Nov 23, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes w/ Brown Sugar Frosting

When it’s chilly out, I like some spicy cupcakes while sippin’ on my apple cider.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

slightly adapted from here.


¼ C (½ stick) butter, softened

2 Tbsp plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

½ C granulated sugar

½ C molasses

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ C all-purpose flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground clove

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

¾ C hot milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 minutes Fahrenhite

2. In a bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and salt

3. In another bowl, cream together butter, yogurt, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in molasses, egg and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.

4. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk

5. Add in half of the flour to the butter mixture, mix; add in half the milk, mix. Add in the rest of the flour, mix; and then the remaining milk, mix!

6. Pour batter halfway up the greased cupcake pan.

7. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until done (I baked mine for 21 minutes)

8. Let cool completely before frosting.

Note: when I mix a cookie or a cupcake batter, I try not to mix too much. Before adding the last bit of dry and wet ingredients, I only mix the batter to a point when the flour is just about to disappear.

While my cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Brown Sugar Frosting

Recipe from the Cupcake Project


½ C (1 stick) butter

2/3 C packed brown sugar

¼ C milk

1 ½ C sifted powdered sugar, or confectioners’ sugar


1. In a saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil lower the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Add the milk and bring to boil again, stirring constantly

3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and then gradually add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time.

4. Beat until thick enough to spread.

* If too thick, add a little hot water to thin it out.

Mine was too running, it’s not really a frosting, but not as runny as a glaze. Also I reduced the amount of brown sugar and the powdered sugar from the original recipe because when I used the original recipe it was way to sweet. It tastes great though, kind of taste like caramel, but with more intense molasses flavor.


Say what? Frosting to muffins?

I accidentally created something yummy today at around 1:30 a.m.

Just about an hour ago I just finished watching like 10 episodes of 30 Rock, and felt like I should do something productive, so I decided to bake. I asked my suitemates what they would like for a mid-night snack, cookies or cupcakes and they choose cupcakes. I then thought of the left over brown sugar frosting I made the other day; it’s been sitting in my freezer for awhile. I thought to my self, since the frosting is made of butter, brown sugar, some milk, and powdered sugar why not just use it in my batter? So I warmed it up to soften and loosen it and then added some flour, baking powder, and all that jazz. Baked them. They turned out amazingly yummy! I kid you not, My suitemates love them!
So here’s how I made those puppies!
Brown Sugar Frosting Muffins:
(Make 12 muffins)
1 egg, at room temperature
1 ¼ C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ C milk (I used soymilk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In another bowl, mix together the frosting and the egg until well combined
4. Mix in half of the flour mixture into the frosting mixture and then add half of the milk; mix well. Add the rest of the flour, milk and vanilla; mix until well blended. Do not over mix!
5. Pour batter into well-greased muffin pan; fill them a little more than halfway full (they don’t rise up too much)
6. Bake fore 15-18 minutes (I baked mine for 15 minutes.)
Note: a great way to tell if a cupcake or muffin is done is when the sides of it start pulling away from the pan. Another good way to tell is when you press the top of the cupcake/muffin down lightly, it bounces back, you know it is done.
I put some salted butter on my muffin when it’s still warm; it’s definitely a yummy in ma tummy.
The next day it was thanksgiving break and I had a dear friend coming to visit. While waiting for her to arrive, I made some cream cheese frosting. The recipe can be found here.
I must say it is one of my favorite frosting of all time. It tastes great with everything, literally.

Nov 20, 2011

Cream Puffs Once Again

I've been craving for sweets for the past few days and finally decided to make cream puffs today!

I love love love the combination of the warm crispy puffy shell and the cold creamy filling. It turned my blue day into orange. Yeah, I think orange is a happy color.

I used a different recipe than the one I used last time, and I like it even more! I omitted the sugar and changed the amount of eggs.

Pâte à Choux (Cream Puffs Shell)
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 425F degree
2. In a saucepan, combine butter, water, and salt; cook on medium heat and bring it to a full boil, remove from heat
3. Dump all the flour in at one time and stir like crazy. Bring back to the stove and on medium-low heat, cook it until the mixture starts to come together and form a ball.
4. Allow the mixture to cool a bit. (It doesn’t have to come to room temperature, but should be cool enough to touch)
5. Add in eggs, one at a time. Make sure the mixture is fully combined before you add the next egg. (when you first add the egg, the mixture will separate; don’t panic! Keep stirring and eventually it will come together)
6. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined
7. Pipe batter onto the pan, leave them about 1 inch apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes (I baked mine for exactly 20 minutes)
Note: if you don't want your cream puffs to have the little pointy hat on the top like me, wet your hands with water and dab the top with your finger.
fresh outta the oven!

the inside should be hallow and dry. If it's still moist and you can taste the dough, bake it for another minutes or so.

