Review: A quest for best Red Velvet in town – part 1

I noticed an increasing popularity of Red Velvet in town since last year,  almost every cake shop, coffee shop, cafe , even online shop sell this cake.

Although the  red color (various version of bright red to dark right, red brown) topped with cream cheese icing looks very attractive on the display,  yet I tried to resist the temptation with the reason : Too red to be true, which means some red food coloring is added and they are not good for health.

However the fateful day happen when I had lunch with fellow girl friends and we decided to share some cake for dessert, the majority ops for red velvet and I just go with the flow but then one bite is enough to made me helplessly fall in love with the cake. And nope the cake that I fell in love with was in this post (the cafe is located at other side of the town and I don’t have time to go and buy yet, so it will be posted in the later part)

Though some shops claimed that they used beets to enhance the color of their cakes and do not use food coloring, yet I believe some/little amount of coloring is added to get such color , but since I never try to make it, so I am not sure as well, probably you who know better can help to comment.

Anyway, below please find my personal opinion on those cakes that I had tried, and this is purely personal comment and no hidden campaign or sponsor by any brand.

     

 

1) Red Temptation by The Coffee Bean.

Price / slice : Rp 28,000 (approx USD $ 3 / slice)

First thing that I like from this cake is the size, it just perfect, not to big nor too thick and it look sweet and attractive with a dash  of red sparkles  on the top  and a stick of dark chocolate , it have some roasted almond slices at the bottom of the outer side. The 3 layered cake texture was sweet and moist while the cream cheese though was slightly sweet, still blend in well with the cake.

I love them with tea instead of coffee.

2) Via Red Velvet by  Starbucks

Price / slice : Rp 25,000 (approx USD $ 2.7 / slice)

I was attracted by the generous coating  of what I thought was nougat on the outer side of this  roll cake version . The cake itself was moist and not too sweet so the sweet vanilla cream balance it. If only they used a nougat instead of  roasted peanut then it will be perfect (the roasted peanut taste too plain and without any sweetness and they were a bit soft, might due to the chiller).

Nevertheless it was value for money and goes well with Caramel latte.

3) Red Velvet by Michel’s patisserie

Price / slice : Rp 25,000 (approx USD $ 2.7 / slice)

I saw a long queuing at the counter so the cake must be good , I bought 2 pieces the red velvet and rainbow cake (post separately at later time).

The 4 layered  cake  topped with creamy cheese cream and red sparkles, it  had  light texture and not too sweet .The cream cheese  has light salty taste and a bit too light to my liking where personally I think did not balance the cake. If only they add some other topping  because to me the overall cake was rather plain, just cake and cream cheese with no element of surprise. Nevertheless this cake is suitable for those who prefer the less sweet cake.

4) Red Velvet Whoopie Pie by Kitchenette

Price / slice : Rp 25,000 (approx USD $ 2.7 / slice)

At a glance this pie look like a giant macaroon. The pie itself was soft inside and rich in taste and not too sweet, you can really feel the lingering of red velvet taste after a bite. The cream cheese as you can see from the photo, was firm and thick and have rich cheese  taste which really match the pie.

5) Red Velvet by Delika

Price / slice : Rp 18,000 (approx USD $ 1.9 / slice)

I was attracted to the unusual outlook of this red velvet cake. Instead of red sparkles or nougat which are the common in many red velvet, this version was decorated with dried coconut flakes (at first I thought they were white chocolate) and a rose shaped chocolate which initially I thought was made of icing.

The cake is very stable in the form and texture, love the great balance between the cake and the cream cheese, and the coconut flakes did a great job to enhance the taste. The chocolate rose can taste better if they use a better quality  chocolate.  However can’t bee too demanding considering the relatively low price that they charge 🙂

6) Red Velvet by Brussels Spring

Price/ slice : Rp 27,500 (approx USD $ 2.9 /slice)

At a glance to my photo this  square shape red velvet might look bigger and thicker than the one by Delika , but I can assure you that the actual cake was not as big as what it looks, my apology for the close up angle. However if you found that the top layer was thicker than the bottom layer, that was true case and not because of the camera angle.

First bite of the cake told me that both cake texture and the cheese cream were rather firm/stiff and tasteless, I guess it might due to 2 things , either the chiller temperature was too high and caused the stiffness or the cake had been  sitting in the chiller for more than a day. I kind of a bit suspicious because I saw some red stain from the cherry on the whipped cream, don’t think that a preserved cherry can stain that fast but then again I am not professional so it can be only my guessing, perhaps any reader who have more experience in baking or cake making  can share some comment.   I wait for a while for the second bite to see if I can get the right taste and  found that the cake texture was quite moist and the cream cheese actually slightly salty with a quite strong cheese taste, so it was not tasteless after all.

