Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I've moved

Thank you so much for stopping by here, but my kitchen has moved to a new house.

You can now follow my cooking adventures at my new blog

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

This chocolate cupcake recipe is for my fellow chocoholics. I've feeling down lately. Mainly because my husband was awy on business trip. Nothing improves my mood better than chocolate. So I made these cupcakes, hoping that these will miraculasouly lift my mood.

It worked. These were a charm.

My husband and I are kind of close.  We spend our evenings, weekends, holidays together, as a family. Me, him and our two little birds. So when he goes away on business trip  , you can see how this deeply disrupts our routine.

There is nothing I hate more than a disrupted routine.

I’ve tried convincing myself that this is a opportunity for me to spend some quality alone time with the kids (as if i don't do enough of that already).  

I’ve tried to convince myself that its only five day, they’ll pass

I’ve tried to think of all the gifts he will get us.

Its not working. Am a nervous wreck.

 Meanwhile, I bake. Baking is my refuge. 

Since I think of baking as therapy. I decided to bake myself some super chocolate cupcakes. You know, nothings lifts my spirits better than a good chocolate dessert. 

Am glad to report that these cupcakes have kept me sane while the hubby is away.
Yep. These cakes have kept my company well.

But that is the kind of effect you would expect when you eat a dessert worth god only knows how may calories per serving.

I do hope your piping skills are better than mine, I hate how I clumsily frosted these cupcakes, but overall am very satisfied with how these things turned out. 

I could have far done worst.

Especially since the hubby is away.

P.S. the original recipe states to fill the cupcakes 2/3 which yields 24 cupcakes, but since am greedy, I filled them 3/4 and ended up with 18 cupcakes. 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

 For the cupcakes:
Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction


For the cupcakes
  • 1 3/4 cups or 177g all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups or 408g sugar
  • 3/4 cups or 90g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup or 250ml buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup or 115g melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •  1 cup or 250ml freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup or  semisweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
  • 1 cup or 230g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups or or 317g powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup or 113g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled chocolate chips, for garnish


 For the cupcakes 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C /350 °F /Gas mark 4
  2. Line a standard cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside. 
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. 
  4. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  5. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between prepared cupcake pan, filling each well 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. 
  8. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

For the Frosting:
  1. In a heat proof bowl, placed over your double boiler, place the chocolate over low heat. Stir occasionally till the chocolate melts.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the wire whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. 
  4. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. 
  5. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Frost the cupcakes using your favorite piping head.
Garnish with chocolate chips.

 Devour & Enjoy.

Please share & comment. Leave a comment if you like what you see, oh and btw, am willing to share one of these if you share this post.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I have a small confession to make.

I used to buy Maggy's powdered mushroom soup.

Then I found out I can actaully make mushroom soup at home. That revelation changed my soup eating days..

I didn't know making mushroon soup would be so easy.

This was hardest part. Peeling the mushrooms.

The rest is a piece of cake.

Now that you have this, please forget about the canned / powdered soup and make your own.

A little tip. Skip washing your mushrooms, else they will absorb the water and get soggy. Peel them instead, and a give them a quick rinse.

P.S. you can make this as a low fat version, buy using low fat milk and reduce the butter to one tablespoon.

Not that I like low fat food.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 cup or 250g fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, medium size
  • 1/2 onion, medium size
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups of 500ml full fat milk
  • 2 cups or 500ml homemade beef stock
  • 1 teaspoons rock salt
  • 1/4 nutmeg, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
  • chopped parsley to garnish

  1. Peel the mushrooms. Rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  2. In the food processor, chop the mushrooms and onions.
  3. Add the lemon juice.
  4. In a medium saucepan, add the butter, saute the onions and mushrooms till the onions absorb the butter, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the flour while whisking continually, to avoid the mixture from getting lumpy.
  6. Season with salt, nutmeg, and white pepper.
  7. Slowly, add the milk & beef stock to the mushrooms. Stir frequently for 2 minutes.
  8. Bring to boil. Once it boils, . Let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
  9. Serve sprinkled with coarsely chopped parsley. Season with extra seasoning as need.
 Devour & Enjoy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Project 365 - Day 33: A Cappuccino Cake

Imagine a cake without a birthday.

