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!

Chocolate-Chip Mini Loaves

A few weeks back I had bought these cute little mini loaf pans while out and about. Then it got stashed away in the corner of my room and I completely forgot all about it. (I’ve practically exhausted all available space and things are now getting dumped in corners, strategically covered by long, bulky curtains). Till last night, that is. When I got reacquainted with these delightful little pans, I knew that I just had to use them. I toyed with the idea of making a quick banana bread but since I had just made some banana muffins not too long ago, I decided against it. After considering a few more options, I finally decided on a yeast bread. What type and flavour of bread to make though? That was actually an easy decision. Of late, I’ve been addicted to the choc-chip bread available at Cedele. However, each time I have bought a little roll, I have subconsciously made a mental note to self : I should get down to baking some of my own. Well, there you go, perfect time to finally make a batch of these. The final result was quite amazing, the smell that permeated the whole house was heavenly and the taste, I’m sure you can guess. It really is not easy to go wrong with choc-chip anything and this was no exception.

All you have to do is use your basic sweet dinner roll or basic sweet bread recipe but increase the required amount of sugar asked for by a few tablespoons and towards the end of the kneading process, add a cup (or two, according to your taste) of chocolate chips. I added some roasted pecans in some of my loaves and they went together fabulously! Just before baking, I sprinkled a generous amount of coarse, white sugar on the top of the loaves to give it a sparkly look as well as a crunchy bite. These little loaves are perfect with a steaming mug of coffee.

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 :)