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!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bake #8: Jenny Bakes Mocha Cupcakes

I'm afraid this is it. This is the bake. The bake that has "done me in"! We've had such a streak of great picks  the past couple months and then I had to pick this one!

There's nothing wrong with the taste - it has enough caffeine to keep one awake throughout the day, I suppose. WARNING: probably not suitable for kids (unless your kids are like me; yours truly got hooked on Nescafe even before I turned 7!) Coffee is my vice. Although I've stopped my Starbucks habit,  I've picked up another worse habit of downing Nespressos like nobody's business! And those capsules aren't decaf ones, mind you. Suffice to say my mocha cupcakes didn't lack any coffee flavor. But what it did lack was the soft moist texture that I was expecting in a cupcake. The portion of the leavening was a tad too much, resulting in a baking soda aftertaste. Not what I had expected at all. Whether there was a problem with the recipe or my execution, I was just terribly disappointed with the results and even contemplated to not bother with the frosting, which is in and of itself a lot of work!
Commitment. Follow through, follow through, follow through......the resolution I had made for 2010 got the better of me.
So here's my Mocha cupcake complete with Martha's 7-minute frosting (which is really an Italian meringue).
Well, you live and you learn!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bake #8: Mocha Cupcakes

I totally forgot to post an intro. to this week's bake! Too many things to do, too little time.....but bottom line is, too many memory brain cells lost to aging!

So here's this week's pick - Mocha cupcakes. Why? I was mesmerized by the soft peaks of the meringue topping. Simple as that! And oh, this was flooding my mind (and ears) while driving home the other day.

Have a go at it and let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bake #7: Tina Bakes Streusel Cupcakes

And that's dedicated to you, Jen!! :)
I wanted to make a full-bodied kopi kampung (traditional Malaysian coffee, literally translated as village coffee) but I am not a regular coffee drinker and thus have none at home!! What a pity as this cake would be perfect with a cup of kopi kampung cap Hang Tuah (Hang Tuah brand), my fav type of coffee of all time!! Starbucks just ain't for me :)

Now, is this a cupcake or a muffin? What's the difference anyway, does anyone know? Cupcake or muffin, this is a good breakfast/coffee cake nevertheless. It's not sweet, thus you'd feel less guilty consuming it as compared to indulging in a sugar-frosted 'cupcake'. I like!! :) But I'm somewhat dissapointed that my streusel did not 'brown' as nicely as Martha's...

By the way, I had way too many streusels left - more than half of what I made - how about you?

I can't wait to enjoy a full cupcake, all to myself, accompanied by my fav breakfast beverage tomorrow morning (my two daughters and I shared the first cupcake that came out of the oven!!) and I can't wait to share these with the folks at the office too - my loyal cake testers!! The kiddoes will be bringing some to school as well, but I'm wondering if the kids will like this cake... I somehow think that this is an 'adult' cake. Well, I hope they do!!
Looking forward to our bake #8 (already?? yeay!!). What's it gonna be, Jen??

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bake #7: Jenny Bakes Streusel Cupcakes

