A Mommy's Journey

Parenting. Baking. Cooking.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Black Forest Cake

Daddy's birthday was coming up and he specifically requested for Black Forest cake this time. And the search for recipe began.

A quick fact about Black Forest Cake:

Black Forest Cake or Black Forest gâteau is the English name for the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte - "Black Forest Cherry Torte" literally.

It is made of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries sandwiched in between each layer. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake. Then the cake is usually decorated with additional whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate shavings. However, Black Forest cakes sold in Malaysia are alcohol-free.

So here we are, my first attempt on Black Forest cake and amateur-ly decorated.

This recipe from allrecipes.com is pretty good although I find the cake texture is not as light as I would have expected it to be. Nevertheless I will still give a 4 star rating for this with the thumbs-up that I've gotten. :)

Black Forest Cake (adapted from allrecipes.com)

What You'll Need:

Cake Batter

2 1/8 cups (265g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400g) white/brown sugar
3/4 cup (88g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup (236ml) milk
1/2 cup (118ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cherry Filling
2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour morello cherries
1 cup (200g) white sugar, or as to taste 
1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (720ml) heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup (40g) confectioners' sugar

How To:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans; cover bottoms with waxed paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.

4. Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool completely before using.

5. Combine whipping cream and confectioner's sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.

6. With long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs; set aside. Reserve 1 1/2 cups Frosting for decorating cake; set aside. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of each cake layer with pasty brush or hands. 

7. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer; repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer. Frost side of cake. Pat reserved crumbs onto frosting on side of cake. Spoon reserved frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake


1. I used about 80g sugar for the cherry filling as I was using 1 can of sour pitted cherries and 1 can of stoneless black cherries in syrup. The cherry filling is best cooked a night before assembling the cake.

Both can be found in Jaya Grocer supermarket

2. You can leave the mixing bowl and the whisk in the fridge a night before to save time.

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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Carrot Cake

Mom-in-law's birthday was coming up and I asked the mister on what cake to make this year. "Carrot cake," so he said.

Time for me to try new recipe as well instead of the same old cakes. Google-d a number of carrot cake recipes, and I saw this recipe featured in BBC GoodFood. By far, this recipe calls for the least number of spice. And it is fairly easy to make. Oh, did I mention that the recipe is rated 5 stars with a whopping 683 ratings?

I did make some adjustments to the recipe here and there. For the original recipe, click here.

What You'll Need:

For the Cake

  • 165g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs , lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrots 
  • 90g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g cream cheese

How To: 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square or round cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the eggs. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.

3. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients - when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point.

5. For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until soft and then beat in the cream cheese. Chill the mixture until it's thick but spreadable. Spread a thick layer on top of the cake, making sure the side of the icing is flat and continues upwards from the side of the cake. Or you may pipe the frosting to decorate as desired.

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Monday, 28 January 2013

Cornflakes with Chocolate Chips Cookies

This is another one of my favourite to-bake cookies for the Chinese New Year or even just for normal consumption - Cornflakes with Chocolate Chips Cookies.

I have been having this recipe since the schooling days, so long ago that I can't remember the source of the recipe.

Anyhow, this is a recipe that is worth sharing.

Cornflakes with Chocolate Chips Cookies

Cornflakes with Chocolate Chips Cookies

What You'll Need:

  • 210g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 225g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 170 C
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  4. Add eggs and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
  6. Add in cornflakes and chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon dough into the cookie tray.
  8. Bake in 170 C for about 15 minutes.


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Buttery Bread Rolls

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of bread. But since the kiddos like eating them, I will just make what they like. So here I am, searching for different types of bread and bun recipes every now and then.

These buttery bread rolls are just simply awesome. Especially when they are just out fresh from the oven!The aroma is just oh-so-nice.

Buttery Bread Rolls

And the texture is soft & fluffy too. Making it living up to its 5-star rating reviews.

Buttery Bread Rolls

as seen in www.food.com

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F.)
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • How?

    1. In bread machine pan, put all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer.
    2. Select dough setting.
    3. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
    4. Divide dough into 24 portions.
    5. Shape dough into balls.
    6. Place in a greased 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan.
    7. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
    8. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.

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    Wednesday, 16 January 2013

    Chinese Walnut Cookies / Hup Toh Sow (合桃酥)

    CNY is round the corner and that means I have to start thinking of what to bake besides cleaning up and decorating the house.

    Last year I tasted some good Chinese Walnut Cookies from Australia Cake House in Seapark, so I've decided to bake some this year. If I couldn't get any good recipe of it, I will just have to buy from them.

