KitchenTigress: 2014

Marble Butter Sponge Cake

Tang mian is roux, made by cooking flour in bubbling hot butter.

Tang mian cake has the fluffiness of chiffon cake and the butteriness of butter cake. It has the best of two cake worlds but that's not all. It is smooth, smoother than chiffon or butter cake could ever be.

Chocolate Swiss Roll

2 pieces of chocolate swiss roll, decorated with golden berries
Chocolate Swiss roll is a bit tricky. Why? Because cocoa powder complicates things.

Cocoa powder makes sheet cake less stretchable, so you have to be careful not to overbake the cake. Even slight overbaking makes the cake crack when you roll it.

Vanilla Swiss Roll

vanilla swiss roll with chocolate filling
My Swiss roll is very stretchy. It can stretch and bend into a roll without cracking.

The flexibility is due to the way the eggs are beaten. Egg whites are whisked to firm peak stage, then yolks are added 1 at a time and whisked thoroughly. Compared to the whole egg or chiffon method, this makes a cake that's more stretchable.

Magic Custard Cake

Magic custard cake is made with a batter that magically forms 3 layers as it bakes. The top layer is fluffy sponge cake. The bottom is a layer of starch which eats like kueh. What's in the middle? Smooth, milky custard.

Pandan Kaya Cake

3-layer pandan kaya cake
The cake part of pandan kaya cake is quite straightforward. It's a sponge cake made with the separated egg method. If you follow the recipe and you know how to whisk egg whites to firm peak stage, your cake will be fluffy, moist and fragrant.

Banana Chiffon Cake

banana chiffon cake, cut
Most recipes for banana cake use about 1 part banana to 1 part flour. That's way too little bananas. My cake has 175 g bananas to 70 g flour, so the ratio is 2.5:1. With so much bananas, it literally bursts with banana flavour.

Bamboo Charcoal Cake

Black is mysterious. Black is sophisticated. Black is . . . sexy.

What makes my cake black? It's bamboo charcoal that's been pulverized into a very, very fine powder.

You can see what my charcoal cake looks like but you can't taste it. Let me taste it for you.

Matcha Cake

Matcha is the soul of matcha cake. If you want to make good matcha cake, you have to use good quality matcha.

Matcha powder has three enemies: heat, light and oxygen. The colour and flavour deteriorate very quickly unless the tea is kept in the cold, in the dark, away from oxygen.

Orange Sponge Cupcakes

Tips for making orange sponge cupcakes:

🍊 Mix the flour with the eggs first, before adding orange zest to the batter. It protects the eggs from the acid in the orange peel. If you add the zest before or with the flour, the batter will become thin and bubbly. The bubbles won't magically disappear in the oven, so your cakes will be full off big holes.

Cake Dos & Don'ts

My advice for cake newbies can be summarised in three words: follow the recipe. 

Experienced bakers may change anything they like because they know what works or probably works. Beginners, OTOH, can't tell if a seemingly insignificant detail is actually a critical part of the recipe. If you're one of these, I hope this post shows you why you may want to do everything the recipe says, and not do everything the recipe doesn't say.