Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Questions regarding sponge cakes and almond cookies

5 July 2007 Thursday

Hi Oi Lin
May I omit the pandan extract for the pandan cake? as I dun have a blender at home

Rgds
Saori
9:24 AM

Oi Lin said...
Dear Saori,
I gather you are referring to my recipe 'Moist Pandan Cake' from 'Delicious Asian Sweet Treats' ?
I have tried making pandan cakes without pandan leaves; I just use bottled pandan essence, which is so much more convenient. But I found that using the real thing does WONDERS for the cake! It is more troublesome because you have to buy the pandan leaves from the supermarket, wash them, cut and mince them in a blender. Then put them in a cloth and squeeze with all your might to get the green pandan juice out!
But you have to use about 10 to 20 pandan leaves to get sufficient pandan flavour in the cake. To cut down the work, what I usually do is blend a few pandan leaves with water and pandan essence (as written in my cookbook). That way, I get the best of both methods - less work (less leaves to handle) and great flavour (the pandan essence helps enhance the flavour of the pandan leaves).
Since you do not have a blender, you can omit the leaves. But make sure you use good quality pandan essence as a substitute. The one from Phoon Huat stores is not bad - thick and fragrant.

Regards,
Oi Lin

2 July 2007, Monday

Hi Oilin

One last qn...Was told to Fold the mixture with a metal spoon..can I subsititue it with a balloon whisk?

CHeerSPhilia
3:47 PM

Oi Lin said...
Dear Philia,
The functions of a spoon and balloon whisk are very different. If the recipe's instruction says to fold the mixture with a spoon (doesn't matter metal or plastic), it means to fold and mix gently, without overmixing. Overmixing can result in dense and heavy-textured cakes or cookies. A balloon whisk, due to its design and structure, is not suitable for folding mixtures.
Hope the above answers your question. Happy baking!!!
Regards,
Oi Lin

Hi Oilin

Finally your second book is out!! Have been waiting for this book...I received your" Delicious Asian Baked Treats " yesterday...am soo happy but I have some queries for you, hope you can clear my doubts =D

(1) Pg 7 " Soft Sponge Cake"I can use pandan essence to make pandan sponge cake, but will the essence cause a bitter aftertaste? or do u tink i can omit it?

(2) Pg 19 "almond cookies"Can I omit the Ghee? and replace with butter??

Huggss
Philia
10:32 PM

O.L. said...
Dear Philia,

Thank you for purchasing the book.

Soft Sponge Cake: If used in small amounts (according to the recipe), pandan essence will not leave a bitter aftertaste. In fact, it will enhance the coconut flavour in the cake. This is because the flavours of coconut and pandan marry very well!

I recommend the pandan essence from Phoon Huat stores (go to www.phoonhuat.com to check for locations of their stores in Singapore). Their pandan essence is the thick variety - it is superbly fragrant! (Their vanilla essence is also fantastic - thick and sweet.)

Almond cookies: I use ghee (instead of butter) in quite a lot of my nut cookies because I want them to have an Asian flavour. The taste of ghee is rather different from that of butter. Because ghee does not contain milk (unlike butter), it allows the nutty flavour to shine through. The ghee in this recipe can be replaced by butter, but the cookies probably will not taste the same. To bring out the almond flavour, I still recommend using ghee in these cookies.

I usually buy the ghee sold in green cans (available at Fairprice supermarkets in Singapore; at the baking needs section).

Do write again if you have more questions. I'll be glad to answer them.

Take care and happy baking, Philia!

Warm regards,
Oi Lin

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Oilin

One last qn...
Was told to Fold the mixture with a metal spoon..can I subsititue it with a balloon whisk?

CHeerS
Philia

Oi Lin said...

Dear Philia,
The functions of a spoon and balloon whsik are very different. If the recipe's instruction says to fold the mixture with a spoon (doesn't matter metal or plastic), it means to fold and mix gently, without overmixing. Overmixing can result in dense and heavy-textured cakes or cookies. A balloon whisk, due to its design and structure, is not suitable for folding mixtures.

Hope the above answers your question. Happy baking!!!

Regards,
Oi Lin

Anonymous said...

Hi Oi Lin

May I omit the pandan extract for the pandan cake? as I dun have a blender at home

Rgds
Saori

Oi Lin said...

Dear Saori,
I gather you are referring to my recipe 'Moist Pandan Cake' from 'Delicious Asian Sweet Treats' ?
I have tried making pandan cakes without pandan leaves; I just use bottled pandan essence, which is so much more convenient. But I found that using the real thing does WONDERS for the cake! It is more troublesome because you have to buy the pandan leaves from the supermarket, wash them, cut and mince them in a blender. Then put them in a cloth and squeeze with all your might to get the green pandan juice out!
But you have to use about 10 to 20 pandan leaves to get sufficient pandan flavour in the cake. To cut down the work, what I usually do is blend a few pandan leaves with water and pandan essence (as written in my cookbook). That way, I get the best of both methods - less work (less leaves to handle) and great flavour (the pandan essence helps enhance the flavour of the pandan leaves).
Since you do not have a blender, you can omit the leaves. But make sure you use good quality pandan essence as a substitute. The one from Phoon Huat stores is not bad - thick and fragrant.

Regards,
Oi Lin