Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hooray for UIA graduates of 2010...!

Congratulations to all the graduates of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Gombak
As graduation season is approaching I am gratefully to bake these special cupcakes.
If you are thinking of a cute present for your love ones, friends, etc... cupcakes might be a good choice for those who love sweets.
Trust me on this, I've searched the web for unique graduation cupcakes and these stand out of the crowd.

(thanks Sabariah for the order)

And this one... specially baked for my brother's close friend, EdY

Note: Above photo courtesy from my brother, Eqbal

I was in a rush 'tak sempat nak snap pic'...! Gambar ni pun my brother snapped masa dalam Auditorium Utama UIA...!

& Wishing you all the best in the future!

You've earned it, now have a cupcake with me won't you?

What do Ripe Bananas means its time for...?

Make Banana Bread...!
Seems obvious...?

..spotty bananas gives you life....

I sometimes buy bananas just to have an excuse to make banana bread.

I had spotty bananas in my fridge that I was going to have to chuck any minute.

I had a fabulous old recipe from my Mom. Lets see..... now where did I chuck that recipe...? I am sure it must be somewhere lying in the pile of my "must try" recipes...

I had one and a half hours until I had to get the dinner started.

So..., I baked.

And... I tweaked up Mom's recipe - adding walnuts and spices - sorry Mak

And... the results were good.

Mom's Banana Bread Recipe

1/2 cup Butter - melted
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
3 Super-Ripe Banana - mashed (makes about 2 cups)
1 tspn Vanilla
1 tspn Baking Soda
1 tspn Bicarbonate Soda
1 1/2 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Fresh Milk
1 tspn Cinnamon
1/2 tspn Nutmeg
1 cup Walnuts - roasted and chopped
(if you want, you can also throw in some chocolate chips - up to you)

Preheat the oven to 250 and grease loaf pan.
Cream butter and sugar until the whole thing looks kind of creamy.
Add the egg one at a time then add vanila. Using spatula or wooden spoon add in mashed bananas andfresh milk and stir to combine.
Now, combine all the dry ingredients - add a little at a time to the mixture.
When this gloop looks fully mixed, stir in the walnuts, and chocolate chips (if you are using it)
Or, you could skip right ahead to the next step - its your bread, do what you want..!
Pour the mix into the pre-prepared loaf pan and 'shove' this into the oven.
About 45 mins, check the loaf.
If a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean - its done.
If it's wet and sticky, keep going another 10-15 mins.
Let the bread cool in the pan about 30 mins, then let it cool on a rack...

...or cut into it right away...! I'll leave that part up to you...!
as I said, its your bread, do what you want.. :P


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Olive Cookies

I dont remember exactly when the clipping of these little treats ended up in my recipe files. I do feel as if it has been there for the better part of a decade (OMG...!). The title of the page reads "Olive Cookies', and was printed on a scrap of paper that often floats to the top of my "must try" pile. Unfortunately, it would then filter back down again, gradually buried under new strips of newsprint and torn-out magazine pages (typical of me..). Up and down pile it would float, until now...

I took the opportunity to bake a batch last night, right after finishing baking the 2nd batch of the Peanut-Butter-Choc-Chips cookies that the 'Cookie Monster' demanded (LoL).

These Olive cookies are charming, snappy, salty-sweet olive-flecked deliciousness and quirky and yet sophisticated - something like in-between cracker and cookie.

I am going to be honest, I think this recipe will devide you into two camps. Many of you will love these salty, sweet treats, and some of you who won't like them a bit. So before you dive in here, and if you're not on the more adventurous side of the fence when it comes to food - you might give them a pass.

Sharing the recipe:

Olive Cookies
100 gm - Butter - room temperature
3/4 cup - Icing sugar - sifted
1 1/2 cups - All Purpose Flour
1 cup - cured Olives - pitted and chopped
(I don't have black olives in stock, so I used the green ones)
1 tbspn - Extra Virgin Oil
2 tspn - Salt

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then drizzle with olive oil - stir until combined.
Use spatula to stir in the flour just until the dough is smooth.
Add olives and stir until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. You will end up with a sticky dough. Spoon onto baking sheet and press with fork.
Bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown for about 15 mins.

