Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Return To Aussieland

Much loved relatives from Aussieland had came to Malaysia, last month to pay grandma and all of the Wong's a visit. There were Uncle Richard, Aunt Liz and the other two young entertainers; Adam and Erica. The days spent was well-worth and memorable, especially with long-distance relatives which were closely related.

Had great fun with the two young adults; Adam and Erica. We do realized how old we were getting when we were with them - with the gap of 10 years. Both were the ones who entertained us and the pooches as well. Well, as we're typing this, Erica reminded us of a game pata pata pon and bee hives. On the other hand, Adam, with his groovy and relentless dance moves.

Futsal matches were held and the match itself might seems to be a little quirky, because dad was part of the players as well. It was funny and at the same time, an enjoyable match to date. One match that my aunts and us all would look forward to. The boys were having a blast on that night, no doubt. And we were surprisingly entertained, it was a fun outing nonetheless.

Having the time to bake some cupcakes though finals is just days ahead, little did we know that Erica do bakes and pipes too. Thus, the remaining mini chocolate cupcakes were left untouched. The untouched were then decorated and piped with colored buttercream - personally by Erica. While the other moist chocolate cupcakes were topped with Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Malteser Cake icing, and hence, the invention of the malted cupcakes.

The icing were malty and smooth, which goes well with any cupcake flavor for the matter. Paired up with the kids favorite moist chocolate cake , and voila - something new. Though the malty buttercream does not taste as chocolatey as we all have expected, it does really come off as a definite keeper for our up-coming cupcaking session.

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Malteser Cake's Icing (From Feast)
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

45g Horlicks powder

125g softened unsalted butter

2 tablespoons boiling water

* For the ones with processor: Put the icing sugar, cocoa, and Horlicks, in the processor, and blitz to remove all the lumps. Add the butter and process again. Stop, scrape down and start again, pouring the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running till you have a smooth buttercream.
* We were keen on using the electric mixer, hence, for the ones with electric mixer: Beat the softened butter until pale yellow in color in a medium bowl. Sift all the dry ingredients; icing sugar, cocoa powder and Horlicks powder, and add into the butter. Continue beating with the electric mixer. Scrape down and beat again for 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape down the cream from the sides of the bowl. Beat again, while mixing, add in the boiling water. Mix till incorporated or smooth at high speed - almost 5 minutes. Buttercream is ready to be used.

The buttercream was yummy. And shall we add in; glossy. Topped off the moist chocolate cake with a swirl of malted buttercream and dusted off with cocoa powder. The last attempt was the decors - decorated with cookie crispies. Cheap-skate-looking but all in all, the buttercream was the headline of the day.

So wanted to top each and every cupcake with a Malteser, but much were gone into the other cake; Strawberry And Maltesers Cake. Since we have quite an amount of edible roses; molded from dark chocolate, the intention to top the remaining frosted cupcakes were highly encouraged.

As for the Strawberry and Maltesers cake, it was a 3-inches tall cake with 2 layers of moist chocolate cake and a layer of vanilla sponge cake filled with maltesers, strawberry slices and cream chantilly. And lastly decorated with toasted halved pistachios and strawberries. The cake was generally part of Erica's idea. The voice of a young and up-coming baker. We were amused by her choice; why maltesers, strawberries and chocolate cake? Was told by her that she loves strawberries and maltesers. It would be a great combo we bet!

Everyone loves maltesers. Well, who doesn't? The outcome of the cake turned out to be good. We're happy for the reviews that we've gotten. Some say that it tasted something like a Black Forest Cake, the only difference is the fruits incurred.

Overjoyed that bad comments failed to exist on that particular day.
Good reviews do please us in every way, and we love comments and reviews. Highly appreciated! Now, at least, Erica has proven to us once again that part of her soul belongs to the kitchen. (*Grin*)

These much-loved people flew back to Aussieland on the first week of April. No doubt, we miss them soooooo much. Erica, if you're reading this, Uncle David wanted to say HI TO OBEAST. Take good care and may god blesses you guys in Aussieland. Xoxo.

Speaking of the very well-known Aussieland, which partly one of the preferable educational hub in the nation, there was once a special request for an airplane cake with Australia's flag from a dear friend. Was also informed that it was a gift to a girl which will be setting off to Aussieland soon, for furthering her studies. Dear friend insisted having the cake in 2D as 3D airplane cake will be time-consuming and troublesome. The thought of baking a 3D cake kept bugging the mind of one who've always had the intention to mold a 3D model out of a cake. Thus, came to a great conclusion, with a favored win-win situation, to 2.5D; which is an airplane cake that does look like one in some perspectives.

The request sounded simple and just right, an airplane cake with durian mousse and cream chantilly as the frosting - buttercream, marzipan and sugarpaste are definitely not welcomed in warmth. Mind kept wondering, if there's a need for a 3D mousse cake that needs to be frosted with sweetened whipped cream and refrigerated as it's filled with durian mousse, is there any possibility that the so-called airplane cake can be molded smoothly into a 3D piece of art? Plus, is there any chances that the set-up cake will melt and fall off into big chunky airplane-parts since the weather here is undeniably hot and warm. Can the airplane cake withstand the heat if chantilly cream were used?

We googled for reliable sources and information, none were applicable and mostly, fondant or our least favorite food of all, sugarpaste were highly recommended for most 3D cakes. To hell with it, we tried our hands on the chantilly cream. Crossed fingers were there all the time, and we remember that getting a smooth finish on the cake's surface was very stressful but fun; in a challenging way. First off, to kick start things, we baked the vanilla sponge and whipped up the durian mousse the day before - this includes the assembling of sponge layers and mousse into 2 square springform pan. We also molded the Australia flag, windows and logo for the airplane with colored white chocolate, since sugarpaste/marzipan/fondant were not in favor.

On the next day, the cakes were taken out from the fridge and from the springform pan. Then, the cutting and arrangement begins. We do not remember the details of how we got the shape of the airplane, but there's this tutorial which we found it really helpful when it comes to making a 2.5D airplane cake. 2.5D? Hmm... We've started off with crumb coat which is the first coating, with cream chantilly. Back to the freezer (not the fridge) for setting up period - almost 30 minutes. Then, here goes the second coat - with generous amount of cream chantilly to cover the imperfection and unfavorable flaws. Back to the freezer for 30 minutes again.

For the entire coating process, we tried to be very patient and at the same time, gentle. Then, after setting up for 30 minutes (approx) in the cool freezer, we smoothened the airplane surface with long spatula - that was the time when we got all stressed up. After a long hour, we proceeded to the molded from white chocolate's pieces.

The logo were adhered onto the airplane's tail, while the Aussie flag were placed onto the top of the tail. The Grey windows were placed onto the place that they should be in. Then, the piping of a pink fine line were piped in a horizontal line on the airplane's body. The remaining cream chantilly were tinted with blue coloring and piped with rounded tip nozzles to resemble the puffy looking clouds.

We were told to pipe the word "One yatch wind smooth" onto the 2.5D airplane cake. After everything were done, we quickly bring the fragile 2.5D airplane into the fridge. The good news was we got great reviews about the airplane cake. And now, the bad news, the airplane's tail had slipped off, might be the softened chantilly cream since the cream started to melt when it was exposed in room temperature. As for us, we might try our luck using buttercream the next time - for a change. And here's the 3D airplane cake tutorial; click here.