    After searching on the WWW,  I came across this simple recipe and decided to try it out. It took me 2 rounds of testing & tweaking before I finally get the aromatic taste and "loose" and crunchy texture that I wanted.

    So, here's the recipe.

    Chinese Walnut Cookies (合桃酥)

    Chinese Walnut Cookies (合桃酥)

    adapted from My Kitchen Snippets and No-Frills Recipes

    What You'll Need:

    (edited 28 Jan 13)

    140 gm butter (salted, room temperature)
    2 tsp peanut oil
    1/4 tsp vanilla essence
    250 gm self-raising flour
    80 gm caster sugar

    75 gm coarsely chopped roasted walnuts
    1 egg beaten + a pinch of salt, for glazing


    1. Sift the self-raising flour into a mixing bowl.

    2. Cut in the butter; add in the sugar, peanut oil, vanilla essence and the chopped walnuts.

    3. Mix thoroughly till the dough does not stick onto the hands.

    4. Pinch off some dough and lightly form into a ball, make a small dent in the centre. Place the biscuits onto a baking sheet, leaving some room between each biscuit.

    5. Brush them with beaten egg wash.

    6. Bake in preheated oven 190 degree C or 350 degree F for about 30 to 35 minutes or till golden brown.
    (Mine was in bite size, so I baked for about 15 minutes to reach golden brown)

    7. Cool completely before storing in cookie jar.
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    Friday, 11 January 2013

    Vanilla Sugar Cookies

    A good activity to kill time during the weekends with your toddler: Cookies making. :)

    K-boy decorating the cookies to Xmas theme

    The X-mas theme cookies

    Vanilla Sugar Cookies (as seen in foodnetwork.com)

    Yield approx 12 3-inch cookies

    What You'll Need:

    • 2 1/3 cups plus 2 tbsp (11 oz) All purpose flour
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Baking Powder
    • 3/4 cup Unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp (4 oz) Granulated sugar
    •  1 Large egg
    • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract


    1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside
    2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
    3. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat until the dough just comes together, being careful not to over mix.
    4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    5. Place the ball of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Keeping the dough in the parchment, transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (I put in the freezer for 15 mins instead)

    6. Preheat oven to 350 F

    7. Cut out the cookies in the desired shapes and place on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper or an ungreased nonstick cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Transfer to the freezer and chill for at least 15 minutes or until they are stiff.

    8. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

    9. Let cookies cool completely on the sheets before decorating. (They will still be soft when they come out of the oven and may break or become misshapen if they are moved off the sheet before cool.)

    Citrus cookies : add 1 tsp of finely grated lemon or orange zest to the butter and sugar mixture in step 1

    Almond cookies : replace the vanilla with 1 tsp of pure almond extract

    Hot tip:
    This dough can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper, wrap in plastic and freeze. Defrost until the dough is pliable enough to cut, about 10-15 mins. Continue from step 6.
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    Non-bake Tiramisu

    Tiramisù. equivalent to (tira) pick + (mi) me + (sù) up

    It's a popular Italian dessert made of ladyfingers (Italian: Savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone cheese, and flavored with liquor and cocoa.

    A friend, Sharon P, shared her recipe of tiramisu in one of the forums that I've joined and few other forummers who have tried this simply loved it and gave two thumbs up.

    So, I've decided to make this as it's one of my mom's favourite dessert. This is really an easy one to make!

    Verdict: The tiramisu was snapped up within 24 hours. That should tell you a lot. :)

    A big thank you to SP for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    So here's the recipe.


    What You'll Need

    • 350ml espresso coffee, made with 350ml water and 9 teaspoons instant espresso powder, cooled
    • 250ml Baileys
    • 2 x 200g Savoiardi (Italian lady finger) biscuits
    • 2 eggs
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 500g mascarpone
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder


    1. Mix the coffee with 175ml of Baileys in a shallow bowl. Dip the biscuits into the liqour; let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy.

    2. Line the bottom of a 22cm square glass dish with a layer of biscuits

    3. Separate the eggs, but keep only one of the whites. Whisk the two yolks and the sugar together until thick and a paler yellow, then fold in the remaining 75ml of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a moussy mixture.

    4. Whisk the single egg until thick and frothy; you can do this by hand with such a little amount. Fold the egg white into the yolky mascarpone, and then spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of biscuits.

    5. Repeat with another layer of soaked Savoiardi, and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture.

    6. Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.

    7. When ready to serve, sprinkle the cocoa powder on top using a sieve.


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