The proof is in the pudding!
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
“My passion and inspiration for baking came from my beautiful and talented mum. Every weekend when we were kids, we would bake together and try out new recipes. Around two years ago, while I was still completing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, I found myself constantly taking time out of my busy schedule to de- stress through baking, but my real starting point was last year during lockdown. Experimenting every day was what got me through both the lockdown and online classes. It was super fun and exciting, and most importantly, it gave me happiness. I eventually started an online bake shop, Bake Your Day (@_bakeyourdayy) to share that love and passion with others.
“My forte is definitely birthday cakes and floral cupcakes. I love when I get to experiment with new decorating methods, piping techniques, colour schemes, and decorative items. Being a self-taught baker allows me to broaden my skills and techniques much more, and it brings out my artistic side. My favourite ingredient to use is chocolate – the amount of things I’ve done, and plan on doing, with chocolate is super exciting. I never knew that I could incorporate it into my products in so many ways, whether it’s for flavour, or using it as a decorative topping for a cake.
“To other self-taught hobbyists, practice makes perfect. Never give up on your dreams, passions, or hobbies, for anything or anyone. Push through and have confidence in yourself, and follow what you desire. One or two bad outcomes does not mean it’s the end; that’s how you learn and get better.”
CHIFFON LEMON CAKE WITH LEMON GLAZE
PREP TIME: 10-15 MIN
COOK TIME: 35-45 MIN
SERVING: 6-8 SLICES
• 2/3 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
• 1 cup caster sugar
• 2 medium-sized eggs
• 1 cup of any plain and thick yoghurt
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 tbsps lemon rind
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsps baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• Butter for greasing
INGREDIENTS FOR THE GLAZE
(Optional, the cake is also tasty by itself)
• 1 1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 1/2 tbsps plain yoghurt
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Place parchment paper into your cake pan and lightly grease it with butter.
- Add olive oil and caster sugar in a big bowl and whisk thoroughly for 1-2 mins.
- Add the eggs, yoghurt, lemon juice, and lemon rind into the bowl, and whisk until well combined.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk until smooth.
- Pour into the prepped cake pan. Bake for 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven once cooked, and rest on a cooling rack.
- Start while the cake is cooling.
- Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
- Gradually add yoghurt into the mixture, 1 teaspoon at a time, making sure it is neither too thin nor see-through.
- Place your cooled cake onto a tray, pour the glaze over the middle of the cake and let it slowly drip down the edges.
- Place in fridge immediately for it to set, letting it sit in the fridge for 45 mins – 1 hour before serving.
WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE
PREP TIME: 10-15 MIN
COOK TIME: 5-10 MIN
RESTING TIME: 6-8 HRS
SERVING: 6-8 SLICES
• 3/4 cup melted butter
• 2 1/2 cups digestive biscuit crumbs or any other cracker
• 350g fresh or frozen raspberries
• 2 cups granulated sugar, divided into 2 sets of 1 cup
• 2 1/2 tbsps corn starch
• 650g cream cheese
• Whipped cream (optional for garnish)
• Raspberries (optional for garnish)
- Line a springform pan with parchment paper.
- Melt your butter in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
- Add your biscuit crackers into a blender and pulse a few times, letting some crumbs remain.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the crumbs and melted butter. Once mixed properly, transfer the mixture to the springform pan, pressing it in firmly.
- Place the pan in the fridge while you work on the other components.
- Purée the raspberries using a blender or food processor until fully blended.
- Transfer the purée into a saucepan, add 1 cup of granulated sugar and corn starch, and whisk on medium low heat until well combined.
- Stir frequently for 3-5 minutes until the purée starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and strain through a sieve to remove seeds. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer.
- Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and continue beating until mixture becomes fluffy and smooth.
- Separate 2-3 tbsps of raspberry purée in a separate bowl and add remaining purée into the cream cheese mixture (make sure the purée has cooled). Beat well until everything is incorporated.
- Remove the springform pan from the fridge, and pour in the raspberry cream cheese mixture into the pan, tapping it on the table to remove any air bubbles.
- Top the pan with the separated raspberry purée, and swirl slightly.
- Refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours, but overnight will give best results.
- Garnish with whipped cream or raspberries if desired.