Thursday, 27 September 2007

All That Baking!

I have been baking nothing but cakes for the past few days...after my attempt on chiffon cake, I tried another French-style yogurt cake.


This is my third yogurt cake so far, and I followed this Grapefruit Yogurt Cake from Foodbeam. This recipe is quite similar to the Lemon Yogurt Cake I made two weeks ago.


It's supposed to be a very straight forward and easy cake...children in France learn how to make this cake when they are 4! And yet, once again, this yogurt cake didn't turn out that well. Although this time round I used an oven thermometer to make sure that my oven temperature was correct, the texture of the cake was quite dense, almost the same texture as the lemon yogurt cake ***sigh***

Anyway, I'm gonna try it another time as I am keen to get it right. It's such a simple cake that can be whipped up in no time, and it's great to bring along for dinner parties.


I made this Chocolate Torte for a friend who has lately been clocking 14 hrs each working day. I was glad that the cake came out from the oven with a slightly sunken top and a crackly, crusty surface. This meant that the cake was baked to near perfection!

I dusted it with some icing sugar and brought it over to my friend's office in the late morning. She shared it with her colleagues and I was told the cake was moist and chocolaty. Three quarter of it was gone by noon time and she didn't manage to get a second piece before it was all snapped up.


This is the third cake which I made yesterday. It's a Green Tea (Matcha) Pound Cake. Upon a prompt by a fellow blog visitor, Yvonne, I bought a new bottle of matcha powder which is suitable for baking. The product is made in Japan and I have been waiting to try it. I have also gotten a can of azuki red bean paste from Daiso which has been sitting in the cupboard for quite some time. I followed this pound cake recipe from a Japanese cookbook which uses both green tea powder and azuki beans.

I didn't follow the exact steps called for in the recipe. For example, it's stated that after creaming the butter and sugar, one egg yolk should be added in gradually, beat till fully mixed, before adding the egg white, and repeat the same procedure for the other egg. I took the easy way, simply lightly beaten the two eggs before adding in slowly into the batter. It is also recommended that the cake should be taken out from the oven after 5 mins of baking to make a slit in the centre. What I did was, after spreading the batter evenly, I made a slit in the middle of the batter with my spatula before popping it into the oven. Somehow, the cake still managed to crack in the centre and a nice slit was formed during baking.



I guess the amount of green tea powder used is not really sufficient as the colour of the cake was not green enough, in fact, it was quite an unpleasing brownish green!! It could also due to the green tea powder as Yvonne had also pointed out that it will not yield a bright green finishing. The taste of the cake was all right, nothing very fantastic, just like a usual butter cake. The red bean paste was not overly sweet, and I could almost taste a hint of the green tea powder.

Ingredients:

120g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon green tea powder
100g sugar
100g butter, bring to room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200g red bean paste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degC. Grease and line a 7 x 17 x 6.5cm loaf pan. Sieve together flour, baking powder and green tea powder, set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs gradually, mix well after each addition.
  4. Sieve over the flour mixture in 3 separate additions. Each time, gently fold with a spatula until flour mixture is fully incorporated into the batter.
  5. Spread 1/3 of the batter evenly into loaf pan, spread a layer of red bean paste on the batter. Cover with 1/3 of the batter and spread another layer of red bean paste. Spread the remaining 1/3 of the batter. Smooth the batter evenly and make a slit in the centre (length-wise) with the tip of the spatula.
  6. Bake for 35 ~ 40 mins or until the cake turns golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

    Recipe Source: Delicious!! Baked Cakes, Ikuko Omori

56 comments:

  1. Yummy, this green tea cake looks great. I saw some other great green tea recipes if you want to try at Teavalize. Scroll down to the bottom and you can see other ideas.

    http://www.teavalize.com/teavalize-cooking.php

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  2. Wow!! Your yoghurt cake looks so yummy! I can almost taste the tanginess and dense-ness of e cake jus looking at the pic!! Can share wat camera u using?Keke! Tks!!

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  3. Wow...all look good! My fave is the pic at the bottom...looks like the slices have eyes und lips..hehe

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  4. Hi anonymous, thanks for the link =)

    Cataleya, I am using a Canon Powershot G3, 4 megapixels.

    Nana, yes I noticed that too! It reminded me of some aliens ;)

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  5. I was looking for a simple recipe on butter cake and came across your blog..

    Your Yogurt Cake looks so yummy!

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  6. Nice! the yoghurt cake looks yummy!

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  7. Hi,

    My friend recommended your blog to me when she & I tried to bake/make Cheesecake. I find you very creative and you have a wonderful blog settings, your pix are wonderfully taken.

    I would like to ask, how do you create the things under each cat: 'My bread basket', 'Cakes', etc, with an arrow?

