Sunday, 16 September 2012

Melting Moments ♥

Have you ever dreamt of cookies that just melt in your mouth? That delicious, fluffy, crumbly cookies... So mouth watering.

Let me introduce you to Melting Moments cookies. And yes, they literally melt in your mouth.

They are delicious and easy to make.

Melting Moments
[yield ~3 dozen of cookies]
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch (corn flour)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Combine the dry ingredients and sift them.Cream the butter until light and fluffy (around 2 mins). Add the flour mixture and vanilla extract, beat thoroughly. Cover the batter with clip wrap and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hour (or until it's firm)
♥ Preheat the oven to 150C and line the baking sheet with parchment paper
♥ Shape the dough to 1 inch ball and place about 1 1/2 inches a part with one another. Lightly press the dough with a fork that has been dusted with flour (so it's not sticky)
♥ Bake about 18 minutes or until the edges are brown
♥ Remove from the oven and place the baking sheets onto the wire rack to cool for about 3-5 minutes
♥ Transfer the cookies onto the wire rack that has been place a parchment paper underneath and sprinkle the top of the cookies with icing sugar using a sieve

As you can see that the recipe involves only a few ingredients, so I suggest that you invest in a good quality butter. Because it will make a difference! 

 dry ingredients and unsalted butter

 cream the butter until light and fluffy

 add the flour mixture and combine thoroughly 

 press the ball shaped dough with a fork 
(tips: to make it even smoother surface on the top, I light pressed the dough with a bottom of a glass, but make sure to use the ones with flat bottom)

transfer the cookies onto the wire rack with parchment paper on the bottom

Monday, 3 September 2012

Classic Whoopie Pie

Do you remember the last time I made a red velvet cake? There were few times, red velvet whoopie pie recipe came up on the first of the search result page when I googled for the red velvet cake recipes. Then I wondered, what is a whoopie pie? It looks like a macaron or a yo-yo, but edible kind of yo-yo.

Wikipedia describes Whoopie Pie as two round mound-shaped pieces of cake with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them. Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire claim to be the birth place of the Whoopie Pie.

According to food historians, Amish women would bake these and put them in farmers' lunch boxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!" (hence the name). It is also thought that the original Whoopie Pies may have been made from cake batter leftovers.

Whoopie Pie is alternatively called a black moon, gob, black-and-white, bob or Big Fat Oreo ("BFO"). I think I prefer black moon, it sounds cool doesn't it?

Since this was my first time making the Black Moons, I chose the classic Whoopie Pie with marshmallow fluff filling. We don't have marshmallow fluff in the place that I live in at the moment, but I am lucky because I  just bought Marshmallow Fluff when I travelled to Sydney last month. I thought it will comes in handy. And it's true! :D

I was a bit hesitant to be honest, because I have never seen it with my own eyes before. Never tasted it before. So I didn't know what to expect out of these cakes. But I put aside my worries and did my best to follow the recipe to the T.

And Voila!

I think I did ok. The Black Moons were dense, moist and delicious! I am definitely going to make these again.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Red Velvet Cake with Fondant Rose

I decided to make red velvet cake with mascarpone cream cheese frosting for my dad's birthday. I really love red velvet cakes/cupcakes!

For the decoration I decided to make a gradient looking cake like the one I made for the vanilla bean cake (I don't know why but I fell in love with the idea of gradient cakes!) topped with fondant roses and leaves. I chose the colours: red and white for the icing.

I never make, touch or taste a fondant, ever in my life. But I decided to make my very own (and first ever!) fondant roses and leaves. I have been looking for the techniques over people's blogs and videos on Youtube.  And I found this and this as great tutorials (clean and easy to follow) and my inspiration as well. I did a bit differently than what they did, I found that my way of doing the roses is easier for me.

~ boyfriend was helping me to decorate ^^ ~

~ waiting for the fondant roses and leaves to dry up ~

~ the view from the top ~

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes

I was craving for a good chocolate cake last week, so I thought to myself why don't I make one. So I baked my first chocolate cupcakes ever.

