Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bake #16: Tina Bakes Devil's Food Cupcakes


Perhaps one of the reasons why I was delaying this bake is because... I can't believe this could be the end of FWB!! Four and a half months and 16 recipes later, I'd like to think we're taking 'a break', an indefinite one that is. Lest you think we are parting ways, we are not!! This is break is unavoidable to allow my baking partner (second, friend - first) to focus on what she had just recently embarked on - pastry school in Paris!! Isn't that simply WONDERFULLLL?? 

Whether this is the end of FWB or not, we'll let time tell. I am just happy that we've baked our recipe choices on CUPCAKES and more glad that Jenny chose this recipe for our (maybe) finale.

The recipe says it yields 34 cupcakes, so I decided to make a third and used smaller sized paper liners and got 19 cupcakes. That's a LOT of cupcakes.

I already have a favorite moist chocolate cake recipe which I swear by and use in all my layered chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes etc, so I was excited to see if this recipe can top  my favourite recipe.

On a scale of 1-10, I give my fav recipe a 10 and this.... a 10 too!! They taste very very similar ( though the steps to make them are very very different). Chocolatey and moist, these will get the thumbs up from even the most discerning chocolate cake lovers.

I hate goodbyes, so there won't be any... hope to see you again soon.. meanwhile, I will be baking and such and blogging about it here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Better late than never: Jenny bakes Bake #15 Almond-Butter Jelly Cupcakes & Bake #16 Devil's Food Cupcakes

The title of this entry says it all. I’ve been taking a hiatus from blogging just to refocus on other priorities; I know, once upon a time, it was also hard for me fathom that there’re other pressing issues other than baking and blogging! 
Jokes aside, this will be my last FWB post. When Tina and I reconnected last Fall, I was glad to find out that she was also into baking. In fact, Tina was already an accomplished baker and after having tried several recipes from Martha’s book myself, I knew it would be the perfect gift for her. Two bakes and countless photo uploads, comments and comment feedbacks on our Facebook status updates later, this blog was birthed. It’s been a fun ride - all 4 months of it and I cant think of a better way to rekindle the friendship with my dear friend Tina than this! Tina and I had grand plans, didn’t we, Tin?! But I’m truly thankful for our friendship and the privilege to share the passion for baking  with a dear friend. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely doing FWB and the times we “spent” will always be near and dear to my heart. 
Bake #15: Almond Butter Jelly Cupcakes
I came across almond butter in the brand new section of dried food, fruits and nuts section that they had just put in at our local Safeway (grocery) store. 
It’s basically pure almond paste, no preservatives nor salt or any seasonings. The taste? Imagine the taste of an almond nut but instead of crunching the whole nut, you’ll be licking it in its paste form! Nutty, but its flavor slightly understated compared to peanut. Does it make a good nutty-jelly cupcake? You betcha! 
I love the somewhat moist-somewhat crumbly texture of this cupcake. Granted, it has been well over 3 weeks since I baked it but I still recall the wonderful aroma of the cupcakes hot off the oven. They were great as-is, unadorned, but since I still had cream cheese leftover from earlier bakes, I went ahead and made the frosting, topped each cupcake with a dollop of the almond butter frosting and finished with a generous dot of raspberry preserves. The sweet and slightly-tart preserves helped cut through the nutty flavors and balanced out the cream-cheese-almond-butter frosting. Definitely a keeper and I would recommend this for those of you who may be searching for healthier alternatives to your kids’ regular PBJ sandwiches!
Bake #16: Devil’s Food Cupcakes

I have been wanting to try this recipe for some time now. A hopeless chocoholic, I’m always game to try good chocolate cake recipes and gorge myself silly, sampling each bake as they’re done. The photo of the lone, dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate shavings caught my attention each time I thumb through the pages and I knew I just had to put in on FWB list sooner or later. 
The recipe did not disappoint although I must say that the quality of the cocoa powder you use makes a huge impact on the finished product. I baked this twice - with regular Hershey dutch process cocoa powder the first time, and the second time with Valrhona poudre de cacao (100% cacao). The latter lended a deeper chocolaty flavor and seemed a more satisfying fix for my late-night chocolate cravings. Don’t get me wrong, I’d gulp a Hershey chocolate cupcake anytime but chances are, I’d probably ask for seconds if they were Valrhonas. 
The chocolate ganache was the real icing on the cake - both figuratively and literally. D’s colleagues loved this cupcake - ganache and all - so much so that I baked double the recipe each time. A truly decadent cupcake - sophisticated enough to serve during dinner parties but just as wonderful for an anytime snack! In a way, I’m glad to end FWB with this pick, which somehow, “reinstated” my liking for Martha again. 

