Archive for ‘chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate’

May 27, 2012

Cupcakes; all dressed up!

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The perfect excuse for making cupcakes; was having some leftover sour cream that was just about due and I had some eggs that were sitting out in room temperature ready to be used!

And… Major reason I can bring it to church for everyone to enjoy since it is a Saturday!

Again I went back to my go to recipe from Martha Stewart for chocolate cupcakes and her Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and I just felt like practicing my swirls a little for the cupcakes! So using my 1M Wilton tip; I did a cupcake swirl and a rose swirl (like an enlarged rosette)! Note to self; I need to get more 1M tips; I had to keep washing and changing the bags to do three colors!

And how apt that Sandra and Nick brought me some new sprinkles!!! Brilliant! Looking good!

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May 3, 2012

Eat me.

My sister and I have been hooked to this new drama online: The Fondant Garden! From the name of the drama; one can tell why I chose it in the first place! So in one of the episodes; the oven broke down and they had to think of innovative ways to make cake! And they made a biscuit cake! Wow! We just had to try it! So I went ahead to get us some Marie biscuits and the rest of the ingredients are staples at one fine home!

And they turned out to be absolutely adorable! Just like mini cakes! And they taste lovely too! Perhaps a little dry for texture but still all too lovely!

Ingredients:

A box of Marie biscuits (or any plain biscuits for that matter)
1/2 cup of milk
200 grams of Chocolate drops for melting

Directions:

Place a piece of biscuit as the base of the “cake” and pour a tablespoon of milk on it. Allowing the milk to seep into the biscuit before placing the next biscuit on top! Repeat this for the next 6 pieces of biscuits. For some variation; we tried adding peanut butter in between the layers!

After finishing up all the biscuit towers. Melt the chocolate drops and then drip. The melted chocolate over the biscuits to coat.

Decorate as you like and viola! A mini cake that screams; “EAT ME!”.

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April 20, 2012

Marshmallow Pillows

In my fairy tale story; pillows are made of marshmallows, and lollipops grew from trees.

Amongst my many childhood memories; I would fondly recall all the books I read that left my imagination running wild! Land filled with candies and streams of chocolate rivers from Charlie and the chocolate factory! Candy canes for fences, and pebbles made out of round colorful sweets. Ah the deliciousness. Imagine being able to scoop hot chocolate out from rivers and being able to pluck candies off flowers. Such sweet dreams.

Now I had these sweet pink and white fluffy pillows of marshmallows from Sarah’s party in a jar! And decided to do some chocolate pillows for desserts!

These were really delicious with just plain chocolate ganache; tasted richer than fondue as the chocolate is much thicker and richer! I topped it off with colorful sprinkles just for the fun of it! Turned out pretty well too! These will look great for any party!

April 13, 2012

My first attempt – Butter Cake

It is official! I signed up for my cake decorating class at Bake-It-Yourself store. I would need my own butter cake for decoration for lesson 2! Thus, I had better start trying to bake a butter cake! Have been reading The Little Teo Chew‘s blog every night for new recipes and she had a moist butter cake recipe!

So one fine morning; I awoke earlier than normal despite me being up for entire night taking care of Sarah, just to try the recipe out!

I had some chocolate ganache frosting ready in my refrigerator from baking the cupcakes! So i frosted it just in time for JT who was coming over in celebration of his birthday!

Moist Butter Cake:
Ingredients:
195g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
170g butter, softened
225g sugar
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12 tbsp whole milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9-inch cake pan.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about about 2 minutes.Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until well-combined.On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears uniform. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it reaches a dark-gold color and an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let to rest in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cake stand or platter.
Thoughts: The cake was too thin cos I spread the batter too thinly! I expected it to rise a lot more than it did so i divided the batter into two pans; bad choice! The sides seemed too crumbly and slightly overcooked. Sigh, not sure if it is the oven’s temperature or function that caused it.
April 13, 2012

Chocolate Chip Scones

I love scones. I remember my first scone that i tried was from Gloria Jeans; not exactly the best scones in the world. But I remember that crumbly texture and the warmth it gave me as I bit into the warm scone with butter. After that experience; I would constantly hunt down high tea buffets that serve “famous” scones! Some of the best in my opinion are the scones at Goodwood Park Hotel and at Shangri-La’s The Rose Verandah. Oh my. Such deliciousness.

From then, I went in search for a recipe for scones. I wanted to bake my own scones; breakfast in the morning would be complete with the smell of scones baking in the oven.

Most of the recipes seemed really complex and it literally scared me off trying to bake it. In my reading list; there was Annie’s Eats recipe for chocolate chip scones. It seemed really simple! And so off i went to try my hand at baking scones! They turned out really well and there was no turning back; I think I might have baked well over hundreds of these scones for friends and family when they were over for tea. Once, i even baked it for a dinner party as a supper dessert. No one believed how simple the recipe was! Ah well.