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  8. I have to bake the yogurt cake! It looks divine.

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  9. Confession: I am in love with your chocolate torte. Really! I just love the crusty surface. Perfect.

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  10. Hi Shannon's Mummy, thanks for visiting :) Shannon is such an adorable child...what a pretty little princess!

    Bakeastory, thanks!

    Ningxutan, thanks for dropping by! The little arrows at the side bar come with the template...I used "Rounders" which is provided by Blogger.

    Gigi, do try it! I am sure you can bake a better one! My cyberfriend has tried it many times and the cake is very well received by her friends.

    Ovenhaven, do try out this recipe. I love this cake! The crumb is very "fine", kind of melt-in-the-mouth...I used carrefour's housebrand dessert chocolate...I am sure it will taste even better if you use good quality chocolates!

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  11. Everything looks super tasty!

    I like the idea of green tea & sweet bean cake. To lighten the color, I normally add some coloring since the green tea color does not always come through...

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  12. Thanks. I have tried out other template.

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  13. Everything looks delicious! I'm really interested in making the yogurt cake, if you want I'd be willing to troubleshoot the cake for you... i'll see what i'll come up :)

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  14. Hi Anne, thanks so much for your offer to help =) I can think of three possibilities: (1)the yogurt I used, I didn't use Greek yogurt, just normal Marigold non-fat yogurt; (2) I converted from cups to grams, the measurement could be off; and (3) the way I mix the batter...somehow I could sense that something is not right while mixing the dry ingredients to the wet ones. However, my cyberfriend has no problem with the mixing...she mix the batter in several ways, and each time, the cake turned out beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing your yogurt cake :D

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  15. I actually think your yoghurt cake looks quite perfect, really!

    I'm not a fan of azuki beans, though, which is going to be a problem if ever I go to Japan. Too bad as all those gorgeous wagashi are made from it!

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  16. You have been a very busy baker! It all looks delicious.

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  17. hi Manggy, if the yogurt cake is not so dense, it'll really be perfect :)
    I grow up eating red bean paste...although not really the Japanese kind of azuki beans. I am jus the opposite, I don't really fancy wagashi...but they certainly look very lovely.

    Thanks Lynn :D

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  18. hello , home baker can i ask u , if we dont have the bread machine can we still make the bread? like use just the mixer and the oven?

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  19. Hi Happy Homebaker

    Your yogurt cake looks yummy! Don't seem too dense to me. I like green tea and your green tea pound cake! I just bought a can of azuki beans from Daiso recently, will try it out one day. :)

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  20. Hi Cindy, you can use a mixer which is heavy-duty, stand-alone type(not the hand-held type) to knead the bread and bake in the oven. You can always use your hand to knead the bread too :)

    Aimei, besides the green tea pound cake, you can also give the yogurt cake a try :)

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  21. Ooh, that's funny, I've a recipe for a green tea cake that I've been meaning to try for ages! Maybe you'll have finally pushed me into it ^__^

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  22. Hi, do you know where to get green tea powder in spore? Thanks!

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  23. Hi Yola, I got it from the basement supermart at Isetan Scotts. I have also seen it at NTUC Bishan Junction 8 (you can look for it at the Jap food section). It comes in a small green bottle, you can see a photo of it here : (http://www.amazon.com/Ujinotsuyu-Matcha-Hagoromo-Natural-Recipes/dp/B000FNJ5JO). Hope this helps.

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  24. I think I pretty much get why you didn't get a great texture - it has all to do with the yogurt you chose to use.
    While I generally don't advise to use low-fat yogurts as it has a great impact on the texture, I know it sort of works so that fine. But NON fat yogurt! That's a big no ;) Especially if the yogurt contains gelatin (plain yogurts don't contain gelatin in france, but when i was in new zealand i found it hard to find yogurts that didn't had gelatin).
    So what I suggest is that you get yourself some nice, full-fat (and gelatinfree) greek yogurt. Nothing can top that.

    xxx

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  25. Thanks Fanny for your advice! I'll try it again when I lay my hands on some Greek yogurt. and thanks for dropping by =)

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  26. HHB,
    Can you look at my chocolate torte, why so diff from yours? Is it because I did not use Parchment paper & used non-stick pan instead?

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  27. Hi Ningxutan, are you referring to your birthday cake or the Shann's cake? What are the differences you are referring to? I noticed that your birthday cake is lighter in colour, as you didn't use dark chocolate (I used Carrefour's housebrand, min 50% cocoa content). Other than that I don't seems to be able to spot any differences. Non-stick pan should be fine.

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  28. HHB,
    I'm refering to the crusty surface that I did not achieve!

