Archive for Baking

Strawberry Cupcakes

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I love cooking. But baking is still a pretty new thing for me. Although I used to watch and help mom baked when I was a kid – she’s quite an expert in that field and does it as her side business, none of her baking skills seem to stick with me. My baking experience so far hasn’t been exactly a smooth ride; lots of hiccups that ends up in baking disasters. You name it, I’ve been through all of them: burnt cakes, underbaked bread, flat head muffins, dough that won’t rise and budge, etc. But not today

I wasn’t really planning on baking anything when I saw these beautifully ripe strawberries from Beijing stacked up on a display in the supermarket. They smell soooo sweet. I have to get them. Will decide later what to do with them.

Flipping through some cook books, I think I found a recipe from 500 Cupcakes Recipe Book. So simple to make and so wonderfully creamy with quite a distinct strawberry scent in it. Beautiful!!!

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STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES
Simple yet sophisticated!

Ingredients:
* 225 gram unsalted butter – softened
* 225 caster sugar
* 225 self-raising flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 4 eggs – room temp
* 1 tsp strawberry essence
* 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

For ICING:
* 200 gr cream cheese
* 375 gr icing sugar, sieved
* 225 gr unsalted butter, softened
* pink food coloring
* silver balls/sliced fresh strawberries
~ Whisk all with electric whisk until smooth

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Directions:
1.) Preheat oven 175C/350F – prepare baking cases in muffin tins
2.) Combine butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs & essence
     Beat with electric whisk until light and creamy
3.) Stir in chopped fresh strawberries
4.) Spoon batter into cases. Bake for 20 mnts
5.) Remove cupcakes and cool on a rack
6.) Spread icing on top of cupcakes

Recipe from 500 Cupcakes

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Brownie Cupcakes ala Bakerzin

It’s the best dessert recipe book I’ve had in my book rack. Several recipes I’ve tried from this book are absolutely delicious. The book is written by Daniel Tay, founder of Bakerzin – the cafe where I used to drool over rows of cute display of scrumptious desserts on the counter everytime I go to Singapore. Now I can bake them in my very own kitchen…. cream cheese pound cake, shortcakes, muffins, brownie…

Brownie has become our favorite dessert, as it’s quite easy to make and have a longer fridge life. Beautiful if served with vanilla ice cream – or topped with warm chocolate melt. This particular one tastes just puuuurrrfect! Not too hard like the last recipe I tried from tasty.com and not too cakey.

The full recipe is enough to feed the entire troop, but I don’t mind at all as we’ll finish the whole thing in one week. Out of this recipe I filled out 2 shallow brownie pans + 17 pcs muffin pan.

 * featured in Tastespotting

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE ala BAKERZIN

Ingredients:
*  325 gr all purpose flour
*  5 gr baking powder
*  150 gr cocoa powder (I use Droste & Van Houten)
*  225 gr cream cheese
*  860 gr sugar (a bit too sweet for me, I use 660 gr only)
*  1/2 tsp vanilla essence
*  10 gr salt
*  450 gr unsalted butter (softened)
*  400 gr eggs
*  300 gr walnuts/cashews/almonds
*  butter for greasing

Cooking Direction:
1.)  Preheat oven 180C or 350F
2.)  Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa powder into a bowl
3.)  Separately mix sugar & butter till fluffy, then add
      vanilla essence, salt & cream cheese till well blended
4.)  Fold eggs into cream cheese mixture, then gradually
      fold in flour mixture. Add walnuts/cashews/almonds
5.)  Lightly grease the pan you’re going to use
      Level the batter and bake for 20-25 mnts
      (for shallow square pan I use baking sheets)
6.)  Unmould & cool brownie. Top with warm chocolate melt

 
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** Recipe Source: Just Desserts by Daniel Tay

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I’m participating this posting in NQN Challenge – Ultimate Chocolate Cake in November 2008.
Click here for more information

 

Tea Time Donuts – ala JCO


* as featured in Tastespotting *

Long long time ago, I’ve tried making donuts and been getting inconsistent results. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it’d be a complete disaster to a point that I cringed even on hearing the word ‘donuts’. It was my final decision, never to make donuts ever again. Ha! Until yesterday I was still convinced that baking donuts would be a complete waste of time.

