Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New York Times best chocolate chip cookies

It's not easy being patient.. ^^

And I'm still not sure resting cookie doughs does anything.. ^^|| But after a 48-hour wait, we finally tasted new york times best chocolate chip cookies! (^^)

Noticed the back-to-back chocolate chip cookie bakes? It's deliberate ^^.. I'm on a quest to compare our favorite and a "best" chocolate chip cookie recipe. There's even a "kinda" mention of the "best" recipe by david lebovitz in his book, ready for dessert, and lynna ~ heartsinmyoven made this not too long ago too ^^!

New York Times best chocolate chip cookies ( and heartsinmyoven)

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 oz/240g) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 oz/210g) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups/285g) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar (I used 220g ^^)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar (I used 200g ^^)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds/560g bittersweet chocolate disks, at least 60% cacao (I used my usual choc chips ^^)  
some sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, till well incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix til just combined. Fold in chocolate pieces. Divide dough into 3-4 batches, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. 

3. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.

4. Scoop 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes, or slightly longer, if you like them crisp ^^

These cookies actually turned out thicker and didn't spread as much compared to david's cookies. They are almost as light/fluffy/aerated as david's cookies (which are quite like famous axxs cookies in texture, cooled/the next day, if you baked them crisp ^^). But fresh out of the oven, these cookies tastes kind of "cakey-cookie", as baby pig puts it ~ and he can be so spot-on sometimes ^^!

So are they good? Yes, they're very good ^^!

Would I make this again? Most unlikely.. ^^||

Why? Bread flour+cake flour vs just all purpose flour.. no brainer, right? ^^

David's chocolate chip cookies' still our FAVORITE!!! (^^)

p.s. 1 "best" recipe down ^^.. 1 "perfect" recipe to go ^^
p.p.s. a rainy and gloomy afternoon.. pics looks just as sad ^^||.. luckily, cookies taste nothing like the weather ^^

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

David Lebovitz chocolate chip cookies.. again ^^

I've been a very good girl this year and not bought magazines (one kunang2 doesn't count, ok ^^), cook books and baking books in a long while ^^. But I couldn't resist David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert (soft cover), released just last month ^^

I love david's blog ^^. I love the way he writes ~ he's engaging, witty and (quite often) hilarious.. I love his take on life, food and travel, as well as the recipes he shares.. but most of all, I'm envious of his wonderful food adventures of the sweet life in paris! (^^)

Ready for Dessert is a wonderful read. I've read through it like twice now.. ^^. Hopefully I'd be able to try out some of the recipes, especially the chocolate ones, real soon. It's really not easy to get good quality chocolates where I live. And when I do, it's so pricey that I think why bother??

So I'm really, really, really sorry, david.. for using chocolate chips instead of chopped good quality bittersweet/semisweet chocolates ^^|| Forgive me? ^^

David Lebovitz's chocolate chip cookies (this time from his book, ready for dessert)
150g granulated sugar
215g brown sugar (I used 200g)
225g unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp)
350g all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

340g/3 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped coarsely (a million sorries, david ^^)
225g/2 cups nuts, toasted and chopped (I didn't ^^ just used a handful of raisins)

1. Beat sugars and butter till light and fluffy. Mix in egg one at a time at slow speed till well incorporated. Fold in vanilla extract till combined.

2. Mix in sifted flour, baking soda and salt.

3. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts/dried fruits if using. I added my handful of raisin to only half the choc chip dough.

4. Divide the dough into quarters, and shape them into 9-inch logs. Cling wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably 24 hours.

5. Preheat oven to 175C.

6. Slice the logs into disks 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick. Place on baking tins, well spaced apart.

7. Bake for 10 minutes, for soft, chewy cookies. And a little longer if you like them crisp (^^)

In our past bakes of his recipe based on smitten kitchen's post, I've never bothered to ever refrigerate the dough. The cookies still turned out AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS ^^! But since david picked up an article that says that the cookie dough may improve with resting before baking, and he ALWAYS has cookie dough in the fridge anyways, I thought I'll give resting a shot ^^. 

