Posts Tagged ‘bake’

Moist Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe.

March 1, 2008

I needed to bake some banana muffins as I’ve got a bunch of over-riped bananas in the kitchen. Then I came across Genevieve‘s recipe and decided to try to out. I made some tiny changes. Thank you Genevieve. 🙂

Moist Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Serves 12)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
2 small eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
2. Sift first 4 ingredients into a large bowl.
3. Combine bananas, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla essence in a medium bowl.
4. Mix into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix!
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, fill it till 3/4 full.
7. Bake until muffins are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, for about 25 minutes. (10 to 15 minutes for miniature muffins)
8. Cool muffins in tray for 5 minutes before transferring muffins to cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy. 🙂

Baking really takes the stress out of school work. Sometimes you got to just step back and leave your work aside for a little while and do something you love. For me, its baking.

And of course it’s much more worth the while when I see good friends enjoying this muffin treat. 😀 Here’s Lishan and her muffin, while we were at a field trip on Friday.

I am looking forward to baking with my Starbucks toffee nut latte. 🙂

Muffins & Cupcakes: Why they are different.

February 20, 2008

I found a lot of talk and misconceptions about the similarities and differences between a muffin and a cupcake online. Some say a muffin becomes a cupcake when there is frosting on it. Some say that cupcakes are smaller than muffins. That is incorrect, here is my take on it. Let’s conquer the cupcake first.

Cupcakes

  • A cupcake is essentially the same as a whole cake. It is simply baked and served in a portion to serve one individual.
  • It is usually frosted (like those in the photos above) and decorated. It is common to see it at birthday parties and weddings.
  • It is sweet and hence eaten mostly as a dessert or a sweet treat.
  • An un-frosted cupcakes does not equate to a muffin.
  • Butter is usually used in a cupcake recipe.
  • Conclusion: A cupcake is a cake.

Muffins

Source: Wikipedia

  • A muffin is one of the easiest things to bake (although I’ve had my fair share of failures, will give you tips to succeed in baking a muffin). It is simply mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and some recipes do not even require the use of an electronic beater or whisk.
  • It can be frosted or not frosted. For fruit muffins, I like to use a crumble on top (recipe in the next post).
  • It can be sweet or savoury and is mostly eaten during breakfast or tea.
  • A frosted muffin does not equate a to cupcake.
  • Oil is usually used in a muffin recipe.
  • Conclusion: A muffin is a type of bread (quick bread).

I hope this clarifies the difference between a cupcake and a muffin better. Watch out for my next post on my experience with baking muffins.

Chocolate Icing Recipe.

February 9, 2008

You can really do whatever you want to an Icing recipe to suit your preference. Here is my basic chocolate Icing recipe. It’s really easy, just 5 tiny ingredients and you’re good to go.

Chocolate Icing Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (you may add more if you like)
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of confectioner’s sugar (you may increase this according to the consistency you’re looking for)

Directions

1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa together until well-combined.
2. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat till smooth.
3. Gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar until your desired consistency is achieved.
4. Adjust with more milk, sugar, flour, if necessary.
5. Spread this beautiful icing onto your cake and serve.

Here’s how I decorated my cake in my previous post. This cake were for my cousins, during a picnic we had while watching Ballet Under The Stars. The cake was rich and Yum-O.

I topped off the icing with chocolate chips and dusted it lightly with confectioner’s sugar for a contrasting effect.

A close up view.

I welcome suggestions to make this recipe even better. 🙂

Extremely Rich & Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe.

February 8, 2008

Warning: This recipe is not for any chocolate lover, it is only for those who would die without the existence of chocolate and its goodness.

This is one of my favourite chocolate recipes, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. Here is the recipe for this luscious cake. I will be posting the icing recipe and display the finished cake, so do look out for it.

Extremely Rich & Moist Chocolate Cake (Serves 6)

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar (You may reduce this if you prefer it not to be too sweet)
2 small eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven at 175°C, grease and flour 2 cake tins with cocoa powder.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into one bowl.
3. Cream butter and sugar with electronic mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in very slowly, one by one. Stir in vanilla extract.
4. Combine in flour mixture alternatively with milk, mixing until incorporated. Pour into the 2 cake tins.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or when a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake.
6. Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Please note that the oven temperature and baking timing varies across ovens. Results for this cake will depend on the relationship you have with your oven. Here are some photos to guide you along.

The cake mixture waiting to be placed into my oven.

One layer of the cake cooling off on the cooling rack.

The 2 layers waiting to be iced.

Watch out for the rest of this post, for the icing recipe and finished cake.

The evolution of my cupcake designs.

February 6, 2008

I love baking cupcakes. It is so fun to decorate and it really allows me to get creative. Cupcakes are appropriate for many occasions too. I spot it at weddings, birthday parties and even at corporate events. It is also almost mess-free as I do not have to wash the cake tin as thorough, as compared to baking a whole cake.

Here’s how my cupcake designs vary from the year 2006 till now. I hope to give you bakers some inspiration.

A single mini-chocolate cupcake, lightly dusted with icing sugar. The recipe book behind is one of my favourite baking books.

Double chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge. A real delightful overdose of chocolate. These were baked for my church friends.

Mini-peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate fudge. This is one of my personal favourites.

My friends Calin and Elaine came over to my place for a baking session one day and we got really creative. It was a lot of fun. We used pink icing with marshmallows and chocolate chips. We made faces, flowers and somewhere in that photo lies an old man.

These chocolate cupcakes with colourful beaded sugars were for a Director friend on his big night at an SMU play.

This garden-themed birthday cake was for my friend’s birthday party. Calin, Elaine and I had crazy fun decorating this cake. It took us more than half a day. There were flowers, soil, grass, bees, butterflies, clouds, the sky and a rainbow found in this cupcake creation.

I hope to bake more soon, probably after Chinese New Year.

Carrot Cakes, the medieval dessert.

February 4, 2008

In the Middle Ages, sweeteners were low in supply and costly. Hence, people used carrots to make sweet desserts – due to the ingredient’s easy availability. In the 1960s, the carrot cake became a dessert one would most likely find on a dessert menu in the United States.

I’ve only ever baked a carrot cake once using this recipe from Allrecipes. I halved this recipe (which serves nine) and I got a perfect squared-size cake. However, the cream cheese frosting in this recipe turned out too sweet. Anyone has a carrot cake frosting to share, that isn’t too sweet and ‘hardens’ a little for easy storage?

Anyway here’s a photo of the carrot cake that I baked. The only complaint was its overly sweet frosting. This super moist cake ranks really high on my list of favourite things to bake. I welcome all advice on baking carrot cakes.

 

Electrical versus Convection Ovens.

February 1, 2008

In Singapore, it is not typical for every household to own a convection oven such as this one (shown below) from GE Appliances. In my opinion, Singaporeans in general do not have a culture of baking or cooking using such an oven. It may even be considered as a liability in a home, unless there is a member of the family who loves to bake since she was 14!

I sulked for 9 years without any oven at all, and could only bake when I attended my Food & Nutrition classes in Secondary School – until it was my 23rd birthday! I got this (tiny) electrical oven as a gift.

 

Although this oven cannot bake large cakes or portions at one go, it has served me well. However, I would still want to upgrade to a convection oven when I move to another place in the middle of this year. If there is anyone out there who is willing to share with me their woes (or satisfaction) with an electrical oven, I’m here to listen.

 p/s: Any suggestion for a particular brand of convection oven I should look out for (that isn’t too expensive)?