Our Little Chef’s attempt to raise funds

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Martha Stewart’s Oreo Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Was googleling around to look for a recipe thta can help me finish up 2 small packs of Oreos that are about to expire and found this Martha Stewart Oreo Cream Cheese cupcake recipe. This recipe is not your traditional baked cupcake. You know the normal cakey kind like vanilla or chocolate. Its is a cheesecake kind of cake, if you know what I mean. Looking at the recipe, the steps are very simple, but it needs alot more Oreos than what I have balanced in my kitchen. What the heck,  let’s give it a try.

Ingredients : (the original recipe says it yields 30 cupcakes, I have halfed it here and we got 22 mini cupcakes)

  • 22 whole oreos + 6 coarsely chopped oreos
  • 500gram cream cheese, room temperature
  • 0.5 cup sugar
  • 0.5 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 0.5 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt

 

place a piece of whole Oreo at the bottom of each muffin cup. Chop up the rest of the Oreos and standby of use later.

Lightly beat the eggs.

Beat cream cheese till smooth. ( I have to say I just love my Kenwood handheld blender. We bought this 3 years ago to prepare T’s weaning puree and it comes with a egg whisk attachment too. For the past months, I’ve been using only this to make our cakes. So convenient, don’t have to lug out the table top cake mixer and less mess to wash and clean.)

Add sugar and vanilla into cream cheese and beat again.

Drizzle in the lightly beaten eggs gradually into the cream cheese beating with mixer to combine.

Add in sour cream and salt and beat again.

 Add in the chopped Oreos and stir into mixture.

Scoop batter into your Oreo lined muffin cup.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 130 degrees celcius for about 22 minutes until it is set. Note do not expect it to rise and turn out like the normal cupcakes. Remember its a cheesecake. As the batter will not be rising much, it is best to fill almost to the top of the cups.

Once done, remove and let it cool down. When cooled, place in fridge for a few hours or overnight before serving.  Yummy!

Moist Banana Cake

Here is another recipe found in the ‘Confetti Cakes’ book. We happened to have a small bunch of over ripe banana on the shelf, so what better way to use it than to make a banana cake. The ingredients and steps are also quite simple, so I would recommend that you try this with your child at home too. We left the finished cake to ‘season’ overnight so that the banana flavor can ‘grow’. It tasted good enough right out of the over, but so much more aromatic the next day.

Ingredients (6 inch round pan)

  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 100g flour (plain flour will do, but cake flour will give a lighter cake)
  • 55g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 55g sour cream
  • 0.5 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas

As usual, prepare all the ingredients in advance for less hassle once you start mixing.

Peel the bananas and mesh them up with a fork. Then set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.

Add in the egg and beat again will well mixed. (If you are doubling the portion, please add in eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition)

Add in sour cream and vanilla essence and beat again till well mixed.

Add in half of the sifted flour and beat. Then add in the remaining half and beat again. Most recipes will ask that you sift the flour in advance. However, lazy mummy wanted to save the trouble of washing one more bowl (weigh flour out in one bowl #1, sift into bowl #2), so I just sift directly into the mixture.

Add in the mashed banana last and beat till just mixed in. Do not over beat. Once the flour is in the mixture, over beating will cause the cake to become tough.

Pour into a well greased and bottom lined cake tin, bake at 170 degrees celcius for about 45 mins – 1 hr.

Here’s the banana cake after my decorating it. We finished about 3/4 the next morning and our girl kept saying its yummy. Well daddy who doesn’t have too much liking for sweet things had quite a big slice, so I guess its not too bad afterall.

New York Confetti Cake’s Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

Our Little Chef did not get a chance to cook anything this weekend cos mummy was busy experimenting the recipes in her newly bought book.

The Confetti Cakes Cookbook: Spectacular Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City's Famed Bakery

Cake decorating is the recent fad and it can be quite addictive. I find it more rewarding than Bento making. Maybe its because I’ll choose a slice of cake over a ball of rice anytime of the day.

OK. Let’s cut to the chase. The book is good. There’s some basic recipes and the instructions on how to build and form the designer cakes are pretty easy to understand. As I am still in the search of finding the perfect recipe to use for my fondant cake bases, I couldn’t wait to try out their so called “Famous Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe”. Here’s my version of it with very slight tweaking (cos I didn’t have some of the ingredients and didn’t want to waste half an egg).

