Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Thai Milk Tea Butter Cake

Frankly speaking, when this idea popped in my mind, I was rather sleepy from the early rise. It occured to me that we just ran out of cake for the kids' recess this week. Jie Jie got the last piece of Espresso chocolate chip cupcake this morning. Was gonna settle for pandan chiffon when I saw that tin of Thai Milk Tea in the cupboard while I was grabbing my tea bag for my morning cup. The next thing I know, I was jotting down notes on the ingredients and steps for baking a Thai Milk Tea cake.
Nowadays I am leaning towards to lighter cake texture, much like chiffon or just very slightly denser. Hence egg separation method is the main technique to go to. But besides that, proportion of ingredients and incorporating everything together and cooking it at the right temperature is also key. 

To enhance the milk tea flavour, it is important to steep the tea bags in the hot milk for a longer duration, perhaps 3-4 hours up till it is cooled. It is one of those food which the flavours enriches over some time, like wine aging haha. :D With that said, the cake will taste better the following day. 

Let's get on with the recipe shall we? 

Thai milk tea butter cake
Egg yolk batter

455 ml whole milk
80 ml condensed milk
3 Thai tea teabagsy
350 g cake flour (unsifted)
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
200 g semi-salted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs yolks, room temperature
100 g caster sugar

Egg White batter
80 g caster sugar 
4 large egg whites, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 155C with water bath. Prepare a 8" by 8" square cake pan, greased and lined with parchment and greased again. 
  2. In a small sauce pot, heat milk over medium heat till you see bubbles forming around the edges. Add the Thai teabags, remove from heat, stir awhile and cover, and let sit 10 minutes. 
  3. Add in condensed milk and stir well to combine. Place the whole pot in ice water bath to cool down the mixture.
  4. Strain out the tea and discard the teabags, squeezing out all the liquid. 
  5. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  6. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, egg yolks and 100 g of the caster sugar till light and fluffy (4-6 minutes). Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
  7. Folded in the flour and Thai milk tea alternate, starting and ending with flour.
  8. Meanwhile beat the egg whites with the rest of the 100 g till stiff peaks & shiny. Then fold the meringue gently in 3 separate portions into the egg yolk batter. 
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Use a skewer to check if it is done. It should come out clean.
  10. Once baked, remove from oven and let the cake cool on wire rack before slicing. 
Using waterbacth kept the cake moist and slow baking the cake at 155C for a longer duration also helped the cake rise properly and minimal shrinkage when removed from the oven.

The texture was amazing! I rarely have 2 slices of cake at one go...this was one of them. (Not exactly small slices too!) The butter cake is soft and fluffy, and yet holds it's shape. Evident flavour of the milk tea with that creamy after taste, perfect sweetness for me.So much love for this cake. But that aside, this whole technique can be reused using different flavour, like Earl Grey or even Peanut Butter...yum!
Highly recommended! Do give this cake a try and tag me on my IG when you post. :) 

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Butter Vanilla Sponge Cake

It's been awhile since I last posted here. Possibly because I am too engrossed with my current obsession which is my instagram. I guess one can only cope with so much. With the amount of work I have daily, I amaze myself sometimes how I am able to do what I do. But I always believe if you are passionate about something, you will always find time for it no matter what.

Writing this post with a heavy heart because something unfortunate happened today. But I am trying hard not to think about it and take it as a lesson learnt. Money lost but all is well, so that is all that matters the most.

Sharing with everyone today my new found love, an excellent sponge cake recipe that really wowed me. I am sure many of us has this problem of having a coarse tasting sponge or deflated cake etc, endless problems. When I tried this out (for the first time mind you), I was too just as skeptical and didn't expect much from it. But it turned out GREAT. The cake did not deflate when it came out from the oven. It has no cracks after baked. The sponge was actually fluffy and soft. One word...PERFECT. I was so happy with it and have to record it here. 

Just take a look at the cake yourself. Cake-fection!
The sponge texture was excellent. It holds up really well. Even when you pressed it, it springs back almost immediately. So much love for it. And because of the baking techniques used here, which is steamed baking, the cake stayed moist! This recipe will be perfect for that multi-tier cake you have been thinking. It will hold up nicely for you!

Here is a look at the birthday cake I made with this sponge cake. Really a tower haha.

I am sure you all are eager to know how I made this. So here is the recipe! 

Butter vanilla sponge cake (makes two 8"by2" or three 6"by 2" rounds)

Egg yolk batter
90 g unsalted butter
130 g cake flour (80 g + 50 g)
1/2 tsp baking power
1 vanilla bean pod, opened and scraped out beans
6 large egg yolks
90 ml fresh milk
Egg white batter
6 egg whites
110 g caster sugar

  • In a heatproof pot, add in butter and heat over medium fire. Once all butter has melted and started bubbling, remove from fire and pour in 80 g cake flour in and whisk till smooth.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, crack the egg yolks in and scrape the vanilla beans into it. Whisk to combine.
  • Add butter flour batter to egg yolk mixture and whisk both together till smooth. 
  • Add in milk, mix well till no lumps. Then finally the 50g flour with the baking powder. Again whisk till smooth with no lumps.
  • Preheat oven to 150C with water bath. Line and grease two 8" round cake pans with parchment papers. I did a 6" by 3" round and a 6" by 1.5" round this time.
  • Beat the egg whites with sugar till firm peaks. Then gently fold in the whites to the yolk batter in 3 separate folds. Make sure you don't over mix it and deflate the meringue. 
  • Pour the batter in the prepared cake pans and bake in water bath for 55-60 mins. Using toothpicks to check for doneness. Clean toothpick means done.
  • Let cool completely before unmoulding or slicing. Enjoy!

Not too complicated isn't it? The main difference was cooking the butter till it bubbles and added the flour to it. Almost like cooking the batter before meringue was added. The cooked flour actually stabilises the batter and thus making the sponge a much resilience one...can I use resilience? hahaha

Hope this recipe works out just as nicely for you as it is for me. And I am all ready to replicate it again using other flavours. So stay tune on my instagram to see more about my upcoming bakes. ;)

Thanks for reading guys and have a good week ahead.

Stay positive and happy baking all!