Recipe: Christmas Log Cake (chocolate swiss roll+chocolate whipped cream+chocolate ganache)

When Christmas was around the corner, I got an order from my friend to make a Christmas log cake for her company’s Christmas feast. So I got this recipe from woodlandbakeryblog.com and made a few changes to it. For more visual information, please go to the website and take a look at the video. It was a tedious 4 part process, and if you are looking for shortcuts, just skip the ganache part :P I got these christmas toppers at Sunlik Trading, which was quite costly, but worth it as I couldn’t find them elsewhere.

Overall, it was a good cake. Who could resist a swiss roll? Soft, moist and sweet. The combination of cream and ganache was a great one too, not too sweet, and it has a full blast of chocolate flavour. Definitely worth a try!

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Christmas Log Cake Recipe

Chocolate Roulade

  • 7 egg yolks (126g)
  • 1/2 cup + 2tbsp white sugar
  • 7 egg whites (210g)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 60g cake flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks while gradually adding sugar, until ribbon stage*. Set aside.
  3. In another clean bowl using clean whisks, whisk egg whites until frothy, then gradually add 2 tbsp of sugar.
  4. Continue whisking until egg whites form medium peaks. DO NOT over mix them.
  5. Fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture gently. Be careful not to deflate too much air. A few white streaks left is fine as you still have to mix in your dry ingredients.
  6. Sift in cake flour and cocoa powder, mix well.
  7. Bake in a 12×18 inch pan for about 12-15 minutes.

*Ribbon stage means that when you lift your electric mixer up, the mixture runs back into the bowl like a ribbon. And if you make an ‘8’ pattern on the bowl, it takes about few seconds before the mixture disappears into the bowl. Also, the mixture must be really thick, and very pale yellow in colour.

Simple Syrup

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Over low fire, boil sugar + water for about 5 mins, or until temperature of liquid has reached 230F. The colour will be pale yellow like diluted honey.

Chocolate Whipped Cream (adapted from joyofbaking.com)

  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Prepare heavy whipping cream in a clean bowl.
  2. Sift in sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. Using and electric mixer, beat until it achieves firm peaks.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 175g semisweet chocolate chips (I use Hersheys)
  • 355ml heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil, and pour over the bowl of chocolate chips.
  2. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before stirring it well.

Assembling the cake

  1. When chocolate roulade is cooled, brush a layer of simple syrup over the surface. Then spread a thin layer of whipped cream over.
  2. Roll it gently and tightly into a swiss roll.
  3. Cut away the sides, and into 3 parts. 1 long, 2 short (slanted on one side).
  4. Assemble the shape accordingly, and apply a crumb coat to it. Place it in the freezer for about 1/2 hour.
  5. Once ready, pour chocolate ganache over assembled cake until fully covered.
  6. Using a fork, create the bark texture.
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Recipe: Carrot Cake Goodness

My project lately was to find a good carrot cake recipe for my cousin’s girlfriend’s birthday cake. At that point, I wasn’t familiar with the taste of carrot cake, mostly because the taste of cinnamon was not that appealing to me until recently, where I’ve been craving for cinnamon rolls. Thus I got on this mission to try out carrot cakes from different restaurants but unfortunately I only got to try out 2 due to budget constraints. It’s alright, because I guess Cedele has the best carrot cake sold in Singapore, judging from the reviews of Singaporeans and my own taste buds. It was fluffy, moist, not too crumbly, and the amount of cinnamon was just right. The other carrot cake I tried was from NYDC, which was only mediocre. The taste of pineapples had overpowered the traditional taste of a carrot cake.

So why were carrots put into a cake batter since it does not enhance flavour and texture? Since Middle Ages, sweeteners were either scarce or expensive. Thus people used carrots in their cake batters in replacement of sweeteners. Other than carrots, beets also contain the most sugar compared to any other vegetables. For cream cheese frosting and cinnamon flavour, I guess it is one of the creations of people with good taste buds.

The birthday cake was a huge success I would say, other than the lat minute addition of gum paste butterflies which almost ruined everything. Let me explain.

