Nov 4, 2010

Vanilla Cherry Cupcakes



I just recently celebrated my  birthday. Instead of a chocolate birthday cake with magic candles (candle light that just won't die even how hard you huff and puff) I opted to make some very delicious vanilla cherry cupcakes! No candles here but just juicy and oh so  tempting red cherries on top.

The vanilla cupcake base is taken from Ming Makes Cupcakes' Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Filling and Meringue Frosting  recipe.

Vanilla Cherry Cupcakes 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk

 
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat in butter gradually. Beat in sugar and mix thoroughly. Beat in eggs, then vanilla and milk. Beat just until mixed. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out almost clean.

Frosting 

1/4 cup milk 
1 cup confectioner's sugar 
Long stemmed red cherries

Mix milk and confectioner's sugar. Add or lessen milk to attain desired consistency and thickness of frosting. Spoon over cupcakes. Garnish top with cherry.   

Oct 24, 2010

Weekend Breakfast Burrito


This is a lovely breakfast item to enjoy on a weekend morning. It's chockful of antioxidants and vitamins to add zing to your day.   Try it!

Weekend  Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients:


  • Softened corn tortillas 
  • Chopped tomatoes
  •  Chopped onions
  •  Red bell pepper slices
  •  Jalapeno slices (canned)
  •  Scrambled eggs
  •  Whole basil leaf (large)
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sliced cheddar cheese 
  •  Dollop of sour cream
Directions:

1. Soften corn tortilla on a skillet. Add a small  amount of oil on the skillet and cook tortiila on both sides until slightly golden.

2. Cook scrambled eggs and slice all ingredients except for basil leave.

3. Pile ingredients in the moddle of the corn tortilla .  Add sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Wrap or fold the tortilla.  

Oct 16, 2010

Holiday Baking Preview



This cookie is so good with coffee, tea and ice cream. Make a batch today!


Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder with the salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick circle. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe from Joy of Baking 

Oct 5, 2010

Mochaccino Cupcake


MOCHACCINO CUPCAKE

Here's a fun coffee inspired treat that's literally a cupcake!  It's inspired by this recipe earlier posted in my Sweet Tidings blog. The chocolate mudcake recipe is taken from The Cook Book. Enjoy!



Chocolate Mud Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups  cake flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable il
  • 1 cup sour milk (1 cup whole milk with 1 tsp white vinegar added) or buttermilk
  • 1 cup coffee (long black strength)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Directions:

 1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add eggs, coffee, milk oil and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes with a hand mixer until well combined.

2. Pour into baking cups in  a muffin pan and bake in a 180 C  (350 F) oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Whipped Cream Topping 

  • 1 and 1/3 cup whipped cream
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)
  • Cocoa powder  

How to assemble:

When muffins have cooled, remove mud cake from baking cups and transfer to  teacups/coffee cups. Decorate with chilled whipped cream and garnish with sifted cocoa powder or chocolate syrup.

Oct 2, 2010

It's a Wrap!




I love this hearty and filling vegetarian chili bean and chicken combo wrapped in soft and yummy flour tortilla. So good!


ADUKI BEAN CHILI AND CHICKEN WRAP

Ingredients:

  • Flour tortilla
  • Shredded chicken
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Aduki chili bean
  • Homemade salsa


Aduki Bean Chili  Recipe

Ingredients :

  • Aduki beans (pre-soaked overnight or 8-10 hours)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • olive oil or water to ‘fry’
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • tomato puree
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
  • oregano
  • spanish paprika
  • hot chilli powder to taste (1-2 teaspoons)
  • water

Directions:

1. Lightly fry onion and add garlic.

2. Add soaked and rinsed aduki beans and mix with onion and garlic.

3. Add tomato puree, and dry herbs.

4. Add chopped tomato.

5. Add water as desired, or if mixture appears too dry.

6. Bring to the boil and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally

7. Serve with rice or jacket potato

Recipe adrapted from Elizabeth Harfleet 


Texan Flour Tortilla

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cups of warm milk

Directions:

1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.

