Tag Archives: cupcakes

Brainchild of Halloween

I feel like I’ve been having the greatest kind of days. You too? Nice.

Each day deviated from the original plans. I met one of my closest friends the other day,with the intention of being all big-girl-like and having a fancy dinner followed by drinks at a swanky new joint. Only thing is we made it to the most cliche old-school dinner place in town (the kind that used to be cool when your mom was your age), cheap manicures, flea markets and a much-deserved foot massage. Oh, and those drinks? Swapped it with bubble tea instead.

And yesterday was meant to be productive, only thing is I spent it watching Harry Potter and baking cupcakes. But it was pretty awesome. And today, the beach was on the agenda, but after a late night of dancing, I think it’s going to be more Harry Potter and eating cupcakes. Probably a horror movie thrown in somewhere all in the spirit of Halloween.

My point is, no matter how you plan things, anticipate the scenarios, draw up a five-year route you’re going to take,it’s really rather amazing to go along with a bit of hope that someone’s got a plan you never thought of, but brings you along anyway. I used to get panicky every time I felt the pressure to come up with something, like I needed to conjure a well-thought of road map, with all my back up plans in place. Plus, the hazard that comes with the work I do requires I think of the worst case scenario in every scenario. But the greatest thing comes when you see that it’s okay to not have a plan, or have a plan different from what people expect you to have. I can deal with different.

I can deal with dancing to the music inside my head. I can deal with laughing at things people don’t find that funny. I can deal with eating ice cream for dinner. I can deal with picnics in the living room. And the best thing is, he can deal with me.

To get started, let’s not make pretty cupcakes. Let’s go all cool and CSI-like. Let’s go with brains.

Brain Cupcakes (Chocolate Mud Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream)

Chocolate Mud Cupcakes (adapted from The Crabapple Bakery Cookbook)

3 tbsp instant coffee granules
3/4 cup hot water
250g butter, unsalted
300g dark chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups GF flour blend
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder

1) Preheat oven to 160°C. Line three 12-hole cupcake tins with cupcake cases.

2) Dissolve coffee in hot water. Put the butter, chocolate and coffee into a metal bowl, set over a bain marie, and stir gently until butter and chocolate are thoroughly melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and buttermilk until combined. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cocoa together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg mixture and mix until well combined. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until homogenous.

4) Divide evenly between the 28 cupcake cases and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To Frost:

1) Fit a piping bag with a 6 or 8 mm round piping tip. Fill bag with the buttercream.

2) To get the design, pipe 2 straight lines down the centre of the cupcakefollowed by a repeated swirl on either sides. For the ‘blood’, the consistency of lightly warmed cherry/raspberry jam works well. Ensure the jam has NO seeds.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Chocolate, Cupcakes, Events, Frostings, Inspired, Recipes

Earl Grey & Strawberry Cupcakes

I just realised that Narwhals are real. I can almost hear Homer going ‘D’OH!’ in my head. Since I’ve long associated these one-horned creatures with unicorns, it was pretty much a natural assumption to make.

Again, D’OH!

Now I can’t decide if they’re as magical.

Today was catch up with mom and little sister day. So we tried our best to eat enjoy a leisurely lunch. Sounds like a chore; but it really is especially when we’re a family of gobble-gobble eaters. Blame it on not wanting to eat cold food, or rushing to catch the next next cartoon on tele, we just don’t do slow very well. In fact, I’d say you were silly if you tried. But then someone caught our eye and our conversation slowed, the chopsticks didn’t snap the food as quickly and the tea started to get cold. He walked in, big smile, the waitresses greeted him warmly like they knew who he was. So, who was he? Soon he was joined by a younger lady and another gentleman of a similar age. And it felt slightly rude to stare but he reminded us so much of our grandfather.

My grandfather was a force to be reckoned with; he clean out an entire fish in the amount of time it took to for us to reach the dinner table. His jokes were so funny we still make reference to them now. He could clear out a whole room full of people with his…farts.

That’s my grandfather.

Needless to say, my little sister and I thought of all sorts of lines to get us a hug from that cute old man, but decided we didn’t want to interrupt his lunch. Considerate much.

