Not a very good Lemon Meringue Cupcake…

As you can infer from the title, I did lemon meringue cupcake a while ago and it did not went with how I wanted it to be. So the story goes…

I was experimenting with the idea of making lemon meringue cupcakes as it involves skills and a combination of good flavours. So I went hunting for a recipe. I came across one and decided that would be it.

The recipe was rather vague however I could estimate the procedures and carry on with my experiment. As there were three components in this cupcake, the most logical thing to do first was the cupcakes; as they need cooling before pipping begins. My cupcake went relatively well, however there were rather large cracks above. I disregarded that and carried on with my next element.

The cakes were a little too pale and had large cracks. I managed to cover them with the meringue.
The cakes were a little too pale and had large cracks. I managed to cover them with the meringue.

The lemon curd was relatively simple, however it requires your attention and effort as it needs constant stirring and tasting. I went with my tastebuds for the acidity of the lemon and not the exact measurements from the recipe. It went well!

I placed the curd in a piping bag as I needed to squeeze them into the cupcakes.
I placed the curd in a piping bag as I needed to squeeze them into the cupcakes.
Filled.
Filled.

Last to be made were the meringues. I did not follow the steps from the recipe and I did them my way. I melted the sugar and water and made it into a sugar syrup. I then started to whisk the egg whites in the mixer. I gently poured the sugar syrup when I was soft peaks. It took a while for it to produce stiff peaks, however good things are worth the wait right? After stiff peaks formed, I transferred the meringue into another piping bag and gave a shot at piping the filled cupcakes. When I am done piping the first cupcake, I looked at it and decided to just use a spoon to craft them above the cupcakes. It was more rustic and simple, and I was glad I changed my mind. IMG_3940

What’s a lemon meringue cupcake without the burnt meringues? Unfortunately I did not have a blow-torch, so I compromised and used a hand lighter. It worked smoothly.

The end product!
The end product!

But here comes the disappointment and my failure in this product. I tried the cupcakes and realised the lemon curd was not piped enough. It needed more lemon curd in the cupcake to enhance the whole cake. The cupcakes were left slightly bland, which made the whole cupcake unsuccessful. I was pretty bummed by the fact that I did not pipe the cupcakes deep enough which affected its flavor…  IMG_3950

Despite the setback, I am eager to try this recipe once more. It was good fun baking them, especially burning the meringue.

I guess this is what makes baking exciting. You would fail and you will want to try again to make it all better; just like life. 🙂

Well, thank you for reading. I appreciate the time you have taken here, do take a little more time and read the other posts! Till the next time, Ciao~

Honey Cupcakes! Buzz….

Just a little update on what I have been baking recently…

Well, I have not been baking an awful lot this past few weeks but what I have baked was honey cupcakes! I did it for a friend’s birthday and a little treat for my family and I!

Who doesn’t love honey?? It’s sweet, sticky and yummy! So I thought why not bake it in a cupcake! It adds flavour and fun to it. So I google and found a lovely recipe for honey cupcakes!

It is a rather simple and classic recipe which I love. Not those complicated and complex recipes!

The cake was moist and tasty. It looked very simple and rustic. It wasn’t fancy nor rich.

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HONEY CUPCAKES 
a recipe by Lauren Kapeluck
{makes 1 dozen cupcakes}

For the cake:

1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  3. In small bowl mix together wet ingredients: buttermilk, honey and vanilla, set aside.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating starting and ending with dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Using ice cream scoop fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.

I left the frosting out as I thought the cupcakes were already very sweet!

There you go! I hope you enjoyed this recipe and thank you for reading! Till next time, Good Luck and Have Fun!

 

Nuts over Bananas!!

Hello!! I’m back with another banana recipe!! This time it is a muffin recipe. This sweet treat has different texture to it. For example crunchy from the pecan nuts and mushiness from the mashed bananas. This is my go-to breakfast muffin! This muffin would go really well with a cup of coffee or tea or milk! It also provides the nutrients I need. From the pecan nuts, I get vitamins from the B group, A group and E group. 90% of the fat content in pecans are unsaturated fats! From the bananas, I would feel more energise throughout the day! The muffins are quite filling,so it would  keep me full till lunchtime.