Patience has never been my virtue.. just so you know ^^||. So these cookies are the result of a long two-day wait.. I mean rest ^^. Verdict? We can't tell the difference!!! ^^||

So to rest or not? That, is up to you ^^! David's chocolate chip cookies still RULES in our household! (^^) 

Luscious japanese cheesecake ^^

Papa pig's away ^^!!! The mouse can now come out to play! Yay! ^^

Missed the last window of opportunity 2 weeks ago when papa pig went away for business.. didn't realize he was away till it was too late. Since he left yesterday and will be back this thursday, I'm not wasting any time!

So I got right down to work on nami's japanese cheesecake recipe and also made david lebovitz's chocolate chip cookies dough last night! Busy, busy, busy bee is me ^^ lalalaala..

Well, the cheesecake's ready today after sitting in the fridge overnight. And it turned out really, really nice ~ lusciously light, moist, creamy and cheesy ^^ the taste of rum was however not evident (??).. maybe I should have added a little more generously ^^.. ok, next time.. (^^)

In line with our diet (???), I only made half the recipe and tweaked it a teeny bit..
1. Used 250g cream cheese instead of 200g (couldn't resist using a bit more cream cheese ^^)
2. Reduced flour to 30g instead of 40g.
3. Reduced sugar to 30g instead of 50g, for the meringue.
4. Baked at 150C for 1 1/2 hours (water bath), using a 6-inch round tin.

This cheesecake though light and fluffy, is not as light/ airy/spongy as japanese cotton cheesecake.. it's also more creamy and cheesy tasting. Well, we like this cheesecake better than the super-light one ^^. You can imagine this cake's texture and taste as in-between dense-creamy cheesecake and feather-light japanese cotton (sponge) cheesecake.. delicious ^^!

Anyway, for this delicious and easy cheesecake, check out nami's blog for the recipe and best step-by-step ^^. Hope you enjoy this luscious homemade cheesecake as much as we did! (^^)

p.s maybe we've been deprived of cheesecake for waaay too long.. big thought this was gorgeous ^^ and fatty hubby verbally (he's normally a very non-verbal person) voiced his approval ^^ 

p.p.s sorry for the overload of pics ^^|| i thought the natural lighting was wonderful today ^^ and my little point and shoot did well ^^ just ignore the WIP styling/composition.. there's none ^^ 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brown butter caramel apple plum cakes

This would've been a post on baked caramel apple doughnuts if not for them active dried yeast dying out on me ^^||

I'd melted my butter and beaten 3 eggs to discover that the yeast was a goner.. I was devastated! Guess no use crying over spilled milk. On to plan b (???!!)!.. something yummy and super-easy, to ease my pain (?) ^^. 

Brown butter caramel apple plum cakes (inspired by lynna's apple donuts and blueberry muffins ^^)

180g unsalted butter
3-4 medium apples, grated
3 small plums, diced (think this could work with strawberries/raspberries/grapes too ^^)
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp honey
180g self-raising flour, sifted
1-2 small pinches of salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon powder
150g sugar (75g caster sugar + 75g brown sugar)
caramel sauce, for drizzling (make more ^^ just keep them in the fridge)

1. Melt butter over MEDIUM heat. Pay attention as the butter's boiling and crackling ~ and continue cooking until it turns clear and golden, and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of pan. Once you see brown bits at the bottom of pan, immediately remove from heat. Leave to cool. Strain through a fine metal sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer.

2. Grate apples and squeeze out the juices with your hands. Set aside grated apples. Dice plums and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 180C.

4. In a bowl, beat eggs till pale and foamy (but no need till light and fluffy). Mix in honey till combined.

5. In another bowl mix sifted flour, salt, cinnamon powder and sugars together. Make a well and fold in egg mixture and brown butter till combined. Then add the grated apples and diced plums till well incorporated. Do not over beat.

