Monday, May 22, 2017

My Buttercream Flower Learning Journey

I had not been very active on my blog as I was too devoted to buttercream flowers lately. Within the last two months, there was a lot of changes on me.  First, I gave up my advance certificate program with ACI as physically  I could not withstand the long hour standing required by my internship.  Some of my classmates said I gave it up too easily as the program only last 3 months.  Personally,  I think I make a right choice.   Why I said so?

The most important thing is health reason.  Secondly, the internship doesn't meet my learning objective.  I don't like where I assigned to, not only the environment, the work scope and the people.  For people who wants to build a career in the bakery industry, probably they have no choice to go through.  For me,  baking is my passion, I've no intention to work for a bakery company.   I might become a home baker one day and be my own boss.   I want to specialise in the customised cake but what I was assigned to in this internship is a bread shop.  

What did I gain after dropping out of Advance certificate program?
I had taken a number of courses on Korean buttercream flowers and made a lot of effort to perfect them.  I think I have made a great advancement to my baking journey within these two months as compared to if I continued with my Advance certificate program and internship.  I will doubt I could achieve so much. 

Here are some of the works I created these two months.  Hope you like it.   If you are interested in my work, please like my FB page and Instagram,  you will get an update of my baking and cake design moments over there.

Enjoy baking!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Walnut Raisin Bread

Lately, I was too engross in the buttercream flowers, hence, I didn't have time for baking except this Walnut Raisin bread.  I baked this because my daughter was craving for homemade bread.  With hadn't been baking bread for a while, I felt I was quite "rusty". Luckily, I was still able to make it.   

I picked a recipe from a Taiwanese baker, Carol.  The original recipe used  matcha and red bean as flavoring agents.  As I didn't have these at home, I substituted them with walnut and raisin.  In fact, I'm not a matcha fan, I don't like the aftertaste of green tea.  I was glad that the combination of walnut and raisin turned out good for this bread.  

If you like to give my recipe a try, here you go...

Walnut Raisin Bread

  • 230g bread flour
  • 15g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast 
  • 30g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (about 50g)
  • 110g cold milk 
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 150g walnuts
  • 80g raisins 
  • egg yolk for egg wash
  1. Combine the flours,  yeast, sugar, salt and egg (salt and yeast to be placed apart from each other) in a bowl and mix them on low speed till combined.
  2. Add in 90g of the cold milk gradually, mix till desired dough is achieved.
  3. Add in butter gradually, mix on medium speed.  Add in remaining 20g of milk gradually and mix till windowpane is achieved (about 13 mins) 
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, add in walnuts and raisins, mix evenly and then round it to ball.  
  5. Place the dough (seam side face down) in a greased bowl, spray with some water and cover it with plastic wrap.  Leave it to ferment for 1 hour or till the size becomes double.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl, dust some flour on the table top (if needed), slightly punch to deflate the dough.  Divide dough into 2 and round them into ball again. Cover with baker's couch and bench rest for 15 mins.
  7. Take out the dough for final shaping. Flatten the dough with a small rolling pin, fold the top and roll into cylinder shape. Repeat the same for remaining dough.  Cover with baker's couch and bench rest for another 15 mins.
  8. Fatten the dough and roll into rectangle shape.  Ensure its width can fit into the Pullman loaf tin. Fold the top and roll gently into cylinder shape.  Repeat the same for another dough.   Place into a greased Pullman loaf tin with seam side down. Ensure both dough are the same height, spray with some water and leave it to proof for another hour or till it raises to 90% of tin.
  9. Egg wash and bake at 170*C for 35-40 mins.  Once done, take it out from pan immediately and let it cool on wire rack. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Strawberry Cheese Layer Ombre Rosette Cake

