There’s been a crazy rage over Red Velvet cupcakes. Almost every cupcake store or cake shops will sell red velvet cupcakes / cakes.

I caught onto this frenzy about 8 months ago when I saw beautiful red velvet cupcakes on the browneyed baker’s website. The colour was so rich & all the comments/reviews about the cupcake were just brilliant.

I went ahead and tried out her recipe (which was adapted from Hummingbird bakery), with one complaint; the frosting was so runny and overly sweet.

I purchased the hummingbird bakery cupcakes & muffins book last year (just so I could have the book for myself). I’ve since edited the cream cheese frosting to the consistency that I like. It’s much firmer and doesn’t have that overwhelmingly sweet taste from the icing sugar.

Another thing that I modified was the amount of red food colouring to the recipe. It disgusts me that I use almost a whole bottle of red food colouring just for one batch of 12 cupcakes. I halve the amount of red colouring to 1 tbsp, and increase the amount of vanilla extract (afterall, vanilla tastes so good). I’ve tried the recipe with the full amount of red colouring  & with half & while the redness definitely differs, the cake tastes just as good.

I’ve heard that the chemical reaction between the white vinegar and the cocoa powder (not dutch processed) will also produce a natural red colour (albeit not as vibrant as with colouring). I’m gonna start exprerimenting with beet colours to see what I can get out of it.

Overall, I’d recommend this recipe. It’s simple to make & you can hardly go wrong with it.

This batch was made for an order & for a friend’s birthday. I only managed to keep one to photograph. Don’t you just love that vibrant red hue?

Red Velvet cupcakes (Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes & muffins)

Makes 12 regular cupcakes

Cupcakes:

  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp red food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk (I just use normal milk)
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

Cream cheese Frosting: (note this is my recipe)

  • 250g Philidelphia Cream cheese
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 4-6 chinese tbsp of Icing sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 ℃. Put butter and sugar in a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed till light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, red colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to butter mixture and mix throughly combined and coloured. Turn mixer down to slow and pour in half buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and mix until well incorporated. Repeat the process until all the buttermilk & flour have been added. (what I do is I fold it manually. That way I don’t over beat it).
  3. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add baking soda and vinegar. Turn up to high speed and beat for a couple more minutes
  4. Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes

Frosting:

  1. Cut the butter and cream cheese into cubes and beat until light and fluffy. (in an electric mixer)
  2. Gradually add in icing sugar on low speed.
  3. Once all incorporated, beat on high for about 5 minutes (or until the consistency you like)
  4. Do not over beat or it will become runny.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoy this red velvet recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you :)

Love

Eug

 

P.S. I kinda think that the top right photo looks like the land of the rising sun

 

For the past week, I had been cracking my brain to think of the perfect cake to make for my dad’s birthday. The sugar content couldn’t be too high and, I wanted the cake to be something that was light and easy to eat.

I’d initially thought of making a Japanese souffle cheesecake (like those you buy from Fiesta at Thomson Plaza), to relive my childhood memories of a soft cotton-like cheesecake that I loved. However, due to mixed reviews online, I was kinda hesistant and decided to try something safer.

I recalled the tofu cheesecake I had at Sun with Moon which was pretty yummy. It had a very mild cheese flavour and a good balance of tofu. The silkiness of the cake paired together with the crunchy biscuit base made it simply delightful.

I flipped through the new book I bought and found a ‘Lite Tofu cheese cake’ recipe which seemed really simple to prepare. It was a good opportunity for me to try out the recipes.

The cake turned out pretty well. I ran out of marie biscuits so I just crushed whatever biscuits that was available and made the base. That turned out pretty good although I’d stick to digestive biscuits which are much more flavouful.

As for the cheese section, several improvements could be made. Instead of tasting like a cheese cake, it tasted more like a tofu cake. It reminded me of the beancurd pudding that is really popular nowadays (Lao Ban). I guess the word ‘lite’ can be taken very seriously in this case.

