gold strength gelatine leaves
590g thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
175g caster sugar
24g cold water

Toasted vanilla brulee

3 egg yolks
50g dark brown sugar
250g thickened cream
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla water gel
250g water
38g caster sugar
1.5g gellan
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

Vanilla glaze
9.5g gelatine leaves
60g cold water
40g glucose liquid
35g water
250g caster sugar
400g thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
150g miroir glaze (specialty cold-application patisserie glaze)
7.5g titanium dioxide (white colourant, powdered)

Vanilla ganache
300g white couverture chocolate
185g thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
95g unsalted butter, softened

Brown sugar crumble
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
50g dark brown sugar
50g almond meal
¼ scraped vanilla bean

Vanilla macaron
53g egg whites
50g pure icing sugar
150g TPT (equal parts sifted almond meal and sifted pure icing sugar)
½ scraped vanilla bean

Vanilla dacquoise
60g egg whites
43g caster sugar
65g almond meal
40g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
½ tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla chiffon cake

17.5g plain flour
1 roasted and finely ground vanilla bean
1.25 (21g) egg yolks
5g dark brown sugar
17.5g water
15g canola oil
45g egg whites
22.5g caster sugar
2.5g rice flour

Vanilla almond crunch

45g milk couverture chocolate
90g almond praline paste
90g pure almond paste
18g unsalted butter
45g brown sugar crumble
45g pailette feuillitine (crunchy wheat flakes)
18g toasted diced almonds
1 roasted and finely ground vanilla bean
2g sea salt
¼ scraped vanilla bean

Vanilla syrup
125g caster sugar
250g water
½ vanilla bean, split
1 tsp vanilla extract

White chocolate flower and tiles
500g white couverture chocolate, grated or finely chopped
5g titanium dioxide

Please note – you will need precision scales. The vanilla crème chantilly, vanilla glaze, brown sugar crumble, and vanilla syrup can all be made ahead of time.

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.

2. To make the roasted vanilla beans, place 2 vanilla beans in oven until burnt and charcoal in texture. Grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Cover and set aside.

3. To make the pure almond paste, place 100g blanched almonds on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until deep golden. Grind to a coarse paste. Cover and set aside.

4. To make the vanilla crème chantilly, cut gelatine into small squares, soak in the cold water. Place cream, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 70-80°C, and then stir through the gelatine and water mixture until dissolved. Place in a container, cover the surface with cling wrap and place in the fridge.

5. For the toasted vanilla brulee, mix yolks and sugar in a bowl by hand with a whisk until just combined. Add cream and vanilla bean to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, pour a little over the eggs while stirring, then add the remaining liquid including vanilla bean. Puree with a hand blender until smooth and pour into a shallow baking tray about 25 x 38cm. Place into the oven and cook until just set, about 10 minutes, then increase oven to 200°C and bake until it forms a golden brown crust, about 5 minutes. It should look slightly split when removed from the oven. Scrape mixture into a thermomix, blender, or small food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside in a small bowl, covering the surface of the brulee with cling wrap so it doesn’t form a skin. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C.

6. To make the vanilla water gel, place a lined 18cm square cake tin in the fridge to chill. Boil all ingredients in saucepan whilst whisking until dissolved and mixture starts to thicken. To test if set, drop about a teaspoon of liquid into a metal bowl, it should thicken slightly. It will thicken on cooling. To speed up cooling, pour into a metal bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Pour into chilled cake tin and place in the freezer until solid, about 30 minutes. Remove from mould and keep gel in freezer.

7. For the vanilla glaze, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until softened. Drain, squeezing out any excess water. Boil glucose, water and sugar until 165°C, brushing around the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water as you go. Do not allow caramel to take on any colour. In another saucepan, bring cream and vanilla seeds to boil and then add to the sugar syrup. Mix through, then allow to cool to 70°C and add softened gelatine, stirring well. Add miroir glaze and titanium dioxide and blend well. Strain, then freeze until set. Reheat to 35°C when glazing the cake.

8. For the vanilla ganache, place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Cover closely with cling wrap and set aside until needed.

9. To make the brown sugar crumble, place all ingredients in an electric mixer and beat mix until dough forms. ‘Grate’ through a cooling rack with a lined baking tray sitting underneath to catch the crumble then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden.

10. To make the vanilla macaron, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper placed on a baking tray. Using an electric mixer or hand beaters, whisk egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form then slowly add pure icing sugar, checking it has dissolved in between additions until you have stiff glossy peaks. Stir through TPT with vanilla seeds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Pipe into the pencilled frame using a continuous snaking motion to fill the entire square. Let a skin form and then bake for 10 minutes at 160°C until golden. Remove from oven, slide baking paper off tray and place on kitchen bench. Increase oven temperature to 180°C.

