Category Archives: Cupcakes

Mr Breakfast’s Banana Bread

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This recipe is one that is close to my heart, simply because it is one of my firsts. If I have not tried out this recipe, I would not have continued baking with the (lazy) zeal that I have. I would have, most probably, given up. You see, this is one of those recipes that works! You do not have to keep making it to get a hang of it, it is foolproof and it will be successful at the very first attempt. I am, seriously, honest! This recipe has since been shared with my mom, mom in law, close friends, whoever who wants it.

As for why it is called bread and not cake, the term have fooled me for a bit, and I am not alone too. A quick Google search will tell you the same. Personally, this is a cake to me, especially since it employs the creaming method to make it. However, I have continued with the term “bread” for the title out of respect of its source. Alright, let’s get on with it. Here is to a very yummy, easy, foolproof, moist banana bread (cake) found from Mr Breakfast

Ingredients

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cups only)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 medium bananas
8 Tablespoons/113g butter or margarine (I always prefer butter, weight in g is for butter)
1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions

Cream sugar and butter, mash the bananas and add to the mixture.

Beat and add the eggs. Slowly add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Pour into a loaf pan. (In this attempt, I had made mini cupcakes out of them. You can put them in any form you fancy, really. However, do note cooking time will differ. Th smaller it is, the faster it bakes. The mini cupcakes took around 15 minutes only. To check, poke a toothpick or skewer into centre of cake and pull it out. If the toothpick/skewer coms out clean, the cake is done.)

Bake at 350 degrees F/177 degrees C for 35 to 45 minutes.

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I have been baking this for x times now. Not just because it is a good way to use up extra bananas but also due to the fact that I have a banana cake addict for a husband. I hope this works for you and fills your tummy with happiness as it does for my family and everyone else who tasted it.

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Laura Vitale’s Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

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One day, while trying to find something to watch on YouTube, I came across Laura Vitale’s cooking channel. The first things that caught my eyes were the words “Summer Desserts” and Laura’s thumbs up gesture. And of course, the bright blue background. I had immediately thought to myself, “I should watch this because it is perpetual summer here!” So, I clicked into that. Laura’s directions was clear and concise and with a cooking video where you can pause and replay any moment you want, I find it extremely helpful.

Was I inspired to make those lemon blueberry cupcakes after watching it? Very much so! However, as with nearly every dessert recipe, I am very careful with the amount of sugar used. I know it is important to have sugar in the batter (Chemistry!) but we have a lower threshold for sweet goods. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy sweet things, it is just we prefer the sugar amounts to be less. And by we, I mean, my family and friends 🙂 So, here is Laura Vitale’s Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes recipe. It makes 12.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar (She used 1 cup)
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (She used whole milk, I only have low-fat)
2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
½ tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh blueberries
Frosting
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp lemon zest
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C, line a 12-piece cupcake tin with liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In another small bowl, add in the blueberries and ¼ cup of the dry ingredients, mix them around with a spoon so that the blueberries are coated in the flour mixture, set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand held whisk, cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and incorporate well.

Add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until it’s well incorporated.

Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk to the wet and mix them in to combine but make sure you don’t over mix. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and milk and mix to incorporate.

Using a spatula, fold in the blueberry and flour mixture making sure not to break them up too much.

Using a large ice cream scoop, divide your batter evenly in lined muffin tin. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl using a handheld whisk, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until you have a creamy frosting.

Pipe or spoon onto each cupcake.

Note: I had piped them and would make double batch of the frosting as there wasn’t enough frosting to go around all the cupcakes.

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This here is a “healthy version”, with a little bit of icing to tempt your senses but not enough to make you feel guilty!

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Soenke and I had a blast eating them. It was really yummy and the cream cheese frosting is a saver as a go-to lemon cream cheese frosting. Make some today!

Martha Stewart’s Orange Poppy Seed Cupcakes

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Preparing for our trip back to Ipoh, Malaysia for Chinese New Year, it dawned on me that I could bake at my parents’ house when we are not out visiting relatives or collecting angpows (red envelopes containing cash, given out to children or anyone younger than yourself as a blessing) for baby Mika.

Idea up my sleeve, I called up my mom to ask for her consent. Is that necessary? Of course! For sure you need permission to enter someone else’s arena to mess it up. To my mom, the kitchen is her equivalent to a guy’s den. She agreed to help me get some poppy seeds for my baking. Hooray! When I was living with my parents, I wouldn’t give poppy seeds a second of my time but now, it is the piece de resistance among all baking ingredients. Reason? It is banned in Singapore!

No, it is true. It is banned due to the morphine content found in the seeds. While it is not enough to make you high, you will be tested positive in a drug test. Unfortunately, poppy seeds are an ingredient called for in many citrus flavoured baked goods.

Thus, armed with my mom’s consent and help plus a small bag of poppy seeds, we are good to go.

Here is the adapted recipe which I found on the Internet from Martha Stewart’s page.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar (We used 1 1/4 cups instead. 1cup for the batter, 1/4cup for the orange juice mixture)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line 20 cups of two 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Stir together milk and 1/4 cup orange juice.

Beat butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and the orange zest with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in poppy seeds.

Divide batter among muffin tins (filling each cup two-thirds full). Bake until golden around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Let stand until ready to use. (Note: We boiled it a bit longer until it reduced slightly to the consistency of a thin jam)

Brush warm cupcakes with half the orange juice mixture. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes.

Brush cupcakes again with remaining orange juice mixture, and let cool completely.
(Note: In the original recipe, it had called for buttercream frosting. However, for us, a coating of orange glaze was more than enough.)

While I do not have any pictures to share as they were all gobbled up soon after, I can describe them to you per my memory. The results were the most light and fluffy cupcakes. It was almost milky. They looked rather dainty in their light golden hue with little black dots scattered loosely around. The orange glaze coating had left them glistening in full golden glory.

As you bite into it, your teeth will crunch into the poppy seeds ever so lightly. The cupcake had an orangy yet milky flavour. The texture was soft and light. It was such a delight with every mouthful that one cupcake was not enough…