To be continue to part 2

Stay tuned…

Bento # 42 : My Birthday Bento

It was a busy day and I did not plan to make any Bento  so when a good friend ask me this morning whether I plan to make   Birthday bento as a tribute to my own Birthday I answer her No.

But then when I receive my favorite cheese cake from Mr.Bigger, I can’t help myself not to decorate it, especially when it came with a pack of cute little candle.

So here I present the simple Birthday Bento for myself.

Bento #42 – My Birthday Bento

What’s in the box

  • 1 slice of rare cheese cake from The Marquis
  • Confetti for the Bday hat & Nori for the eyes & mouth
  • 1/2 pack of M&M
  • Few apple gummy
  • Few teddy bear marshmallow

It was kind of challenge to decorate the cheese cake because the surface can be easily ruin, and this was my 3rd piece as  the confetti keep scattering to the other area and stain the surface with their coloring. I can’t let them smudge the face so have to start all over again.

Nevertheless I am quite happy with the result, it looks cute and for sure taste yummy….

Cheers…

Yam/Taro dessert (Kolak Talas / Bubur Cha cha)

Yam and sweet potato dessert

Late posting of this yam sweet dessert which cooked by mum on the weekend.

This Yam/Taro dessert said to be the origin dish of Teochew tribe  and it is known in South East Asia by different name. In Indonesia we call it Bubur Talas (Bubur = porridge , Talas = Yam), and I know some friends in Spore and Msia will call it as Bubur Cha Cha.

This sweet porridge dessert can be served both warm or cold and there are many variation to the recipe but the main ingredients are Yam/Taro.

Mum’s recipe :

  • 1 big size purple Yam/ Taro ->  cut into cubes
  • 2-3  medium size orange color sweet potatoes  -> cut into cubes
  • 2-3   pisang kepok -> steamed and cut into slices
  • 1 can of sweet corn -> drain the water
  • 8 cup of coconut milk  (mix the shredded coconut with 3 cup of water and squeeze to get  5 cups of coconut milk)
    6 Tablespoons granulated sugar (to taste)
  • few pandan leaves

Steps :

  1. Steam the Yam and sweet potatoes  until tender, set aside for cooling.
  2. In a  medium / big pot, combine coconut milk with pandan leaves and sugar and cook under low heat until it boil,  occasionally keep stirring the coconut milk to ensure the sugar did burn at the bottom and to ensure the consistency of the coconut mixture.
  3. Once the mixture start to boil, reduce the heat and remove the pandan leaves.
  4. Add in the steamed ingredients  into the coconut milk and stir for about 5 minutes until the coconut milk boil again.
  5. Remove from heat

 

 

Banana Fritter (aka : Pisang goreng)

Banana Fritter

2 reasons why I made  banana fritter for today afternoon snack

  1. Mum received  plenty of fresh banana from her friend and when I visited her on the weekend I help myself  and brought few pieces  back.
  2. A friend of mine brought me the similar banana fritter snack last weekend  (thank’s to Ms. Ladyrein for the snack) and it reminded me to the long forgotten snack.

This fritter is very simple to make, basically just cut the banana into 2 pieces, brush with a little corn flour, dip into beaten egg and then roll on panko breadcrumbs.

Deep fried until golden brown and serve with caramel sauce or kaya jam or any sauce of your liking or you can just consume them as what they are.

Notes :

  • The only thing I would like to note here is : It is highly recommended to use this type of banana : Pisang Kepok  (Pisang = Banana, Kepok = is the name of the banana). I don’t know the name in English, this type of banana (pisang Kepok)  is very popular in Indonesia, either for banana fritter  (pisang goreng) or banana dessert (kolak pisang).
  • I forgot to take the  fresh pisang Kepok photo  , below picture was the one I google from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kepok_banana_Indonesia.JPG the banana might look a bit ugly and not as nice as those other  yellow banana, but believe me , they taste good.

Mum said this type of banana is  good diabetic diet   as it is not too sweet and contain less sugar.  She love to consume this banana for breakfast and her cooking preference is steam. She will steam it for about 15 minutes until the skin turn brown and the meat soften.

Well…this bring back another memory of  childhood’s food/snack.

Bento # 12 : Happy Birthday Bento

January is a special month that mark as fresh day and new start of everything according to the calendar.

