There was an error in this gadget

Monday, 20 November 2017

Butter Cocoa Sponge Cake 奶油可可海绵蛋糕

Not a very beautiful cake but it has a moist and velvety texture :)

Baked: one 6" round cake


All ingredients in room temperature
Using 55g Omega 3+6 eggs

40g unsalted butter
60g top/cake flour
30g milk
3 egg yolks
5g golden syrup/honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
45g fine sugar

5g cocoa powder
8g hot water


1. Line an 6x3" round cake pan with parchment paper at the base, without coating the wall.
Line a square wire grid in a 20cm square pan for steam-baking later. Set aside. 

2. Mix cocoa powder with hot water into a smooth paste. Cover and set aside.

3. Heat unsalted butter to about 65 to 70°C, or till some bubbles can be seen at the bottom of the stainless steel bowl.

Add top/cake flour to the warm butter, and mix using a spatula into a smooth paste.

Pour in the milk and mix well.

Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, and blend well.

Add 5g golden syrup and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the batter.

4. Hold egg whites in a dry and grease-free stainless steel mixing bowl. Beat egg white at high speed till frothy, then add 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar to it.

 Add in the fine sugar in a few batches, continue to beat till almost reaching stiff peak stage.  Gradually reduce the speed of the electric mixer while approaching the stiff peak.

5. Transfer about 1/4 of the meringue to mix with the butter batter from Step 3.

Pour the batter back to mix with the meringue.

6. Transfer about 1 small bowl of  batter, about 50 to 60g, to mix with the cocoa paste from Step 2.
You have to do this step 6 and 7 fast to prevent the air bubbles in the butter batter from collapsing. You can also mix both batters into a marble pattern without baking the cocoa layer.

7. Pour the cocoa batter into the prepared cake pan.

Heat the cocoa batter in a preheated oven at 160°C for about 5 minutes at middle rack. Using only the upper heating element.

Pour remaining butter batter over the cocoa layer.

Bang the cake pan a few times to get rid of trapped air bubbles.

Pour hot water to the 20cm square pan to about 1 cm in depth. Place the round cake pan into the square pan.

8. Bake in a pre-heated oven, at the lower rack, set at 170°C with only the upper heating element. Bake for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 150°C with both the upper and lower heating elements. Bake for about 25 minutes.

End of baking

9. Transfer the cake out of the oven.

Drop the cake with the pan, at a height of about 10cm, onto a kitchen towel.  This helps to minimize the cake from over-shrinking during cooling down period.

Let the cake cool down for about 20 minutes at room temperature.

Jiggle the pan to dislodge the cake.

Let the cake dry in the warm oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. This step is optional.

Let the cake cool down to room temperature.
Cut and enjoy it cold or warm 😋

Friday, 17 November 2017

Herman Starter - Braided Pumpkin Bread 南瓜辫子吐司

Herman Starter, which has a not very proportionate milk : sugar : flour composition, pose a great challenge in converting normal bread recipe into Herman's version. I try to keep 10g of water aside, and slowly add it to the dough while kneading, to prevent getting a wet dough.

Braided bread tends to have a nice texture as the glutens of the dough have been nicely stretched 😀 However, over-stretching the dough would be disastrous 😲

Bread maker: Mayer MMBM12
Raw dough weight: 535g
Pan size: 25x10x6cm
Baking temperature: bake at preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, then reduce to 170°C for 20 minutes. At lower rack of the oven.


30g milk
35g water
50g steamed pumpkin paste
15g beaten egg
25g fine sugar
3g fine salt
30g cold unsalted butter

200g Prima bread flour
50g Japanese bread flour

100g Herman Starter
1g instant dry yeast

Some salted butter for glazing


1. I used Herman Starter on the 7th day of cultivation, and about 5 hours after stirring. 
The Herman Starter's feeding schedule can be found at the end of this recipe.

2. Feed ingredients to the bread maker following the sequence listed. Select "C-11 Ferment Dough program" and start the program. The program includes mixing, kneading and 1st fermentation. However, I would terminate the program manually when the countdown timer reads"1:05" after the kneading process ends.
Keep the dough in a slightly-oiled plastic bag, place in a covered mixing bowl, and refrigerate for about 15 hours, till the next morning.

3. In the next morning, invert the dough and thaw in room temperature for about 60 to 80 minutes.

80 minutes after thawing.

4. Turn out the dough onto a floured work top, deflate the dough, and divide it into 3 portions.

Roll the doughs into balls, cover and let them rest for about 15 minutes.

5. Roll one of the doughs into long, flat dough.

Roll up the dough into a rope, starting from the longer end.

Pinch the end to seal. Apply some flour and roll into a 20-cm long rope. Repeat the process for the other two doughs.

Cover and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.

6. Take a dough, dust some flour over, and roll the dough into a longer rope by extending towards the two ends.

When all the 3 rope doughs are ready. Place the 3 rope doughs next to each other.

Bind 3 rope doughs together at one end, and start braiding the dough.

Seal the other end, and tuck both sealed ends under the dough.

7. Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Spray some water over,

cover with a tea towel, and let it proof in room temperature, about 29°C, for about 90 minutes

or till the dough almost reaching the rim of the pan

8.  Bake in a preheated oven set at 180°C for 10 minutes, reduce to 170°C for about 20 minutes, or till the top turns golden.

End of baking

9. After leaving the oven, invert out the bread immediately.

Brush a coat of salted butter over the hot crust.

Allow the bread cool down over a wire rack till reaching room temperature.

Cut and enjoy 😋

Keeping Herman Starter

Average room temperature: 28~30°C

Day 1
Transferred Herman Starter: 30g
Plain flour: 10g
Fine sugar: 17g
Whole milk: 13g
Total: 70g

Day 2
Only stirring

Day 3
Only stirring

Day 4
1st feeding:
Plain flour: 20g
Fine sugar: 17g
Whole milk: 33g
Total: ~140g

Day 5
Only stirring

Day 6
2nd feeding
Plain flour: 20g
Fine sugar: 17g
Whole milk: 33g
Total: ~210g

Day 7
Only stirring
Took 100g to prepare the pumpkin bread dough.

Day 8
Took 30g of the remaining Herman Starter to mix with 10g of plain flour, 17g of fine sugar and 13g whole milk to start another round of cultivation. I used the remaining 50g of Herman Starter to bake a moist butter cake 😋