Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hope that it's going to be a good year ahead- Bon Voyage 2008

I've been keeping myself very low for the past 1 and 1/2 months. Problems kept coming, and I have often wondered whether it would go away. My baking stuffs have been in their long hiatus. I could not bake, could not get any inspirations as I had had unresolved dissatisfactions. Sometimes, it is not good to be all that very nice. People would step on you. Sometimes, when we take some drastic measures or decisions, people would not believe that you have made up your mind. That you are not going take back all your decisions. That behind all your kindness, and nice demeanor- there lies a claw of a lionness that would strike back when it feels that it is being attacked. But, as God has outlined its fate, He has also given us some good things behind those unhappy episodes in your life. Yes, I have learn to rely on my instincts, on my decision-making ability. That when you feel it is not right, it is not right.
When you love your child, you learn to protect him unconditionally, you take risks, you sacrifise time and money so that your child would be in the hands of trusted people. I am glad that I have learn so much for the past two months. I have learn to trust my own judgement. Since this is my last entry for this year, I hope that there would be more projects of cupcakes in the pipeline. I'll be having a good trusted electric Fagor oven for this coming year, (well.. it's still in the Harvey Norman store), I hope that more cakes are baking heavenly in my new oven. For those who frequent this blog (is there any?, I know one friend who is all always asking for my updates of blog)- "Happy New Year, everyone. May cupcakes rule your heart. May I have some time to share my thoughts and tips with friends and alike". Bon Voyage 2008. Welcome 2009...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sometimes.... life is just like that

Being busy is one thing, being out of touch with your own passion is another thing. Why is it time is so precious to us when we become adults, that we would always remember our childhood moments? When things are just so easy, when we would have time to do things that we do like. I guess that is why people always say that being a child is one of the best moments in our life or perhaps the best. Yes, I've been busy, too pre-occupied in my never ending life commitments, that I've often wonder where it would end. Sometimes we need to sacrifice our own passion just to make others happy. Or maybe I am in the wrong profession, only God knows. There are too many things to take care of that I can't blog for a couple of months.That is why no matter how much I like to blog and post pictures of my recipes, I cannot find time to do it.

Recently, I've completed orders for blueberry cheese and pineapple tarts, red velvet and chocolate heaven cakes for my colleagues. Only charging them for the price of the ingredients, very minimal, simply because I couldn't have the heart to charge exorbitant prices even if I was using good and quality ingredients. I even told myself that I was not making money, just doing out favours. Then, I've realized that I've forgotten to try out new recipes or even post any articles or pictures for blogs- that I've lost my touch with cyber world. There are too many new developments for other blogs that I am not aware of. Perhaps, sometimes we cannot just get and do what ever that we like in life. There are just too many things for me to concentrate. I have to sacrifice my blogging for this few couple of weeks. My job needs me a lot... too bad, though.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's been quite sometime

It's been a while, since I've updated my blog. I was busy with the Ramadhan month and the festive Eid. So, I have to let go my likings- of testing, creating and baking cakes and blogging. I don't know whether my blog is that significant that people would miss it. But I know I have a couple of friends who diligently do some follow-ups to my blogs.. Thanks anyway.
I would resume my baking activities after two weeks and would try to post some pics of cakes and alike. By the way, my friend liked the Red Velvet cake I've baked for her very much that she had asked me to bake another one for her mother's birthday. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the cake -due to my exhaustion.... Well, happy raya to my friends...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pistachio Chocolate Marbling Cake

This is one cake which is so nice, dense and tasty. It uses pistachio, cocoa powder and yoghurt/sour cream. The best part was the use of pistachio paste together with chopped pistachio. I simply like pistachios as they are different from the usual, ordinary, commercialised almonds. Pistachios are said to be good for the brains. They helped us memorise better. Well. if it's good for the brains- it should be good for the tastebuds too.
So, what about the cake? Well, I can say that the taste was simply out of this world. I have created it using the marbling effect. I even have adapted it accordingly and the results were superb. The actual name was Gateau Surprise Chocolat Pistache Recipe from 101 Cookbooks. But since, the original name was a bit mouthful, I have given a simpler name. Frost it using Chocolate Ganache, you are simply going to "world heaven".

