Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

'Miki', my daughter's childhood friend is celebrating her 16th birthday today.
...how time flies...the last time I saw her was 13 years ago...always clutching either Minnie Mouse or hugging Mr Teddy Bear.
But now, she has grown up into a very beautiful young lady, no more soft toys...
Happy Birthday 'Miki' @ Ezzati.. you are always a 'darling' to me..
With lots of love from Aunty Nita & family
Again, thanks for the order Siti.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Cuppies That Almost Did'nt Make It..

There are times things don't cordinate well with me. Most of the time actually. It's like when you have a bad hair day, no matter how much you comb or gel-up your hair, when things don't like working, you hair will just refuse to set the way you want it to. I never had a bad hair day, since I just bun it up and hide it under my scarf, but I've had countless of bad cuppies and cake days and today was another one of them.

I have made some fondant roses yesterday for this order but somehow with the humid weather yesterday... some of the fondant roses became "lembik & soft". It was a bit too late to do anything about it, unless I have a great amount of time to re-do. I'm always short of time for a makeover hence, I called my customer and explained the situation.

I surrender the finished cuppies and wished on my lucky stars, moon, meteors, planets milkyway and the entire solar system for the customer to approve it.
Lucky she loves it..
Thanks Siti for the order...
...and most of all, thank you for your understanding..

Friday, March 26, 2010

Things are 'hopping' this week...

Easter is on the way and along with it, many, many Easter cupcakes and cakes.

Last week, I put together a group of Easter ideas, to hopefully provide inspiration to bake the Easter's orders this weekend.. and came out with this...

This is a a moist chocolate cake, iced with buttercream, then layered with Marzipan, finally covered with chocolate fondant icing... bunny and flowers are made from fondant icing.
Love the 'upside-down' bunny... cute butt! And all fun to make.
I used a melon baller to scoop a small hole at the 'tree trunk' in order to fit that little bunny.

Florence, I hope the kids like the cake..

And for Margaret...who requested for a very simple but 'sweet' cuppies...
I made her chocolate moist cupcakes topped with Lime and Lemon buttercream.

I kept the lime and lemon flavour in the buttercream subtle, so that the chocolate cuppies have a chance to stand out. I added a little bit of orange zest into the batter for that zestiness. To All.....Thanks for the order.
OK, now back to the kitchen.. got couple more orders to fullfill..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The easiest cake that I have ever baked..

Classic, now metro, lunchbox fair, moist chocolate cake topped with very chocolatey and gooey ganache are a treat that many of us are familiar with. Interesting and appetising, it is basically comes to one thing..... this cake is made all in one bowl and has no egg...!
This cake has a moist, light texture and an excellent chocolate flavour, quite dark and rich looking, though the cake has none of the heaviness that can result from 'richer' chocolate cakes.

I much prefer this sort of cake to dense ones, because I find that the relative lightness goes very well with coffee or tea, not to mention that I might have room for a second piece..or maybe a third ..!

This cake calls for pouring the ganache on to the cake to create a smooth surface.

Aaah... the chocolatey and simply gooey and delicious topping....

...and to share the recipe....


2 1/2 cups - all purpose flour
1/2 cup - cocoa powder
1/2 cup - castor sugar
1 1/2 cup - brown sugar
(if you like your cake sweet, use 1 1/2 cup castor sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
I like my cake not too sweet)
1 tsp - baking soda
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 cup - water
3/4 cup - fresh milk (low or fat - does'nt matter)
9 tbsp - vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp - vanila extract
1 tbsp - apple cider vinegar
(if you dont have apple cider - just use the ordinary 'cuka makan')

Method (?)... very easy....
just 'dump' everthing in a bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth
(I think thats why they call it 'Dump-Cake'..!)

Pour into a lined/greased 8-inch square baking tin, and bake.

350F, 1hr, until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed.
Note: Make sure the cake is completely cool before pouring the ganache.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE (my improvised version)
4 cups - bittersweet chocolate ( coarsely chopped)
1/2 cup - dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp - cornflour (dilute a bit with water)
1 tsp - instant coffee (optional, if you like that mocha taste)

Place chocolates + butter in a heatproof bowl - double boil. Once chocolate melted, add the cornflour mixture-a teaspoon at a time.
Stir until mixture is smooth (much easier if you use a whisk).
Pour or spread the chocolate mixture onto cake.
Thats it..!

(Background voice: Baby.. you are not planning to sell this cake, are you...?! )

Guilty In The First Degree...

I have'nt been a good Aunty lately and its been a while since I visited my nieces and nephew @ Ulu Klang. We normaly 'chat' via facebook. Wonder how the kids are doing now. Then one afternoon, one of the girls sent me a note: 'Mak Lang, nak cupcake please...?

With the feeling of guilt, I put down my novel, flipped through my 'treasure cum ancient' recipe notes, pulled out my trusty cupcake pan and start whipping in the kitchen. Some fresh orange and lemon from the fridge before the 'lemonade-loving household' of mine could get to them - were my inspiration to make a batch of zinghy-moist chocolate cupcakes - knowing that the three girls (and a boy) love chocolate very much.