6. Pour into 12-muffin/cupcake tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

7. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm ^^

A-ha! Sounds familiar? That's because this is (almost-)exactly the same recipe I made recently, brown butter apple caramel cake! Not very original, eh? Sorry, didn't have much choice ^^||! It was an emergency! And all I could think of was this recipe ^^. So I just tripled the ingredients, added diced plums ('cos I didn't have enough apples ^^|| and plums were all I had ^^) and omitted the egg separation method! And voila! easy, yummy cakes to chase away the blues! ^^

Well, the addition of plums in the cakes was really nice.. it added a nice texture and tang to an already yummy cake ^^. And the cakes turned out really soft and moist despite not using the egg separation method ^^. I really, really like this easier, one-bowl-mix way! (^^)

And the kitchen smells soooo soooo wonderful ~  a whiff of heaven, perhaps? (^^)

p.s cake's pretty good on it own too.. drop the caramel if you like, for a lighter and healthier version ^^

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yummy-licious easy tuna kimchi jjigae

This is a most wonderful jjigae! Ignore the picture and believe it! ^^

The whole house smells sooo delicious! (^^) And more importantly, this is a super-easy recipe! A spur-of-the-moment kind of dish! No defrosting! Almost no planning.. provided you always have some canned tuna, kimchi, gochujang, gochugaru and onions in the kitchen ^^

Honestly, I was sceptical of this stew/soup/jjigae when I came across it on the internet. I've had kimchi jjigae with meat before, but never with tuna (??!!)! Can't say it was an appetising thought ^^|| What was convincing however, was that all the pictures were always drool-worthy spicy, fiery-red! So my kind of soup/stew! (^^)

Cheat's easy tuna/chamchi kimchi jjigae (adapted from aeri's kitchenkoreanfood and patbingsoo)

1 cup or more ^^ kimchi (chopped), with juices
1-2 pips garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, sliced fine
1 tbsp gochujang, hot chili pepper paste (optional)
1-2 tbsp gochugaru, chili pepper powder
3 cups water (more if you prefer)
1 canned tuna chunks, discard oil or water
1 tbsp sesame oil
salt, for seasoning

1. Heat up some oil and saute minced garlic and kimchi for a minute or two or three ^^.

2. Add onions, gochujang and gochugaru. Then pour in water and let it come to a boil.

4. Add tuna to boiling stew/soup. Bring to a boil again, then lower down heat and let stew/soup simmer for at least 20-25 minutes.

5. Add sesame oil and salt to taste. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Serve hot ^^.

* The trick to bringing out the best flavors of this jjigae is seriously, in the slow and steady simmering process. 

And how would I know? Well, it's because I tasted the soup every 5 minutes!!! ^^|| I can tell you now, the initial taste to the end result of this jjigae can be measured starting at a scale of 1, to end at a perfect 10! ^^ It's piquant, spicy, homey and robust! Everything I can ever ask for in a stew/soup! (^^)

It's amazing how something so simple can be so tasty! And know this, if fatty hubby can ask if I'm cooking this again for dinner tomorrow..and he asked again today, it's gotta be par excellence!!! (^^)

p.s this jjigae reminds me a teeny weeny bit of the very popular assam laksa.. which i'm not exactly a fan of (sorry, assam laksa lovers ^^||).. so please forgive me when i say that this tuna kimchi jjigae is much, much, much, much tastier and easier! in my opinion ^^ 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mum's turmeric squids

My late mum has only 3 "good" dishes to her name! I counted.

All who knew her knew she was an atrocious cook (sorry, mum)! But like I said before, who in their right mind can churn out inspired food for lunch+dinner at 5.30am everyday???!!! Not my mum ^^

Even on off (non-working) days, her cooking's more or less the same.. uninspired! She was also an obsessive compulsive health freak (probably due to her work environment)! Still, chubby big brother, me and papa pig, were all obese growing up! ^^|| not joking.

Anyway, next to stir-fry cabbage with eggs, turmeric squids and spicy assam prawns are the only food I remember she did well that I liked. Guess you can say these are my favorite mum-cooked foods ^^.

