Wednesday, 26 December 2007

christmas chestnut cupcakes

i made these for a christmas eve treat - chestnut cupcakes with a chocolate chestnut icing...and they turned out really good. i made my own chestnut puree from fresh chestnuts and it was delicious, once added and baked the taste was very subtle...not overpoweringly chestnut which was just what i wanted. as i had extra chestnut puree left over i decided to also add it to the icing to use it up and include the delicate chestnut taste in the icing. this also worked nicely and it paired really nicely with the chocolate flavour. i was super pleased with the final result...what a divine treat before christmas day!

Monday, 17 December 2007

double chocolate cupcakes - overdose on the stuff!

ok, so i made these as my contribution to the 'welcome back' dinner my younger brother's girlfriend organised in our honour. they were double chocolate because the cupcake was chocolate made with my favourite chocolate of all time - valrhona and the icing was white chocolate cream cheese...truly a divine combination. they went down a treat - my brother polished off a few at a time followed closely by my husband! plus, for decoration i found these heavenly bottles of sprinkles that have four varieties in one tub and they are really fun but classy (as opposed to rainbow sprinkles!) i don't know what it is about chocolate, i mean most of the time i could just walk around with the stuff pumping into me through an intravaenous's insane! but for now i'll just have to make do with double helpings of it in my cupcakes!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

christmas cupcakes! Ho Ho Ho!

so it was the last get together with the Sunday Clubbers for Z and i for some time...we're leaving for ireland in december. this get together centred around a murder mystery and yet it was also a christmas celebration so i wanted to make something in the spirit of christmas. i decided on gingerbread (cos it's just perfect for christmas) and red velvet because it's! i searched for recipes that i felt good about and got to work...i had managed to pick up some cutesy christmas decorations in 'bake-it-yourself' a fab shop for baking on bukit timah road so i didn't have to worry about decorations. i also modified (again!) my cream cheese icing...instead of using all philadelphia cream cheese, i added half ricotta instead and it worked like a dream and i think the icing tasted so much better for it too! the final result...gingerbread smelled so good in the oven and when it came out, that it almost brought tears to my eyes of memories of my great aunt bridie and her gorgeus gingerbread she would make for me during my summers in ireland. i like the taste and was full of spices and rich and moist and dark. however, interestingly enough, this one wasn't such a big hit at the gathering...i think gingerbread is quite an acquired taste and not for everyone. the red velvet also smelled divine and the colour was so rich that i was worried that i'd turn everyone's mouth red (well would have fit in with the murder mystery theme even more!) the texture was light and sponge-like but with a nice taste...the cocoa flavour was subtle so didn't overpower the flavour of the vanilla. i think this was everyone's fav. of course the deocrating was too much fun especially those holly and berry sprinkles which i could have lost all sense of reason with and just madly sprinkled willy-nilly! Happy early Christmas!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

a fitting farewell....

so, yesterday was my last day with my darling kindergarten 1 children at chiltern house crescent road and i planned a farewell in a style that only a serious cupcaker could - a cupcake decorating afternoon. i baked a batch of devil's food cupcakes (cos they're soft and delicious) and left them 'naked'. then i brought them in with an array of decorating goodies (hershey's candy coated kisses, regular kisses, cherries, chocolate sticks, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles...) and of course some icing. i let my little darlings ice and decorate their own cupcakes and they loved it! definitely if i ever have my own shop i will organise a cupcake party pack - cos it went down a treat...they all had such beautiful ideas and really enjoyed getting their fingers gooey with the icing! it was my perfect parting gift to them and as you can see...there are some budding cake decorators there in the works!