I’m not certain if this will be a permanent adieu for FWB but we’ll be taking an indefinite break for now.  Until then, continue baking and don’t forget to share - it’s the true essence of why most people bake after all, isn’t it?!
Tina, I can’t wait to see all the BFMHTY bakes you’ll be doing. Keep shooting for the stars and go for your dream!
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like has no survival value; rather, it's one of those things that give value to survival" ~ C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bake #15: Tina bakes Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Cupcakes

These were SO, SO GOOD!! Maybe I was just hungry, but I couldn't resist myself from popping these babies into my mouth one after the other!!

I started baking these right after breakfast time (I did not have any) and was alone in the kitchen after the girls and their friends (my daughter had a sleepover) went off to the pool. I just had to have one right after the first batch came out of the oven (this is my ritual).. and three more followed after I frosted them (not a ritual and I sure hope this is not a precedent!). I had one after the other!! If there was a hidden camera in the kitchen, it'll be funny to see how I sneaked one cupcake after another into my mouth, in a dark corner of my kitchen, not unlike a little child sneaking into the kitchen for some cookies right before dinner time!! Thank God nobody caught me!! Ha ha!!

The girls and their friends absolutely love these cupcakes and I made enough  to send some home with the latter.This recipe yielded 33 small cupcakes for me. CUPCAKES noted it would yield about 22.

I must say that I've never been crazy over peanut butter, but these were very good. The peanut butter made the batter thick and creamy. I even added a teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe on top of the required amount for fear that it may not rise at all. Yes, the batter was THAT thick. I also omitted the chopped peanuts in the batter as I knew my children would not like them.

The cupcake below looks dry, doesn't it? But it was not at all... the photo did not do justice to it. The frosting was good but the Creamy Peanut Butter frosting did not taste much different from plain peanut butter, so next time I'd skip beating the peanut butter with confectioners sugar and having to beat cream in another bowl and then mix them up together. Maybe I overdid beating my peanut butter which made it become oily (which then reminded me how much FAT there were in these). I think I also beat my cream too long that they became curdy. You can see from the photos that my frosting were not smooth at all.

Oh! I also halved the frosting recipe and had just the right amount to frost all my cupcakes. I think this is among the best cupcakes I've baked from CUPCAKES. Try it and see for yourself!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bake #15: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Hello there!! After a break last week, this week we're going back to good ol' Martha's CUPCAKES, and it's PB&J Cupcakes (pg 56).

I chose this cupcakes because it is something so... familiar!! Just like the Strawberry-Jam Tea Cakes which brought me back to memories of school recess.

And... it's also perfect as snacks for my daughter's slumber party this weekend!! Have a look at the recipe here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bake #14: Jenny Bakes French Yogurt Cake with Orange Marmalade

