Friday, February 5, 2016

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins


Are you busy preparing for CNY? This year, I did not bake any CNY cookies :D

Here's to share an easy Strawberry Yogurt Muffin recipe I found online. For original recipe and method, please visit Inspired Taste.

Ingredients

Dry:
227g cake flour
2/3tsp double-acting baking powder
3/4tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
70g demerara sugar

Wet:
85g butter, melted
1 egg
230g Strawberry yogurt
some fresh strawberries, sliced

Method
1. In a bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.
2. In another bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
3. Add wet to dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until no trace of flour is seen. Avoid over mixing.
4. Add sliced strawberries and fold.
5. Fill muffin cups to 3/4 full. Bake at preheated oven at 200 degC for 15-20 mins.

This makes an easy tea time snack or breakfast :)



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Christmas Cupcakes - Delayed Post

Photo credits to my hubby's colleague. This is the best photo taken :p
see the melting fondant?



This is a much delayed post. Made these for my hubby's office last month but as it was 8pm when I finished decorating these cupcakes, which was too dark to take a good photo so I did not take any. I thought he would be able to take nicer photos but I guess their Christmas celebration was indoors, so the photos taken were far from ideal as well :p

This was the first time I had baked 70 cupcakes and decorated them in one day. The biggest batch I ever made was for my kid's birthday - 40 cupcakes with no decorations. I used Satin Ice Fondant to decorate most of the cupcakes. Fondant does not need refrigeration but since I used buttercream to stick the fondant to the cupcakes, I had to keep the frosted cupcakes in the fridge (dairy products can go bad if not refrigerated). I placed the cupcakes in the paper cupcake boxes, and wrapped the boxes with cling wrap before keeping them in the fridge. Unfortunately, some fondant on the cupcakes melted the next morning. There is really no other way, unless I decorate the cupcakes with the fondant only in the morning. I considered decorating in the morning but it would have been too rush. Decorating cupcakes with fondant in Singapore's kind of weather really does require a lot of planning :p

Glad to hear that they like the cupcakes. I hope the cupcakes had brought some Christmas cheers to his colleagues. The was a good challenge! Although at the end of the day, I felt like my legs were not mine anymore (after long hours of standing),  I am certainly glad to have accomplished the mission :D





Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Appie Pie



My ugly looking apple pie :p From the look of it, you can guess how desperate I was when I was trying to cover the top of the pie. Made these apple pies yesterday, which was a super hot day (not like there are many days that are not hot in Singapore :p). The dough was melting as I was trying to lay them on the pie mould.

Please refer to Eugenie Kitchen's recipe and method on her blog. Found her videos to be very useful. I didn't have enough apples so I tweaked the recipe a little. Also, I used a Korean rice spoon to measure the flour and sugar :p Here are the ingredients I used:

Ingredients

For filling:
- 395g of Envy Apples (weight after peeling and removing core)
- 4 (Korean) spoons of demerera sugar
- 2 (Korean) spoons of cake flour (for thickening)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice

My notes:
- When making filling, add flour, sugar and lemon juice together in a big bowl and mix. Mixture will be grainy.
- Slice apples thinly and evenly for faster and even cooking.

For pie crust, please refer to Eugenie Kitchen's Shortcrust Pastry recipe and video.

Envy apple is fairly sweet. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on what kind of apples you use. The sweetness is just right for the taste buds of my family. This recipe is a good way to use up extra apples. It also saves the step of caramelizing of the apples.





Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Black Brownie



Last month, we happened to be in the Seah Street area and I recalled that there is a baking store nearby. Read from somewhere that Sun Lik sells Valrhona cocoa powder in small amount, so I swung by and got a 200g packet at S$8.50. It is the first time I invested in the much acclaimed dutch-processed coca powder. Was pretty excited about it and yearning to try it out. Found time to bake with this yesterday. The color of the brownie does look very black as compared to those made with natural cocoa powder. In fact, the color looks a bit charcoal-like in the photo? I did not use any highlight in the photo above and it is taken using my iPhone 5S on a gloomy day. 

I followed the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Love how easy the recipe is. Here're the ingredients I used, and please refer to her blog for her complete recipe and method.

