Snickers and Peanut Butter Muffins

snickers muffins

I love baking muffins. As Nigella Lawson said, the process of making muffin itself is relaxing. Last weekend I re-read my cooking book collections and drooled over Nigella’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ recipes. So many recipes are waiting to be cooked, but I finally tried out recipe from “Cooking for Kids” chapter. Yes, it’s weekend and it’s time to ‘spoil’ your lil one with sweet treats!

These muffins are seriously, dangerously good. Well, the name says it all 😀 They were ready right after my son woke up from his nap. He tried one and said: “Mummy, it’s good..!” That’s the highest compliment I’ve been waiting for 😀

 

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten

3/4 cup milk

3 1/2 full-size (50 gr) Snickers bars, chopped

 

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the peanut butter and mix until you have coarse crumbs.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, egg, and milk, then pour this mixture into flour mixture, stir gently. I will repeat my golden rule in making muffins: DO NOT OVERMIX!
  5. Mix in the chopped Snickers bars, and dollop the batter in prepared and lined muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes. It’s done when the tops are risen, golden, and firm to touch.
  7. Leave them on the wire rack to cool. Enjoy wholeheartedly!

 

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Ovomaltine and Skippy Cupcakes: A cheat recipe to fulfil your sugar craving!

IMG_9952

My son definitely has a sweet tooth. No wonder. I bake sweet treats regularly, and there are always chocolate and/or ice cream supplies in my fridge. My fault, I know. But I keep telling to myself that as long as he has balanced diet, it would be fine 😀

A couple of weeks ago, I was coming home late from my work. I brought some shop-bought chocolate cupcakes for my son as a “late-arriving gift” :D. He ate all of them, happily. The next morning was my day off, so I decided to bake chocolate cupcakes for him. But actually I was too lazy, and too tired also, to make fancy frosting for the cupcakes. So I used this cheat idea to frost the cupcakes. I spread Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream and Skippy “Super Chunk” Peanut Butter as substitutes for the frosting. They have, more or less, same consistency as buttercream frosting, so they would be perfectly fit to be spread on top of the cupcakes. To finish off, I also sprinkled some chopped Ovomaltine Choc Ovo Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. These cupcakes look and taste reaaallly good with barely any effort!

 

Ingredients

–      For chocolate cupcakes ingredients, see here

–      Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream

–      Skippy “Super Chunk” Peanut Butter

–      Ovomaltine Choc Ovo Bars

–      Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

How to Make

  1. Bake the cupcakes, see here for the method.
  2. Cool the cupcakes on the wire rack. Give them some time to lose their heat, because warm cupcakes will melt the “frosting”.
  3. Spread the cupcakes with Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream or Skippy “Super Chunk” Peanut Butter, whatever you choose. I guess 2-heaped teaspoons will be enough to frost 1 cupcakes.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped chocolates. I use chopped Ovomaltine Choc Ovo Bars for my Ovomaltine cupcakes and chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for my Skippy cupcakes. Andddd.. you’re done! 😀

 

IMG_9950

 

Bananamisu

bananamisu

This recipe is basically my tiramisu recipe with a little twist 😉 . I replaced the cream cheese with banana puree. Why banana? Because in my opinion, banana puree has, more or less, same consistency with cream cheese (and simply because I am so bored baking banana muffins when I have ripe bananas around 😀 ). And what goes together better than banana and chocolate? That’s why I substituted the coffee mixture with chocolate mixture for the lady fingers’ dipping. I call this as “Bananamisu”. It’s an abbreviation from Banana-Tiramisu anyway 😀

Try using very ripe bananas because this is a “no-bake” recipe, so you want the sweetness of ripe bananas in your Bananamisu.

Ingredients

For Bananamisu:

–       250 gr mascarpone cheese

–       250 gr very ripe bananas (It’s about 2 to 3 bananas)

–       250 ml whipping cream/double cream

–       ¼ cup icing sugar, or to taste (It depends on how sweet your banana is)

–       ½ tsp vanilla extract

–       28 pcs lady finger biscuits

–       unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

For Chocolate Mixture (for dipping):

–       4 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder

–       4 tbsp of icing sugar

–       2/3 cup of boiling water

–       2 tsp rum essence (optional)

How to Make

  1. Whip the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while preparing the next step.
  2. In a separate bowl, lightly mash the bananas with ¼ cup icing sugar to make banana puree.
  3. Mix well the mascarpone, whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Add the banana puree and mix until smooth and well combined.
  4. Mix 4 tbsp cocoa powder, 4 tbsp icing sugar, rum essence (is using) and boiling water in a separate bowl until cocoa has dissolved.
  5. Dip both sides of the lady fingers into chocolate mixture. Remove the lady fingers quickly (as they get soften really quick) and arrange the soaked lady fingers in bottom of your prepared dish.
  6. Spread enough amount of cheese and banana mixture to cover the lady fingers.
  7. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers depends on how big your dish is. Just remember that you have to have the cheese and banana mixture on top of your layer.
  8. Dust the top layer (cheese and banana mixture) with cocoa powder.
  9. Cover and refrigerate at least 8-10 hours to let the flavors blend.

