Sunday, January 17, 2016

Christmas Cupcakes - Delayed Post

Photo credits to my hubby's colleague. This is the best photo taken :p
see the melting fondant?



This is a much delayed post. Made these for my hubby's office last month but as it was 8pm when I finished decorating these cupcakes, which was too dark to take a good photo so I did not take any. I thought he would be able to take nicer photos but I guess their Christmas celebration was indoors, so the photos taken were far from ideal as well :p

This was the first time I had baked 70 cupcakes and decorated them in one day. The biggest batch I ever made was for my kid's birthday - 40 cupcakes with no decorations. I used Satin Ice Fondant to decorate most of the cupcakes. Fondant does not need refrigeration but since I used buttercream to stick the fondant to the cupcakes, I had to keep the frosted cupcakes in the fridge (dairy products can go bad if not refrigerated). I placed the cupcakes in the paper cupcake boxes, and wrapped the boxes with cling wrap before keeping them in the fridge. Unfortunately, some fondant on the cupcakes melted the next morning. There is really no other way, unless I decorate the cupcakes with the fondant only in the morning. I considered decorating in the morning but it would have been too rush. Decorating cupcakes with fondant in Singapore's kind of weather really does require a lot of planning :p

Glad to hear that they like the cupcakes. I hope the cupcakes had brought some Christmas cheers to his colleagues. The was a good challenge! Although at the end of the day, I felt like my legs were not mine anymore (after long hours of standing),  I am certainly glad to have accomplished the mission :D





Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Appie Pie



My ugly looking apple pie :p From the look of it, you can guess how desperate I was when I was trying to cover the top of the pie. Made these apple pies yesterday, which was a super hot day (not like there are many days that are not hot in Singapore :p). The dough was melting as I was trying to lay them on the pie mould.

Please refer to Eugenie Kitchen's recipe and method on her blog. Found her videos to be very useful. I didn't have enough apples so I tweaked the recipe a little. Also, I used a Korean rice spoon to measure the flour and sugar :p Here are the ingredients I used:

Ingredients

For filling:
- 395g of Envy Apples (weight after peeling and removing core)
- 4 (Korean) spoons of demerera sugar
- 2 (Korean) spoons of cake flour (for thickening)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice

My notes:
- When making filling, add flour, sugar and lemon juice together in a big bowl and mix. Mixture will be grainy.
- Slice apples thinly and evenly for faster and even cooking.

For pie crust, please refer to Eugenie Kitchen's Shortcrust Pastry recipe and video.

Envy apple is fairly sweet. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on what kind of apples you use. The sweetness is just right for the taste buds of my family. This recipe is a good way to use up extra apples. It also saves the step of caramelizing of the apples.





Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Black Brownie



Last month, we happened to be in the Seah Street area and I recalled that there is a baking store nearby. Read from somewhere that Sun Lik sells Valrhona cocoa powder in small amount, so I swung by and got a 200g packet at S$8.50. It is the first time I invested in the much acclaimed dutch-processed coca powder. Was pretty excited about it and yearning to try it out. Found time to bake with this yesterday. The color of the brownie does look very black as compared to those made with natural cocoa powder. In fact, the color looks a bit charcoal-like in the photo? I did not use any highlight in the photo above and it is taken using my iPhone 5S on a gloomy day. 

I followed the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Love how easy the recipe is. Here're the ingredients I used, and please refer to her blog for her complete recipe and method.

Ingredients:

140g unsalted butter
125g demerera sugar (reduced from 250g in original recipe)
65g valrhona cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 drop vanilla paste (1tsp pure vanilla extract in original recipe)
2 eggs
65g cake flour (AP flour in original recipe)

Notes:
- Bake at 160C for 20 to 25 mins

As I reduced the sugar drastically, the brownie was not too sweet - just nice for my taste bud but you may use more sugar if you prefer sweeter taste. The brownie has an intense chocolate flavor, and fairly soft - not quite the fudgy kind I was expecting. At least now I have tried baking with dutch-processed cocoa powder :) Am still wondering what to bake with the remaining cocoa powder - it is too stressful to bake with such expensive ingredient :D

Happy baking! :)