Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gateau Africani

(source: For The Love Of Baking)

Sponge cake:
100 g sifted cake flour
30 g cornstarch
30 g cocoa powder
8 egg yolks
5 egg whites
175 gr powdered sugar
75 g unsalted butter, melted

Rhum syrup:
100 g castor sugar
80 ml water
4 Tbs rhum

8 egg yolks
90 g cornstarch
700 ml milk
150 g castor sugar
4 tsp rhum
2 cans (@ 312 g) mandarin oranges, drained

Cocoa powder for garnish

Special tools:
1 round cake pan 22 cm for baking
1 round springform pan 20 cm for assembling


  1. Butter 22-cm round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Heat the oven at 180 degree Celcius.
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch and cocoa powder twice. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs on high speed until it rises. Beat in sugar gradually while beating until thick and pale, and if you drop the batter with spoon, it leaves a trail that won’t dissapear for awhile. Turn off the mixer.
  4. Sift flour mixture into the batter, fold well.
  5. Fold in a little batter to the melted butter to thicken it. Fold the butter-mixture back into the egg batter gradually. Fold well.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan, bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool on rack. After 5 minutes, turn cake into rack and let cool.
  7. When the cake is cool, tort/slice the cake horizontally into three layers. Put one layer into smaller cake pan (20 cm). Push a little so the layer fits perfectly in the pan. Wet the layer surface with rhum syrup. Set aside.
  8. Rhum Syrup: Mix sugar and water, boil the mixture until the sugar dissolves (doesn’t have to reach boiling point). Let cool. Stir in rhum.
  9. Custard: Beat eggs with fork, mix with cornstarch and a little bit of milk. Set aside. Boil milk and sugar, stir until it reaches boiling point. Remove from heat. Mix in a little bit of hot milk to the egg mixture, stir quickly to avoid lumps (we call this technique “fishing”). Pour back the egg mixture (now it’s warm) into the hot milk, stir. Put it back on heat, keep stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat, let it warm slightly (no vaporization anymore), stir in rhum and oranges.
  10. Assembling:
    When the custard is still warm, pour 1/2 of it onto the cake layer in the pan, spread it quickly before it gets cooled. Put the second layer on custard, push a little so the cake stick well on custard. Wet the second layer surface with rhum syrup. Pour all custard onto the second layer, spread evenly. Put the third layer on custard, push a little bit to perfect its shape. Let it all cool in the pan.
  11. Remove cake from pan, transfer to a plate. Garnish with cocoa powder.
  12. Eat it already!!


  • Generally, Gateau Africain is simply a chocolate sponge cake layered with custard. So feel free to use your favorite chocolate sponge cake recipe and custard , you get yourself a gateau (it’s better be sponge cake, though. Not butter type cake). But to its perfection, you’ve got to add oranges in the custard!

*photo and recipe by "For The Love Of Baking"

Simple Secrets to Perfect Cheesecake

Simple Secrets to Perfect Cheesecake

Use these 10 easy tips to make sure your cheesecake comes out uncracked and perfectly baked.

1. The cream cheese should be at room temperature (and soft) before you begin mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake

2. Do not overbeat your cheesecake batter

3. Cheesecake should be removed from the oven before it looks done, the center will appear jiggly. Cheesecakes become firm only after they’ve cooled and have chilled for several hours.

4. When you remove your cheesecake from the oven, immediately run a thin knife along the edges, pressing the knife against the wall of the pan to loosen the top. This prevents cracking as the cheesecake cools and contracts.

5. If your cheesecake batter has starch in the recipe (flour or cornstarch), you do not need a water bath.

6. If you use a water bath, use this foolproof method:

* Wrap aluminum foil around the sides and bottom of the springform pan.

* Place the springform pan which has all the cheesecake ingredients in it, into a larger deep baking pan (approximately 3 inches deep) that it will fit into with room to spare.

* Place the pans in a preheated oven. Using a teakettle filled with very hot water, pour water into the larger pan about halfway up the sides of the pan.

* Bake cheesecake as directed. When the cheesecake is done baking, remove the springform pan from the water bath pan and set aside so you can remove the larger pan with the water in it from oven. Be very careful, as it will be extremely hot.

* Remove the aluminim foil from the sides and bottom of the springform pan after the cheescake has chilled completely in the refrigerator.

7. Do not cool your cheesecake in the oven. If the recipe calls for the cheescake to finish baking in a turned-off oven, do so. However, if you are to remove it from the oven, do not leave it in to cool.

8. Do not attempt to remove your cheesecake from the pan until it has chilled overnight, at least 12 hours. This will ensure that it is firm enough to avoid breakage.

9. To remove the cheesecake from the springform pan bottom, make sure the cake has been chilled in the refrigerator overnight. Place the cheesecake in its pan (with sides) over a burner set at low heat and turn it every 10 seconds until the entire bottom is warmed. This softens the butter in the crust, which will help release the cake from the pan.

10. To remove the cheesecake from the springform pan sides, use a very thin knife that has been warmed by dipping in hot water and dried. Go around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it using a slow up and down motion. Open the springform pan's ring. The cheesecake will slide easily on to a plate.