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Friday, February 5, 2010
Black is chic, black is classic and black is super elegant. No respectable girl, fashionista or prude, would be caught without a trusted LBD (little black dress) in her closet. Such is the universal appeal of this colour that in recent years, the colour has started creeping into pastries and cakes. Lauderee has a pitch black macaron flavoured with licorice. I am still regretting not trying Bakerzin's midnight black mooncake because I was traveling. The most embraced jet black pastry has to be the Japanese Bamboo Charcoal Swiss Roll.
I have been fixated about baking something black but have not been able to get my hands on Edible Bamboo Charcaol. I have combed high end super markets in Hong Kong , Taiwan and health food stores for bamboo charcaol but have not been able to find any.
It was during my most recent trip to KaoHsiong, Taiwan this week that I chanced upon a baking ingredients wholesaler. My luck was probably running high that day, for I managed to grab the one last bottle of Bamboo Charcoal on the shelf.
Bamboo charcoal, for those who are curious, is actually made by burining bamboo at very high temperature.Burning bamboo at 800C carbonises the bamboo which results in a highly porous structure. The high porosity of bamboo charcoal allows it to filter and absorb impurities effectively. Hence, one of the most prevalent use of bamboo charcoal is in the purfication of drinking water. In addition, various medicinal benefits of bamboo charcaol have also been identified. I am, however, just eager to disperse these precious powder into my next sweet.
The option that is most accessible to me is the swiss roll. I have not made swiss roll for quite a while and I have to confess that I felt a little nervous making this. I usually watch nervously while the cake is baking in the oven - willing it not to rise too much. Then, as it cools down, I would check in every few minutes nervously, afraid that it will collapse to an emaciated mat. Then, as I roll, I worry that the roll will turn out wrong.
This did not turn out as beautiful as I would like it to be but it will have to do for now for I still have tons of report to write....consolation - I still have enough charcoal powder to make truck loads of swiss roll!
Egg Yolk 5
Egg White 4
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
All purpose flour 40g
Bamboo Charcoal 5g
Butter 40g (melted)
Fresh Cream 150ml
1. Line a 27cm x 27cm square pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Chiffon Sponge : Whip Egg Yolk with 20g Sugar until a figure 8 can be 'ribboned' out without fading quickly into the mixture. Add Vanilla extract and mix well.
In a separate clean bowl, whip egg white with 70g sugar until soft firm peaks are obtained. The meringue should still droop when the whip is inverted. (whipping the egg white too stiff will result in the sponge to rise excessively)
3. Chiffon Sponge : Pour Egg Yolk mixture into egg white and fold carefully to blend. Sift flour & Bamboo charcoal into the combined egg mixture. Fold carefully to ensure that flour is well combined. Pour in melted butter and fold to combine.
4. Pour batter into the lined square pan. Spread batter evenly. Bake cake in oven at 200C for 10 -12 mins.
5. After baking, remove cake from baking pan and leave to cool completely in parchment paper. Peel off parchment paper. The top face (brown side) will be creamed.
1. Whip fresh cream with sugar until firm.
Spread whipped cream on to top face of sponge. Roll carefully to form swiss roll. Trip edges.