Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hot-Milk Cakes with Strawberries and Cream : Bake-Along #74

It's our Bake-Along #74, and this week's bake, Hot-Milk Cakes with Strawberries and Cream, is selected by me to bake together with Lena and Zoe, and anyone who wishes to bake-along with us. 

Have you tried hot-milk cakes before? It is a light sponge cake, really soft and fluffy. The butter and milk are heated together until the butter melts and the mixture is just beginning to boil. This hot mixture is then poured into the batter, stir to combine gently, pour into the cake pan and bake accordingly. Guess that is why it is called Hot-milk Cake. 

The mini cakes which I've baked using ramekin moulds.  

I've baked this cake twice. The first time, the cake did not rise that much and it was dense and not fluffy soft as hot-milk cakes should be. I was sort of expected that actually, as when I read through the recipe, I realized that the method is slightly different from my favourite recipe which I have baked before, the one from Tish Boyle, which always turned out well. I noticed that the eggs are beaten rather than whisk. Should I use the whisk instead of the beater? But I decided to make the cake following the recipe and instructions from the Bon Appetit cookbook to see if there is any difference in the cake texture, with my fingers crossed that it would be just as good as Tish Boyle's, if not better! The cake did not turn out well at all. They are dense and not fluffy soft as a good hot-milk cake should be, but tasted pretty good!

So I've made the cake again, this time, following the same recipe from Bon Appetit, but using Tish Boyle's method of mixing the batter. And the cake turned out really well. They rise really nice with rounded top, the crumbs are soft and fluffy. Same recipe but with different methods in mixing the batter, gave completely different results. I'm not saying that there are anything wrong with the method of mixing the batter from Bon Appetit cookbook, but the one from Tish Boyle seems to work for me. I'm sure there are many bakers out there who has tried the recipe and method from Bon Appetit with good results! I was wondering which step I went wrong when following the Bon Appetit's recipe instructions. My guess is I should have used the whisk as I intended in the first place. Recipe says to "beat" and there is a vast difference between "beat" and "whisk"! 

I reduced the sugar for the batter to half a cup, and the sweetness is just right for us. The strawberries are sliced and macerated in some sugar of which I've used about 3-4 tablespoons,  for 20-30 minutes for the juices to form. I have added a tablespoon of rum, smells good!

To prepare the cream, whipped the whipping cream with 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar until soft peaks form.

The rounded top of the cake is sliced, and keep aside. Place some sliced strawberries on the cake, place the rounded top back on the strawberries, and spoon or pipe some sweetened whipped cream on top. Garnish with more strawberries slices and drizzle with some of the lovely juices over. Serve immediately.

A lovely and yummy dessert! The cake is soft, light and fluffy (though I find that the recipe from Tish Boyle makes a fluffier cake). The strawberries are a delight with the added rum and with the sweetened whipped cream, makes this one delicious dessert. My family enjoyed this dessert very much!

Hot-Milk Cakes With Strawberries and Cream
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Dessert Cookbook", by Barbara Fairchild)
Makes 6
nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 large eggs
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar (I've used 1/2 cup for the batter, and 3-4 tablespoons for the strawberries)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons self-rising flour (I've used plain flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder)
2/3 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (1-pound) container strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon rum for the strawberries (my addition)
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425F. Spray six 3/4-cup custard cups with nonstick spray. Place cups on rimmed baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat eggs in medium bowl at high speed until thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, beating until thick and pale yellow, about 1 minute longer. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour and beat 30 seconds. Bring milk and butter just to boil in small saucepan, stirring until butter melts. Beat hot milk mixture into batter. Continue to beat 30 seconds. Divide batter among prepared cups.

Bake cakes until firm to touch and pale golden, and tops form rounded peak in center, about 16 minutes. Cool in cups at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Do Ahead : Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cool completely in cups, then cover and let stand at room temperature.