I am glad about my courage and decision, I have finally found back my freedom so that I can focus on things that I like instead of forcing myself to do something which I totally have no interest in.  Sometimes, we may make a wrong decision but I think as long as we accept it as part of our life lessons and not to repeat the same mistake, we will become wiser.
I always find Ombre Rosette Cake amazing and beautiful.   It was one of the items on my bucket list.  Initially, I thought of making a durian ombre rosette cake for my friend's birthday but it seemed that durian was not in the season yet.  Hence, I decided to choose strawberry flavour since it's easily available now in supermart.  I didn't have a recipe available on hand for this cake, I was just experimenting by modifying some of my old cheesecake recipes.  I did a trial and error to perfect the sweetness but when came to layering the cake, I fumbled as I miscalculated the amount of strawberry cheese filling for each layer, causing unbalance of cheese thickness.  Luckily it didn't affect the taste and texture.  

It's my first attempt at Ombre Rosette Cake decorating.  It was challenging as I wasn't able to place the rosette evenly, it was either too big a gap or too near to each other.  I had to scrape away a couple of them and redo before I could complete the whole cake piping.  

I didn't have enough time to chill the cake, hence I kept it in the freezer.  Given that the cake was frozen less than 4 hours, it wasn't cold enough to keep outside for too long.  By the time we cut the cake, some of the whipped cream had dropped off.  It wasn't that presentable anymore.  Luckily, the cosmetic didn't affect the taste. It still tasted good.  I was glad that my experiment was quite successfully.  

I wasn't happy with my first attempt, hence, I made another one the next day using the same recipe.  This time it turned out better but I still couldn't perfect the piping.  Practice makes perfect, I will have to work harder!

Strawberry Cheese Layer Ombre Rosette Cake Recipe:
- One 6" vanilla sponge cake 

350g strawberry puree    }
-  2 or more Tbsp sugar     }(yield about 180-200g sauce)

- 250g cream cheese
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp kirsch

- 1Tbsp gelatin with 3Tbsp water (microwave for 20 sec)
- 300g whipping cream (whipped)

1.  Get ready one 6" vanilla sponge cake,  slice into 3 layers.  Set aside.
2.  Cook strawberry puree and sugar together on low heat till thicken.   Set aside to cool.
3. Beat cream cheese and sugar till smooth (abt 2-3 mins), add in vanilla essence, lemon juice and kirsch.  Mix well.
4.  Add in the strawberry sauce from step 2, mix till combined.  Set aside.
5.  Mix gelatin with water together, let it stand for 2-3 mins and then microwave for 20 sec.
6. Add gelatin solution into strawberry cheese filling from step 4 and mix till combined.

Assemble Together
7. Lay a slice of sponge cake onto a cake ring (wrapped with foil),  pour 1/3  of the filling in. Cover with another slice of sponge cake.  Pour another 1/3 of the filling. 
8.  Repeat the same for the last slice and pour the remaining filling on top of it. Chill in fridge to set (at least 2- 3 hours).
9.  Whip whipping cream till stiff.  Crumb coat the cake and return to the chiller for another 30 mins.
10. Take 1/3 of the whipped cream, mix it with a drop of pink colour to create a darker tone of pink colour.  Pipe a row of the rosettes from the bottom. 
11.  Squeeze out remaining cream and mix with another 1/3 of whipped cream.  If the colour is too pale, use a toothpick to take a bit of colour to mix.  Get a tone that is lighter than the 1st row.
11. Pipe rosettes on the 2nd row.  Squeeze out all the whipped cream and mix with remaining whipped cream.  Pipe rosettes to cover all the top of the cake.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blueberry Cheese Layer Cake

I was overconfident when I tried to make this blueberry cheese layer cake.    This is not a new recipe, I only made some modifications to one of my old recipes.  I didn't expect it turned out so disappointing!  What went wrong?

I think... first, I cut too much of the sugar amount, the previous recipe in fact was already not sweet, with this further cut, it became very flat.    

  • Lesson learned:  just keep the same amount of the sugar or increase a bit more if the blueberries are too sour.
Second, I put too many flesh blueberries this round.  As we know, blueberries usually are quite sour, I was too lazy to cook to puree. I just placed them over the sponge cake and cover with cheese frosting. Given that both the spongecake and cheese frosting were mild in sweetness, the sourness of the blueberries became very tangy and sharp.  

