Monday, October 22, 2012

An affair

More like a love-hate relationship. With Cream cheese frosting.
There are days when it works like a dream and it makes the loveliest swirls on cupcakes.

And most days, it makes a sloppy, drippy mess that tastes great but looks awful.
I've experimented. A lot.
More cream cheese, less butter. No butter, some shortening. With or without milk...or cream. A lot of powdered sugar. Not that much.
It really is hit-or-miss for me.

How do you handle your cream cheese?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bake Happy Love

There are a gazillion recipes to be found on the internet and there are plenty that get rave reviews from hundreds of readers. Unfortunately for me, there are good recipes I've tried that produce results I'm not very happy with. So when I do find a recipe that I like, chances are all the other stuff they post are right up my alley and I'll be following that baker/site like a crazy person!

I stumbled upon Aikko Aragon's blog when I was searching the net for local bakers. Bake Happy is packed with tutorials, recipes and great photos of Aikko's baking adventures. I love how Aikko writes! She's super funny and when you read her posts it's like you have been friends for a long time. I tried her recipe for the perfectly moist chocolate cake and oh my chocolate! I have found the one. It's got a secret ingredient that makes it extra fluffy and tasty in my opinion. Can you guess what it is?

I had to tweak the recipe a bit since my oven is really small and can only fit one 6-count muffin pan at a time. The original recipe can of course be found on the fabulous Bake Happy site.

Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe
Adapted from Bake Happy (bakehappy.blogspot.com)

Ingredients: (Yield: 16 cupcakes)

1 and 1/4 cup cake flour
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:
1. Preheat oven to 350*F, assemble cupcake liners in pan
2. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise and sugar until smooth
3. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder
4. Add a third of the flour mixture to the mayonnaise mixture
5. Add half of the water
6. Repeat steps 3 and 4, end with the flour mixture. Mix well.
7. Add vanilla extract
8. Scoop into cupcake liners and bake at 350*F for 15 minutes
9. Insert toothpick after 15 minutes, if it comes out clean then it's done!
If there are still crumbs sticking to the toothpick, bake for about 5 more minutes.



They say that the true test of a good cupcake is if it tastes good "naked" or without any frosting, and this recipe - although its delicious with buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache -  it still tastes fantastic without!

Thank you Aikko, you're the best! :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Cuppy Puppy Experience

Hi there! How are you? I hope you're doing spectacularly well. As for me, I've been baking. I know, I know, I should take pictures and blog about what has been keeping me up most nights (it's not Baby Z!) but I keep forgetting to take pictures of what I've baked! Let me correct that, I end up taking pictures using my mobile phone in very bad lighting conditions, making it embarrassing to post. Anyway, next time I will have to come up with a better schedule and take into consideration a proper photoshoot.

WELL. This post is all about a basic cake deco class I joined some weeks back. The talented artist behind Cuppy Puppy Bakehouse is Chef Joanna Penaloza Romero, and I was encouraged by a friend to take her class because she is the only one who teaches the method of covering a cake with ganache and producing sharp edges in one's cakes.
The class took place in the Cuppy Puppy Studio which was in the south, since I don't usually frequent that area I got lost and was almost late for the workshop! Chef Joanna is a beautiful, young woman who shared with us how she started in the business. She was very patient and encouraging throughout the whole class.

Chef Joanna at far right, my classmates and I and the results of the workshop :)

Guess what? I wasn't able to take enough photos! For a new baker like me, everything was twice as hard and I was working extra slow. Ganaching a cake is serious business. Instead, let me share with you what my finished decorated cake looked like and know that this cake was so hard to make!

This was my cake. Not bad, right?

Here's an Instagram photo of what the cake looked like after transport (the butterflies wings collapsed) and after a slice (I couldn't help it!). The cake was delicious! It was baked already by Chef Joanna, we just decorated it for the workshop.

Will be posting more of my baking escapades soon! Be safe :)