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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.

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

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.

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).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bacon and Mushroom Quiche

This is my first attempt at baking a quiche.  My hubby and kids love quiche.  When they first ate this, it was baked by my sis and since then, they fell madly in love with it.  Sometimes when we have family get together, special request from my family to my sis, is to bake this.

Since they like its so much, I decided to make one a couple of weeks ago and yup, it's a hit!.  The recipe is taken from the link here.  I did however, adjusted the ingredient to our taste.  Basically, all the main ingredients are there.  I do hope you will try this as this is really good.

Tasteful and delicious!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Coffee and Chocolate Chunk Muffin

It's May 1st and it's LABOR'S DAY!   

Today is the first public holiday after FT's Day which was on February 1st.  Three whole months of dry season.. in my context, the 'dry season' refers to no public holiday!  

So, you can imagine how I look forward to today.. just like the flower welcome the rain after a dry spell.     Such a welcome break from the rat race world!  Even just a day makes a whole lot of a difference.  Well, tomorrow back to work but tomorrow's Friday! Yay!

Since I'm contented and happy today, I made this wonderful muffin.  Coffee and chocolate makes a sophisticated (if you can call it that) flavor.  I love coffee and I love chocolate.. so this is amazingly yummy for me.  And you know what, I'm also feeling generous and shall bring some for my colleagues tomorrow.  I bet they will have a satisfied smug in their faces after eating this.

If you are mad about muffins, you should get the recipe book which this recipe comes from, which is called exactly that.. 'Mad About Muffins' by Diana Bonarparte.
 For the batter:
285g plain all purpose flour
15g instant coffee powder or granules (I used espresso as I like it strong)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
170g light muscovado sugar
2 eggs
100g milk
190g double (heavy) cream
100g butter, melted
150g plain semi-sweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped

Topping:  40g demerara sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 180dC.  Line muffin tray with muffin cases.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, stir well.
3. Combine eggs, milk and cream in medium bowl and mix together with a fork, try not to thicken the cream.
4. Mix in the melted butter.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir with a large metal spoon until just moistened.
6. Fold in the choc chunks into the batter.  Spoon batter into prepared cups to 3/4 full and top with sprinkling the demerara sugar.
7. Bake for 25 mins or until risen and done. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Absolutely satisfying with a cup of hot black coffee!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chocolate Banana Quick Cake - Tish Boyle

Hey, guys, as promised, I'm sharing this wonderful cake recipe and unlike my recent posts, this recipe does not come from Australian Women's Weekly.. kakakka    I'm taking a break from that cook book for now.

Well, I am one person who will only purchase a cookbook with plenty of visuals.  I'm not a fan of a cookbook with no pictures or very few of them, no matter if the review is super good or not.

Having said that, I do own one of Tish Boyle's recipe book and if you own her book entitled 'The Cake Book', you will know what I mean by saying that it has not many pictures in it.  And how come I own one you might ask since I'm not one for only full of text kind of book, well, I've been influenced by my sis who recommended this book to me.  She's all but singing praise for this book.  So, I thought, hey, this is my sis.  If she says it's good, then it's good.

I've tried one or two of Tish's recipes and they are good.  I ate this Chocolate Banana cake when I visited my sis one weekend and it was super duper yummy.  She then told me that it's from Tish Boyle's recipe, so I decided to make this and brought some for my colleagues to try.  They simply love it. Thank you sis, for your good judgement in always purchasing full boring text cookbooks.. hehehe.. you know what I mean. 

Even though with limited pictures in the book, this book I have to admit, has good recipes.  To me when I select my books, a good recipe and equally tempting mouthwatering clicks go hand in hand.  By reading the recipe, I can gauge if the recipe book is good to buy or otherwise....     Most times I made good purchase but at times, not so good as well.  Pictures sometimes can fool you but you need to use some good judgement and common sense when purchasing a good cook book.  After making a few bad decision, you'll find the tricks and tips the next time you want to make a purchase.  I guess for cook book collector like me can relate to what I'm trying to say here.  Anyway, let's proceed with the recipe shall we??

What you will need:

1 1/4 cups (151g) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (23g) Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups (320ml) mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium sized bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (121g) sour cream
4 ounces (113g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Here's how you do it:

- Pre heat oven to 180dC, grase bottom and sides of a 9" loaf pan.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.  Whisk to combine, set aside.
- With electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 min. Gradually beat in the sugar at high speed until blended.
- At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Add mashed bananas and vanilla at low speed until blended.
- Add the flour mixture at low speed in three additions, alternating with the sour cream.
- Remove from mixer stand and stir in chopped chocolate and scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 55 - 60 mins or until done.  Cool cake pan on wire rack for 15 mins and unmold cake.  Cool completely.

The texture of this cake is so moist and soft with good flavor of the bananas.  The melted chocolate chunks add the gooey-ness of the cake.  I love this! Especially with a cup of hot tea!