  • Lesson learned: Add some sugar to the blueberries, cook as puree and mix with cheese frosting before spreading onto the sponge cake.  If not, omit the blueberries, just spread with the cheese frosting.

Third, this cake by nature is on the dry side, not like Chiffon cake which is moister.  I used to slice the cake into 3 pieces and spread them with cheese frosting but this round, I only sliced them into 2.   With such a thickness of sponge cake, it seemed further induced the dryness into the cake. 

  • Lesson learned:  brush a layer of syrup to moist the cake.  If not, slice into 3 pieces.
Forth, I used two 6" pans for 5 large eggs recipe.  Despite lowing the baking temperature to 170*C-160*C, the cakes still cracked on top.  I believe the pan size was too small.

  • Lesson learned:  use two 7" cake pans instead.

With all these wrong doing, how could I expect the cake to turn out good?  :<

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.     
Al Franken

Double Chocolate Cake

My laptop ran into some performance issue a few weeks ago, it walked like a snail.  Each time, I tried to boost the system up, it took me at least half an hour.  On top of it, it always hung halfway I was surfing the net or blogging something.  So frustrating! It crossed beyond my limit to tolerate and hence, I had to send it back to hardware company to repair.

Thanks to my hubby for running this for me.  Finally, it's back to normal.  I realised that without a laptop, I still could surf the net, check my email but come to blogging, it's way too difficult to manage.  With the laptop is back, I am now able to update my blog.
Despite the laptop was down, I didn't do much baking lately.  I was too restless and lazy. For the following recipe, it is modified from Barry Apek's, I like the chocolate cake sponge, it's very chocolaty and not too sweet.  This cake is so dainty with the chocolate ganache.   You must try!

  • Prepare two 8" round pans, (I use four 6" round pans) and line the bottom and grease all round.
Ingredients for Cake: -

-  100g Semi-sweet (55-70%) chocolate }
-  20g Cocoa powder                                } stir together 
-  200g Coffee hot                               }

- 225g Butter (unsalted)
- 120g Caster sugar

- 120g Brown sugar
- 3 medium Eggs     
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract

- 240g Cake flour }
- 8g Baking powder }  Sift all dry ingredients together
- 5g Baking soda        }
- 1/2 tsp Salt       }
- 200g Milk

Chocolate Nutella Ganache:
- 200g whipping cream 
- 160g semi-sweet chocolate (55-70%)
- 12g butter
- Nutella (optional)
- 60g Almond flakes


1.  Pour the hot coffee into a bowl with the chocolate and cocoa powder, and stir until all evenly melted. Set aside to cool.
2. Beat butter with the sugar (both)  until light and soft. 
Add eggs and vanilla essence, one at a time and continue to beat, until evenly incorporated.  
3.  Pour in the chocolate liquid (from step 1) and beat until evenly mixed.
4.  Take a portion of the chocolate mixture and add to the sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  Mix till smooth. 
5. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the chocolate batter in 2-3 additions, adding ½ the milk in between.   Gently mix until evenly incorporated.  Do not over beat.

6. Pour equal amounts into the prepared pans.

7. Baked at 175*C C from 35-40 mins.  Remove from pans, let it cool down and chill in the fridge for an hour.

8.  Heat the whipping cream and remove from heat when boiling.  Pour the chocolate into the cream and set aside for 5 mins.  Add in butter, and stir all until a smooth shiny texture is achieved.  Set aside to cool.
9.  Take 70% of the chocolate cream, chill in fridge till thicken.  Remaining leave it outside.
10. Remove cakes from the fridge.  Spread a thick layer of thickened chocolate cream on top of one cake.  Stack another cake on top.  Coat all the sides with the remaining thickened cream.  Smoothen the slides. Return the cake to the chiller for 30 mins or more.
11. Remove the cake from the fridge. 
12. Pour the other 30% of the chocolate cream (which is liquid) liberally over the top of the cake and let it flow naturally over the sides. When done, place in the fridge to set.

