Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back by popular demand

This is the 3rd time in such a short period that I have bake the same thing. The kids love it so much that they keep requesting me to do it again but actually they love the icing more! So today, the only day in the week with no housework planned in the routine, I set up everything and made them - Rachel Allen's Lemon Cupcakes.

I still have not got my oven thermometer (and now GSS is over... sigh) so I just rely on the manual but the cupcakes still took abt 40 minutes to be brown to my satisfaction. I timed, it took about half hour to get the batter ready to be scooped to cups. I hate to waste these waxed cups, but I have no chance to visit ikea yet.

The process is not of any difference from the previous two. I think I will scribble down the steps I took and the ingredients that I used in this post.

Ingredients for about 12 (I think 10 or 11 will be optimise)
1. Butter (soften) 125g
2. Sugar 125g
3. Eggs 2 nos
4. Lemon rind of half a lemon
5. Plain flour 150g
6. Baking powder 1/4 teaspoon

1. I creamed the butter till soft before adding in sugar.

2. I then further cream the mixture to pale and light, but not sure why the sugar really do not melt. Can still hear the grains rubbing against the stainless steel bowl! Why ah, sigh.

3. I grated in half a lemon's rind. (oh my broken english)

4. I added in the eggs one by one, 2nd egg after the mixture comes together again after the 1st egg. (Rachel says that adding eggs a little by a time allows the sugar and butter mixture to fully absorb the egg. She said that when she need to add 4 eggs into a mixture for marble cake.)

5. When the mixture comes together again (The mixture took sometime to come together after this 2nd egg for this time), I sifted in 150g plain flour (with 1/4 tsp baking powder).

6. Hand stir the mixture to incorporate the flour. Rachel says must be fast in this stage because baking powder will start acting once come into contact with liquid.

7. Scoop the completed batter into cup cases and send them into oven at 180 degree celsius. They are suppose to be done 18 to 20 minutes, but mine took 30 minutes to look cook and 10min more to be brown.

The first two times also took a long time to get brown, so I suspect it is due to the different cases. Rachel uses paper liner that is shallower and wider than my waxed cup that is smaller and taller. I suppose the waxed paper is thicker than paper liner. Isn't that a good reason for the delay in getting them cook?

Upon cooling, I noticed that the cakes shrunk. It became lower and came away from the sides of the cups. Have not tasted them yet, cos I made the sandy butter icing (ya hand stir again) and covered the top so that the kids can decorate the cakes (which are in the fridge now).

Here are the decorated ones.

Oh .. tired liao ...and still got the old post not posted. :-(

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chocolate chip Oat muffin

This is going to be a short one but I have 2 more bakes and 3 beading items not blogged yet... sigh .. old liao, cannot stay up too late.

Today (already yesterday when I finish the blog) I am very happy. I managed to do my morning routine of sweeping the floor and breakfast of course. I added in cooking of barley and washing of towels (of course hanging them). I even prepared lunch, two dishes! With all these, I squeeze in making of muffin with my boy, all before 1145am. I must admit, some of the tasks do not need my attention lah.

This poor boy has not been baking much with me (not that he asked for it), but I thought, instead of doing tablework with him, I can sacrifice the time for that to bake with him (since he has finish his school work over the weekend) . Also, the girl did not eat the blueberry version, so I customised this to chocolate chip for her (after checking with my "recipe source owner" ).

This muffin recipe is a super easy stir and bake one (ya all muffins are), and the ingredients are regular ones that can be bought at my supermarket. I especially love that I can feed them the oats!. Anyway, I have the only special one that is not stocked up often since I had used it previously for the similar bake (that I have not blogged about).

I had him helped me stir the flour, sugar, oat evenly, weight the chocolate chips (yes, I replace the blueberries with this). His skills in stirring wet ingredients are not so good yet, so I mix the oil, yogurt and egg. I let him have a go to stir the "wet into dry" mixture and told him the baking powder is acting up, so I finish the stirring and have him put the batter into the cups. Oh yes I let him lay the cups too.

I must make a note that I should only use 10 cups next time. The blueberries are taking up the space but not chocolate chips. so my cups are mostly slightly more than half filled only. What a waste of the cups.

