red-velvet

Valentine’s Day Special: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet is just the perfect cupcake for Valentine’s Day. It’s not to chocolatey and over powering, light enough for you to indulge yet sinful enough to make it a decadent V-day treat. Since V-day is this weekend, i thought i’d share my go to recipe here. This recipe is an adaptation from Georgetown cupcakes’ Cupcake Diaries. As usual i’ve edited the recipe to suit me; no food coloring and lesser sugar. Have a go at it this weekend. It just might be the best V-day gift you’ve ever given.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes
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Ingredients
  1. (The recipe says it makes about 24. But if you are using a ice cream scoop as a measure for dividing the batter you will be getting about 30 pieces)
  2. • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( not self raising)
  3. • 1 teaspoon salt
  4. • 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  6. • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  7. • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  8. • 4 tablespoons natural cocoa powder, sifted
  9. • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  10. • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  11. • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  12. For the frosting
  13. • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature ( not too runny)
  14. • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  15. • 500 grams cream cheese (2 Philly bars), cut into 8 pieces and chilled
  16. • pinch of salt
  17. • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( Madagascar is the best.)
Instructions
  1. For the cupcakes:1. Preheat oven to 180C and line muffins tins with paper liners.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Set aside.
  3. 3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar together and cream on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. 4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. 5. In a small bowl, whisk cocoa powder, and vanilla together until throughly combined and no lumps remain. Very slowly add to the mixer, and mix at low speed until well combined.
  6. 6. Add in one third of the flour mixture, mix until combined, then add in one third of the milk. Mix until combined and repeat adding in the flour then milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  7. 7. In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the vinegar. Mix well and add to the batter. Mix until just incorporated, about 10 seconds.
  8. 8. Scoop batter using an ice cream scoop into the muffin tin, filling them two-thirds full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours.
  9. For the frosting
  10. 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and confectioners sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  11. 2. Add in the cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, until well blended, about 30 seconds. You may need to scrape the bowl after every other addition. Add in the salt and vanilla extract. Whip the icing on high speed for about 1 minutes to make it light and fluffy.
  12. 3. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Notes
  1. You will notice that my Red Velvet cupcakes are not as red as commercial ones or even the original recipe. This is because i am against using food coloring in my baking and have chosen to exclude it. I feel that the 'Red' color my cupcakes have are good enough. Cos what matters is the flavour, right?
Adapted from The Cupcake Diaries
Adapted from The Cupcake Diaries
karendcruz.com http://www.karendcruz.com/

 

 

red-velvet

Valentine’s Day Special : Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Red Velvet is just the perfect cupcake for Valentine’s Day. It’s not to chocolatey and over powering, light enough for you to indulge yet sinful enough to make it a decadent V-day treat. Since V-day is this weekend, i thought i’d share my go to recipe here. This recipe is an adaptation from Georgetown cupcakes’ Cupcake Diaries. As usual i’ve edited the recipe to suit me; no food coloring and lesser sugar. Have a go at it this weekend. It just might be the best V-day gift you’ve ever given.


Ingredients
(The recipe says it makes about 24. But if you are using a ice cream scoop as a measure for dividing the batter you will be getting about 30 pieces)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( not self raising)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

For the cupcakes:1. Preheat oven to 180C and line muffins tins with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar together and cream on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. In a small bowl, whisk cocoa powder, and vanilla together until throughly combined and no lumps remain. Very slowly add to the mixer, and mix at low speed until well combined.
6. Add in one third of the flour mixture, mix until combined, then add in one third of the milk. Mix until combined and repeat adding in the flour then milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
7. In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the vinegar. Mix well and add to the batter. Mix until just incorporated, about 10 seconds.
8. Scoop batter  using an ice cream scoop into the muffin tin, filling them two-thirds full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours.

For the frosting

  • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature ( not too runny)
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 500 grams cream cheese (2 Philly bars),  cut into 8 pieces and chilled
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( Madagascar is the best.)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and confectioners sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add in the cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, until well blended, about 30 seconds. You may need to scrape the bowl after every other addition. Add in the salt and vanilla extract. Whip the icing on high speed for about 1 minutes to make it light and fluffy.
3. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.

