Saturday, February 5, 2011


Salam once again, dear friends!
Welcome to another Norbaini Cakes Blog Entry!

Today Chef Baini welcomed a small group of newbies (newbies because this is the first time these ladies have attended a Chef Baini homeclass, that is) who wanted to learn a thing or two on delicious cakes. What are delicious cakes? Well, simply put they are comfort food that fills the stomach and warms the heart at the same time! Its the kind of cakes that your mother would have made, served warm on the plate, fresh from the oven, to all the family members seated at the dinner table eagerly waiting for the cakes to be served for dessert, and each and everyone anticipating their taste buds to dance on the instance the cakes land in their mouths!

Today, Chef Baini taught 1) the California Orange Cheesecake 2) the Italian Tiramisu (Halal version) 3) Steamed Fruitcake, 4) Prune Chocolate Cake and 5) the Date Buttercake. At the start of today's class, Chef Baini gave a short briefing on the generalities of cake making; also to see how much about cake making her new students know and understand... The man reading the cake book in the foreground is Abang Amin, husband to Lia. He stayed the whole class accompanying his beloved wife.

Abang Amin kept out of the way and made himself useful by playing the guest photographer, a role usually reprised by The Babams, whom unfortunately today, was unavailable due to his audition for the one of the opening acts for the upcoming Justin Bieber concert in Malaysia in March. He told Chef Baini that he had a sure-fire way to win that coveted part. Well, what else can Chef Baini say but: "Good luck Babams!"

While The Babams went to pursue his Hollywood dreams, or as he put it: 'My date with destiny', let us meet the participants of today's class whose feet are firmly on the ground....

This is Norizah....

On the left is Chef Baini, while on the right is Dila...

Lia is on the left, while Kak Ros, on the right concentrates very hard on something...

Lastly, we have Nurul on the left, while on the right we have Kak Raja Nooraini..

As you may have expected, today's class was quite lively as all the participants shared a passion for baking. Everyone had a turn to try their hands, and  they were quite excited to do so.....

Since this was a demonstration class, Chef Baini gave a brief lecture on each cake before proceeding to show exactly how the cake is done. Some took copious notes while some were all ears.

Many posed questions and although that was not unusual, Chef Baini was a little befuddled at a few of the questions, because they were so basic Chef Baini thought everyone who ever baked would naturally know them. Guess Chef Baini thought wrong! Duh! Goes to show that you can never take anything for granted.

Nevertheless, Chef Baini was very pleased that all the participants responded very well to her instruction and understood her explanations on the fundamentals of baking. With all that said and done, shall we see some of the processes that went into making the delicious cakes?

California Orange Cheesecake

Now this particular cake is a crowd favourite, and a sure-fire way to win people over (we've heard this phrase before). Its easy to make and the aroma of the orange reduction when poured over the cheesecake just takes the breath away.

Here is a picture of the oranges being reduced, rind and all. 
But of course, the seeds must be removed first!

Below is the final product. It is such a shame that you can't smell the cake from the computer. Until the day arrives when computers can bring smells in addition to sounds and video, you'll just have to rely on your imagination!

Italian Tiramisu (Halal Version) 

Next is the ever popular Italian Tiramisu. In Italian, Tiramisu means literally 'pick me up'.It is made of biscuits (usually savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone cheese, and flavored with liquor and cocoa.
What is savoiardi? It is none other than Ladyfingers, which are light and sweet sponge cakes roughly shaped like a large finger. They are called savoiardi in Italian (meaning "from Savoy"), or in French biscuits à la cuillère or boudoirs. In the UK they may be called sponge-fingers, trifle sponges or boudoir biscuits. In Dutch, they are called lange vingers, literally translating to "long fingers". Ladyfingers are a principal ingredient in many French dessert recipes. Today, their more common usage is in trifles, charlottes, and tiramisu. They are typically soaked in a sugar syrup or liqueur, such as coffee for the tiramisu dessert.

But for this recipe we will have to do without the Rum, Dark Rum, Madeira, Port Wine, Brandy, Cognac or any sort of liquor! Including the Malaysian liquors of Toddy, Tuak or Samsu!

It doesn't mean that this cake will turn out any less delicious though!

Usually, the Tiramisu is topped off with a generous dusting of cocoa powder and it is served chilled....always!

Chocolate Prune Cake

Now this cake is a variation of Chef Baini's signature 
Moist Chocolate Cake but with prunes added in....

Buttercake with Dates

Next up is the wonderfully simple buttercake but with dates thrown in.....

Steamed Fruitcake

Lastly, we have the Steamed Fruitcake. Again, it is moist and spongy-rubbery like, giving a little bounce and you bite into it. When you do, your teeth will discover fruits and nuts embedded within, surprising the palette with an unpredictable irregularity....

Here they are all together, like in a police identification line-up!

Well, that's it for today's blog, dear friends! It is a little longer than the usual with more pictures than normal. You might say that it's been quite a mouthful. Thanks for bearing with us on this extended blog, Chef Baini hopes that you've enjoyed reading it and continue to visit this blog of hers more often.

P.S. What happened to The Babams?

Not too long after everyone had left, The Babams returned home, looking very distraught.  Immediately Chef Baini recognised that his audition had not turned out the way he had hoped. After he had regained his composure, The Babams related to Chef Baini his experience.....

You see, the promoters of Justin's concert had hired the American Idol  host Ryan Seacrest and also Simon Cowell as one of the judges for the selection of the opening acts for JB's local KL stint. That alone made The Babams nervous....

What was The Babams 'sure-fire' way to win a spot? Chef Baini couldn't believe her ears when The Babams explained his gig....

Turned out The Babams' grand idea was to sing the Negara Ku....he reckoned that since every public event had to begin with the Malaysian National Anthem, no-one else would have thought of singing that for their audition, thus he would be a shoe-in for the gig...... So The Babams sang his heart and soul out, trying to make JB himself proud..... Simon sat stone faced as The Babams gave his rendition of the Negara Ku...

 When after Simon sneered with his deadpan sarcasm: "I can't allow you to sing the Negara Ku on stage, because if I did, I'm sure another May 13 will break out. Sorry.....".

To say The Babams was shell-shocked would be an understatement. The poor man was so upset, he actually cried and choked on the way out. He refused to speak to Ryan Seacrest for the usual post audition interview. How could he? As he tried to leave, the cameraman rudely followed his every step, trying to capture the sad moment on video....
Talk to the hand, Ryan!

So the next time you see The Babams, please give him a Kit-Kat. The poor man needs a little kindness after his ordeal. You can give him a new iPhone4 too, but that would be overdoing things a bit!

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