In her book “Baking From My Home to Yours”, Dorie wrote about how the French hardly have the need to bake at home. I wouldn’t too, if all it takes to satisfy sweet cravings is a quick run to the neighborhood pâtisseries (and my, how spoilt I’d be by the endless selections offered!) But when the French do bake, this French Yogurt Cake is more often than not, their favorite go-to recipe. I can’t think of any other better recipe to start and ease FWB in on Dorie’s recipes than this!
A quick, simple, one-bowl (well, maybe 2 bowls but still, a ridiculously easy method) recipe with ingredients measured, typically, using yogurt cups - French size, of course. For the minimal effort and time invested, this recipe delivers the ultimate pleasure that one would hope to get out of a pound-cum-sponge cake. Rich but without guilt, since the fat used is vegetable oil. Moist and tender with the addition of yogurt. Compact yet soft as you sink your teeth into it. But above all, the irresistable flavors that this cake delivers - hearty and nutty (from the ground almonds) with a tang from the lemon zests and a surprising hint of rosemary at the end, one that lends a mysterious but wonderful finish to each bite! Yes, I opted to go Mediterranean on this one and chose to spice things up with the Riviera Yogurt Cake! You just have to love Dorie for adding a “Playing Around” section in her recipes! 
As with most cakes, this one tasted even better the next day. I doubled the portion and baked mine in a large loaf pan (~8.5” x 4.5”) and in 5 mini loaf pans to give away as gifts. Don’t skip the glaze and you should really try this with marmalade -  slightly sweet, slightly bitter and it’s that bitter hint that adds that extra “something-something” to the cake! I glazed mine with some homemade kumquat marmalade. Trés délicieux!! Please don’t wait. Bake along!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bake #14: Tina bakes French Yogurt Cake with Orange Marmalade

After four months and baking 13 of Martha's Cupcakes, FWB is happy to move on to Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours. This is a milestone for FWB. As much as I am happy to now bake Dorie's recipes and share with you my new adventures, a part of me is still with Cupcakes. I guess I have an emotional attachment to Cupcakes, it being a gift given to me by dear friend Jen and the reason for this blog you're reading (I'm just gonna go ahead and assume there are loyal readers of FWB besides Jen and me hehe).

Having said that, I must also stress that I am super duper thrilled that we're doing Dorie. Jen has told me so much about her - lucky gal that she is, she's met Dorie personally in Paris before!! Though this is my first FWB Dorie bake, it's my third time attempting her recipes. Let me tell you that I was an immediate fan following my first time with her Swedish Visiting Cake. Take my word for it - in the last 3 weeks, I've baked that cake 5 times to be shared with family and friends!!

Things may change somewhat in FWB in upcoming weeks - we'll keep you updated but for now, I'm enjoying every minute of FWB... and I present you, my French Yogurt Cake with Orange Marmalade:

I made 1.5 of the recipe as I wanted to bake some in muffin tins and play around. I baked a 6 inch cake and 4 cupcakes. I topped  the cake with lemon glaze and swirled some orange marmalade. The cake is very fragrant (I added some lemon juice on top of the lemon zest), moist and just fantastic!! You gotta try it for yourself!! The lemon glaze added some pretty strong citrusy taste to it (and I adore citrus!!) and it actually overpowered the marmalade. You can't really taste the marmalade with the lemon glaze - so next time I need to decide and not make the two compete with each other.

I layered my cupcakes with raspberry preserves and this is also a lovely way to have the cake.

While the cake slices make good coffee cake for breakfast, the dainty raspberry jam-layered cupcakes are definitely for dessert and strictly for the sweet-tooth. Oh before I forgot, I did not reduce the sugar in the recipe and I should have as the glaze and preserves provided more than enough sugar for one's daily allowance ;-)

I give this cake thumbs up for its simplicity in preparation (10 minutes prep time, max) and a 10 for taste.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bake #14: French Yogurt Cake with Orange Marmalade

You will find this absolutely wonderful must-have-must-try recipe on page 999,999 of the book. Happy baking!

Alright, just checking to see if everyone's still awake and following! There are enthusiastic bakers out there who have diligently baked along with FWB every week, right?! Well, we're glad if you've been inspired to bake, or tickled with our entries or even remotely interested enough to take a peek! We appreciate everyone for dropping by.

We have a treat for all you faithful FWB readers out there. After 3 months and a handful of Martha-bakes from the book, Cupcakes, we're ready to move on to more baking adventures with recipes from a new book; a new book from the Goddess of Baking! Yes, she's that great and her recipes equally wonderful!!

I've baked from Dorie's book countless times and never once had I had a bad experience nor even once did I dislike any of the bakes from her recipes. This book is full of substance - 300 recipes accompanied by wonderful heart-felt stories, great pictures and Dorie's signature: her precise, almost-Scientific, step-by-step guide! I'm one of the few fortunate ones who have had the chance to meet Dorie in person. She's as endearing, kind and pleasant as she comes across in her books (all 9 of them with a new book coming out this Fall) and her blog. I'd like for FWB members to learn about Dorie and enjoy her recipes, just like I (and a gazillion other passionate bakers) do.