Enjoy!

bsking

Finding Success in Baking

Some of us were lucky enough to bake and cook alongside a parent or another adult when we were younger. Some may have gained baking experience through home economic classes in school. Others may have had their first baking experiences as college students away from home, or newlyweds beginning their own households.
No matter what level of experience you have in baking, one of the best ways to become a better baker is to keep baking. You have probably heard the saying “practice makes perfect” used in reference to developing skills. This saying holds true for improving baking skills. The more you bake, the better you will be at baking.
The trial and error process will be a part of finding success in baking. Always experiment using different recipes and along the way, you will find recipes that you want to add to your personal recipe collection. Sometimes it may take years before you find the “perfect” chocolate chip cookie recipe or a recipe for pie crust that is “to die for.”
You might already have a collection of cookbooks at home. Maybe you have never used them. Take time to browse through your recipe books and make a note of recipes you would like to try. Public libraries offer a wide variety of cookbooks. You can even find recipes for sugar-free desserts or cultural dishes at the library.
Searching online is another easy way to find recipes. A common feature of some recipes online that can help beginning and advanced bakers is reviews. It can be helpful to see how users have rated certain recipes and sometimes user reviews include changes and improvements they made to the original posted recipes.
Sometimes finding the perfect recipe for something takes more than trying out different recipes. In some cases, you may have to take an existing recipe and tweak it until the end product becomes just what you were looking for. This is all part of the trial and error process. For some bakers, this is easier than trying out recipe after recipe. For others, this would be more difficult because baking is a science and there are reasons why certain ingredients are needed in a recipe in specific amounts.
No matter what, do not give up. Keep baking and keep experimenting with new recipes. Over time, your skills will develop and you will enjoy baking success.
Jershon Teigh enjoys articles on a variety of topics. Visit his latest website http://noveltycakepans.org for information on novelty cake pans and their use in creating unique and memorable wedding cakes.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jershon_Teigh
cooking

Accurate Measurement is Vital in Baking

Cooking is a vital survival skill one must have in this order of the day. That is why home science is taught to schools as one of the core subjects in secondary schools. Students learn to bake cakes and cook other dishes that can be done at home. They learn to take measurements like a table spoon full, or half a tea spoon, etc. There is also the measuring weight counter for cooking ingredients in baking. That is why accurate ingredients measurement is vital in baking so that you can have the perfect cake that is soft and spongy. You need to make sure that the baking powder used is not too much, otherwise the cake will be too puffed up and not too little, or else it will hardened and not rise at all.
The number of eggs used and egg white are also pertinent. One also need to measure accurately the wheat flour, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, white fine sugar, etc to bake that perfect cake. Don’t just depend on your memory for the measurements as you might forget the figures and it makes good sense to keep constantly refer to the recipe book for instructions.
Professional Bakers Use Precise Measurements
The mouthful of cakes that you sample in high-end hotels are in-house baked by the chefs and professional bakers. They are trained from cooking schools with at least 2 years of experience in making cakes, puffs, tarts, cookies, meringue and other tea time desserts. These people are trained to use precise measurements in their baking for that flavorful cakes that they make. Even the oven temperature needs to be correct and the amount of time put inside the oven has to be right – otherwise you get burnt cakes if put for too long or uncook food if placed in the oven for too short a time.
Baking Is Not For Everyone?
Hence baking is not for everyone. You need to stand for a long time in the kitchen attending to the various ingredients and whipping up the flour while mixing it with the eggs and sugar at the same time. This requires experience to capture enough air for it to rise up properly without making big holes in the cake due to too much baking powder. To be a professional baker or hotel chef, you also need to have passion in cooking and baking. And it takes months if not years of practice before you can be gainfully employed in the top end hotels and eateries. And chefs are indispensable as we need to eat everyday.
Andrea writes for a kitchen gadgets site where you can browse a range of kitchen scales along with thousands of other essential kitchen items.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrea_Flint
802622_chocolates

