A Season of Giving

Sour cream, pear & raspberry cake

Time really flies! It’s December already and this month only means one thing – Christmas is near! Christmas is no doubt my favourite festive season (and Chinese New Year of course) and I’m already counting down to the 25th! As school has ended for me a couple of days back, I decided to make something for some of my colleagues as a thank you + christmas gift. Nothing is more meaningful than a homemade present yes? hehe

As I was searching through what I wanted to make, I thought of making the ricotta pound cake I made a couple of weeks ago, and just add mixed berries into the batter to make it look a bit more festive. But I’ve ben hearing lots about the Bourke Street Bakery sour cream pear cake from the food blogger community who were lucky enough to try some that was made by Mich, The Bakeanista, at the blogger’s picnic recently. Miss D also made it recently and said that I should definitely give it a go cause it was really delicious! With so many raving reviews, I couldn’t not give it a try (: So glad I did though, cause it was so good! Super moist and Mich suggested adding fresh raspberries, which I did, and it made the cake look really pretty! So thank you! (:

Cut rounds out of the cake

And instead of slicing it up into the normal wedge, I decided to use a scone cutter to cut them into rounds instead before placing them into the plastic wrappers. Although I made a mess, it was all worth it, and might I add, fun! haha

Sour cream pound cake in a jar

And what did I do with the left over pieces and crumbs? What I love to do : put them into jars and layer them with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream and added more fresh raspberries! A combination I could easily (and happily) have every night if my waistline permits me to. 😛 Oh well! hehe Thank you again Mich for sharing the recipe! All my colleagues enjoyed the cake very much! YAY!

BSB Sour Cream Pear & Raspberry Cake (Adapted from The Bakeanista)

250g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

4 eggs, room temperature

200g sour cream

300g self-raising flour, sifted

1 3/4 pears (about 400g, tinned), sliced into quarters

18-20 fresh raspberries

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line baking paper at the base of a 28cm baking tin, and spray the sides with olive oil evenly.

2) In a mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix till well combined.

3) Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated before each addition.

4) Alternate the flour and sour cream and mix it on low speed till well combined. Use a spatula to scoop the batter into the tin, and spread it out until the top is smooth. Arrange the pear quarters evenly around the tin, and place the raspberries in the spaces between them.

5) Bake for 40 mins, then cover the baking tin with foil and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

All baked and being cooled on the rack

6) Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the baking tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. If you intend to cut rounds out of the cake, do make sure the cake is completely cooled before doing so, or it would crumble! Sprinkle icing sugar on top before serving! Enjoy!

All wrapped up!

Remember to always cook and bake with love ! (:

Jelly Hearts

Ever since I started being more active in the blogging world, I’ve been really blessed with meeting new friends! Recently, I was invited to attend Peach-water’s birthday dinner but cause I was down with really bad hayfever, I told her that we’ll rearrange dinner and I would make her something special. (: I couldn’t think of anything better but some strawberry jelly hearts!

If you feel that these pretty cakes look familiar, I did make them ages ago and did a post on it. But I went back to look at it and the photos were so small! So here I am, re-doing the post and sharing the recipe again. It’s really interesting to see the difference a few years on! (:

I have to say, these are not difficult to make, just time consuming as you have to make sure each layer is set properly before starting on the next! The most important layer is the jelly layer, as you have to allow the jelly mixture to cool before pouring onto the cream cheese layer, to get a clear jelly layer! (: Patience, is the key when making this!

I used to only use vanilla essence when making the cream cheese filling, but I decided to use vanilla bean paste this time round. There is just something magical when you see the little black dots! And the flavour it gives the cream cheese is not comparable to just using the essence. If you do have vanilla beans, please give it a try!

These little rectangular cheesecakes with a heart in the middle make beautiful gifts for your loved ones and your friends. So the next time you are thinking of what to get for them, why not give these a try? Nothing can compared to things made with love!

Jelly Hearts 

Base : 

320g digestive biscuits

160g melted unsalted butter

Cheese Filling :

250g cream cheese

2 1/4 tsp gelatine powder

70g caster sugar

150ml hot water

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

8 medium sized strawberries

Jelly Topping : 

2 packets of strawberry flavoured jello (170g)

1 1/2 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups room temp water

Steps :

1) For the base : Place the biscuits in a ziplock bag, and crush them till they are fine, making sure there are no big chunks. Pour them into a large bowl, and mix in the melted butter.

2) Pour them into the base of a 9×9 square baking tray. Press onto the base and make sure it’s really compressed and make it as flat as you can. Prick the base with a fork and chill for at least 15 minutes.

3) For the cheese filling : Cut the strawberries into half. Using a small heart shape cutter, cut hearts out of the strawberry halves and place them on a plate lined with paper towel.

4) Place gelatine and sugar in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

5) In a mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese and vanilla bean paste together and slowly add the gelatine syrup gradually until smooth. Pour it over  the base. Place it in the fridge for 10 minutes then place the strawberry hearts, partially submerged in the cheese filling. Place it back into the fridge and refrigerate for 2 hours.

6) For the jelly topping : Dissolve the jello in hot water and stir well. Add the room temperature water and allow it to cool completely before pouring over the cheese filling. (Use a ladle and slowly pour the mixture over the strawberries instead of the cheese to keep the jello clear!)

7) Chill it in the fridge for another 2 hours or overnight for the best results.

Enjoy! (: And Happy Hatchday once again my dearest friend!

*Note : When slicing, make sure you clean the knife after every cut. It might seem difficult to get them out without it being messy, but start with the corner and use a spetula to help you. Once you have the first piece out, the rest would be a breeze! 

Remember to always cook and bake with love!