Friday, November 25, 2011

Kawaii Faces - White Chocolate Mud Cake

I have not stopped cooking. Neither have I ceased taking photographs. It’s just that, apart from my wife’s cakes, I find nothing inspiring with my recent kitchen exploits. Due to my work commitments I actually have not been cooking anything new and exciting. They’re still tasty meals but nothing extraordinary.

So please forgive me as this is another cake post. But for your benefit I’ll include my wife’s White Chocolate Mud Cake recipe at the end. I cannot emphasise how scrumptious it is. Those who have tasted it can attest to that. I should start putting testimonials on her page (Cherry’s Cakes)…

One great thing about having kids is the fact that they keep me in touch with today’s pop culture. I might not like most of it (I’m already exhibiting signs of generation gap) but it is valuable to at least be aware of “what the kids are into.”

“Kawaii” is a Japanese word that literally translates to “cute.” It not only characterises Japanese pop culture but also their mainstream society as a whole. From clothing to cars, from entertainment to everyday kitchen items, even in people’s mannerisms ‘kawaii’ or cuteness features quite heavily. There is nothing in Japan that has not been infiltrated by ‘kawaii’.

While my son is very much into manga my girls, on the other hand, prefer all these ‘kawaii’ stuff. To be more specific, they have a thing for miniature versions of everyday food. I did not realise they are quite prolific on the internet. There are thousands of YouTube videos that you can watch on the subject.

So, When Eliana was asked what cake design she had in mind for her birthday the answer was pretty obvious. But with literally thousands (maybe even millions) to choose from the dilemma for us was, what sort of ‘kawaii” it was going to be. Hello Kitty has been done to death as with most ‘cute’ characters.

And then she showed us these ‘kawaii faces’. The faces represent various emotions a 9 year old girl would have gone through in her young life. They were perfect! There were at least 9 of them, just right for Eliana’s 9th birthday.

As for the flavour of the cake it had to be Eliana’s favourite white chocolate. The mini cakes were also individually encased in white chocolate for added luxury and texture.

To add Eliana’s personal touch to her cake she made ‘kawaii’ food to complete the design. No need for us to for an apprentice. She’s got the drive and the passion to succeed her mom…

Among all my children you’re the one who has shown me how it is to have a child like faith. Thank you! I love you! Happy birthday!

As promised here’s the recipe.

White Chocolate Mud Cake

300g unsalted butter chopped

300g white chocolate

300g plain flour

150g self raising flour

400g caster sugar

3 eggs lightly beaten

1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

270ml water

A pinch of salt

9 inch round tin

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease and line the tin with baking paper.
  3. Put the butter and the water in a pan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Turn off the heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well mixed.
  4. Sift the flours, the sugar, salt in a deep bowl and make a well in the centre.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir until well combined.
  6. Pour into the cake tin. Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake.
  7. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  8. Serve on its own, with fresh cream or white chocolate ganache.