Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Return of the Cupcakes

Dear all,

My baking journey in Indo has been up and down since the beginning of the year. There were good days where my cakes raised to perfection (trust me, nothing beats the feeling of it!!), and there were also days where they turned out to be utterly miserable. I have to adjust my recipes to suit the baking condition here at home. The humidity, quirks of my ovens, and the different ingredients, mainly the flour, the eggs, the sugar, and butter (butter is oh so expensive here!) make all the difference in my cakes. You see, most of the Indonesian recipes use margarine instead of butter, but when i substituted butter with margarine, i get all sorts of funny taste and smell from my cakes! There is this very famous Indonesian margarine brand that smells so funny when it’s being baked to the point that my usually very fragrant banana cake gives out sour aroma from the oven. HAH! Figure that out! I haven’t found a good brand of margarine that can be used for every recipe that I have hitherto compiled. Anyway, after several successful and not-so-successful attempts at various recipes, I’ve finally braced myself to baking cupcakes (again).

I made Red Velvet and Matcha cupcakes yesterday. Those two were the favourites along with my cookies and cream cupcakes. The red velvet were not as red since I used different brand of red colourings (i used to use Wilton’s, they’re good!) The cupcake wrappers were a bit too small too. I can’t find the usual cupcake wrappers here at home! Arghhh.. they’re all not the sizes i want. The mixture itself, were not as thick as it were back in Melbourne. And the cake is not as moist either. Julie!! I need you to taste my red velvet cos you’re the red velvet expert! Oh!! You know what!! Indo’s icing sugar is super duper sweet! I have to halve the sugar content in the icing, and even with that, those who tasted them last nite still complaint that they were a tad bit too sweet.

Surprisingly, the Matcha turned out to be a hit! Everyone says that the green tea one is nicer than the red velvet. In my humble opinion, though the chocolate tastes very very yummy, it overpowered a hint of tea flavour in the cake itself. And yes, the matcha icing is a bit too sweet. I was scared that it would leave a very bitter after taste, so i added in a little more sugar (and for your information, that’s already half of the original recipe. Thanks to indo’s super sweet icing sugar, my recipes are all messed up!)

The matcha is very special too because the Japanese green tea powder is imported from Melbourne (thank you dear cousin for your kind favour). Those of you who think that the green tea icing is a bit sandy, it’s because of the green tea powder. I didn’t use artificial green tea essence for it. Nor did I use any added chemicals/ cake emulsifiers such as TBM, VX or ovalet for ANY of my cakes. Only premium ingredients are chosen for bakingbee’s cakes. I always do my best to bake cakes that are as natural as possible.

These cupcakes are dedicated to my dear friends back in Melbourne who have been very supportive in testing my cupcakes and giving out comments and suggestions. They’re not as pretty or as yummy (in the case of the red velvet) as the ones back in Melbourne, but i will continue my quest for the perfect cupcakes.

PS. new photos will follow shortly.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bee on a lemon cake

Apologies to the related parties, this post has been very long overdue. I made this cake 10 days before i left Melbourne. Back then i didn’t have time to write about it because i have to pack my things up and also because the photos are in my brother’s camera. I have been pestering him for it, and yet up to this very moment, he still hasn’t given me that very file!! See, procrastination isn’t always a good thing.

Anyway, this cake was especially made for Vivienne, a.k.a. Madam Ho. We both are birthday twins and earlier last year, she told me that i must bake her birthday cake before i leave Melbourne for good. Initially, she requested lemony cake for her birthday party. It could be lemon tart, lemon pie, lemon cake, whatever, as long as it’s lemony cos lemony dessert is her favourite. Since I’ve never made lemon tart/ pie before, I settled for lemon cake. The trial cake which I turned into my “little miss sunshine” cupcakes, was a success. I wasn’t quite sure of what decoration to put on the cake. But i was thinking that lemony cake should be in the colour of yellow and yellow would be nice with white and pastel green. So I proposed a yellow cake with white daisies and mickey-eared-bees on top of it to Madam. She was sooo excited to hear the plan and told me that daisies are actually her favourite flower. Wheeeee ^^v.

This cute cake was not a trouble to make. In fact, the cake rose to perfection and I was so happy to see how it turned out. The cake was quite tall and was golden yellow in colour. Pretty pretty base cake. ^^v

Madam was very happy to see the cake. It was a pity that I couldn’t come to her birthday party as it was during my graduation ceremony. I heard that the guests loved the cake, appearance-wise and taste-wise. Happy Birthday, Madam! Thanks for trusting me to bake your birthday cake and also for being a great blessing to many of us! May the Lord continue to be your #1 in everything you do. XOXO