Meet my lovely friend Kari :)

I used the same cream filling recipe I used last time because it’s so darn good.

Nov 19, 2011

fudge ♥

I LOVE chocolate. To me, everything tastes better with chocolate, everything. There are only a few things I love as much as chocolate; and fudge is one of them. I absolutely adore fudge, in fact I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like fudge. They’re crazy if they don’t.

I’ve been experiencing with different amount of ingredients and types of chocolate for making fudge. And this is one of my favorite fudge recipe.

Triple Chocolate Fudge
2 Tbsp butter
2/3 C evaporated milk (I use low-fat)
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme (I use Fluff)
1¼ C granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 C semi-sweet chocolate
1 C dark chocolate chips
½ C white chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, combine butter, evaporated milk, marshmallow creme, sugar, and salt. Cook on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. DO NOT STOP STIRRING!
3. After 5 minutes, remove pan from heat and stir in semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips until they’re melted and the mixture is smooth.
4. Add in vanilla extract and white chocolate chips. At this point, make sure the mixture is not too hot; you don’t want to melt the white chocolate chips!
5. Pour into the prepared pan and chill in the fridge for about an hour or until firm.
6. Cut into pieces and serve!

It is like Christmas in your mouth! I can't wait for Christmas!


French Macarons w/ Dulce de Leche Filling

Macarons, the little devils that gives me stress. I've tried making them many times, and this is the closest I can get.Many people around me LOVE macarons. I didn’t know about them until one day my sister told me how much she loves macarons; I then decided to make them.

I made macaron before I even tasted one; it was about a year ago when I went back to Taiwan for winter break. Whenever I go back home, all I do is bake because there’re many kids with sweet tooth in our neighborhood. One morning I got up, brushed my teeth, and decided to bake, except I didn’t know what to make and needed inspiration, so I went to my sister. “Ooooo, make macarons!” Macarons? Never heard of it.
After hours of recipe searching, we went out shopping for the ingredients. Getting almond flour, or ground almond, was a pain in the butt; it took us forever to find it. We went to several different places and finally got all the ingredients for chocolate macarons. I was excited to make them because they seem to be known as the fancy pantsy dessert that’s extremely difficult to make. To be honest, I thought I could get it right the first time. Wrong. I made two batches, burned the first batch; and the second batch didn’t look anything like the ones I saw in the pictures in other people’s blogs. Both batches of my macarons spread out and were super flat and crispy. I didn’t give up and tried again the next day, and failed again. After that I never thought about making macarons again until this year.
When I was searching for the macaron recipe. I looked at some websites that David Lebovitz (by the way I LOVE reading his blog) suggested; there are some great tips. I finally decided to use this recipe; and I used dulce de leche as the filling. It is one of the most delicious and easiest thing to make.
French Macarons
4 oz ground almond, almond flour, or almond meal (they're the same thing)
8 oz confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar
5 oz egg whites (I used about egg whites of 5 eggs)
2.5 oz granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit
2. Sift together ground almond and powdered sugar and set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt; whip at medium speed for about 3 minutes (I used a hand mixer.) Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 3 minutes. Then Increase the speed to high for another 3 minutes.
4. Add in the vanilla extract and whip on the highest speed for one minute. At this point, the mixture should reach the stiff peak form. One way to test it is holding the bowl over your head and if the mixture doesn't fall on your head you know you're done. (I personally never tried this though, at least I never held it over MY head...)
5. Dump the dry ingredients into the egg whit mixture and fold to incorporate them with a rubber spatula. After about 4o folds you should be good. You don't want to under or over mix the batter. One way to test it is to take a spoonful of it and drop it onto a plate, if it holds its shape and doesn't spread out at all, you're not done; give it another few folds. On the other hand, if the consistency is runny like the pancake batter, you're over mixing it.
6. Pipe the batter on the baking sheet; each cookie should be 1 inch apart.
7. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until you can peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. When they're done baking, let cool completely on the pan before removing them from the parchment paper.
8. Pipe the filling onto the shell and sandwich them together!

Dulce de leche
1 can sweetened condensed milk is all you need
Remove the lable from the can of the condensed milk and place the can in a pot, at this point you don't need to open the can. Fill just enough water to cover the entire can; cook it over medium heat. When the water started to boil turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 3-4 hours. I cooked mine for 3 hours and it was perfect for spreading. If you want yours to be thicker cook it for another hour. When the time's up, let the milk cool until the can is cool enough to touch, NOW you can open the can, dig in, and eat it with a spoon! I mean.. spread some on your macarons and share them with your friends.

The taste of my macarons was right, and the texture seems pretty close. however, the bottom cracked and didn't have the feet, or pied. According to crispywaffle, "Without the pied, you couldn't really call it a macaron." So I guess I made some sandwich cookies that tasted like macarons. oh well, I'll give it a try sometime in the future, one day I'll get it right, one day.

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