Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Baking Project : Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

I went to the Tampines library one afternoon to borrow some baking books as what I have are mostly cooking books but not so much on baking. How I wish I could own all these books at my home library as part of my collections :)So my birthday is coming soon and I have made known to my hubby to get cooking and baking books for my birthday present :) This is the book where I followed the recipe to bake my first chocolate cupcake! The name of the book is ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ written by Nigella Lawson. This is really a wonderful book whereby she gave a personal touch of comments and sharing of tips based on her vast cooking and baking experiences for each recipe no matter how simple the recipe is. So when I read this recipe book it seems to me that she is ‘talking’ to me and I am so amazed that the recipes come alive to me in that way! Will get one copy of this book hee..

I did my first ever baking project on 29 July 2008. I didn’t follow the chocolate cupcake recipe strictly as I have not gotten my kitchen weighing scale and I didn’t have a kitchen mixer with me and many other baking stuff. In order to make sure that my first project successful and that I didn’t tire myself too much, I used my gut feelings and senses to bake and improvise. I think baking is all about using your heart and soul and of course your mind! We learn as we grow :)



12 bun muffin tin and cupcake cases
150g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
125g soft unsalted butter
2 eggs beaten
100g dark chocolate, melted
150g caster sugar
300g morella cherry jam

For the icing :
100g dark chocolate
100ml double cream
12 natural-coloured glace cherries

Simplified Method for the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C/350 deg F. Grease and line the muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2. Put butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Melt the butter and when nearly completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment and remove from the stove. Stir with wooden spoon until butter and chocolate melted.
3. Add jam, sugar, salt, eggs and when all are well mixed, stir in the flour. Scrape and pour batter into a cupcake cases.
4. Let the cupcake cool on the tray before turning over.

The method for the icing which i didn't do :

5. When the cupcakes are cool, break the chocolate for the icing into little pieces and add the to the cream in a saucepan. Bring to boil, remove from heat and beat until thick and smooth.
6. Ice the cupcake and smooth witht the back of the spoon and stand a cherry in the centre.

I must admit my version of the cupcakes looked bare without the icing. I will try to do the full version next time. Also I replaced the morella cherry jam with St. Dalfour Blueberries jam as I cant find the former. I have reduced the amount of sugar as well.

I like to take photos of the batter or dough when it is going through the baking process or in production. I like to observe how it is transformed as part of the learning process. I just can’t help but to relate baking process to raising a kid somehow. We must use the right amount of ingredients (e.g love) and follow the steps (e.g human rules) yet we cannot overuse certain ingredients or use too much strength or follow the steps too strictly. There are always variations that happen along the line that we have to accept.

The cupcakes tasted so wonderful though without the icing. It is so moist and soft. You can taste the sour berries in between the rich chocolate flavoured bites. My daughter tucked in one and wanted more but I stopped her at one as it was a little heavy for her before her sleeping time.

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