I have been baking cakes for friends for about a year now and looking back, I’m glad to be given the opportunity to do so.
I’m thankful to friends who trust in me enough to ask for celebration cakes from me. Truly, it has been a humbling and enriching experience.
The last two weeks have been really hectic and I’ve reached the point of exhaustion. Sometimes I wish my cakes could taste a little better and that I could be more adventurous in terms of flavour. Alas, I have no time to experiment with recipes. There are household chores to do, meals to prepare, lessons to teach the little one, classes to teach and the list goes on. So to be honest, what has begun as a love for me -baking – has turned out to be a chore in recent times. I have to stop. To take a break from baking for others and go back to baking for leisure, for my family. The husband has complained that he doesn’t get to eat any of the baked goods nowadays. ;p
With these final cakes for the season, I will have to bid farewell for a while to baking cakes for friends so that I can resume my home-based culinary lessons which I have started since the days in Boston.
Vanilla sponge cake with chocolate ganache
Vanilla sponge cake with IMBC, topped with edible image and meringue border
Vanilla sponge cake with IMBC, topped with edible image
A simple yuzu sponge cake with IMBC for a 1YO boy
I will still make figurines during this period since I need to continue to hone my skills in that area. But more importantly, I want to take time to improve on my baking skills and continue to learn the science of it.
For a start, here’s a recipe for madeleines – scallop-shaped cakes that epitomise classic French patisserie. They are easy to make and are best eaten fresh from the oven. All you need is a stiff metal whisk. Simple?
(Adapted from Perfecting Patisserie by Dr Tim Kinnaird)
120g caster sugar
175g all purpose flour/unbleached flour for a healthier version 😉
1 1/2tsp baking powder
200g melted butter
(yields 22 big ones)
1. Preheat the oven to 230C. If you are using a metal madeleine tray, lightly butter and flour the tray. I use both silicon madeleine tray and the metal one.
2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and whisk in the sugar and milk until well combined. Whisk in the flour and baking powder until the batter is smooth, but don’t over-work the mixture as this will develop gluten in the flour and toughen the madeleines. Whisk in the melted butter.
3. Fill each scallop-shaped mould of the tray to half or at most 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 8 minutes in the oven or until golden brown. You may want to turn the tray 180 degrees halfway through the baking.
For variation, I added yuzu concentrate to a batch (I took out one portion) and green tea to another batch before baking.