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?