If you haven't baked from Dorie's recipes, you ought to give it a try. You will not be disappointed! As much as it may sound like advertising - which it is, in a sort of good evangelistic way  -  I'd like to encourage you to get her book.  It's a worthwhile investment. Given the popularity of the book, some, not all, the recipes are available online. FWB will no longer be posting recipes on this site.

We're excited about this next phase and we hope you'll bake along. We'd love to hear from you!

FWB is not a paid advertiser nor affiliate to any products / services listed on this site

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bake #13: Jenny Bakes Triple Citrus Cupcakes

A wonderful trinity: lemon, lime and orange. There wasn't any particular fruit that overpowered the rest, but the blend of these three together packs so much more punch than just using a single flavor! Now can someone explain the Science behind? Never mind.......

I only made a third of the portion since there weren't any parties, meet-ups nor much happening this weekend. It yielded a dozen cupcakes, almost half of which D and I devoured within the first hour, sans any glaze! Well, eating those without the glaze should be healthier, I pressume and I second Tina's theory on Vitamin C dosage! Guilt-less cupcake (almost!). Just like Tina, I also added some lemon-orange juice into the batter. The cake has tight crumbs, akin to a loaf or pound cake as opposed to, say, sponge cake. I'd have preferred it to have a lighter texture though, but the fresh citrusy flavors made up for the slightly-heavy texture. Welcome Spring!

Bake #13 Tina bakes Triple-Citrus Cupcakes

Just look at the gorgeous colors of the fruits!! Lovely indeed!!

I love citrus. I favor them in my tea, as fresh juices and in my cooking. I find every chance I get to include Kaffir lime leaves in my cooking. And cakes with lemon zest always appeal to me. Imagine a recipe which calls for zest of THREE citrus fruits. Now how can I pass that one!!

I've made cakes with lemon and orange zest before, but never lime. The sweet and zesty aroma of the oranges, lemon and lime filled up the kitchen wonderfully!!

I made a little more than two-thirds of the recipe for fear of having too much cake but regretted not making the whole batch to have more to give to friends and family!!

The recipe calls for 9 eggs ( I used 7) but these cupcakes were not eggy. They are moist and a little dense with bits of citrus zest that makes every bite a pleasant experience. As I like my citrus glaze to be thick (which requires more icing sugar), I halved the amount of sugar in the batter. I also added about two tablespoons of lemon juice in the batter, to increase the citrussy taste.

My kids absolutely love this cake and were fighting over the last piece. You could they had no problems getting their dose of Vitamin C this weekend :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bake #13 Triple Citrus Cupcakes

This week, I get to pick and it's Triple Citrus Cupcakes - I've posted the recipe link under recipe selection. Happy baking!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bake #12: Tina bakes Strawberry Cupcakes

When I found out Jenny picked strawberry cupcakes for last week's bake, I was delighted. I love strawberries in jam, ice-cream, yogurt and such. And strawberry cupcakes? Must be yummy.

Here in Malaysia where I live, we get our strawberries all year round from Cameron Highlands, a favorite retreat for locals in search of a cooler climate. If I may digress, I love Cameron Highlands for its quaint little English-inspired cottages, a legacy left by the British during their occupation.

This picture below is of a pretty little chalet we stayed in during out last visit almost 3 years ago. (now I feel like going back!)

And this picture below is of my daughter and her fresh strawberries-topped ice-cream during our last visit.

Now back to the real reason for this post :) Except for the chopped strawberries, this recipe is very basic - no extra ingredients like sourcream or creamcheese in the batter which always make cakes extra special (for me, that is). And so I did not expect anything spectacular, so to speak.