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  29. Hmmm, I am really not sure what went wrong? If u followed they recipe closely, then it could likely due to the oven temperature.

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  30. Hi HHB

    I tried this green tea pound cake last friday. the taste was great! juz that the red bean paste all sank to the bottom of the cake:( do u know why that happened?
    thks

    octopusmum

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  31. Hi Octopusmum, I am not sure what happened as I didnt have that problem. Did u put in one third of the batter, then spread some red bean paste, cover with another one third of the batter, spread the remaining half of the red bean paste before topping off with the rest of the batter?

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  32. HI HHB

    wow, thks for the prompt reply... i followed the instructions ie to put in one third of the batter first then the bean paste etc...in fact, i followed the original instructions which is to add in the egg yolk and egg white separately. anyway, i noticed i have this problem most of the time when the recipe calls for dried fruits...the dried fruits would tend to sink to the bottom.
    it is okay, the final pdt is still edible:)

    thks
    octopusmum

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  33. Hi Octopusmum, ok for dried fruits...u will need to dust them with some flour...just make sure the fruits are lightly coated with flour before adding into the batter...this helps to prevent them from sinking.

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  34. HI HHB

    thks for the tip, will take note of that in future...

    regards
    octopusmum

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  35. Hi, your yogurt cake looks delicious, would like to give it a try. May i know in the recipe, how to convert the cups to "gram" as i'm very confusing when they measures it in cups. Thanks!

    1/2 cup of yogurt
    1 1/2 cups of plain flour
    1 1/8 cups of caster sugar
    3/8 cups of vegetable oil

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  36. Hi Carol, you can try using the online conversion:
    (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cookingconversions.asp?Action=find)
    I have problem with this yoghurt cake recipe...I tried a few times, and each time the cake turned out quite dense and kueh like. I suspect it could be due to the conversion from cups to grams :(

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  37. Hi HHB,

    I was wondering, how do you get that nice brown crust on the top of your green tea azuki pound cake? I tried your recipe but the top of mine was like the rest of the cake, just slightly browned. I had left it in for 40 minutes and followed the recipe pretty closely; do you know what might have gone wrong?

    Thanks~
    chika

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  38. Hi Chika, I followed the recipe and the top of the cake came out brown. I guess it has to do with your oven/oven temperature. Did you preheat your oven? Is your oven temperature stable/accurate. My oven is not stable, and I have to depend on an oven thermometer...I always have to set the temperature higher by 20degC as the temperature starts to fall once I place the cake inside the oven. I'm not sure whether I have answered your doubt?

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  39. Hi happy homebaker..i really love your blog!! i bet your goodies taste YUMMY :) Well i'd love to try this recipe as it sounds heavenly but 100g of butter seems a lot..haha..for ppl watching their weight, do u think i can half the butter, will the effect be ok?

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  40. Hi Jayna, thanks for your kind words. I am afraid you can't reduce the amount of butter. Do stick to the recipe, maybe you just take one slice and share the rest of the cake with your family members?

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  41. I see, ok I'll try that soon :) My baking 'adventures' always turn out rubbery and a bit disastrous cos i always try to find fat free recipes, haha. Oh does the normal Japanese green tea powder for drinking work? Is it the same?

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  42. Hi Jayna, I am not sure which brand of green tea powder you are referring to...but I am using this brand (http://www.amazon.com/Ujinotsuyu-Matcha-Hagoromo-Natural-Recipes/dp/B000FNJ5JO). Which I bought at Isetan Scotts supermarket, and I have also seen it at Junction 8's ntuc outlet.

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  43. i've been using NESTEA green tea powder (for drinking) to bake cookies and cake, but the end product is never green! Am I using the wrong 'matcha'? I thought all green tea powder is the same. :(
    the colour of your green tea pound cake looks so good!

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  44. Hi Joannehooy, Japanese matcha is different from the green tea powder you are using. I used this brand of matcha powder: (http://www.amazon.com/Ujinotsuyu-Matcha-Hagoromo-Natural-Recipes/dp/B000FNJ5JO).

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  45. Hi HHB,
    Ur pound cake looks great! I didnt realise u've a pound cake recipe! Its really a pity that i followed the recipe from a cookbook that i borrowed from the library instead of yours. It turned out to be a disaster! Anyway that's the 1st time i'm trying a pound cake n it failed horribly, the crust cracked n it's hard. taste more like the "traditional steamed ji dan gao" n it's still sitting in the fridge after 2days..
    Anyway jus to share with u the recipe maybe u can share some advice...

    here's the original recipe (i halved the recipe as my baking pan is smaller)
    825ml cake flour
    1 1/2tsp baking powder
    1/4tsp salt
    250ml butter
    500ml sugar
    4 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    300ml milk
    the method is to combine flour, BP n salt. Then cream butter n sugar till light n fluffy. add 1 egg at a time n beat well. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture alternating with milk, mixing on low speed until jus blended. Transfer to pan n bake for 60mins.

