Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love at first Sight, Friendship and a Chocolate Layer Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

She walked into my life in year 2000. Back then, I was having my December holidays and was waiting for my admission to Junior College. This girl spotted short black hair and she had the most vibrant smile that even the sun pales in comparision. It was love at first sight... Ten years have passed and she still holds a very special place in my heart. She loves music. In fact, she makes music. Her name is Stefanie Sun, an extraodinary girl who made a difference in my life and many others.

It has been a long wait and it is nearly 4 years since her last album. These 4 years seem like eternity... Now, she is finally back, with a upcoming brand new album which I am eagerly anticipating and I am sure that goes for her other fans out too. When her first hit single made its maiden debut on our local radio station, I could feel the nostalgia. It was a sense of familiarity. How I missed the times back then, when I would rush down to record stores to check if her albums has hit the shelves on the very first day of album release.

She is a good company and a great role model throughout all these years. I love her unpretentious attitude, her thoughtfulness, her kind-heartedness and her strength. Needless to say, I am infatuated with her music, her songs, and just everything about her. Thanks to her, I met a bunch of worthy, loyal and supportive friends over the years. We had our share of joy and sorrow, and shared memories we would foolishly laugh at upon recollection.

The bunch of us gathered for our usual Chinese New Year steamboat at J's place. I am not quite a fan of steamboat generally, but this dinner is one which I always look forward to, filled with endless dose of fun and laughter. I've been offically named 'Grandpa' among the bunch this year, adding another nickname along to my baking persona 'Bakertan'. For the occasion,I baked a chocolate layer cake with orange cream cheese frosting which was meant as a backup cake.

Originally, I had intended for a tiramisu layer cake. It fell short of expectations as the texture seemed grainy due to the gelatine solution setting prematurely causings lumps to form. Due to a lack of time, I decided to work on a layer cake which involved much less work and I think would at least turn out to be presentable. Hence, the chocolate layer cake with orange cream cheese frosting was born. Nevertheless, I brought both cakes along. This has to be the first time ever that I am doing 2 birthday cakes on the same day for the same person.

The chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting worked out great. If I were to fault it, it would be the height of the chocolate layers, for they are too short for the amount of frosting. With thicker layers, the chocolate cake would be perfect. Thankfully, the tiramisu didn't fare too badly and it wasn't noticeablely grainy.

I will be making this chocolate layer cake again with taller layers, hence I shall only be sharing the orange cream cheese frosting recipe, which is ridiculously simply and fuss free to put together but yields great results nonetheless. The best part about this frosting is that it has a lot less sugar compared to most frostings.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting ( recipe adapted from Chocolate Ephipany from Francois Payard)
Serving size: enough to frost one 3 layer cake
Taste and texture: citrusy and creamy
Equipment and materials:
1) Handheld/stand  mixer
2) Mixing bowl
3) Measuring scale

440g cream cheese, softened
140g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
3 tbs orange juice (one tbs at a time)
zest from 2 oranges

Making the frosting:
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium high speed until it is no longer lumpy. Add in sugar and continue to beat until sugar is combined and mixture is light and fluffy. Next, add in orange juice (by the tablespoon to your desired consistency) and orange zest and continue beating until mixture is well combined.

1) Cream cheese frosting holds its shape well unrefrigerated.
2) Flavour can be varied using lemon, calamansi, grapefruit or yuzu instead of orange.
3) Grate the zest over the frosting to allow the orange oil to seep into the frosting.
4) Do not omit zest as it is imparts a great deal of citrus flavour.
5) When using it for any cake, let the frosted cake sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours if you have the time, the cake will become really moist. That's what happened to my chocolate cake when I let it sit for a few hours.
6) Add more icing sugar if required. 


  1. I love the frosting on this cake. Look pretty!

  2. GREAT JOB ZY! (: the cake look so nicely done up (:

  3. Creamy cheese frosting never fails! Thumbs up! You got me there when I read the first couple of lines - me thought you found someone and I thought like - hey, it' so romantic!!

  4. The cake is very beautifully frosted. Wow! I like Stefanie Sun too but not as much as my husband. LOL. She looks simple but in actual fact, she is a man-eater. LOL.

  5. Haha, agreed with busygran, I thought you were talking about how you met your gf until i read further. ;p hey, you got a nice cake, I'm sure it tastes yummy ;)

  6. Ha ZY for a moment, I thought you are talking about your girl friend!

  7. Great job on the frosting. Very nicely done, ZY.

  8. ZY, I thought you are talking about your girlfriend :P. The cake looks good!

  9. Stef Sun is good! I like her songs

  10. Hey ZY, go for it man! Make Stef your gal. You sound like totally infatuated with her(or just her songs?) ;) anyway, I support you all the way! Heehee! Lovely cake, can I have a slice please?

  11. The frosting is definitely a plus point in the cake... thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe

  12. Orange cream cheese frosting sounds truly refreshing! I would truly love to try this frosting!

  13. Haha ... I thought too you were talking about your girl friend. Well done, the cake looks good.

  14. ZY, you've become the default baker at your gatherings, I see :)... And it is easy to understand why.

  15. hey ann,

    thanks! I din have much time to decorate it an adopted a more rustic approach.


    hey Jasmine,

    Thank you =]


    hey judy,

    this is my 2nd time making cream cheese frosting. am glad i tried it out. its so easy to make and the results are good. oops sorry i misleaded everyone, haha


    hey zoe,

    thanks! you like her too? I love her to bits


    hey cathy,

    thanks for the nice words. The cake is soft and moist thanks to the frosting. too bad its too low in height though.


  16. hey edith,

    haha sorry for misleading you all.


    hey eelin,

    thanks so much for being so supportive, appreciate it =]


    Hey Jess,

    haha well you can say that she's my gf in a way.. thanks =]


    Hey swee san,

    yeah man... her songs rock.. i can put her songs on infinite repeat and play them for hours.


    hey jess,

    thanks, i meant it to be rustic since i was in a hurry..

  17. hey bee bee,

    erm ya im very into her... haha i like the way things are right now... if there's the chance, i will make this for you ya?


    hey olivia,

    yeah the frosting is like the icing on the cake literally and it helps add a whole new dimension. you're welcome.


    hey jane,

    do give it a try. hope you will like it =]


    hey chris,

    haha i wasnt referring to my gf, haha. thanks =)


    hey shirley,

    actually there's a couple of my frens in the bunch who can bake. but im the one who bakes much more often..

  18. ZY, you really had me going with your first few sentences. Cheez and then it was Stefanie Sun. Haha. Anyway this is absolutely gorgeous cake and wish I was having a piece now with my coffee.


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