That aside, my dad and everyone else really enjoyed the cake. If you’re looking for something that still retains the cheesyness of the cake, then this isn’t the cake for you. If you’re a fan of soy bean, then this would be perfect.

I saw a couple of other recipes on no-bake tofu cheesecakes so I’ll try them out next time for a comparison.

Lite Tofu cheese cake (adapted from Alan Chow’s Indulgence Mousse Cakes)

Biscuit Base:

  • 60g Marie biscuits
  • 30g Unsalted butter
  • 5g instant oatmeal (I left this out)

Tofu cheese filling:

  • 300g soft tofu (the type that can be used for steaming dishes)
  • 50g milk
  • 20g Gelatin Leaf
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 75g Low fat cream cheese (I used normal Philly cream cheese)
  • 80g sugar

Directions:

  1. Crush biscuits till crumbs. Melt butter in a microwave (about 10 – 20 seconds) and combine with crushed biscuits and instant oatmeal. Press crust onto a bottom of a Springfoam pan (8″)
  2. Whisk whipping cream till soft peaks (in the book it said frothy as frozen yogurt)
  3. Blend tofu and milk in a blender till smooth. Sift to remove lumps and set aside. (Note that I was too lazy to sift cos I knew the mixture was very smooth after blending it forever)
  4. With a whisk, beat low fat cream cheese and 40g sugar on low speed till smooth. Pour the tofu mixture in.
  5. Add dissolved gelatin leaf to cheese filling and stir well (I just continued using the mixer)
  6. Add in whipped cream. I found it kinda hard to do it without the mixer so I just put it on low and scraped the sides till the mixture was smooth. You can sift it here if you like cos it’ll give you a better consistency.
  7. Pour in tofu cheese filling and chill till firm.
  8. For the decor, I used Wilton’s stencils and sieved green tea powder over.

That’s all for today!

Love

Eug

There was one period where I went kinda crazy over cupcakes (still love making them) and bought myself all sorts of recipe books. I know it’s really convenient to just google the recipes that you want and then use them, but I’m greedy and just like having my own book.

One of them that I bought is from The Hummingbird Bakery

 
In the whole book, I’ve only tried the red velvet (which I think is a really good recipe) and marshmallow (it uses the basic vanilla cupcake recipe which I find ordinary). I’ve yet to complete more of the recipes which actually seem very interesting!
The book is about 12SGD if I remember correctly! Got mine from kinokuniya.
The other book that I bought was The Primrose Bakery book.
This book is full of lovely images and numerous recipes. I’ve just spent a whole lot of time starring at the recipes. The only one I’ve tried out is the green tea recipe which is really good! Looking forward to having more time to try out more stuff from the book!
Today, I decided it was time to get another book (funny how I don’t really use each book that I have to the fullest potential).
I want to advance beyond just cupcakes. I want to move towards making my own entremets, tortes etc. (I do have some experience from working in a bakery). Unfortunately, most of these french pastry books are found in french, japanese or mandarin. I struggled through the mandarin section till I finally found a book which had english translations at the back (hehee).
Can’t wait to get started on this book and to try out the recipes from the others too!
Also anticipating the arrival of my Laduree Sucre Book! (or more like trip to London when I get it:) )
Gonna make some more macarons tomorrow! So stay tuned!
Meanwhile, if you do have any questions, feel free to pop a comment! I’ll get back asap :)
Love
Eug

Hello friends!

Had a real busy week at work, which left me with little time to update or to try out things.

Once the week was over, I jumped on the opportunity to try out what I took away from my macaron class last week.

I made some modifications to the recipe and am pretty pleased with the results (see below).

When I went for the lesson, I found that the macaron shells were too sweet, making me assume that the only way to ensure that my macarons weren’t overly sweet would be to have a less sweet filling. I dared not cut down on the sugar level of the macarons for fear of disappearing feet.

Instead of using 150g of ground almonds, I substituted it for 100g of ground almonds and 50g of ground black sesame (which can be bought at Daiso. They have everything!).

The taste came out really good. If you’re a fan of black sesame, I guarantee that this is your thing. The black sesame taste seems to hide, quite well, the sweetness of the macaron shells.

