Archive for October, 2008
Sweet Baby Cupcakes – cupcakes for christening! Decorated with cute baby icons made of molded chocolate. Flavors include Devil’s Food Chocolate or Chocolate Chip topped with bittersweet chocolate glaze. Price available upon request.
I was inspired to do these cupcakes when I saw some photos of cupcakes for christening. The toppers were cute, mostly figures of a baby in various poses. They were truly works of art. And they were made of fondant.
I never really like fondant. Sure it is a joy to work with as you can mold it into any shape you want. And I admit that fondant covered and decorated cakes are stunningly beautiful—too beautiful to eat, sometimes. However, I still don’t like fondant as I am not too fond of sugary confections. I’m a chocolate person so most of my baked creations are topped with chocolate glaze or ganache and have chocolate decorations.
Sugar versus chocolate? It’s chocolate for me, baby, hands-down!
October 25th, 2008
Midnite Bliss Cupcake – rich devil’s food chocolate cupcake iced with bittersweet chocolate glaze marbled with white chocolate. With a large chunk of bittersweet chocolate inside. Price available upon request.
chocolate, chocolate everywhere
There are many versions of devil’s food chocolate cake and among the ones I’ve tried, this is the one I like best. It’s made with cocoa and semisweet chocolate both mixed in boiling water. According to the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, water allows for quick release of full chocolate flavor.
But there’s more. Inside the cupcake is a chunk of bittersweet chocolate. When the cupcake is eaten at room temperature, the chocolate chunk also gets soft, making this a variation of the molten chocolate cake without the gushing gooey center. The cupcake is then topped with a bittersweet chocolate glaze marbled with white chocolate. With all the chocolate in one small cupcake, I think this qualifies for the “died-and-went-to-heaven” dessert category!
October 20th, 2008
I was snacking on cornflakes last Friday when I came across this small wonder:
I didn’t have the “heart” to devour such a beauty. Others have found other odd shapes in their breakfast cereals and made money out of it like these lucky sisters who sold their Illinois-shaped cornflake for $1350! Wow, there’s gold in them cornflakes!
October 19th, 2008
Macapuno-Ube Cupcake – soft, fluffy coconut cupcake iced with ube-flavored whipped cream and decorated with slices of macapuno candy and flaked coconut. Price available upon request.
Because of this cupcake, I learned how to make my own coconut milk. Although one can get freshly grated coconut in the market, I always thought making coconut milk from scratch was too tedious so I always reached for the canned milk found in the supermarket.
When I thought of adding a coconut cupcake in my repertoire, I wanted a recipe that has coconut milk in it as I do not like the texture of shredded coconut in the cake. Well, this cupcake is divinely fluffy and tastes like macapuno (a sweeter variety of coconut). The first time I baked these, the cupcakes were gone long before I thought of an appropriate frosting so I baked another batch. I decided then to press my own coconut milk. I was elated with my small accomplishment and vowed never again to use store-bought commercial coconut milk.
Taking a cue from the delectable flavor of ube macapuno ice cream, I topped this cupcake with ube-flavored whipped cream and decorated it with slices of macapuno candy and sweetened flaked coconut. As what my friend M._ observed, the two flavors really go well together. I certainly agree!
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Pressing your own coconut milk is really worth the effort. It is fresh and natural and has none of the chemical stabilizers found in the commercial milk.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup hot water to 1 head mature coconut, grated . After soaking for several minutes, squeeze the pulp to extract the milk. Discard the pulp and pass the milk through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Use immediately.
This first extraction called kakang gata produces the richest and thickest milk. You can still get a second extraction by adding another cup of water and squeezing the pulp again. The resulting milk, though thinner, is still good for most coconut-based dishes.
October 12th, 2008
Chocolate Carrot Cupcake – moist carrot cupcake with a surprise ingredient – chocolate! Slathered with cream cheese icing drizzled with chocolate syrup. Price available upon request.
out of the box
These carrot cupcakes are somewhat unconventional—it has cocoa mixed in with the batter. This unusual combination is simply divine. The chocolate flavor is not overwhelming but you will know it’s there. There is also a hint of cinnamon. These cupcakes are incredibly moist and it’s not because of vegetable oil which is the usual fat used in carrot cakes. I do not like vegetable oil so much in my cakes except when making chiffon cakes because oil is an essential ingredient. I prefer using butter because baked goods just taste better. Although unsaturated fat such as oil is healthier as opposed to saturated fat (butter), all fats still contain calories. Bottom line: consume fatty foods in moderation!
October 8th, 2008