Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I did wrong

I'm still riding the Hallyu Korean wave so I've been listening to many Korean songs these past few months. The latest one that's on my playlist is 'I did (was) wrong' by Korean boy band 2AM. And I think the title's quite apt in describing my latest baking experiment.

This would be my first post in showcasing a failed baking attempt. Though the pictures don't look too shabby (the lighting's bad since I shot the pictures at night under my sucky kitchen light - didn't bother changing locations oops), as soon as I assembled this baby, I knew something was wrong. My sister didn't know it was a cake, she thought it was a big cupcake which was sliced in the middle and iced. Oh well. Better luck next time.

I didn't let the frosting set long enough so the middle layer kind of melted. What can I say? Impatience has always been my downfall. But fear not! I've been working on it! To demonstrate that, I've been whipping up batches of pancakes for my sister using really low fire to get that even browning. Otherwise, one side will just get burnt (as experienced in many previous attempts :/). The cake layer wasn't fluffy like I expected, but maybe it was supposed to be this way? I'm not sure. It sort of had the texture of a cupcake, which was really quite odd if you ask me. So I'm guessing I did something wrong. Although that may have something to do with the fact that I didn't follow the recipe to a tee since I didn't have all the specific ingredients that the recipe called for. Okay my bad.

'I did wrong' Tiramisu Cake
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours via mybutteryfingers

1/2 cup cake flour*
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/16 tsp salt
35.5g unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 egg
3/8 tsp vanilla
3/16 cup buttermilk

Line 2 springform tins with parchment paper OR butter 2 springform tins. Preheat the oven to 180C.

1. Sift the prepared cake flour + baking powder + salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer, beat the butter until it is soft and creamy. Add in the sugar and beat for another 3min or so. Add in the egg and beat for another 1min. Beat in the vanilla.

3. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) into the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the addition of dry ingredients. E.g. dry, milk, dry, milk, dry. Mix only until the ingredients just disappear.

4. Divide the cake mixture into 2 portions and smoothen the tops. Bake them for 15-20min to get your cake layers (original timing was 28-30 min but since I quartered the recipe, it should take lesser time).

5. Cool and remove the cake layers from the tins. Invert them right-side up and let them cool completely! (Don't make the same mistake I did by being impatient yeah? Promise me that.)

espresso extract
1/2 tbsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tbsp boiling water

1. Stir the espresso powder and boiling water until dissolved. Set aside.

espresso syrup
1/8 cup water
1/12 cup sugar
1/4 tbsp brandy/rum/kahlua (I didn't have any so I omitted this)

Stir the water + sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tbsp of the espreso extract + liqueur. Set aside.

filling & frosting
56g mascarpone
1/8 cup sugar, sifted
3/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tbsp amaretto/brandy/rum/kahlua (again I omitted this)
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
1/8 cup mini choc chips
2 sticks of Savoiardi Italian Lady fingers (optional - I added this in in an attempt to create texture)

1. Whisk the mascarpone + sugar + vanilla + liqueur until smooth.

2. Using a mixer, whip the heavy cream until firm peaks are formed. Stir about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.

1. Soak 1 cake layer with 1/3 of the syrup using a pastry brush and repeat with the other cake layer. Cut off the top part of the cake if it puffs up to even it.

2. Smooth some of the mascarpone mixture onto the first layer then sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Crumble the Savoiardi fingers onto the mascarpone mixture alongside the chocolate chips as well. Put the 2nd layer on top. Soak the entire thing with the remaining syrup.

3. Whisk the remaining extract into the frosting (it should turn brownish in colour due to the coffee). Frost the cake as you wish.

*I didn't have cake flour on hand so I used joythebaker's tutorial on how to make cake flour from all purpose flour - take 1/2 cup all purpose flour minus 1 tbsp and sift it with 1 tbsp of cornstarch for about 5 times.

Actually the pictures and reviews from mybutteryfingers were very good (which was what enticed me to bake this baby) so I think I definitely did something wrong along the way. Do try this recipe and tell me where I did wrong yeah? Please! You'll help a fellow baker in distress hahah (:

But I was generally pleased with this cake simply because it was my very first attempt at baking a layered cake! Frosting and all. Granted it doesn't look at all like mybutterfinger's or dorie's, my sister still enjoyed eating it. And I enjoyed baking it. That's what mostly matters right? Right. At least I know that I did something wrong and will keep improving. Cheer me on k? :D


Ed Schenk said...

If at first you don't suceed try, try again!
I find kitchen lights are tooo warm and give off a yellowish hue.

Cheryl ♥ said...

yup i totally agree! thanks for the encouragement :D will improve on my photography and choice of location hahah

Allison said...

I'm definitely an impatient baker; a lot of my stuff never turns out exactly the way it should. I find that if it tastes good, I don't really care what it looks like!

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