Monday, May 30, 2011

my baking diary #35 randomssss....

in a blink of the eyes, the month of May seems to slipped past me without me noticing it... there were many ups and downs, and too many for me to list down in details...

upon S's request, i baked cookies and cupcakes for her son, J's, 1st birthday... i dun think it was very well done as i did not realise i ran out of Valrhona cocoa powder, and had to use Van Houten... I did not managed to taste the cupcakes as they were snatched up rather quickly by the guests... Also, my estimation was wrong, and filled up the batter a bit too much... resulting in the cake overflowing, and making the cups looks messy...

it was a rather last minute request, and S asked for Elmo themed cupcakes - other than a set of sesame street cupcake rings i bought previously, i din have another sesame street related stuff... tied up with work and all, i din exactly had time to go sourcing for nice toppers and even a bday present! so the thick-skinned me told S these will be my bday present for her son :P

other than chocolate ganache, i dunno of other frosting i could use as i dun really like the idea of using buttercream... but now wanting all my cupcakes to be all chocolatey, i chanced upon Wilton's ready icing at PH and hence bought one to try... here's the cupcakes i frosted with the ready icing, topped with cupcake rings :) feedback from the guests - icing was too sweet... only then, did i recall i could have used cream cheese frosting! but i though the color combination turned out rather well...

the rest of the cupcakes were coverd in chocolate ganache... again, my piping were not successful, hence, i could only spread the ganache on the cupcakes... but this helped to cover the 'ugly' mess i made of the cupcakes... i save the 'overflowed' cupcakes by pressing them into the cups... and topped the chocolate ganache with cherries and sweet sugar decos.... and of coz not forgetting, a msg for the b'day boy!

S was showing the cupcakes to most of her guests, and even told them to book me 1 month in advance if they wanna order! some guests (who were ex-colleagues) did ask me if i could do something similar for their kids' b'day! but i dare not take up the orders coz i might not have time to do it... so told them to check with me when the date approach...

here's the cookies i baked... S wanted a mix of characters in each cookies bags, and i had to bake these cookies over a spread of 2 days (with my niece sneaking into the kitchen and taking them from my rack!!)

during that week when i did all these baking, i had to work late and possibly due to the earlier antibiotics i was taking for my infection, i ended up with some form of indigestion... for a whole week (coming to 2), i had to put up with a bloated stomach... repeated visits to the co's GP doesnt seem to work, and finally, the doc referred me to a Gastro doc... i m heading to Mount E to see the doc this coming Wed, hope things will be fine... as usual, my parents attribute this to the bakings i did... so basically after the cupcakes i baked, my oven had been on hiatus... i hope all the things around me will settle down soon - work, my health, etc etc, so i can start baking again...

i m looking forward to an enjoyable June, coz its my bday month! short getaway at bintan, more cupcakes baking with my new book - Beautiful Cupcakes by Chef Kevin Chai, and lots more!!!

signing off now, coz am experiencing some discomfort in my stomach again...

Monday, May 9, 2011

my baking diary #34 chocolate chip and double chocolate chunk cookies and #35 chocolate and fairy cupcakes

I spend my whole of polling day in the kitchen baking... except for that short period where i walked to the polling station with my parents to cast our votes... there was a polling station right at the void deck of my block, but we had to make a trip to a school located 3 bus stops away to cast our votes! And we din take a bus, we walked there! Ok lah, walking through the void decks of the other HDBs etc, the distance wasn’t really that far... but still, i thought it was rather unproductive coz there was a polling station right at the void deck of my block and another one in the schools diagonally opposite! My mum said the other aunties (old grannies) were complaining coz they have to walk so far instead of being able to cast their votes downstairs... anyway, its all over, and i am glad the votes garnered at the grc i am living in, managed to let the ‘different voice’ get more seats :) i was resting at home the whole of Sunday but din hear any vans coming to say ‘Thank You for Your Votes’, wonder if they left us out??

Anyway, like i said, i spent the Saturday baking, and yes, really the whole day... after i took my breakfast in the morning after i woke up, i started on my chocolate chips cookies... this was done with the Betty Crocker mix which i bought when i first started baking... the mix is expiring in Jun, so its time for me to work on it rather than throwing it away... while the cookies were still going into the oven in batches, i worked on another Betty Crocker mix – double chocolate chunk cookies... Saw this as a value pack along with a brownie premix, so bought it to try as well... since using premix save me quite a fair bit of time in ingredients preparation, i did both :) but after trying the cookies, mum commented she still prefer the oatmeal cookies, and asked when i will do them... seeing its Mothers’ Day the next day, i told her i will bake it in the evening...

#34 Chocolate Chips and Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chips Cookies
1 pkt Chocolate Chips premix
½ cup butter
1 egg
Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Chunk
1 pkt Double Chocolate Chunk premix
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon water (can add another 1 - 2 tablespoon of water if the dough is too stiff)
1 egg

For both cookies:

1. Mix all ingredients and stir till a soft dough is formed
2. Drop by tablespoon (or teaspoon in my case) on to baking sheet
3. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170C – 175C for 8 – 10 minutes
4. Cool on hot baking sheet for a min or 2 before removing and store upon completely cool

There you go, using premix is the easier to satisfy any baking cravings!

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by Doris from Tested & tasted.

#35 Chocolate and Fairy Cupcakes

After votes were cast and dinner taken, it was time to start baking again... i could not make up my mind to bake cupcakes or oatmeal cookies for my mum... in the end, i decided on cupcakes... while half way through my chocolate cupcake baking, i came across the Green’s Fairy Cupcake premix (again!)... I got this in either Dec last year i think, wanting to try them out for my niece’s birthday... it ended up sitting in the cupboard (and got packed into a box coz my mum complained my ever-increasing baking stuff i am bringing home!), till i saw it on Saturday! So there and then, i decided to bake this Fairy Cupcakes and the chocolate cupcake which i was halfway through, instead of doing another vanilla cupcake which is going to take me time to prepare the ingredients and i can also bake some oatmeal cookies for my mum!

