Posts Tagged ‘cakes’

Carrot Cupcakes With Starbucks Toffee Nut Syrup.

March 23, 2008

I decided to bake for a few of my friends from school and another dear friend of mine from church. Each of them¬†got three mini carrot cupcakes in a brown bag. ūüôā Check out my previous post on the carrot cake¬†here.

The cupcakes just before entering the oven.

The cupcakes after they leave the oven.

I then used a cake tester and poked holes in it and spread this delicious Starbucks toffee nut syrup over each cupcake.

And in the cupcakes went, into these brown bags for my friends.

I hope you guys enjoyed it! ūüėĬ†

My boyfriend saw me typing this post and asked me where his cupcakes were, oops! ūüėõ

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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.

Peanut Butter Frosting With Chunks of Nuts Recipe.

February 17, 2008

I love peanut butter, especially those with chunky peanuts in them. I am so glad I do not have Arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth). Here’s one of my favourite frosting recipes. I use it for my chocolate cupcakes, it¬†is always¬†a perfect combination.


Source: Wikipedia¬†(Sigh, I couldn’t find a photo of the frosting I made)

Peanut Butter Frosting (Serves 6)

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tbsp milk, or as needed (add this gradually till you achieve your preferred consistency)
3/4 confectioner’s sugar

Directions
1. Place butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl and beat with an electronic mixer.
2. Gradually mix in the confectioner’s sugar till it starts to get thick.
3. Add milk and mix well until all of the sugar is mixed in and frosting is thick and spreadable.
4. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get fluffier.
5. Spread onto cake.

Anyway if you’re really into baking with peanut butter, here are more recipes for you from Skippy.

Here is one weird fact I found from another blog about peanut butter. You cannot really find it in the UK except in certain specialty stores. Is this really true?

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¬įC, 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.

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 Рuntil 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)?