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (cupcake adapted from Primrose Bakery’s book)

Cake
125ml milk
4 earl grey teabags
2 eggs
120g butter
120g sugar
250g GF flour blend
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

1) In a small saucepan, heat the milk until almost boiling. Remove from heat and steep the teabags for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C, fanforced. Line mini cupcake tins with paper liners or if not using liner, grease well.

2) In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until lightened in colour. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.

4) Add in the vanilla. beat well.

5) Add the flour and milk alternately to the egg mixture and beat until just combined. Divide equally between prepare cupcake tins. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6) Allow to cool completely before removing from tins. Frost with strawberry cream cheese.

2 Comments

Filed under Cupcakes, Recipes

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

POSITIVITY IS…

like a pretty girl; sooner or later it’s bound to attract something. And one of ’em will be good.

like a pair of high heels; it makes you look good no matter how you’re feeling

like getting your nails done; the waiting sucks but it’s worth it

like holding hot coffee on a cold day; may not be the exact thing you need, but at least it makes you feel better

like eating cupcakes; it lifts your spirits no matter the occasion.

I’ve been in this job hunting circus for awhile now. It’s tough, and I’m really not a patient person. That’s usually why I prefer baking mini cupcakes instead of their grown up cousins; it takes far less time. It’s also why I prefer dresses over a pants-suit combo. It’s also why I hate wearing rompers; it’s far too fiddly when I need the loo.

My point is… I hate waiting, especially when I feel that I don’t know what I’m waiting for. And let’s face it; it’s like everytime I hit the ‘send’ button, my resume gets sent into a dark abyss, of which I don’t even know if I’ll hear anything in return. At the very least, baking ensured I get some form of gratification. My waist disagrees but I’m in no mood to argue.

So here I am, still hunting like a loon, but maybe I’ve grown tired of being impatient or perhaps it’s just sunk in that no matter how fretful I get, no employer over the internet is sharing my pain. But I’ve learnt that I can always make waiting a little more bearable by baking mini cupcakes, make chocolate frosting that doesn’t require 2 hours to set and eating cold cupcakes because they don’t dry out in the fridge.

If you’re waiting for something or anything, these will make it slightly less awful than the bleak situation you’re in; promise.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes
1 x recipe Double Chocolate Cupcakes
1 x recipe Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

Double Chocolate Cake (adapted from Miette)

1  1/4 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup GF oat flour
1 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder (I used Varlhona, but feel free to use your favourite)
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 ounces 56% couverture chocolate, chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups caster sugar

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 48 mini-muffin tins with paper liners. I had some batter left over so I made 3 regular sized cupcakes extra.

2) In a bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl, pour the hot water over the chocolate and mix until it’s homogenised.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs until they are fluffy and triple in volume. Slowly add in the oil, whisking to blend. Add in the vanilla and buttermilk and mix well. Mix in the water + chocolate mixture. Add in the sugar and beat until combined.

4) In three additions, incorporate the flour mix until just combined. Divide evenly into the prepared tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from tin to cool completely. FROST. CONSUME. FEEL BETTER.

3 Comments

Filed under Cakes, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Frostings, Recipes

Honeycomb and Chocolate Cupcakes

It looks like it’s snowing in tropical Singapore apart from the splashing sound the rain is making against my window. I love it!

Except for the fact that I’m heading out for lunch and I really hate having soggy feet. Platform heels would be a good way of avoiding puddles, until you slip and fall on your bum, and your skirts up in the air. I think I’ll stick to soggy feet for now or maybe invest in wellies. Oooh, I like wellies.

I also like cotton candy. I’m not entirely sure what it is. Pulled sugar? And I love honeycomb. Which also baffles me. Can’t forget about those bubbly Aero bars…how do they do it!? I think we need a Food: Demystified show or something along those lines. Don’t you ever wonder what half the things we find in supermarket are made of? Apart from an ingredient list of modified things I’m pretty sure would gross me out.