    Btw i notice this recipe uses alot of flour, n the final batter is quite thick, abit more flour n its going to the "dough" type of texture, unlike muffin/cake batter with flowing consistency.. n i bake for 60 mins. At abt 50mins i checked with a skewer n the inner part is still sticky so i let it bake till full 60 mins..

    Btw, remember i shared that i tried ur Milk Loaf recipe n it did not rise till size double? I tried it again n it rise perfectly well, n i used it to make small hot dog, otah rolls, etc... Thanks! :)

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  46. Hi Hui,
    Did you get the measurement right? I don't think the flour is measured using ml? It is either by grams or by measuring cups(meant for dry ingredients, not those for measuring liquid ingredients).

    The method you have described is the standard way of making pound cakes.

    How did you manage to get the bread dough to rise this time? Have you found out the reason why it didn't rise the first time you tried? Hope you have a fun time baking away :)

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  47. Hi HHB,
    Its been a long time since i last visited ur blog cos i have not baked since my failed pound cake experience.. hehe..

    The measurements are given as above in the book that i borrowed from the library, i've returned it n i cant remember the title of the book anymore.. i'm quite sure it's stated in ml in that book.. so any idea how to convert dry ingredients from ml to grams?

    Oh ya, as for the rising of the bread, i read from another book (Title: The clueless baker) is to put a cup of water in the microwave for a few mins until its hot, then push the cup of water to a corner and put the bread dough(covered with cling wrap as usual) into the same microwave oven (without turning the oven on) and close the oven door. This way, it provide warmth and moisture for the yeast to "grow".. I tried a few times n i'm glad it worked well for me.. =)

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  48. Hi HHB, saw your green tea pound cake.

    Do you happen to know any good recipe for chocolate pound cake, something similar to Sara Lee taste (those available at supermarket)?

    If so, can you share with me? :)

    Smiles...

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  49. Hi Homegirl, I have not tried making any chocolate pound cake, sorry I am of not much help.

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  50. It is ok. No worries. :)

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  51. I just tried the green tea cake last night -without the green tea (which I do not have ready access too) and it turned out really well. It was also my first time trying to make red bean paste, which also (I think) came out pretty good as well. I had to trust that other's conversions from grams->cups was accurate online as my kitchen scale was broken, but even so it seemed to come out alright. The main thing for me is that I ended up cooking as about 25-40 degrees (F) lower than suggested. The suggested temperature resulted in browning around the edges of the batter after only 10 minutes in the oven.

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  52. Hi Leia, thanks for trying out this recipe :) Maybe your oven is on the 'hot' side. You can also try place a sheet of alum foil over the top of the cake when it starts to brown, this helps to prevent the top from over-browning.

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  53. That's a good idea. My oven is a little hot about half of the time that I use it. Old technology - it is solid but not predictable.

    I would just like to add that this recipe doubles very well. Given the quantity of red bean paste that I ended up making, I decided to double the cake recipe and bake two cakes at the same time. Even when doubled the cake was relatively fluffy and soft once baked. I took the end product around to a number of people I know locally and everyone enjoyed it - especially with a cup of hot coffee halfway through the afternoon.

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  54. Hi HHB,

    I have baked this green tea pound cake and have linked to yours in my blog. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  55. hi happy home baker,

    i've been exploring your blog for the past few days and i must say i'm enjoying it so much.. a friend recommended it to me about a week ago and i'm working my way through your posts! i love baking/cooking and i feel so inspired to try some of the recipes you've posted :D

    i am from singapore too and am currently living in australia.. just thought i'd give my two cents worth regarding a yoghurt cake. i've just baked a lemon yoghurt cake last week and the ingredients in the recipe i've used are almost similar, except for the quantity of yoghurt, which was 250g and i believe that should be way more than half a cup. i thought the cake was quite moist and it wasn't dense, so perhaps you could increase the amount of yoghurt? it's just a guess, it was my first time making a yoghurt cake. i saw one of the comments about using full-fat yoghurt, but i actually managed to get a 99.8% fat free plain yoghurt that doesn't contain gelatine from the supermarket. i'm thinking it might be a bit hard to find it in singapore though.. so maybe full fat yoghurt is still the way to go..

    anyway it has been a real pleasure looking through your entries. i'll comment more and let you know when i've actually tried out something :)

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  56. Hi joyful, thanks for your kind comments :)
    I have long given up on making yoghurt cake ;) Thanks for your tip, will certainly take note of it if I were to make this again. looking forward to hearing from you :D

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