Chocolate Yoghurt Cupcakes

It’s quite amazing that you can use the same recipe, tweak it just a little and come up with something absolutely new. Yes folks, I’m talking about my chocolate yoghurt cake. This was the last of the four cupcakes I baked up for Eid al Adha last Sunday (I have already written about the other three in greater depth in my previous blogs).

No occasion or celebration is complete without some chocolatey goodness, don’t you agree? I’m a real chocolate lover, if you haven’t figured that out already and it’s difficult for me to ever get past a buffet dessert corner without sampling each and every one of their chocolate creations.

Which brings me back to my chocolate yoghurt cake. This cake, however, is suitable even for those people who don’t fancy chocolate that much (I wonder, do such really people exist?) because the flavor is subdued. That is due to the use of dark eating chocolate and minimal cocoa powder. If you prefer a stronger chocolate taste, feel free to increase the quantity of cocoa powder and reduce the quantity of self raising flour by the same amount. I opted for the milder flavour to cater to the taste of my guests.

The recipe as well as method for this cake is the same as the one for the almond cupcakes in my previous blog. The only difference is to include about a 100g of melted dark chocolate in the wet ingredients along with the butter, yoghurt, milk and teaspoon of vanilla essence. To the dry ingredients, add about 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder while eliminating the ground almond from it. Voila, that’s it, simple as anything. Just two bowls needed and some mixing required and you’ve got yourself some yummy goodness. All that’s left to do is round up a few close friends and enjoy, Bon Apetit!

Almond Cupcakes

One of the perennial favourites, I baked up a batch of these Almond cupcakes, among the four different types, for Eid-al Adha a couple of days ago. Almonds are use widely in baked goods, ranging from the delicate french macarons to crunchy almond cookies to buttery almond cakes. While I often bake almond loafs and cakes, I find that it’s best to make individual sized ones when it comes to serving for parties and dinners. Not only is it much easier and prettier to serve, it’s also much more convenient for guests to enjoy. In addition, the use of pretty cupcake cases eliminate the need for washing up of pans and the design/colour/motif on the cases can be picked to suit the theme of the party such that everything ties in perfectly.

These cupcakes were made using the mixing of wet ingredients to dry ones. By far, this is the simplest method of making cakes because all you require are two bowls. Absolutely no need for electric mixers or whatevernot gadgets.

Simply sift about 1.5 cups of self raising flour and mix it well with about 3/4 cups of sugar, 140g of ground almond and a teaspoon of baking powder. In another bowl, melt 140g of butter and add a cup of full-fat yoghurt as well as about half a cup of milk. Mix the mixture well. You may add half a teaspoon of almond extract. I prefer a mild almond flavour that is provided for by the addition of the ground almonds and a deep buttery smell so I often omit the extract. If you prefer a stronger almond flavour, by all means go ahead and add the almond extract, but don’t over do it since the extracts can be over-powering. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix till well combined. Do not over mix the batter because this might overwork the gluten in the flour and you will end up with a cake that has a tough crumb. Spoon the mixture into the patty tin lined with patty cases, sprinkle the top with thinly sliced whole almonds and bake for about 20 mins at 180deg Celsius or till golden brown on top.

 

 

 

Even if you have never baked before, you should still give this recipe a try, simply because it’s so simple and quick to mix up, and yet scrumptious till the very last bite!

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Today has been one of those days where I hardly have had time to catch my breath. Before I’m done with what I’m doing, it’s time for something else. The day began with baking a huge batch of cupcakes. Approximately 70 cupcakes in all. Given that my oven is not large by any standards, you can imagine how much time was spent there. Although I’m not complaining, because any work that involves cakes and baking is always a pleasure for me. Even if current logistical problems present some inconveniences.

It has not always been like that I assure you. My kitchen used to be equipped with a nice, large, built-in oven, one that many a baker would be envious of. Huge and numerous drawers and cabinets contained my never-ending supplies of baking and decorating tools. Alas, all that is no more and no more is my kitchen nor my home. No, I’ve not sold my home in an attempt to pay my gambling debts. It’s been broken down to make way for a bigger, better home and I can’t wait for it to be ready. Meanwhile I’ve to make do with the equipment I’m provided with. Nope, not complaining.

Anyway, so those 70 cupcakes were not for myself. They were actually commissioned by my niece as a treat for her friends and classmates on her upcoming birthday. My little madame was very specific on what she wanted. Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Buttermilk flavored Buttercream. The buttercream should be either in a shade of English rose Pink or a shade of Pink violet. All this from a yet-to-be 7 year old.