So enough talking, and let’s get down to the recipe!

Full dozen of Pecan Banana muffin!
Full dozen of Pecan Banana muffin!

Banana nut muffin

 Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup pecan halves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 Degree C) and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or baking spray
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pecans
  3. In a large bowl combine sugar and bananas
  4. Add in the egg and mix well
  5. Stir in the melted butter gradually
  6. Dump the flour mixture into the wet mixture
  7. Stir until just combined and stop (be sure to not over mix)
  8. Fill the muffin tins and place in the oven
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 min in a standard muffin tin 30-35 min using larger baking cups
  10. Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center

P.S. Add more nuts if you would like more crunch to your muffin.

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What I really love about this recipe is that it is very easy to make, ingredients are accessible at any supermarket and I love the different textures in it. The muffins are light and airy and it brings out the banana flavour and the pecans are evident in every bite.

I hope you would enjoy this banana recipe as much as I did. And I really wish that I turned non-banana lovers into somewhat a banana lover! Till next time, Good Luck & Have Fun!

Where it all started…

When I first started baking, I knew nothing about baking. I had to dig out recipes and search for equipment on my own. The very basic munches in bakery are chocolate cupcakes. They are a classic to baking. So I picked up my reading glasses and started searching for classical chocolate cupcakes. I had little knowledge on baking, therefore I picked the easier recipe and the ingredients that could be found easily in supermarkets.

When I found the suitable recipe, I went ‘hunting’ for the ingredients. It wasn’t difficult as the ingredients are pretty simple and easily found. I got home and started on the cupcakes straight away. As I was inexperienced to baking, I did not lay out my ingredients and equipment first, leading to a messy working space. However, it did not bother my baking, but I made a mental note to always remember to place all the ingredients and equipment out before baking.

The dozen of chocolate cupcakes I baked came out rather well. There was a lovely crack on each cupcake, which made it look rustic and old-fashioned. It was moist and thick and chocolatey. However with my lack of organisation, I forgot to pour in milk into the cupcakes as it was hidden in the fridge and I have forgotten all about it.  Therefore this is again another reminder to always set your ingredients and equipments aside before baking.

So without further ado, here is the classic chocolate cupcakes recipe that I love.

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes.
Classic Chocolate Cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 & 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3-tablespoon butter

1 & ½ cups white sugar

2 eggs

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

1-cup milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liner.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large boil, cream together butter and sugar, till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Then stir in vanilla.
  4. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk into the wet ingredients. Beat well. (I usually add 1/3 of milk with about 1/3-2/3 of flour into the wet ingredients and mix. Then repeat till milk and flour are all incorporated in the wet ingredients.)
  5. Fill the muffins cups ¾ full.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in preheated oven, or till skewer inserted comes out clean.

It was certainly my beginning to the world of flour, butter, sugar and messes! Baking have never been a chore to me after. My love of baking strengthen and grows and I never want to stop. To all those who have yet to find what they love, yearn or admire, don’t stop looking. You will find it someday, somehow, somewhere. Good Luck & Have Fun.

Red-velvet Madness!

Red-velvet cake or cupcake has recently become a trend in cafes. I personally have not try one before however dark red colour attracted my eyes and it made me yearn to bake red-velvet cupcakes.

Fortunately for me, with the support of my aunt, she decided to purchase 2 dozens of red-velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I very happily accepted that order and got straight down to it. With so much to make, planning is required. From the grocery shopping to the calculation of ingredients, then I begin!

 

Flour measurement~
Creaming butter and sugar~ 
Batter~
Batter~
Spooning each scoop of batter into paper cases.
Spooning each scoop of batter into paper cases.

Note: Try to avoid dripping small drips of batter onto muffin tin. You don’t want a hard time cleaning up the tray..

The Red-velvet cupcakes
The Red-velvet cupcakes

The highly anticipated Red-velvet cupcake recipe,

60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar
1 x 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
4. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top.

Another view of the Red-velvet cupcakes!
Another view of the Red-velvet cupcakes!

