Friday, May 16, 2014

Chocolate cupcake with nutella swiss meringue buttercream ^^

This is a little surprise for my piggies. Mainly to celebrate Big pig finishing his AP exams.

My Big will be off to college in August.. and I'm still coming to terms with him leaving the coop so soon. He is, after all, my first love.. pure and unconditional.. and at first sight too. I'm a little sad.. a little.. Someone just told me not to cry when he leaves.. I will try my best. I have a pretty loose crying duct.

Moist chocolate cake (adapted from Agnes Chang, let's eat)
~ makes 12 cupcakes & a 6-inch round cake
220g sugar (it's perfect for me at 180g ^^) 
250ml milk
1 tsp instant coffee
250g unsalted butter
3 eggs
135g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
some nutella, optional

1. Place sugar, milk and instant coffee in a saucepan and heat till sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir till melted. Leave to cool.

2. Fold in eggs one at a time into the cooled milk mixture. Or use egg separation method for bouncy light cakes!

3. Sift flours and cocoa powder together and mix into the egg mixture.

4. Pour into cupcake liners and bake at 170C for 25 minutes. Or a greased cake tin for 40-45 minutes, or till skewer comes out clean.

5. When the cupcakes are cool, fill cake with nutella (place in piping bag with nozzle) by pushing the piping nozzle into the centre of the cake and pipe in filling.. this is optional ^^ Spread leftover nutella jam on cake if you like ^^

Nutella swiss meringue buttercream (adapted from the cakemerchant)
~ frosts 12 cupcakes
3 egg whites
75g sugar
227g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup nutella

1. Put egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a pan/pot of simmering water (without bottom of bowl touching the water). Whisk egg whites and sugar till sugar melts (rub mixture between fingers, if mixture is no longer grainy (smooth) to the touch, it's ready ^^). Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg whites mixture till white, fluffy and glossy for about 10 minutes.

3. Add diced butter bit by bit into the mixture. If mixture curdles, just continue whisking till it all comes together again. It always does, just be patient ^^.

4. Add vanilla extract and nutella till well combined. Place in the fridge if buttercream is too soft, and beat for a bit if it's too stiff straight out from chilling.

These cupcakes are inspired by rima@bisouatoi ~ I saw her gorgeous chocolate cupcakes with nutella swiss meringue buttercream and a piece of ferrero rocher chocolate on facebook ~ and I knew these would be perfect for piggies! Never mind that all my piggies are not that big on chocolate desserts.. they are sure to fall for the ferrero rocher trick! Haha!

I haven't made anything fancy or frosting for some time.. I hope piggies will like this treat ^^

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Longan milk jelly ~ perfect wobble, smooth yet firm ^^

Yay! Finally! After almost 2 months of water rationing, it feels GREAT to get our lives back to normal again! ^^

It has been so hard to bake or cook during the past 2 months, with only a ONE-day window of opportunity of water supply, in between 3 days of no-water. Lucky (or unluckily, depending on how you see it) for us, our apartment tank water lasted almost 2 days. So we had no water only for a day. Of course, I've heard of some apartments' tank water lasting throughout the water-blackout, oh, lucky them! If only our apartment residents were more prudent and conscientious, it would have lasted longer I suppose!

You have no idea how much I wished everyone did all their chores, cooking and laundry on that ONE-day, and saved water for only the ALL-IMPORTANT bathing and toilet use for the rest of the "no-water" days. That would have made things so much better! If only everyone thought the same.. am I too extreme? Nawhhhhh... ^^

Longan milk jelly (adapted from mybaking)
~ makes a lot! ^^
3 tsp agar-agar powder
130-140g sugar
2 litres of water (1 can of longan syrup and top up with water)
10 pandan leaves (optional ~ I didn't ^^)
1 can of evaporated milk (400g)
1-2 cans of longan

1. Bring agar-agar powder, sugar and longan syrup+water to a boil.

2. Once boiled, add evaporated milk and again bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and leave to cool for about 8-10 minutes.

3. Strain/sieve mixture before use. Place a piece of longan into each mould and fill with mixture.

4. Chill thoroughly or at least 3-4 hours before serving. Serve immediately.

If you're looking for the perfect wobble, smoothest soft yet firm-enough jelly pudding ever, look no further!!! Mybaking has really nailed the perfect recipe! ^^ Though I'm not too certain about the high amount of sugar in her recipe ^^|| I reduced to more than half because of the addition of longan syrup, and it was more than sweet for us. Even without the longan syrup, I think halving the sugars (from 300g to 150g) is not a problem, unless you have a super-sweet tooth! ^^

Happy days ahead! ^^ ^^ ^^ ~~~~~~

I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs up (May 2014: Milk) organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House