Yelly Eats

Bank holiday shenanigans

We’re not exactly party animals, Alan and I.  What did we do the entire bank holiday?  Stay at home, cook our meals, sleep in, rest, get over our individual viral infections (it sounds a lot worse than it really is) and suffer hay fever in silence.

But when I have the time (and the inclination), I try recipes I’ve been wanting to try for absolutely ages.  I’ve been looking for an easy Chinese steamed sponge cake recipe for ages.  Ever since I impulse bought a slice of steamed sponge cake from Kowloon Bakery in London Chinatown.

By absolute chance, because there was nothing on telly last Wednesday (nothing we wanted to watch anyway), we turned the telly to the Food Network and saw an episode of Poh and Co, Poh Ling Yeow’s cooking (and lifestyle?) show that’s produced for Australian TV.  But you do get weird and wonderful shows on the Food Network so because it sort of reminded us of Chinese cooking, we just left the telly on the Food Network.  As luck would have it, Poh Ling made her version of Chinese steamed sponge cake and it looked so easy I had to try it.

And try it I did.  The recipe is fairly straightforward and easy.  It consisted of 5 ingredients that any baker would have in their larder – just flour, baking powder, eggs, and vanilla extract.  I think I benefitted from watching Poh make the cake so I knew exactly what I was doing.  But I was so pleased at how it’s come out: so soft and pillowy and so very light!  It’s so deceptively light that Alan and I managed to consume more than half of one of the two cakes that I made!

I’m making it again and tweaking it to add my little twists to the recipe.  I am over the moon as this is an absolutely amazing recipe!  Thank you Poh for sharing this!❤

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Yelly Eats

This cake happened today!

I bought a bowl of plums from the Friday Market for £1 last week with the intention of consuming them purely for my 5-a-day.  Usually the fruit that I get from that particular market stall is sweet and perfect (yes, really!) but surprisingly, these plums were very tart.  I tried eating the fruit but it was REALLY tart (bordering on acidic sourness).

Upside down plum cakeI have written a draft of the recipe for the plum cake.  But I need to work on it because the plums were still so tart even after laying them on a carpet of brown sugar.  I’ll have to tweak the recipe first and make it a few times to make sure it’s a recipe that works.  I promise to share it as soon as I’m satisfied.

Watch this space!

Yelly Writes

When disaster strikes

I made a cake for someone last night and finished it early this morning.  It was a chocolate Guinness cake.  And it was beautiful!

So I went to work, on the train as usual.  When I got to the office, I opened the cake box to check on the cake not expecting anything.  The trip was uneventful.  I didn’t swing the cake, I didn’t hit the box with anything, no one hit the box…it was a really good train journey.

So imagine the shock when I find the top layer of my cake cracked right through the middle with a section of it fallen off.  My heart tumbled down to my tummy then broke a little during the journey down.

I had to make the difficult call to my friend to say the cake broke and that I couldn’t give the cake to her for her party.

cake breakThe silver lining?  Everyone at work got the chance to have chocolate Guinness cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Oh yes.  It was a VERY rich cake!

Yelly Eats

Absolutely magic!

This should go wrong…even when I was making it, it felt absolutely wrong.  The batter didn’t look like it was going to set at all.  But let me tell you, whoever invented magic custard cakes is an absolute genius!

This is going on my must-bake-all-the-time list!

For those who have missed this growing trend, magic custard cakes are cakes is a cake with three layers, a spongy-meringuey top layer, a custard center and a pudding bottom layer.  The magical bit is that all this happens with JUST ONE BATTER!

Don’t ask me how because I have no idea how it works…but it does and it’s so good!

Magic custard cake

Yelly Eats

The Owl Cake

I bought over 3 kilos of fondant icing because I intended to make beach huts for a bake off fundraising do at work.

But I think I overestimated my capabilities and my fondant confidence.  So instead of wimping out and wasting the fondant that I lugged all the way back to Harwich, I had to think of an alternative way to use the fondant that I purchased. I wasn’t giving up on the cake with fondant dream!  Besides, it was my birthday and bringing cake would be for a good cause.  So I had a think and regrouped.

I had a brainwave and thought, “Oooooh owls!”  I did a bit of googling and found the easiest way to make owl cake toppers.  I knew the cake would be okay (it was a vanilla sponge with a Nutella filling with a vanilla cream frosting), I just had to make it pretty.

The owls weren’t too difficult to make.  I just needed a round cookie cutter and a smarter way of looking at owls.  I must say, what a treasure trove Google can be!  After doing the cutting and a little shaping, the ingenious use of a fondant embosser and artful food colouring dotting, my owls looked cuter than I thought it was possible!

2015-05-12 23.32.09So here it is, my owl cake!  It was, truly, a hoot to make!

My owl cake

Yelly Eats

Ube!

I’m working on an ube sponge cake recipe because I miss ube cake from the Philippines.  I particularly love the ube cake from Red Ribbon.  But because Red Ribbon hasn’t made it to this side of the Atlantic, I will just have to learn to make the cake myself.  I’ve always said that necessity is the mother of invention and it is absolutely necessary for me to have my ube cake fix!  I haven’t had a slice of ube cake since…I can’t remember.  It must have been over 5 years!

My first attempt seemed to go down pretty well.  The colour was great and the flavour was absolutely there.  The cake was spongy and light.

purple yam cake batter

I will have to make it again maybe next week (after the cake that’s currently residing in my cake box has been consumed).  I’ve got recipe improvements in my head already.  I’m sure the oriental store in Chelmsford will enjoy the fact that I’ll be buying another jar of ube jam next week!  Watch this space for the recipe soon!

Ube cake at last!

 

Yelly Eats

Tea loaf!

I’ve been meaning to make a tea loaf for ages.  I fell in love with the Yorkshire Tea Loaf that used to be available in the supermarkets (there are other tea loaf brands but I did love the Yorkshire Tea loaf the best).  Apparently, it was no longer cost effective to produce the cake.  I think I’m not the only person who was absolutely gutted to no longer find this particular cake brand on the supermarket shelves.  They had a very good thing going and it’s very sad that they chose to pull the product instead of resize it.  Resizing the loaf would have been more acceptable to consumers like me who loved their cakes!

I have been getting over a lingering bout with a certain nasty virus but today has been a really good day (albeit the cotton-woolly head still).  It’s quite a good thing because I do want to go back to work and I’ve taken too much time off work for my peace of mind!  I thought I’d try my hand at a new recipe today.  Mind you, I did bake custard creams yesterday for the first time and they turned out great.  As a personal rule, I don’t necessarily bake when I’m not 100% because I kind of feel like your food reflects your well-being so I think that if I’m not in the best of moods or health, my food reflects it.

I may have overbeaten the batter a bit too much which might explain why the cake is a bit too crumbly.  But the taste is wonderful.  I may have to tweak the recipe according to my preference because I do love a dense tea loaf.  I got the fruity tea loaf recipe from the Good Food website.  They call it a tea cake, but I’ve always thought a teacake is a marshmallow on a biscuit covered with chocolate!  I’ve always trusted the recipes on there, I’m sure a few tweaks to fit personal taste is welcomed!  After all, we’re all allowed to make food our own as we are going to eat it! 🙂

As exercise go, I think my first tea loaf went well.  I think it might work with my no-fail loaf base.  I will probably work on the tea loaf recipe again soon.  Which is good because I’ve still got dried fruit and mixed peel left!

My first ever tea loaf!