A Promise To Keep

Recently, I've journeyed into a world of self-indulgence. Self-indulgence would mean finding my own soul, browsing on new recipes, or just simply being busy. Then, I've discovered that I've forgotten my own promise to a practical student. She has asked for three different flavours of cupcakes. Well, I was a bit apprehensive a bit to do the baking for orders as I felt that other people could do better than me. Or maybe I was a bit frustrated with a recent episode of Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with the kids that I was ready to surrender my Russell Hobbs mixer. Then as fate has intervened, my balloon whisks were broken. Next, I was reminded by my practical student of the cupcakes. What a promise I have given her....

Yes, last Thursday night - on 8 p.m. I was tempted to buy a Kenwood mixer in a local electrical superstore. Yes, tempted... in a spur of a moment. The mixer would set me back for MYR 2K. The only setback for me was my limited fund of credit card. Needed Mr. Hubby who was always on the limitless line of fund. Indeed, Mr. Hubby was away and would only be back by 9 p.m. So, I did say goodbye to Kenwood Mixer but promised the salesperson to come back..But, lastly I've settled for a Phillips hand-held mixer which costed me MYR78.... Sad but true, I was being self-pity. Working for almost 9 years now, but I have to sacrifice my own passion of buying a 4.8l Kenwood Mixer because of my own limited fund in the Credit Card... Sad, so sad...

These pictures of cupcakes by my brand new Phillips mixer perhaps ( hopefully) would make my day... Apple Cinnamon Walnut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Yoghurt Cupcakes with Hershey's Chocolate Ganache.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chocolate-Perfect Cupcakes

I've got this recipe from a recently-bought cookbook. It's supposed to be for kids, but the recipe was a bit complicated. This recipe calls for 6 eggs to be whisked with caster sugar ---using double-boiler. Then adding three batches of flour, cocoa powder, melted butter and baking powder. No milk at all. The results- the texture was very soft, eggy and goeey. But the preparation was quite taxing for someone like me. However, once I've frosted them with chocolate ganache and chocolate rice-they were a hit with the kids. The kids kept asking for more.. he he he

Friday, August 1, 2008

Choco Red Velvet Cake

These are pictures of my own version of Red Velvet Cake- specially made for a dear friend. As usual I have adapted the recipe by adding more cocoa so that my friend would not get a shock of her life - by having a red flashy cake. I think by adding more cocoa than what is required has given the cake a mild distinct chocolate taste, but I need to add more red colour so that to balance the look of the cake. I have also adapted the cream cheese frosting recipe as the ingredients are not easy to come by.
Next, I have frosted the cake by swirling chocolate ganache together with cream cheese just to suit my own taste bud. Lastly, I have sprinkled dessicated coconut just to have a chocolate winter theme.Hmmm.. simply divine........

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chocolate Heaven

This is one chocolate cake which is so special in my heart. Ever since I've started baking only cupcakes, I have totally forgot about my special one. My friend was asking for the recipe recently, as she may have liked the taste. Then, suddenly, I've remembered my special cake and search it in my recipe archive or (file). Actually, the last time -I've baked it was two years ago for my Eid's party. Then, I totally forgot about my "can't do wrong" chocolate cake.
I've got the recipe from the internet and I've adapted it. So, since there's one special occasion to celebrate- I think that I need to bake this cake so that I could remember it. I frost the cake using my own chocolate ganache recipe-(the same ganache I used for my Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes). Hope that the other party would like it...

