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...


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