Thursday, September 27, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Apologies for not blogging yesterday, I've sprained my neck and to make up for it, I thought I'll share with you my Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe.

All you need are:
(adapted from Martha Stewart's cupcakes)
(makes 12)
1 1/4 cups of cake flour, sifted - sift the flour first before measuring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/4 tsp red gel paste food colour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk - i used regular milk and added 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, stir and let it sit for 5-10minutes
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Icing
125g cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2tsp vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar

All you need to do:
1) Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2) Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
3) Beat sugar and vegetable oil till combined. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrap sides to make sure all is mixed properly. Mix in vanilla extract and food colouring.
4) Add flour mixture alternating with the milk in 3 batches. Make sure to mix it properly after each batch. (Do not overmix)
5) Stir vinegar and baking soda, it will foam up. Add to mixture and mix properly.
6) Divide in muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes. Once done, let it cool on wire rack.

Cream Cheese Icing
1) Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth, scrap sides to make sure all is mixed properly.
2) Add in vanilla and sift in icing sugar. Mix until you reach the right consistency, add more icing sugar if it is still runny. Add a drop of hot water to eliminate graininess. 
3) Pipe your cupcakes, decorate and serve.

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's Sunday again!
How was your week so far?
Here's this week's happy moments!

Homemade Chicken & Prawns Noodle soup for my Vertigo

This arrived in the post on Tuesday! CHEWY.GOOEY.CRISPY.CRUNCHY COOKIES!? YUM

This arrived in the post on Thursday! So can't wait to sink my teeth into those cookie dough! 

Made Banana Muffins for my colleagues! {recipe soon}

Comfy clothes to start the weekend! 

Happy Sunday! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kitchen Essentials Part 3 : Basic Baking Measuring

Ever wonder why your cake didn't turn out as how it looks in the book? Why is your cookie too hard? Taking out from the oven a sinking cake?

It can be as simple as, not measuring your ingredients properly? Not measuring or baking time correctly! Yes, it can be so many other possibilities, but this can be one of the simplest answer to your question!

Dry ingredients (ie: flour, almond meal) and also other non-liquid (ie: cream cheese, mascarpone) can be measured using an electronic scale, preferably one with 0.00 decimals, and you can convert from ounce to grams, vice versa. 

Another way, dry ingredients can be measures is by using measuring cups. Simply, loosen up your flour a little in your container with a whisk, do not whisk it too much, your flour might be too light. Dip your measuring cup in, your flour will be over the rim, use your finger or at the back of a butter knife, and swap across removing excess.
Though using the scale will be more accurate, as some might have overpacked the measuring cup and so on.

You might think, what about measuring baking powder, salt, bicarbonate do we measure that? As this dry ingredients are often really small in amount, using a measuring spoon would do the job. It is important to measure this properly as it acts as a raising agent (baking powder/bicarbonate soda) and might change the taste (salt).

Wet ingredients (liquid) should be measured using only a wet measuring cup/jug. Put your cup on the table, pour your liquid, measure by bringing yourself to see eye level to the liquid. Try not to hold your cup and measure the liquid at the same time. *Though, sometimes I am guilty of doing so.*

Brown sugar, there's a proper way to measure it. Do you notice that recipes often calls for 'packed' brown sugar? Wondering how? Easy. Spoon brown sugar into your measuring cup, press it lightly to cover air pockets, when you flip it over into a bowl, it should lightly holds its shape.

That's all for now. Hope this helps! Remember, it is important to measure your ingredients correctly with the right method and tools!

Happy measuring! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Hmmm..I've baked one two many cookies this week! Been having these cravings.

and Macadamia Nuts & White Chocolate Cookies {recipe soon}. 

A few weeks ago, I bought some glitters, decided to give it a go by doing my nail - 'Bluey Glittery Red Nails'. Can't wait to try the other colours! :)

My fiance and I enjoyed the beautiful weather! Breathtaking view isn't it?!

We're making Maple Syrup pancakes again for breakfast! Looks like my fiance is having cravings of his own too! :)

Happy Sunday! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Oreo Cheese Cupcakes

It has been a while, since I last posted up a recipe! So here you are!
I've been making this cupcakes many times now. If you did not know before, I love eating cheesecakes, the baked ones! Not those gelatine stuff!
Here's my version of Peanut Butter Oreo Cheese Cupcakes
(makes 21 cupcakes)

All you need (Cupcakes):
250g Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 to 1 packet of Oreos (depending how much you like), crumbled
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup of peanut butter (smooth/crunchy)
a pinch of salt
All you need to do (Cupcakes):
1) Pre-heat your oven to 150degrees. Line about 21 cupcake liners.
2) Beat cream cheese and sugar.
3) Add in the egg and vanilla extract.
4) Add in lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
5) Stir in your crumbled Oreo cookies.
6) Use an ice cream scoop, put half mixture into liner, add a small dollop of peanut butter, and top with remaining half of mixture.
7) Bake it for 15-20 minutes. Let it cool completely before chilling it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
All you need (Icing):
50g butter, softened
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter (depending how strong you want it to be)
2-3 cups of icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup of chocolate, semi-melted, but soft enough when pressed with fingers
All you need to do (Icing):
1) Beat butter, chocolate, peanut butter together.
2) Add in icing sugar and lemon juice. Beat until icing is smooth.
3) Pipe on cupcakes when it's completely cooled, you can pipe it before chilling in the fridge, or just before serving.

