Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes

It is my second time to bake Vanilla Cupcakes. This is better than the first only because I used cupcake liners like how cupcakes should be. Unlike the first batch which I topped with Buttercream Frosting, I am not frosting nor 'sprinkling' this batch with more sweets. My household had enough sugar the past five days.

Needless to say, the sprinkles in these photos are just for decoration purposes =)

Adapted from Joy.

Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour (sifted 3x)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup whole milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter into a bowl and mix until the mixture reaches a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Just a few minutes. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into paper lined cupcake pan, dividing between the 12 cups.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Gooey Brownie

It is very late at night, yet I'm making this yummy treat. Staring at the picture at Joy's website makes me want it more and more. No, it's not Joy's fault. It's me and my chocoholism.

Adapted from Joy.

Gooey Brownie

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
(4 ounces coarsely chopped, 1 ounce coarsely grated)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

2 eggs at room temperature

1 egg yolk at room temperature

6 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch pan and set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together, 5 times.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – do not overheat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter.

Pour the batter onto an 8-inch pan and sprinkle the coarsely grated chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cake for about 18 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains wet). Still in the pan, let it cool for 5 minutes then transfer into a plate using a spatula.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

It's a hot day. The chocolate chips are melting in the cupboard. I need to do something about it... how about Chocolate Chip Pancakes for our afternoon snack? Sounds like a plan.

Adapted from Joy.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
makes enough to fill 3-4 tummies

Prepare all the ingredients you need.

1 egg
1 cup flour (sifted 3x)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extact
1/2 cup chocolate chips (you can add more if you wish)

butter or oil (for cooking)

In a large bowl, beat egg. Add milk, butter and vanilla, mix well.

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth.

Fold in chocolate chips and let batter set for a few minutes.

Heat non-stick pan over low heat. Grease the pan with butter or 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil. Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the pan. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Serve with maple syrup.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making Cake Flour

Cake flour. It sounds intimidating to a newbie baker like me. It not only sounds expensive, it seems like being used only by professional bakers. Thank God there's Joy who understands us newbies and always ready to share a tip or two.

Cake flour lightens the cake crumb, making it softer. I almost always use cake flour for my baked goodies though the ingredients only call for all-purpose flour. Though I see cake flour available in baking supplies stores that I frequent, I prefer to make my own. It is very easy to make. Let me show you...

1. Measure out the all-purpose flour that your recipe requires.

2. For every cup of flour, take out two tablespoons of flour, return it to the bin and replace it with two tablespoons of cornstarch.

3. Sift the flour and cornstarch together for five times. The cornstarch and flour need to be well incorporated and the flour aerated.

Your cake flour is now ready to use.

Chocolate Cake

I don't know where to start. Seriously.

I have so much pictures of food stored in my digital camera's memory that I want to share with you. I took all of them and now I'm feeling the pressure created by moi because of the 'backlog'.

Okay... this is not an easy decision but let me start from my latest 'creation'. I think it's the perfect start given the name I chose for this blog. I made tonight my first ever frosted cake! It's Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Whipped Buttercream Frosting.

Adapted from Joy

Eggless Chocolate Cake
makes 12 cupcakes or 1 8-inch round

1 and 1/8 cup cake flour

1 cup cane sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick melted butter (1 stick is 1/2 cup)

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/8 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 cup cold water

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake paper liners and set aside. If you are using an 8-inch pan, slather some butter into the pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together four times. Mix the melted butter into the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.

Slowly whisk the wet ingreduents into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix. The mixture will be quite wet, that's okay.

Pour the batter into the cups until it is two thirds full and place in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean. If using an 8-inch pan, pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before frosting.

I used a serrated knife to even out the top

Vanilla Whipped Buttercream Frosting
makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes or to frost a single layer 8-inch cake

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/8 cup sifted organic all-purpose flour

3/4 tablespoons vanilla extract

Cream the butter on medium speed, 3 to 5 minutes, in a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer until soft, adout 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.

In a small saucepan and over medium heat, combine milk with the flour and vanilla extract. Whisk together until there are no lumps. Whisk constantly and cook until the mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue mixing until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.

The mixture should look like this. If you overheat it, it will form lumps

When the mixture starts to thicken, immediately remove the pan from the heat but keep stirring. After you have removed the pan from the heat, the mixture will continue to cook for a minute or two on its own.

If you overheat the mixture and find that you have some lumps, try to whisk them out. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Place the mixture in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly poor the milk mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Frosting the cake

Certified Homey

If there's a certificate given to homebodies, I know I will soon receive one. It must just have been lost in the mail, thus the delay. People get bored when home...that's them. I know how to entertain my self. I spend hours in the kitchen (especially lately), I tidy the house, I 'pack-away' toys, I goof around with the kids, I tend to my Goto Cola (thanks Momi Gel, they have more than 50 leaves now :>), I spend hours online and I spend hours asleep. I am a busy (home) body, I can't get bored.

Hey, thanks for dropping by. I'll make you some cookies...