This cake is purely chocolate and kanamadhu (sea-almond). It is rich, fudgy and you want to keep going back for one more slice. The ground kanamadhu gives it a nice crunch and the cake is perfect to practice some of your baking skills.
Being the perfect combination of kanamadhu and chocolate, this cake will please even the pickiest of eaters. I know a few people who don’t like the original kanamadhu cake (blasphemy, I know, because who doesn’t like kanamadhu cake?!), but they loved this cake. My husband had always claimed he didn’t like kanamadhu or the kanamadhu cake I baked but when I made this cake, I had to fight for leftovers.
We are very close to the end of summer. At the moment, it is pomegranate season here and I enjoy seeing the pomegranate trees with the fruit starting to ripen, on my morning runs. I have never really associated pomegranates with summer, but I think I will make use of pomegranates more next summer, now I know when to expect it.
Pistachios and pomegranate have recently become one of my favourite flavour pairings. Not only just in taste, I am loving the colour combo of the green with pink too. This cake has a very pudding-like texture due to the high content of ground nuts and because of it being baked in a water bath. It is dense, but moist, and the cream cheese compliments the cake perfectly. This can also be made gluten-free quite easily by substituting the self-raising flour with gluten-free self-raising flour.
This post is an homage to my how far I have come in my cake baking process. Every year, for the last 3 years, I have baked a birthday cake for my friend Shazu. And every year, I look to challenge myself and try new things when I am making the new cake. Also, Shazu’s birthday falls in spring, so I seem to have a floral, spring theme to my cakes.
Making the perfect cupcakes make me happy. Eating the perfect cupcake makes me even happier. Cupcakes are the beautiful balance of tasty cake and gorgeous, but still delicious, frosting. Aesthetics are a big part of cupcakes but one can never sacrifice taste for looks. This is probably why I prefer buttercream over fondant. It wasn’t until I had started making the French buttercream did I feel like my cupcake game had peaked. I had managed to master a lovely vanilla cupcake thanks to taste.com.au. But I kept struggling with the buttercream.
I’ve had many struggles with buttercream. Buttercream that split or cream cheese frosting that would not thicken. French buttercream is the only one that has never failed me.
When I started making this cake I thought I would be coming out with a delicious recipe. But despite recipe testing, due to the various trials and errors I faced, I ended up mostly writing about what not to do when baking a cake.
As my chef friend Fathun said ‘Cheffing or being a cook is about fixing disasters too, as you have learnt from Masterchef’. I had Fathun’s help throughout this cake-making process. I can say Fathun is one of the people who is most enthusiastic and supportive of my cooking adventures. She’s always excited about new ideas I have and we both have so much fun planning dinners together. We both tend to go over-board when planning these said dinners, and a simple catching up meal will almost end up with a main, sides and dessert.
I love doughnuts, but I hate frying things. So when I saw that I could make baked doughnuts with a doughnut tray I went on a hunt for one. It was actually quite hard to find it and stumbled on it completely by accident. I was shopping with a little friend E that day and the 6 year old was almost excited at the prospect of me buying it. Since E wanted to make it with me (she didn’t even want me to just make it for her, she wanted to help) I made sure to invite her to come help me decorate the doughnuts.
We decided to try and do galaxy doughnuts and they were so cool! E was very excited to help and she came up with different colour combinations. We had a lot of fun mixing colours, dunking the doughnuts into the glaze and licking the glaze off our fingers.
It was an interesting experience giving E free reign to decorate. I had certain ideas about what I wanted, but E too, had ideas about what she wanted. I think she was more eager to just try new things. I had set colours I wanted to use, but E wanted to try a little bit of everything and the colours turned out great! To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about putting the chocolate sprinkles on the galaxy doughnuts. I thought E would put them on a plain white one or a single coloured one. My mind was fixed on the Instagram pictures I had seen, but E was too happy to play with the chocolate sprinkles in new ways. A learning experience from E; letting myself have fun and experiment, rather than stick to what I know.
I made 7 doughnuts using this recipe.
– 1 cup flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 egg
– 65 grams brown sugar
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/4 cup plain yoghurt
– 30 gram butter
– 100 gram dark chocolate
– 1 and 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2-3 tablespoon milk
– Food colouring and sprinkles to decorate
Chocolate sprinkles on doughnuts
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees (150 degrees in fan-forced oven). Grease a doughnut pan.
Break chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with butter. Sit over a saucepan of barely simmering water, until the mixture is melted and smooth (stirring occasionally). Keep a close eye on the mixture, you don’t want the chocolate to burn!
Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and leave it to cool.
Mix the flour, baking soda, bicarb, salt and sugar in a seperate bowl.
Mix the egg into the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. The mixture will seize up, but don’t worry, it’ll become nice and smooth when you keep whisking. Add the milk and yoghurt and whisk until smooth.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the chocolate mixture. Stir it until it’s just mixed. Don’t worry if the batter is thick, we want the doughnuts to be a bit doughy.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Alternatively, what I did was to put the batter in the piping bag (a makeshift one with a ziplock bag and cutting the corner) and piped it into the doughnut holes.
Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack. You can store these in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Make the glaze. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk till smooth. Add more milk if you think the mixture is too thick. Dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze and top with sprinkles.
I love having the time to embark on big craft projects. So when I got the chance to plan a floral surprise birthday party, I jumped on Pinterest for some inspiration. The glitter jars I made were so simple, while being somewhat time consuming. But they were so pretty with colourful flowers in them and made for the perfect giveaway present too!
I absolutely love glitter. My husband was less enthusiastic and just shook his head and said ‘You’ve got glitter on your face!’. This only made me less inclined to go and wash my face. You can never have too much sparkle. Be warned though, we had gold glitter absolutely everywhere.
What you need:
– Mod podge gloss
– Masking tape
What to do:
– Make sure the jars are washed with soapy water, clean and dried thoroughly.
– Put masking tape to make sure you have a nice and even cut off point in the area where you apply the glue.
– Apply a thin layer of mode podge and then sprinkle glitter on top. Give the bottle a shake to get rid of excess glitter.
– Leave to dry for at least 2 hours. I left them overnight.
– Apply another thin layer of mod lodge over the glitter. This is to seal the glitter so that it doesn’t go everywhere. The mod lodge dries clear so don’t worry about the initial white colour.
– I decorated with red and purple ribbons. You could do the whole bottle too or use different coloured glitter.
The surprise party turned out to be a success. I spent two weeks before the party making the glitter jars. The night before was spent on making the cakes. I made a naked floral cake with a vanilla french buttercream, and since I had some buttercream left over, I also made some vanilla cupcakes. Yum.