Chocolate Cupcakes (from the baking class i attended at Paisley & Cream)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt (i omit this)
60gms unsalted butter, soften
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 170C - 180C
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set aside
3. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy
4. Mix in egg and vanilla essence
5. Mix in flour and milk alternately into batter, starting and ending with flour (i.e. flour, milk, flour, milk, flour)
6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners or cups
7. Bake for 25 mins or until springy to the touch
8. Apply a layer of glaze (i.e. apricot glaze mix with water) on the top of the cupcakes to retain the moisture

Green’s Fairy Cupcake
1 box of Fairy Cupcake mix
Vegetable Oil
1 Egg

1. Mix all ingredients on slow speed till combined.
2. Mix on high speed for 2 mins
3. Scoop the batter into cupcake liners and bake in pre-heated oven at 170C for 10 - 12 mins
4. I apply a layer of the apricot glaze on these cuppies as well, and hence, the glossy finishing you see in the picture above

The box of premix came with 12 cupcake liners, a pack of pink icing sugar and edible sugar dust glitter. But i used the mini cupcake lines along with the new cupcake tin i bought on a recent shopping spree at PH, so i had about 20 mini cuppies
I only used the pink icing to decorate a couple of the small cuppies (see the cuppies with heart and stars) and attempted to use it for writing a message... i should have put a layer of choc ganache before i wrote on it, but working into the night while watching out for my oatmeal cookies in the oven and keep an eye on the tv for the election results, i was just trying to finish my baking as soon as i can!

i tried to frost some chocolate ganache, but still fail.. think coz of the hot weather (and my poor piping skills), i cant seem to get the chocolate ganache in the right condition to pipe nice flowers on the cupcakes.. so again, i just spread it on the cupcakes, and scatter the colourful sugar decos...

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by Doris from Tested & tasted.

Well, i dunno if my mum was appreciative of what i did, coz i ended up with a severe abdominal and gastric pain the next morning (yes, on Mum’s Day!) and my mum had to attend to (almost) every need of mine... helping me apply medicated oil on my feet (coz they were getting cold with the pain i was enduring), cooking porridge for me, making Milo on my request (which was rather often – i lost track of how many cups i had in that single day!), going to the market to buy bee hoon soup for my dinner, and of course listening to how i moan and groan over my pain... and my mum attribute all these to my whole day spent on baking! Though after seeing the doc it was due to the side effects of the antibiotics i was taking, resulting in gastric... and think she only ate one of the mini cuppies, before packing some off to my nephew who was over at my aunt’s house (across the road)... we are bringing her out for a dim sum lunch this week to make up for it coz my sis was also busy with her studies during the weekend (and to avoid the crowds)...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

my baking diary #33 no-bake cupcake pop!

attempted cupcake pops this time round, with the cupcake pop mold i bought since January... instead of a cake pop, mine is a no-bake version from the creator of the cupcake pop mold, My Little Cupcake.

though in the mood for some baking, but wasn't totally in the mood - not sure if you understand what i meant, haha... partly because of some personal reason, guess it wasn't a good time to work on these cupcake pops... i was anxious to see how the output will be like so did not really monitor the time required to chill the dough closely... result? my dough were soft and some gave way when i try to put the stick in :( out of 12 cupcake doughs, only 5 managed to stay on the stick and be a cupcake pop... or rather a round ball pop! coz the dough was soft, after dipping it in chocolate and candy melts, i cant see the cupcake shape anymore!!

but tastewise, its rather ok. I dont fancy the candy melt coz there a weird taste to it (it may be me only) but for kids (esp my nieces), i guess they don't mind :)

and not knowing how it wil turn out, i only use the rainbow coloured rice for topping... will definitely try this out again one of this day, and hopefully i get some pretty cupcake pops then!

1 packet Oreo (1 packet of Oreo in US is 42 pieces of Oreos)
1 block of Creamcheese (8oz) - i use Philadelphia creamcheese
Melted chocolate (for dipping the base of the dough)
Melted Candy Melts (for coating the top of the dough)
Any toppings of your liking - chocolate rice, mini choc chips, m&ms, etc...

1. Grind the oreo cookies
2. Mix the ground oreo cookies and creamcheese using hand till it form into a dough. It should be of a playdough consistency
3. Chill the dough for about 15 mins after which, roll the dough into balls of about 1"
4. Chill the rolled doughs again
5. Place the dough into the mold, close and press, open and take out the cupcake shaped dough (if you do not have a cupcake mould, you can just roll the dough into round balls or just shape it with your hands)
6. Chill the cupcake shaped dough and prepare the chocolate and candy melt for dipping
7. Dip the base of the cupcake into chocolate, and poke the lollipop stick in. At this stage, you can use some egg trays to help hold the cupcake pop
8. Holding the cupcake pop from the stick, dip the cupcake into the candy melt to coat the cupcake, and top with your desired toppings

For a more detailed instructions, please pop over to My Little Cupcake and watch the video :)

In line with this month's theme, I am submitting this as an entry to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by Doris from Tested & tasted.

This coming Saturday is Polling Day... have you made your choice? Me? I am residing in the constituency where the seats are the hottest (its obvious where right?) and yes, i have already decided which box i wanna cross on Saturday... But this, is just part of my agenda for the weekend holiday... I have already listed down the bakes i am going to attempt! Look out for more posts soon :)