Well, I never did learn to cook these dishes from her ^^|| (thought she was going to live forever! and i had no interest in cooking then!). So I'm making turmeric squids (uncooked extras from the mentaiko pasta) based on memory. The good thing about her dishes, they are usually straightforward and simple. Doesn't take much to figure out what goes into making them. ^^

Turmeric squids
600g squids
2-3 tbsp turmeric powder
1-2 tbsp soy sauce (optional - I can't be sure if she added, but I did)
2 tbsp oil
1-2 tsp salt
more salt, to season (this dish should be on the slightly-so salty side) 

1. Mix squids with turmeric powder, soy sauce and salt. No need to marinade.

2. Heat up oil in a non-stick deep pan/wok. Add squids and saute till cooked. Season with a bit more salt if still not salty enough. Cook till the sauce dries up. Make sure you scrape off all the dry bits in the pan.. the dried bits are the best!

3. Best served with rice! (^^) Also very good on its own.. fatty hubby loves ^^

I did it! These turmeric squids tastes so yummy.. and exactly like mum's! So easy. A perfect cheat's lunch or dinner, or whatever! (^^)

Guess the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree ^^|| Lazy see, lazy does ^^ I'm an atrocious cook too ^^! I miss her ^^.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Honey beer bread.. not!|

I saw this on pinterest and immediately set out to buy some beer! 

I was sold! No kneading, no rolling and more importantly, no waiting!

Alas! this easy, boozy bread was not meant for us!

It's not the bread's fault, of course!

very nice crunchy golden buttery crust.. nice chewy, dense doughnut texture.. but not-so-nice bitter after-taste of beer! 

We never did like beer! ^^||  

p.s beer lovers rejoice! non-beer/alcoholic fans.. avoid!  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

You're 16 today, Big! ^^

Happy birthday! (^^)

And no, there's nothing much you CAN do at 16 in our country! You are very much a minor, still ^^ And that means I'm still at large.. I mean, in charge ^^! after your parents, of course ^^||

Know (it's the thought that counts ^^) that I would have baked you a dreamy japanese cheesecake today, except I sense "danger" with your papa.. especially after 2 days of "special" pasta. So maybe next week.. sssshhhhhh! when he's not around! (^^)

But what would a birthday be without some cheese.. I mean, cake ^^||.. right? That's why I baked you a healthy carrot cake ^^. To make it that wee-bit special.. I planned to make a teeny-weeny bit of cream cheese frosting.. papa can't possibly object to that, right? ^^ Anyway, we eat such "healthy" (?!) portions these days ^^

Carrot cake (recipe from the ever wonderful quaypocooks, melspantrykitchen and david lebovitz)

3/4 cup (180ml) brown butter (melted from 200g unsalted butter) (I couldn't resist ^^)
3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil (to use less next time.. maybe as david's recipe 1/4 cup/60ml?)
4 eggs, beaten till pale and frothy (but not till double in volume)
1 tsp vanilla extract (planned to.. but forgot ^^||)
2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
2/3 cup (130g) brown sugar
3 cups (3 medium) finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins

1. Melt butter over MEDIUM heat. Pay attention as the butter's boiling and crackling ~ and continue cooking until it turns clear and golden, and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of pan. Some butter turns very frothy just before it browns. Swirl the butter in the pan ocassionally. Once you see brown bits at the bottom of pan, remove from heat. It should smell so wonderful! Leave to cool. Strain through a fine metal sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer.

2. Preheat oven to 180C.

3. In a bowl, mix cooled brown butter, oil, eggs and vanilla extract (I forgot!) till combined.

4. In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add sugars and mix well.

5. Gently fold in dry ingredients into oil and eggs mixture till combined. Mix in grated carrots, nuts and raisins.

6. Pour into baking tin/s and bake for 40-50 minutes or till skewer comes out clean. If using muffin tins, bake around 25 minutes. I managed to bake 2 6-inch round cakes and 6 cupcakes ^^.

Cream cheese frosting
8 oz (250g) cream cheese
60g unsalted butter
1 cup (120g) icing sugar
a drop or two, vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and beat till smooth. Mix in vanilla extract till incorporated. (Didn't get to this part ^^)

Yes! That's what I planned.. a two-layer 6-inch cake with cream cheese frosting. Man plans, but the day decides ~ one of your aunts bought you carrot cake (which baby pig says has too much cream cheese!) last night! AAAAAARGH! And one of my cakes got stuck in the bottom of the pan, so that leaves me with only a 1-layer cake and cupcakes.. and also the chance to try some cake first ^^.. and IT'S SO OH-WOW! GOOD!!! Gorgeously golden, moist, soft and fluffy.. it doesn't need to hide under any frosting!! This is a cake I'd be proud to present perfectly on its own ^^.. anytime!