11. To make the vanilla dacquoise, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper placed on a baking tray. In an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form then slowly add caster sugar, beating until you have stiff glossy peaks. Mix almond meal with icing sugar, vanilla seeds and extract, gently fold through egg whites. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Pipe into the pencilled frame using a continuous snaking motion to fill the entire square. Dust with icing sugar, let sit 2 minutes then dust again. Bake at 180°C 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, slide baking paper off tray and place on kitchen bench. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C.

12. To make the vanilla chiffon cake, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper placed on a baking tray. Mix flour, roasted vanilla bean powder, egg yolks, brown sugar, water and oil in a bowl until combined. Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form then slowly add the sugar and rice flour, beating until you have stiff, glossy peaks. Fold the meringue through the batter gently. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Pipe into the pencilled frame using a continuous snaking motion to fill the entire square. Bake in the oven set at 160°C until golden, about 15 minutes.

13. To make the vanilla almond crunch, melt milk chocolate, add almond praline and the pure almond paste and mix well. Melt butter and take to nut brown (noissette) stage. Add crumble and fueilletine flakes and mix through praline mixture, then fold through burnt butter, followed by toasted almonds, crushed vanilla beans, sea salt and scraped vanilla seeds. Smooth a 5mm layer over vanilla dacquoise and set aside.

14. To make the vanilla syrup, bring all ingredients to the boil, then allow to cool.

15. To make the white chocolate tiles and flower, bring 5cm of water in a medium saucepan to the boil, turn off the heat and sit a metal bowl with 300g of the chocolate over the water. Stir until just melted then remove bowl to the bench and add about 100g more chocolate to bring the temperature down. Stir vigorously until the chocolate has melted, if the chocolate does not feel cold to the touch, add the remaining 100g chocolate to bring down the temperature. Add titanium dioxide and mix well. Keep stirring well to remove all lumps. If the chocolate mixture feels cold to the touch, spread a small, thin layer onto a small piece of baking paper. Set aside for about 3-4 minutes, it will start to harden if it is tempered correctly. If the chocolate becomes too thick and the temperature is too low, gently reheat the mixture in the bowl set over the saucepan of steaming water, but it still needs to be cold.

16. When the chocolate is tempered, to make the flower, spread a thin layer, about 2-3mm thick on 2 pieces of acetate (30 x 40cm) using a large palette knife. Once the chocolate has almost set, on one sheet of acetate carefully mark 3 strips lengthways on the strips, about 7-9cm-wide. Mark thin triangles in each strip. These form the flower petals. Place a piece of baking paper over the top, and wrap around a rolling pin or similar cylinder and allow to completely harden.

17. On the other sheet use a ruler to mark out 4 ½ cm squares. Place a piece of baking paper over the top and invert onto a board or clean work surface to completely harden.

18. To assemble the cake, in a 20cm acetate-lined straight-sided cake tin spread a 5-10mm layer of Chantilly crème around base and sides of tin. Chill in freezer until firm. Lay vanilla gel at the base of the tin and smear with a tiny amount of brulee so that macaron layer will stick to the gel. Lay macaron layer over brulee smear. Cover macaron layer with an even 5mm of brulee. Place chiffon cake over brulee layer. Brush chiffon cake with a little vanilla syrup. Spread a 5mm layer of ganache over chiffon cake. Invert the dacquoise/crunch layers so the vanilla almond crunch layer is sandwiched next to the ganache and the dacquoise is facing up. The dacquoise will become the base of the cake.

19. Fill in any gaps with Chantilly cream, then place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes until firm. Place a large piece of cling wrap on the bench and place a cooling rack on top. Remove the cake from the chiller and invert onto the cooling rack. Heat sides of cake tin gently with a blow torch to help release the mould from the cake. Remove any acetate. Smooth top and sides if necessary with a palette knife. Pouring generously and using a palette knife, spread the vanilla glaze evenly over the top and sides, completely covering the surface. Using a large palette knife transfer the cake to a cake stand and place the chocolate tiles around the cake.

20. To assemble the flower spread a small amount of melted tempered chocolate onto a small piece of baking paper and use this as a base to stick the petals, starting in the centre, working outwards to create a flower. Using choco-cool will help ‘fix’ the petals in place and firm up the chocolate base. Place chocolate flower on top of the cake and decorate the top of the cake with a few sugar spheres.

Almond Praline
Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

50g caster sugar
60g blanched slivered almonds

Roast the almonds for 5-10mins at 160°C. Heat the sugar on high, until the sugar starts browning around the outside. Gently stir in the un-melted sugar, until it is all caramelised in colour. Pour over the roasted almonds. Allow to cool, then blend in a food processor. (It won’t go into the same paste texture as the almond paste above).

Miroir Glaze
Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

2 gold gelatine leaves (4g)
220g water
60g caster sugar
30g glucose

Place the gelatine leaves into cold water to soak for 5 minutes. Heat the water, caster sugar and glucose in a small saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and let it cool to 70°C. Squeeze excess water from gelatine leaves, place in saucepan and stir until dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly before storing in the fridge.

Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes a 10” round, single layer cake

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
5 cups whole pitted fresh Bing cherries (about 20 oz unpitted cherries)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and center a rack in the oven.

Stir 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, brown sugar, and vinegar together in a 10” ovenproof skillet with 2” tall sides. Mix over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved, around 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, toss in the pitted cherries, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat remaining 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) butter in an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, beat until combined. Add half the flour mixture, then half the milk, then the remaining flour mixture, and the remaining milk, beating until just combined after each addition.

In a clean, dry bowl with clean, dry beaters (or a whisk) beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in the cream of tartar until the whites are stiff but not dry. Stir 1/4 of the whites into the cornmeal batter, then fold the remaining whites with a rubber spatula in 3 additions. Spread the batter over the cherries in the skillet, covering them completely.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the skillet for 5 minutes, then run the spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Set a large plate over the skillet and firmly flip the two together. Leave the upside-down skillet on top of the plate for 5 minutes so that the cake and cherries completely separate from the pan. Lift off the skillet and let the cake cool for 45 minutes before cutting.

Taken from: http://17andbaking.com/2010/07/23/cherry-cornmeal-upside-down-cake/

Sunshine Cake

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…

Well, it might not be a cloudy day but at least I have Sunshine Cake just in case. This recipe is from an bakery outside Pittsburgh and all I can say is that it I’m keeping these ingredients in my kitchen for just the moment when I need a little sunshine to warm me up.

sunshinecake

SUNSHINE CAKE

4 eggs, yolks and whites separated

1 tablespoon cold water

1½ cups sifted sugar

½ cup hot water

1½ cups flour, sifted four times

1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring

1 tablespoon almond flavoring

1 tablespoon lemon flavoring

Mix the egg yolks with all ingredients. Beat the egg whites until
stiff, and add to mixture.

Bake one hour at 325 degrees in an ungreased angel food cake pan.

Invert the pan to remove the cake and serve after it cools.


Cool Police Cake

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Cake Police BoxCourtney of Cake Nouveau


Who can tell us what this cake is in reference too?

Zucchini- Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Can’t you relate to this post about receiving an over-whelming number of zucchinis?

Everyone I know keeps trying to give me zucchini.

My friends. My co-workers. My mom. I imagine that if I got out more, I might even be offered zucchini by total strangers. Because for some reason, everyone who has a zucchini garden (and that’s about every third person I talk to) suddenly has more zucchini than they know what to do with.

Are zucchinis, like, the Gremlins of the plant kingdom? You water them, and they spawn a bazillion others? Is that what’s going on here? What is with all this zucchini?

I’ve declined several generous offers of this ridiculously prolific summer squash on account of the fact that I don’t ever really eat any vegetables, which has probably occurred to you if you read this blog with any regularity.

But the other day I picked up the August issue of Bon Appétit and saw a spread on recipes that incorporate summer veggies. A few of those recipes were for zucchini. And one of those zucchini recipes was a cake.

I LOVE CAKE!

Now, I realize zucchini cake doesn’t sound all that enticing, especially to people who, like me, think having lettuce on a cheeseburger once in a while satisfies the USDA’s dietary guidelines for good health.

But this cake is really just carrot cake minus the carrots, and plus zucchini. And that equals DELICIOUS.

It’s also not completely unhealthy! Besides zucchini and pecans — health food! — the recipe uses olive oil instead of butter. It also calls for brown sugar instead of white, and though I’m unable to back this up with any scientifically sound evidence, I’m pretty sure brown sugar is good for you. You know, like how brown bread is more nutritious than white bread. Same rules totally apply.

Anyway. My co-workers (the ones brave enough to try it, anyway) gobbled the cake up. Two of them came back for seconds. Another, after devouring his slice in record time, deemed the cake “exquisite.” (I’m sure he was at least partially serious.) So if you can persuade people to try it, they’ll like it.

Oh, and guess what? I had to go to the grocery store to buy zucchini for this cake. How’s that for irony.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 8 ounces)
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans (more for garnish, if desired)

For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (do not use reduced-fat or fat-free), room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, and coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well combined. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, then fold in flour the mixture. Stir in the grated zucchini and pecans, and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean — the original recipe said this would take about 45 minutes, but my cake was done after 35 minutes, so keep an eye on it. Once the cake is done, let it cool completely in the pan on a rack. When it’s cool, turn the cake out onto a platter and carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  4. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix until combined. Slather the frosting on the cake, and top with toasted pecans, if desired.
Read more: http://sloblogs.thetribunenews.com/andallthetrimmings/zucchini-pecan-cake-with-cinnamon-cream-cheese-frosting/#ixzz0uc4r7JKU