TWD: Chocolate-Chocolate Cupakes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today's recipe was chosen by Clara from I*heart*Food4Thought.
Thank you Clara!

You can find the recipe and her beautiful execution here:
The Cupcake Horror Picture Show

My adjustments:
Many people said these came out dry, so I took the suggestions of some members and made the following adjustments:

* Added about a tablespoon of vegetable oil with the melted chocolate
* Used half buttermilk and half plain yoghurt

I made a double batch and got about 3 dozen cupcakes (I underfilled some). They were tasty and moist, but the chocolate taste in the cupcakes was not "deep" or "intense" enough in my opinion.

I would've loved to fill these, but I plainly didn't have the time or energy do so.

You can check out what other great TWD members did this week here.

The Cake Slice: Cappuccino Chiffon Cake (better late than never)

Friday, October 24, 2008

This was the first selection for The Cake Slice Bakers.
The chosen cake was the Cappuccino Chiffon Cake from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes.
"Life" got in the way and I didn't get the chance to complete the selection until yesterday.

I made the cake for a dinner party I was invited to. It didn't disappoint. It was a great tasting cake, certainly a keeper for me.

My only substitution was for the rum: I used a packet of caramel sauce (one that comes with the Creme Caramel box mixes sold here) thinned with pineapple juice and flavored with some vanilla and almond essence.

Can't wait for the next cake!

Be sure to check out the The Cake Slice Bakers to see what everyone else did!

TWD: Lenox Almond Biscotti

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today's TWD recipe was chosen by Gretchen of Canela & Comino who picked the Lenox Almond Biscotti. It was a lovely recipe with almost endless possible variety. Thank you Gretchen for the great pick!

I made two variations:

  1. Lemon Almond Biscotti:
    I used Dorie's recipe, rubbing in the zest of two lemons into the sugar before creaming. I substituted semolina for the cornmeal as it is not available here (I was told polenta is available but quite expensive). I also added one teaspoon vanilla essence in place of one teaspoon of almond essence (I was going to leave that out completely but eventually added only the half teaspoon) While I was shaping the logs my mom was telling me "You should add some flour. The dough needs extra flour" but I told her "they" said it would be wet so I left it as it was. It spread considerably in the oven. The taste was ok but not "wow". My mom thought it was too lemony :)

  2. Cinnamon "Caramel" Biscotti

  3. I had to ask everyone to please not finish these off before I took pics. I've always made this Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti (sans hazelnuts) from the AllRecipes website. It's so much a favorite recipe I actually make it in double batches. So I had to make cinnamon biscotti. I was trying to come up with a cinnamon combo when a coworker suggested "sugar" or "caramel" goes well with cinnamon. Sugar? It already has sugar. Caramel? At this point it seemed suitable to use brown sugar in place of the white. And that is exactly what I did, cup for cup. I also added 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder to the dry ingredients. For the cornmeal, I just substituted half a cup whole wheat flour. Plus I added about a quarter of a cup flour as my mother's suggestion. These did not spread as much in the oven and were much better accepted. I literally had to hide them to stop them from being eaten.

I will certainly try this recipe again with other combinations. Don't forget to check out the TWD Blogroll to see what everyone else made this week. I'm going there just now to check out the great combination everyone has come up with!

And many thanks go to my sister Tem, who helped with the food styling :)

Happy Baking!

TWD: Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today's TWD challenge was kindly hosted by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy , who chose the Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake.

It was quick and easy to make.


The only variations I made was to use semisweet chocolate in place of bittersweet and using roasted hazelnuts instead of peanuts in the sauce (do I have to tell you that I "cheated" and used some leftover caramel sauce - similar but not identical to Dorie's- that was sitting in the fridge for the last couple of days?). And I used a 10 inch pan because that was what's available in the place I made this.

And I was extra careful to read, reread and check and recheck the oven temperature after the creme brulee accident! I told my sister about that incident and she said: "Well, you did get creme brulee!" (i.e burnt cream) lol

About the brownie cake, I had read people's comments about it and most said it was good but not spectacular, so I expected a bad cake. But it did turn out good. Very good :)

Be sure to check out the TWD blogroll to see how others did!