And if Jenny confessed that SHE HATES MAKING MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM, I would like to confess that I HATE MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM!! I do. I really do. And so I had my cupcake without the frosting :) I actually had a small piece of cupcake right after it got out of the oven and was dissapointed that it tasted... like Jenny put it - bland.
However, I had another unfrosted one for breakfast the next day and was delightfully suprised that the cake was very very moist and somehow not so bland anymore. Yes, yes... cake always taste better on the second day!!
On another note, I enjoyed frosting these cupcakes. They look so pretty in pink!! I was also pleased that friends and family whom I shared these cupcakes with liked them and did not have any issues with the swiss meringue buttercream like I did :)

IF I ever make these again, I will top them with whipped cream instead!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bake #12: Jenny Bakes Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Vanilla and chocolate aside, this Strawberry Cupcake is probably the best epitomy of the early Cupcake Era back in the 50s. Reminiscent of many a childhood here, I’m sure. Sweet or tangy - depending on which part of the world you’re in and whether they are in season - little bits of fruit amassed in a cloud of light, moist and crumbly soft cake. The cake is rather bland, if you ask me. But together with the strawberries and surprisingly, the strawberry buttercream, it suddenly takes on more depths in flavor. Either that or I’ve over-spiked my buttercream just a tad! I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Now why would I ever want to do that to such a lovely all-time favorite? I did, however, add some chocolate ganache leftover from another bake. It definitely spiked up the light fruity flavors in a good, non-alcoholic way!

I also have to say this officially: I HATE MAKING MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM. PERIOD! Any toppings that require cooked sugar, precise temperature and worst of all, humongous recipe proportions that are mathematically troublesome to scale back - yeah, like this recipe! Even halving the recipe would yield too much buttercream than I need so just me being me, I winged it and needless to say, the buttercream was somewhat a disaster. Too liquidy and not pipe-able - not that I intended to pipe the frosting in the first place. So to cover the mistake according to the grand plan I conceived ages ago, I went gourmet on it. Et voila......petits gâteaux aux fraises. Bon appetit!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bake #12: Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Ah strawberries.....a sign of warmer weather and blue skies, picnics on the beaches or at the parks,  melodic chirpings of the little birds that visit our backyard to feast on the nectars from blossoming blooms.....Spring. My favorite season! It's still a little early for strawberries; here in Northern California, strawberries are at its peak mid May through end June but you can already get rather sweet strawberries now, albeit more expensive relative to summer prices. I can't wait until the fruit is in abundance, when it's so cheap that you can just buy them by the boxes, eat them for b'fast, lunch, dinner and in-between!
If you don't have (or don't want to use) strawberries, feel free to substitute with other berries or try it with some tropical fruits . After all, you can't go wrong with mangoes or pineapples.
I trust most of you have the book by now so I won't be posting any photos until I've baked mine. The link to this week's recipe has been posted on the Recipe bake list. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bake #11: Tina bakes Mint-filled Brownies

Definitely the yummiest treat you can prepare and enjoy in less than 40 minutes!! beats the time going to the store to get one!! it's chewy and soft, with a nice crusty top... easy peasy - and not that difficult to finish them off too :)

I used Andes mint thins, one chocolate-brown layer sandwiched between two mint-green layers... but the end result showed no signs of green-coloured mint, instead they all melted into chocolate!! but of course, that did not matter whatsoever :) the fresh minty chocolate was felt in every chewy bite.


Bake #11: Jenny (did not) bake Mint-filled Brownies Cupcakes

Ooey gooey, chewy and crispy all at the same time with such decadent chocolatey goodness. Brownies. Everyone's favorite! I thought I'd change things up a bit and instead of chocolate mint patties, I used my favorite Hershey kisses - Hawaiian Macadamia nut Hershey Kisses for the filling. Double the yumminess! 
This is a very basic, simple brownie recipe - I scaled it down to make only a third of the recipe portion, eye-balling some ingredients and even though the measurements weren't exactly precise, the recipe was very forgiving. It's a quick one-bowl recipe - aside from melting the chocolate and butter separately, you can literally throw all the ingredients in the same bowl, mix (do not overmix though) and bake! There wasn't even any need to use my good 'ol Kitchen Aid mixer. I'd definitely recommend this as a quick go-to brownie recipe (although my personal favorite is still Betty Crocker's) and there're endless variations to the fillies - mint patties, Hershey kisses, caramel or butter toffees, peanut butter Reeses or if you dare, try some jelly beans or licorice candies! I know, you're all going "icks" now but hey, if there're foie gras desserts, bacon cupcakes and other eclectic pairings, who knows, it might just work!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bake #11: Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes

This week we're baking brownies (pg 122)!! Now, who doesn't love brownies?? A dense cake - more like a cross between a cake and a cookie. My kids are excited (they're the reason why this was chosen this week) and have been pestering me to bake this since last weekend!!

