Sunday, February 21, 2010

East meets West

So this weekend I had a quiet one - only one small order on Friday (which I made a piano chocolate cake - see pictures).  So I used the opportunity to experiment with "chinese" style baking.  I have tried several recipes from blogs but have found them either flat out bad (did the people leave someone out?) or just a pain to make.

You see, here in North America, we are used to making larger cakes.  The 'usual' pan size are 8 or 9" round cakes...whereas the standard in most cakes I've seen in Hong Kong or Singapore seem to be 6" or even less sometimes.

Forget about using my mixer.  No wonder they use hand held mixer...It's not worth all that cleaning!!!

And there is the issue of we use cups, tablespoons and teaspons.  Easy.  Convenient.  I find it such a pain to have to measure all my ingredients in the scale...flour, vanilla, even eggs have to be weight!!!!  I have to say that is the what I dislike the most about these recipes.

And...most recipes seem to be just a change from the standard sponge cake - in other words, a lot of recipes are based on eggs...the main rising agent is eggs - beaten to a meringue.  The results?  very fluffy and rich cakes...but all spongy.  Very little flour is used, and some don't even use flour!

At any rate, I have lots to test with now.  just yesterday I received 3 baking books in the mail from my cousin in Hong Kong - amazing how the sizes differ - their cupcake recipes yield an average of 6 cupcakes while my recipes here yield at minimum 12...and Martha Stewards' cupcakes?  most of them 24-36 cupcakes!!!

Here are some pictures of what I did over the weekend.  I didn't take pics of the apple and Early Grey mousse cakes though...the Earl Grey cake came out ok, but not I get how to make the mousse cakes so I'll try it again one of these days...very easy actually -


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