Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category
Today I was lying on my bedroom floor, staring at the ceiling (procrastinating) and thinking, “Why do things in life have to be so difficult?”
Conventional wisdom has it that if everything in life was easy and happy, we would never know satisfaction because we never had to work for our success. But is that really true? I don’t see many billionaire offsprings declaring that their wealth is not bringing them satisfaction and giving it all away so that they can enjoy the “process”… In fact, they seem pretty darn happy to me.
If I could achieve success without much work, I will be equally satisfied than if I had worked my ass off. Maybe even more because it cost me less heartbreak and effort. (i’d be like, “In yo face! A+ from studying the night before!” ) I am a firm subscriber to the belief: Work smart, not hard.
Saving time gives you more time to spend on those important to you.
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The next few weeks are going to be very exciting. Singapore is holding its next general elections and my generation is going to be voting for the very first time.
Maybe it’s a self-centered point of view but it feels like we are living in a time of change. The rise of social media and the internet have helped to level the political arena. It helps too that Singaporeans are generally well educated and (hopefully) able to make logical macro type decisions that will benefit the country. (or am i just deluding myself?)
Yet, there are still my peers living around me who remain steadfastly apathetic and live with their eyes closed. They are too content with the world that surrounds them. When everything is going well in your life, it becomes easy to forget about the less fortunate who are working harder than ever just to put food on the table, or the ones who fall through the gaps and are forgotten by society.
Be it for the ruling party or the opposition, I hope everyone will vote very carefully because this is a responsibility that should not be undertaken frivolously.
In this climate of severity, the cupcakes that I made this time round feel somewhat more mature than usual. It might be the bitter tang of the yuzu fruit, or the heavy texture of the chocolate cake, but everything about it screams “adult”.
I am a child from the generation of multifunctions… where phones can’t just be phones anymore but have to be able to take photos, film videos, host games and access the internet… Where cameras can connect directly to the printer or to the internet or anywhere…. and where muffins can’t just be one single flavour anymore…
I love my generation! Whee~!
I think that if you’ve read other posts in my blog, you’d have realized that i’m quite health conscious. (I need to fit into my jeans! Help!) But i also have a crippling weakness for sweet stuff and yummy food… It’s the balance that makes things fun!
Presenting the perfect yummy breakfast! Tastes unhealthy, but is actually pretty low fat and good for you! Awesome stuff.
Wholemeal Mocha Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!
adapted from allrecipes.com (i made a few changes…)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup wholemeal flour
- 3/4 cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup extra light olive oil
- 1/2 cup low fat milk with expresso dissolved into it (how much you put is really up to you! If you need a big kick at breakfast or a little kick)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well!
- In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, milk and vanilla.
- Dry ingredients into wet until just moistened. Don’t overmix or your muffins will be dry.
- Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.
- Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
- Enjoy for breakfast!
(i gave in to the temptation and started eating even before i finished taking my photographs… oop)
The first time in my life that i baked a cake, it was a HUGE FAILURE. It looked beautiful, smelled beautiful and tasted like bitter cardboard.
That was the last time that i ever attempted cake baking…. until the other day, when my friends turned 21…
In junior college, we were a tight bunch and it seemed so cold to just purchase a cake from the bakery for them. So i swallowed my pride, and choked down my fear, and set about conquering The Cake.
To make matters worse, the place where we were meeting for their birthday was far from home and a normal cake with frosting/a cheesecake would never keep over the long distance. Travelling via public transport would also entail jostling and outright violence. Not a good cake carrying environment at all.
So i decided to bake The Chocolate Domingo Cake. Hailed as THE ONE by certain websites… i was banking all my hope on its amazingness…
Interestingly, this cake uses the reverse creaming method, and instead of just mixing it barely enough to moisten the dry ingredients, you have to beat it hard and beat it long. Much better in my opinion.
Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Chocolate Domingo Cake
42g Dutch cocoa powder
160g sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
156g sifted cake flour
200g castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 180′C.
In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and half the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining cocoa mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tin (23cm diameter greased and lined springform tin) and smooth the surface with a spatula. The tin will be about half full.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted near the centre comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.
Let the cake cool in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Reinvert so that the top is up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.
Decorate with icing sugar, no frosting needed!
And it was well worth the effort. =)
I love black bottomed cupcakes. I always bake these when I have cream cheese to clear or if I need some cupcakes to bribe my way past something. (I’m always late for meetups. When I bring food, I get forgiven more easily)
So the other day, I was baking these cupcakes to clear off the remnants of cream cheese from my cheesecake 2 posts away… and I got to thinking how black bottomed cupcakes are essentially a realistic representative of how important diversity is in our world. The cupcakes would taste (frankly) like crap if it was only the cheese part or only the chocolate part. It is the marriage of the two vastly different tastes that makes it quite so awesome.
adapted from allrecipes.com, I normally halve the cheese mixture which I have calculated in the recipe below.
- 4 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1 small small egg
- 1/6 cup – 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/16 teaspoon salt (i just leave this out)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate (I have tried this with dark chocolate and stuff but white chocolate gives it the best taste.)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water (I use milk)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended.
- Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.