Chocolate Ganache

Ganache is a smooth mixture of chocolate and cream. This beautiful and easy chocolate frosting is another option if you’re bored with the buttercream thingy. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Ganache Frosting.

As Martha said: “Achieving the perfect consistency can be tricky, if the frosting becomes too firm to spread, reheat in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until it begins to melt around the edges, then remove from the heat and stir until smooth”.

The original recipe produces a big batch of ganache. The ingredients below are a quarter batch from Martha’s recipe and perfect to frost about 16 cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 114 gr good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/16 cups corn syrup

How to Make

  1. Pour the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, and bring them just to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Let it stands without stirring, until the chocolate begins to melt.
  4. Stir the melted chocolate into cream mixture, until everything’s combined and smooth.
  5. Refrigerate, and stir every 5 minutes, until frosting can hold its shape. It will be slightly lighter in color. The ganache will continue to thicken if you stop stirring.

– it can be used to frost 16 cupcakes-

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Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

This buttercream is made using the same technique as the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But as you use fresh pureed strawberries in this recipe, the amount of butter and egg whites is different to adjust its consistency.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped and pureed in a food processor.
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups/339 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar

How to Make

  1. Follow the technique of making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  2. Once all the butter has been added (step number 5) and you’ve got a smooth frosting, add the pureed strawberries and beat them with a flexible spatula until combined.

– it can be used to frost 30 cupcakes-

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This is the ULTIMATE BUTTERCREAM that all cupcakes maker should always have on hand. I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

I have to quote what Martha had said in her book: “This all-purpose buttercream has an ultra-silky, stable texture that spreads beautifully over cupcakes, and can be piped into perfect peaks and patterns.”

This buttercream is not too sweet, not too buttery (like regular buttercream recipe which is actually just a mixture of butter and sugar), and….. This is the best part: It can be varied with different extracts, juices, zest, and other flavoring agents, and can be tinted any shade!! Isn’t it wonderful?! I just love one basic recipe that can be transformed into zillion possibilities!!

ps: It’s maybe tricky to make this buttercream for the first time. But all you need is more and more practice.

Ingredients

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound/450 gr unsalted butter, room  temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp real vanilla extract

 How to Make

  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl (better using stainless bowl) over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Whisk them constantly by hand, until the sugar is completely dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed with your finger) and the mixture is warm to touch.
  3. Remove the bowl from the stove. Whisk the mixture on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy, glossy, and (the most important) COMPLETELY COOL. It takes about 10 minutes, depends on your mixer.
  4. Now using medium-low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, to the egg mixture. Mixing them well after each condition.
  5. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla, and continue beating on low speed until the frosting is completely smooth and all air bubbles are eliminated.

You can keep the buttercream in a room temperature for 1 day. Or you can transfer them to the airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month! Life cannot be easier! Remember to bring the buttercream to room temperature and beat them on low speed until smooth again before using.

To Make Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

Fold 4 ½ ounces/127 gr melted and cooled semi-sweet chocolate into the buttercream mixture in step number 5, along with the vanilla extract.

To Make Matcha (Green Tea) Meringue Buttercream

Fold 2 ½ Tbsp Matcha (Green Tea) powder into the buttercream mixture in step number 5, and eliminate the vanilla extract!

– it can be used to frost 30 cupcakes-

Strawberry Cupcakes

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Cupcakes recipe. These pretty-pink cupcakes will be outstanding in your tea party! 😉 They’re also great for your daughter’s birthday party. Your sweet little princess will absolutely love their looks, and also their taste! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour (not the self rising one) or low protein flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup/226 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp real vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg white. So you need 4 eggs.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries (about 20), plus 10 more for garnish
  • Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C/350° F, and line a muffin tray with paper liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl, using electric mixer on medium-high speed, until you get a pale and fluffy batter.
  4. Add the eggs and the egg white, one at a time. Beat them until everything’s incorporated.
  5. Reduce your mixer to low speed, and add the flour mixture into your batter in two batches, alternating with the milk. Mix them until well combined.
  6. Turn off your mixer now. Fold the chopped strawberries into your batter by your hand. You need to do it gently.
  7. Divide batter evenly among the cupcakes paper, filling each three-quarters full.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let them cool. They can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers!
  10. Now it’s time to frost them! Decorate them with the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream and sliced remaining strawberries.

-make 18 cupcakes-

Matcha (Green Tea) Cupcakes

I found this recipe accidentally via detikfood’s twitter account. I was searching a new cupcake’s flavor when I read about these gleamingly green cupcakes. Green tea flavor is so popular here in Indonesia, and I happened to have a small can of matcha powder in my cupboard. Turns out that these cupcakes are really good and so fragrant (and best seller, too!). Looove them!!  🙂

Ingredients

  • ½ cup/113 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk. So practically, you need 2 eggs. 😀
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp matcha (green tea) powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • Green Tea Meringue Buttercream

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C/350° F, and line a muffin tray with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with your mixer on high speed, until soft. It takes about 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar into the bowl, and beat them (medium speed) until light and fluffy, for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add egg and yolk (one at a time), beat for 30 seconds between each.
  5. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Add this mixture into the batter to combine.
  6. Mix the matcha (green tea) powder with the milk, and add them into the batter. Mix until everything’s combined.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake papers.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool them in wire racks before putting green tea frosting on top. You can get the Matcha (Green Tea) Buttercream recipe here.

