last week i received a request for a cranberry cheesecake, and i admit i was quite intimidated because i’ve never worked with cranberries in cakes before. i’ve never come across frozen cranberries (probably in cold storage?) so i had to come up with something using dried ones.
the very nice lady who requested for this actually showed me a couple of recipes for the cranberry topping; i made a few modifications and it turned out fine. i just threw into a pot a packet of dried organic cranberries (i opted for this instead of craisins), water, sugar and a teaspoon of gelatine powder. the cranberries swelled sufficiently and the mixture was not too watery.
there’s something so appealing about this cake. i think it’s the striking red hues! i deliberately spooned the liquid around the perimeter of the cake and let it drip down the sides.
when i was younger, i used to balk at the idea of dates in cakes or any dessert for that matter. i even had issues eating dates on its own (it’s a good practice for muslims to have dates during break fast) but as age caught up, i’m starting to like it. i think it’s the cloying sweetness of some varieties of dates that puts me off, which is why i love a particular type called ajwa. it’s a bit drier than most types, hence the sweetness is a little muted. it doesn’t come cheap though – apparently it’s the most expensive of dates.
i only had sticky date cake (or pudding, depending on how it’s prepared) once earlier this year at the marmalade pantry and i was swept off my feet. it’s not a dessert you can readily find here. i was foodblog-hopping and came across a recipe, so i immediately called up my mum who was out shopping at geylang to get me some dates.
the cake was sufficiently spongy and moist, and because i increased the amount of dates to nearly 400g instead of the stated 300g, the flavour really came through. the butterscotch sauce could have been a little thicker, but no major complaints about that. maybe next time i shall try the steamed version.
oh yes, while we’re on the topic of dates… try a date milkshake sometime. 🙂
this cake was for a very dear friend. i wanted to try out a new cake recipe which was NOT chocolate, and i decided on nigella’s buttermilk birthday cake. baked the cake in two 8″ tins, and the layers were sandwiched with cream cheese frosting and diced juicy red strawberries.
the testimonial from the birthday girl was very encouraging – she claimed that her two brothers who are fussy about cakes wolfed it down, so i guess this recipe is a keeper.
from how to be a domestic goddess by nigella lawson:
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk (or 1/3 cup plain yoghurt mixed with 1/2 cup milk)
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1/2 cup soft butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1. preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. pour the buttermilk (or yoghurt and milk) into a deep bowl and stir in the vanilla.
2. cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. reduce the speed if using the mixer and add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between additions. add alternative increments of the flour mixture and the vanilla-buttermilk, blending well after each addition; this should take 3-5 minutes.
3. pour into the prepared pan (i used two 8″ inch tins; a 9″ round or square tin would be fine too i guess, or you could even make it in cupcake form) and bake for about 30-40 minutes (depending on the pan you use; cupcakes should be done in around 20) until a cake tester comes out clean.
4. cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmoulding to let cool completely. use your favourite frosting – decorating possibilities are endless!
sponge, bananas and nutella ganache
chocolate cake, peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache
chocolate cupcakes, cream cheese and buttercream frosting
chocolate cupcakes and buttercream frosting