To be honest, I am not really a huge fan of chocolate. I can't even eat pure chocolate bars, I found them to be too bitter for me. But I do love chocolate cakes (cupcakes in this case), especially the moist ones.

So I browsed through the Internet for chocolate cake recipes, I found several recipes with good reviews... with eggs and without eggs, with brewed coffee and without the coffee, with buttermilk and just using milk. It was hard to pick which one is right for my taste buds, there are so many variety ways to make chocolate cakes!

So I decided to make my cupcakes from Beatty's Chocolate Cake, I thought what could go wrong with this 5-star rated & 1,500 reviews recipe. And it's true! The cupcakes were moist and delicious! Even though I have trouble with the thin batter but I will sure to refer back to this recipe again for any chocolate cake in the future.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Butter, for greasing the pans (I just used cupcake liners)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken (I don't have buttermilk, I used milk + vinegar instead)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I used instant coffee mixed with hot water)

♥ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tin with paper liners.
♥ Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add sugar to the dry ingredients in the bowl of electric mixer fitter with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
♥ In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
♥ With the mixer of low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
♥ With mixed still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine (batter will be thin at this stage). 
♥ Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
♥ Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting I chose Cream Cheese Frosting. I don't know why I really love cream cheese frosting, I found them to be a perfect match to most type of cakes.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar (I don't really like too sweet frosting, you can add more sugar if you prefer sweeter taste)
1 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

♥ Place the butter in the mixing bowl beat until fluffy. Add cream cheese and beat until combined.
♥ Add vanilla extract and gradually add powdered sugar whilst tasting it (if it's not sweet enough, feel free to add more)
♥ Slowly add the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon as a time, stop adding the heavy cream when you reach your desired consistency

I chose to make three frosting techniques on my cupcakes with only using 1M tip! For the above picture, the top one was rosette, second one was swirl, and the last one was drop flowers technique. It was surprisingly easy and pretty to look at. I just wish to add colours on the frosting to make it even prettier. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Vanilla Bean Cake with Teal and Peach Swirl

After making an ombre cake, I was sort of obsessing with gradient colours on cakes, I think they look very appealing and pretty.

For this week I was making a vanilla bean cake with the actual vanilla bean (not the paste) and this was actually the first time I saw the bean! Never seen one before and I didn't even know that the Supermarket at the city that I live in sells them.

So I followed her tutorial for the pastel swirl look, I used teal and peach colours as they are the perfect match for one another. As a novice, I found it so hard to ice side of the cake, it was always so messy and never smooth! Nevertheless, I think I was doing quite ok with the icing this time and really love the colours!

The cake tastes so delicious and very tasty, I love it! I followed the exact recipe, only changed the icing to butter-cream icing.

I was pretty happy with the overall look, but I hope I can do better next time <3

Monday, 9 July 2012

Mini Pink Ombre Cake

I used to love the red velvet cake from this little Italian restaurant in Senopati, Jakarta (Indonesia), however it was so hard to get them. I came by at their restaurant in the morning, afternoon, evening, and the waiter always said they’re sold out (I don’t know whether they’re really sold out or just didn’t make them). It seems that there is more chance in meeting Hollywood celebrities than getting their cake. Since then, I was thinking why don't I make my own cake?!

I was browsing through the Internet to find the delicious cake recipes and discovered that there are so many (and many and many more!) blogs about baking! I was blown away by their creativity in arranging and decorating the cakes, and also their generosity for sharing the tutorials & their recipes with all of us.

I stumbled across this post and I was inspired to make an ombre cake and last weekend I finally made my own mini pink ombre vanilla cake – I love pink! This was my second attempt in baking my own cake. Since I am still new to baking there are lots of things that I still need to learn. For example, I have to fully ensure that I follow the recipe letter by letter otherwise it just won’t work! I learned this in a hard way, my first pink cake didn’t rise enough and the texture was more like a pancake rather than a cake.

For the second attempt, I made sure that the ingredients being called in the recipe were measured as precisely as possible, the oven temperature was correct and ensured that I properly follow the tutorial for the icing decoration. And… Voila!

It was delicious and not too sweet – just what I like. The icing decoration was simple yet stunningly beautiful (although still nothing compare to the original tutor).