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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween Week!

I know I'm a few days ahead of Halloween but hey, I'm in the mood!!  I'm excited. I feel like a kid. I can't wait to showcase my creations.. and after today - it's Sunday today, I'm back to work tomorrow and will not have time to post anything during weekdays.  Since Halloween falls on Friday, yeah well, that's why I'm early this year.

Halloween is a time for one to have fun and be creative. Unfortunately, Halloween is not popular in this part of the world. Although some toy stores and costume stores do sell all kinds of scary and ghoulish items, not many will make a purchase unless someone throws a Halloween party.

We don't have kids going around 'treat or trick' in the neighborhood especially since kidnapping cases are on the rise. Parents will not usually allow their young children to be out of the house unattended. However, this does not stop one from being in the mood to be creative, rite.. Err hmm!

I look forward to Halloween each year as I have a different agenda.. that is to bake, to create and to share. This year I got my kids to put on their creative hat and be artistic. They simply love doing this as much as I.. So here, as promised in my earlier post, sharing our colorful creations and wishing you a wonderful and a very Happy Halloween!!








       

 



 







H A P P Y    H A L L O W E E N !

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! - Lavender! Carrot!

Hi everyone!  I'm back.  I've not forgotten you.  Even though I've not been posting anything in the past few months, I did however been visiting your blogs to have a peep at what you are up to. I'm glad to see you guys have been busy whipping up your goodies in your kitchen and I bet with Halloween coming, your ovens will be fully utilized.. I can't wait to see what you have in store for me.

Just so you know, I have started making Halloween cupcakes.  The mood strikes me like a sudden rainstorm in this monsoon season in this part of the world.  It comes and go without warning. Don't worry guys, I save all my clicks of the festive ghouls goodies and shall post them in time for The Halloween.. I promise! In the meantime, here are the recipes for the Lavender and Carrot Cupcakes.

When I first saw the lavender cupcakes recipe in the 'Hummingbird Bakery Cook Book', I was like 'Really!  Isn't Lavender used in soap or in aroma therapy of some kind?  Is this edible at all?'. Actually there is an edible lavender flower that is dried and used in tea or baking.  I bought some from one of my earlier vacation retreat at the highlands in Malaysia.  I add some of it into my tea.  The taste and smell is rather strong and I recommend that you use them sparingly or else it can be quite overwhelming.

 Here's my little assistant in the background decorating the cupcakes with fondant flowers.. :)



This lavender cupcake is quite unique in its flavor.  The taste is alright and actually quite nice washing down with a cup of hot tea.  However, I am not a fan of it though.  But do give this a try.  You might like it better than I do.. :)

Lavender Cupcake:
(makes 12)
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 cup plain/all purpose flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg

1. Put the milk and lavender flowers in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
2. Preheat oven to 170dC.
3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in an electric mixer and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
4. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed.  Add the egg and beat well.
5. Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 mins or until cake is done.  leave to cool and frost with Lavender Frosting.

Frosting:
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
2 cups icing sugar
5 tbsp (80g) butter
a couple of drops of purple food coloring

1. Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
2. Beat the sugar,, butter and food coloring with electric mixer on medium speed.  Turn to slow speed and strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture.
3. Once incorporated, turn the speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.

Next, Carrot Cupcakes.. this recipe is simply irresistible.  I love the cream cheese frosting too. Baked these yummy cupcakes for my colleagues and they love it..!






Carrot Cupcake:
(Makes 36 of 3.25oz cups)
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 ts ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup walnut, chopped
3/4 cup dark raisins

1. Preheat oven to 180dC. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
2. With electric mixer, beat eggs and granulated and brown sugar, until blended.  Beat in oil, milk and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low, add flour and beat until smooth.  Fold in carrots, walnuts and raisins.  Mix well.
3. Spoon batter into cupcake cases slightly more than half full.  Bake for 20-25 mins or until cake is done.  Cool and frost.

Cream cheese froting:
250 cream cheese
150g butter
1 1/3 cup icing sugar

Mix all ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Creme Carame

Creme Caramel! Oh my! Oh my!