The Wonders of Chocolate

Any man in love would give the apple of his eyes a box of chocolates. Yes it is true; chocolates can make any woman happy. Whenever depression strikes, chocolates can be very helpful. Kids simply cannot get their hands off chocolates and many parents experience that chocolate is very effective in making their children stop from crying. Previously, it was assumed that chocolates are bad for health and should be taken moderately. It was considered to be responsible for affecting dental health and causing obesity. However, recent studies prove otherwise.
It is scientifically proven that dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate to consume. This is because of its high cocoa content. Notice that dark chocolate has darker color compared to milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is lighter in color because of its milk content. Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content. Cocoa has certain ingredients that make them really beneficial to one’s health. It contains antioxidants that give protection to the body from free radicals that causes aging which can eventually lead to heart attack.
A large quantity of antioxidants can be found in cocoa just like almost any other plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. However, it is believed to contain 8 times more antioxidants than strawberries. Just imagine the amount of antioxidants you can get by eating a deliciously healthy bar of dark chocolate. Even just a small bar of this, your cardiovascular system will start running in a good condition.
The benefits of chocolates do not stop there. Chocolates also help reduce cholesterol in our body. It also increases the amount of endorphins in our brain. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy. That explains the reason why we always feel better whenever we finish a bar of chocolate.
Chocolates also contain serotonin which is one of the main ingredients found in anti-depressants. Chocolates can therefore bring a person up whenever he is down and lonely. So whenever you are feeling gloomy, feel free to sink your teeth into that rich bar of dark chocolate and feel the happiness right away.
If you like what i write about, check out my other sites like Acne Scar Removal and i also like to write about African Scar Removall
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nickolaus_Cabcabin

Battle of the Fats

Butter vs Margarine …
 








ok quick show of hands. How many of you here use Butter when baking? And how many use Margarine? Personally, I am on team Butter but i know a lot of people who prefer Margarine claiming the latter is more healthy.
Ok, let’s first take a look at what these 2 fats are.
Butter

what is it?

Butter is a dairy product, Most of the time it is made from cow’s milk but you can also use other mammals milk such as goats and sheep.
how is it made?

Butter is made by beating cream, the thickest, fattiest part of milk. As the cream is beaten, the fat globules begin to stick together, forcing the cream to form a solid mass of milkfat, also known as butter.
Margarine

what is it?
Margarine is vegetable fat that is processed into a spread as a substitute for butter. It is made from a combination of different types of vegetable oils.
how is it made?
The vegetable oil, which is runny, has to be converted into a solid fat to make margarine. This is done by warming the oil to about 60 degrees Celsius and then bubbling hydrogen through it. Nickel is used as a catalyst for this reaction to make it happen faster.
The hydrogen reacts chemically with the oil, changing all the carbon to carbon double bonds to single bonds. This process is called hydrogenation and it raises the melting point of the oil, so that it is a solid rather than a liquid at room temperature.

Excuses no more

Too busy
Too tired
I dont know how
Its cheaper to eat out
I’m lazy

these are frequent excuses given by people when asked why don’t they cook. Now jst think, wouldn’t it be great to be able to cook once a month and be stocked up for a whole month. And No, im not talking about boiling a big batch of soup.

The Frugal Mom’s Guide to Once a Month Cooking teaches you to prepare meals the whole family will enjoy. It’s for those of use who like to cook with simple ingredients we can buy at our local grocery store, or already have on hand in our pantry. It is for those of us who like trouble-free meals that are easy to make and taste delicious.

I think this is something i should get for a few friends of mine…

Dark-Chocolate-Truffle-1

Dark Chocolate Truffles

I was a a phase where chocolate was the only thing i wanted. But not just any normal chocolate would do, it had to be the deep dark bitter sweet kind, the kind which you can indulge in after a long hard day while watching your favourite tv series.

I had a taste of this at a event i attended and immediately knew i had to learn how to make them myself. Thank god for the Internet and for the Joy of Baking site which had just the perfect recipe.

The truffles were a little hard to make and got a bit messy. The key to not getting chocolate all over you is to use gloves or cling film to form the cold paste into balls. And make sure you do this in a cool area because as it gets harder to manage as it thaws.

 I had a couple of variations done, what you can see here are the almond coated ones. I also made some with the whole almond inside…yeah I really like nuts!

I just love the bitterness and creaminess of these truffles. If you are a dark chocolate fan… give this a try next weekend.