My first TWD Disaser: Black Crème Brûlée

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'd been dreaming of making this dessert for the last couple of weeks and I finally did get to it. It was going to be a cardamom-orange-saffron infused creme brulee. It was going to be perfect (lol). Too bad I somehow misread the oven temp as 200 celsius rather than 200 fahrenheit (90 celsius). And I was wondering how could it possibly not burn at that temperature while not being baked in a water bath! And I was quite surprised by the burning smell about 35 minutes into baking ... I was not going to even check on it until a quarter of an hour later if not for the smell.

You live and you learn.

I think I actually will try to make this again, someday.

Hello Kitty Cake... Day 2

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Well, I baked the cake, froze it then "carved" a hello kitty face shape. It was my first carving experience and I guess I should have let the cake defrost a bit (the knife almost breaking was my indication).

I made a white chocolate whipped ganache to cover the cake.

This is the final result:

Jaundiced Hello Kitty (or tanned hello kitty? You decide!)

The cake tasted very good (but a bit dry), but the icing was so-so. I blame the low-quality white chocolate I used which didn't even taste good to start with.

And with the cake scraps I made .... Cake Pops!
Too bad I forgot to take a photo. I crumbled the leftover cake and mixed it with the leftover icing. Tasted bland so I added a bit of caramel flavoring. Tasted like it needed hazelnuts (!) so I added some roasted ground hazelnuts. Yum!
They were first rolled, poked into the ends of small skewers then chilled.
Finally they were dipped in chocolate then served. They came out very "fudgey" but very tasty! I will certainly try making these again in other combinations!

Hello Kitty Cake... Day 1

My 3 year old niece, "Princess", asked me for a Hello Kitty cake (or as my 3-year-old nephew says: Hawwa Kitty- he's cute, I know!)

This adventure started off from here:
Coolest Hello Kitty Birthday Cake Photos and Tips

Getting inspiration from all those hello kitty cakes, I decided to make Hello Kitty like some did - "carved" oval shaped plus ears from a sheet cake. A HK face cake.

A trip to the grocery store ensued to look for stuff to use for HK eyes, nose, whiskers and bow. This is what I got, hoping somehow it'll do.

I had to sms my sister-in-law to ask what Princess's favorite cake flavor was. The answer was chocolate. Chocolate it is then! I've probably made tens of scratch chocolate cakes but I rarely remember making a scratch chocolate cake that tasted as good as or even better than cake mix cakes. I don't know why it's just chocolate. But I had a tub of sour cream in my fridge that'd go "sour" in a couple of days. And I'd love to find a good scratch chocolate recipe once and for all.

(As a side note: I have made many top-rated chocolate cakes from sites such as AllRecipes, and had the cake turn out tasting funny. Burnt. I don't know how to describe it. Could it be the Cocoa? I believe we only have Dutch-processed cocoa down here.)

So it was decided. I'd be baking the Devil's Food Cake from Martha's Baking Handbook. It has sour cream in it and it specifically states Dutch-processed cocoa. A perfect match for my needs. The recipe is available online on Martha's website here: Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache.

Blobs of batter waiting in the cocoa-dusted pan (the cocoa did not look as dark irl)

Nice and smooth(-ish), ready for the oven. Bakity-bake my lovely batter!

After a cooling period on the counter, into the freezer it went.

Of course, after the cake cooled on the counter I had to taste the cake , just to make sure the cake was edible before feeding it to those poor little kids. I'm their aunt, I have to suffer for them :p

Now what frosting should I pair this with? It must be white... and somehow appeal to this kid i.e. not tasting too "cheesy/shorteningy/buttery"... Simple whipped cream? Or "Dream Whip" (similar to Cool Whip but in powdered form)? How about White Chocolate Ganache? Will that work?

I need something tasty, white, thick enough to cover the brown cake and something on which I can add my "embellishments" <-- lol, that's my cardmaking, rubber stamping background coming through.

Part 2 Here