Well, for one, honeycomb can be made the all natural way. And I did it! It’s not quite as perfect looking as the commercial stuff (like in Violet Crumble) but it sure is tasty and you still get the signature c-c-crunch. I’ve used smaller shards to decorate and top a batch of vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. The honeycomb recipe can be found HERE, in my guest post for one of my alltime blog crushes, Cake Spy. The blog is so cute it makes my sweet tooth hurt.

Chocolate Buttercream

80g unsalted chocolate

250g icing sugar, sifted

50g  55% chocolate,melted and cooled

2-3 tbsp milk, room temperature

1) In the bowl of a standmixer, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth.

2) Add in the cooled chocolate and beat until combined. Add in 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat until smooth. Add in the last tablespoon of milk if icing is too stiff. Frost cupcakes :)

6 Comments

Filed under Chocolate, Cupcakes, Frostings, Recipes

Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Crumble

Many things amaze me but some things never fail to keep amazing me. Take the punnet of blueberries I bought for example. First berry; hmmm, sweet. Second berry; wow, they are sweet. Third berry; omg, STILL SWEET! And so it goes on, until I decide that this is quite mind boggling seeing that I’ve visited a few countries and have never had a whole punnet of sweet, non-pucker-face-inducing berries before. I am in awe. Is it just me?

And then there are blackberries, raspberries… it’s almost weird having non-sour berries.In a good way though, obviously.

The last few days in NY have been sweltering, the kind of heat that makes you want to eat fro-yo for dinner and call it a day with some ice-cold water. Who knew I’d rekindle my love for air-conditioning only after a week of complaining that the weather was too cold and wet. Now, all I want to do is beg the folks at Starbucks to let me be the night security guard in exchange for air-conditioning. Think they’ll buy it? Just the other day I paid $16 bucks to spend a much needed 2 hours wandering the National History Museum, to look at the exhibits (and bask in their glorious air-conditioned climate). So much for natural history.

Another good excuse to crank on the AC; baking. Blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and crumble topping. I’m sure my aunt would see it as a good exchange for me using her AC. Better still, she has one in the kitchen, so EAT THAT kitchen in Singapore which has no air-conditioner. Alright, less typing, more eating. Get with it! :)

Blueberry Cupcakes (makes 12)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup pure cane sugar
1 cup gluten free oat flour (from Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup rice milk (or any other milk you prefer)
3/4 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried on paper towels

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.

2) Cream butter and sugar together. Mix the flours and baking powder together in a separate bowl.

3) Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating well to combine. Add in the flour and milk alternately and mix until completely homogeneous. Fold in the berries gently.

4) Divide batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean or with only a few crumbs. Let cool in tray for 10 minutes and remove from tray to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese (240g)
3 oz butter (90g)
2 – 3 cups pure icing sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together (I used a handheld mixer, arm power!)

2) Beat 2 cups of the icing sugar and the lemon juice. If you prefer a sweeter frosting, keep adding the icing sugar until you’re sugar happy. Let chill a little in the fridge before using.

Crumble

1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour
4-5 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup pure cane sugar

1) Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add in the oil, one tablespoon at a time until you get a slightly wet but still crumbly mixture. Pour onto a tray lined with parchment. Bake in a 170°C oven for 12-15 minutes or until crunchy. Let cool before using.

To Assemble

1) Take one cool cupcake, top with a big tablespoon of cream cheese frosting, swirl with a palette knife and top with more berries and the crumble. Arrange on a plate and impress your guests’ socks off. :)

5 Comments

Filed under Cupcakes, Frostings, Fruit, Inspired, Recipes

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

My friends came over for tea yesterday; a ritual I’ve termed ‘tea party for no reason’; and that’s a mighty good reason to have it almost monthly. And you know how I could tell my guests were pleased? When A said “This is a great tea party, there are no veggies on the table.”

“But there’s a zucchini cupcake!’ I chimed

“Ah, but it’s yummy”

And so it was to be, that I had convinced her to overlook the vegetable and see it for what it really is; a really tasty cupcake. In fact, if there was ever a kid in class you teased your whole life only to see them 10 years down the road, happy, confident and a whole lot of pizazz, this is quite like it. But I’m sure you’re all nice folk out there and no kid ever got teased by you…right?

