Donut Muffins?

Been baking insanely these days, cherishing my days left in Singapore before I part for my exchange term in South Korea. I will miss baking so so much! Can’t imagine not having a kitchen in my dorm :( Sigh.

Oh well! School term in my local university have started, so I decided to share some joy with my friends and made these cute little ones! They are so awesome! If you’re a fan of churros, you’ll get what I mean. These mini muffins are flavored with slight ground nutmeg and then coated with cinnamon sugar!

My mom who caught me baking when she just returned from work came into the kitchen and “stole” 3 pieces of them while I’m coating the rest! Funny how our roles switched, where my brother and I were the ones who sneak into the kitchen to “steal” the food she was cooking. Anyway, why is it called donut muffins then? The first bite will definitely remind you of the mini donuts you see in local bakeries, and when you continue with the next bite, it resembles muffins! It’s really that awesome! My friends loved it! I’m sharing with the recipe that I’ve halfed, if you are intending to make standard muffin size, just double the recipe below.

Donut Muffins

Donut Muffins
yield 28 – 32 mini muffins

Ingredients
Batter

  • 227g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp + ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup + ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅛ cup buttermilk

Coat

  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Put rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 180° C.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Combine milk and buttermilk in a separate bowl or pyrex container, whichever is possible.
  4. With a wooden spoon, mix ¼ dry ingredients to butter mix then mix ⅓ milk mixture. Continue mixing in alternate sequence, ending with dry ingredients. Do not overmix, mix until just combined & smooth.
  5. Grease and flour muffin tin, scoop till batter is even with the rim of the cup.
  6. Bake muffins until firm to touch, about 17 to 18 minutes (I started checking at 14 min).
  7. Melt butter for brushing.
  8. In a bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. When muffins are cool enough to hold, brush with butter and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

Yeah! And there you go!
Jeul

Meringue Kisses

I’ve recently purchased a new digital camera with the help of my awesome friend, Liu. He’s such a great person and I’ve decided to make him some meringue cookies to thank him for helping me to run the errands.

Meringue Kisses

Okay, one thing about meringue is that you gotta be really free that whole day/night or you have plenty time to spare. My puny oven couldn’t hold large trays that I had to do batch by batch and each batch takes about 1 hr 40 min to bake and about 1 hour to cool completely in the oven. And this recipe yield 6 – 8 dozens of meringue kisses. Can you imagine how much time is required? Or is there anyone who could share a tip or two? That would definitely be very helpful to me. The long waiting caused my meringue to lose its shape and stiffness and collapsed. I’m not sure if I should store it in the refrigerator while baking or… ? And advice?

Just like what I’ve mentioned, this recipe yield 6 – 8 dozens of meringue kisses depending on the size of meringue kisses you want to have.

Meringue Kisses

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Food coloring if any

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 100° C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar. Place bowl on top of medium saucepan filled with barely simmering water.
  3. Gently whisk the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Roughly 10 minutes.
  4. Either transfer bowl to stand mixer or remove bowl from saucepan and whisk the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gently stir in the food coloring.
  6. Fit a pastry bag and pipe small star shapes. (I used Wilton 1M Piping tip)
  7. Bake cookies until crips not brown for 1 hr 40 min.

It’s yet another simple recipe. Hope you enjoy!
Jeul

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Alright! And I made a quick and simple cake for my best friend’s birthday, which is totally perfect for a chocolate lover like her. We decorated a corner of the house a little and made it like a christmas celebration and she really bought the idea that the cake were in replacement of the christmas log cake.

The party was a small and cosy one. And I’m glad that she’s surprised. Boyf helped us so much by making a whole lot of yummy food! Everyone lovesssss his salad, it’s so so so good!

Okay, salad is not the where we want to go today.

Back to our chocolate cake.

For all the chocolate lovers out there, make this gluten-free cake!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake (8 inch)

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 200g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190° C. Butter and dust the cake pan with flour.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler. Make sure that water is simmering (not boiling).
  3. Combine the yolks and ⅓ cup sugar until pale and thick.
  4. Beat whites until it reaches soft peak, then add the remaining ⅓ cup sugar to the whites and continue beating till stiff peak.
  5. Stir a spoonful of whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mix over the whites and fold gently until just combine.
  6. Pour batter to the pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.
  7. Run a knife at the side and remove the cake. Serve it with ice cream or just on its own!

Notes:
You must use 70% dark chocolate or the batter will be too sweet.

Hurry! Make your chocolate cake now! :D

Enjoy.
Jeul

The last of 2012

Yay to surviving apocalypse! The world gave us another day to live, love & laugh. Some may think that the world won’t end. I honestly do believe it will, but we aren’t sure when would that happen. The Earth has been staying strong to withstand all our human greeds. Our greed to profit that cause the ozone layer to tear and many more.

Nonetheless, let us keep our hopes high and hope that we could help mother earth live another day :D

Even when 2012 is ending, I am so shameful for not completing most of my 2012 resolutions. Probably achieved one which is to bake more. haha!

