Monday, September 26, 2011

Fruity Sensation - Raspberry and Peach Cake

Raspberries are "wonderlicious" berries

Raspberry and peach cake

Side way of the cake

I always have a soft spot on fruits, especially raspberries and peaches. Both of them are definitely top of my list. I like the unique features of raspberries, as summarised by "they are delicately structured with a hollow core, with almost melt-in-your mouth texture". There are certainly many benefits of consuming Raspberries . I presume that raspberries are understated fruits compared to the other berries such as strawberries and blue berries. I wonder why we couldn't plant raspberries commercially in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia as they do with strawberries. Perhaps the Malaysian Agriculture Ministry should do something on this matter.
   On the other hand, the stone fruits- peaches are said to be native to Persia (now known as Iran), even though they have been cultivated in the early days of China. Sometimes, we tend to have confusion between peaches and nectarines. Apparently, peaches have fuzzy skin, where else nectarines are smaller and sweeter with reddish, smooth skin. It is said that a peach tree could bore nectarines as well.
    All right, back to this cake - I have decided to bake this cake due to its two ingredients- my favourite fruits of raspberries and peaches. I wanted to bring something different for my department's pot-luck party, and this cake fitted the bill. When I brought this cake this morning, my colleagues kept asking me what it was actually. They thought it was a pudding, as they kept guessing the actual ingredients, much to my own amusement. Well, I told them that it was all berries and peaches- fresh produce of USA (the raspberries) and CHINA ( the white peaches that I had used). The fresh produce were definitely worth the price, as opposed to canned goods. The use of the fruits in the cake, made the texture felt airy and light with a tinge of natural sweetness and a little bit of sourish taste, thanks to presence of raspberries. I definitely think that if you do not have the luxury of having raspberries in your local grocer, you could always replace them with strawberries with a little bit of lemon juice. Thus, I am sharing the recipe of this "wonderlicious" cake, so that everybody could try at home . To have a big cake as seen from the pictures, please double the amount of ingredients used.

The recipe ( originally from the Good Housekeeping book)


200g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease
250g self-raising flour, sifted
100g soft brown sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
125g raspberries ( you can put half of this amount)
2 large, almost-ripe peaches/ nectarines, halved, stoned and sliced ( I used peaches)
4 tbsp apricot jam/ conserve
juice of 1/2 lemon


Preheat oven 150c for about 8-9 mins- I did this.(The book stated -preheat oven 190c {170c fan oven} mark 5). Grease a 8 inch (20.5cm) cake tin (you can use springform cake tin) and baseline with baking parchment ( baking paper). Put flour, sugar in a large stainless steel bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the melted butter and eggs. Mix well. (Please use the hand mixer to mix them well, so that you wouldn't have any curdles in your cake mixture). Spread half the mixture over the base of the cake tin, add half the raspberries and sliced peaches. Spoon the remaining cake mixture, smooth over, then add the remaining raspberries and peaches, pressing them down in the mixture slightly. Bake for 1-1/4 hours until risen and skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for about 10 mins. Warm the jam and lemon juice together in a small pan and brush over the cake to glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The cake is glazed with warm apricot jam and lemon juice

Happy baking everyone, now it's the time to have some "fruits" in our cakes...

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Hummingbird For Two Little Girls

I became a kid when decorating cakes for the young ones

Words as written in Malay literally translated as Happy Birthday Wafaa and Hanis... Hummingbird cake topped frosted with cream cheese, topped with fresh cherries, colourful drizzles,sugar flowers, roasted pecans and red jelly.

My handwriting looked like a 4 year old, though (hahah .. funny)
I stick to my clientele's way of handscript...

I have started baking cakes again after a break of 3 months. Work has totally got into my nerves, and to find time just to bake something is just like a luxury. So, when my friend, Ms S asked me to bake  a Hummingbird for the birthday celebration of her two girls, I happily obliged-just to get away from my over-looming paper chase work commitment. For this time, I have put extra bananas and pineapple to get the nice-extra taste with lots of chopped roasted pecans. Cream cheese was not Phillys as it was out of stock, so I had used another brand -Elle and Vire of France.This brand was less soury than Phillys but it did not have the consistency of Phillys. But, since I was in desperation, I had decided to use it any way. Overall, it took me three hours to bake the cake and another two hours just to frost the cake. I went "naive" with the total outlook of the cake, just to cater to my "client's" age. Both girls were definitely two lucky girls as not many people had the chance to share the same birthday cake like they did. Well, a happy baker definitely baked a "happy cake"...

Of Syawal and Memories

"Beef rendang"- beef cooked in coconut milk, lemon grass,chilli and spices - A Malay delicacy for Eid

Deserted roads in Shah Alam on the first day of Eid- that's why Eid is best celebrated in "kampungs" or villages.

Grandma's china- Teapot set

My grandmother's heritage- vintage crockery

I have postponed this entry for quite some time. I needed time to settle some things, to do house chores and be prepared for work commitments. Now, we are in the middle of Syawal- the holy month when Muslims celebrate Eid. I always remember Syawal with a childlike fondness- and during the recent Eid- I have finally got to fulfill my longing to go back to my grandmother's house in Negeri Sembilan, even spending a few nights there. What a difference to me just to go back to my "kampung" - I feel happy just like the old times. Even if my grandmother has passed away for 20 years, I have always feel her presence. From the china that she had painstakingly collected during her life time, to her beef "rendang" recipe that I still made and her clothes still being kept in the wardrobe. I definitely feel my grandma's love. That's why I love Syawal in the "kampung", it reminded me of a lovely lady, who taught me that materials do not matter in terms of happiness. It is love that matters.. Well, at least when times are tough, we could always go back to our "kampung" and find our roots and ancestry lines, and feel the inner peace in our hearts....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...