Friday, May 24, 2013

Chocolate cupcakes with oreo cream cheese frosting

These pictures reflect my mood lately about baking.

I apologise for the pictures, but I just had to share these cupcakes with the best oreo cream cheese frosting EVER. A few weeks ago, I baked a two layer chocolate cake, and smothered with oreo cream cheese frosting and decorated it for a friend's birthday. It was pure deliciousness. I had left over cream cheese frosting, and obviously I didn't want to let one of my best frostings to go to waste. So, I decided to bake some chocolate cupcakes to go along with it. 

I used to think that the combination oreo frosting and chocolate cupcakes was too sweet, but this chocolate cupcake is not too sweet, and works perfectly with the frosting. The frosting might look scarily black, as my mum commented, but that's the end result of many, many oreos. 

I also tried to frost the cupcakes with an off set spatula to create this kind of 'hollow' look like Magnolia's bakery, but failed miserably. It's your typical cupcakes you start out with as a beginner (or simply your 'too lazy to pipe it nicely' way). Pat on the frosting with a spatula or a knife, no fancy icing nozzles. Regardless of the apperance, these cupcakes were what I describe as 'amaze-balls', because you'll fall in love with the frosting. 

But yes, on to the pictures. The past 3 weeks, I've been sort of lazy with baking. Too lazy to even make a simple cake. Quite bizarre, because I always have the energy to bake, even if I'm down with the cold. However, I've been receiving a tremendous amount of the work the past few weeks, and quite literally haven't been able to squeeze in my usual baking sessions. I have mid year exams in less than 2 weeks, so I am frantically cramming with flash cards and practice exams. When it's all over, trust me.. You'll see a plethora of food recipes, and I'll especially be trying to master my cooking skills (because I am simply not as good at cooking than baking. I prefer creaming butter and sugar than sautéing mushrooms). 

For now, I am trying to survive for the next few weeks. lol. But hopefully I'll be in the mood to bake some Japanese cheesecake on the weekend. I neeeeeeed to make some cheesecake!

Chocolate cupcakes with oreo cream cheese frosting:

Chocolate cupcakes
3/4 cup (95 g) all purpose flour
3/4 (150 g) cup white sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) cup dark cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk and put a tsp of white vinegar. You can also put lemon juice. Just let it stand for 5 minutes)
1/4 cup brewed coffee, or espresso, hot
3 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 and a 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a muffin/cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment (or by hand), sift flour, cornstarch and cocoa powder. Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In another bowl or a cup, combine buttermilk, coffee, oil, egg and vanilla.
4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. The batter will be quite liquid-y.
5. Divide batter evenly among the liners.
6. Bake for 15-17 minutes (although I had mine in for about 20 minutes), or until a toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Do not over-bake.

Oreo cream cheese frosting
8 oz/250 g cream cheese (one block), at room temperature
56 g (4 tbsp or 2 oz)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup to 1 cup icing sugar (depending on preference)
30 oreo cookes, thoroughly crushed
Additional oreo cookies for decorating.

1. Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Then, gradually add the icing sugar until fully incorporated, and then beat until very light and fluffy.
2. Add the crushed oreos. If you want the more 'cookies and cream' effect, gently fold them in using a rubber spatula.
3. When cupcakes have cooled completely, frost the cupcakes with the icing.

Chocolate cupcakes adapted from Sweetapolita and oreo cream cheese icing adapted from Foodess

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Banana yeasted waffles

Once again, Mother's day comes!

Today, I prepared a lovely breakfast for my good-cook-mother. For one special day, honouring the woman of the house, the least I can do is to prepare a hearty and delicious breakfast.

So, on the breakfast menu: Banana yeasted waffles and freshly squeezed orange juice. I also just wanted to ask, does anyone squirm at the taste of bottled orange juice like me? It tastes completely different, bitter and with an off kind of taste. I've always hated drinking orange juice at  my school camps, and I just can't comprehend how people drink this daily. Freshly squeezed orange juice is the way to go!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Magic custard cake

As like any other young child would be, I was fascinated by magic. How could one be chopped off in that box?

Afternoon tea for five

Oh my lordy, I've never had such an afternoon tea, where I'm so full, that I refuse to have another mini tart. I am after all, the dessert queen.

My oldest sister suggested to go for our Mother's day celebration, the week before the actual date, to beat the crowds.

The waiting room is a swanky, classy sort of bar-place that is near the lobby in the Crown. The lobby where all these posh cars line up, and I always wonder where the people From what I've seen anyway! 

I've always had a good experience dining in Crown, like at Bistro GuillaumeKitchen workshop and also when the Brasserie was still there. I'm pretty darn lucky to have sisters who know their food around Melbourne :)
 We had two tiers, one to be shared with three people and one to be shared with two people, since there was the five of us. We first started with scones on the top, then savoury and then back to sweet!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Apple brownies

You may be a tad confused about the title. And also why I'm referring to 'autumn' or 'fall' right now. Apple brownies? Where's the chocolate? Autumn? Isn't it spring?
First of all, let me clarify something. I live in Australia, which is in the Southern hemisphere. The way the seasons work here, compared to the Northern  hemisphere (a majority of places), is the complete opposite! So, while you guys are having a fun summer, with extremely long vacations and the best produce of fruit, I'm stuck with cold weather, and missing the strawberries and mangoes. While you guys have winter during Christmas, we're having summer. Yeah, we have a 'hot' summer, or 'Christmas in the sand' (reference to Colbie Caillat). If only Australia was in the northern hemisphere. I've always dreamed of a snowy white Christmas...