Hope you enjoyed the cake and your birthday, big! Always remember you are special! And what ever will be, will be.. Love you lots! (^^)

p.s. at 16, big weighs 72kg and stands at 5'10" (^^) nicely proportioned (with some baby fat here and there), and on the verge of being good looking ~ from a probably biased aunt(with good taste.. buds!)'s point of view ^^

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Big loves mentaiko pasta!

This is my 2nd surprise for big pig's 3-day food treat ^^.. mentaiko pasta.

Big loves anything mentaiko.. you can be sure he'll order mentaiko pasta (or mentaiko-anything!) if he sees them on the menu. He's adventurous like that ^^. We're not, even though we agree that mentaiko pasta is very, very yummy ^^.

So when nami of justonecookbook shared her mentaiko pasta recently, I knew I HAD to make it for big!!! Especially when she made it look so do-able ^^! Never mind that I was already set on making pasta with anchovy sauce! And so I decided to make BOTH ^^!.. and THAT's how the 3-day food treat came about ^^.

Anyway, even though I can tell mentaiko pasta consists of very few ingredients, it has never crossed my mind that I could make them at home.. all I associate mentaiko with ~ is that it's yummy, special, gourmet.. but mainly, it's pricey ^^||!

Well, it's not that pricey, nor elusive, after all ^^ In fact, it's affordable and easy to find at my favorite supermarket, isetan ^^.

Anyway, I love the briny mentaiko concoction! It's creamy and rich, but not as filling as a carbonara sauce.. yet it's also a wee-bit tangy (japanese mayo!) which makes it refreshing too (??!).. But best of all, this is another super easy, yummy, dreamy, delicious and SPECIAL (^^) pasta even kitchen lazy-ies (like me!) can make ^^. So head over to nami's blog for the recipe, step-by-step guide and beautiful pictures! (^^)

Big LOVES this as much as he loves the lighter anchovy sauce pasta! All of us enjoyed this too. I'm happy ^^

p.s. this is the first time I bought and cooked squids.. can't say i enjoyed handling them.. then again, i don't like handling raw - anything, except sashimi ^^ i think i can do it again.. maybe.. (^^)

p.p.s. i  doubled the recipe ^^ this pasta is best served with a generous sprinkling of chili flakes/powder to counter the creamy rich sauce. (^^)

Friday, October 5, 2012

A special pasta for my special Big ^^

I can't say I'm a big fan of pasta.. any kind for that matter.. I like it ok ^^

But big pig is. And to celebrate his upcoming 16th birthday in 3 days time, I've decided to give him a 3-day food treat! (^^)

This is a recipe I picked up from the little teochew last month, bookmarked for special days like this ^^.

Pasta with anchovy sauce (recipe from the little teochew, original from bread et butter)
~ serves 2-3 (maybe not..)

1 LARGE yellow onion
3-5 cloves garlic
30g anchovies (actual weight), chopped or minced finely (discard oil/liquid)
5 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 whole cloves (I omitted this as I didn't have any ^^||)
1 tbsp water
pepper, to taste (optional)
grated parmesan & chili pepper/powder, to season (optional)
chopped parsley, to serve (optional)
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (optional)
250-300g pasta of own preference

1. Finely chop the onions, garlic and anchovies. If you like a smoother paste/sauce, process onions and garlic till fine. (I just minced mine ~ no way am I washing more items than necessary! ^^)

2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over LOW heat. Add onions, garlic and anchovies and cook till fragrant, around 8-10 minutes.

3. Mix in 1-tsp of sugar to sauce, cook for a minute, then taste. If mixture is still too salty, add another tsp of sugar. (I didn't like the taste with just 1 tsp sugar.. so I added the extra tsp.. which tasted about right ^^)

4. Stir in butter and cloves (it's ok, if you don't have it ^^), then water. Let it simmer for a minute or so, and remove from heat.