I decided to use pretty pink polka-dotted cupcake cases to show off the English rose pink buttercream. The chocolate chip cupcakes themselves were quite simple to mix up since the recipe holds up extremely well to multiplying the quantity. I increased the quantity by four times and it still turned out perfect. Even the resting period outside the oven, waiting for the batches of cupcakes to be baked, did not affect the quality. I used the vanilla cake recipe I’ve provided on this website and all I did different was to multiply the quantity by four times and stir in about 2 cups of chocolate chips right at the end. If you want to bake a normal quantity, use the recipe as it is and stir in about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips at the end.

The buttermilk flavored buttercream was not only super delicious, but it was also super easy to mix up. All you need to do is beat a cup of butter (about 225g) for a minute and then add 3cups of pure icing sugar to the mix and beat for about 2 to 3 minutes at low speed. Add in a teaspoon of buttermilk flavoring and beat for a few seconds. The buttercream is now ready to use. At this point you can divide the buttercream and mix in different colouring as desired. I used 1.5 times the quantity to frost all my cupcakes.

A simple swirl of buttercream on the cupcake looks not only sophisticated but also very professional. Do read my page on piping techniques for guidance on creating the swirl.

With that, I wish you best of luck and my little niece, a very Happy Birthday in advance!

Banana Cupcakes

In my home, there is a clear, distinct division: Those who like bananas and those who will have absolutely nothing to do with the fruit. It’s extremely surprising, then, that everyone wants  their share whenever I bake up these banana cupcakes. It’s a feat, really, because these very people who wax lyrical about these little goodies are the very same people who would not touch a fresh banana. I have no idea, maybe the final baked taste of the bananas in the cakes is a lot more palatable to them. Needless to say, those who already like the fruit can’t wait for these to come out of the oven so that they can get their hands on them.

The recipe for these banana cupcakes uses the basic vanilla cake recipe that I have provided on this website as a base. To mix up a batch of these, you will need about 3 to 4 medium sized bananas that are well mashed. Its best to use bananas that are over-ripe. When they reach that state of ripeness where you don’t feel like eating them anymore because they are too soft, don’t throw them away: It’s the perfect time to use them in your baking. The riper the fruit is, the richer and stronger the flavour of the baked goods will be. You will also need half a cup of buttermilk, which basically replaces the milk required for in the vanilla cake recipe. The use of buttermilk gives a more intense and creamy flavour to the final product.

It’s a simple enough recipe. Follow the steps of the vanilla cake till step 4. Then, add in the mashed bananas and beat the mixture well, till well combined. Add a teaspoon of baking powder to the sifted flour before folding it in alternately with the buttermilk (instead of milk as required in the vanilla cake recipe) into the banana and butter mixture. Follow the rest of the steps as per normal.

This recip provides a great way of getting some fruit into your child’s diet plus you feel less guilty eating it because of the fruit content in it.

Orange-Chocolate Chip Cake

“What can be better than a chocolate chip cake?,” I wondered out aloud and the answer that came at me was fast but firm. Z, without batting an eyelid, stated that it would have to be an orange flavoured choc chip cake. Well, I’ve always been one of those people who picks out the orange flavoured chocolate first from the assorted chocolates packets so the moment she suggested it, I knew that it was going to hit the right notes. Indeed I had no doubts that the addition of orange would heighten it’s flavor to a totally new level. And were we right!

The recipe itself is really quite simple. I used the basic vanilla cake recipe that I’ve provided on this website and  tweaked it just a tiny bit. Instead of vanilla essence, add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of grated orange rind. Follow all the steps till the very end. Then, just before pouring the cake into the cake pan/cupcake cases, stir in about a cup of chocolate chips. Bake as per usual. There, simple as ABC but a flavour so superior and addictive that you just won’t be able to stop once you start. Hmm..on second thoughts, I wonder if that’s such a good thing after all ;)

Halloween Cupcakes

A picture speaks louder than words. So I thought today I should babble less and instead leave you with the photos of my afternoon’s work. These are Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Cupcakes and I have frosted them with Buttermilk flavoured Buttercream and decorated them with an assortment of candies, marshmallows and raisins to befit the occasion they’ve been prepared for : A Halloween Party for little kids at school. Enjoy :)