Here's sharing the pictures of those little "hills" taken with my phone.

The moist, fluffy inside.

Please see the full recipe from

Thanks HHB for another awesome, easy recipe. Now I must go sleep and blog about the rest soon, hopefully.

p/s : I can write messages on those white white cases when the kids bring the muffins to school later today. ;-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A try on Nigella's Cherry Cheesecake

This is an overdue post too.

This block of cheese has been sitting in my fridge for ages. I bought it when the cheese is on sales and now it is near expiring again. Looks like expiring food will always be my motivation to bake.

This block of cheese is initially intended for a baked Japanese cheesecake recipe which is found in a copy of Popular magazine. However, Nigella says that Japanese cheesecake is like a new born baby, very difficult to "look after" ... so I tried out her version of non baked one first - Cherry Cheesecake. By now you should know that I got the recipe from watching her show.

Making the base is a breeze, because the digestive biscuits are much more easier to crush then oreo one. She did not mention in the show that I need to freeze the base. The steps from her site did not mention too. Good, save some time. So I went on with making the filling.

The filling gave me some "problems". Recipe asked for 300g cheese, I only had 250. Recipe asked for 250g of double cream, but I had no time to go cold storage to buy it, so I can only make do with Bulla Pure cream from my nearby NTUC. It comes in 200g tub! So I went to buy two tubs. It cost $4 a tub and now, this homemade cheese cake becomes more expensive than store bought!

It is almost to completion, then I realized I have only put in 250g of cheese. I guess this will slightly affect the height of the cake.

Here's the final output.

My kids love Sara Lee's cheesecake .. so what do you think they have to say about this one. Nothing but just equally loving it even though I did not put any topping.

No doubt it is a nice cake, but I do not like the oily feeling I had while eating it. It is like you are eating an oily plate of kway teow. Now I still have that tub of cream, waiting to be used on making scones.

Chocolate cake

This is a very very long overdued post.

I have to use up my expiring chocolate buttons (they are meant for brownie but I never made it). Not purposely looking but happened to see this chocolate cake recipe from Olivia's blog and seems quite straight forward, so went ahead with it.

I love that this cake has the height but mine sinked slightly in the centre. This one that I baked also shrinks at the side, wondering if it is due to me"buttering" the side of the cake pan.
"crater" in the centre of cake.

Cake cooling on the rack bottom up! Looks nicer, ya?

I am too lazy to do any frosting as usual, but the chocolate buttons are not all used up, so instead of making a big fuss, I just melt the chocolate with milk and pour it over the cut cake before eating.

It really looked alot more appealing with that dripping chocolate sauce .. pity I lost that picture that I took.

The kids love the cake. Although my taste bud is not sensitive, but I still feel the funny feeling of "metallic surface" when I run my tongue over the back of my lower front teeth after I eat it (wonder if you know what I mean). I will always have that feel when I bake with that certain brand of cake flour which I avoid now, but now also with self raising flour? Is baking powder the culprit? Got to bake more and pay more attention to find out.

Since I can bake this cake with this height this time, next time when I need to have layered chocolate cake, I think can try this out, cut this into two halves, frost it and decorate. Maybe for my girl's birthday?

I think I better note down the recipe here since it is a keeper .... I am suppose to jot down separately the recipes that I want to use again and again (incase broken links in future and can refer it offline) ....


115g plain chocolate
50ml milk
150g unsalted butter
150g light brown sugar
3 nos eggs
200g Self raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder


1. Grease a 8 inch cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
2. Place the chopped chocolate and milk in a bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pan of hot water. Leave for 3 mins until chocolate softens. Turn off heat and stir the mixture till smooth.
3. Cream the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate mixture until well combined.
4. Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and fold in batches until evenly mixed. Pour the prepared batter into the cake tin and bake at preheated oven at 180dC for 35 - 40 mins or until cooked.
5. Cool cake in tin for 5 mins before removing from tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely.
6. Slice cake into 2 layers. Spread a thick layer of ganache on the 1st layer. Spread the remaining ganache over the whole cake.

Thanks to Olivia again.

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