13.  Coat all sides with almond flakes if desired. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Devil's Food Cupcake with Chocolate Cream Frosting

My class has started this week.  I felt so tired each day after the lesson.  It's either my 2 months break was too long or the lesson was boring.  I can't deny the lesson we learned is very relevant and it's an important knowledge, however,  it's too dry.  In some aspect, I think the course duration can be shortened by at least a day as it was quite draggy sometimes.
I am not going to write too much in this post as I am tired.  I just want to update this recipe for future reference.  I love the texture of this cupcake, it's really moist and chocolaty!    I adopted this from Anncoo Journal, thanks to her for sharing this.

Ingredients (yield 7 using D50x39mm cupcake case)
- 25g unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 30g semisweet chocolate (56%)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup buttermilk ( 1/4 cup whipping cream mixed with 1/4 Tbsp vinegar, rest 2-3 mins)

- 1 large egg
- 60g brown sugar 
- 50g caster sugar (remain as not very sweet)
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 45g canola oil 

- 75g plain flour                }
- ½ tsp baking soda         } sift together
- ¼ tsp salt                       }

Frosting (the amount is not very accurate as I didn't measure)
- 90g semisweet chocolate (55-56%)
- 50g whipping cream (not necessary unless you prefer creamier)
- 60 to 90g whipped cream


  1. Preheat oven to 160*C.
  2. Combine cocoa powder and chocolate in a bowl,  pour in boiling water and let it sit for 3 mins.  Whisk until smooth and follow by buttermilk.  Mix well.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg, vanilla essence and sugars until light and creamy.  Add in oil and mix well.  
  4. Fold in flour mixture (flour & salt), alternate with chocolate mixture in additions.
  5. Scoop batter evenly among paper liners up to max 70% full. Bake at 170*C for about 20-22 mins or until tester inserted comes out clean (don't bake too long else it becomes very dry).
  6. Let cupcakes cool in the pan and cool completely before frosting it.
  7. Frosting - Heat whipping cream till just boiling, add in chocolate and let it sit for 3-5 mins. Mix well and set aside to cool.  Whip whipping cream till soft peak and mix with chocolate mixture.  Chill for 20-30 mins before piping.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mango Cheese Mousse Cake

Never get enough of mango cheese mousse cake? 
This is the third time I bake this cake within the same month.  Why I was so obsessed with mango cake?  In fact, it's not.  The first bake was a total failure.  The second bake was to regain my confidence.  And for this bake (3rd time), it was specially baked for an old friend who visited us from the US.   She reminded me to bake her something when she came to Singapore. I was with "mission" to bake for her!

My friend isn't a local, she cannot endure durian odour, durian is definitely out. I wanted something light and refreshing, the strawberry or mango cake literally came into mind.  With the consideration of the strawberry shortcake was baked 2 days ago, mango cake became the ultimate choice.   Mango fruit is well liked by the majority and it's an ideal dessert choice after a big meal.  

I love to give life to my baked products these days with an impressive effect.  However, being a novice cake decorator, I know my limit, I can only create something simple and not too elaborate.

To get good ideas, I watched many online tutorials and learn the tips on how to decorate a mango cake.  I was amazed by mango rose design, it looked simple yet elegant.  Hence, I decided to use this template for my mango cake.

Beside the decoration, I wanted to challenge myself with making this cake 5 layers. Without any tall pan at home, it made the cake-making process very time-consuming.  It's  also very challenging to assemble the 5 layers of cake with mousse together without it from collapsing.  I had to keep the cake in the freezer for 30 mins each time a layer of the mousse was spread.  This process took me 2-3 hours to complete.  After that, I had to chill the cake overnight to ensure it was all set.

After a day of chilling, finally, I could do final frosting on the whole cake. And for the rose design,  it spent me more than an hour including preparing the mango and arranging the mango slices to form a  rose.  The work to make this cake including the rose design is very extensive.  If you don't have time, forget to make this.

