Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Chocolate Cupcakes

If you happen to live in my part of the world and share my religion, you would know that Easter just passed! Easter bunny, Easter eggs and the death/rising of Jesus Christ. Good stuff, however, there's little a occasion where a cupcake can't sweeten (unless it's a funeral, which then people are too sad to eat cupcakes). So why not make cupcakes? These ones are partly my own creation and are Easter themed, making it a perfect after-easter sweet.


Chocolate Cupcakes
This is the cupcake, but not the icing
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour. baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing when cool.

Jocelyn's review
Great recipe, though you have to be careful not to over mix some of the ingredients, it has to be just right. Not too hot, not too cold, just right! - Goldilocks. If baked at the right temperature for the right amount of time, these cupcakes are delicious! However, if you're not careful, they can come out dry and crumbly... I would not recommend this recipe for someone who has not baked before. For others, give it all you've got!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Wonka's Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight Chocolate Bar

We just finished our production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! I wondered if I would be able to make some of those treats myself, so I looked around on the internet and found this:

Monday, 27 February 2017

Croissants

Croissants
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F)
3 teaspoon white sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
1 tablespoon water



Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.
Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil. Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume. Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes.

Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 1/4 inch margin all around. Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. 

Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours.

To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.

Bake in a preheated 475 degrees F oven for 12 to 15 minutes

Jocelyn's review
Me personally, I suck at making stuff rise. I have yet to try this recipe and will get back to you then.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

French Macarons

Love is in the air! Valentine's Day was a few weeks ago and I found this perfect french macaron recipe. Let me just tell you, macarons are super tricky so make. If you can bake these you can bake almost ANYTHING!! This recipe is also great because it gives you different choices for the filling...


French Macaroons

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners' sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.

Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.
Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.
Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.
Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.
Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).
Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a "foot," about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

Almond-Raspberry:
Tint the batter with 2 drops neon pink gel food coloring; flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you'll need about 3/4 cup).

Mint-White Chocolate:
Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.

Blueberry Cheesecake:
Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.

Lavender-Honey:
Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.

Pineapple:
Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.
Photograph by Levi Brown

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Jocelyn's review
Love, love, love this recipe!! Don't get frustrated with this recipe if it doesn't work well the first few times. Macarons are finicky! Here's a video with a few tricks on how to make your macarons work:

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Tips

I realized that some of you don't/can't bake. Hopefully you will find these tips helpful and slightly informative!


Things you should have as a beginner baker

Some sort of mixer

Image result for measuring cups
Measuring cups - at least 1 cup,
1/2 cup, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon
 








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Baking pans






Cooling rack










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Oven


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2 or more bowls
 for mixing














Baking Ingredients for a beginner

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Sugar
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Flour












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Baking Powder

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Baking Soda

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Salt


Image result for clubhouse vanilla extract
Vanilla Extract

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Gingerbread cookies

Image result for dark gingerbread cookie

Over Christmas me and some friends went over to my friend Meheq's house to bake gingerbread cookies! Okay, we didn't really bake the cookies. Meheq's mom made the dough for us, which we then cut. Then while Meheq's mom baked that batch we decorated the already baked ones. Meheq provided us with rockets, skittles, icing and so much more. Soon, our cookies were basically covered with sweet goods.  In short, we did nothing but have fun. Thanks to Meheq and her family for, especially her mom, for hosting us! Here's the recipe for the cookies we  her mom made.


3/4 cups unsalted butter softened
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cups cooking molasses
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
Assorted icing, candy and powdered sugar

In large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and molasses.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, baking powder and salt; stir into egg and molasses mixture in 3 additions, blending with hands and kneading to combine.
Divide into thirds; shape into flat rectangles. Wrap each and refrigerate until firm-ish, about 2 hours.
Between parchment paper, roll out each rectangle to 1/4 inch thickness. With floured 5-inch gingerbread person, snowflake, or other shape cut out cookies. 
Bake in 325°F oven until firm to the touch and light golden on the edges, about 15 minutes. transfer to cooling racks, let cool completely.
Ice with icing. Decorate with candies and powdered sugar.
Recipe courtesy of Meheq and her mom

Jocelyn's review
Great! These cookies will come out a little bit darker than the normal ones. Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar but it is slightly less sweet. This makes it great for icing - if you don't use too much. Eat while hot because the cookie is hard once it's out for an hour or two! 4.5 out of 5.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Lamingtons

Lamingtons! Should look like this...
I know that I said I would make 4 batches of cookies before Christmas, but I've been busy. One of my best friends Sophie is going back to Australia!! We were not expecting this because Sophie and her siblings just moved here about a year ago. So, in honor of her, when you make this Aussie Lamington recipe, remember her. And to Sophie L. herself, we'll all miss you SO much. Remember, "We're only one, call, away. We'll be there to save the day" Thank you for this brilliant recipe! Readers, don't forget to check out Sophie's blog here: Sophie's Surfing Blog

Ingredients
125g butter, softened ('round half a cup and a little bit)
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 cups desiccated coconut (optional)

Icing
3 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water

Directions
Preheat oven to 355°. Grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) lamington pan. If you don't have a lamington pan, use a roughly the same size baking pan. It make little to no difference. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides. 
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may curdle).
Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top. 
Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight.

Icing: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water. Stir until smooth.
Cut cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip 1 piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Stand for 2 hours or until set. Serve.

Jocelyn's review
I haven't personally made this recipe but from the little bit I tried it was great!! Cool, moist (that's a good thing) and very... spongy. Be careful with the icing as from experience with other cakes, the cake will crumble apart so try to freeze it (2 hours should be enough). Another thing that helps, make sure the icing isn't too thick (it will definitely break the cake) or too runny (will slip of the cake and leave a soggy cake with no icing). Let me know if you tried this recipe and what you think about it in the comments!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May this new year turn all your dreams into reality and all your efforts into achievements.