Considering it’s the first time I’m making my macaron shells on my own, I’m really satisfied with the results. The one thing I know I have to work on, though, is the roundness of my macaron shells. If you notice in my photo on top, it’s kinda pointy on two of the shells. That’s due to the fact that i underbeat my batter (if you beat it more, it’ll become more fluid. I was hesistant as I didn’t want my shells to spread too much). Should I face with this problem again, I’ll just take a spatula to flatten the top.

Going to try another batch next week so stay tuned ^^

Black Sesame Macaron shells:

Makes about 30 normal sized macarons / 50 smaller sized macarons like those I photographed (not the tiny ones)

Ingredients:

225g Icing sugar
100g Ground almond
50g Grond Black sesame
6 pinches of salt

150g egg whites (I aged mine for 2 days without covering them in the fridge)
105g caster sugar

Directions:

  1. Sieve icing sugar, ground almonds, black sesame and salt together. (The sieve is not a flour sieve but more like those that you use to drain the water from the veg. Holes are slightly larger). Whisk mixture till evenly mixed
  2. Whip egg whites till foamy, then add caster sugar in 3 batches and whip until stiff peaks form (the more you beat, the drier the macarons get. Do not over beat or the elasticity will break and you can’t use your egg whites)
  3. Sieve almond mixture over egg whites and fold in (downards), in about 2 additions
  4. Pipe the rounds using a #12 piping tip. I took my fondant circle cutter to mark the size of the macaron shells that I wanted, to get a more even macaron shell size.
  5. Dry rounds in an air-conditioned environment until they are matte and dry
  6. Bake in a preheated oven of 150 degrees celcius for about 11 minutes (cover the top at the last few minutes of baking to prevent browning)
  7. Cool completely before peeling off paper

* To check if the macaron shells are ready, hold one of the shells and shake it. If it moves the whole paper, it is ready. If not, the shell will feel like it is going to break off.

Azuki Bean Paste filling:

I got kinda lazy on this one and bought pre-made red bean paste from Phoon Huat. Once I’ve used it up, I’ll be sure to make my own!

Ingredients:

113g Cream Cheese
60g Butter
3 heaps of Chinese tablespoon of icing sugar
280g Azuki Bean paste

Directions:

  1. Cream the cheese and butter till soft and fluffy
  2. Sieve in icing sugar and beat till fluffy
  3. Add in azuki bean paste
  4. Pipe onto macaron shells

That’s all for now! Hope that your macarons will turn out as mine did :)

Lemme know if you do try em out :)

PS. I just purchased the Laduree Sucree: The recipes book. Pretty stoked to get it (only in May when I’m in UK though). Will update yall when it comes <3

Love

 

Eug

Since I first attempted macarons in February, I’ve been searching high and low for a macaron workshop to attend.

My first attempt at making macarons was quite a disaster. Firstly, my batter was too runny. Secondly, my shells never dried. Thirdly, my buttercream was overwhelmingly sweet. The only thing I could be proud of was that I actually managed to sift my ground almonds through a flour sieve (I’ll touch on that later) and that my macarons had feet.

Phoon Huat, Artistiq and Sugar Inc all conduct hands on macaron classes. However, Phoon Huat wasn’t giving a response as to when the next lesson on macarons would be (probably due to overwhelming response), and the Artistiq one just wasn’t coinciding with my schedule. I finally decided on Sugar Inc which was at a comparably reasonable price.

The course was 4 hours long (2pm-6pm), inclusive of ingredients, boxes etc. The only thing I had to bring along was a pen.

Course details:

  • Hands on (group)
  • $99/pax
  • Chocolate Swiss Roll
  • Macaron (Lemon Curd, Raspberry Curd & Chocolate Ganache filling)

The course was quite a good experience. Sugar Inc conducts many other baking courses which can be found here.

I can’t post the recipes for the things I learnt cos it’s not really fair to Anna Chan (boss/teacher of Sugar Inc), but I can post some tips that I picked up from the course.