Frosted Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes

These are pictures of frosted Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes. I have used Chocolate Ganache, as I thought that the ganache would go well with the cupcakes. Using half of a bar of unsalted butter, 1 big bar of Van Houten baking chocolate, 2 tbsp of sour cream, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp of Vochelle cocoa powder, 1tbsp of fresh milk, 1tbsp of icing sugar, 1 tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tbsp of caster sugar-voila. I think I have arrived on the right taste of chocolate frosting.

I have put everything in the double-boiler which I have bought from IKEA. I have whisked all the ingredients together until it has arrived to the right consistency. Then I continued whisking it and put off the heat. To cool the ganache, I have replaced the pot of hot water with the cold one. To me, the IKEA double boiler was worth my money. Before this, I have always used my Corningware bowl on top of a pot of hot water.

To top off the ganache, I have used chocolate curls. The chocolate curls are Hershey's special dark baking chocolate - I have curled the chocolate using potato peeler.....a secret I've discovered from experiences.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Is It Difficult To Be Appreciative

Sometimes I feel that as human beings we always being not appreciative toward people around us. Never even have the courtesy to say "thank you" after all the good deeds the others have done to us. We never even show our love to loved ones, not realising it until they are away from us-forever......
I think there are many experiences in my life when it comes to love - I saw people who only realize how good their past love was only after that "past love" married someone else or had someone else. But by then, it was too late. Nothing could have changed eternally.
Some people spent more time blogging in the net rather than talking to spouses... Am I one of them? One wonders. I blog so that it will become a wonder in my search of escapism- things that do not work out at work- things that I could not blurt out in person. Things that I have wanted to say but the words could be very damaging. When I feel down or in a dilemma- I blog. When I feel that I am doing most of the things at home or workplace, but was never being appreciated- I blog. When I feel the other party was supposed to be perfect in front of superiors-but turned out to be hopeless regarding of work --- I blog. While me- the ever slogging person who always do the dirty job, covering things for others who do not do their job perfectly-from one work place to another, was never been appreciated-not even once in my life. Not even "thank you" for all those stupid things I did covering for others. God knows.
I've remembered the last time I left my old work place, my superior was saying this to me- "Don't go, stay here". But it was too late... yes, I've done my best, did things for others, organize everything, but towards the end- those who did hopeless jobs, will get the credits.. But what about me- the slogging one who is constantly doing all the work. Yes, to get the work done- get me. Give appreciation to others-- hmmm, that's why I blog. I like to blog. And that's why I bake cupcakes. I think they appreciate me...with good results especially if I give them quality and extra special ingredients....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes

I've finally managed to bake Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes. They are simply the best chocolate cupcakes I've ever tasted up to this day. The flavour becomes dense as it is kept in the fridge. I've baked (woke up at 4.30 a.m.) and brought them to work this morning, they become hot-sellers as friends never even guess that one of the ingredients is actually zucchini or courgette.
I've adapted the recipe as I'm short of the main ingredients, revising it now and then, and I even grated some semi-sweet Hershey's baking chocolate.The results- I simply liked its mild sweetness and the bitterness of Hershey's chocolate. The cupcakes took some time to be ready and since I was running late, I didn't frost them. But they are just fine as they are. These cupcakes are dark in colour, moist, chocolatey and very flavoursome, with the nice aroma and smell of coconut. Definitely- pure heaven.....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thinking again

Just thinking... again, on our own life journeys. Childhood memories, an ambitious daughter, teenage years, student's life, working adult, a woman in love, a betrayed woman, a virgin bride, a beaming mother, a hopeful wife. We have long cycles and stages in life- I've wondered where it would go. Life makes me realize many things- life teaches us experiences and life has made us a better student along the way.
Tripping on many rocks, crying on unexpected news, hoping on some miracles. But God has his own way, he has made us tougher with his own plans, we become stronger as the day goes by... Yes, God has planned many things for us, why we are here, what we become, to whom we are married to, why things don't turn out as what we would liked. God has his own agenda for what is good for us..... I should believe on that..

