Friday, December 31, 2010

Dad's Birthday cum Christmas Party

I've totally, completely forgotten about Dad's birthday this year.  I don't know what I'm busy with since I haven't been cooking nor baking much, but I just seem to be busier.

Last December, I baked Dad a Santa Claus cake and I was planning to bake him a log cake this year.  But after some thoughts, I decided against it and decided to bake him a proper birthday cake.

His birthday celebration was initially planned on Boxing Day but was brought forward to Christmas Day instead.  I had promised to meet up with AH for a gathering in her house on Christmas Eve, with some ex-colleagues whom I've not met for years.  Although she's staying at the other end of Singapore and to travel there by public transport with 3 kids, I think it will probably take me 2 hours from point to point.  I'm so looking forward to this gathering as I've not met them since I left the company in Feb 2008.  But with the change in date, I couldn't make it for the gathering. (Sorry AH, you organise another one next year, I'll try to make it, I promise).

After googling online for some cake ideas, I decided to bake him a longevity cake and found this design that I think I might be able to complete.  Though it doesn't look as presentable, I think it is still acceptable, at least for a home baked cake.

I didn't want to buy any colour paste just for this so I added some mixed berries jam, which I got the idea from Bakertan.  The colour didn't turn out too vibrant, but I think it is still acceptable.

Glazed the fruits with piping gel/jelly (mix 2 part piping gel/jelly with 1 part water) to keep the fruits fresh.
For my layered cakes, I never stablise the whipped cream although I've heard and read about this method.  With Singapore's humid weather, my whipped cream always melt on me so I decided to put a stop to melting cream.  There are several ways of stablising whipped cream and I chose the one using gelatin.  I've always used powdered gelatin but since my parents don't eat beef, I had to use gelatin leaves instead.  After mixing in the gelatin mixture, the whipped cream was left in the fridge as I was unable to frost the cake immediately.  When I took it out for the fridge to frost, the whipped cream was too firm to be frosted and I had to thaw it for a few minutes before I could use it.  However, this texture makes piping much easier.

Besides baking Dad a cake, I made agar agar too.

Sometime back, I saw this cendol agar agar in KG's facebook and I asked her for the recipe.  Unfortunately I was too preoccupied to make this and totally forgotten about it.  Then I saw it in Wendy's blog again after several months.  I've always wanted to make this but there were simply no occassion.  Making agar agar with 2 packets of agar agar powder is way too much for my family.  With Dad's birthday celebration, this is the perfect time for me to make this.

I bought cendol for our local supermarket and used thin coconut milk instead.  It's probably me but I try not to feed my family with too much coconut milk.  Despite rinsing the cendol in running water, the agar agar still turned out green.  I'll share about my experience in my next entry. 

We had potluck at my parent's house and here's sharing what my siblings brought (didn't manage to take a picture of what Bro L brought as he was late - he bought Tanjong Rhu Pau yummy!).

I missed out on Bro K's curry fish head too.


Food and companion, we had a great time!  I just love family gatherings!

Back to Dad's longevity cake, I think I whipped my egg whites and folded it well without deflating too much of the egg whites.  This resulted in a tall cake and I was able to slice the cake into 3 layers.  Again, I used my regular chiffon cake base recipe and the cake turned out light and fluffy.

Longevity Cake Recipe
4 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
30g castor sugar

60ml corn oil
125ml milk/water

150g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
*sifted together

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
30g sugar

  1. Mix ingredients (A) well with a hand whisk.
  2. Add (B) into yolk mixture, stir well.
  3. Stir (C) into yolk mixture and mix well.
  4. Whip egg whites in a clean mixing bowl until big bubbles are formed. Add in the cream of tartar and whip until white in colour. Add in sugar over 3 times and whip until egg whites is stiff.
  5. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into a 8" round pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
  8. Bake in preheated oven of 170C for 20 minutes.
  9. Turn down the temperature to 160C and bake for 30mins.
  10. Reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for a further 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.
  11. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.
  12. Cut cooled cake into 3 layers and decorate accordingly.


j3ss kitch3n said...

the cake looks great! happy new year!

WendyinKK said...

Wow, your callipgraphy is nice!
Nice to see it done, free hand piping.
The cream hoh, I dun chill it after mixing with gelatin, instead I spread it immediately and chill the whole cake later. I find that mixing the cream again after it has hardened once in the fridge makes it not as long lasting compared to frosting immediately.

That's a pretty nice spread of food. Must have been a lot of ppl there.

The cendol jelly looks good, but I think the manufacturers added a lot of colouring to the cendol. I've seen some hawkers featured in the Singapore channel colouring the cendol after it was formed, instead of mixing the colouring into the batter before being formed. But then again, making your own cendol is always the best and quality is assured. You don't need a mould for it, just a zip lock bag. I've done a post on that, you can check it out. It's quite a breeze and you can make it ahead of time.

E. said...

So much yummy food! Happy Birthday to your dad. Your cake looks very nice. It looks so fluffy and soft. I also like how you didn't put too much frosting so it's still fairly healthy, but also pretty at the same time. Happy New Years to you!

Casey said...

wow...a lot of yummy food, the cake looks nice and yummy, your dad sure very happy!
Happy birthday to him!

dailydelicious said...

Just looking at the food makes my mouth watering, I think the idea for using the jam is great, your writing on the cake is very good (I don't have enough confident to write directly on the cake-*-).
Oh, almost forgot, I come here to say Happy New Year!

lena said...

happy new year!wow, so much food, i guess you have a very big family there. Your cake looks pretty, is that peaches that you're putting in there?

Raspberry Recipes said...

Nice Post! Sounds like lots of fun!
I am reading this near to the close of 2010, so Happy 2011 to you, and I shall visit this blog again!!

Aunty Liew said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your father.
I think your cake are perfect and lovely. It show your love to your family.
Your family members are all talent in cooking.All the foods are so tempting.
Happy New Year to you and your family too.

Anonymous said...

What a great potluck feast, and a wonderful cake to top it off. Happy new year to u! :)

sherlyn said...

I love the arrangement of fruits on the cake. Nice.
I also not baking and cooking much for the school holidays but the days just went by and I was busier too. Weird.
Anyway hope this year will be better.