Friday, March 13, 2015

Chocolate Almond Cake

Julia Child's recipe. Pardon me for the short and to the point post. I am so in a hectic situation lately. Will update this post once I got the chance to do it. Highly recommended! It is soft, moist, dense, chocolate-y and oh my gosh addictive!

Chocolate Almond Cake

Ingredients :

For the cake:
113 grams dark cooking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons coffee
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (132 grams) + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup (35 grams) almond flour/meal
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup (57 grams) cake flour, sifted

For the icing:
113 grams dark cooking chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons coffee
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Slivered almonds, for garnish

To make the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Butter and flour an 20cm round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
2. Combine the chopped chocolate and coffee or run in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it's smooth. Set aside to cool.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 2/3 cup sugar until pale and creamy. Add the 3 egg yolks and beat until thick. Add the cooled melted chocolate. Stir in the almond extract and almond meal/flour and mix until just combined.
4. In a separate bowl and with a whisk attachment, whip the 3 egg whites and salt on high speed until foamy. Slowly add the tablespoon of sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
5. Add 1/4 of the whipped egg whites to the batter and fold gently until combined. Add and fold in the remaining whites in 3 additions, alternating with the sifted cake flour. Fold only until the streaks of egg whites disappear, do not overmix.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles when the pan is bumped, about 25 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

For Icing :
1. Combine the chopped chocolate and coffee or run in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it's smooth.
Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and use a whisk to beat it into the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
Let the icing cool to a spreadable consistency, stirring it every 5 minutes or so. It should take about 15-20 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Spoon the icing on top of the cooled cake and spread it to cover. Garnish with slivered almonds.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

I believe most of us know that tempura is a Japanese dish. Tempura is deep fried seafood or vegetable that are dipped into batter and enjoyed with special soy sauce. You can use any of your favorite seafood or vegetables. My favorite is shrimp, as for the vegetable I usually use green beans, cauliflower, spinach, and aubergine. Sweet potato also a good choice :D. All the vegetable should be cut into thin slices.

I've been trying to find good tempura batter recipe, as it looks simple but actually quite tricky to make. The ingredient is just flour and cold water. You can add salt, pepper or any of your favorite herbs. The key is to make the batter thin and light, and not to whisk vigorously, as the gluten will react and make the batter though. If you are using this recipe, you must immediately eat the tempura while it still hot/warm. As I am not adding any other chemical related ingredients to make it stay crunchy. It might not be as good as the store-bought one, but it is healthier at all cause. But, If you want to make it even simpler, use store-bought tempura mix, haha. 

In my opinion, as the batter is originally a little plain, the hero of the dish is the seafood, vegetables and ..the sauce! Make sure you are using fresh seafood and vegetables. Good tempura sauce really bring soul to this humble dish.

The sauce that I am making here is my version of tempura sauce, not authentic. I adjust it with my Indonesian tongue who always seeks for spice and herbs on every dish. I heard that the Japanese use daikon to their sauce, I also use it as I like daikon taste. But to give a little punch of flavor, I am adding 1 tsp of chopped onion. 


10 shrimps, peeled with tails on
1 aubergine, thinly sliced
1 bunch of cauliflower, cut the core
100 gr grean beans
Cooking oil for deep frying

25gr fresh daikon, wash clean, peel the skin and grate with cheese grater
1 tsp of chopped onion (Indonesia : bawang bombay)
1/2 tsp of fresh ginger, grated
5 tbsp of soy sauce (Indonesia : kecap asin)
30-50 ml water
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil

Batter recipe adapted from JTT
150 gr flour (I am using mix of all purpose and low protein flour)
200 ml cold soda water
1/2 tsp salt
6 ice cubes

1. Prepare all the prawn and vegetable, set aside.
2. Turn on your stove, medium heat. 
3. Mix the flour and salt with whisker, then add the soda water. Quickly mix with balloon whisker. Do not overmix, if there are still some small lumps, let it be. Very important not to overmix! Add 3 ice cubes, start to dip the vegetables into the batter, and deep frying the vegetables. Add in the rest ice cubes before frying the king prawn.