Print this recipe!

 Happy Baking! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kitchen Essentials Part 2 : Basic Baking Ingredients

                             pix: Customised order for a Kitchen Tea Party

Here's my tip on what you should have in your kitchen if you plan to bake!
Most of these ingredients can be found in your local supermarket. 

All purpose flour
- most common flour, better than getting self raising flour. keep in the freezer/fridge, it gives you an extra year to your expiry date, especially if you hardly bake.

Baking soda {bicarbonate soda} & baking powder - acts as raising agents.  keep in the freezer/fridge, it gives you an extra year to your expiry date, especially if you hardly bake.

Salt - usually only a pinch of salt is added to your batter. Omit it though if you're using salted butter.

Unsalted butter - best for baking, as it allows you to control how much salt you want to put in. usually the butter is soften first, by bringing it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes (depending on weather) before you plan to use it, unless the recipe states to use cold butter. of course, kept in the fridge.

Caster sugar - to add sweetness, though you can use other types of sugar too {ie: molasses, honey, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup (light or dark), maple syrup and many more - you have to know the correct amount to substitute, if you're planning to replace the different types of sugar in your baking.

Light brown sugar - to add sweetness. makes your goods fudgier, makes chewy cookies and the sweetness is deeper and more aromatic compared to just using caster sugar. often used in cookie recipes.

Dry instant yeast - this is good enough, you do not have to get the fresh yeast, used in bread making usually. Keep in the fridge, it last longer.

Eggs - can also act as a raising agent, as some recipe doesn't use baking powder or soda. usually you use your eggs at room temperature. if you're short of time, and your eggs came from the fridge, just soak it in warm water for 5 minutes, it'll warm it up. Best to buy in bulk (2.5 dozen), if you bake often, it's cheaper.

Vanilla extract/Vanilla bean - best to use the pure stuff, it does make a difference. Of course, if money permits, use Vanilla bean instead. You can make vanilla sugar by cleaning used vanilla bean, dry it properly and keeping it in a jar of sugar. store in pantry.

Chocolate - have 2 types, chocolate block/bar and chocolate chips. get the good stuff. Best to have a few kinds too - chips (dark, milk and white), block (at least 60% if you can find, otherwise 75% makes good chocolate goods, and you can have the usual milk and white if you want). store in pantry, please do not store in the fridge.

Milk - use full cream milk, unless recipe states otherwise, usually used at room temperature too, otherwise it might shock the other ingredients when mixed together. if you hardly use milk at home, get the long life milk, therefore, you'll always have it at hand. but once opened, you've got to keep it in the fridge.

Cocoa powder - best if you can get your hands on dutch cocoa powder, otherwise cocoa powder is good enough. there are many types (sweetened, unsweetened). I usually have a few types, as I interchange them according to how I want my baked goods to taste.

Icing sugar (confectionary sugar) - used when making icing/frosting. you really need to sift it though! if you're lazy, there are 2 ways to sifting it instead of using a sieve. {1: food processor, 2: ziplock & rolling pin}.

Oil - some recipes (ie: cakes,  muffins, cupcakes) call for oil instead of butter, so keep a bottle of Canola oil at hand. 

Peanut butter - who doesn't love peanut butter, of course unless you're allergic to nuts! often used in recipes. crunchy or smooth, it's all up to you. doesn't matter. 

These are the ingredients that are not used often to keep stock, but rather just buy when needed. though I will also include ingredients that you can still have, but it isn't used often.

Cream - fresh cream, thickened cream {ganache, whipped cream}, sour cream {added into cheesecakes, chocolate cake}.

Cheese - cream cheese (cheesecake), mascarpone (Tiramisu) and so on. used at room temperature.

Cream of tartar - very seldom you would need to use this, but it is good to have it when you need it, keep it in the freezer - stays fresh longer. used in meringues (helps to stabilise the egg whites), sometimes cheesecakes too.

Flour - cake flour (sponge, cupcakes), bread flour (bread), almond flour (almond meal/ground almond {ie: Macarons} - gluten free), cornflour (added into some biscuit recipes, cake, custard), you can keep them in the fridge/freezer, if you hardly use them, it keep moisture out too.

Fruits - fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. though you can also use frozen fruits if you prefer to always have some at hand, though use fresh fruits if it isn't going to be baked!

