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cake decorating

In Cake, Recipe on
April 26, 2018

Matcha Black Sesame Cake

From my many years of bringing in sweet treats for colleagues at the Chinese restaurant I used to work at, I’ve realised that there is only really one compliment that you can get:

‘It’s not too sweet’

Never mind the time spent icing the sides perfectly on the cake, or the effort put into getting the perfect texture for the mousse. It’s the sweetness that really matters!

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In Cake, Recipe on
August 11, 2017

Red Velvet Cake

I can’t really say that I like red velvet cake- to be honest I really don’t understand the hype about a plain cake that is coloured bright red- but each to their own! Most of the cakes I make aren’t really for myself, so given how popular it is, I it was only a matter of time before a request would come up, so I needed a good recipe to have under my belt.

Whilst most recipes are a similar formulation made up of your usual cake candidates- flour, eggs, sugar, butter and of course red food colouring- I have settled for an oil based recipe rather than a butter one….. because a whole block of butter for the buttercream icing is really way more saturated fat than one needs in a serving (those who have followed this blog for a while will know I’m not particularly fond of working with too much butter!).

I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to ‘dump everything in a bowl and mix’ recipes as I haven’t had huge success with these recipes in the past, but I’m pleased to report this one worked a treat. It was a simple five minute job to whip up and the cake went down well with the family, who also aren’t red velvet fans either! I’ve added a bit of cocoa to the recipe to give it a bit of flavour, but leaving out the cocoa will give you brighter shade of red, if that’s what you’re after.

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In Cake, Recipe on
January 23, 2017

Cakes of 2016

As I mentioned in my first post this year, as much as I want to introduce a bit of nutrition onto this blog, I will still be posting some sweet treats. Because yes, they can be had- in moderation.

And because we really struggle to finish full sized cakes between our family of four, I find birthdays a great excuse to bake cake without having to worry about how I’m going to finish it off!

2016 was a bit of an exciting year for me, in that I think I’ve finally started to get the hang of decorating cakes. Not to a professional level by any means, but for the first time in my life, I achieved straight and slightly smooth sides on a cake and I could almost get away with saying that these cakes were purchased and not homemade. Almost.

These were originally going to be a separate post each, but it’s 2017 now and it’ll probably be 2018 by the time I get around to writing about each individually, so here’s a little bit of indulgence in one post!

My coconut lemon cake was the first of attempts and far from perfect. The butter cream curdled multiple times on me and I had to use chocolate everywhere to cover the cracks but it was definitely a good learning experience. The combination of the coconut poke cake layers and lemon curd filling were deliciously good match, although much too sweet.

I thought I’d try  something similar, this time with chocolate cake (which tends to have less of a failure rate for me) along with a chocolate drip not because it’s popular these days, but because it covers all the boo-boos. That, and everyone likes chocolate cake right?

I used my current favourite chocolate cake recipe, filled it with chocolate crémeux, and iced with coffee swiss meringue buttercream to make a decadent mocha drip cake. We only got through half the cake because it was much larger than I thought it’d be, but it was definitely a winner.

Because we struggled to finish a 20cm cake between 12 people, I thought I’d start downsizing to 14cm for my white chocolate vanilla cake, which I made with my trusty sour cream pound cake recipe for the cake layers and iced with whipped white chocolate ganache, which I found much more difficult to work with than my usually dark choc ganache. I really liked the watercolour effect for the icing, it really gives it the ‘wow’ factor, although the drip wasn’t as thick as I had hoped.

And lucky last, and quite a different cake for me, a vegan chocolate cake, using a recipe I had bookmarked about 7 years ago. It was rather challenging because of the limitations for the ingredients I could use. I had considered playing around with aquafaba but wasn’t sure if that would turn into a complete disaster, so I played it safe and covered the cake in Nuttelex buttercream and a dark chocolate drip. The chocolate cake turned out surprisingly well, although not quite as nice as my usual recipe. I probably won’t be turning to vegan baking any time soon but it was definitely a fun experience!

And that’s a wrap for 2016- here’s to more exciting and delectable cakes for 2017!

In Cake, Recipe on
November 30, 2016

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve only posted one cake recipe the whole year, so seeing as we are heading towards the end of the year, I thought it’d only be fitting that I start posting a couple more!