Monday, June 30, 2008

Of Being Truthful

This afternoon, as my student told me- "Teach...Your Peanut Butter cupcake the other day was so nice". Yes, this was one child who really took time to appreciate my hard work for charity. So far, this is the best compliment I have ever received. Even if I have substituted my prized Pilsbury's All Purpose Flour- for a regular Cap Sauh, she has given me some hopes- of making others (especially-children) happy.

Well, when I started blogging about cupcakes, I have received some brickbats from some relevant parties which could be very hurtful at times. Even with blogging about recipes- in my "cup-a-cake" blog, did I get some disparaging comments- as if like I am competing with others- comments like these --"could I rely on your recipes?" , "you think you are so good?" and " you are going to share your recipes?". Hmmm.. to answer those questions- I am not good in lying and usually people don't share cupcakes recipes locally- especially when business is concerned.

Well, those recipes- are taken from my reliable books and some are adapted from the internet. I don't really own those recipes. But my invented recipes-I do not dare to share them out as some people may feel offended if the cupcakes do not taste as good as what people thought they would be. That's why I call my cupcakes -projects-it is for my own consumption and I don't intend to compete with others who are charging and making money out of baking cupcakes. I don't.... I think with my work load and commitments- be it personal or professionally- ( even if I am tempted to stop working - and do a baking business)- I simply don't have the time.

I bake because I like it, I enjoy it, baking unstress my mind. Never mind if those cupcakes that you buy are better than my invented recipes. What can I say-- it's your choice. I like baking, baking cupcakes makes my life happier. Towards the end of the day, when a child comes to you and says this "Your cupcakes are tasty and sweet".. That is all that matters...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Inspiration from the Ice-Cream

I really like to look out for new inspirations. Last Saturday, I woke up early in the morning at 4.15 a.m., just to try out another of my newly-invented recipe- Pistachio Almond Cupcakes. I had this craving to invent a recipe out of my favourite ice-cream, and bring the cupcakes for a meeting. Frankly speaking, I did not even try to taste the cupcakes,:- 1) maybe because I was sleepy 2)I was too excited/ too scared ... Well, I managed to bake 15 of the cupcakes -I have to minimize the batter as to maximise the cupcakes. Using my favourite Pilsbury's All-Purpose Flour and lemon, unsalted butter, lemon and ever expensive Pistachio flour and almond- the batter tasted so wonderful like my favourite ice-cream. I use Philly's for my cream cheese frosting and threw in some chopped pistachio and icing sugar, simply out of this world. The result-"sold out " cupcakes and unsatisfied colleagues who did not manage to get a bite of the cupcakes.
Yes, I promised them to bake another batch, this time I would not try to minimize the batter as I did use a lot of cream- cheese frosting to cover up half of the cake for my last project. I will do my Pistachio Almond Cupcakes together with Chocolate Zucchini and bring them to work. After that, my cupcakes projects will need to take a break as I need to focus on unfinished work for three weeks. But in the mean time, friends will have to look for recipes in I will post relevent and reliable recipes there...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

These are pictures of my Peanut Butter Cupcakes which I have donated to students for a fund-raising project. I have frosted them using Peanut Butter Cream Frosting but since I was in a rush, I forgot to take photos of frosted cupcakes. Since I was donating and not for own consumption, I have replaced my favourite Philly's all-purpose flour for the usual Cap Sauh enriched flour. I still used my unsalted butter as my idea of charity did not include of minimizing my ingredients. Too bad, the kids did not appreciate my hard work. I thought that there were nice, but it took a while for the kids to have a " liking " for cupcakes.
Yes, for this side of Shah Alam, the idea of embracing cupcakes is so foreign-so alien-like out of this world. Sometimes, I pity them deep down in my heart. When I was at their age, I gladly liked foreign culture-imaginations ran free-I mean all the good ones- such as my treasured Enid Blyton books, but strange enough, when I went studying in Enid Blyton's land-I ended buying tonnes of cookery books and entertainment magazines. I was thinking whether these kids are actually the products of "country" versus "town" polarization. Hmm.. like studying socio-culture or socio-economics / sociolinguistics area....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Icing-not smooth....