Though making this cake is tedious, I received very good feedback from all my friends who tasted it. They liked it so much and said it was heavenly yummy.  To me, it's worth the effort, and it makes my day.

Mango Cheese Mousse Cake ( 5 layers)

Vanilla Sponge Cake
Ingredients:   (Two 7" round pans)
- 5 egg Yolks   (95g)      
- 50g caster sugar 
- 3/4 tsp Vanilla Essence

- 2.5 tbsp milk (38g)
- 1/3 cup (70g) Oil

- 100g Cake Flour             } sifted
- 3/4 tsp Baking powder }
- pinch of salt

- 5 egg whites (188g)
- 94g castor sugar (can further cut down a bit if mango too sweet )
- ¼ tsp lemon juice or vinegar 

1. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and till light and pale yellow (about 4-5 mins) and then add vanilla essence.
2. Microwave milk and oil for 20 sec and then immediately stir into the egg yolk mixture (Step 1) with a hand whisk.
3. Fold in flour, baking powder and salt, stir until smooth.  Set aside.  (Remember to preheat oven at 160*C.)
4. Use a mixer,  whisk the egg whites on medium speed till frothy (30 sec), add a drop of lemon or vinegar,  and sugar a little at a time, whisk on high speed till medium (firm) peak form (about 3-4 mins).
5. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture from step 3, mix till almost combined.
Repeat the same for remaining 2 portions, fold in the meringue lightly until well combined.
6. Pour batter into two 7" round pans and fill to 70% full. Tap on the table to release bubbles.   
7. Bake in preheated oven at 160*C for 20 mins and then lower to 150*C for another 20 -25  mins or till skewer comes out clean.
8. Once bake, let it cool down a bit (2-3 mins) and remove cake from pan.

Mango Cheese Mousse
- 250g cream cheese
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 75g caster sugar (if the mango is sweet, can further cut down)
- 2 tsp rum
- 300g mango puree 
- 1 ½ tbsp gelatin } Premix and microwave
- 3 tbsp water }
- 250ml dairy whipping cream 
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 300g or 1 mango (cubed)

- 400g non-dairy top whipping cream 
- 2 big mango cut into slices
- 1 Tbsp apircot gel for glazing

1. Cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice together till smooth and creamy (2-3 mins). Add in rum and mango puree and mix well.  Set aside for step 3.
2. Mix gelatin powder with water, rest for 2-3 mins and then microwave for 20 sec or double boil till dissolved.  Keep warm and set aside.
3. Whip whipping cream with 2 tbsp sugar till about 70% stiff (about 3 mins) and stir into mango cheese mixture from step 1.   Add in gelatin solution from step 2 and mix till combined.  

1. Cut 2 sponge cakes into 5 layers, place a slice at bottom of a loose-based pan**. 
2.  Spread  1/10 of mango cheese mousse on it,  top with a layer of mango cube and then cover with another 1/10 of mango cheese mousse.
3.  Place in the 2nd slice of the cake, repeat the same step above.  Repeat the same for the 3rd and 4th layer as well. 
4.  Place the top layer of cake over, pour in remaining mango cheese mousse, ensure all sides are filled.
5.  Let the Mango Cheese Mousse Cake freeze for 4-5 hours or chill overnight to set. 
6. Whip top whipping cream, remove cake from the ring, cover the cake and smoothen it.  Arrange mango slices to form a rose and glaze with apircot gel.  Chill for at least another 1- 2 hours before serving.

** If you don't have a loose based pan, each layer filled with mousse needs to be frozen for half an hour before you could place another layer.

Japanese Cheesecake

Between Japanese Cheesecake and New York Cheesecake, I will prefer the latter.  Though I don't fancy dense and rich cake, Japanese Cheesecake is too light and moist for me.
Then why I baked?  It's to challenge myself as I hadn't been able to bake a smooth Japanese Cheesecake.  I had seen many successful examples from the folks in the baking community.   With my upgraded skill lately, I think I should be able to conquer this challenge.  In order not to repeat the same blunder, I went through Dr Leslie's post and tips thoroughly. 