Ingredients:

140g unsalted butter
125g demerera sugar (reduced from 250g in original recipe)
65g valrhona cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 drop vanilla paste (1tsp pure vanilla extract in original recipe)
2 eggs
65g cake flour (AP flour in original recipe)

Notes:
- Bake at 160C for 20 to 25 mins

As I reduced the sugar drastically, the brownie was not too sweet - just nice for my taste bud but you may use more sugar if you prefer sweeter taste. The brownie has an intense chocolate flavor, and fairly soft - not quite the fudgy kind I was expecting. At least now I have tried baking with dutch-processed cocoa powder :) Am still wondering what to bake with the remaining cocoa powder - it is too stressful to bake with such expensive ingredient :D

Happy baking! :)


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Go Ride the Rainbow



Honestly, I had never thought about making a rainbow cake before this. My impression was that it is filled with artificial coloring. But of course rainbow cakes look beautiful. Being terrible at frosting cake, I've always avoided frosted cakes :p

Two days ago, my niece came home with a cute little mini rainbow cake model made out of some kind of clay. It looks very real and the kids were yearning for some. They asked if I know how to make one. "Well.. I've not made one before... but I can try..." I replied with hesitation. You know you've got to keep your promise to kids. Well they are not small kids anymore, but they are and will always be to me :D

My adventure begins.. a new challenge, and excitement! I am not that keen in using bottled coloring, although I would consider if out of wits - you know, you don't wanna burn your own bridge, give yourself an alternative :D

Thanks to Foodmadewithlove and Growing a Green Family for sharing their recipes and ideas, I was inspired and started preparing with no hesitation. You know, sometimes the more you hesitate, the more the likelihood of not pursing - ok, that's only me I guess :D

The thought of baking cakes 7 times in a day is kind of daunting. But what other choice do I have when I only have one 20-cm cake pan? Nike - just do it.

By the time I was baking the 5th cake, I was thankful that I had no ideas for the other 2 colors and had decided to stop at 5 colors.

Please refer to Food made with Love for the original recipe. For help on natural coloring, please refer to Growing a Green Family. Both blogs have very useful tips and steps on how to make a rainbow cake. Here's the recipe I used, mostly adapted from the two lovely blogs:

Ingredients
For one 20-cm round cake

120g cake/top flour (sift with baking powder)
2/3tsp double-acting baking powder
40g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
60 to 80g caster sugar (I reduced the sugar to 60g for the last 3 cakes as I was mindful of the amount of sugar for the entire cake eventually)
120g milk
1 egg
1 drop of vanilla paste

Flavors:
Blue - 45g fresh blueberries & 60g water, boiled to release color, then mashed using a strainer.
Green - 2tsp matcha powder, sift with flour.
White - just follow the cake recipe.
Orange - 1 medium carrot, boiled with water covering carrot, discard water, mashed.
Pink - 1 small red dragon fruit, mashed.

Notes:
- The pink layer was too moist, one dragon fruit is probably too much :p This layer also took longest to bake.
- I was between pumpkin or carrot. There was not much taste of carrot, maybe it's because I boiled it first. Maybe I should have just shred it and use it without boiling.
- Blueberry layer looks pretty and tastes best, in my opinion :p


For the frosting, I followed this recipe from Simply Recipe. I reduced the icing sugar to 1.5 cups. Still a tad too sweet for me.

Honestly, I don't think I will make this cake again because it's too much work. Unless I have a few pans of the same size :) Will probably also try a different frosting, cream cheese frosting is not quite my cup of tea :p But overall, it is quite a good experience! The cake looks pretty when it was sliced :D But seriously, I would not recommend eating more than one small slice a day because it is just loaded with way too much sugar and fats :p

Although not related, while I was making this cake, I thought about our Founding Father, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

"There's a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. To the young and the not-so-old, I say, look at the horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it." - LKY

Thank you, Mr. Lee, for giving up your life for a successful Singapore.


Blueberry puree looks purple but amazingly turned a
pale blue once mixed with batter.

Red dragon fruit took longest to bake, I guess there's too much puree.

Frosting is definitely not my forte.

Everyone was attracted by the cake just because of the colors :D
Taste not guaranteed :p