Imagine a birthday without a cake.

See the difference.

A cake doesn't need any special occasion. Where as a special occasion always requires a cake.

Yesterday was BIL's birthday. Am the baker in the family so I made him the cappuccino cake.

It was finger licking good.

FYI, a cappuccino cake doesn't contain actual cappuccino. I know. I was also shocked when I made it. The horror.

On a side note, am totally lost as to what to bake for my daughter's second birthday on the 12th of February. A chocolate cake or a red velvet or a cheesecake or even a fondant cake? Now you see why being a baker requires making lots of decisions...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nigella's No Bake Cheesecake

This was the first dessert I made in my life.

I like to think that I've a long way since then.

For someone who has never actually set foot in the kitchen before, I think this was quite an achievement.

Even my husband couldn't believe I made it...

He rolled his eyes when I was buying that 9" springform cake pan...
I bought it anyway...

He flinched when I said I want to make a cheesecake...
I didn't care.

He suggested we buy a ready made cheesecake.
I had other plans...

He Shrugged when he saw me pressing biscuit crumbs into the pan...
I moved on...

"You can't cook to save your life" he proclaimed...
"He might be right" I thought...

When he sampled it, he gave me a high five...
 In the end, I got him hooked...

Conclusion? If you've never set foot in the kitchen, even if you don't own an oven, but you plan to make a start. Start with this. Everyone will be impressed with your "culinary skills". You won't regret it.

There are many no-bake-cheesecake recipes. I've tried  A LOT of them, in the end this is the recipe I fall back to. It doesn't use gelatine, yet the cheesecake holds its shape pretty well (thanks to the whipped cream).

I've modified the original recipe by adding more cream cheese, sour cream & sugar. I had to make sure its heart clogging material, else I would not eat it.

No Bake Cheesecake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson
{Click here for printable recipe}

For the biscuit base:
  • 125 gram(s) digestive biscuits
  • 75 gram(s) butter (soft)
For the filling:
  • Three packs or 600g cream cheese (ex. Philadelphia cheese)
  • 2/3 cup or 75g powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1 cup or 250ml whipping cream 
  • 1 cup or 250g sour cream
  • 284g cherry jam or any jam of preference (e.g., jar of St Dalfour)

Prepare the biscuit base:
  1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until beginning to turn to crumbs.Add the melted butter and blitz again till the butter has been absorbed by the biscuits. 
  2. Press this mixture into a 9" springform pan. 
  3. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling:
  1. In the bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream,until soft peaks. Remove from the bowl, and put it in the fridge.
  2. In the food processor, or the mixer, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice until smooth.
  3. Using a spatula or metal spoon, gently fold the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Poor the filling into the refrigerated crust. Smooth the top with a spatula. 
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  6. When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, unmold it and spread the black cherry over the top.

See you next recipe...

Porject 365 - Day 32: My first DSLR

Lo & behold, my first DSLR.
How do you justify buying something you don't absolutely need??

By saying you aboslutley need it ofcourse!

So yesterday I went on and splurged on this new Nikon D5200. All my life savings are now happily gone.

When the salesman was explaining about how good this camera is, things like shutter speed, focal distance, lens, ISO, I was like @# $%^&*, dude slow down, I just need to take some good pictures.

But now that I've had it for one day.. Well, am already in love.

Now the question is, how do you justify buying some more accessories that you don't absolutely need for the thing that you didn't absolutely need in the first place..
What can i say? Am a girl who loves her gadgets.

P.S. I know its ironic that I took this picture with my crappy iphone camera, where as i just spent a mini fortune on that thing.

Project 365 - Day 31 : Froyo adventures and infidelity

Pictured above, is my husband having a frozen yogurt. An innocent meal to some, maybe even a cute photo. But there is one problem with this picture. I was not with him! Many would argue about how to define infidelity. It our house infidelity is when one of the two partners has a meal, especially dessert, without the second partner. That is infidelity.

Things would have been very smooth had my husband not teased me by sending a photo of his froyo adventure. That can be grounds for divorce for some couples.

Needless to say, dear hubby had a lot of explanation to do when he got him.

You know the saying an eye for an eye?

Well dear hubby, you'll never know when I hit back and retaliate ;)