Friday, October 01, 2010

A girlfriend's birthday cake

I bought two new cooking books recently. What's surprising is that:

1) I rarely ever buy cooking books, most of the time I borrow books from the library and scan the recipes I like to keep as jpeg files in my laptop.

2) The books are in Chinese! (Okay, one is fully in Chinese, the other is English/Chinese). Although I scored A1s for my O AND A levels (don't ask how I did it, I really have no idea), my Chinese is actually pretty sub-par and it's been so long since I last wrote any Chinese characters that most of the time, I find myself forgetting how to write even the most basic characters...(I'm always fearful that I'll forget how to write my own name in Chinese. Haha). I mean, I can read Chinese pretty okay, just don't ask me to write, so to buy the Chinese cookbooks is really a rarity indeed. It's just that I love layered cakes desserts and most of the pretty intricate looking entremets cookbooks are all in Chinese (or Japanese or French, which sadly I know neither). Thus, it can also be that reading the books I buy will allow me to brush up on my Chinese reading? :)

Anyway, exactly a month ago, it was one of my best girlfriend's birthday. Since I've been baking a cake for most of my besties this year for their birthdays, this was no exception. She, who doesn't like sweets stuff muchos, will probably suit a fruity cake yeah? And looking through one of my new books, I decided to make a grapefruit mousse cake.

Leftover miniature cakes...
...piled high with red red rubies.

I was going to add in a mandarin gelee layer in between the cake layers, but somehow, my gelee leaked (I set it in my 6 inch square ring) and I was left with...nothing. :( Ok, so scrap that idea, I manage to cut out one small flower from the mess and saved it for decoration. As for the final decoration, I added slightly more pomegranates after taking the photo above as it was looking quite bare. Haha. I love pomegranates and since there was a pomegranate fruit in the fridge, I decided that it shall be my decoration for the cake! Love the bright red colour of the fruit.

I liked the chewy coconut dacquoise (though one of the girlfriends said she prefer a traditional cake base texture, than the chewy dacquoise). The grapefruit mousse was a little bland though, luckily there were still the grapefruit segments embedded within the mousse to give it a slightly sweeter taste. I replaced the top yogurt mousse layer with a lemon mousse recipe from Tartelette as I do not normally buy plain yogurt and mascarpone cheese, which were ingredients needed for the mousse in the original recipe. I must say I didn't like the lemon mousse. It tasted very strong and overpower the delicate tasting grapefruit mousse beneath it. It had an almost cheesecake (?!?!) taste to it. A first recipe that I used from Tartelette that I didn't like! Wow.

It was my first time decorating with chocolate and I used white chocolate (to match the decoration theme of light pastels). I didn't temper it, but instead I used a way Evan had suggested before - just melting down the chocolate and then using it. I used Valhrona chocolate cos I just bought a box of it and I had fun playing with the chocolate. I think because I didn't temper it, the chocolate kept melting after it was removed from the fridge. I had trouble transporting the cake - from my house to work, fridge it, then after work brought it to meet my girls. I did check up periodically on the cake and when the edges of the chocolate curled, I tried to "straighten" it again using a knife, and the kind staff at Shokudo offered to keep the cake in the fridge while we had our dinner. :)

No more besties birthdays for the rest of the year! *phew. Now, how shall I find an excuse to bake another entremet??? Ok, no worries, there's still my own birthday...then again, I'm not sure if I want to bake myself a cake...haha!

11 comments:

  1. So delicately pretty! Sorry the gelee didn't work out, but it looks fantastic anyway =D. Wish my Chinese reading skills were existent at all so I could try more Chinese recipes. Maybe I could just get mom to translate...