Makes a few dozens tiny cookies.


Cookie Monster @ home..!

Yesterday, I made the 5-ingredients Peanut-Butter-Choc-Chips cookies, hoping that when I come back from work I can sit down and enjoy them while watching movie...
...and guess what.. the cookie jar was empty..!
This 'Cookie Monster' at home sure have an enormous appetite for cookies..!
And again, last night, the 'Cookie Monster' demanded for more cookies...!
"Me want cookie...!"
"Me eat cookie...!"

...(the improvised batch with nuts and extra choc-chips...!)

Since I am making a new batch, so why not - might as well improvised and tweak this recipe a bit... from 5-ingredients to 7-ingredients. Let see what the 'Cookie Monster' has to say.

Hmm... maybe I should cut down on the brown sugar as well... don't want to get the household all 'sugar rushed' which end of the day drives me crazy..!

Original recipe:
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 cup Light brown sugar (I reduced to 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup Choc-Chips (a little extra won't do you any harm..!)
1/2 tspn Bicarbonate Soda
1 large egg

The improvised recipe... ADD...
1/2 cup each - Almond & Walnut (roasted and crushed)
3 tbspns All Purpose Flour

Pre-heat oven 350 deg. Mix all until well blended, except flour, choc-chips and nuts.
Once incorporated, add flour, then add choc-chips & nuts.
Spoon on baking sheet and bake for 15 mins.

I still can't believe that a cookie is capable of spoiling anything.
Cookies enhance.
Cookies make life better!
“C” is for cookie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

5-ingredients: Peanut Butter Choc-Chips Cookies

Last night, for some reasons when making these cookies, I decided to try and make them healthy. Seriously, what was I thinking...
Me and less sugar just don't mix..!

I have no idea what came over me but heres hoping it never happens again.

I literally 'throw' these ingredients together, in a mixing bowl, in under 5 minutes. These are practically like drinking a protein shake since they contain peanut butter but don't have any flour and sugar in them... ;)

I'm big on texture, these were perfectly chewy and melt in my mouth.
I love quick treats like this that you can throw together in a jiffy.

Sharing the recipe:

5 Ingredients Peanut Butter Choc-Chips Cookies
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 tspn Bicarbonate Soda

Pre-heat oven 350 degress.
Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips.
When blend, mix in the chocolate chips.
Using your fingers, form 1 1/2 in balls (dough will be very wet and sticky), and place onto an un-greased baking sheet.

You dont want to make them too big because they DO spread.... me, they spread..!

Bake for 9 mins and let cookies sit on the baking sheet/tray for about 30 secs to 1 minute before letting cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 2 dozens cookies.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Girl Loves Me...

A brief phone call from the young lady...

My Daughter: I love you Mummy...

Me: I love you too girl.

My Daughter: I love you more.

Me: I love you forever.

My Daughter: Yeah? ...Well I love you for 15 years 8 mths and 11 days.. and that's a lot lot lot.

Hmmm... I guess that means she thinks she wins.
But I know I'm the winner really...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hmm...looks like this week is a Red Velvet's week...

Another repeat order from one of my customers.

I really like how they look, with their lovely swirls of fluffy white frosting against the garishly red cupcakes.

Thanks Rina for the order.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

A Red Velvet Cake is very dramatic looking with its bright red color that is offset by a creamy white frosting.

I usually make Red Velvet cakes or cupcakes when I feel good. I don't need them to make me feel good. Red Velvet cake is there to make you think, how good life is, because you can enjoy a velvety treat.

Does that make any sense?
Do I sound high? Maybe I still am... Velvety high...

