Sunday, July 5, 2015

Kabocha Squash Chiffon Cake - Deja vu






I had a long break from baking any cakes (other than muffins) - partly due to health as many of us at home are putting on weight :p

Baking chiffon and sponge cakes continue to be the most daunting task for me. However, every successful bake brings immersed satisfaction :D

Bought the kabocha squash from Isetan supermarket, which tasted really creamy. I followed the same recipe from Happy Flour, but used fresh milk instead of coconut milk.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Crunchy Almond Cookies


I love crunchy cookies. These almond cookies were baked using Nasi Lemak Lover's recipe. A big thank you to her for sharing this easy-to-follow recipe. I ran out of corn flour during baking (only 128g left), so I substituted the rest with yellow cornmeal flour, which I purchased a few months ago to bake Kenny Roger's Corn Muffins :D 

There aren't many recipes that used yellow cornmeal, except corn bread or muffins, so I had no idea what to do with the balance. There were some cookies recipes using yellow cornmeal, so it was an impromptu decision to substitute with it when I was in the midst of preparing the recipe.

These cookies are crunchy on the outside, not sure how to describe the inside of the cookies. But the salty aftertaste gave them a 古早味 feeling, like cookies I had eaten during childhood. I used 1/2tsp of salt and felt that was sufficient.

Here's the list of ingredients I used based on what I had on hand. Please visit Nasi Lemak Lover's blog for the original recipe and method.

Ingredients

- 160g unsalted butter, soften
- 100g golden granulated sugar
- 120g ground almond (bought from Phoon Huat)
- 128g corn flour + 42g yellow cornmeal (bought from Phoon Huat)
- 1/2tsp salt
- 2/3 tsp double-acting baking powder

Method

1. Mix butter, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk until batter is white and fluffy.
2. Add ground almond to batter and mix with a spatula.
3. Add corn flour, cornmeal and baking powder and mix with a spatula. Batter will come together to form a dough.
4. Roll dough with a rolling pin (sandwich dough between 2 pieces of cling wrap for easy handling). Cut with a cookie dough. Transfer to baking pan lined with baking sheet.
5. Bake in 170 degC preheated oven for 20 mins or until golden brown.

Baking almond cookies reminds me of my ex-colleague/friend, as she love almond cookies and I have not had the chance to bake for her before. Now that she is back in Singapore, hopefully one day I can bake these for her.

The ugly cookies at the back were rolled and flatten by hand. The pretty ones in front were rolled with a rolling pin, and cut using a cookie cutter. See the difference?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Birthday Cupcakes


Last week was my kid's birthday. I baked a total of 50 cupcakes (40 classmates + 3 teachers + extra) for her to bring to school. I baked a mix of Very Chocolatey Cupcakes and Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes. It was indeed very tiring after baking and wrapping up the cupcakes. But the thought of 43 smiling faces is worth it all :)



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soft & Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes


I think my search for the ultimate chocolate cupcake to bake for my kid's classmates on her birthday has ended. Many thanks to unpastiche for sharing this Very Chocolatey Cupcakes. Previously I have tried another of her recipes, which yields very delicious chocolate cupcakes as well. This recipe yields a soft and fluffy chocolate cupcake, while the One-bowl Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes yields an intense chocolatey flavor and denser (compared to this recipe) cupcake. I absolutely love that recipe, but I may opt for this recipe - actually, I can't decide :D

Been pondering on what exactly contributes to a soft and fluffy cupcake - buttermilk? creaming method? oven temperature?

Here's the list of ingredients from unpastiche. Please refer to her blog for the recipe and method.

Ingredients
Makes 12 cupcakes (Makes 11 for me, size 50x39mm)

60g butter
120g white sugar (I used 100g golden granulated sugar)*
1 egg
125g plain flour
1/2tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4tsp baking powder (I used 1/2tsp double-acting baking powder)
120g milk
1 drop of vanilla paste
35g unsweetened cocoa powder
100g hot water + 1/2tsp instant coffee granules

*Updated on 7 Nov 2014: not sweet enough with 100g sugar, according to my taste bud :p 120g is just nice :)


my notes:
  • I preheated my oven to 190 degC, then reduced to 175 degC once I put the cupcakes into the oven. Because of that, I removed the cupcakes from the oven after 18 mins as the toothpick inserted came out with only a few crumbs.
  • Cups were filled between 1/2 to 2/3 full.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes


I was searching for an easy recipe to bake for 40 kids for my daughter's birthday. It has to be yummy and pretty too, since they are for kids and kids love pretty things, don't they?

Found this Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes recipe online. Actually, this recipe can be found on many sites. The variation is the Chocolate flavor, which you can replace 20g of flour with cocoa powder. The steps seem easy to follow, and they look very pretty with a slight domed top. I tried the chocolate version first. The recipe says it will make 12 cupcakes, but perhaps it is referring to smaller cups? I only managed to fill 6 cups, and I filled them up too full - about 3/4. The result is cracked tops and one of the cupcakes overflew. They are quite ugly :p After analyzing the issue, I baked a second batch, and this time, I filled up 8 cups, and each cup 2/3 full. The cupcakes rose beautifully in the first 10-15 mins, then strangely they collapsed slightly on the sides, so only the middle part of each cupcake was risen slight. It's somewhat funny looking, but not too obvious. I have been thinking about how to achieve a smooth, slightly domed-top cupcake since :p But I guess the result was still encouraging.

I did not frost the cupcakes as I always thought they are sweet enough, frosting is pretty but I'd like to reserve for very special occasions. I brought these cupcakes for my Korean class teacher and classmates yesterday. I know kids love the sight of cupcakes, but adults? The answer is, adults love seeing cupcakes too! :D Love seeing happy faces :)

As I finally tried one this morning (somehow I forgot to put this one into my bag yesterday), I was surprised to find that the cupcake was very soft! I wonder if it has got to do with the evaporated milk I swopped in place of regular milk. I have tried baking muffins with evaporated milk before and they turned out soft each time. Perhaps that is the reason?

Here's the recipe I used. Please refer to goodtoknow for the original recipe and method. The recipe is from a famous bakery called The Hummingbird Bakery.

Ingredients
Makes 8, 50x39mm cupcakes

120g plain flour
1tsp double-acting baking powder
a pinch of salt
100g castor sugar (original recipe uses 140g)
40g unsalted butter, soften
120g evaporated milk (original recipe uses whole milk)
1 egg
1 drop of vanilla paste (original recipe uses 1/4tsp vanilla extract)

Method
  1. Preheat oven at 170 degC.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add salt, sugar, and butter. Mix with a whisk (original recipe uses an electric mixer) until a sandy consistency.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and milk well. Add half of the mixture into the flour mixture and mix. Add rest of milk mixture and mix until just incorporated. The batter will be smooth.
  5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 mins.


It was a sunny, hot and humid afternoon in Singapore (as usual? :D). The color of the cupcakes look washed-out (taken with my humble iphone 5S camera).