Monday, April 26, 2010

A different kind of fruit cake

My friend Janet and I have been wanting to bake for a very long time. The last time we baked was last summer (a delish banana nut bread); the last couple of get togethers consisted of making soup :). This time, we were set on making a pastry of some sort and I found a great recipe from Happy Home Baking . I like this blogger a lot because she has Asian inspired baked goods/dishes that I've wanted to learn for a long time now. There's something about Asian baked goods that American baked goods lack - it's probably the amount of sugar that I can taste that makes a big difference. I usually don't like things that are super sweet and Asian cakes are more fluffy and not so sweet. They also use different kinds of ingredients like red bean paste, green tea powder and fruits (nature's candy as my friend calls it). This cake would be ideal for Mother's Day or Father's Day (both are coming so soon) so get in the kitchen! I'm going to be making two for mother's day - grandma and mom - and make it prettier with more colors like strawberries!

Fruit Pastry Cake from Happy Home Baking

100g butter, soften at room temperature -- about 3/4 of the stick
180g powdered sugar (aka caster)-- about 1 and 2/3 cups
1/2 cup of small plain yogurt
3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature (you can make your eggs room temperature by letting them sit in a bath of warm water for 5 minutes)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (I used lemon)
210g plain flour -- 1 and 7/8 cups
1 teaspoon baking powder
500g fruits tossed with 2 tablespoon sugar (You can use strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, oranges, pears, apples, pineapple, or any other fruits that are not too juicy.)- I used jarred peaches, frozen blueberries and a fresh pear. I didn't toss the fruits in sugar and it was just right.

Directions (modified by me):
- Slice and prepare the fruits on the side.
- Grease (with butter) and flour the side of a 9" round pan or a 8" square pan and line the base with parchment paper. (I used canola oil to grease the pan and it worked just fine. You can trace the base of the pan on parchment paper and then cut it out into a circle shape to fit nicely at the base)
- With an electric mixer, cream the softened butter, sugar and yogurt until it is light and fluffy.
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and then slowly pour the egg batter into the cake batter as you mix. (The mixture may appear slightly curdled.)
- Add vanilla extract and zest. Mix to combine.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixer until smooth. (You can use a kitchen towel over the bowl to avoid all the powder flying everywhere)
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
- Arrange the fruits on top into any decorative manner you want. DON'T PUSH THE FRUIT INTO THE MIX.

- Bake your cake in a pre-heated oven at 180degC (350 deg F) for 45 minutes then cover the top with a foil tent for another 15 mins. This will prevent the top from getting browned. You can check to see if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick.
- Let the cake cake cool for about 5~10 mins. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Dust the cake with some icing sugar if desired. <-- I did not do this.


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