Well, my sister told me that my icing did not look smooth on the Apple Cinnamon and Walnut cupcakes. Hmmm...I have to admit this--- I have these answers- I was in a hurry, afraid to be late for work, I had also underestimated my ingredients and ended up with insufficient quantity of the icing. Thus, I have to minimize the use of icing for my cupcakes, ended up with not so- smooth icing.
Yes, if we use piping, it would be nice. Do some fondant shapes, then we will get a better looking cupcakes. I think that to do that, we need time. My apple cupcakes was a last -minute baking decision. Not really in planning, but a very hasty last minute baking. I think I would do my next baking project this coming weekend with the use of newly bought colouring and fondant cutters.... voila....

It's like going backward

This is nothing to do with cupcakes, but it's just that I am remembering again why did I start blogging. As I've recalled, this is not my first attempt in blogging. I've written in live journal- but just didn't really bother or simply could not care less to update, I've joined flickr or even fotopages. But this blog is different -it is simply a passion related to cupcakes. I liked the fact that I've inspired one friend to start blogging and share her cooking passions. But to me- this blog is like my therapy-my musings, blabberings and an avenue to test my baking skills-by inventing cakes' recipes.

Maybe I've done a lot of readings, collecting cookbooks, buying tonnes of magazines (be it local Malaysian or my fav of Australian Women's Weekly) or even surfing the net -that I think it is time to invent my own recipe- something I could call my own. Adapt is different- we still quote the source, but inventing it- it is our personal acquired test. The only problem is I like to use expensive tasty ingredients. Doing a bit of chemistry experiments too. ... I think it's time that I use my own creative juice to do a little invention - so that one day I would pass it to my niece /future niece or my future daughters [or future daughter in law/ or grand daughters-- : ) ]

Doing this-blogging and baking cupcakes are my answers to my years of finding my true calling, my passion.. my ways of chanelling my disapointments in life-things which do not turn out very well, people who make you miserable, mishaps and tragedies in the family, things that could be done, what we would become, intolerable political scenarios, politicians (be it pro or cons who only know how to talk but do not deliver-not trusting any sides in this matter-politicians do lie!!) loved ones who failed you. ... I guess cupcakes give you the best results when you give them the best ingredients -but can we apply this rule to life? There is yes and no to this question. Yes, you can give the best ingredients in life -i.e love, care, trust, etc only to those who appreciate you. No to those people who only like to pick on you and criticize you but do not even bother to see their own shortcomings. Well, I've learnt all my lessons in life - I think that's what I like about 30's. We are more aware and comfortable in our own skins, and we don't bother about the others. I am more confident in life now, rather than during my teenage, student's and 20's. I've learnt one thing- never trust anyone, not even the one sleeping beside you... he he he. You'll never know what is the future going to be.

Apple Cinnamon and Walnut Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

These are pictures of my newly-invented recipe of Apple Cinnamon and Walnut Cupcakes. I frost them with cream cheese tinged with lemon juice. Then, I topped them with chopped walnut and lemon skins. My comment is- I regard them as earthy...with a hinge of nutmeg and walnuts. The apples I've used are Granny Smiths. I think I've done a good decision in using cream cheese frosting.
Apples and Cheese -they complement each other. My testers said the texture is nice.... with can't resist temptation. mInd you- the ingredients are expensive, unsalted butter, Pillsbury's all-purpose flour and walnuts. But can't resist- I simply like to experiment things.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've totally forgotten to mention about my strawberry jam- well, after been busy for a few days, I've forgotten to put the jam jar in the fridge, and to my horror- discovered that it's been covered with fungus. There goes my intended -new creation Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes. That's why there're no signs or smells of Strawberries here- :(

* I'll do them (ill-fated Lemon Strawberry cupcakes ) for my next project....