Ingredients (16cm round cake tin)

  • 110g cake flour
  • 40g coco powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 75g sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 75g butter
  • 130g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 90g coffee
  1. Sift together all the dry ingredients ( I sifted them twice to get a lighter texture)
  2. in a separate bowl combine sour cream and vanilla
  3. beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  4. add in egg to creamed butter and mix till combined
  5. add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter and beat, when well mixed, add in 1/2 the sour cream and beat, followed by 1/3 flour again and beat, followed by the remaining 1/2 sour cream and beat, followed by the final 1/3 of flour and beat. (This may sound very cumbersome, but research shows that this technique will result in a better cake. If you don’t have time you can just go ahead and pour everything in and mix, but the cake texture will probably be heavier)
  6. Gradually pour in the coffee and mix
  7. Pour into a lined pan and baked in pre-heated over of 170 degress celcius for 1 hour or till toothpick test comes out dry.
  8. Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes before removing.

The cake turned out really well. It rised till quite high, was light and moist on the inside. It is a good enough cake to eat on its own. Any icing or decoration would be just for aesthetics. But then again, a good wallop of ice cream on top a each slice would make it even more heavenly. If I didn’t have my sore throat, I would probably have finished the whole cake myself.

To have a better quality cake, invest in good coco powder and good coffee. It does make a difference in the taste.

I did this cake while our little chef was taking her afternoon nap. When she woke up, I was washing up in the kitchen and she was rather disappointed that I did not wait to do it together with her. Well, let me try to find a simpler recipe and finish up the leftover chocolate and sour cream with her this weekday nite.

Perfect Domed Vanilla Cupcakes

Are perfect cupcakes suppose to the flat top, or domed? I don’t know what’s the right answer to that. I think it probably depends on how you wish to decorate it. The results of my cupcake baking has been like the stock exchange. Some times it goes up till it burst at the top and some times it sinks. It varies from one recipe to another. After some research, we found recommendation on how to get the perfect domed cupcake from www.cakejournal.com (thank you Louise for your generousity in sharing all your tips) and tried out her recipe. I made my first try on a work nite, turned our perfect and our little chef got to bring them to school the next morning. This weekend we tried it again, and results were good AGAIN ! Yeah… we may have found the perfect recipe this time.

Ingredients: (Makes about 12 cupcakes)

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk, warmed
  • 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, or 4 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 large lemon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour (we used cake flour to achieve a lighter cake)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Get ready all the ingredients. The butter should be melted. We micowaved the cut butter for about 30 seconds to melt it. For ease of preparation (and less washing for me), the flour, baking powder and salt were placed all in the same big bowl.

Add the milk to the melted butter and mix together. (I melted the butter till quite hot and added cold milk to it. This saves be the trouble of having to warm up the mik and avoids the butter from getting too cold while waiting to be mixed in). This milk butter mixture should be kept warm while waiting to be mixed into the eggs. If it has cooled down by the time it is ready to be added, try warming it up again for a few seconds in the microwave. I think the warm temperature helps to acheive the dome effect, cos on our second attempt, the butter mixture has cooled down and the dome ended up not as high as my first try.

In a separate bowl whisk the sugar and eggs and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy.  

 Add the warm butter+milk mixture into the whisked eggs+sugar and mix again.

Sift the flour+baking powder+salt into the wet mixture and mix again.

Spoon into cupcake cups or your lined tin

Bake at 170 degrees celcius for about 20 minutes. See how nicely domed they are.

Decorate them as you wish. Here are are practising our cupcake decor for our Mother’s Day cake

Extra Easy Chocolate Muffin for First Timers

I dream of having chocolate cake today she says ….

I would recommend this recipe for any first timer (adult or child alike). The ingredients are few and easily available, you don’t need any electric mixer (just a hand whisk is enough) and the steps are really simple.

Ingredients (12 standard muffins)

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp coco powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 350ml milk
  • 75g melted butter
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 150 chocolate chips

Mix the flour, sugar, coco powder, baking soda and salt together. Its so easy, you don’t even have to sift them. (Tip. For easy washing up, as we weigh out the ingredients, I put all the powder ingredients into one big bowl, less bowls to wash later)

 In a separate bowl / jug, mix together the milk, melted butter and eggs.

Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir till combined together. (Tip : do not over stir, just a few stirs should be good enough. Over mixing would result tough texture.)

Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips (we used white chocolate here)

Spoon into lined muffin cups and baked in preheated oven at 200 degrees celcius for about 20 minutes

Admittedly, they looked and tasted just average. Heah, but for such an easy recipe I would say its definately worth a try for your child’s first baking experience.

Return of the Light Lemon Cream Cheese cake

The Lemon Creamcheese Cupcake was so good, it had me craving for more. For some reason, my baby son (who is on total breast milk) kept smelling like the lemon cake. I think I had so much of the cake that my milk smell and tasted like it.

Anyways, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So when the kids are sleeping, at 10pm on a Saturday night, I decided to make this cake again. This time round, I didn’t make cupcakes, but just poured the mixture into a big cake pan. (Saves some time for scooping into cups, and baking in several batches).

