birthday cake

December 6, 2009 at 1:14 am | Posted in Birthdays, Cakes, Cheese, Fruit | 4 Comments

made this cake yesterday for the boy’s sister. i opted for a simple design because i wanted to make the pink stand out, and stand out it did! i think it’s a bit of an overkill… hope she’ll like it anyway. it’s a strawberry cake, sandwiched by a layer of fresh strawberries and cream cheese frosting.

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double chocolate macadamia cookies

December 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Birthdays, Chocolate, Cookies | Leave a comment

i’m not really a fan of double chocolate cookies, but these little dark beauties may have changed my mind. i adapted a recipe from woman’s weekly cupcakes and cookies and it turned out to be an absolute keeper.

today we sprang a surprise (fancy being “ambushed” after coming out of the toilet!) on one of the boy’s friends, ridhwan, who is flying off to laos for the sea games in a couple of days. he likes dark chocolate – “the darker and more bitter the better”, according to the boy.

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125g butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
275g firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
150g plain flour
35g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
35g cocoa powder
250g chocolate chips
70g macadamia nuts, chopped

1. preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. grease a couple of baking trays.

2. beat butter, vanilla extract, sugar and egg in a bowl with electric beaters/mixer until smooth; do not overbeat. add in dry ingredients, then nuts and chocolate chips. mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.

3. roll dough into balls (mine was about a little smaller than 1 inch in diameter) and bake for about 12-15 minutes. stand cookies for 5 minutes on tray before transferring to wire rack to cool.

feel free to play around with the mix-ins – the recipe called for raisins but i substituted it with nuts. i used the macadamia nuts that my good friend bought for me all the way from perth, which i received yesterday. i also used a mixture of chocolate chips and chopped dark chocolate. fans of white/milk chocolate, you could use those!

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happy birthday wan! kick box some ass in laos! 🙂 i would send you off if i were around; but i’ll be there in spirit. all the best!

strawberry cupcakes with meringue frosting

December 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Cupcakes, Fruit, Meringue | 2 Comments

now that it’s the holidays (or so it seems), i’ve got a little bit more time to bake. tonight we’re celebrating a friend’s birthday and since she wanted something “strawberryish”, i decided to try a new cake recipe, martha stewart’s strawberry cupcakes.

the cupcake was sufficiently moist; my personal prerequisite for good cakes/cupcakes. i took a bit of time thinking of what frosting to pair it with – i didn’t want cream cheese (one of my friends doesn’t care much for cheese, a very weird thing i must say) and the thought of buttercream was too cloying. chocolate ganache probably wouldn’t go well with the strawberry… so i settled on a meringue frosting.

3 egg whites
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

set a metal bowl over a sauce pan with an inch or two of boiling water in it and beat egg whites until foamy. add in cream of tartar and beat until fluffy. add sugar gradually until meringue reaches fairly stiff peaks. spread or swirl onto cooled cupcakes. place in oven (about 150 degrees celsius) for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.

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the duo-toned frosting was achieved by “streaking” the insides of the piping bag with gel food colouring; i used a toothpick. since this frosting isn’t particularly sweet, i could afford to load up on it. after the whole act was put together, i realised that these looked more like christmas cupcakes than birthday ones!

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