Rocket Cake

This was actually Mal’s birthday cake. His rocket cake was transformed from this round nutella butter cake (it was slightly burnt due to the oven temp) which I was so eager to try out since I saw it on Happy Home Baking. The recipe doesn’t look very sinful and the best part is the assurance that was given for a successful bake even without using an electric mixer (the last time I baked without a mixer was during home economic lessons during secondary school!). So I creamed the butter and sugar with a plastic spatula. (I wonder if the cake will turn out better if a wooden one was used instead)

It was a lot of hard work but it was well worth the effort as my boy loved it and I had also saved my hubby from self destruction by helping him finish up the nutella.

These are the steps:
1. Baked Nutella Butter cake (Happy Home Baking Nutella Butter Cake Recipe or see below if you are using a spatula to cream)
2. Cut and arrange the rocket
3. Coat rocket with Nutella Ganache (see below for recipe)
4. Coat the sides of rocket with orea biscuit crumbs
5. Decorate with M&Ms

Nutella Ganache
Ingredients :
1 cup Nutella
1 cup heavy cream

Method :
Melt the Nutella and cream over low heat, stirring constantly, until smoothly blended.
Let it cool.

Nutella Butter Cake
225g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 salt
85g butter, soften at room temperature
3 tablespoons Nutella spread
150g sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt

1. Preheat oven at 180 degC. Line bottom of a 20cm (8″) round pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides of the pan, set aside.
2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Mix together yoghurt and vanilla essence.
4. With an electric mixer spatula, beat butter and nutella for 1 min.
5. Gradually add in sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 mins. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl periodically.
6. Dribble in the eggs slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beat constantly for about 2 mins.
7. On low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture. On high speed, beat in the remaining yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in the rest of the flour mixture. Fold in flour mixture alternating with the yoghurt mixture in 3 separate additions.
8. Pour batter into into prepared pan, smooth the top evenly with a spatula.
9. Bake for about 45 ~ 50mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pan for 10 mins before unmold. Invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.


First Bake in Paris (Choco Nutella Muffins)

Who would have guess that baking in Paris would have been such a challenge. For the last 2 weeks, I have been trying to source for the things I need for baking as I had practically leave all my baking supplies in Singapore.

Baking utensils were absurdly expensive and getting the right ingredients was like playing a game of Pictionary. I have to rely on pictures, to find clues on what I was buying. You may think that the French are best known for their pastries, thus baking should probably be popular or at least it should be fairly easy to find baking supplies in supermarkets. Apparently that wasn’t the case, I searched through 3 supermarkets, one of them Carrefour, and they only have a small section selling baking supplies. I am sure it was worse than NTUC back home.

We are so used to the American recipes that we assumed that everyone else in the world use the same ingredients. The truth is, no, at least not for the french and if not for David Lebovitz, I would have
– substitute brown sugar with Daddy’s coffee sugar
– never expected that those pink sachets I saw at Monoprix that look more like artificial sweetener for diabetic patients were actually Baking Powder
– never realised that the TYPE stated on the packaging of farine de blé (flour of corn) is of such great signifance. Read it at Wikipedia if you can figure out the french.

I miss my handheld mixer, cookie sheet, muffin trays, electronic weighing machine, oh and Poon Huat, the Red Man shop.

So with a manual mixer, disposable muffin cups and whatever ingredient I could gather, I baked these …

Chocolate Nutella Muffins

doesn’t look very good as I didn’t have a muffin tray to hold them in shape, otherwise these nutella filled choco muffins are really soft. Thanks to Pauline, else I wouldn’t have tried muffin recipe that requires yogurt as I can’t imagine having ‘sourish’ muffins. It was a good chance to secretly add some fruity yogurt to Mal’s diet.

I got the recipe from RecipeZaar but I did some improvisation and also cut down the amount of sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup. They still taste sweet. Mal loves them and I will definitely bake these again.

1 3/4 cup regular sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (or in my case farine de blé Type 65)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1 egg
1 cup plain low fat strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
100 mg butter (melted) vegetable oil
12 teaspoons nutella (can use more if you want more filling)

1. Pe-heat oven to 200’C/400’F.
2. Place caster sugar in a bowl and add all other dry ingredients which have been sifted together.
3. Stir to mix well.
4. In another bowl combine the egg, yoghurt, milk and vanilla.
5. Pour into the midle of the dry ingredients and then add vegetable oil.
6. Mix together gently.
7. Place mixture into paper muffin cups to come just over halfway up the tins.
8. Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella into the middle of each (or place a square of chocolate in) and then cover with another spoonful of muffin mixture.
9. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until muffins are cooked and well risen.
10. Remove from oven but leave in tins for 5 minutes before removing muffins from tin to cool on a rack.
11. Sift over some icing sugar if desired (optional)

Make 12