Again, I can't find an official Martha link to this but you'll have no problems finding the recipe by google-ing it. Have fun baking!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Note on Recipes

You can find most of recipes for the bakes we've already completed at; we will try our best to provide the links when available. Many of Martha's Cupcakes recipes have also been featured by other bloggers, easily searchable online.  In addition, do check out the book- not only will you get to peruse the recipes to your heart's content, you can just drool over the stunning pictures of the cakes every night before you go to bed! Sweet dreams guaranteed!

Happy baking!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bake #10: Tina bakes Coconut Cupcakes

Just for the photo shoot, I frosted three cupcakes out of the 15 I made (halved the recipe as usual!). Truth of the matter is, these cupcakes are soooo good, they don't need any frosting!! In fact, I think the cream cheese frosting (had some left-over from the carrot cake I baked over the weekend) is a bit too much for these already moist and rich in flavour cupcakes. (Jen, I think it must be the over-beating in your case, but please try it again... I promise you'll love it!!)

Instead of the shredded coconuts, I used dessicated ones. I also substituted coconut milk with low-fat milk, just like Jenny. They taste awesome!!

And... oh wow!! what d'ya know, we're into bake #11 already this weekend!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bake #10: Jenny bakes Coconut Cupcakes

The fact that we've delayed this bake by a week and the fact that it happens to be Easter weekend couldn't have made this a more perfect pick. However, I'm still on the fence about this one......

The cake was scrumptious hot off the oven - great coconuty flavor, soft cakey texture, nicely domed although not overly know, all the elements of a solidly good cake. I left those babies alone, headed off to the gym and when I got back and took another taste-test, I was simply bewildered at how the texture had turned "springy" and could it even felt somewhat dry?! Or was it the fatigue kicking in from my gym workout? Quick shower, then another bite.........nope, still springy and I definitely wasn't hallucinating! Fortunately I halved the portion and had about a dozen cupcakes so regardless of the texture, I decided to frost them anyway. I went with a cream-cheese frosting instead of the Swiss meringue. I also omitted the fatty coconut milk and used regular milk instead but supplemented with coconut extract to make up for the flavor.
I love the flavors but am not entirely crazy about the texture. It could very well be just over-mixing on my part; come to think of it, in the midst of watching TV multi-tasking, I did leave the mixer on a minute or so longer than I normally would after adding the eggs. That must be it!
I'm still not giving up on Coconut Cake. This is what I'd like to make one day:

but for now, here's what we'll be eating for dessert tonight
Unfortunately the jury's still out on this one. Let's see how yours turn out; let me know, will you?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bake #10: Coconut Cupcakes

Don't fall off the chair but I'm early this time!! It's my turn to pick and I've selected Martha's Coconut Cupcakes on page 29.  I'm attracted to anything white these days.......let's just hope that this one doesn't turn out like the dreadful bake couple weeks ago.

C-O-C-O-N-U-T......anyone knows that song?! Happy baking!

Bake #9: Jenny bakes Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

One word: comforting. Another word: it's really, really good! Ok, so that's more than a word but I must say, I am rather surprised that these Oatmeal Raisin recipe turned out to be another keeper. I was rather apprehensive, perhaps due to the last experience and the fact that this is such a stripped-down, plain, frosting-less, frill-less, alright, I'll say it: boring-looking cupcake in the book! But you know what they say - less is more.

The cake texture is tender  - reminds me a lot of the Streusel bake several weeks earlier. I made a few substitutions and additions to the recipe mostly because #1: simply for economies of scale, I always prefer to buy tubs or dairy but since consumption for sour-cream is usually very low in our household, I opted to buy a tub of yogurt instead. At least I can have that with my morning fruits or granola instead of just using teenie-weenie portions for baking then having to worry about what to do with the rest.  Secondly, I wanted to add some crunch to the cake, and in lieu of oatmeal bran, I simply added some of D's favorite morning cereal (some mixture of flax seed, cornflakes and toasted almond slices). Oh, for those of you who don't know, D is my husband, by the way. Then again, how many of you read this anyways?!

