Wednesday 25 February 2015

Chewy Brownies

I've never baked brownies from the box mix. Apparently, these brownies which I bake from scratch are supposed to taste very close to the ones baked using the box mix. They are dark, dense, fudgy, chewy & have strong chocolate flavour, exactly how a fudge brownies should be. Love them! 

Chewy Brownies
(I copied & pasted the recipe from  Brown Eyed Baker & the changes that I made are in red.)


1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa - I used Valrhona.
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)- I added.
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted - about 2 ounces or 60g
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (17½ ounces) sugar
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces- I used Valrhona 55% chocolate buttons.

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides (I used a 10x10-inch pan). Spray with non-stick cooking spray (I greased it with butter).

2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes (I baked mine for 50 minutes.). Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, March & April 2010.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker.

I'm linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up (February 2015) - Cocoa event organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids & Doreen of my little favourite DIY & hosted by Grace of Life can be Simple.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Chocolate Frosting

These cakes were baked many many weeks ago. I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe and this one caught my eyes. The method of mixing is rather unusual for a cake and the batter is also very watery. Surprisingly, the cakes turn out very moist and delicious. For the topping, I chose the rich and tangy cream cheese chocolate frosting. Perfect combination!

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Chocolate Frosting

60g plain flour
18g cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
40g brown sugar
40g caster sugar
1 tsp instant coffee granules (optional)
1 small egg
50ml  fresh milk (I used UHT.)
30ml canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 ml boiling water

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a standard cupcake tray with 6 cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt into a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugars, coffee, egg, milk, oil & vanilla. Beat using a mixer until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Then add the boiling water and mix until just combined. The batter will be very watery so don't be alarm. 
  5. Pour the batter into a measuring cup (it's so much easier and cleaner than using a spoon) & pour evenly into the liners. Place into the oven & bake for 20-22 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  6. Remove from the oven & leave the cakes in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes from the pan  to a cooling rack & leave to cool completely before frosting. 
Makes about 6 standard size cupcakes.
Adapted from Chelsea.

125g cream cheese, softened
90g confectioners' sugar
30g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
16g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
2 tbsps milk (only if necessary)

        In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, butter, salt, vanilla & cocoa powder to a spreadable consistency. Beat in milk, if necessary, to adjust consistency of cream. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Adapted from Allrecipes.

I'm linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up (February 2015) - Cocoa event organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids & Doreen of my little favourite DIY & hosted by Grace of Life can be Simple.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake

Oh dear... it's been a month since my last post. It's getting tough trying to keep up with blogging with work & endless weekend errands. But I don't intend to give up, not just yet.... it will probably be slower but the show must go on! ^-^

Actually, there are a few unfinished posts in the folder, but tonight, I'm posting the pictures & recipe of the Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake that I made on Saturday. This is a superb cake! It has awesome flavour, thanks to the vanilla & Horlicks! The texture is wonderful too, it's moist & moderately spongy with fine crumbs. Of course, the cakes are beautiful too since they're baked in my favourite Nodic Ware pans!

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake
1 vanilla bean - I used 1 tsp (2g) ground vanilla bean.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - The original recipe uses bourbon.
1 1/2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour - I used cake flour.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (45g) malted milk powder - I used Horlicks.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar - I used 120g.
1/4 cup packed (45g) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. (I baked mine at 170 deg C.) Spray a 6-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. (I greased & floured the pan & baked the cake in mini bundt pan. I made 9 mini bundt cakes.)
  2. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the back of a small paring knife to scrape the seeds from the bean. Add the seeds and the vanilla extract to a small bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside. (I added my ground vanilla & vanilla extract straight to the butter.)
  3. Whisk the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. 
  5. Mix in the vanilla mixture, beating until well combined. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients in two additions and the buttermilk in one, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients and beating just until combined.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 45 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla together in a medium bowl until smooth. (Adjust the consistency as desired – add milk to thin and confectioners’ sugar to thicken.) Drizzle over the cake letting it run down the sides. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes.
Original recipe is from Baked Elements by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures.

  1. I measured the volume of ingredients (as in original recipe) & noted the metric measurement in brackets.
  2. According to Tracey,  a 6-cup bundt pan is not big enough for the whole cake. She's right, mine filled up slightly more than 8 cups in total. You can also use a 9- or 10-inch square pan but do adjust the baking time.
  3. I only made a quarter of the glaze recipe & dripped on 3 of the cakes. The glaze was quite watery, so it got absorbed by the cake as soon as it's poured onto it. Anyway, we like the cake just as it is, without the glaze as we find the glazed cake quite sweet.
  4. I noticed some holes at the bottom of the baked cakes. In future, I must remember to run through the mixture in the pan using a skewer & give the pan a gentle tap to pop any air bubbles in the batter.
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