If we look beyond the striking appearance of this Red Velvet Cake, we will find that it has a mild chocolate flavor with a moist and tender crumb. The mild chocolate flavor comes from adding a small amount of cocoa powder to the batter and buttermilk gives it a moist and tender crumb.

I tried a couple times to make the Red Velvet Cake red, but unfortunately the red food colouring I used does not do its job good enough, so they always turn brown. Surprisingly, this one turns out perfect...!
Finally, the frosting, which is really what the cake is all about. The type of frosting used on a Red Velvet Cake can vary. The classic frosting for a Red Velvet Cake is cream cheese. But this cream cheese frosting is a little different, it contains heavy cream so you end up with a sweet yet tangy frosting, that is soft and creamy.

Thanks Syafinaz for the order.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Suara Takbir...

A deep resonant of Hari Raya songs often amplifies the Raya mood longed for this beautiful occasion. This is the occasion where most of us are captured in our pensive mode rather than a cheery one. I'm not exactly certain to how this emotion came about for the majority of us but it persists to stay come each Raya. Even our takbir carries this tone, unlike some I heard from other countries, they belt their takbir in a victorious manner. For me, it's that 'sayu' feeling of longing to go back, not just home but back to the days when we were kids.

(Buttercream Moist Chocolate Cake)
Air condition car was a luxury in those days. Travelling with the screen down was the way to go. We loved the wind in our hair, well not all of us though. Sitting with one brother who was adamant on saving his hair from the vicious wind and also from the embarassment of unruly hair upon arrival, alwas left us perspiring more that we should... *LoL*. He kept the window on his side with a one-and-a-half inch opening and that was after much argument and tossing and turning. If he had it his way, he wanted it shut.! He wanted all windows shut, let rain or shine or fart or screams or shouts. We went berserk everytime we had him travelling with us in one car. But we survived the journey with extra body odour to boot.
(Carrot & Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosing)

I miss the times of packing the little that we had and drove back to Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan, where my late grandmother stayed. Squeezing the seven of us at the back seat (no.. wait.... its five, the twins were on my mom's lap at the front) with three squirming brothers whose idea of pleasure was to see their sisters (me and my younger sister) wail with unrestful emotions was an adventure in themselves. The journey would commence with us fighting to have the seat next to the window. There were only two of those and there were five of us, at the back seat. It even started earlier, the night before, with us girls often 'choop-choop'-ing the seats first but to our brothers, our words did not match with their might. And needless to say, we lost to them aaallll the time..! Hate you guys..!
(Vanilla Cupcakes topped with Chocolate-Vanilla Buttercream)

(Vanilla cupcakes topped with Chocolate-Citrus Buttercream)

(Chocolate Moist Cupcakes topped with Vanilla Buttercream)

(Carrot & Walnut cupcakes topped with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Ahhh.. I could just rant about the hey days folks, but I still have house to clean, cakes to bake and deliver and that 'sayu' mood to recapture. I have exactly the song to make me wobbly, shaky and tottery and you are listening to it right now....

Many thanks again.. Qarl, Ameer, Rina, V-Violet and Aminah.....
and again... for those who ordered..
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Raya of many Selamats...

The last 10 days of Ramadhan are the best time to optimize and to step-up your 'amal ibadat'. But it is also the peak of all your cookie and cake projects. Orders usually come pouring in during this time and everything seems to move in a heightened speed. My kitchen has been puffing up smoke from its little oven, and it scares me sometimes to think that my dearest baking apparatus might decide not to slave itself anymore for this one month due to constant overuse.

