Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Baking is expensive.

I really need to master the art of making do or improvising with ingredients. I have forgotten how costly baking therapy can be.

Quite often there are special ingredients in some recipes, which are unavailable at normal markets. So I shop at Cold Storage, which caters to the expatriates. As I wrote in my previous post on Ginger Bread & Butter Pudding, the ingredients can be quite a pinch.

Spot has a tip - substitute double cream with normal cream, and ginger marmalade with normal marmalade and crystallised ginger. Now why didn't I think of that!

But with certain things like chocolate, it's quite a tough compromise. Especially when how good a cake tastes correlates with the quality of its ingredients.

For example, the Flourless Chocolate Cake.

The recipe calls for 'high quality dark chocolate with minimum 70% cocoa solids' and unsalted butter.

A supermarket run at Carrefour reveals:
Lindt (the high quality Swiss-made chocolate) is the only brand that carries dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. A 100g block sells at RM10.99. The recipe requires 250g, so 3 blocks x RM10.99 = RM33.

A Carrefour brand chocolate with 55% cocoa solids sells at RM8.45 for 400g. Talk about a big price difference for 15% extra in cocoa solids? Wah liao!

Then, the unsalted butter. Only Lurpak, a Danish brand, is available at this market for RM6 a pat (normal salted butter from other brands range between RM3-4). Wow, at this rate, I'd have to limit myself to a baking project twice a month at most or I'd be broke before year end!

Anyway, what the heck.
As long as they make good cake.

And it's easy to make too.
Melt chocolate. Then butter into chocolate. Then sugar with eggs (separated, whites whipped separately). Then mix it all in with the liquer and into the pan. I have no Grand Marnier (as per recipe), so I substitute it with rum, which adds a nice rum-ballish flavour to the cake. It goes into the oven for 40 minutes. Then I frost it with some fudge and dust the edges with icing sugar. Yummy and moist when fresh and warm.

I'd prolly not make this again.
Cos I want to try making my own chocolate volcano.


Blogger Erin Hsieh said...

Hey, I know my comment's a bit late. Anyways, just a thought. Why don't you make a list of things you need, and I'll get them for you before I go back. I think it's cheaper here. Minus conversion. Hehe! Remember our deal, k? You make it, I'll pay for it! Yum! Win-win situation! *smiles sweetly*

1:11 AM  
Blogger snowdrop said...

i know this sounds too ridiculously good to be true, but BUNGA RAYA's dark cooking chocolate is good! AND it's only about rm5 for 250gms! god knows what they put inside, but i've used it with very good effect so far.

also, a slightly cheaper brand of unsalted butter is Devondale. used to be really cheap, now about rm4.90.

both can be found in tesco.

and YES, if you have friends coming back from abroad willing to carry for you, TAKE UP THE OFFER!! ;)

5:23 PM  

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