Note

This bananamisu won’t last long though you keep it in a fridge, because it contains “no-bake” fresh banana puree.

That so-called “Authentic” Churros Recipe

spanish churrosThe first churro I’ve ever tasted is the one from California Churros. Their churros (as far as I can remember) are sweet, light, fluffy, eggy, and have several choice of fillings inside. I was simply in love…and started hunting the perfect recipe to make my own which taste like California Churros. Well I must say that I’ve finally found that perfect recipe (you can see it here). That sweet, light, fluffy, and eggy churros. Yum!

But then I tried another churros sold by several churrerías, and I found different kind of churros. Theirs are crunchy outside and rather chewy inside. No eggy taste, so it such a pleasure to dip it in a hot chocolate sauce, because the churro itself is quite bland. Not that I’m not into it. I’m just too satisfied with my own recipe, my own homemade churros.

And here comes the day when the first churrería opened in Jakarta. Me and husband curiously tried their churros and once again, we met the “crunchy and chewy” version. After munching that tasty snacks, my husband said: “Could you make churros like this?”. Well, for me, it’s time for another hunting of the new recipe!

There are soooo many recipes in internet today when I looked for “authentic”, “spanish” churros. After reading that recipes, and some reviews from the contributors, I came up with the fact that “real churros in Spain are not light and fluffy, but rather chewy inside”. Never been to Spain to prove it, but as most of  churrerías that I’ve tried are selling this chewy version of churros, I choose to believe it :D.

Another fact that I found that there are basically 3 ingredients to make that so-called authentic churros: water, flour, and oil (any vegetable oil will do). No butter, no egg. As simple (and cheap!) as that. I have a thought that churrerías in Spain are more or less like “tukang gorengan” (small street vendors selling fritters) in Jakarta. Instead, making churros is easier than making the perfect banana fritters 😉 .

The recipe below is originally taken from allrecipes.com. But here I made my own adjustment by cutting the amount of sugar and oil. The churro itself will be served with lightly cinnamon-sugar coated, so I didn’t put too much sugar in the batter. And cutting the amount of oil will reduce the chewiness. If you prefer otherwise, go for the original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 cup water

1 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons regular olive oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 quarts oil for frying

For coating:

1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball. A little note from me, you will face a “tough” batter here, so it will save your energy (a lot!) if you use mixer to do this job. If using mixer, please do not over mix the batter (I suggest 30 seconds is enough to mix them all).
  4. Let the batter cool for a while, then put them in your churrera or piping bag. As this batter is chewy and tough, it’s kinda hard to pipe the batter. Placing small amount of batter in the piping bag will help when you squeeze them out.
  5. Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet. Pipe strips of dough into the hot oil. Fry until golden, drain on paper towels.
  6. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained and cool churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Note

The texture of this batter is perfect if you want to freeze them, because it’s not too runny like my previous churros batter here. So it can be piped onto a baking tray which has been lined with greaseproof paper. Arrange the churros in a single layer, cover with clingfilm, and set in the deep freezer. Once frozen, remove churros from the baking tray and store in Ziploc/freezer-safe bags. Return to the freezer and cook from frozen.

PS: I’m sorry to not posting any pics of this churros. Have a morning flight tomorrow, still many things to do! Promise I will update this post with decent photos 😀

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-

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-

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-

Churros Con Chocolate

Do you know churros? Some people call it “Spanish doughnut”. These fried-dough-pastries are usually eaten dipped in warm chocolate sauce. Yum.

To make a churro, you need a special tool called “churrera”, which is actually a syringe with a star-shaped nozzle. Don’t have it? This is not the end of the world. You can always buy it online at amazon or ebay, or… use your piping bag with a large star tip. It is homemade food after all. What matter is a good taste, not a fancy shape. Agree with me?

   

By the way, I’ve tried SO MANY churros’ recipes. And this one, I can assure you, is the best of all. Too bad I really forget where I get this recipe. 😦

Ingredients for Churros:

  • 1 cup/240 ml boiled water
  • ½ cup/115 gr butter (preferably salted)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup/100 gr all purpose flour
  • 3 free-range eggs

Well, this is an important note: free-range egg (or Indonesian people call it “telur ayam kampung”, have less egg white than regular egg. Too much egg whites will make your batter “watery” and your churro cannot hold its star-shaped. If you want to use regular eggs, use only 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk.

  • Cinnamon sugar, for coating

You can make it by mixing: 4 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

How to make your Churros

  1. Put water, butter, and salt into a pan. Heat the pan over low heat, until the butter melts.
  2. Put flour into the pan. Don’t worry if you get a lumpy batter. Keep on stirring until the batter is really smooth. It takes times.

    your batter has to be smooth as it can be seen at this photo

  3. Turn off the heat, and let it stands until the batter is cool.
  4. Whisk the eggs in separate bowl, and pour them, gradually, into the batter while you keep stirring until it’s completely dissolved and smooth.

    the “final” batter before it goes into the hot oil.