Food colouring - if a recipe {ie: cakes, icing, biscuits} calls for colours to be added, best to have the powdered colours, as the colours turn out better, and gel paste form. it doesn't affect the ratio in your other ingredients too. best to avoid liquid colouring (as it might add too much liquid into your recipe). 

Nuts - Almonds, Macadamia, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pistachio and many other. store in air-tight containers and it can also be kept in the fridge (keeps moisture out).

Lemon - best to have the fresh stuff, but if not, just keep a lemon juice bottle in your fridge. helps to enhance the cheesecake flavour and of course other types of good too if you like the lemon taste. 

Spices - cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, ground ginger (ie: used in gingerbread cookies/bread).

Sprinkles - 100 thousands, nonpareils, candies and other colourful decoration sprinkles to decorate your cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes. 

Instant rolled oats - used in making biscuits, mueslis and so on.

There are so many optional ingredients that you can have, but these are my take on what you must have and may have. If there are any ingredients, you're unsure or would like to add to my list. just comment below.

Happy shopping! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012


It's Sunday again!!
What have you been up to?
Here's what's been happening...
1. Had Pistashio Gelato
2. Hot Chocolate with Love
3. Made a Big Breakfast (Pancakes, Maple Syrup Bacon, Scramble Eggs, Milo Eruption)
4. Cookies & Cream Lollipops (recipe soon)
p/s: apologise for the delay. had issues uploading it live yesterday!
also, today's my dad's birthday! Happy birrrrthday daddy dearest! Love you lots!
cheers! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kitchen Essentials Part 1 : Basic Baking Tools

Have you ever wondered what tools you would need to have in your kitchen in able to bake?
Cracking your head on what is a need and what is optional?
Below are a couple of items, I think one should have in their kitchen!
{pix: various source from Google.}
1. Measuring spoons - makes it easier to measure up small amounts like baking powder, baking soda, salt, yeast and so on.
2. Measuring jug - makes it easier to measure up large amounts of liquid. I prefer pyrex/glass because that way, if I need to heat up something in the Microwave, it saves me time from washing another item.
3. Pastry brush - makes it easire to brush your pastry, dough, and so on. Best if you buy a good one, those cheaper ones, the brush tends to rust or go out of shape.
4. Piping bag & nozzles - for pipping your cupcakes, piping your cream puffs, eclairs, macarons and so on. Those stainless steel nozzles are better because the shape turns out better than plastic ones.
5. Electronic kitchen scale - makes it easier to measure small amount, it is more accurate. You can pick it up pretty cheap too. Definitely beats the old-school kitchen scale (which would be better for larger amounts).
6. Mixing bowl - Pyrex or a bowl which is microwavable makes things earlier, sometimes you can use it over a double boiler (ie:melting chocolate). Stainless steels are okay too, but you can't put it in the microwave.
7. Measuring cups - makes it easier to measure up smaller amounts. I prefer stainless steel because especially when measuring oil ingredients (ie: butter, oil), it is definitely easier to wash off.
8. Baking tray - This is for cookies, or if you buy a baking sheet with higher sides (also known as a Swissroll/Lamington tray), you can make those too.
9. Cupcake/Muffin liners - you can find all types of designs and sizes, makes your baked goods pretty.
10. Whisk - important, to whisk smaller amout of ingredients (ie: egg whites, eggs, creaming butter&sugar). It can also be used as a sifter too for dry ingredients, just to loosen the ingredients up.
11. Spatula - makes scraping off remaining batter easier off the bowl/sheet. It is good to invest in a good heat resistant one too (sugar/caramel).
12. Wooden spoon - good for stirring of your choux pastry (before it bakes into profiteroles), you need a thick sturdy wooden spoon, so it doesn't break.
13. Baking pan - for baking cakes, great to have it in springform type too, where the base of the pan can be removed (suitable for more delicate cakes).
14. Rolling pins - it is up to you to have the ones with the handles or not, just your own preference. It comes in different types of material too (plastic, stainless steel, wood).
15. Cupcake/Muffin tray - comes in different sizes, so perhaps you could get 2 sizes, therefore you can have a variety of standard and mini cupcakes/muffins.
16. Mechanical Ice cream scoop - this is the best tool you can have when baking, makes it so much easier to scoop your batter into your cupcakes liners, it is more consistent too.
17. Kitchen mixer - Great to have this Kitchenaid mixer (if you can afford it), if not, a more basic kitchen mixer is also sufficient enough.
Hope these tips will help you in deciding what you should have as basics in your kitchen when you're thinking of baking!
Check back next week for Kitchen Essentials Part 2!
Happy Shopping! :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moments {Father's Day Special}

Happy Father's Day to all daddies in this world!

Today we should celebrate how awesome our dad is to us.

My dad is my hero, mentor, pillar of strength, DIY-man and most of all my best friend!

Show your dad how much he means to you. Today is the day to express and show him that you love him {if you don't do it everyday}! Do something special for him! Spend time with him! Just hang and chill with your daddy!

Happy Father's day to all DADDIES! 

Love you lots DAD! :)