If you have been following this space, you would be aware that blogging here has slackened a lot.... that's ever since I agreed to take up more responsibilities at work. As a result, I've also seldom taken out my dslr for my photo shoots. But two weeks ago, I just had the urge to use the camera to capture some shots of my Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake which I shared on FB and IG. I just love the pictures.... No way would I be able to capture those beautiful shots with my iphone....
I realise that using the big equipment is not the difficult part. For me, it's styling the set-up for the shots that often takes up a big part of the whole process. Without fail, I would be perspiring at the end of the photo shoot. Come to think of it, if I just shoot close-up pictures, very minimal set-up is really needed for some nice shots. So, I should pick up my mojo and the dslr camera and start taking nice food pictures, especially when taken at home...
The final week of term 3 was a short one because of Teacher's Day and Hari Raya holidays. Things in school were also slowing down after the term tests.. So I had the urge to bake something... and what better excuse to bake than to celebrate Teacher's Day!
I've been yearning to try some recipes by Lindsay of Life, Love and Sugar for some time..... Her cakes always look so moist and mouth watering. I decided to bake her very moist-looking chocolate cupcakes, fill them up with Nutella and frost them with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, my favourite kind of frosting. I totally love the cupcakes.... they are so moist, so chocolatey and so good!! If you are a fan of chocolate cakes, you must try baking these... they are totally worth the calories!
Makes 24 cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp espresso powder (I used 3 tbsp Nescafe instant coffee.)
1 cup boiling water
1. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
2. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Add vanilla and espresso to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
4. Pour into cupcakes pans lined and bake at 300°F (150°C) for about 20-25 minutes.
5. When done, remove cupcakes from oven and cupcake tin and allow to cool.
SALTED CARAMEL SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
Ingredients:5 large (150 grams) egg whites
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar (I reduced this by 2 tbsp.)
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tbsp salted caramel sauce
more salted caramel sauce for the drizzle
1. Add egg whites and sugar to a clean and dry mixing bowl. Make a double boiler by placing the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk the egg white mixture constantly but gently until temperature reaches about 140°F (60°C) or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2. Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and attach it to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add the butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles, just keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add the vanilla, salt and salted caramel sauce and continue beating on low speed until well combined.
Recipe adapted from Handle the Heat.
1. Core the center of the cupcake.
2. Spoon a teaspoon or 2 of Nutella into the cavity.
3. Pipe the Swiss Meringue Buttercream onto the cake.
4. Drizzle salted caramel sauce.