2. Slowly add the warm milk.

3. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.

4. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.

5. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

6. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

7. After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

8. In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

9. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.

10. Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.
While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.Makes eight tortillas.

Recipe from Homesick Texan 

Sep 25, 2010

Decadent Tahini Brownies


Tahini isn't just for making Hummus and Baba Ganoush anymore. It's also best for making the most decadent, rich, chewy and moist vegan brownies ever. I love how the nutty taste of sesame melds with chocolate. So good!

I used Mood Food's Tahini Brownie recipe. As I didn't have dark baking chocolate, I used dutch processed cocoa powder. Along the way I had to modify the amount of orange juice to produce a spreadable consistency.


Tahini Brownies

  • 100g dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 150g white graulated sugar 
  • 150g Flour
  • 200 ml pulpy orange juice 
  • 150g Tahini
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. Add tahini paste and orangejuice  to dry mixture. Combine well.
3. Transfer to a prepared pan and bake at 350F until done.

Sep 20, 2010

Dulce de Leche Delight



Dulce de leche has got to be my next favorite flavor after chocolate. I spoon it on ice cream and cookies, frost on chiffon cake and yes, eat it straight from the jar. Check out my My favorite recipe from David Leibovitz

Dulce de Leche Recipe 
(Recipe from David Leibovitz)


Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).

1.Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk  into a  shallow baking dish.

2. Set the pie plate on a baine marie. Make sure the water reaches halfway up the side of the baking dish.

3.Cover baking dish w ith aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. Make sure the baine marie is filled with water at all times.

3. Remove from oven once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized.

Sep 14, 2010

Coffee Prince Mocha Brownie Bites






I've made this mocha-licious petite treat as a tribute to my favorite romantic Korean TV drama Coffee Prince. Just like coffee, this TV drama is so deliciously addicting that I've watched it a gazillion times yet never fail to fall in love with it over and over again.



Coffee Prince Mocha Brownie Bites features moist mocha brownie baked like a tiny pudding and laced with rich chocolate ganache sauce and topped with a chocolate covered coffee bean. With each bite you'll fall in love just like Choi Han Gyul and Go Eun Chan!

Also enjoy a byte of coffee inspired music from the Coffee Prince soundtrack:




Coffee Prince Mocha Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp  hot water
  •  1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Chocolate ganache 
  • Meiji Coffee Beat  Coffee Bean Candy

 Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Grease mini silicon baking cups. Melt butter over low heat in the microwave. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder and mix well. Add sugar and blend well. Dissolve instant coffee in hot water and mix into the creamed mixture.

3.Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt. Bake until done. For a really moist texture, underbake for a few minutes. After cooling, remove brownie from silicon cupcake mold.

4. Invert brownie cupcake and spoon hot ganache over it. Top with chocolate covered coffee bean.

Sep 13, 2010

When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Poppy Seed Loaves



I love the delicious lemony tartness of this simple lemon poppy seed loaf recipe taken from the cookbook Loaves, Cakes and Quiches with Friends by Ilona . It pairs wonderfully with your favorite tea!

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

2 unwaxed lemon
3 eggs
170 g (6oz) caser sugar
150 g (5 oz) unslated butter, melted
3 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of bicarbinate of soda
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf tin and slightly dust with flour.

2. Wash the lemons. Grate the zest if 1 lemon and squeeze the juice from both. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and frothy. Gradually incorporate the flour and melted butter. With a spaula, fold in the baking powder,bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice and poppy seeds. Fold just until well blended.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes, until the tip of a knife inserted in the centre of the comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out.

Sep 12, 2010

Polka Dot Chocolate Lollipops


When I'm too busy to whip up a quick gift, I make these dotted chocolate lollipops! All you need are lollipop sticks, lollipop candy mold, a block of semi-sweet meltable chocolate, confetti sprinkles and you're ready to go.