It is also special because it was the birth month of several special people in my life, and they are  the 7 nice and sweet girls I have known since high school, at college,  work and community.

I remember those days when we meet almost everyday and celebrate the birthday right on the day. Now a day even though we only meet occasionally and only able to greet each other birthday greetings by phone, yet the friendship remains.

Our friendship stands the test of time and show in many different ways, it is  not always an easy thing but yet we manage to hold it strong.

Hereby a Special Birthday Bento as a tribute to the special girls on this special month.

It took few days to plan and draft the Bento , I have the general idea in my mind so I started  listing down all the important things one should have in the special day. And then it hit me that all girls have different character and interest and I want to personalized the bento for each of them.  If I am an expert of course I will make a bento with their personal look/face , but since I am just an amateur I resolved with making their favorite pet, to represent each of them.

So girls, remember the favorite pet polling? Well … now you know the reason behind.

A birthday cake for the Birthday girls.

Sorry girls you have to share the cake, however each of you got your own balloon , they are 6 of them 🙂

A birthday noodle to symbolizes  long long life… Yes you still have to share the noodle but I love you all equally, each of you have your own cheese in heart shape.  And Jelly to add more sweetness in your long lovely life…

Your own favorite pet, I bet you can easily recognize which one is yours 🙂

Fried Chicken and Prawn to represent liveliness, happiness and good fortune

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to :

  • Dr. CR
  • Ms. NF
  • Mrs. SS
  • Mrs. SL
  • Mrs. CK
  • Mrs. AM
  • Mrs. CA

Your best years are still ahead of you and Birthdays are good for you, statistics show that people who have the most live the longest!

Cheers

Matcha/Green tea Doughnuts

I am doing some rearrangement in my kitchen and I found the unused matcha (green tea) powder from previous trip to Japan.

Been wondering what shall I do with them because they are for cooking purpose type, not the one for the drinking consumption.

And since I am too lazy to make something that need baking (green tea cakes/rolls),  I decided to settle and try the simple fried doughnuts that I learn by watching  Cooking with dog .

Ingredients : make about 10 – 12 pcs

Recipe from Cooking with Dog

  • 100 gr flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 table spoon baking powder
  • 2 table spoon milk
  • 1 table spoon melted butter
  • 2 table spoon sugar

For coating :

  • Matcha version : 1 table spoon caster sugar + 1/4 table spoon macha
  • Standard version : 1 table spoon caster sugar

Steps :

  1. Mix flour and baking powder
  2. Separately whisk egg and sugar, add milk then melted butter, whisk until all ingredients mixed well.
  3. Pour the egg mixture to the flour and mix with spatula to form a doughnut batter
  4. Set aside and leave the better for 15 minutes at room temperature before frying
  5. Deep fry a spoon of the dough until its color golden brown
  6. Set aside for cooling (have to really let the doughnuts cool for best coating result)
  7. Put sugar in plastic bag and then add few fried doughnuts inside and shake until all doughnut is coated with sugar
  8. Serve with tea or any beverages of your liking 🙂

   

   

Notes :
Do not be mislead with the numbers of the fried doughnuts in cooling rack, I made double portion to get more doughnuts 🙂

I add 1 tea spoon of buttermilk powder to the flour to enhance the flavor and it turn out nicely.

Yummy……… and I am glad that I can make use of my new Bento accessories to enhance the outlook of my doughnuts.

Dutch Poffertjes

Happy New Year …

The 1st day of 2012  and let’s start the day with a good lazy brunch, the Dutch Poffertjes.

This dish is quite popular in Indonesia due to it’s  historical ties as the former Dutch colony and you can easily find poffertjes in many cafes under the snacks category.  I remember the yummy Poffertjes with syrup  that I ate at Volendam fishing village in end of September 1999. It was late noon before dusk, and I ate them sitting facing the sea with the autumn winds blowing strongly resulted to my whole face was covered by the sugar powder of the poffertjes.

And apparently I was the last buyer so the seller generously gave me heaps of Poffertjes with plenty of syrup which turn out to contain a bit of alcohol (and I am not good with alcohol at all), resulted me being a bit tipsy and had headache for the rest of the evening. Nevertheless that was fun and memorable.

I will dig up my traveling photos and see if I can find the picture of the stall or at least the bench where I sat eating my poffertjes.

So for you who interested to have homemade poffertjes, the recipe is posted below.