'the spider' created by tristen & 'the clown' created by miri

Monday, 22 October 2007

introducing the 'reuben special' and some devil's food cupcakes too!

the sunday club got together again and so i was busy in the kitchen....this time i had a special request to work with....reuben had seen a recipe in nigella's cookbook for peanut butter and snickers muffins and he really wanted some. so i decided to do a bit of editing as muffin batter is different to cupcakes. changed the batter, and chopped the snickers and added them in...the result...well see for yourself the photos of the 'naked' reuben and the iced one! the taste was really good...very peanut-y and the snickers had melted to form this lovely gooey chewy-ness in the middle. i made chocolate buttercream for the icing and it was soooooo good i could have just sat down on the floor and devoured the whole bowl without even putting it on the damn things! i made some 'devil's food' cupcakes to go along because not everyone digs peanuts and well, you can't go wrong with chocolate.... iced those guys with cream cheese frosting and the combo was pretty divine as the texture of the cake is truly soft and spongey....that should satisfy the sugar cravings for a few days....or few minutes as the case may be!

Monday, 8 October 2007

gourmet cupcakes - black forest and lemon meringue

so we had another get together of the 'sunday club' and i offered to do dessert...i wanted something a bit more gourmet and adult-like for the evening so i searched around and decided on black forest and lemon meringue cupcakes. i recently bought a crappy electric mixer (at sheng siong...i was desperate!) but it has been so helpful in preparing batters that i think without it i would have had blisters on my fingers! i'm secretly dreaming of owning a 'kitchen aid' they are truly an amazing mixer...but with a price tag to match so...ho hum, i might actually have to start selling cupcakes before i can get one of those! both batters were pretty easy to make. the lemon meringue involved a lot more post-baking work as you had to cut out the middle of the cupcake and fill it with lemon cream and then replace, top with the merinue and re-bake...but i love finding the whole thing highly therapeutic! overall i was really happy with the taste of both. for the black forest cupcake, i used the recipe from an absolute fav blog of mine and it was truly divine. i added black cherries to the batter and they just blended in so well. at first i wanted to top with fresh cream but living in Singapore has it's cons in that everything just whip cream and a few seconds later it's turned into liquid again...pointless! anyway they went down really well at the get-together and there were leftovers so i brought some back and took them to work today...very well received as well. i aim to please...what else can i say?

Friday, 28 September 2007

apple cinnamon cupcakes

ok, so finally i have made my own creation. these were inspired by the muffins for sale at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - the apple cinnamon ones. they're my favourite and i wanted to try and re-create them. so i used a regular cupcake batter, then for the topping i basically stewed together sliced apples, cinnamon, water, maple syrup and brown sugar. i let it stew for awhile so that the syrup became thick. then once i'd put the batter in to the holders, i spooned the topping on top. popped them in the oven and wow! hubby went out for a walk and came back and said he could smell them from downstairs! the overall result was fabulous and i think better than those at CB & TL as these taste like mini apple pies...made me realise how much i miss my nana's good ol' fashioned home-baked apple pie! the nice part is that when the syrup baked it soaked down into the cupcake sponge and made it taste scrumptious....hmmm, i said i'd just eat one to taste but....oh dear! they seem to be calling my name from the kitchen so...cheerio for now!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

nutella cupcakes

ok, so i've been wanting to try these for awhile...nutella cupcakes...sounds absolutely sinfully divine, right? no particular occasion just really wanted to make them for some of the assistant teachers at school who have a serious LURVE for nutella. so what better way to say thanks to them for always being there in class and taking care of stuff than baking them some of these. the batter was a basic cupcake batter then just topped with the nutella and finally swirled together with a toothpick. i'm pretty pleased with the final result...they taste seriously nutella-ish - so much so that you need to eat these with a nice glass of milk, cup of tea or whatever does it for you in the cake accompaniment department! i tell you something else...the smell of them cooking was just fantabulous! my mouth was watering just waiting for them to come out of the oven and as you can see from the piccies, so was someone else's! WARNING - these are for serious nutella fans ONLY!