Next would be the frosting. The delicious frosting that make the cupcakes, oh so perfect! However when you want to frost these badboyz, the cupcakes HAVE to be cooled. It takes about 2 hours or more for the cupcakes to cool, so I suggest you bake the cupcakes a day ahead, to be safe. And that was what I did! I baked the cupcakes a day ahead to prevent the frosting to melt.

Frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

To make the frosting by beating the icing sugar the remaining 20g of the unsalted butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

The fun but 'hands-are-too-shaky' part...
The fun but ‘hands-are-too-shaky’ part…
The attentiveness scares me..
The attentiveness scares me..
Frosted!
Frosted!

 

Luckily everything went to plan and I produced the cupcakes out in time! So after the red devils were frosted, I packed them up and waited for the arrival of my aunt!

All packed and ready to go!
All packed and ready to go!

I got my red-velvet recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers  (Ryland, Peters & Small, $10.59). Photograph, Peter Cassidy. I enjoyed the rest of the recipes in the cookbook and looking forward in trying out out of their produces.

For those out there wanting to try Red-velvet cupcakes, go ahead and give it a go! I’m sure you would enjoy it as much as I did. Do give the recipe a try and Good Luck & Have fun!

To end off today’s post, here’s a photo of cheeky me, with the mess on me.

A cheeky photo of me with the aftermath of baking red-velvet..
A cheeky photo of me with the aftermath of baking red-velvet..

 

The Joy of Giving…

My parent always tells me that its better to give than to receive. And I absolutely agree with the phrase. The pleasure after giving always leave me beaming like a fool, every time, it never fails. So late last month I decided to bake 17 cupcakes for a beautiful and lovely friend of mine on her birthday. The thought of it excites me. The planning, the grocery shopping, the baking and finally, the giving. It wasn’t easy but it ain’t too difficult to do it all by myself. So I would like to share with you the project of giving.

Step 1: Planning.

I begun planning for the baking a week before I planned to give her the cupcakes.The amount of planning wasn’t massive but it needed detailed instructions, therefore I gotta be extra careful with whatever calculations I do. The calculations included the batches of cupcakes I’ll be doing and the amount of ingredients I needed.

Icing recipe that I rescaled to half.
Icing recipe that I rescaled to half.
Icing recipe calculated into half.
Icing recipe calculated into half.
Icing recipe calculated into half.
Cupcake recipe calculated into half.
The untidy ingredient list ..
The untidy ingredient list ..

Step 2: Grocery Shopping!

I believe this is my most anticipated part of the process! Well, it involves shopping and food! What’s there not to like??? With the ingredient list written out, all I gotta do is hunt down for the materials I needed. I’m pretty familiar with the items in the supermarket, so it didn’t take me too long to get what I required

Natural state of me!
Natural state of me in the supermarket!

Step 3: The baking!!!

So I baked a total of 3 different types of cupcake, red velvet, banana and lemon. I had the most enjoyable time baking the red velvet cupcakes. It made a huge mess in the kitchen and on me but it was such a pleasurable time baking those cupcakes! And the banana cupcakes were pretty interesting as well, the spices were so fragrant and the cupcakes turned out beautifully. The lemon cupcakes were the least messy, however it as fun.

A neat table-top to start the baking!
A neat table-top to start the baking!
The red-velvet batter that was so fun to make!
The red-velvet batter that was so fun to make!
Red-velvet Cupcakes!
Red-velvet Cupcakes!
Banana Cupcakes
Banana Cupcakes
Lemon Cupcakes!!
Lemon Cupcakes!!

Step 3.1: The frosting!!

I guess piping the frosting onto the cupcakes was great fun as well! Yes, it can get messy but sticky, messy and sweet! I did a total of only 2 type of frosting, lemon and chocolate frosting! Both turned out great, thank god! I feared the frosting would not hardened by the time I deliver the cupcakes to her.

Chocolate frosting on banana cupcake.
Chocolate frosting on banana cupcake.
Chocolate frosting on red-velvet.
Chocolate frosting on red-velvet.
Lemon frosting on lemon cupcake.
Lemon frosting on lemon cupcake.

I didn’t frost the cupcakes with some fancy pattern. I was going for a rustic and old-fashioned way.

