Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rachel Allen's Lemon Cupcakes

Tada! Very on recently hor, baking and baking.

I have been watching Rachel Allen's and Nigella's show. So the recent episode has Rachel teaching her students lemon cupcakes and I have lemon at home, so .....

I involved my girl in my baking recently, but after the works, while baking, I have to carry on washing and preparing meals so my girl is still neglected.

She helped me to sift in the flour and read the readings on the weighing machine.

My kids had a bite right after the cupcake cool off and they say yummy. Let's see what they say tomorrow.

The steps for this cupcake are simple and since I have them all done in a mixer, the time taken is not too long. However, I do not have a oven thermometer now, so I set the temperature according to the table on the oven manual. The cupcakes took much more longer to bake to a brownish top. Almost 10 minutes into the 20 minute baking time, the cupcakes still not risen. It is almost 20 minutes before I see the cupcakes rise and I think my batch took almost an hour to get the brownish top. The brownish top of individual cupcakes are also not even in colour and I see specks of brown (I assume they are sugar) too. Perhaps I should soften the butter longer, or to cream the butter and sugar longer? The sugar just doesn't melt into the butter. Can creaming melt the sugar into the butter anyway? Any experts out there want to answer the question?

As usual, I did not do the frosting (but an improvement, I measured out the butter for the frosting) today, not sure if I will do it tmr. I do not know how to store the cupcakes if there are frosting.

Here is how mine look and as for the recipe, I can't provide one because I copy as I watch the show. I tried googled and a few links came out. So maybe you can google and follow anyone of them?

Non fancy lemon cupcakes.

Perhaps I will update the taste after I taste them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I am still baking - Honey Cornflakes

Wonder if you would consider me cheating if I tell you I am still baking but they are honey cornflakes.

I have four packets of cornflakes sitting in my cupboard for a long long time. I got them when I had Mcdonald's breakfast in Mcdonalds Malaysia. I had always wanted to try honey cornflakes but it make no sense to buy a packet just to try for once, so I reserved those for the purpose. It is not until I see Aimei's post on her attempt on the honey cornflakes that spurs me to try it. Thanks Aimei.

So on this weekend evening where I did not cook, and not heading anywhere with the kids, I quickly set to try this out. I promptly use my phone to keep her page in sight, measure out the ingredients and start working. (Oh, actually I also read the comments in the post that she took the recipe from.)

I added about half a teaspoon more of honey since I am worried the flakes may not stick. I also purposely scooped the sweet sticky mixture sticking on the base of the saucepan into the cases for the same reason. Then, I send the little cuppies into oven. I am suppose to bake for about 5 minutes, but I did not see any changes to the flakes so I thought, perhaps a little while more and soon, I see changes. There are bubbling liquid filling in the cases. I started to panic and switch the oven off. I still see the flakes half submerged in the bubbling liquid when I took it out. However, after it cooled down, I did not see it anymore. I happily think that I have successfully done it.

So when I tried on one after it cooled down..... I find that they stick very well and am so happy until I find them sticking to the paper cases as well. I have to play tug of war with the flakes because there is a layer of thick sticky yellowish honey like substance underneath the flakes.

See that? Not sure if that is alright, but I certainly do not see such "remains" in those that are sold during the Hari Raya or was it Haji?

Anyway, the kids love the honey cornflakes. They bring them to school for snacks. Don't you find them sweet looking, esp with the colourful sprinkles.

Here are some other stuffs that I am busy with (thus cannot find time to bake) ..

Making snacks/simple "bento" for kids

recess bentos
snacks (must remember not to use orange - 2nd pic, in agar agars)

Doing crafts with and for kids

The routine cooking

ok ... end of sharing ... and hope to shorten my to do list in baking (not forgetting beading too). :-)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beading challenge #3

This is done 2 days before it is due. It is suppose to be for Mothers' Day. My girl is tired and I asked to nap. In that 1.5 hour, I tried and tested various ways I wanted to hook up the pearl and the shell. I finally decided (or forced to decide, since with my poor skills and knowledge, this is the only possible way) that this is the way.

I can only say this thing looks simple to make, but it requires alot of my effort. Furthermore the eye pin I used are not of high quality and they broke easily. If someone is interested in this design (fat hope), I will go buy the highest quality eye pin I can get hold of and remake one more. Hahahaha.

Since it is for Mothers' Day, I chose pearl. I had another design at first, it is still a WIP in my working tray ... then this idea came along and I decide to try it since it is easier than the previous.

Here it is.

So what would you think after you see it? Tell you frankly, to me it looks pretty awful. I think I should not use the half pearl that are drilled (the hole of the pearl I mean) this way. It should look better if the head of the eye pin is hidden at the bottom. Now it looks like a pair of eyes staring at you? Or to be more apt to the Mothers' Day theme, they look like a pair of motherly breast? :-)

Anyway, I am not too happy with this pair of earring. One of my friend encourages me, and says that the first one is usually not so nice. Anyway I did put in my "better" (maybe not best lor) for this project. Now awaiting the next challenge which I asked my friend to think about.

By the way, to have nice finish products, the raw materials should be nice first, agree? Imagine this earring only comprises of a shell piece and pearl piece, and if both the raw material is not right, the combination will not be right, isn't it? *sigh* still trying to find excuse and can't come to terms that I produced such work. I hope the next one will be better.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Double Chocolate Cupcakes (take 2)

No volcanoes this time. I half the recipe and it yields 16 cups, of which 3 are slightly taller cups (brown ones at the far end).
I also reduced the sugar. Hubby says this time is not as tasty as the first, but my kids still love it the same. I know the sugar and oil ratio affects the bake, but not sure by how much. Perhaps the sugar has changed something so hubby says not as tasty.

I noticed something weird this time. The chocolate chips seemed burnt. Look at the picture below, did you see a rim of black around the melted chocolate of the chip?

Can any expert visiting my blog enlighten me?

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