Then I read Dita’s donut posting, followed by other foodie bloggers who’ve tried NCC’s donut recipe. Hmmm, this sounds like a fail-proof recipe. Maybe I should give it a try. Even without shortenings, my donuts were puffed up nicely with evenly light yellow color. Ooooohhh, this is soooo cool. So there I was, nicely cuddled up among fuzzy cushions in the sofa, watching the storm brewing in the evening sky outside, then droplets of rain spattering on the living room window. Warm donuts and a hot cup of tea in my hand. Yummmmm……

TEA TIME DONUTS – ala JCO
Ingredients:
DOUGH 1
* 850 gr flour or japanese ‘Komachi’ flour
* 30 gr instant yeast
* 10 gr gsalt
* 600 ml water

DOUGH 2:
* 200 gr flour or japanese ‘Komachi’ flour
* 10 gr salt
* 60 gr milk powder (I use milk flavoring)
* 125 gr sugar
* 100 gr eggs
* 125 gr shortening (I use butter)

Cooking Direction:
1.) Mix dough 1 until smooth with a mixer, cover & rest for 90 mnts
2.) Mix dough 2 until smooth. Knead dough 1 & 2 together    
     until smooth for 10 mnts. Cover and rest for 15 mnts
3.) With a roller pin, roll the dough abt 1 cm thick. Rest for 10 mnts
4.) Cut with donut cutter, remove the hole bit.
     Move to a tray with baking sheet & rest for another 10 mnts
5.) Deep fry in low heat until it turns light golden yellow.
6.) Cool on cooling rack, decorate with toppings.

** Recipe source NCC

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Fried Apple Pies

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Fried Apple Pies

I’m so in the mood to bake new things. Usually a particular smell in the kitchen that I’m not familiar with will trigger my gag reflex. Sensitive but not as bad as expected. Other than that, I can still run around doing things in the kitchen, taking photos and other things. One thing I notice though, I got more sensitive with movements. That also triggers my gag reflex. So those weird positions I do when taking photos are limited and I bought myself a tiny adjustable stool.

The Deli kitchen can provide ready-made puff pastry now, which is good  😀

FRIED APPLE PIES

Ingredients:
*  2 sheets of puff pastry
*  5 pcs apples, grated
*  2 cups unfiltered apple cider
*  1 1/2 cups water
*  4 tbs light brown sugar (I use palm suiker)
* 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
* 2 pcs cinnamon sticks
* extra sugar if you like it sweeter

Pie Fillings:
1.)  Briskly simmer all filling ingredients & a pinch of salt
2.)  Stir occasionally & mashing apples with a potato masher,
     until a thick purée forms, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Cooking Directions:
1.) Divide pastry dough into 6 equal pieces.
2.) Roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with rolling pin
3.) Place 2 tbs of filling in center. Lightly moisten edge with water
4.) Fold dough over – I made triangle shape
5.) Press out air around filling, pressing edge to seal.
6.) Transfer to a large sheet of parchment papers.
7.) Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot (preferably cast-iron)
     over medium heat.
8.) Fry pies. Layers should separate slightly as they get crisp,
     turning occasionally, until deep golden-brown.
9.) Transfer to rack to drain. 
     Dust warm pies with icing sugar before serving.

Cooks’ notes:
• Filling can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
• Pastry dough can be chilled up to 2 days.
• Pies are best the day they’re fried but keep, wrapped in foil once completely cooled, at room temperature

Recipe Source: EPICURIOUS

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This posting is submitted as entry for MFM#18: Flour ~  hosted by Ienas. If you’re interested to join, have a look HERE for more information

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Black Pepper & Cheese Cookies

Black Pepper & Cheese Cookies

There’re times when I made up my mind to cook or bake something, but once I read the recipe, I know it’s not exactly what I want. Something’s missing there. Not sure what, but I can tell that the recipe is too plain or too boring. Like a recipe of simple cheese sticks. I think I can guess what it’s gonna taste like. There’s one particular recipe from a magazine that I’ve been considering to make. Then I thought, maybe it’ll be much more fun if I improvise a little bit.

Not too bad, I love it though. Not too sure about originality, but couldn’t find anything like this on the internet. If you feel like a bit adventurous, you’ll love this cookies  😀

BLACK PEPPER CHEESE COOKIES

Ingredients :
* 3 cups flour
* 1/2 cup of sugar
* 3 cups of flour
* 1  1/2  tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 cup of grated cheese
* 1  1/2  tsp cracked black pepper
* 2 tbs celery/chives flakes
* 1 tbs melted butter
* 1 cup milk

Cooking Direction:

1.) Sift all dry ingredients, melt butter, add milk.
     Mix together like pie dough consistency.
2.) Mix in grated cheese, black pepper & celery/spring onion flakes
3.) Make into balls or any other shape you wish.
4.) Bake on cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 
5.) Be careful not to burn.  Place on cooling rack

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