It’s not that I haven’t been baking at all, it’s just that it hasn’t been very often and not often successful. Surely no one wants to the cakes I burnt from when I accidentally turned the oven on to the ‘grill’ function instead of ‘bake’. I’m not even joking- it’s happened three times this year!

I tend to experiment quite a bit in the kitchen, and I love trying new recipes, new techniques, new ingredients etc etc. And because of the sheer volume of recipes I’ve bookmarked to try, I don’t tend to go back to recipes unless they’re really special and even then, it’s not often that I will reuse recipes. As a result, recipes that have been a hit in the family do get forgotten over time, and it’s not until I’m re-reading some of my older posts that I remember how good that particular recipe tasted.

This chocolate beetroot cake is one of the few that we’ve never forgotten as I have made over and over again, being my go to chocolate cake recipe. We don’t ever use beetroot in our cooking but we always have a few tins of beetroot in the pantry just for this particular recipe- it is that good!

I won’t blabber on about how good this recipe is- I’ve done it before here and here– but if you haven’t tried it out before, please do. You won’t be disappointed!

I made this particular cake as I had wanted to practice making a chocolate drip- I had attempted it once before and failed so I was determined to make it right this time. Unfortunately, I had left the chocolate glaze to cool a little too much so the drip failed once again, but thankfully not as miserably as last time.

But who cares about a failed drip when the cake tastes amazing? This recipe has never failed me and this time was no exception, although it did dry up after a few days in the fridge.

Next time I make cake, I’ll have to remember to invite a few friends over!

Beetroot Chocolate Cake Recipe
Serves 16
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
For the cake
  1. 190g dark chocolate
  2. 6 medium eggs
  3. 600g sugar
  4. 480ml sunflower or vegetable oil
  5. 600g cooked and pureed beets
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 60g cocoa powder
  8. 400g flour
  9. 3 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. For the chocolate ganache
  12. 500g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  13. 500ml heavy cream
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 f/180 C
  2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add the cooked beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just until combined.
  3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just until everything is combined. Don't over work or over mix the batter.
  4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of 3 x 10 inch cake pans. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tins. Bake for about 30 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using.
  5. While the cake is baking, work on the ganache frosting. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk till it forms a smooth sauce. Cool.
  6. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack. Meanwhile whip the cooled ganache until light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble the cake, arrange 1 layer on a cake stand or plate and spread 1/4 of the whipped ganache evenly over it. Top with another cake layer and 1/4 of ganache, spreading evenly, then third cake layer. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Berry Nutritious
In Cake, Recipe on
March 24, 2013

Fancy Chocolate Cake

We aim to live life without regrets, but there are lots of times in my life that I look back and wonder why there are things I didn’t just get done when I had the chance.

Right now for instance, I can look back at my high school days and wonder what on earth I was doing with my time. Perhaps I should have taken more time to participate in more extra-curricular activities, learnt a few more skills or something- just something a bit more useful!

Perhaps I should have actually bothered to learn how to ride my unicycle, instead of trying once and finding it too scary to try again, Then I wouldn’t have a unicycle in my garage collecting dust wondering how awesome it would be to ride it everytime I catch a glimpse of it.

Perhaps I should just have pressed ‘publish’ everytime I finished writing a blog post rather than deleting the whole thing the next day because it sounded silly to me. Then I probably wouldn’t have as many back logs waiting to be posted, many of which will never be published as I would have forgotten about them by the time I write about them.

And perhaps I should have made this cake years ago when I first saw the design in a cake brochure……because the first thought that crossed my head when I finished this cake was “Why didn’t I make this earlier?”

For anyone who’s ever bothered noticing the cakes at Michel’s Patisserie, you may notice that I pretty much copied the design straight from them. It’s a pretty easy cake to make, no fancy decorations involved- just straight sides and a simple icing border which I did manage to screw up but luckily it’s not too noticable.

Now if only I’d made more easy cakes like this earlier…….then I wouldn’t have a huge collection of cake decorating failures!! (:

As per usual, recipe will be up soon (along with the past few ones) as I’m on Easter break soon…..Yay! Hopefully I’ll also be able to fit in some cooking/baking during my week off 🙂 Any suggestions as to what I should make?