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  2. pretty cake! but why u nv take a photo of the insides, i wanna see :( haha, this method of doing choc is good for small amounts, i like it. i'm not sure if its considered tempering but it should work. the only reason why i think it can't hold its shape might be becoz you've spread them too thinly. i actually spread quite a thick layer when i'm doing choc decors so they wouldn't break or bend. another reason might be you overmelted the choc. if its melted to the correct temp, when u lift it up it shouldnt flow down. if you've overmelted then just add abit more choc and remelt the whole thing :) anyway i feel that its trickier to handle couverture choc so when i do choc decors i tend to like to use compound choc instead. its not gd la but who cares, its just the decor haha. maybe compound choc has a higher % of veg fat thats why.

    say, did i influence u somewhat to start yr chinese cookbook collection? HAHA. i only wish there are more books, alot of good ones arent translated to chinese at all. sigh, i really want the hidemi sugino. we shd go kino nx time, i'll show u the book and you'll sure wanna buy!!!!!!

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  3. Hi Chelle, I hope you don't mind, but I followed you from another foodies blog! I wanted to say, I have trouble with gelee too, it seems so temperamental compared to chocolate. I wanted to ask, I'm unable to find the tab-single-cake servings (which goes underneath the single cake).

    They have the un-tabed (is that a word)? hehehere, but personally, it's hard to life out of the box, any advice?

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  4. xiaolu: yeah chinese books are really good, can either brush up on ur reading skills or get someone to help u hee. :)

    evan: ha cos by the time i rmb, all the cakes were gone, so no innards shot heh. i see my deco were all quite thin maybe thats why...oh what u mean by melt it so it wouldnt flow down? oh oh and can use compound choc to melt? i tot the quality not so gd thats why nv use :( haha. where to get compound choc? haha i was alr interested in chi books, just didnt buy, well u propelled me to the direction somewhat haha ;) yep, we shld go kino again soon! more book shopping haha.(:

    girl paraphernalia: hey u have a really cool website, wish i was more like u to go do what i really want instead of being stuck in an office job... are u talking about the golden cardboard tt goes under the cake slice? i got mine from a local baking supplies store, perhaps you can check out your local supplies store? or u can even use like a paper doilie so that it's easier to transport around? :)

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  5. Hi there Chelle, thanks so much for checking out my site, I only had it up for a few days = )

    I was stuck in a job (jobs) but now that I live out of my comfort zone, I've had to take the bull by the horns and just jump in with a business/venture, literally -- for a more sound state of mind.. hehe I gradually though put more into it, little by little.

    Have you thought about opening up a shop? You are Very, and truly talented!!!!

    Thanks so much for helping me , the golden cardboard, yes, that's it. I ordered some from the shops here online but I can't find the one's with the tab.. I might import them if I have too, where you bought yours, do they have an internet shop?

    Again, you are truly talented!!!

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  6. So pretty! I love the pomegranate seeds and the white chocolate petals as your decor...very giriy!

    This recipe is a little intimidating for me and you did it so well! Did you half/quarter the recipe?

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  7. Yuuuumey we'll bake a cake for your bday hahahaha

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  8. I would definitely enjoy getting a cake like this for my birthday. It's so delicate and pretty and probably is extra delicious to boot.

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  9. Ade and Sy: really? u guys really gonna make me a cake??? (: (: (:

    Allie: i think i third it lol. it's easy the components (tho i cant say for the yogurt mascarpone mousse since i skipped it)

    Lisa: thanks :)

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  10. Hi there Chelle, thanks so much for checking out my site, I only had it up for a few days = )

    I was stuck in a job (jobs) but now that I live out of my comfort zone, I've had to take the bull by the horns and just jump in with a business/venture, literally -- for a more sound state of mind.. hehe I gradually though put more into it, little by little.

    Have you thought about opening up a shop? You are Very, and truly talented!!!!

    Thanks so much for helping me , the golden cardboard, yes, that's it. I ordered some from the shops here online but I can't find the one's with the tab.. I might import them if I have too, where you bought yours, do they have an internet shop?

    Again, you are truly talented!!!

    ReplyDelete