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Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

Christmas is here! (almost)

December 8, 2012 4 comments

So i had a mini pre-christmas gathering yesterday. It was for a party of 10.

I would have loved to cook and bake myself silly. But i decided to abandon that over-ambitious idea. I decided it was almost impossible to be running back and forth from kitchen to baby’s room while food was cooking, or burning on the stove.

So i decided to bake. I decided it was less of a fire hazard for things to be baking in the oven rather than cooking on an open flame..

So here’s what we had.

1. A log cake

log cake

 

I have no inkling to the relationship between Christmas and log cakes. Why do people bake log cakes at Christmas?

I would have googled it, but really, i am too stoned right now to do anything productive.

Nevertheless, i followed cue. So, there was a log cake for my party.

2. Rudolph and Frosty

rudolph and frosty1

Now,at least,  i know about these. Rudolph, Santa’s red nosed reindeer. And of course Frosty, the snowman.

While these are not the best looking pictures around, and i am seriously contemplating not putting any post about them up. I am glad i did it. Cause I’m sure, it will be something i would love to look at down the road =)

 

 

 

 

 

Star Studded, Caramel Walnut Cupcakes

September 28, 2011 6 comments

It’s been a while since i made cupcakes, so i thought why not?
I havent really found a vanilla cupcake recipe that i really really would fall back upon, but if my memory served me right, the Magnolia Bakery’s one wasnt too bad.

So using that as the cupcake, i have topped one with some homemade caramel and walnuts,

I havent really mastered the arts of caramel making, so i wont be posting the recipe.

This recipe seemed pretty runny when i frosted, but then again, it was also still warm. It did kinda thicken up after some time.

As for the walnuts, they were just toasted for a bit in the oven. I wanted to make candied walnuts, but got too lazy to go about doing it.

This next cupcake is for the little niece,

A star studded cupcake for the little star.

She wiped out the star gummies on this cupcake. And the frosting. 

The cupcake was pinched, crumbled and squeezed. I dont think she ate any of it. LOL

All packed up and ready to go !

Magnolia”s Vanilla Cupcake

Taken from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

Icing:

  • Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry Curd

June 11, 2011 9 comments

I think the local Indonesian confectioner’s sugar is not as finely grained as the rest of the world out there. Because each time i made the American Buttercream, which only involved beating the butter and sugar together, it comes out gritty.

My favourite buttercream to date is the Meringue buttercream. Sure, it is dreary and tiresome as it involves heating and beating egg whites before you add the butter in, but it’s really worth the effort in my case.

But what’s most frustrating is when i laboured over the said buttercream, fastidiously pipped them over the cupcakes,only to have them scrapped aside.

Because that’s what always happens around this health conscious household.

Ditto for frostings which involve whipped cream.

So i have decided to go on the safe road and used pastry cream for today’s cupcake frosting. If they had no qualms eating it as fillings for my Boston Cream Donuts, this pastry cream is pretty much insured from getting the brush off.

Using Martha Stewart’s pastry cream recipe, this pastry cream doesn’t even contain butter. And considering that i am using it as a frosting, this is as good as it gets. I dont think you can get any healthier than that.

Or any more boring.

So i’ve decided to jazz it up a bit.

And started off with a lemon cupcake.

With an apple corer, i decided to take a bit of the middle off,

And piped a perimeter of the pastry cream around it. A note when cooking this pastry cream though. To get that pippable consistency, i cooked the pastry cream way more than what the recipe suggested. At the end of the cooking, you should get a thick, gloopy mixture that sits (and not dissolve) when you let it fall back into your pan from your spoon.

Then i filled up the cavity I created from the apple corer with raspberry curd.

Raspberry curd. Sure, it might have a bit of butter, but definitely way lesser compared to a full fledged buttercream.

Besides, raspberries are fruits. They fall into the bottom of the food pyramid, which mandates that everyone eats more of. Which is why i created the cavity in the first place. And made sure that i filled it all the way up.

 

Lemon Cupcakes, pastry cream and raspberry curd.

That’s like sunshine on mah plate!

Of course, if for some reasons, you happen to squeeze waaaaay too many lemons for your cupcakes and have waaaaay more lemon juice sparing around, you could also make these lemon curd versions.

Like so!

Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry (or Lemon) Curd

Lemon Cupcakes from Dash of Sass

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two muffin pans or line with paper liners. Set prepared pan aside.
– In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
– Beat in the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next one. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
– Once all eggs and yolks are combined, add the vanilla and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
– Add the lemon juice. Mix on low speed to combine.
– With the mixer still on low, mix in the dry ingredients in three separate additions. Between each addition of dry ingredients, add half of the sour cream. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stir until fully combined.

