Sunday, September 30, 2012

30 Sep 12 (Sun) - Chocolate Cupcakes with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Had some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the fridge and so brought them to my sis's place to do experimental baking. Used my usual cupcake recipe but added cocoa powder to make chocolate flavour cupcakes to go with the peanut butter cups. Tried one of them and the taste was surprisingly good. Chocolaty cake with salty peanut butter is a rather good combination.

Today happened to be Mid Autumn Festival or what the Korean called Chuseok so here’s Happy Mid Autumn Festival to all my Chinese visitors and Happy Chuseok to all my Korean visitors.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

A look on the outside

The cupcakes

A look on the inside

Ingredients (Makes 6):
50g butter - soften
50g castor sugar
50g self-rising flour
2/3 tbsp cocoa powder
6 Reese’s peanut butter cups
15ml milk
1 egg
1.  Pre-heat oven to 160 degree celcius
2.  Line 6 silicon muffin cases with cupcake cases
3.  Sift the flour and cocoa powder then set aside
4.  Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 mins till fluffy
5.  Add egg and milk then beat with an electric mixer for 1 min till well combined
6.  Fold in the flour and cocoa powder
7.  Fill the cupcake cases about 1/3 full with some cake batter
8.  Unwrap the Reese’s peanut butter cup and place one onto the batter in each cupcake cases
9.  Fill the cupcake cases with the rest of the cake batter, covering the peanut butter cups
10.  Bake for 18mins until cupcakes risen and firm to touch then do the toothpick test
11.  If the toothpick comes out clean, transfer the cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool

---------------- Edited on 1 Oct 2012 ----------------

Brought some of the cupcakes to office for colleagues to try. One of them, E, commented that it was a bit too sweet while the rest gave positive feedback such as a nice surprise to find a Reese's peanut butter cup hidden in the cupcake. Explained to E that it could be due to the layer of chocolate covering the peanut butter cup since I didn't add extra sugar to the recipe.

Recipe submitted to Munch Ministry

Sunday, September 23, 2012

23 Sep 12 (Sun) - Lemon Flavour Cupcakes

My dear little big sis has been busy baking these few days and it prompted me to do some baking today. She told me that by sifting the flour and doing the folding method will make the cakes fluffier. Didn't want to make the usual plain cupcakes and so searched for a lemon flavour cupcakes recipe.

Found a few and they mentioned incorporating lemon zest into the batter and using the lemon juice to make the lemon flavour glace frosting. So adapted those into my usual recipe and made a few modifications. The cakes turned out to be pretty fluffy indeed with a faint hint of lemon. As I had used up all the butter for the cakes, I wasn't able to make the lemon flavour glace frosting.

I think the cakes would taste better with the lemon taste enhanced if they have the glace frosting.

Lemon Flavour Cupcakes

The inside

A close-up

A close-up

Ingredients (Makes 5):
50g butter - soften
50g castor sugar
50g self-rising flour
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 lemon
15ml milk
1 egg

1.  Line 5 foil muffin tins with cupcake cases
2.  Sift the flour and set aside
3.  Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk till off white color
4.  Add the egg and mix well
5.  Add in the vanilla extract, milk and 2/3 of the lemon zest and mix well
6.  Fold in the flour
7.  Arrange the cake batter into the cupcake cases
8.  Arrange the tins into the Happycall Pan
9.  Cover and lock to bake for 8 minutes over low heat, shifting the pan left and right every 2-3 minutes to ensure even baking
10.  Open the cover and arrange the rest of the lemon zest onto the cakes then close and lock the cover again
11.  Bake for another 7-8 minutes, shifting the pan left and right every 2-3 minutes to ensure even baking
12.  Off the heat, open the cover and do the toothpick test
13.  If the toothpick comes out clean, transfer the cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool

---------------- Edited on 24 Sep 2012 ----------------

Brought two cakes to office and let E and another food buddy, CC, to try. The feedback from both of them were that the cakes were nice. Can taste the lemon and not too overpowering. To quote CC, "cos if the lemon is overpowering, it usually has a v strong pungent aftertaste. that me no like". But for this cake of mine, she ate it and gave me good feedback.

Recipe submitted to Munch Ministry

Sunday, September 16, 2012

16 Sep 12 (Sun) - Swedish Meatballs in MacDonald's Curry Sauce and Reduced-fat & Calorie Coleslaw

Once in a while I will crave for the IKEA's meatballs and then I will have to make a trip to the Alexandra IKEA just to satisfy the craving. Have been curious about how to go about cooking these meatballs and hence prompted me to google for the recipe. Found one by IKEA Hackers and decided to give it a try. A couple of the ingredients were giving me headaches, such as the rusk flour and white flour.

After some research, I decided to substitute rusk flour with panko and white flour with corn flour. A visit to a colleague's workstation last Friday and saw stacks of MacDonald's curry sauce, she offered them to me saying that they will go to the bin when they expire so why not I take them and see if I have any use for them. Then the picture of the Meatball in Japanese Curry Sauce by Mmmm! Meats Marinates & Much More came to mind. Excellent! I don't have to cook the cream sauce then.

Got up early to start the cooking and what should be a short preparation time became unexpectedly long due to a stubborn potato that simply refuse to get much softer after boiling it for so long. In the end, my mash potatoes contained a few big pieces of potatoes.

Then instead of the 250g minced beef and 250g minced pork that the recipe called for, I only had 200g each. Added 200ml milk and water to the mixture and turned out that the mixture was a bit too wet such that I had problem shaping the mixture into round balls. When I was frying them, instead of being round shape, they became slightly flat.

After I was done frying the meatballs, opened three packs of the MacDonald's curry sauce, added a bit of water to dilute it so that it would not be too thick and then popped a few meatballs into the sauce. The result wasn't too bad but could have been better if I had added less milk and water. 

Swedish Meatballs +

MacDonald's Curry Sauce =

Swedish Meatballs in MacDonald's Curry Sauce

Then found a quarter of a round cabbage and a few baby carrots in the fridge and decided to make the coleslaw found in Dr. Oz's website with a couple of modifications such as omitting buttermilk and white vinegar since I don't have those.

1/4 round cabbage, finely minced
1/2 big onion, finely minced
6 baby carrots, finely minced
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt
a dash of ground black pepper
a dash of lemon juice

1.  Combine mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl
2.  Whisk them well and until sugar dissolved
3.  Add cabbage, carrot and onion to the mixture and toss well
4.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving or chill overnight for better result