Finally it's here.....

After a few days of slogging with PAPERS, I've finally feel the excitement of baking and trying my new invented-recipe. It's been such a long few weeks .... phew. Been busy with things and running a few errands here and there, and when it's finally over, I feel so relieved. Today, I've baked my new recipe- Apple Cinnamon and Walnut cupcakes. It's so easy to scoop the batter using my newly-bought ice-cream scoop from Singapore. Really worth my money. The batter was so nice and sweet with earthy flavour as I've also added a pinch of nutmeg powder and honey, besides the usual cinnamon. They're still baking in the oven- I mean my cupcakes. I'll post the pictures when they are ready, and I intend to ice the cupcakes using cream cheese icing----voila. My next project would be Pistachio Almond cupcakes and the famed Chocolate Zucchini cupcakes which I have come across the recipe in the net and my new British cupcakes book. * Heavenly*

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Underestimated overcharged cupcakes

Just yesterday, I've asked my friend about the cupcakes I've bought for her from the local bakery. She said they were dry in texture and half of the so-called cupcakes were actually icing. I was sorry to hear that as I thought that I should have made my lemon cream cupcakes for her instead of buying ready made cupcakes in the local bakery.. It was just that I did not have the time to bake the cupcakes with a 2 and 1/2 year old kid running around the house asking for my attention. I think I really owe her my cupcakes.. Going to do her some pistachio almond and apple cinnamon cupcakes with cream cheese and butter cream icing. The idea of that makes me say "yummy". I just have to wait for the right moment and being free from my boring chores...Can't wait to get into action again.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My Homemade Strawberry Jam

Home-made Strawberry Jam

My homemade Strawberry Jam/Sauce which I intend to use for my Lemon Strawberry cupcakes - yet to be baked....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Finding The Time

My new ice-cream scoop bought in Singapore

Time is precious. That's what I've learnt in my 30's and being a domestic hostess. What with cleaning the house, taking care of the kid, doing laundry, cooking (oops.. haven't really done that for days). Just coming back from a holiday in Singapore, really freshen up my mind and found out that what ever we've spent there is actually equals to 2.4. But the holidays were a well-deserved treat for myself. It's been years (or ages) since I'm out of the country. It has really made me appreciate things back home and the freedom in Malaysia.
I've checked some baking utensils in Singapore and discovered that they were quite expensive. But I've managed to bring back an ice-cream scoop which I think is very useful and multi-purpose, not only for scooping ice-cream but also to scoop batter for my cupcakes. The ice cream scoop has costed me about $ 6.32(sing dollar). The original price was $7.90. Less 20%discounts. I've bought it in Bugis Junction in Bugis Street. Converting it to MYR should be MYR 15.32. A well-deserved treat for me... he. Haven't check the price in Malaysia. Might go to Robinsons in Midvalley Gardens to check the price.

p/s: Must find time to do experiments with cupcakes. Thinking of doing pistachio almond
cupcakes which is being inspired by my fav ice-cream from KINGS. Then, going to do apple cinnamon cupcakes...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just Thinking

I don't understand some people. Just don't understand on why cupcakes are being charged MYR 1.50 a piece when the cake is only half of the muffin cup... I went to the local bakery and bought cupcakes for a friend. I don't know about the tastes... as I've given them as gifts. I could have done better but I simply did not have the time to bake cupcakes, the day before. Unfortunately, I've forgotten to take the pictures of the cupcakes...

p/s: The art of baking is sharing and not overcharging.
~ Will ask friend on her comments on the tastes of overcharged cupcakes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lemon Cream Cupcakes

These are some pictures of cupcakes I've made for colleagues -specially for Teacher's Day (16 May 2008). At the same time, it's also my husband's birthday....


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