Polka Dot Chocolate Lollipops

Materials:

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Candy mold for lollipops
  • Semi sweet chocolate block
  • Roundconfetti sprinkles (or any sprinkle of your choice)
  • Cellophane sleeve
  • Colorful ribbon 
 Instructions:

1.Slightly grease lollipop molds with vegetable oil.
2. melt semi-sweet chocolate block in double broiler.
3. Insert lollipop stick to chocolate mold.
3. Pour melted chocolate to mold using a teaspoon.
4. Carefully arrange round confetti sprinkles on  the surface of the chocolate.
5. Allow to cool until chocolate has solidified.
6. When cool, wrap individual lollipops in cellophane sleeve and tie with a ribbon.

Sep 11, 2010

Hoddeok Happy




While searching for oriental inspired snack alternatives online, I came across this wonderful Korean winter street food  Hoddeok recipe from the fabulous Korean food blog Maangchi.   Hoddeok is a  sweet pancake filled with sticky brown sugar syrup. It's a very heartwarming snack that's also perfect for brunch.  I love this snack so much that I can't wait to make it again!

Maangchi's Hoddeok Recipe 

Ingredients:

Yeast starter 

1 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups all purpose flour 

1. To make hoddeok dough, place 1 cup of lukewarm water into a mixing bowl. Add 2 tbs white sugar, 2 ts yeast, ½ ts salt, 1 tbs vegetable oil, and stir  until dissolved.

2. Add 2 cups of all purpose flour and mix by hand. Let the dough rise in a plastic covered bowl  at room temperature for 1 hour until double in size. Knead dough  to remove the gas bubbles.

3. Let it rise for another 10-20 minutes.

Hoddeok Filling:


½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbs chopped walnuts

1. To make Hoddeok, take 1 dough ball, flatten it, and put some  cinnamon sugar filling in the center of the dough  and then seal it to make a ball. Knead the dough again to remove the gas bubbles.

2. Place and spread about ½ cup flour on your cutting board. Put the dough on your cutting board and knead it. Make it into a lump, and cut it into 8 equal-sized balls. Repeat this 8 times to make 8 stuffed balls.

Heat up your non-stick skillet pan over medium heat and add some vegetable oil. Place 1 ball on the pan. Press the dough with spatula to flatten it. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Recipe from Maangchi 

Aug 29, 2010

Strawberry Jam Donut Muffins



I love the texture of  Mister Donut's cinnamon sugar rolled cake donuts and I've always wanted to replicate that mouth feel in a cupcake or muffin. Good thing I came across the lovely Not Quite Nigella's Jam Donut Cupcake recipe. I used self raising cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Instead of caster sugar I used granulated sugar. Mine didn't have the puffy donut look but they taste great nevertheless.

Strawberry Jam Donut Muffins

Makes 8
Ingredients
300g (2 cups) self-raising cake flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
1 large egg
175ml/6 fl oz buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 teaspoons good-quality strawberry jam (I also tried this with Bonne Maman’s Four Fruits when I ran out of strawberry and it was good although admittedly, less authentic)

To brush on top and then roll
100g/3.52 ozs unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tray.

2. Sift the flour into a medium bowl, then add a pinch of salt and the caster sugar. In a jug, combine the vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add to the dry mixture and stir to only just combine. It will be thick and puffy. Place a tablespoonful of the mixture in each muffin hole and make an indent in the centre. Fill each indent with a teaspoon of the strawberry jam.

3. Cover the jam with the remaining cupcake batter. I found that these slightly overflowed and that the tops stuck together but then after taking it out, it contributed to the puffy donut look. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

4. Meanwhile, melt the butter and cool slightly. Combine the extra sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush each muffin lightly with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve while still a little warm.

Recipe adapted from Not Quite Nigella's Jam Donut Cupcake recipe.

Jul 16, 2010

Overnight Cinnamon Buns

I love this overnight cinnamon bun recipe! I usually make it after dinner and I don't mind staying up until midnight to wait for the dough to rise. Oh, the promise of fluffy cinnamons for breakfast!