I didn't follow 100% of his instruction and advice as my old habits die hard or probably I trusted my own instincts.  Phew, the cake came out almost there, though not perfect, the texture was fine, no big air pockets.  The only flaw was some wrinkles appeared on the top.  Based on Dr Leslie, it seems to be normal.   The advice is to glaze it immediately out from the oven before it turns wrinkly.

This recipe calls for 1 tsp of lemon zest, I think this can be cut down to 1/4 tsp or omitted totally as the lemon zest taste is overpowering and sharp.  
One thing to note: I used two 6" round pans but this recipe seems to be too much for it.  I realised that some experts had modified his recipe with 1 egg less and the result looks perfect.  I think I will adopt the modified recipe instead.

Below recipe is for my future baking reference.

250g cream cheese - cut cube and double boil
- 60g butter (cut cube)
50g caster sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
100ml milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract (cut down 1 from original recipe)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice ( omit lemon zest)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 60g cake flour
- 20g corn flour

- 5 large egg whites
- 70g caster sugar
- a drop of lemon juice

-  Prepare Two 6″ round baking pan. Line the bottom and dust the sides with flour.  Get ready Two 8″ round baking pan for water bath.
- Preheat oven at 200*C for 15 mins.


1.  Melt cheese and butter over a double boiler and whisk until smooth.   Add sugar, whisk until dissolved.  
2.  Add egg yolks one at a time and mix well each addition.  
Add milk,  vanilla, lemon juice, salt and mix well. 
3.  Remove from double boiler, gently whisk in the flours and mix well. Set aside.
Use a mixer,  whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed till frothy (30 sec), add a drop of lemon juice and beat at high speed till bubbles become very small but still visible.  Add sugar a little at a time, beat till just soft peaks (ribbon stage only) 
5. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture from step 3, mix till almost combined.
Repeat the same for remaining 2 portions, fold in the meringue lightly until well combined.
6. Pour batter into two 6" round pans and fill up to 1.5cm (80%) from the rim. (based on the expert, the batter should rise not more than 1 cm).  Tap on the table to release bubbles.  The batter should be very runny that doesn't require to smoothen the surface.
7.  Waterbath bake on the bottommost rack in the following sequence.
  • 200*C for 15-18 mins until top is golden brown
  • 160*C for 15 mins
  • Switch off the oven with closed door,  leave it for another 30 mins
  • Remove and unmould when the cake has pulled away from the side of the pan.
  • Switch on the own again and set at 100*C.  Bake the cake standing on a piece of baking paper for last 10 mins (optional step to dry the sides of the cake)
8.  Open the oven door ajar and let the cake cool in the oven for another 30 mins before removing.  Apply a thin layer of glaze to maintain a smooth surface.  
9.  Chill for  3-4 hour before slicing.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake

Am I crazy?  Baked 3 cakes in a day.  Am I in the business of selling cakes?  
No! No! I wasn't crazy and not doing business.  I only baked for family/friends, and for fun.

After I posted my baked product photos on social media, some friends asked when I could take the order. Hmm.. I am currently on a break before my next level of the certificate program (advance certificate in baking and pastry), hence, I don't want to do any business stuff for the time being.  

I am using my break to brush up my baking skills since I stopped for 3 years.  In this two months, I am glad that with the concerted effort, I managed to refresh and improve my baking skills.   I baked at least 5 items a week,  I also explored many new recipes. 

In addition, I learned a lot from the baking community. The people there taught me a lot, they are so willing to share tips.  Now, I am more confident in my baked products but I am still not satisfied with my cake decoration skill.  This is something I need to practise more.
I brought the Strawberry Shortcake to a lunch meeting to share with friends, they all liked it.  I do like this cake as well, although it's layered with whipped cream, it doesn't taste too creamy and sweet. 