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tea spoon baking powder
  • 1 table spoon caster sugar
  • 1/4 tea spoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup water
  • 2 eggs (beaten)

Steps :

  1. In mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt
  2. Add milk and water, whisk to make a mixture follow by beaten eggs, whisked until mixture smooth
  3. Strain and get rid of excess lump and set aside for 15 minutes
  4. Brush the pan with a little oil / butter
  5. Pour mixture into pan and when bubbles appear, flip to the other side
  6. Cook both side until golden brown
  7. Serve while still hot, sprinkle with icing sugar or any syrup or whipped cream.

Notes :

I don’t have the poffertjes pan, but it didn’t discourage me  and I creatively use my takoyaki pan (which I have not yet use to make any takoyaki so far due to the lack of the main ingredients : Tako aka Octopus).

In order to keep the poffertjes  size not too big, pour the batter only to cover half part of each hole (referring to the photo), the result turn out to be good enough 🙂

 

Eet smakelijk…..

Caramel Custard Pudding

This is the most simple pudding recipe I ever tried and the ingredients will always be available in kitchen so anyone can just make it anytime.

And it is another recipe I learn from Cooking with Dog

Ingredients :  Serve 4

  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 5 table spoon sugar
  • 250 ml milk
  • For caramel sauce  : 4 table spoon sugar + 1 table spoon water , prepare about 2 table spoon hot water to add to caramel sauce later

Steps :

  1. Brush the pudding mold with unsalted butter to make it easy to remove pudding from the mold.
  2. Cook sugar and water till sugar caramelized, add hot water quickly and stir for a while, pour a table spoon of caramel  to each pudding mold.
  3. Melt sugar in milk until dissolved and whisk to the beaten eggs.
  4. Strain the mixture and pour on top of the caramel inside the pudding mold.
  5. Cover pudding with aluminum foil and steam below boiling temperature for about 20 minutes. (I just realized that I am running out of aluminum foil therefore I substitute using the aluminum cup)
  6. Remove from heat and let to cool before putting them on fridge.
  7. Upon serving, remove the pudding from its mold.

   

   

 

Tips : When steam the pudding, do not increase the temperature and let the water boil as it will ruin the pudding texture.

Christmas Crepes

Another recipe that goes well with Christmas Spirits and Holidays mood

This simple and easy to make Japanese style Crepes goes well with the holidays and festive moods and I learn to make this by watching the You tube from Cooking with dog

Ingredients : Crepe batter

  • 100 gr Flour
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 240 ml Milk
  • 2 table spoon sugar
  • 2 table spoon melted unsalted butter

Toppings :

  • Whipped Cream/ Custard Cream
  • Bananas/Strawberries
  • Choco sauce/ any fruit jams or sauce
  • Chopped roasted nuts
  • Ice cream
  • Any Christmas ornaments made from icing sugar

Steps :

  1. Whisk flour, sugar and beaten eggs until the batter is smooth.
  2. Add the melted butter and whisk until butter blend well to the flour mixture.
  3. Pour in  milk , whisk and once batter mixed, strain batter  to get rid of any excess lump.
  4. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave at room temp  for about 30 minutes.
  5. Heat a flat bottom pan on low heat, add a mixture to the pan to make thin crepe.
  6. Once the edge start to change color, flip to the other side and cook for another 10 seconds.
  7. Remove and cool Crepe on cooling rack.
  8. Slice the strawberries/banana into thin slices.
  9. Take 1 piece of crepe and put it on a plate, add whipped cream make V shape,  and place strawberries on the V shape area, add any sauce/fruit jams.
  10. Fold 1/3 of bottom part of the crepes  horizontally and then  roll the side of the crepe making a cone, wrap with paper and put on a stand.
  11. Scoop 1 spoon of ice cream into the crepe and garnish with banana, choco sauce, almond and Christmas ornaments (made from icing sugar).

   

    

   

Wish you a Blessed Christmas and Joyful Holidays…

Waffles

  

It’s Christmas Day…

Lets start the joyful day with good breakfast.

I received a pack of fresh strawberries from friend of mine and they are just perfect to go with yummy waffles with whipped cream …choco sauce.

   

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups  flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Toppings :

  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate sauce ( I love those from Hersey)
  • Fruit jams/sliced fresh fruits
  • Roasted almonds

Steps :

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, beat until blended.
  3. Preheat the waffle iron.
  4. Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron.
  5. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp.
  6. Add the toppings as you like.
  7. Serve while still hot.

   

 

Wish you have a Blessed Christmas and Joyful Holidays