– Fill each prepared muffin tin 1/2 way with lemon cake batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Rotate the pans halfway through to ensure even baking.
– Remove cupcakes to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Pastry Cream from Martha Stewart

Raspberry Curd from Annie’s eats

For the raspberry curd:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pint ripe raspberries or 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

To make the raspberry curd, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries.  Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  Stir in lemon juice to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Curd from Martha Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Pistachio Cupcakes

May 22, 2011 19 comments

While the average person tries to spend as minimal time in the grocery store, i am one of those weirdos who loves to walk through each aisle leisurely.  I dawdle, i deliberate, and i drive my supermarket companion (whoever is unfortunate enough to be with me ) nuts at my unprogressive rate.

It was during one of these trips that i spotted this Pistachio instant pudding mix from Jell-o.

I grabbed one knowing exactly what i wanted it for.

A pistachio cream cheese frosting from my Cream Cheese Jelly Berry Pie. The original recipe was for filling a pie, but the texture was so thick and the taste so creamy that i decided that it would work as a frosting too.

But as an insurance, i did omit out the liquid (milk) in the recipe. I wanted this frosting to be really thick and full flavoured.

And since i was going fancy with the frosting, i didn’t one plain vanilla for the cupcakes. So i took an orange cupcake recipe but subbed the orange juice in it for cranberry juice.

Cranberry Cupcakes with Pistachio Cream Cheese anyone?

It didnt work out so well though, i couldn’t taste the cranberry flavours for one bit. I suggest on using cranberry extracts for this.

Having said that, the real star here is the frosting. Really, it could have been just be a piece of stale bread underneath and it will still taste delicious!

Cranberry Cupcakes:
2 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line your cupcake pans.
  2. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Combine the milk with the cranberry juice.
  6. Pour one third flour mixture into the butter mixture, then half of the milk mixture. Repeat ending with the flour mixture. Mix well.
  7. Spoon batter evenly among cupcake liners.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

1/4 c cold milk

1 Package (3.4 ounces) Pistachio Instant pudding mix

  1. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and pudding mix for 1 minute.
  2. Spread over cooled cupcakes.
  3. Sprinkle chopped pistaschio and dried cranberries over to prettify!

Green Tea Cupcakes with Red Bean Paste

May 18, 2011 11 comments

I know i shouldn’t be mentioning words like “boils” in a food blog, but this cupcake really looks like it has boils all over it.

Well, it wasn’t supposed to be like that.

Before i go any further, lemme just put your minds at ease and clarify that the “boils” were rounded red bean paste and the cupcakes, are green tea cupcakes.

Green tea and red bean- another classic combination.

But the real reason why i baked these today was because i wanted to finish my tub of  expiring yogurt which I know for a fact will cook to the most moist and delicious cupcakes.

Plus, the pictures didn’t show anything wart-like.

Because I was just supposed to pinch the red bean paste and drop it into the batter, NOT make rounded balls. What a pair of overzealous, idle fingers i’ve got this morning!

Green Tea Yogurt Cupcakes

A

120 gr butter

60 gr icing sugar

50 gr unflavoured yogurt

B

135 gr plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbs green tea powder

C

100 gr red bean paste filling

1. Beat butter and sugar of ingredient A until smooth. Add eggs in slowly and then yogurt. Mix well. Next mix in ingredient B.

2. Add in ingredints C, mix well. Spoon into paper cups, three quarters of the way up. Arrange on a baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree celcius for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Cranberry Almond Yoghurt Cupcakes

May 9, 2011 14 comments

These might not be the prettiest cupcakes around,

But please, don’t let their modest appearance deceive you. For these are one of the most delicious cupcakes i have ever tasted.

I was quite surprised myself at how much i loved these cupcakes. Then i took a closer look at the recipe, and understood why the cupcakes turned out so great.

It’s quite a brilliant recipe me thinks.

For one instead of using regular sugar, these cupcakes call for icing sugar to be beaten with the butter.This results in a cake texture with the tightest crumbs and finest texture.

  

See what i mean?

Also, instead of regular milk, the recipe also call for yoghurt. And we all know how yoghurt always makes cakes so much more moist and soft. Plus i think the acidity in the yoghurt might have reacted better with the baking powder to result in a better rise in these cupcakes.

Of course, all these deductions are  just shallow observations from a home-baker and i might be gravelly wrong. I have never been professionally trained in baking and am no expert when it comes to how ingredients react with each other.