-make 18 cupcakes-

Easiest (and of course, Tastiest) Chocolate Cupcakes

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s One Bowl Chocolate Cake. As Martha said in her book, all the ingredients come together in one bowl. Less dirty dishes to be washed after baking! 😀

These cupcakes are really moist because using vegetable oil instead of butter. Oh, and go find the best cocoa powder in your town. The best ingredient is never fail to produce the best flavor.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Valrhona is the best of all! No wonder…)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar. The original recipe calls for this amount. But it’s not enough to please my sweet tooth :D. I used to have 2 cups of sugar instead. Adjust the sweetness to your taste. Don’t forget that you also have frosting on top of the cupcakes!
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup buttermilk. You can see the substitute of buttermilk here.
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • Chocolate Ganache or Vanilla/Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C/350° F, and line a muffin tray with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and water. Beat them with low speed (if using electric mixer), until you have a smooth and combined batter.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups. Do not overfill the cases, as the cakes will make a flat top and won’t rise like muffins do. Fill each case just about two-thirds full.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a cake inserter or wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
  6. Cool them in wire racks before putting frosting on top.
  7. Now choose your favorite frosting! You can use either Chocolate Ganache or Vanilla/Chocolate Meringue Buttercream.

-make 18 cupcakes-

Cupcakes Series: A Note to Remember

I remember the first time I sold my very own cupcakes at my previous office two years ago. I brought just 10 cupcakes on the first day, thought that only few people would fancy those sweet little treats. I came very early, kept the box of cupcakes in office’s fridge, and then wrote an “advertisement” email to my closed office mates only. After clicked the “send” button, I waited in anxiety. Unexpectedly, my phone rang less than a minute after I sent my email. That was my friend, shouted excitedly. “I want your cupcakes! Keep it one for me!”. In half an hour, my cupcakes were sold out. 🙂

I continued selling cupcakes and muffins (though not regularly) at my office until resigned from my job, got married, and had a baby. Now I don’t always have much time to bake fancy cakes like these. But I want to share the recipes with you! 😀 I got my recipes from several sources, and those recipes are the best that I’ve ever tried. I’m still looking for other perfect cupcakes’ recipes, so please do not hesitate to share yours, too! 😀

Today I’ll post recipes of 3 basic cupcakes with two basic frostings. These recipes can be easily “mix n match” with any ingredients you have in your cupboard. Life cannot be easier and sweeter than before! 🙂

Updated: Proper Nachos with Proper Cheese

Got a pack of Monterey Jack Cheese when I was grocery-shopping with my son yesterday. I am sooo happy!

A plate of warm nachos with melted cheese on top will be transferred to my hungry tummy!

I love it! I love it! I love it!! I don’t really fancy salty Cheddar. This Monterey Jack is mild and perfectly melted on my Nachos. Yum!

Anyway, you can get the full recipe here! 😀

No-Mixer Apple Cake

I love baking, and I love it more if I’m using my tangerine KitchenAid stand mixer. It saves my time and my energy. But there is a day when I’m not in the mood for washing dirty kitchen utensils after spending my time in the kitchen. This recipe is really great to accommodate my need of freshly baked homemade cake while I’m too lazy to do the washing thingy, as I don’t need any mixer to make this! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 6 eating apples
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp + 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 ½ tsp real vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature

How to Make

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit, line a 30 cm/12 inch circular cake pan with baking paper, or grease the cake pan with butter, then lightly coat the pan with flour. This recipe will give you a big batch of batter, so use a quite big cake pan.
  2. Peel, core, and chop the apples into chunks. Then toss them with the mixture of ground cinnamon + 5 Tbsp sugar.
  3. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl, mix the oil, orange juice, 2 cups of sugar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, and mix them until everything’s combined.
  6. Add the eggs to the batter, one at a time.
  7. Pour half of batter into the cake pan, and spread half of apples over it.
  8. Pour remaining batter over the apples, then spread remaining apples onto it.
  9. Bake for about 1½ hours (yes, it takes long time in the oven). Insert a wooden toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done.

5-Minute Quesadilla

Once again, I warn you that this is NOT an authentic recipe of Quesadilla :D. I call it “quesadilla” just because I use flour tortilla and it’s shaped like one. This is my lifesaver if I have no time to prepare breakfast, or if I need my bedtime snacks. Because of its simplicity, I often substitute the ingredients with what’s left in the fridge that day. My family is so addicted to this. I believe that yours will get hooked too! 😀

Ingredients

  • Flour tortilla
  • Smoked beef, or leftover roast chicken, or mushrooms, or anything you have in fridge.
  • Salsa. You can get the recipe here. I often make a big batch of salsa and refrigerate them in small portions. They will last for about 1 week. But you can always use a shop-bought Salsa. Sometimes I replace my Salsa with a spread of Prego, if I happen to have a jar which has been opened (you know that Prego won’t last very long once its jar is opened). It’s surprisingly very yummy! This is what I call a fusion of Italian and Mexican.
  • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese. As I’ve said before in my older post, this is the best option for the best taste. But you can use your Cheddar. No one will judge you.

How to Make

  1. Warm your frozen flour tortilla (as I always keep the tortillas in freezer) in microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Place the tortilla on the plate, and spread your Salsa (or Prego) on top of it.
  3. Arrange your chicken, or smoked beef, or whatever you have, on the tortilla.
  4. Sprinkle the grated cheese.
  5. Fold the tortilla in half to form a half-moon shape.
  6. Heat a large frying pan and add a small amount of oil. “Grill” your tortilla in the pan until the cheese is melted and the tortilla gets browned.
  7. Slice your quesadilla to get “pizza-like” pieces.