  1. Age your egg whites. The longer they are aged, the more dry your batter can be (and that is the point of a macaron. Dryness.) Don’t worry about bacteria entering when you leave them exposed in the fridge because they contain anti-bacterial properties
  2. Do not cut down on the sugar that is specified in the recipe. The sugar is what gives you the feet
  3. The sieve you use to sift your ground almonds and icing sugar is the large sieve (something like the kind to drain vegs)
  4. When you fold, fold downwards, press out the air, but not too much
  5. To check if your batter has been folded (or pressed down enough), shake the bowl and count to 15. If the lines disappear, it means that the batter is good to go
  6. Do not be over excited like my group mates and I were and remove the shells from the parchment paper before they are cooled. You’ll cry and see your macaron shells die.
  7. The higher your start piping the shells, the higher your shells will be (kinda a ‘duh’ comment but really makes a difference in terms of appearance)
  8. You can use ground pistachios/hazelnut to replace ground almonds

(Not exactly the best picture but there’ll be more to come!!)

That’s all for today!

If you think you’re really into baking & would like to make macarons, I’d highly recommend the course. It’s one of the more reasonably priced ones in Singapore & you’ll definitely get it. Anna’s really friendly & approachable. I’m gna try this out again on Good Friday & I’ll update you then on how it all goes :)

Love

Eug

Image

Here’s my first official food/recipe post!

If you do have me on facebook, you’ll notice that this photo is actually meant for my blueberry-coconut cupcakes. I’ve since made it as Raspberry-coconut and to be frank, I think that combination goes way better!

The great thing about this recipe for me is that it has coconut. I’ve always loved drinking from a fresh coconut and eating the flesh when it is young and tender. I’d never baked with coconut before so when I first tried this out, it was amazing! The taste of the coconut is neither too strong nor too subtle. It adds abit of crunch and leaves a good enough coconut taste! The slight sourness of the raspberry acts as a great compliment to the coconut and the two together is simply perfect. For a cupcake which already has so many merits, I needed to compliment it with a frosting that would be light and simple. That’s when I settled on a meringue frosting – tastes like marshmallow and is light enough such that it doesn’t steal attention away from my cupcake.

I shan’t ramble on and on about how great this cupcake is, but leave it to you to try!

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Makes about 14-16 standard muffin cups

Ingredients:

  • 125g Butter
  • 180g Caster/Fine sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 125g Cake Flour
  • 4g Baking Powder
  • 45g Desiccated Coconut (I always just put a bit more)
  • 75g Sour Cream

Directions:

  1. Cream Butter & Sugar till pale (I realized that the paler it gets, the nicer my cake turns out)
  2. Add in eggs one at a time (You can put in some Sponge Gel too if you’re afraid that your cake will split)
  3. Fold in the dry ingredients and sour cream, alternating them, starting with dry and ending with dry.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees celcius for 20 minutes or when done.

For the meringue frosting, i took a short cut on this one (and because I have too much meringue powder). The recipe comes with the packaging and is really simple to use.

Alternatively, I find a traditional meringue good too!

Meringue Frosting, adapted from allrecipes.com 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

Hope that at least some of you will be interested to try it out. If you do, drop me a comment on how it turns out!

xx

Eug

When I first started this wordpress, my aim was to make myself happier, as in Gretchen Rubin’s ‘The Happiness Project’. Unlike the experience Rubin described, I failed to find that similar sense of satisfaction through blogging, explaining my spasmodic blogging. I’ve been thinking and thinking: what should I blog about??

I’ve found that the reason why blogging appeals less and less to me each time, is that I do not have this constant theme for my blog. 

With that, I’ve decided that thetinyadventurer will be about my baking/cooking/eating adventures. In all, it’s kinda like a food blog which tries to cover a greater scope of things (occassionally i’ll have some stuff irrelevant to those topics, but forgive me:) )

I’ll try my best to update once a week, with new things that I’ve baked.

Hopefully this will work out, or you know what happens next.

 

Stay tuned friends <3

 

Eug