But i think i might have eaten enough cupcakes to know that these are good!!

Cranberry Almond Yoghurt Cupcakes

(Recipe from Cupcakes by Coco Kong)

110 gr butter

80 gr icing sugar

1 egg

50 gr unflavoured yoghurt

30 gr almond powder

120 gr plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50 gr dried cranberries, chopped

1. Beat butter and sugar till smooth. Add egg in slowly before adding in the yoghurt.

2. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder and almond powder together. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add in cranberries

3. Spoon batter into paper lined cupcake tins till they are three quarters full.

4. Bake at 150 degree celcius for 20-25 minutes, or till they are cooked.

Happy Birthday Cousin!

March 31, 2011 30 comments

It’s cousin Irien’s birthday a couple of days ago!

And ideally, I would have loved baking, frosting and decorating a no expense spared, collosal cake with all the works. A monster sized  cake just as big as her heart. 

But cousin Irien is so tiny! Barely into her twenties, she could be the dictionary illustration of “fashionably thin”. She could be a pea sharing  a pod with Nicole Richie, and boy would they rock that pod.

So i crossed that big collosal cake idea, and went for something small.

Inspired by Grace of La Mia Vita Dolce, these are called the Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes. But i strayed away from her recipe and settled on something i was familiar with. I guess i was not comfortable with experimenting with a new recipe when the stake (the birthday) is high.

So i started with baking cupcakes. A certain moist, and delicious chocolate cupcake

to which i piped on a white chocolate ganache frosting

And, dont worry, there is no need to go digging out your fancy pipping tips for this. In fact, i just loaded up my pipping bag sans any tip.

Because it will be covered with a good drizzle of melted chocolate.  YUMMM..*licks spoon.

Some fancy coloured sprinkles,

And of course a cherry on top to officiate the Sundae look.

Taa-Daaah!

That was easy peasy wasn’t it?

I’ve said it once, and i will say it again.

“Happy Birthday Cousin, may you stay eternally pixie cute, and be abundantly showered with love!”

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

(Taken from Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CUPCAKES: (Makes about 12)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into cupcake lined tins and bake at 350-degrees for 15 minutes.

For the White Chocolate Ganache

200 gr White Chocolate, chopped

200 gr Whipping Cream

1. Double boil white chocolate till it fully melts, set aside to cool slightly

2. Whip the whipping cream to soft peaks. Drizzle in the cooled melted white chocolate, and whip to firm peaks (You want this to be of pipe-able consistency)

For Decorations:

Some melted chocolate

Some Fancypants sprinkles

Some maraschino cherries

Isabella’s Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

February 24, 2011 16 comments

I never would have thought 8-12 year old kids could be left in the kitchen unsupervised. I mean, with open flames, kitchen knives, and heavy weight kitchen appliances, the kitchen is not exactly a safe playground. But watching Australia’s junior masterchef got me totally flabbergasted.

The cynic in me wondered whether they were even able to cook up something that was safe for consumption, that nothing was too raw, or overdone. But i was blown away when i saw their creations which looked not only delicious, but also were assembled in the most appealing fashion.

The baker in me naturally got drawn to the winning dish which was featured in the first mystery box challenge -Lemon meringue cupcakes.

Now now, not only was the challenge winner, 12 year old Isabella was able to make temperature sensitive egg-based curd, she was also able to score with the ever so temperamental egg white meringue.

The lemon curd was cooked till it was just thickened. It was really smooth, luscious and silky. A hole is created in the middle of each cupcake to house the lemon curd.

however, i was a tad worried as the curd was a bit on the sour side.

But my worries were unfounded as the tangy-ness from the sour curd went flawlessly well with the traditionally too sweet meringue.

So when the judges were swooning over this, they were not exaggerating. This cupcake got its deserved attention and praises. It is that good!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Ingredients

(Taken from Masterchef)

Cupcakes

1 cup pure cream
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Lemon curd

1/2 cup lemon juice
100g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue

3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180’C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan.

2. Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.

3. Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.

4. For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.

5. For meringue, beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag.

6. To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd.  Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

January 7, 2011 4 comments

‘Please don’t scrape away this frosting’ i thought to myself as i spread the caramel buttercream onto each of these cupcakes. It seems almost habitual for my family members to scrape away the bad, unhealthy frosting as they eat cupcakes, layered cakes or even filled cookies. I don’t blame them, i do that myself, but i am at least diplomatic enough to leave a decent amount of frosting to know its flavour, taste and texture.

You can pretty much imagine my delight when i see a naked half eaten cupcake. Naked, becase all of its frosting had been eaten, as opposed to pushed to the side of the plate. The half bitten cupcake lay undressed, and abandoned.

