Monthly Archives: July 2010

Vanilla chai white velvet cakes

(Again, sorry for the complete lack of updates recently. I’m coming up to one of the sets of assessment for my PhD so I’m just not baking much, or I’m just making not particularly photogenic things like tremendous amounts of felafel. However I do promise to get around to sharing my recipe for the dealing-with-stress-and-large-amounts-of-work culinary coping device that I pretend is brain food but is really just an ungodly number of ingredients thrown together with the wide-eyed fervour of a brilliant madman.)

The never-ending quest to transform red velvet into as many formats as possible has branched out in a new direction — not red, just velvet. Same fantastic texture, no longer limited by that oh-so-passé red colour and cocoa-vanilla flavour…

… I’m sorry, red velvet, I take that back. I didn’t mean to call you passé, what I really meant was avant garde, nouvelle vague, other appropriated French phrases, etc.

Japanese soufflé cheesecakes with guava-strawberry-saffron fluid gel filling and white chocolate cream cheese icing

Sorry for the dearth of updates recently; been baking extra hard and extra creatively for an event that took place last night that I will update about in the near future. Allez cuisine!

So… another recipe with a title the length of a novella.

The fluid gel filling is one of those molecular gastronomy things I’ve been meaning to try for ages. Essentially it’s supposed to have some of the properties of a fluid and some of the properties of a solid, which sounds fancy until I say that the best example of this is tomato sauce/ketchup, which tends to stay in the upturned bottle like a solid until you shake it and it flows out like a liquid. Yay physics.

The cupcakes were made using this amazing recipe which entails using cream cheese to give an interesting texture to a basic sponge (watch out, the blog has an auto-playing music player). I think this Japanese soufflé cheesecake is destined to become one of my favourites just because it’s a good basic cake that can be added to and adjusted and lends itself well to showcasing other flavours (particularly summery, fruity, floral, light kind of flavours… which I have a marvellous ability to end up pursuing in the depth of winter, just to show those damned seasons that they can’t hold me back when I’m on another of my deranged culinary missions).

Just some notes about making the cake: I made them as cupcakes, so they only require about 15-20 minutes of baking. Also, the recipe recommends melting the cream cheese (along with the butter and milk) in a bain marie, but if you don’t have infinite patience or 5 hours to spare, just chuck it in a saucepan directly over low heat, stir often, and it’ll be melted in no time with no harm done.

Further adornment of the blank canvas cupcakes is as follows…

Baked doughnuts with tamarind-caramel glaze

I’ve been seeing a lot of baked doughnut recipes cropping up in my travels around the interwebs, so I thought I’d give them a try. This is my first attempt and they turned out pretty well, although I will be seriously revising the doughnut recipe for my own since I wasn’t a huge fan of the texture after they had been left to cool. But if you eat them straight out of the oven — quite spectacular.

The doughnuts were made using this recipe, although if you give it a go maybe try halving the ingredient quantities because this makes a heap and the volume made it awkward for my electric mixer to mix (the dough was coming up and over the sides of the bowl because there was just too much of it, so I split it in half and did two batches which still made enough doughnuts to feed a small army). Also I just rolled the dough into approximate peach-sized balls and baked them in cupcake cases on a baking tray, but you can go for the traditional doughnut shape if you have the resources (I used it as an excuse to buy a nice shiny doughnut cutter off eBay for future use).

The glaze is pretty simple…

Tamarind-caramel glaze

15g butter
40g brown sugar
80g thickened cream
1/4 cup tamarind chutney

(The tamarind chutney I used is just tamarind and garam masala spices, so it’s quite sweet and works perfectly in this glaze.)

Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add sugar and keep stirring for about a minute. Add cream and bring to the boil then allow to boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, but while the mixture is still hot, stir through the tamarind chutney until the glaze is smooth. Allow to cool for an hour. Dip the top half of the cooled doughnuts into the glaze, then you’re done.

Citrus Elderflower Collins

This cocktail is a variation of the standard Elderflower Collins, which usually contains gin, lemon juice, St Germain elderflower liqueur and soda water. I’ve had a little bottle of St Germain sitting around for ages, which I bought almost solely because I thought the bottle was incredibly beautiful, like an antique perfume bottle (the full-size St Germain bottles are nowhere near as enchanting).

So I looked up what cocktail recipes include St Germain, specifically focussing on ones that contain lemon, and ended up tailoring the Elderflower Collins to put to use some left-over citrus fizz that was sitting in the fridge. What a fantastic summer drink I managed to make… in the middle of winter… with the heater on and whilst wearing the world’s thickest cardigan…