SO…….. for chocolate lovers out there, keep a lookout! I have a few chocolate recipes to share! And I’ll start with the chocolate cupcakes that I baked for the party. The actual name of this cupcake is pretty long (that is Chocolate cupcake with Nutella cloud frosting,  adapted from Sweetapolita), in short I’ll just call it, “The chocolate cupcake”. Do refer to her site for original recipe, cos I’ve made few modifications for a less sweet cupcake which could have been sweeter. If you get what I mean.

thechocolatecupcake

The Chocolate Cupcake

Ingredients
Cupcake

  • 95g all-purpose flour
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 30g dark cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup brewed coffee or espresso (hot)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (room temperature, lightly beaten)
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 227g unsalted butter (softened but cool)
  • 190g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g bittersweet chocolate (chopped, melted and slightly cooled)
  • 2 tbsp Nutella
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • pinch of salt

Method
Cupcake

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C and line a muffin/cupcake pan with your favourite cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer), fill up liners to ⅔ full (a little more than half). Batter will be liquidy, and cupcakes will rise.
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to over-bake. Carefully remove cupcakes from the pan immediately, and place them on a wire rack until completely cool.

Frosting

  1. In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
  2. Add vanilla, and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed.
  3. Add the Nutella, milk and pinch of salt, and beat on med-high speed for another minute.

Here’s a review from my culinary student boyfriend:

The cupcake is not too sweet which is good. The creaminess of the frosting was not overpowering. I like it! 8/10, it’s above average.

Haha! I promise there’s not even one cent of bias. We are very honest when it comes to tasting each other’s cooking/baking. For those of my friends who tasted it, I hope you enjoyed the cupcakes!

Ending this post with a song that I’ve been looping.

Merry X’mas & Happy New Year!
And I hope you know where to for the upcoming year.
Jeul

A month of sharing

Earl Grey Cookies

Hellooooo!!!!

December is always the best month! And we’re one week away from the holly jolly christmas.
It’s truly a month of giving and sharing, I got my mum a pot of pink/purple flowers, and she was really really happy. I can tell! Since it’s a festive season and the last month of the year, there’s lots of sales going on that I got boyf a pair of slippers to replace his broken one! It feels really good to be a little santarina now. Can’t wait for boyf to receive his next few gifts which he is totally unaware. Got one of them mailed, and I’ll pass him the last one personally. Hohoho.

And today, I’m going to share with you my favorite cookie recipe! Are you excited? :D Heh.

*drum rolls*

It’s my favorite, Earl Grey Cookies by Martha Stewart. You can get the recipe from her site (here), or if this is convenient, you can refer to the recipe below! :D

Earl Grey Cookies by Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 8 bags earl grey tea leaves (grind till it resembles fine powder)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 227g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest (I used lemon)

Method

  1. Whisk flour, tea, salt together and set aside.
  2. Put butter, sugar, and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined.
  3. Divide dough in half. Transfer each half to a piece of parchment paper; shape into logs. Roll in parchment to 1¼ inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log and force out air. Transfer in parchment to paper-towel tubes; freeze 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Cut logs into ¼-inch-thick slices. Space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  5. Bake until edges turn golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

If you haven’t tried baking these, you gotta do it now. If there’s someone on earth that is hard to please with food, that would be boyf (okay, his mum and aunt who has a great sense of tasting comes before him actually) . Ever since he got into his culinary management class, he knows even more about food now. Guess what? He lovedddd the cookies! So what are you waiting for? ;)

Enjoy.
Jeul

Butter Cookies with a hint of lemon

lemonybuttercookiesLemon is such a great ingredient, no matter what you make, its (almost) always alright to add in a hint of lemon!

If you omit the lemon in this recipe, it will give you the most basic butter cookies. My mommy love these cookies so much and told me to make some for Chinese New Year! Thinking about it, and few weeks after Chinese New Year, I’ll be leaving for my exchange. I’m already missing everyone here in Singapore! My mom, my brother, my grandfather, my boyfriend and my awesomest friends. Oh well, back to topic, here’s the recipe!

Lemony Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 12 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1¼ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup corn starch

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160˚C. Line baking sheets.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, lemon zest until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. In small bowl, combine salt, flour and cornstarch. On slow speed, add wet ingredients and mix well. Scrape if necessary. Do not overmix!
  4. Place dough into piping bag and pipe 1-inch rosette.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

This is a relatively easy recipe to follow and it comes with great taste.
Hope you’ll like it :D

Enjoy.
Jeul

Tea & Cake are best friends

lemonloafcake

High-tea is one of the popular activities among the Singaporean, regardless of age group.

We often refer to people who can enjoy high-tea as “tai-tai” (only applicable for females) because many of a time, we hardly find time to enjoy cakes and tea. The way we say it, is to show how one have the luxury to enjoy life. It’s definitely not something bad, but rather something that people wish for.

The highlight of high-tea always comes with beautifully tiered-plates and a pot of tea. But if you’re at home, going simple is one way out. Bake these Lemon Tea Loaf cake and serve it with your favorite cup of tea.

I am pretty sure that this is one of the best cakes to go with tea.

Lemon Loaf Cake
Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1⅓ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 3 large lemons
  • 1¾ cup cake flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 5½ tbsp butter (melted and cooled to room temperature)

Method

  1. Preheat oven at 180˚C. Butter and flour or line loaf pan (9 x 5 inch) with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and salt till foamy and smoothly blended. Then whisk in the lemon zest. NOTE: Egg, sugar, salt mixture should not thicken.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder mix in 3 portions. For each portion, spoon them into sifter and incorporate them with the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour mix lightly, and the same is for the next two additions.
  4. Whisk in heavy cream, then switch to rubber spatula and quickly fold in melted butter.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes till the center of the loaf crowns and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Place the cake on a rack to cool.

I hope you like it :)

Enjoy.
Jeul