I have yet to make ready preparations for Raya at my house. Cookie jars are still not visible on the dining table, perhaps there are not may cookies left to fill the decorative airtight containers. Nothing of raya could be seen or felt yet and I will tell you why in time to come. The only raya feeling that lingered was the fact that I prepared raya cookies and raya cakes and cupcakes for friends and customers everyday till the very end. I baked the night before. Cakes and cookies disappeared in no time at all, how I wished I could have baked more to cater to those who did'nt get to grab some.
So here I would like to extend my gratitude to those who have made their purchases of my wares. Thank you... thank you.. so much.
I would like to leave you with my other Selamat wishes this raya, wishes to be safe and stay safe.
Selamat memandu pulang...
Selamat bergembira...
Selamat berhari raya...
Selamat memanjangkan silaturrahim...
Selamat kembali bertugas...
Its alarming to learn the rate of accidents on the road, and I hope everyone would be extra alert and cautious whilst driving. Have a safe journey home folks...! I wish only the best of Aidil Fitri for you, and may you reach your destinations safe and sound to the warmth of your family's embrace.
Be safe on the road, enjoy indulging in the delicious delicacies you only get to savour during this festive season and rejoice with friends and family gathering to celebrate Aidilfitri with you.
Take care, take lots of pictures and take to heart the beautiful experience of "Balik Kampung".
Salam Aidil Fitri dan Maaf Zahir & Batin...
from "My Little Cupcakes"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

So Naughty... So Nice....

Red Velvet has always been a mystery to me.
As a child, to me, 'a cake' always came in four flavors- White, Yellow, Chocolate, and Marble. Today it seems every time I turn around there is a new, hot cake flavor.
Red Velvet
is so easy to bake and yet so 'fashionable'......and it has gained new found popularity with my customers eversince it has been posted onto my blog. Given this recipe uses red food colouring there is an inherent danger that your kitchen will look like a blood bath has occurred in it. This adds a little frisson to the whole baking experience....!
Overall the recipe was relatively simple and the result was wonderful. The flavor is definitely not white cake nor is it a chocolate. Instead it had a almost sweet tanginess to it with a hint of cocoa…very appealing.

...topped with a dollop of cream cheese frosting, they make a wonderful gift for someone you love.

Thanks Major H...,
...who rang me all the way from Singapore for these cuppies to surprise his 'otherhalf'.

Note: If you haven't had it before Red Velvet is like yellow cake but with a little kiss on the cheek of chocolate. Deliciously festive, moist, flavourful and maybe a hint of playful tackiness.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Beraya bersama Upin & Ipin..

"Betul...betul...betul" we always hear the kids say.

These words have been made famous by Upin & Ipin, the five-year-old twin of the animation series of the same name. I think what makes Upin & Ipin popular is their characters that everyone can relate to and have close to their hearts as a reminder of their childhood.

Having said that, this repeat customer of mine requested "Upin & Ipin" themed cupcakes to please her nieces & nephews.

Chocolate Moist cupcakes. Thank you Rina for yet another order.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A House Shaped Cake

This is my 3rd novelty cake.
I was asked to do a cake by one of my customers whose sister & family are coming back from Jeddah to celebrate the coming Hari Raya.
It took me a good few days to decide what to do but I thought a house shaped cake will please her.

This chocolate moist cake was made from scratch. I used two 9"x 9" cake pans then I cut 2 triangle shapes for the roof. I used chocolate buttercream frosting for the filling and for the house and added melted chocolate for the trimmings.

There you have... a House Shaped cake..

Thanks Rina for the order...
... and Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The 400 cupcakes...!

Yes... that is 400 cuppies...!
Thanks Major Sutan for the orders.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Black... the all time favourite...

Last year our theme was Green..
This year's Raya... hmmm...

why not..?
- the all time favourite..

Black to the funeral...
Black while in mourning ...
but do you not also realize that there are also...
Black cocktail dress...
Black evening dress...
Black tuxedo to the point they call it the "Penguin Suit".
Heck! Even the priests and the nuns wear black...!
So, why is it then, when it comes to Black Jubah or Abaya, they call it oppressed, colourless, dull, boring, etc..
Like it or not, black has always been the universal colour - Colour of elegance.
Mix that with a little bit of bling-bling, pink or gold accessories you will sure look stunning like 'Mak Datin'..!
Having said that...I may go for black Baju Kurung or Jubah for this Raya..
Question is....
am very busy in my kitchen -baking...when to go shopping..?