Archive | January, 2017

Earl Grey Tea Cake with Lemon Tea Icing

22 Jan

I drink tea but I don’t particular drink tea every day. Earl grey is my favorite black tea. Every time I drink it, its fragrance and unique taste still linger in the cup and in my mouth  afterward. I was super excited when I saw the recipe. I had never made tea cake before. The idea of using tea in baking excites me. The most exciting thing is this recipe comes from a professional french patisserie – Nicolas Pierot. I couldn’t wait to try it.

Now I can tell you the cake was amazing! Earl Grey is the hero of the cake, it shone through in every single crumb of the cake. It didn’t only make the cake smell nice but also taste nice. The cake itself wasn’t too sweet. The lemon icing added some sweetness and sourness to the cake- a perfect balance! The cake texture was light and smooth. Taste wise or texture wise this cake was perfect. I fell in love with Earl Grey again from head to toe. 🙂 I can’t recommend more so I’ll go straight to the recipe now.

Earl Grey Tea Cake with Lemon Tea Icing

By Nicolas Pierot

Cake

  • Caster sugar 270g
  • Egg 4
  • Earl grey tea leave 10g (good quality tea has a better taste)
  • Plain flour 230g
  • Baking powder 6.5g
  • Cream 120g
  • Unsalted butter 85g
  1. Preheat the oven at 160C.
  2. Grease the cake pan (25cm*12cm*7cm, or similar size) and dust with flour, or line the cake pan with baking paper.
  3. Mix the flour and baking power in a bowl, set aside.
  4. Beat the egg and sugar together until it is thick and creamy.
  5. Add tea and cream in a sauce pan and heat up. Add the butter and stir until it melts completely. Remove from heat.
  6. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture, mix well. Strain the tea mixture and add it to the flour and egg mixture, mix well but don’t over mix.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until the test skew comes out clean.

Lemon tea icing

  • Icing sugar 300g
  • Lemon juice 70-80g
  • Earl Grey tea bag 1(2g)
  1. Preheat the oven at 60C.
  2. Add the lemon juice and the tea bag in a sauce pan, bring to boil. Remove from heat and let the tea infuse the lemon juice for a few minutes.
  3. Measure the icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Add 60g lemon tea in the icing sugar (make sure the ratio is sugar:liquid = 5:1, some lemon juice might be lost during cooking, therefore prepare more than 60g lemon juice). Mix until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick and sticky.
  4. When the cake is ready, remove it from the pan and put it on a baking rack on top of a baking tray. Pour the icing on the cake and let it drip down to the sides. If some ares are not covered then use a palette knife to spread the icing. Only a thin layer is required to cover the cake.
  5. Put the cake in the oven for 20 minutes. The icing should dry out and a thin crust should cover the cake. (I did like the icing very much, I spread a thick layer of icing so my cake looked a bit white. Normally the wet and sticky icing make it difficult to store or transport a cake but this technique solves these problems – I love it!)img_4523img_4525
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Strawberry and Coconut Cake

6 Jan

Strawberries are in season again! This year we have picked the biggest strawberries ever! They were juice and sweet.My 22 moth old daughter not only enjoyed running in the strawberry field but also enjoyed eating the delicious strawberries. 🙂

We have picked almost 3kg strawberries. Apart from eating fresh a great way to consume the strawberries is to use them in baking. This recipe is adopted from a magazine, but I bumped up the volume a little bit to make a thicker cake. Yes because I had too many strawberries! However I must say I was too generous on strawberries and also cut them in big pieces, so they sank to the bottom of the cake. You might cut down the amount of strawberries or cut them smaller. The cake was moist and fruity. The strawberry cream cheese icing was sweet and delicious. This cake brought the sunshine on the plate!

Strawberry and Coconut Cake

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cup plain flour
  • 1½ tsps baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • finely grated zest 1 orange
  • 2 Tbsps orange juice
  • 18 medium strawberries, hulled and quartered

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

  • 150 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 100 g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 3–4 strawberries, hulled and crushed with a fork
  1. Grease a 22cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C bake.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and pale. Whisk the eggs together and gradually beat in until very well combined. Mix the flour, baking powder, cardamom and the coconut together. Gently fold into the butter mixture along with the buttermilk, orange zest and juice and the strawberries.
  4. Pour into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour until golden and the cake is pulling away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  5. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the tin.
  6. Icing: Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter and beat again until light and fluffy. Beat in the icing sugar. Beat in half the strawberries, then add enough of the remaining pulp to make a thick but spreadable icing. You may not need to add all the strawberry pulp.
  7. Spread over the cake and decorate with shredded coconut and fresh strawberries.

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Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

1 Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I just want to share something simply but delicious on the new year’s day. Do you want some sweet treats require no baking, no cooking or no fuss, so you have more time to enjoy this holiday season? Read on.

This is my take on my aunt in law’s bliss ball recipe. She called them “bumble bees” – what a lovely name! I chose a healthy approach by removing butter, refined sugar but using medjool dates, coconut oil and peanut butter instead. Medjool dates have slightly higher level of sugar than the normal dates, therefore I don’t need to add more refined sugar. Peanut butter not only adds flavor but also acts as a binding agent. These bliss balls are sweet, crunchy and delicious! They are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. Last but not least, they are very easy to make. A jar of these little gems was a great Christmas gift. 🙂

Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 Tbsps peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsps coconut oil
  • 2 cups puffed rice
  • 2 Tbsps shredded coconut, plus more for coating
  1. Blend the dates in a food processor until they are pasty.
  2. Add peanut butter, coconut oil, puffed rice and shredded coconut and then hit pulse for a few times until all ingredients mix well and form small clusters.
  3. Use hands to shape the mixture into balls, coat with shredded coconut. If the coconut doesn’t stick on the balls, then use your hand to slightly squeeze the shredded coconut and the ball together.
  4. Keep the bliss balls in the freezer for a couple of hours so they can firm up.

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