  5. Put the batter into your churrera or piping bag.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet. When it reaches desired temperature, squeeze out the batter into the hot oil and cut it with scissors or knife. Note: There are actually two types of churros: one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick. I like mine to be not-too-long and thick. That’s why I use a large star tip in my “churrera” (not sure if it’s the REAL churrera as the packaging box says that it is a “cookie cutter”.)
  7. Fry churros until golden brown.

    they’re getting bigger 😀

  8. Remove churros from the oil and roll them in cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately, accompanied by warm chocolate sauce.

Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce:

  • 4 oz/100 gr dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups/480 ml milk
  • 1 Tbsp corn flour (or “tepung maizena”)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar, or more if you like it sweeter

How to make the Chocolate Sauce:

  1. Put 1 cup of milk and finely chopped dark cooking chocolate into a pan. Heat the pan over low heat, until the chocolate melts.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk another 1 cup of milk with corn flour, and put this mixture into the pan.
  3. Keep stirring until it’s thickened and you have a smooth cream. Serve warm, or cold as you wish.

This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It will thicken when it cools.

Basic Muffin Recipe

I’ve posted Banana Muffin recipe few days ago, and thought that some of you, maybe, ain’t really fond of the taste of banana. So this is a recipe for you! A basic muffin recipe that you can transform into any kind of muffins you like.

This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins. She’s my domestic goddess! 😀

Ingredients:
– 250 gr all purpose flour (Indonesians can use either “Segitiga Biru” or “Kunci Biru” flour)
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
– 175 gr sugar
– 250 ml milk
– 90 ml vegetable oil
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
(the real vanilla extract is quite expensive.. You can substitute it with cheaper vanilla essence)

Modifications:

If you are in the mood of Chocolate Muffins, please add:

–       2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
(you know, the one that comes with brand like: Van Houten, Delfi, whatever…you choose.. but please, do not use chocolate milk powder..)

–       150 gr choc-chips (plus more for sprinkling later!)

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Want a super-cheesy-day? Make this Cheese Muffins by adding… :

–       150 gr grated Cheddar Cheese (plus more for sprinkling later)

Your kids are crazy about Oreo? Bake this Oreo Muffins and they love you more! Simply add:

–       150 gr Crushed Oreos (plus more for sprinkling later)

Oreo Muffins

Got the point? You can easily make ANY kind of muffins you like by simply adding 150 grams of your favorite flavor into your muffin batter. Life is simple, indeed… 😀

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200′ C, and fill a muffin tray with paper cases
  2. Measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. They are: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and your choice of flavor (e.g.: if you are making Chocolate Muffins, add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips)
  3. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug and mix. They are: milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour liquid into dry ingredients, then mix both together. Remember, do not over-mix the batter!
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases. Sprinkle your choice of flavor on top (chocolate-chips, or grated cheese, or crushed oreos, and so on…)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are risen, and springy



-makes 10-

Never-fail Banana Muffins

Cheesy Banana Muffins

Okay, firstly, don’t be alarmed about making muffin (or cake) from scratch. It’s NOT that difficult!

The golden rule of making muffins is: a LUMPY batter makes the best muffin! So, please, do not over-mix the batter. That will save your effort too… ^ ^

This recipe is originally made by Nigella Lawson as I got it from her book “Nigella Express“, but here I made some modifications. I promise this will be as easy as 1-2-3. No one will know this is your first time baking from scratch 😉

Oh, and one more reason why you should try this. As Nigella said: “Banana’s resilient squidginess makes this muffins very good travelers.” Bake today, eat tomorrow. No more fuss.

Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil = 118.3 ml
– 2 eggs
– 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour = 168.9 gr (Indonesians can use either “Segitiga Biru” or “Kunci Biru” flour)
– 1/2 cup sugar = 95.82 gr
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (do remember that It’s different from baking powder!)
– 1 1/4 cups mashed bananas = 286.9 grams
(Indonesian people can use “Sunpride” bananas, but I prefer “pisang Ambon”  😉 They have stronger banana taste!)

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200′ C, and line a muffin tray with paper cases
  2. Measure the oil and mix with the eggs
  3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl and mix them with liquid ingredients, then followed by the mashed bananas
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases (use Ice Cream scoop to handle it easier), and bake them for 20 minutes or so

-makes 10-

(Remember that ovens vary. The cooking times I give are the ones that work with my oven. You need to get to know yours.)

Notes

So, you’ve mastered this recipe? Do make some variations by stirring some grated Cheddar Cheese into the batter, plus sprinkling the grated cheese on top of the muffins, and… et voila! You’ve got Cheesy Banana Muffins!

Got bored? Substitute the cheese with chocolate chips, and Chocolate Banana Muffins will be served right away!