These jewels cuppies were extra special... they were for my little darling nieces & nephew & Adik (my sister!). They got the cuppies, the very next morning...!

Adila, Aisha, Boy, Sabrina.... hope you enjoyed the cuppies.....

Muuaaah... Mak Lang loves all of you..!

OK Adila.... Mak Lang got the hint... 16 April... right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Easter

Yay.. Easter....! Another excuse to make more cupcakes.

These are for my coffee group friends. Though I do not celebrate Easter...I thought it was nice to give cupcakes to them this year instead of Easter eggs. I baked banana cupcakes... hmmm smells good and it is so devine!, topped with vanilla buttercream grass and topped with Easter theme handmade fondant decorations. I was really happy with how these turned out!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dainty Choc-Cuppies with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love baking for parties. Primarily this is because I like getting feedback from big groups of people, friends and family on any baked goods that I made because I often like to try out new recipes on these occassions. Its also fun to bake large quantities of food from time to time. The only challenge - aside from deciding what to make in the first place - is that some recipes are just too small to work well for a party.

These mini chocolate cupcakes are easy to make and the recipe makes enough for 4-doz mini cupcakes! I like this recipe because the cupcakes turn out very moist with a good, deep cocoa flavour to them. Doubled or multipled batches can be baked. At first when you realise that each cupcake is only about two bites, it doesn't seem like 4-doz will actually feed many people!

Cream Cheese frosting is always a hit and its easy to work with, so that's what I used for these cuppies. However, feel free to use any other kind of frosting that you would like.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
1 cup sugar (I normally use brown sugar - less sweet)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate baking soda
3/4 fresh milk (I use low fat milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanila extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line mini muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, vegetable oil, vanila extract and vinegar.
Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a tootpick inserted comes out clean.
Turn cupcakes out into wirerack to cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese - room temperature
6 tbsp butter - room temperature
1 tsp vanila extract
1-2 tbsp milk (I use low fat milk)
2-3 cups icing sugar

In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Beat in vanila and milk (start with 1 tbsp and add additional if you wish to thin the frosting), then add in the icing sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
If you wish the frosting to be a bit stiffer - add more icing sugar.
Fill pastry bag with 1M star tip and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

...simply adorable...

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Little Bit of Sanity

I regained a little bit of sanity from baking..:P
No wierd mixtures, not a wierd concoction. Just plain chocolate.
Dark Chocolate and some orange rind & extract... that is..

These are refreshing...light and fluffy ... serve at any occasion.
The cupcakes by themselves dont have an extreme sweetness to them, and the consistency is similar to a sponge cake. You can taste the orange rind and chocolate and can physically find them in a little pieces as well.
It all depends on your taste bud, but I prefer mine to have the orange-choc-mocha frosting. Hmm.. yummy..!
I have decorated them futher with chocolate sprinkles... just wanted to make them prettier ..!

Well, the cupcakes are almost gone now. I had brought about 20pcs to the office .... thanks to those that helped me get rid of them..! gave some to my next door neighbour... the rest were eaten by the family.

Am still trying to improve the recipe, and create a better frosting also.
There's always room for improvement, you know.
I have yet to perfect my baking...

Next up.... a carrot cake.... I think!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Real Cupcake In My Life

I needed some eye candies to soothe this weary heart. This entry is a tribute to my 'cupcake', who make me crave for more sweets, gumpdrops, lollipops and candy floss all the time.... Fresh from 'Oven' ...

...you are my Pumpkin...

... Sugar Plum....

... Sweetie Pie...

...you are the Apple of my Eye...

...my Candy Floss....
(I still remember she was a bit sleepy when this photo was taken...hence.. that 'moyok' look..!)

...my Honey Bunch..
(how can I forget... she just love singing while taking shower at Grandma's house...)
Muuuaaah.... I Love You Too...

Old Folks Home or Beheaded.. your choice Mummy..
(@ the London Dungeon, UK..)

... in Germany...
(grrrrr..... cold.....)

... with one of her South African sports colleagues

@ Disneyland, Hong Kong..

... you know that I Love You...
and I want you to know that I'll always be right there for you...


Friday, March 12, 2010

206-days to PMR ...

SPM results were out yesterday... lots of boo-hoo.. here and there.. regardless whether one scores or not..

To my very talented baby brother who is a Physics private tutor-cum-lecturer-cum-Loving Uncle to all his nieces and nephews-cum 'Kaki Pancing'-cum-Model.... and the list goes on and on..... check his blog: http://www.eqbalzack.blogspot.com .... all I can say.. 'WELL DONE'.
Am sure all your students yang score A++ in Physics are very proud of you.