This is one of my favourites.  The light & spongy texture filled with the whipped cream and strawberries makes this a perfect treat for any occasion.   
Want to bake for an occasion?  Why not give this a shot!

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

- 1  6" sponge cake (slice into 3 layers) - you can follow the sponge cake recipe as in this post but cut half of the ingredients

- 1/2 tsp gelatin      } mix together and microwave
- 1/2 Tbsp water    }

- 300 ml whipping cream (dairy cream)
- 1  1/4  tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Kirsh + 3/4 tsp vanilla essence

- 100 ml top whipping cream (non-dairy cream)
-  250g strawberries (keep 5  and the rest slice into 4 pcs)

1. Mix gelatin and water, let it sit for 1 mins and then microwave for 12-15 sec.  Set aside.
2. Whip cream (under ice water) and sugar on medium-high until soft peak form (70% peak). Add in kirsch and vanilla essence, mix well. 
4.  Add in gelatine from step 1, mix well.  Set aside.
5. Cut sponge cake into 3 layers.
6. Spread 1/7 of the whipped cream to the 1st layer (bottom layer). Line with strawberries and spread another 1/7 of the cream over.
7.  Place in the 2nd layer of the cake, repeat the same as step 6.  
8.  Place the top layer of cake over, spread remaining whipped cream over the top layer and all sides. 
9.  Let the cake freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight to set.
10. Whip top whipping cream, cover the whole cake and decorate as desired. Chill for at least another 2 hours before serving.

New York Cheesecake

Another dense, creamy and rich Cheesecake.
This cake uses a combination of cream cheese & cottage cheese added with some lemon zests. I was juggling on Thursday to bake this and Oreo cheesecake at the same time as I wanted to optimise my oven to save electricity.

However, I noticed that the Oreo cheesecake needed lesser baking time than the New York's.  When I turn off the oven after 50 mins,  the Oreo cheesecake became a bit brown on top but the New York cheesecake still looked moist and smooth. 

A note to take: If I do the same thing next time, I should set 5 - 8 mins less baking time for  Oreo cheesecake.

Why I baked this?  Again, I baked for someone (a close friend) who is my New York Cheesecake fan.  I bet she doesn't mind to put on extra calories in exchange for this delicious treat.

This is not a new recipe, I have baked it many times.

New York Cheesecake recipe

- 48g digestive biscuit
- 24g butter (melted)

- 125g cream cheese
- 40 caster sugar
- 1/8 tsp of lemon zest (increase if you like stronger zest)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 40g cottage cheese (strained to remove lumps)
- 1 no. eggs (abt 60g)

- 1 tbsp of Apricot gel mixed with 2 tsp of boiling water to dilute
- Some whipped cream
- some shaved chocolate 

- Preheat oven at 150*C.  Baking Time: 50-50 mins.
- Baking pan: 4" round pan loose base. Outer wrapped with foil and base lined with baking paper.
- Prepare boiling water for the water bath baking method.

Method - Biscuit Base
1. Crush digestive biscuit into crumbs with rolling pin, add in melted butter and mix till well combined. Pour into baking pan and press till even and level. Chilled for at least 30 mins.

Method - Cheesecake
2. Beat cream cheese, add caster sugar into 2-3 additions (begins with low speed and then increase to medium, try to use a stand mixer to minimise air bubble.  don't overbeat) till smooth (about 3 mins).   Add lemon zest and vanilla essence, mix well.  
3. Add in cottage cheese, mix until smooth. (abt 2 mins. don't overbeat)
4. Add in eggs, one at a time on low speed,  mix well after each addition.
5. Pour batter onto biscuit base from step 1. Remove bubble if any.
6. Bake in the water bath at 150*C for 50-55mins or until the centre is set. Leave in oven for an hour with the door slightly open or leave it outside.
7. Cover the cake with cling, chill for at least an hour and then run a small knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake and remove the pan.
8. Chill overnight for best flavour and texture.  Brush with apricot gel, decorate with some whipped cream flowers and shaved chocolate as desired. 


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