The recipe of the scones are from Annie’s Eat – a really brilliant lady who bakes and cooks! I have been reading her blog for the longest time!

Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips/raisins or just plain!
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Additional sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; stir to combine.  Toss in the chocolate chips and stir to blend.

Add the heavy cream to the flour mixture, stirring just until a dough forms and the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Knead the dough very briefly with well floured hands to ensure even mixing.

Using a large dough scoop (or a large spoon), drop rounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  Brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with additional sugar (if using).  Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Side notes: They are delicious when left plain as well! Raisins are a great addition to these scones as well.

April 12, 2012

Dark Chocolate Minis

This was where I first started. Martha Stewart’s CUPCAKES. I remember having to borrow a kitchen to bake my first bunch of cupcakes! I had no room and no oven in my parent’s place thus I never once baked despite having a love for it. Again it was the encouragement of the loving husband (fiancée at that time) to buy a desktop oven. If anyone were to be looking for such an oven; the delonghi one is really highly recommended! My cakes came out evenly baked all the time!

Having my own kitchen at one fine home was heavenly. I could bake to my hearts content! And I did for a full 4 months before the pregnancy and I started being nauseous at the thought of food.

Now it’s been 7 weeks past Sarah’s birth; I gathered my resources and got my sister who is a fantabulous helper to come over and bake! The perfect excuse being Easter sunday and it is a time to rejoice with cupcakes!

And so once more to begin with; I should start off with Martha Stewarts cupcakes!

Again, I love anything mini thus my cupcakes are coined popcakes – mini cupcakes that you can just pop in your mouth!

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Dark chocolate minis (Recipe from Martha Stewart’s CUPCAKES)

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
11/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
11/2 cup of butter (360grams on estimate)
21/4 cup of sugar
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of sour cream (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat and constantly stir it to combine. Remove from heat and pour it into your mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium low speed, beat until the mixture is cooled down approximately 4-5minutes.

Add eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating till each is incorporated. Add vanilla, then the cocoa mixture, beat till combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches alternating with the sour cream and beating until combined after each.

Divide the batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. (Depending in your individual oven; I bake my mini cupcakes for 4 minutes and their done!)

Transfer tins to wire racks to cool for 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and garnish with your own toppings before serving!

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

Ingredients:

1 pound good quality bittersweet chocolate drops
2 1/3 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup

Place chocolate in a large heat proof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring until chocolate begins to melt.

Beginning near the centre and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth. (do not over stir).

Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in colour. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring.

Side notes:

The portions of the chocolate ganache is really generous! I frosted 100 mini cupcakes and 2 8inch round cakes and still have half a tub of ganache sitting in my refrigerator (not that anyone is complaining)! Use a double boiler method to warm up the frozen ganache whenever you wish to use it)

Toppings can come in many forms; it is up to your creativity! I am in love with the colorful sprinkles and the mini m&ms! Their colour runs with the melting of the ganache so sprinkle them right before serving!

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It’s been months since church has tasted of my cupcakes thus truly felt blessed seeing them relish in each and every single bite! Especially with the young ones!

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April 11, 2012

Mini Chocolate Tarts

In my attempt of finding simple recipes during my pregnancy days; i found that I could settle for ready made tart crusts! And so it happened while I was shopping at TOTT, i saw these really delicious looking mini tart shells at The Torque! I have a love for everything mini!

I think it was $17 for 54pieces in a tray! Anyhow they were so lovely, i had to buy them first and then find a recipe somewhere for what I could do with it.

A chocolate tart perhaps said the husband; my always supportive fan of my bakes. So on a fair occasion that my cousins were coming over; I decided to get a ganache type tart filling! We had raspberries from our grocery shopping that day; and it looked fabulous atop the mini tart!

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However, turns out the chocolate tarts were a big hit but not the raspberries! Oh well it looked great so no one’s complaining! Accompanied those lovelies with the all famous mini strawberry swiss rolls from amosco! You really cant stop at one!

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The recipe for the chocolate ganache will fill 4 trays of mini tart shells!

Kept the leftovers in the fridge but felt the crust was not as delicious as it was after. So best to consume quickly once chilled.

Chocolate Tart Filling:

Ingredients:
170 grams dark chocolate drops (I use dark chocolate from bakeway sold at Phoon Huat)
1 cup heavy cream

Warm cream in a stainless steel bowl using a double boiler method. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water for the steam to heat the base of your bowl. Constantly stir the cream to ensure it does not boil. The cream is ready once it is hot to the touch! Be sure to keep all water away from the chocolate or it can seize and will be ruined.

Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot cream into the bowl and let stand for approximately 1 minute for the chocolate to start melting.

Start stirring the chocolate from the middle outwards, stir till the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the cream. Pour chocolate into the mini tart shells with a teaspoon.

Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and gently stir to melt and completely combine. Careful, if you stir too quickly your chocolate will form bubbles..

Leave tart to cool for ten minutes before placing it into the refrigerator until completely firm.