Once upon a time, my usual morning routine was to make a stop at our neighborhood Starbucks store before heading to work everyday - rain, snow, sleet or shine! Vente double-shot decaf non-fat sugar-free extra hot latte (vente non-fat decaf cinnamon dolce latte during the holidays) Phew! Need to take a deep breath before saying that out loud; good thing that I was a regular as after a while, the girls behind the counter knew exactly what order to call out to the barista as soon as they saw me walk through the door. V, 2, Decaf, NF, ex-hot latte scribbled on my cup! My colleagues would often tease me that they'd need a programmer to de-code the long scribbles all over my Starbucks cup each time. Come to think of it, it can be quite a fun game, really! Pay attention to the check boxes and codes on the Starbucks paper cup the next time someone orders a complicated drink and you'll see what I mean. The same time my barista was preparing my cuppa, Steph would be nuping a coffeecake in the microwave and in no time, I'd have my latte in one hand, warm coffeecake on the other, then back to the car and off to work. Everyday. Every single work day. Without fail. I'm such a creature of habit. Oops, this is not a blog about my life, is it?
I was somewhat "reluctant" to get back to regular cupcakes this week and was hoping Tina would change her mind about this week's pick. Boy, am I glad she didn't. This cake takes me on a trip to memory lane and helped remind me of those days. Given my apprehension, I halved the recipe and by the time their wonderful aroma of the streusel filled the kitchen, I knew I should've just gone with the full portion! The cake base was surprisingly moist and soft - "surprisingly" because the batter sure didn't look like it was going to be the soft-texture type of cake. What do I know?
This cake is definitely all about the streusel topping though. Brown-sugar-flour-butter.....and I added a little oatmeal (the instant kind) to give it that extra crunch. How bad can that be?? I downed probably 2 (maybe 3) of these as soon as they were out of the oven. Gulped a cuppa and that, my friends, was the highlight of my day! Guess what I'll be having for b'fast tomorrow morning?
C'mon, have you baked yours yet?!?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bake #7: Streusel Cupcakes

Wow!! Bake #7 already... yes!! This week, it's my turn to pick and I have chosen a coffee cake - the Streusel Cupcakes. This was one of the recipes that got my attention when I first got the book simply because of its traditional and down-to-earth appeal.

I can't find any official MS link for this recipe, so let me know if you need this!! I know I mentioned I might opt for a less cakey bake this week... found myself going through the book, yet keep coming back to this (pg 63). I guess I can't ignore a strong attraction!! :)

Happy baking!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bake #6: Kitchen Guardian bakes Strawberry Marble Cheesecake

Click here to read Kitchen Guardian's account baking Bake #6!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bake #6: Tina bakes Raspberry Marble Cheese Cupcakes

The kitchen lights are out, and my cupcakes are in the fridge (p/s its 1.10am!!). I can't comment on the taste (yet, and I can't wait for tomorrow) but it sure was fun making these step-by-step:

Jenny was right about this being a wonderful break from all those 'cakey' cupcakes we've been baking for the past 3 weeks!! infact, I'm somewhat inspired to pick a 'non-cakey' bake next weekend in place of what I have already chosen (Streusels Cupcakes). Can??

I halved the recipe and it gave me 36 mini cuppies. Not bad at all!!

I cheated and used preserves instead of fresh raspberry puree!! No, I wasn't lazy wink*wink*, I had actually looked for them in four different places but they were just not available (we rely on imports here in Malaysia, as raspberries don't grow in this part of the world). I mixed raspberry&strawberry preserves, heated them up in the microwave until they melted and voila!! we were ready to roll...

These are pretty simple to do and you don't need to use that many ingredients. Plus point: they look so pretty too!! If you're reading this (and you're not Jenny haha), come on now and join us!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bake #6: Jenny Bakes Raspberry Marble Cheesecakes

This is my best Martha's bake EVER! Well, right behind the RVC, and probably the Meyer Lemon Cupcakes and oh, the BCBP was also fantastic!! Hmmm......I guess I'm just fickle-minded. Indecisiveness - isn't that a common problem? Or is it just me?!?

I made the full portion of the recipe for our Chinese New Year party. The cheesecake was lusciously creamy, slightly tangy (I did substitute some of the creamcheese with mascaporne cheese so perhaps mine was less tangy) against the buttery nuttiness of the crust (I did add extra pinch of salt to further enhance its flavor). I absolutely adore the raspberry coulis - not so much for its taste but more for the aesthetics. I spent a little more time that I should in making those swirls: heart shapes

some sort of grapevine-cum-fleur-de-lys motive:

Ooh, love those marbly swirls!
If it's peak raspberry season in your part of the world, go for pure raspberry coulis. Else, substituting with other berries, or even alternatives like jam and raspberry syrup will do. You really just need few droplets per cupcake so no point laboring over perfectly-pureed berries (can you tell I'm quite lazy?!)

Love this recipe and it's now on Jen's Hall-Of-Fame Bake list!