Q-U-A-D

My brother says the funniest things… example: “i tried reading the first paragraph of your blog, i got to “quite consistently inconsistent” and got a headache. well played friend..”

Just for a random tangent, thought I’d throw that in there.

My latest project was a four tiered mini-topsy-turvey cake, each tier celebrating a different occasion.  A week and a half ago was the Superbowl, my twin friends birthday, a going-away party, and a graduation celebration all rolled into one. Hence the QUAD- essentially knocking out four events in one cake.

Top tier: ConGRADs to Kendall! (Graduating from ASU)

Middle 1: ‘Bye Caren! We’ll miss you! (Miss Caren leaves us, heading back to Cali)

Middle 2: “Have a Dino-mite birthday! Jacob and Jerad” (The twins. They are 26.. heh 🙂 though it looks like it’s made for… 8 year olds)

Bottom tier: Superbowl! Saint’s vs. Colts.

I didn’t line up the fronts as I should’ve, partially due to laziness, partially because it is my first “topsy-turvey” (i.e. a great excuse to not worry about straight edges) cake… So, as I didn’t stack them until I got there (for transportation reasons) didn’t really take into account showing the fronts. Anyways, tried to take a few different views and close ups, as follows.

First cut!

Details? I love dinos! Stegosaurus!

Triceratops!

Superbowl!

Taken apart for eating:

The flavors were… Devils food cake with buttercream, and Funfetti with Lemon buttercream.

Cake-tastic.

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Chinese Sponge Cake

I noticed my blogging is very sporadic- I’ll do two or three entries at a time, then stop for a month or two. Quite consistently inconsistent, indeed! Anyway, I actually tried to make this sponge cake over Christmas break for my Dad (he loves the sweets, it seems)! So this is a bit dated. Plus where they live it’s hard to find any good Chinese bakery goods. I searched for these recipes long and far across the world wide web… (I know, a rough journey it was)… and surprisingly didn’t come up with that much. It truly is the “elusive Chinese Bakery sponge cake.”

Well here’s my recipe (found online at a Chinese forum):

Chinese sponge cake

  • Ingredients:
    1 c Softasilk flour (cake flour)
    1 c sugar
    6 eggs, separated
    1 ts vanilla
    1/4 c cold water
    1/2 ts salt
    1/2 ts cream of tartar
  • Directions: Preheat oven to 325. Beat egg yolk and sugar till creamy. Stir in vanilla. Add flour and water alternately till mixed well. In a spearate bowl, beat egg white till foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peak. Fold egg white into batter in batches. Pour into ungreased springform pan. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Turn upside-down to cool.

I was also testing out my baking core- used for 10″ cakes or larger. It’s basically a little metal cup that you place in the middle of the cake to ensure even baking (so the outside isn’t burnt by the time the inside is cooked through). The metal draws heat evenly into the center of the cake. (Sorry for the repeat of the baking core… but too late, the photos are already in! ha!)

The hole that the core makes is filled by the little bit of batter that you pour into the middle of the baking core:

For the cream, I just used whipping cream and 1/2 cup of sugar… I think. I don’t remember…. And because there’s always some fruit, I used canned peaches because Dad loves them! He actually goes to Costco and buys the 5 lb. can, and opens it up and keeps a giant tupperware in the fridge for easy access. It’s nuts, but leaves plenty of peaches for me to use!

Split the cake into two layers:

Stack and fill:

Final Product:

 

 

 

Overall- I think it was decently successful. It definitely wasn’t the same as the kind you find in the bakery, but between my Mum, Dad, brother and me, finished this in less than 4 days! That’s pretty amazing, considering there are usually cake leftovers. I think the difficult part was incorporating the whipped egg whites in with the rest of the batter without worrying that it would lose volume, since there’s not really any leavening ingredient in it. Plus it’s really eggy- reminds me of the pandan cake recipe from earlier.

There was also discussion both online and in my Auntie’s Malaysian recipe book of this thing called “emulsifier” that apparently “tenderizes” this cake. It’s called Ovalette, and somewhat difficult to get in the U.S. But I found an Indonesian Supplier and purchased four little 2 oz. tubs of it. I’ll let you know how it goes, once I recieve it in ze mail!