Overnight Cinnamon Buns
(Recipe from Our Best Bites)

Dough

1 T active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (105 degr F/ 40 deg C)
4 1/2 C all-purpose flour (22 1/2 oz 700g)
4 large eggs
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp


Filling

1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 T cinnamon


Glaze

1 C powdered sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 T milk or cream
1 t vanilla extract


In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 C of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
Add the eggs, sugar, butter, and remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth 10-12 minutes. Add a bit more flour to reduce stickiness if needed.

Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

While dough is rising, prepare filling. Take 2 T of the stick of butter and set aside. Beat remaining butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about 15x10 in. Spread filling onto dough and roll up length-wise.

Use string or dental floss to score and cut the dough into rolls. You can make 12 small rolls, 10 medium ones, or 8 large. Place cut side up in baking dish. Melt the reserved 2 T butter and brush on top of rolls. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

The next morning remove from refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour. While rising mix glaze ingredients until combined. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Spread the glaze over warm rolls and serve.

Feb 23, 2010




  
I love the recipe book Loaves, Cakes and Quiches with Friends by Ilona. Practically any savory ingredient you have in your kitchen can be mixed and matched and baked into delicious loaves for brunch or snacks. I tweaked the recipe a little bit, substituting cheese for capers. I added a sprinkling of bacon bits for a richer, rounder flavor.

Sun-dried Tomato, Cheese and Basil Loaf

Ingredients:
  • 200 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 100 ml milk
  • 3 1/2 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped bacon
  • large handful of resh basil, torn into small pieces or snipped with scissor
  • salt and black pepper



Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf tin and slightly dust with flour.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and milk. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and fold mixture and fold in gently until there are no more lumps. Stir in the grated cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon bits and basil. Mix well.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes, until the tip of the knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out.

Feb 13, 2010

Fortune Cookie Fun





FORTUNE COOKIE

1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar


Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a cookie sheet. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Generously grease 2 cookie sheets.

2. Mix the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.

3. Place teaspoonfuls of the batter at least 4 inches apart on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Tilt the sheet to move the batter into round shapes about 3 inches in diameter. Be careful to make batter as round and even as possible. Do not make too many, because the cookie have to be really hot to form them and once they cool it is too late. Start with 2 or 3 to a sheet and see how many you can do.

4. Bake for 5 minutes or until cookie has turned a golden color 1/2 inch wide around the outer edge of the circle. The center will remain pale. While one sheet is baking, prepare the other.

5. Remove from oven and quickly move cookie with a wide spatula and place upside down on a wooden board. Quickly place the fortune on the cookie, close to the middle and fold the cookie in half. Place the folded edge across the rim of a measuring cup and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin tin or egg carton to hold their shape until firm.

Feb 10, 2010

Good Dog Cookies





I love making these treats for my doggies (my guardians of being). These biscuits smell so yummy and meaty my dogs just go crazy over them! Make a batch of these homemade dog biscuits for the dog lover in your life too. Woof!

GOOD DOG COOKIES

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cubes beef bouillon cube
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons brown sugar


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease one cookie sheet.
2. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water and allow to cool.
3. Combine the flour, dry milk, egg, oil, beef broth and brown sugar. Mix well and knead dough for 1 minute.
4. On a floured surface roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out bones and place on cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool.

(Recipe from Allrecipes.com)

DOGGIE MUNCHIES

Ingredients:

1 tsp salt
2 cups unbleached flour
1 egg
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine cornmeal, salt and unbleached flour.
3. In a separate  mixing bowl, beat egg with vegetable oil, then add chopped parsley and chicken broth; mix well.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture. Knead dough and roll out to half- inch thickness.
5. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough into shapes your dog might appreciate such as cats, fire hydrants, shoes, bones etc.
6. Bake for 15 minutes until firm.
7. Serve warm. Watch doggie wag his tail.

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