On the day of my deadline, I had this sudden inspiration to add in small gum paste butterflies to the cake. Problem was, my nearest baking supply store did not have any SMALL butterfly plungers or cutters, only a big butterfly cookie cutter. I bought it though, hoping that it will still work out. Next, the store ran out of ready-to-use gum paste, but i was determined to make the butterflies, and I bought the gum paste mix instead (powdered form). I went home, got all excited, made the butterflies, and let it dry at room temperature. In the packaging of the gum paste mix, it was said that the gum paste will dry in an hour or two. However, it did not occur to me that I am living in Singapore, a country with high humidity. So there it is, I screwed up. The butterflies did not dry completely but I was running out of time, so I’ve got no choice but to just place it onto the cake. Here is the second problem. Because the butterflies were big, the cream cheese frosting (acting as glue), was not strong enough to hold them if I let the cake out of the fridge for long. AND the third problem. I did not know gum paste is not supposed to be placed in the fridge, especially when the the surroundings out of the fridge is so humid. So there I was, panicking because the butterflies were becoming soggy and siding off my cream cheese frosting.

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Solution? It definitely helped a little. I placed a bowl of corn starch just beside the cake box, inside the fridge. I also placed a small cup of corn starch in the cake box. What exactly does cornstarch do? It absorbs moisture, thus reducing humidity.

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This project was completed just in time, together with a cheesecake for my colleague. Hectic week ):

I found the recipe below on AllRecipes website and altered some amounts of ingredients to my own liking.

Carrot Cake Recipe

1 eggs

1/4 cups vegetable oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon (powder)

3/4 cups grated carrots

1/4 cup raisins*

1/4 cup chopped almonds*

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C, and line parchment paper to a 6 inch round pan.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine eggs, brown and white sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  4. Sift for the second time your dry mixture, into the bowl of wet mixture.
  5. Using a spatula, fold the batter until you see no flour. Add in your carrots, raisins and almonds and mix well.
  6. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

*You can replace raisins with pineapple chunks or shredded coconuts. You can also replace almonds with any other nuts you like.

*I baked my cake for 30 mins exactly but timing may differ depending on the size of your cake pan, or the colour.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I got this recipe from woodlandbakeryblog.com and it is by far the best cream cheese frosting ever.

339g cream cheese

56g butter

2 cups icing sugar(sifted)

  1. In a large bowl, cream your butter until soft and fluffy.
  2. Add in cream cheese, and mix until well combined and the cream cheese is soft.
  3. Add in the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.

*For step 2 and 3, be sure not to over mix or else you will end up with a runny frosting.

Recipe: Cheesecake

B aked cheesecakes yesterday using an old recipe of mine, but I changed abit of steps here and there and a light, airy cheesecake became a really dense cheesecake. Here is the recipe to share with everyone (: apparently, only cheese lovers will love this cake as the cheese flavour is really too strong to handle for non cheese lovers. Enjoy!
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Cheesecake recipe
70g digestive biscuits (crushed into crumbs)
20g butter (melted)
750g cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 155C.
  2. Line aluminium foil to a 6 inch loose pan, set aside. The aluminium foil acts as the greaseproof paper when baking cakes.
  3. Mix the biscuit crumbs with the butter until combined, resembling wet sand.
  4. Place the crumbs in the pan and press them onto the surface of the pan. Refrigerate it.
  5. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Mix until soft and creamy.
  6. Place in the vanilla extract and whipping cream. Mix until combined.
  7. Add in one egg at a time, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix as it will incooporate too much air into the batter, causing cracks to the surface of your final product.
  8. Remove the pan from the fridge and pour the batter in. Tap below the pan to remove air bubbles in the batter before baking.
  9. Bake for exactly 26 minutes.

*If your temperature is correct and you bake it exactly for 26 minutes, there shouldn’t be a problem in the cheesecake being underbaked. It is normal for the middle of the cake to wobble abit. However, make sure the sides of the cake is firm enough too touch.

*Also, when the cheesecake is baking in the oven, do not open the oven door constantly to check if your cheesecake is done. Just trust me. Use your timer to time exactly 26 minutes.