Toss strawberries and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl to coat; let stand 20 minutes for juices to form. Using electric mixer, beat cream, powdered sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl until peaks form.

Remove cakes from cups and transfer to bowls. Cut off rounded top of each cake. Spoon some of berries and juices over. Cover berries with tops of cakes. Spoon whipped cream over, garnish with remaining berries and juices, and serve.

My notes :
Difference between the two methods : 
Beating of the eggs (beat/whisk)
Bon Appetit : beat the eggs 3 minutes, gradually adding in the sugar, and continue to beat for 1 minute longer.
Tish Boyle :  whisk the eggs, gradually adding in the sugar, and continue to whisk for 6 minutes until pale and creamy, and tripled in volume.

Adding of flour : (adding direct over the batter/sifting over the batter)
Bon Appetit : add the flour into the batter, and beat for 30 seconds.
Tish Boyle : sift the flour twice in a medium bowl, then sift the flour the third time over the batter, a third at a time, gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. 

Adding of hot-milk mixture : (beat/gently fold it in)
Bon Appetit : add hot-milk mixture and beat for 30 seconds.
Tish Boyle : add hot-milk mixture, and gently fold it in.

Baking temperature : (425F/350F)
Bon Appetit : 425F for 16 minutes.
Tish Boyle : following her method, baked at 350F and since I've used ramekin moulds for mini cakes, I've baked them about 24 minutes.

**To get the full instructions on Tish Boyle's method of mixing the batter, please refer to my old post here. Tish Boyle's recipe uses cake flour, which makes a more delicate and softer, fluffier cake.


Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme - Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)". Please do join us, bake any Grissini recipe, and link your post to our linky which will start on 5th till 14th February. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


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  1. Wow Joyce, thanks for the detailed tips about whisking versus beating! I didn't know! Good to learn from you. I'm still quite a noob in baking. :)

  2. I've never tried Hot Milk Cake, Joyce but since I've seen so many recipes in many of my older cookbooks and I have been visiting these Bake-A-Long recipes, I am now dying to try it, lol...

    Yours looks divine:) I guess it pays to try, try again, lol...Of course Strawberries and Cream can't hurt either:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Joyce. What a fun choice!!!

  3. Joyce, these cakes are rather lovely with the whipped cream and strawberry topping! It is good that you have documented your observation on the two methods as we can all refer to it too.

  4. Love hot milk cake, Joyce. These little babies look so tempting.

  5. Long time my friend! How's thing? Good to know that you are still cooking, baking and blogging!

  6. Joyce look absolutely delicious!!

  7. Hi Joyce, thanks so much for your sharing ^-^!
    My 1st attempt in this hot milk cake recipe. Think I must have missed out something that these cakes are not that fluffy. Still, they tasted nice !

  8. Great tips about the procedures, Joyce! I've never made Hot Milk Cake, so it is added to my list of must tries! It looks delicious!

  9. They look delicious, Joyce, especially topped with whipped cream and strawberries. Delicious!

  10. Joyce, great idea to add rum!

  11. I've never tried hot milk cake before too, but definitely will try if I have time next week to bake.

  12. I have never heard of hot milk cake until I saw Zoe's post...yours look beautiful and so pretty....and yes a touch of rum sounds even tastier...
    Thanks for the notes Joyce, I will sure follow them.
    Enjoy the rest of your week :)

  13. good evening joyce! i had used beaters and not whisk when beating the eggs...yeah, i had made tish boyle's hot cakes too and i find that that one is a lot more better than this one..and i was also expecting the same when baking the one from bon appetit...haha..

  14. Neither have I tried hot milk cake before, yours is a lovely presentation!

  15. So the general verdict is this cake is not as good as it should be…noted ! lol!

  16. Hi Joyce,

    Great comparison! I see that the recipe requires me to beat the eggs until light and fluffy and so I beat my cake batter with a whisk attachment... Beat or whisk??? I must admit the terminology is very confusing! Love to try the Tish Boyle's recipe in the future :D