Oh yes.... the 1st mid-term School holiday starts today, for a week.
Yang nak sit for PMR tu, just a 'gentle reminder' that the countdown to PMR is.... 206-days ONLY...
If you pay attention in class, no worries, enjoy the holiday.
If you don't pay attention in class... also don't worry... that's your problem..:P !!
These cuppies I made specialy for all the Brilliant, Cazy & Nerdy boys/girls in my daughter's class (3-J).
A little something before you guys go off for your holiday.

Make sure you kids come back to school in one piece..!
Auny loves you all... muuaaah..!

The REBELs Spirit... Way to go Girl...!

Are you proud to be a REBEL? So are we...!
Hey., who are the 'we' here..?

Lai Hong dear, don't get caught wearing any apparel from another school/team or you may get stopped by the 'Pride Patrol'..!
...you R-E-B-E-L-ious Girl..!
Ok, Aunty loves you too...
and ... thanks for the order.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

I must admit I am a fan of choclate and would like to share the chocolate cupcake recipe with you. This Chocolate Cupcake Recipe is a great chocolate fix (Credits to "Joy of Baking"). It works well and result in a good flat topped cake that is fantastic for decorating. This Chocolate cupcake recipe is easy to prepare and quick to make .. and quick to dissapear too..!

To my friend Lynn, who has been asking me for the recipe... go ahead.. give it a try...

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
(Makes: 16 cupcakes)
1/2 cup (50 gms)- Cocoa Powder
1 cup (240 ml)- Boiling Hot Water
1 1/3 cup (175 gms0 - All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (113 gms) - Unsalted Butter - room temperature
1 cup (200 gms) - Castor Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tspn - Vanilla Extract
2 tspn - Baking powder
1/2 tspn - Salt

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Lightly butter, or line 16 muffins cups with paper liners (paper cups).
In a small bowl, stir until smooth the boiling hot water and cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add vanilla. . Add flour mixture and beat only until incorporatedThen add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter and bake about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springly to touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once completely cooled, frost with chocolate icing/frosting.

Chocolate Frosting/Icing:
4 oz (120gm) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (usually I use Vochelle cooking chocolate)
2/3 cup (150 gm) unsalted butter - room temperature
1 1/3 cups (160 gm) - Icing sugar (sifted)
1 1/2 tspn - Vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate, using double boiler (a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperture.

Using electric or hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add vanila. Add melted chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting/icing is smooth and glossy.
Use 1M open star tip noozle to make lovely swirls.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Do I look FAT to you...???

Today's topic got nothing to do with cupcakes, or cakes, whatsoever...
One fine morning...the staff's DOB, weight & height were taken down by my VP.. wondering why and for what-on-earth it is for..? Increment and bonus doesn't need these kind of details.

Then... hey... the VP took out from under his table, this strange looking gadget called the "Body Fat Analyzer Scale" and everyone started to laugh..! You must be joking Boss..!
A "payback" time or something...?, or just because you were upset with your 'test results'?
OK.... lets see what the instructions say...

Body Mass Index (BMI) = weight(kg)/heigh(cm). Ideal BMI weight is 22.
Underweight: >18.8
Normal: >18.8, <25
Overweight: >25, <30
Obese/FAT: .30

Body Fat (BF %) for Male
Very High: >25%
High: >20%, <25%
Normal: >10%, <20%
Low: <10%

Body Fat (BF%) for Female
Very High: >35%
High: >30%, <35%
Normal: >20%, <30%
Low: <20%

Visceral Fat (VF) - Fat found in abdoment and surrounding vital organs. Too much can lad to conditions as high colesterol, heart disease and Type-2 Diabetes.
Level of Classification:
1-9% = 0 (Normal)
10-14% = + (High)
15-30% = ++ (Very High)

Body Age (BA) - BA is based on your resting metabolism. BA is calculated by using your weight and BF% to produce a guide to judge whether your BA is above or below the everage of your actual age. (Hmm..... very interesting.....)

OK, now the fun part begins ... lets calculate MY BODY FAT....

Actual age: 48 years old
Weight: 65.9 kg
Heigh: 166 cm
BMI: 23.9% (thank God.. am still at the Normal scale..!)
Body Fat: 36.5% (Yiikes...!)
Visceral Fat: 6% (phew.... Normal)
Body Age: .... of a 54 years old woman. (What..! now way man..that can't be true!)

You must be kidding me...!... and Boss... something is definitely wrong with that scale of yours...!

Hey... Do I look fat to you...??? Seriously...?? Damn...!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What friends are for....

Friends are there for those special moments and this is exactly that..!
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to you..
Happy Birthday to Naaadiiaaaaa...
Happy Birthday to you....
After the School Sports Meet in the morning, the 'gang' celebrated the birthday party @ Pappa Rich, .. All sweaty...

Orange and chocolate are one of the great flavour pairings in the world of baking. A hint of orange in a chocolate cuppy topped with creamy vanila/orange frosting. Soft and fluffy...
....watch them dig in..!
Nadia, Edward Cullen was not able to attend your party..... so..... he sent his edible icing photo for you to admire... and bite into..!
I hope you had a great day with your friends..