And the cream cheese; strong enough to hold it’s own and not begging to melt on a balmy day. I’ll say we have ourselves a mainstay. I suppose it’s even a good way of saying you’re getting a dose of vegetables and milk…if you need anymore convincing, that is.

Happy Easter and make like a rabbit and eat your veggies ;)

Zucchini Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)

  • 1 1/2 cups GF flour mix (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)*
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.      Preheat oven to 175°C. Line cups of a mini muffin tin with paper, foil liners or grease it well. Set aside.

2.      In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.

3.      In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined.

4.      Divide batter evenly among the cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, 12-15 minutes.

5.      Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. Meanwhile, make frosting. With a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, pipe the frosting on. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

*I squeezed the zucchini to remove about 2 tablespoons of juice from it before using.

Cream Cheese Frosting by Sweets by Vicky

  • 125g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 40g butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2-2.5 cups of icing sugar, sifted

1.       In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the sifted icing sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fully incorporated.

4 Comments

Filed under Cupcakes, Frostings, Recipes

Sour Cherry Cupcakes

In order to stop myself from eating a third cupcake, I am resorting to munching an apple along with a low fat hot chocolate drink. Pathetic I know.

You see, up until now, I am pretty sure I have never searched, researched and failed at a recipe so many times like I have at baking a gluten free vanilla cupcake. How everyone so gracefully succeeds at this basic cupcake is beyond me. Instead this is how the scene is. Quivering, worried, quite certain I’m about to fail…again.

I remember once, I was so desperate for a vanilla cupcake for my uncle’s 50th and all I had was batch after batch sadly finding home in the rubbish bin. Not ideal.And I might have some close to succeeding, but it felt more like me ‘settling’ rather than being overjoyed with finding the right one. So like finding the perfect boy, this was a mission not to be taken lightly. After yet another really crap attempt yesterday with Hummingbird Bakery’s vanilla cupcake recipe (which I should’ve guessed would’ve turned out wrong when it started to…split!), I woke up this morning armed with a mission. Magnolia Bakery vs Primrose Bakery. Two bakeries, one cupcake, one highly frantic baker.

Great.

It was a stupid test I thought, since I’ve actually baked from these two books and wasn’t successful thus far. But everyone’s favourite cupcake recipe couldn’t fail me…right? And I’ve been to Primrose…it was good…HOW BAD COULD IT BE?! (tension building, nerves going mad, and I was kinda hungry)

TURNED OUT SUPER ACTUALLY! :) Guess who won?

PRIMROSE!!!

Fluffy, super fluffy, none of that gummy business, and it grew up tall, rounded, really handsome and tanned. Perfect. (the cupcake, not the man)


Vanilla Cupcakes (adapted from Primrose Bakery)

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups minus 2 tbsp GF flour blend
1.5 tsp baking powder
120ml whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3) In another bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour into the egg mixture alternating with the milk and vanilla. Beat until mixed through and pour into the prepared tins.

4) Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sour Cherry Filling

1.5 cups frozen cherries, thawed
4 tbsp granulated sugar
2 heaping tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water

1) In a medium saucepan, add the cherries and the sugar and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

2) Mix the cornstarch and the water into a slurry and slowly add it into the cherry mixture, swirling as you go. It will thicken up almost immediately into a jammy consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Buttercream

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-4 tbsp milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
400-500g icing sugar, sifted

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and 400g of the icing sugar on low until mixed through.

2) Add in 2 tbsp of milk and the vanilla. Mix to combine. If frosting is too liquid, add in the remaining icing sugar. If it’s too stiff, add in the remaining milk, 1 tbsp at a time.

3) Use immediately or keep in an airtight container in the fridge. To use, bring to room temperature.

To Assemble

1) Cut out a ‘cone’ shape from each of the cupcakes. Fill the hole with 3 cherries. Cover the ‘lid’ back on.

2) Pipe a swirl of buttercream over the cupcake and allow to set slightly before topping each cupcake with 1-2 cherries.

14 Comments

Filed under Cupcakes, Frostings, Fruit, Recipes