5. Serve cooked pasta with anchovy sauce, mix thoroughly. Season with pepper, grated parmesan, chili flakes and garnish with chopped parsley or anything you like. Ju of the little teochew suggested adding sun-dried tomatoes ~ and they are absolutely gorgeous with this pasta!

This really is a super easy, fast and simple SUPER-LICIOUS pasta! Big LOVES it!!! So did baby! which was unexpected ~ he's a bit like me, not exactly a pasta-fan.. and definitely not anything briny nor fishy! He had seconds.. just so you know how good this is ^^! Mama pig likes too ^^

Oh yes, please make more if you are cooking for more than 2 persons.. this recipe barely feeds 3 (^^||).. this is from an *oink! oink!* point of view (that's me! 'cos I barely got a bite ^^||) ^^ Thank you so much, su-yin and ju for sharing! (^^)

p.s. i just realized that this is a relatively inexpensive dish (that sounds and taste pricey at restaurants!) and way too easy to make at home (^^)...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yummy brown butter apple caramel cakes

I don't normally have cravings. Ok, I do sometimes.. that's a rare sometimes ^^..

Well, looking at lynna's caramel apple donuts made me flip! I can't quite explain it ^^|| but I just HAD to have some--thing.. with apples, cinnamon and caramel!

Out of desperation (for lack of donut pan!), and some inspiration (^^!).. I adapted lynna's brown butter blueberry streusel muffin recipe and her caramel apple donuts recipe to satisfy my craving ^^! Since piggies and I have a "thing" about muffins, I reduced the flour amount from the original recipe.. and re-christened them as cakes ~ brown butter apple caramel baby cakes ^^

Brown butter apple caramel cakes (inspired by heartsinmyoven)

60g unsalted butter
1 cup (and more??) / 3 small apples, grated
30g sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp honey
60g self-raising flour, sifted (original recipe uses 120g = muffins)
a pinch of salt
a pinch or two ^^ of cinnamon powder
3 tbsp apple juice
20g sugar
1 egg white
6 tsp caramel sauce, for drizzling (it's always good to make more ^^ just keep them in the fridge)

1. Melt butter over MEDIUM heat. Pay attention as the butter's boiling and crackling ~ and continue cooking until it turns clear and golden, and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of pan. Once you see brown bits at the bottom of pan, remove from heat. Leave to cool. Strain through a fine metal sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer.

2. Grate apples and squeeze out the juices with your hands. Set aside grated apples and juice.

3. Preheat oven to 180C.

4. In a bowl, mix egg yolk with honey till combined. Add brown butter and 30g sugar to the mixture. Mix well, but do not over beat.

5. Fold in sifted flour, salt and cinnamon powder. Then add the grated apples. Lastly, mix in apple juice till well incorporated. Do not over beat. Don't worry if batter looks overloaded with grated apples and not enough batter.. the well-beaten egg whites will save the day! ^^

6. In another bowl, beat egg whites till foamy, then slowly add 20g sugar. Beat till stiff peaks are formed.

7. Gently fold in egg whites into batter. Do not over mix.

8. Pour into 6-muffin/cupcake tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

9. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm ^^

* these are really good! so unless you are baking for two, use the above recipe.. otherwise, you'll be kicking yourself (like I did!) for making such a tiny batch ^^|| I wasn't sure if this recipe would work (then), so... But now I do.. it WORKS!!! (^^)

The cakes turned out really, really well ^^ I was praying hard that it would ^^.. and not end up flat, dense or wet, from too much grated apples (yes, I do know I'm greedy! but I can't quite help myself ^^||) So glad it turned out moist and fluffy! And despite the over-load of grated apples, I could barely taste the apples (??!)! (^^)

Well, these baby cakes has certainly satisfied my craving for apple, caramel and cake! Though I wish I made more, I'm happy.. for now.  (^^)

p.s these yummies had big pig going like" mmm.. these are so.. mmm.. so, so good.. mmm.." ^^ he was practically licking the paper off  ^^ he was not alone ^^||

p.p.s another brilliant "oh-wow" bake! i swear it must be the brown butter ^^! and perhaps the caramel too.. ^^