Monday, 17 September 2007

tiramisu in a cup!

so, Fiona, decided to invite a gang of us over to her housesitting flat for an evening of food, fun and frolics on Sunday evening. it was a fantastic evening! one of those great kind of evenings where everyone contributes something - either food or drinks. there's a nice chill-out feeling as people get together and hang out. love it! my contribution, of course, was dessert. i offered because i wanted to try out this recipe i had found for tiramisu cupcakes. i'm so thrilled because i think these are my favourite i have made to date. the sponge (which involved the process of separating the eggs and mixing them separately then adding back together - bit of a nightmare but definitely worth it) was so light and airy, it was just divine. the topping (involving mascarpone cheese and cream) was also so fabulously floaty that the whole combo was enough to whisk you away on a soft fluffy cloud! i love it when you make a recipe discovery and it actually turns out to be amazing. there were extras left over, so lucky colleagues at work will get the remainder tomorrow. but this is definitely a keeper and one to be made again - perfect for dinner parties because it is a tad more spohisticated than those brighty coloured LSD inspired cupcakes that look like colour explosions and are far more appropriate for fun birthday parties and such. the next meeting of the 'Sunday Club' is 7th October so I've got time to get my thinking cap on and come up with something for then......hmmmmm

Friday, 24 August 2007

cookies 'n' cream delights!

ok, so i tried to experiment with my actual cupcake recipe and be a bit more i made my newly named 'cookies and cream' cupcakes in honour of Rina and Diana's birthday. this time i made the bigger sized cupcakes and they are definitely a lot more substantial and have a lot more room on top for actual decorating so that helps. when i was making the fairy cakes i alternated with putting an oreo cookie and a hershey's cookie and cream kiss at the bottom of each cupcake case. the results were pretty good as the oreo cookie becomes soft but the hershey kiss hardens back into chocolate so next time instead of putting it in the bottom i should drop it into the middle of the batter. then came the decorating which is my favourite part.... i just like coming up with interesting designs, so as these are 'cookie and cream' cupcakes i decided to stick to those for the decorating too. and i love the way they all look in the dish....almost too good to eat....for a moment! i shall enjoy giving these to my two friends to celebrate their birthday and i hope they enjoy them too.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

sophistication takes a front seat with mini choccie cupcakes!

ok, so it's been a little while since i made some cupcakes and never one to dwell on or search for reasons, i remembered that we are going to visit my sister-in-law tomorrow who recently found out that she is pregnant with twins. so what better way to celebrate than with cupcakes. i used the chocolate chip recipe and also tried a coconut one too. however the coconut one could have had a more distinct coconut taste if you ask me - i do love that flavour. but perhaps others don't so much so maybe it's better off. I decided to be much more adventurous with the decorations than last time and experiment more with the icing bag and i'm really pleased with the results. i managed to create four different 'looks' for the cupcakes and each one in it's very own way is quite sophisticated and not as kiddy as my previous creations. i especially like the one with the malteser on top which i piped with little stars around it and surprisingly it wasn't that tricky once I got the hang of it. the others are with chocolate rice sprinkles, an oreo wafer stuck in the top and a cookie and star piped on top. anyway i'm looking forward to giving them to her tomorrow and hey, straight off the bat she gets three!

Sunday, 29 July 2007

virgin attempt - birthday cupcakes!

ok, my very first attempt at cupcakes were made in celebration of Mas' birthday (my future sis-in-law) - a complete darling who really deserves the finest of cupcakes on the wonderful occasion of her birth-day! so i made some chocolate chip cupcakes and iced them with vanilla frosting coloured blue (for her favourite colour) and left white. Finally they were decorated with m & m's and hundreds and thousands. I managed to track down this funky gel icing for the writing which ended up looking really good. overall I was pretty happy with the result and they received many 'oohs' and 'ahhs' when they were revealed to the party-goers who joined in surprising Mas on her special day. Of course, this was a real boost to the cupcake ego and naturally has encouraged me to partake in future cupcake endeavours! Stay tuned for more....