Saturday, September 29, 2007

Banana & Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

28 September 2007

I don't really like banana cakes or anything food that is related to bananas, like banana milk, etc. I prefer eating fresh bananas actually. This banana cupcake recipe that I have tried doesn't have the strong banana taste, perhaps it's because I omit the banana essence. It's just a basic cupcake recipe with mashed banana added. I added extra chocolate chips to my own liking.

This recipe has been reduced because of my small family size and we don't like to eat too much sweet foods. :)

Ingredients (5 small cupcakes)
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
50g eggs (1 small egg)
50g self-raising flour
30g banana, mashed (2 small ones)
1/4 tsp banana essence (I omit this)
extra chocolate chips to your own liking

1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Place paper baking cases in muffin tins.
2. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and flour in a mixer. Beat until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add in mashed bananas, banana essence and chocolate chips and mix until combined. Spoon the batter into the cases. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Remove the tins from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Japanese Cheesecake

22 September 2007

This has been in my recipes-to-try list for very long and I finally have the chance to make it. I have to admit that I'm quite fearful that I will not succeed. There are quite a few steps in the procedure which involves double-boiling, whipping the egg whites, folding them back into the cream cheese mixture and baking in a water bath. All seem to be complicated and time-consuming. And the fear that the cheesecake will sink after baking, the problem that is common for cheesecakes.

I took nearly 3 hours to complete (starting from weighing the ingredients to the end of baking), checking every steps to make sure that everything is right. The final product is so much better than what I expect. The colour is nice and it is moist, cotton-soft and fluffy. I really like this cheesecake very much. It is the best cake that I have made so far, despite some mistakes I made. Can't wait to try it again!

Problems that I have met during preparing:
1. Heating the cream cheese and milk. Took quite some time to dissolve the cream cheese. Some tiny lumps of cream cheese still remained but I just went on.
2. Whipping the egg whites. I overbeat the egg whites until stiff. I was too careless and forgot to stop and check. Resulted in difficulty in folding the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, and end mixture was not smooth enough.

Shall keep these in mind when I bake it the next time.

Recipe from Leisure Cat

Ingredients (8 inch round) (refer to website for 3 and 2 eggs quantity)
200g cream cheese
128g milk
43g unsalted butter
26g cake flour
14g cornflour
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp lemon juice
4 egg whites
86g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Cut cream cheese into small cubes and soak in milk for 30 minutes. Melt the unsalted butter over hot water.
2. Place the bowl of cream cheese and milk mixture over double-boiler (do not heat directly). Keep stirring until the mixture is thick and no lumps are left. Add the melted butter and mix well. Remove from heat to cool.
3. Sift in the cake flour and cornflour, mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix well. Add in the lemon juice and mix well (if needed). Make sure the mixture is smooth. If there are still tiny lumps, pass the mixture through a sieve.
4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Mix in the cream of tartar. Add the sugar gradually in 3 portions while whipping until soft peaks form (when the mixer is lifted, it should form a sharp point with a slight curve downwards at the end).
5. Add the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture in 3 separate additions, fold in gently until just blended.
6. Pour the batter into a greased and lined tin. Drop the tin onto the table a few times to knock off the air bubbles. Bake in a water bath at 170C for 15-20 minutes until the cake surface shows a slight colour change. Reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for another 40 minutes. Over the last 10-15 minutes, take note of the colour of the surface. Cover with aluminium foil if the surface brown too fast. (I bake for 30 minutes only at 150C for a 6 inch cake.)
7. Remove cake from the oven. Remove cake from the mould and leave on the rack to cool.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Orange & Chocolate Chip Muffins

19 September 2007

I'm using this Orange & Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe from Technicolor Kitchen. Another great blog for many interesting recipes. I made 3 orange muffins and 3 with chocolate chips. Used up 1 orange for 60ml orange juice for half the recipe and yielded 6 small muffins. The method is as simple as the apple muffins, just mix the wet and dry ingredients only.

I'm very interested in making muffins nowadays. Think it's easier and suitable for lazy me. :) So expect more muffins from me soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Apple Muffins

16 September 2007

I have been searching for apples and oranges recipes for the past week. We always have plenty of apples and oranges on the 1st and 15th of the Lunar month. And my mother is always complaining that nobody wants to eat them. So I need to find a way to use them up. Apple muffins are of course the easiest one to try out. I use this Apple Cheddar Muffins recipe from Precious Moments, leaving out the cheese. The taste is really nice. But the muffins stick to the paper liners and I have problems peeling them off to eat. I wonder why?

Actually I wanted to try some chocolate recipes from the books that I have borrowed. But me and my family are all having bad cough. So I shall postpone my plans and stick to apples and oranges in my baking for the time being. :)

Hehe, I bought a set of heart shape cookie cutters yesterday from Daiso at $2 only. When was the last time I bake cookies huh? Haha... very long ago and an unsuccessful one. Will plan to make some cookies one of these days. :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chocolate Puffs

8 September 2007

No posts doesn't mean that I have not been baking :p. After my nephew's birthday, my mother requested that I bake some chocolate muffins again for her friends. I'm baking these chocolate muffins for the third time already and this is the first time that I let other people to try my baking (besides my family and the kids in school lah). I received good comments and that made me really happy. Out of all the bakes that I have made so far, this is the one that smells the best when fresh out of the oven. I couldn't resist "stealing" a piece to eat. Hehe... Freshly baked muffins taste the best. The outside is a little crispy while the inside is warm and soft.

Seems like I have not been baking something new for quite some time. I have a lot of recipes that I want to try out. I just borrow 2 books on chocolates from the library. One is Chocolate from DK Living series. I like all books from DK, especially their travel guides, hobbies-related and children books as they have very colourful pictures and simple layout that makes reading easy. The other is 魔幻巧克力 and I first try out the chocolate puffs cos the pictures in the book makes them look really delicious.

This is how my chocolate puffs look. Mine didn't look so good compared to the pictures in the book. However, I'm quite disappointed with the taste of the puffs. It is very very bitter :(. Then I realize that there's no sugar added in the recipe. I don't understand why no sugar is added cos the cocoa powder makes the puffs so bitter. If you are adventurous enough to try this, remember to add some sugar when you boil the water and the oil together in the first step.