This must have been some pretty good frosting for my family member (my sister actually) to change her eating habit, and sacrifice that extra calories! And that is a major breakthrough for me.I know i am probably not convincing you enough with the pictures here. The colours are a bit on the pale side, hardly caramel-like. I guess i must have been too chicken to take the sugar to a further amber brown as i was making the caramel. But trust me, even its ghastly shade, the caramel flavour was definitely present, although not as much as it should have been. Hopefully on my next attempt, i would be gutsy enough to take that heat and sugar relationship to a deeper, darker level.

So for these cupcakes, i have decided on a lil sprinking of crushed caramel candies, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Just because i am a firm believer that nothing goes better on caramel than MORE caramel. LOL.

 


Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Taken from the parsley thief ( Thanks so much for sharing! )

Cupcakes:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 large egg whites
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with paper cups.
Whisk the flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Add the sugar & vanilla seeds, beat until combined. Add the egg whites & then the whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl, as needed. Add the milk & beat to combine. Turn the mixer down to low & slowing add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the paper liners, until 1/2 full. Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the sugar & water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil & cook, without stirring, until it turns a dark amber color, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat & slowly stir in the heavy cream & vanilla. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, so do this slowly, stirring as you pour! Set aside until cool to the touch.
Beat the butter & salt in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Reduce the speed to low & add the powdered sugar. Beat until completely incorporated. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the bowl & pour in the caramel. Turn the mixer back on & beat until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container & chill for at least 45 minutes before using.
Note: The frosting can be made ahead of time & stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Let the frosting come to room temperature before using.

Lastly, do head over to the parsley thief for a more accurate shade of the caramel frosting and for the most pretty pictures!

Almond, Orange, and Cranberry MiniCupcakes

December 12, 2010 11 comments

Almond, Orange, Cranberry Cupcakes. Geez, the title itself is already a mouthful isn’t it?  There is the fruits, and the nuts all rolled into a medley. But fret not, despite the jumbled mess of a name, this will work just fine.

These cupcakes might take a lil bit more fostering than the average cupcakes. It’s not just a matter of throwing in a bunch of chocolate chips, or a handful of nuts.

The oranges have to be zested, and the cranberries chopped, and then soaked.

And let me tell you about these soaked cranberries… I soaked these cranberries in Grand Marnier, and i can’t tell you enough how wonderfully plump and flavourful each cranberry became. It was like biting into mini bursts of delight, fruity, full-bodied, and fragrant. I think Grand Marnier is fast becoming a baking favourite.

A lil downfall in these soaked cranberries though, literally. The cranberries get heavy, and they sink downward. Although some did manage to stay afloat, most of them made their way south.  I know i should have chopped the cranberries smaller, and pat them dry, or sprinkle a lil flour before dumping them into the batter. But i guess i got a lil lazy. Lesson learnt.

Let me go on to marvel at the cake now. In case you were wondering, the dark shade of this cake is brought about by the glorious brown sugar. And just by having brown sugar, these cupcakes by default are delicious. I love brown sugar, and i have come to notice a trend with it. Brown sugar baked goods somehow get more flavoursome and all the more luscious with time. These cupcakes taste better on the second day, so i guess that kinda challenges that cliche “fresh from the oven” slogan so overused today eh?

Anyways, for the recipe, i have adapted Pastry Girl’s Apricot, Orange, and Almond Mini Cakes and subbed the Apricots for Dried Cranberries. And in case you havent already, do head over to her blog for the most amazing display of desserts. Her pictures of stunningly gorgeous! Thanks Anita for sharing the recipe!

Apricot, Orange, and Almond Loaf Cakes

adapted from Carole Bloom’s Bite-Size Desserts

makes 12 4″x 2 1/4″ loaves

2/3 cup (4 ounces) dried apricots, finely chopped (i used dried cranberries)

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

2 cups (9 ounces) flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (5 ounces) sugar plus extra for sprinkling

3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

2 extra-large eggs, room temperature (I used large and it turned out fine)

1 extra-large egg yolk, room temperature (same as above)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon orange extract

zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray twelve mini loaf pans with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

Combine apricots and Grand Marnier in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate for 15 minutes.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until well combined.

Combine eggs, egg yolk, extracts, and orange peel in a small bowl. Add to mixture and beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

Add in the apricots and mix until combined.

Divide mixture among prepared pans, filling about 3/4 full. Sprinkle almonds and sugar over the tops.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on wire racks before serving.