Yums, I had a big slice of it before heading off to bed 1 hour later. “Satisfied”

Tangy Light Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcake

Spring time is here and the air is fresh and crisp. With Easter round the corner, our little chef bakes a batch of tangy Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes to bring to school to share with her friends. The whole kitchen smells so nice of refreshing lemon.

Ingredients : (makes about 24 medium size cupcakes)

  • 130g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 120g cream cheese (left to soften at room temperature)
  • 120g butter (left to soften at room temperature)
  • 140g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Get ready all the ingredients. I just invested in a plastic tray from the $2 shop to help contain our ingredients for all our future cooking episodes. See how useful it is to have everything placed so tidy on a tray and easily transported.

Here she has just grated the zest from the lemon skin and is squeezing the juice from the lemon. Tip – to extract more juice from lemon, it helps to press and roll the fruit on the table for a few times before cutting it up to squeeze juice.

Cream butter and cream cheese together until light and creamy. It will take about 10 mins. The butter and cheese was at room temperature to soften so that the blending will be faster and will avoid them from curdling due to mixing too long.

Add in sugar and continue to mix till fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice and stir to mix.

Sift in the powder mixture of flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Fold the flour into the mixture. Do not use electric mix. You will probably need to help the child at this step to avoid over mixing, resulting the cake to turn heavy textured.

Scoop into lined muffin cups (about 1/2 full for flat to brim, or about 3/4 full to have ‘mushroom’ top) and bake in pre-heated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 20 minutes.

I must say these cakes are really light and yummy. In fact the portions of the cupcakes felt too small to be satisfying each of us had to have at least 3 at one go. Next time round we will make large sized cupcake instead of medium sized ones.

Bursting Blackberry Muffins

Blackberries are now in season and we bought 2 baskets for a mere HK$10.00 (US$1.30).  I basket went fresh from our fingers to our tummies, and the other found its way into these muffins.

Ingredients :

  • 60g butter
  • 40g castor sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 egg (best left at room temperature)
  • 150g cake flour (you can use plain flour if you wish, but the texture will be slightly heavier)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 70g berry yogurt (I used mixed berry yogurt this time)
  • 1 small basket of black berries (as you add these in right at the end, the amount you put is really up to your personal liking) (I think we put about 20 berries in for the above portion)

Blackberry Muffin_01Blackberry Muffin_02Read the recipe together, and prepare all the ingredients

Blackberry MuffinIt is best to have the butter at room temperature (20++ degrees celcius) so it is rather soft and easy to be creamed. Add sugar (both white and brown) to butter.

Blackberry Muffin_05Cream butter and sugar together till light and creamy. Take note not to over mix (until butter is all melted, or the mixture will turn out oily).

Blackberry Muffin_06Add eggs, one at a time, to the creamed butter and sugare mixture and mix together.

Blackberry Muffin_07Add in the vanilla essence and mix together.

Blackberry Muffin_09Add in milk and yougurt and mix together.

Blackberry Muffin_10Stir and mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Sift this flour mixture into the butter mixture. Use spoon to mix well.

Blackberry Muffin_12Add the blackberries into the mixture and use spoon to mix well. Scoop into lined muffin cups until 3/4 full and bake at 180 degree celcius for about 25 – 30 minutes.

Blackberry Muffin_13Here’s the final product. Very moist muffin with the blackberries literally bursting its flavour when you bite into them.

Oreo & Raisin Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  •  250 gm. Self-raising flour (for lighter texture, you can use 240gm cake flour + 2 tsp baking powder)
  • 100 gm. Oreo Biscuits (you can remove the white icing, if you include it, I recommend to reduce the sugar)
  • 40 gm. Raisins
  • 230 gm. Unsalted Butter
  • 150 gm. sugar
  • 4 eggs (works better if eggs were at room temperature)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Break the Oreo cookies into little pieces. You can do this in anyway you like. Example,

  • chopping it up with a butter knife
  • throwing it (against the wall) into the blender
  • kids will probably have most fun using just their own pair of clean hands to crush them up. In this photo, we used a motar to pound up the cookies.

Place the butter, salt and sugar into the mixer and mix till creamy. It helps to have a hands free table top mixer for this. From my experience, my girl had some difficult holding on to the handheld mixer safely. For one, it was a little heavy for her, and once we turned it on, she can’t hold it straight and kept banging it against the mixing bowl causing the bowl to topple over. It was much easier and safer once we took out the table stand and installed the mixer on the stand.

 Add in flour and eggs and mix for a few more minutes. It is big fun to have the kids crack eggs. Be prepared to have abit of mess if this is their first time having a go at it and don’t be surprised to find some remains of the eggshell in the cake. 

Stir in the Oreo pieces and raisin

Scoop into paper cups and bake at 180 celcius for about 20 – 30 mins

Here’s the finished products. Above recipes makes about 12 standard size cupcakes, or 24 mini cupcakes.