Sunday, March 16, 2014

Red Velvet Cake

My husband had his birthday on last 14 March (it's also the same birthday with my Dad :D). He's not really a big fan of cake if it's not a really good Chocolate or Cheese Cake. One time I bought a Red Velvet Cake from UNION (which I think the best one in town) and he tried it for the first time.. and he likes it.. no, He loves it actually.. couldn't get enough of it. So I made a promise to myself that I'll try to re-create the cake for his birthday.

 The Red

Turns out I didn't have time to do it on his birthday (I bought the usual Chocolate Cake for him) until this weekend I had a chance to make the RVC. Years back when I made my first RVC, the texture was really dense, and I don't really like it. So I browse for another recipe and found this one looks promising, it says that the cake will turns out really moist (as the UNION RVC also have a moist texture). The topping was a combination of Nuts and Crumble. I'm trying to make it on my own recipe, but it seems need more adding this and that to a perfection (which I will think about it again on my next attempt).

So here's the Recipe, taken from this blog (Thank you for sharing the recipe because the cake IS MOIST as promised!)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 oz. red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
  4. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
  5. Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
  6. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
  7. Generously grease and flour two round, 9 inch cake pans with shortening and flour.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into each pan.
  9. Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.
  10. Let cool on a cooling rack until the pans are warm to the touch.
  11. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
  12. Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
  13. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.


Be sure to not overbake! Check the cake at 30 minutes as some ovens run really hot.
Cakes are really moist and you may need to refrigerate them to firm them up before stacking and frosting.
To bake cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, checking at the 18 minute mark.
I'm pretty satisfied with the cake texture, yet I still have to work on that topping to get the right balance taste between the nuts and crumbs. Also the Red coloring need to be more vibrant. Despite on those things, I'm quite happy with overall taste (not too sweet), should have been making it into 4 layers though, so you could really taste the cream cheese frosting. Meanwhile, hubby like it so far.. that what matters most haha *happy* :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Banana Cranberries and Pistachio Nut Bread with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

This week dessert theme will be a loaf/bread week. I still have dried cranberries on my fridge and would like to do something with it, so I browse some of recipes using cranberries. I used to had this cranberries bread at Starbucks which I really love, so I might gonna make similar thing like that.

Call me lazy, but a simple recipe always the one that attract me first he he. After those browsing I saw this one from Foodgawker that looks really nice: Cranberry Banana Nut Bread (here's the real recipe from). I made a modification with adding a glaze on top of the bread (simply because I saw other recipe that has the glaze then I combine it).

For the Banana Cranberries Bread:
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 mashed over-ripe bananas > If your banana aren't ripe enough simply cut them in half and just cook them on a non stick pan for awhile (no need oil or anything) until it's softer and easy to mashed them.
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries > I'm using dried packed cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Pistachio Nuts (or whatever nuts you desire)
  • 1 tsp. Lemon zest

 Dried Cranberries

 For the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze:
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice or from 1 squeezed Lemon
For the Banana Cranberries Bread:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 21.6 x 11.4 x 6.35 cm loaf tin (I'm using Wilton tin)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, and banana. Then add lemon zest.
  3. Blend the dry ingredients together and stir them in just to moisten (do not over mix).  Gently mix in the cranberries and pistachio.
  4. Bake for an hour until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle.  Let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a rack.

Fresh Bread from the oven

For the Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice together. Add Cream cheese one at a time and more lemon juice depending how thick you want the glaze. When finished, drizzle over cooled bread.

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

NOTE: Unglazed bread stays fresh covered tightly at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for 6-7 days. Glazed bread must be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

The results, this is by far the best combination taste of loaf/bread that I've ever made. The texture is full of fiber, it smells heavenly because of the banana, cinnamon and freshness from Lemon zest. And the combination between sweetness and sour because of the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze... It's so hard not to eat only one slice. Wanna bet? :D

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I got these fresh strawberries from my niece who went to a field trip to Bandung last month. She went to this Strawberry farm and hand picked one package fresh strawberries for her aunty. How sweet of her :).

Anyway, I frozen half of the berries just in case I'm gonna do something with it later on. I was thinking about making another Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar, but then I saw a recipe on one of my fave blog about this Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.

Thinking that been a long time not using the little Ice cream machine, so why not using it again this time. I still have stock of Cream Cheese and Whipping Cream in the fridge, better use it before it's expired :D

So here's the recipe, taken from Just One Cook Book
I love this blog because mostly it has a step by step photo.
(my other wish list is to have a tripod for my camera, so I could take a step by step photo too)

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
  • 1 1/4 cup Half & Half (a mixture of one part milk to one part cream)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese > turns out I'm using 230gr of Cream Cheese hihiii
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar > I'm using icing sugar
  • About 6 large strawberries (you will need 3/4 cup strawberry puree)
  • About 3-4 large strawberries (you will need 1/2 cup chopped strawberries)
  • 4 honey graham crackers, crushed into small bits. > I'm using Ritz Cheese Crackers
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract > I didn't use this

  1. In a small saucepan bring the half-and-half and heavy whipping cream to a scalding point on medium low heat. “Scalding” means gently heating without allowing to reach boiling point. Immediately remove from heat. 
  2. In a bowl (or stand mixer), whisk cream cheese, egg yolks and sugar till they turn light in color and fluffy.  
  3. Once the egg yolks mixture is done, gradually pour and mix the scalding half-and-half & heavy whipping cream mixture in batches. Keep whisking constantly to avoid the eggs from curdling. 
  4. Now place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, keep stirring continuously with a spoon until it starts to thicken up. Once the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, the custard is ready. Immediately remove the bowl from the heat and stir it for few minutes to help it to cool down a bit.  
  5. Meanwhile, make strawberry puree and chop up strawberries and crush the honey graham crackers.> Don't worry if you don't have a food processor. I chopped the strawberries with knife and smashed them :P And for the crackers put them inside a plastic sealed bag then crush it with spoon (or something that's heavy). It works :D
  6. Now add the vanilla essence and strawberry puree and stir well one last time. > Didn't use vanilla essence straight by pouring the puree and stir.
  7. Cover the custard and let it chill in the refrigerator for few hours before making the ice cream. 
  8. Once you're ready to make the ice cream, transfer the chilled custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacture's instruction. 
  9. During the last 5 minutes of ice cream churning in the machine, add the chopped strawberries and graham crackers.  
  10. Transfer the ice cream to a container and let it sit in the freezer to set, about 3-4 hours. Serve Chilled.

Pour the strawberry coulis and extra crackers on top of the ice cream before you eat it.