Oreo Rubble

October 7, 2010 11 comments

I have been feeling a bit caught up, between muffins and cupcakes.

I wanted them to look pretty, but i didn’t want the fussy frostings.

Because, let’s admit it, each time i pack the cupcakes into a case, i have to beware of butterfinger smudges.

And each time i walk with the said loaded case, i have to walk a lil bit slower.

And i do say a lil prayer, for the weather to be just right, that it wouldn’t rain too hard, or shine too bright,

Just so that my frostings would stay upright.

But with this cupcakes, my precautions can take a mini break.

These cuppies were swiftly sweeped into an awaiting lunchbox.

And as i walk with the lunchbox, i could even afford a lil swing of my arm.

I smiled upon the heavy deluge that accompanied us the whole of this morning.

And i have to say, these cuppies are quite lookers too. Rustic, and homely, a different set of charm from its hollywood-ised, glammed up cousin with the pretty cream frostings.

So if you are like me, or Dana, who are feeling in a lil bit of a cupcake scrooge mood, this is one recipe to turn to.

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes
Taken from Dana who adapted from Cupcakes!
Makes 18-24 regular cupcakes

I used Newman’s Own for the cookies.  The recipe says the yield is 18, but I got 24 – never a bad thing!

2 1/4 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies , in 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup (6oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcake Batter (recipe follows)
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 18 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Spoon 1 tbsp. of the cookie pieces into the bottom of each paper liner, then spoon about 8 chocolate chips over the cookie pieces in each liner.  Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of batter over the chocolate chips.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and cookie pieces over the  tops, pressing them gently into the batter.

Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes.  Cool the cupcakes for 20 minutes in the pans on a wire rack.

Carefully lift the cupcakes from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.  Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.

Use a small spoon to drizzle thin lines of melted chocolate over the top of each cooled cupcake.  The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcake Batter

This is a great basic cupcake to have in your repetoire.  All kinds of frosting taste great on top.

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water

Put the chocolate ina heatproof bowl and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.  On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate.  On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well until each is blended into the batter.  Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute.  Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.  On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.  Mix in the water.  Mix in the remaining flour mixture unil it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.  Proceed with above recipe.

Caramel Frenzy

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I don’t know what came over me when i chose to embark on making these cupcakes. Baking projects like this should only be for the master bakers like Sprinkle Bakes, who probably feels that caramel making is as easy as eating them. I guess curiosity got the better of me, after my somewhat mini success with caramel on a previous incident.


But even with that as a boost, this recipe is still not for the faint hearted, as it requires you to make caramel THREE times. I don’t know how lucky you are generally in life, but for me, there is no way that i can get lucky three times in consecutive.

So making these cupcakes mean one thing, I gotta stop mucking around and pay attention to what’s going on. That’s pretty much the most important rule in the game of caramel making i guess – watching the whole process with vigilant eyes.

Triple salted caramel cupcakes ( does that sounds damn good or wad?), for the triple caramel components that make up the cake. the filling, the topping and the sugar spun decorations.

And thanks to Sprinkle Bakes’ comprehensive and detailed instructions, i think i did pretty okay. THANKS Sprinkle Bakes!

But having said that, i know i still have a long way to go. I wouldn’t exactly call that blob of candied caramel an art, and plus i guess the filling was just a tad over done judging from its colour and its slight bitter taste. For better pictures, head down to Sprinkle Bakes. Her cupcakes and pictures are nothing short of perfect!

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes    (Recipe from Sprinkle Bakes)
Makes 15 Cupcakes
Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel.  Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

Candied Salted Caramel Rounds

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
2-4 tablespoons of large-crystal sugar

Lay out a large piece of parchment on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large tub (or your sink) partially full of ice water.

Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice as the syrup caramelizes so it will color evenly; do not stir.  When the caramel is deep amber, plunge the base of the pan into ice water for about 2 seconds to stop further cooking.

Working quickly, dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle.  Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times.  When caramel has hardened (it will still be sticky) sprinkle on the large-crystal sugar.  Remove from paper and adorn cupcakes.

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Mini Cakelets

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment



If i could describe a characteristic for these cakelets, it would be unpretentious.
Their simple and honest goodness is a fresh change from all the jazzed up cupcakes of today.
I feel like i have somewhat travelled back to a time where things were waaay more simpler, where recipes don’t run to a couple of pages long, or when women from the movie stepford wives would don on their floral aprons to bake these cakes..

Okay, that was totally random, but it’s just a thought.

If you have got a couple of minutes to spare, give this cake a try.. i promise, this cake would bake out in record time!

Try it! Recipe from Here

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