I love this smooth silky pudding.  I take my hat off and bow as low as I can go to whoever the genius that created such wonderful luxurious sensual dessert to mankind ever known.

If you don't like creme caramel, that's a pity because you don't know what you are missing from life!

This recipe is taken from the Australian Weekly (for my 'ardent' followers, that's not a surprise right? wink wink!).

This is a great recipe as I don't have to adjust any of the ingredients unlike some where you need to adjust the sugar amount or the liquid ratio vs the dry ingredients.

This was baked  to perfection! I can even see my own reflection drooling over the pudding once it's cooled. Good thing I did not contaminate the pudding with my saliva... hmm.. on second thought, maybe I should so that I can have it all to myself..! muahahahha!

It looks complex to make but really, it's very simple.  Some of you might say, 'hey, it's easy for you to say since you bake all the time'.  Well, maybe so but for anyone who are not a baker, will not find this extremely difficult either.  Don't take my word for it.. give it a try and you'll surprise yourself.  This is too good to pass..

Anyway, lucky for you, this time I know where I kept the recipe unlike my earlier post on the cheesecake which I'm still trying to figure out where's the recipe.. well, sign of old age I guess!  

 Creme Caramel
3/4 cups (165g) caster sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) water
300ml cream
1 3/4 cups (430ml) milk
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar, extra

1. Preheat oven to 160dC fan-forced.
2. Combine sugar & water in medium frying pan, stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil,uncovered, without stirring until mixture is deep caramel in colour. Remove from heat; allow bubbles to subside. Pour toffee into deep 20cm round cake pan. (be careful not to burn your hands as the caramel is extremely hot).
3. Combine cream and milk in medium saucepan; bring to boil.Whisk eggs, extract and extra sugar in large bowl, whisking constantly, pour hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Strain mixture into cake pan.
4. Place pan in medium baking dish, add enough boiling water to come half way up side of pan. Bake, uncovered, about 40mins or until firm. Remove custard from baking dish, cover with aluminium foil and refrigerate overnight.
5. Gently ease creme caramel from side of pan by running through a knife at the sides of the pan; invert onto deep-sided serving plate.

Best eaten chilled.



Friday, August 1, 2014

White Chocolate Berry Lemon Cheesecake

I baked this a couple of months ago and had this in my draft post which has been long forgotten.  I thought that this recipe is too good not to post but unfortunately, I can't seem to find the recipe.. Sorry guys, I can only share with you the photos of this yummy fluffy and creamy cheesecake!









Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oreo Cupcake

My youngest daughter: 'What are you making, mommy?'
Me: 'Oreo Cupcake'.
Daughter:  'Yipee.. can I help?'
Me: 'Yup!'


Then, off she went to tell her other two siblings about it and all of them are excited to taste the cupcakes. Well, I don't have to tell you that they love Oreos.  Who doesn't?  Be it if you are a kid or an adult, the reaction will be the same.. oooohhh Oreeeooosss!! lol

This is a wonderful cupcake recipe.  If you are entertaining at your child's birthday party or an-all adult tea-party, give this a try.  It's not too sweet and the whipping cream frosting is so perfect with Oreos. This is so popular that it lived up to it's name 'now you see it, now you don't'. Kakakakaka



Here's the recipe:
Makes 12 large cupcakes or 23 medium sized.

21/2 cups white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (240g) butter at room temperature
11/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
8 finely chopped Oreo cookies/biscuits

Frosting:
1 cup whipping cream (I used 1 1/2cup as I love more frosting on cupcakes especially with whipping cream)
3 tbsp powdered sugar
Oreo cookies crushed (but I used it whole instead or break in two)


How to do it?? Here's how:

1. Preheat oven to 170dC, Prepare muffin tin with paper cup liners.
2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy at medium speed.
4. Lower speed to low and add eggs one at a time.
5. Gradually add the flour mixture and finally the chopped oreos.
6. Fill cupcake cases 3/4 full and bake for 20-25mins or until done.  Let cool and frost.

Frosting:
Beat whipping cream with the sugar until cream (soft peaks).  Add coarsely chopped oreos and mix well. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on top of each cupcake.
(I did not mix the oreos into the frosting but instead, just break them in two and place it on top of the frosting).