All packed and ready to go!
All packed and ready to go!

Step 4: The giving.

I was so eager to deliver the cupcakes I baked for her. I was ecstatic. All I was thinking about was ‘Would she like the cupcakes’ , ‘Is it too crazy for giving 17 cupcakes’ , ‘How is she gonna finish all of them’ ! All those crazy thoughts were flowing around my mind! However I went ahead to deliver the cupcakes to the birthday girl.

Birthday girl!
Birthday girl!

All in all, it was an enjoyable process for this project. From the planning to the giving, it was a massive idea but I’m glad I made it possible! To the birthday girl, I hoped you enjoyed your 17 cupcakes and may you be 17 time sweeter and happier. Happy Belated Birthday my dear!

Making 17 cupcakes ain’t so tough, if you really want to make it happen you can. Believe in yourself and strive to do your greatest. Good Luck & Have Fun.

And since there were more cupcakes left, I decided to give my crazily obsessed with cupcakes friend!

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Yes, and for those red-velvet fans, I’ll be posting my red-velvet recipe in the next post, so stay tune~

Carrot Cake cupcake!!!

Who doesn’t love vegetables in cupcake!! Okay, a lot of people doesn’t.. But how about in a cupcake form…? Everyone loves cupcakes!

Carrot Cake cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting
Carrot Cake cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting

I first made the cupcakes during the year-end holiday as I set myself with a checklist of different types of cakes I wanted to bake and carrot cake cupcakes were one of them! I am a big fan of carrot cake with loads of cream cheese frosting, yes, it is sinful but guilty pleasure are to be taken once in a while..  Without further ado, below are the ingredients and steps for a Carrot Cake cupcake indulgence… Enjoy!

Carrot Cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Carrot Cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

For the Cupcakes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sour cream or thick Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots (2 to 3 medium/large carrots, peeled)
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup nuts, optional

For the Frosting
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese (light is okay), softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
about 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, more or less as desired

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the Cupcakes – Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan very well with floured cooking spray or use liners (Cosmetically, I prefer avoiding the ripples and ridges that liners produce)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 11 ingredients (through optional salt) until combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  4. Fold in the carrots, optional raisins and nuts. Note about the carrots – I use a box grater on the coarsest blade and it takes less than 2 minutes to grate them. I prefer the consistency of doing it by hand rather than using a food processor. Don’t use bagged, pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store; grate them yourself.
  5. Turn batter out into prepared pan. Fill each muffin cavity between 2/3 and 3/4-full. Do not exceed 3/4-full because they will overflow. You may have batter remaining for a 13th (or 14th) cupcake and it’s better to either discard it or bake it in another pan even though it’s a pain for just 1 cupcake. I have overfilled, and then overflown, trying to make it all work in one pan.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are domed, set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While cupcakes cool, make the Frosting – With an electric mixer, beat together first three ingredients on high power until combined and light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  8. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to incorporate. Play with sugar ratio based on desired frosting consistency. If you accidentally add too much sugar, add a bit more cream cheese to thin it out.
  9. Frost the cooled cupcakes. I spoon on about 2 tablespoons frosting per cupcake. Pipe it with a piping bag if desired. If you have extra frosting, it will keep airtight in the refrigerator for many weeks. Frosted cupcakes will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Unfrosted cupcakes will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Carrot Cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting
Carrot Cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting

The frosting wasn’t done in a very fancy way as the cupcakes were only consumed at home and above the cupcakes was a Swiss roll I did on the same day I did the cupcakes!

(Recipe gotten from http://www.averiecooks.com/. Averie cooks is also a blog run by Averie Sunshine and she does many other great recipes, you should check her out!)
Overall, I enjoyed the whole process of baking the cupcakes, from the tough work of grating the carrots to whipping the fluffy cream cheese frostings! I hope you enjoy baking the cupcakes, if you do, comment or praise about how good your cupcakes are!! Good luck and Have Fun!
You must be wondering why there are 3 post this week. This is a bonus post as my blog have surpassed 200 views! So thank you to all you readers out there!! APPRECIATED! THANK YOU!!