Just like its sister cookies, these oatmeal raisin cupcakes go very well with a tall glass of milk. So this is for photo styling......
........but by the end of this post, I've already downed couple cupcakes and gulped the entire glass of milk. So much so for 2-pounds-a-week weight-loss target!

This sounds like a broken gramophone but if you've not done so, please try out the recipes, bake along and do let us know how your bakes went - blog about it (don't forget to send your blog links to, post pictures on FB group page or heck, we'll even take feedback and comments! What are you waiting for?!? Our tagline is Rekindling old friendships, making new ones. We'd really love your help on the latter........

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bake #9: Tina Bakes Oatmeal-Raisins Cupcakes

Wholesome and delicious! Again, this feels more like a muffin than a cupcake and makes for a great coffee companion for breakfast.

Martha grouped this recipe under 'cookie cupcakes' but it doesn't taste cookie-ish at all, although the ingredients ~ oatmeal, coconut and raisins would be perfect in a cookie too.
I kinda cheated on this bake and substituted ingredients that I did not have with those readily available in my kitchen! I wouldn't say I skewed the recipe and twisted it to be my own as it wasn't by intention. Not quite my own invention although necessity is the mother of invention!

For starters, I couldn't find sweetened flaked coconut here in Malaysia (or could it be I didn't look hard enough?) so I used canned dessicated coconuts. And instead of bothering with traditional rolled oats and oat bran, I used instant oats :) hey! I needed an opportunity to deplete my stock of instant oats!!
And to my horror, half-way beating the ingredients, I noticed that I have used up all the sour cream in the fridge!! too lazy to run to the store, I used milk instead hoping that it would not make my batter too runny.
All my worries were unfounded as the cupcakes came out of the oven tasting great!! If you're looking for a no-guilt treat, this is it!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bake #9: Oatmeal-Raisin Cupcakes

This week I've chosen a slightly different cupcake - Martha calls it 'cookie-cupcake'. After weeks of cakey, glazed and frosted bakes, I chose this as it looks simple, healthier (?!?) and texture-rich.

The ingredients include rolled oats, raisins, oat bran and flaked coconut. Come and bake with us!! (and let us know if you need the recipe!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bake #8: Tina Bakes Mocha Cupcakes

I have never met a cupcake I did not want to eat until I baked this. Sounds too harsh, huh??
Jen, don't feel bad - I think it's the recipe (can it really be, coming from Martha?) Anyone out there who have tried this recipe and absolutely love it, please please let us know how you did it!!

Like Jen said, the cake did not taste awful, but lack that moist, cake feel to it. I don't know how to explain it in English, but in Malay (Malay Language) it's called bantat (pronounced bun-tut). And bantat is not goood :) it means that the cake failed to rise to its potential. To put it short, it's a FLOP!! :( I am not putting the entire blame on the recipe. Honestly, it could very well be just me.. I guess I'll never know as I shall never attempt this cake again :)

On the other hand, I had fun making the meringue. Yes, it's Italian meringue and supposedly the most difficult meringue to make of all meringues. Fun in making does not equate to fun in eating, though. It tastes a bit like soft marshmallows to me.. not that that is bad.. just not as a cake frosting. That's just how I feel.

I enjoyed slathering the cupcakes with the luscious meringue!

I halved the recipe and got 13 cupcakes. My daughter took a bite and kept the remaining in the fridge. I tried the first cupcake that came out of the oven - half of it. Tasted the meringue a little and that was it. That's quite rare for moi, the cake-lover :)

I feel somewhat bad about my intention to bring it to the office tomorrow. But I'm bringing them anyways haha... cake testers need to taste the good... and the bad!! (verdict by office testers: meringue tastes too eggy, cake moist but bantat, no one was crazy over it, basically!! and one commented that it doesn't taste like something Tina baked!! :)

Let's hope our next choice of bake makes up for this!! and if it doesn't, there's always another one to pick the next week!!
Keep on baking!!