29 June 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I've never been successful with muffins. My earlier muffins always turned out to be either too dense, too dry or too moist, despite following recipes to the dot with great diligence and much effort.

This time, I decided to use the rub-in-butter method instead of my usual melted butter recipe. And since following instructions had not yielded any muffin that had the slightest resemblance to the lovely photos posted in recipe books and blogs, I also made a brave decision to do away with much of the ingredients' measurement. Afterall, they never worked. For this batch of muffins, the only things I measured were flour and butter. The amount for other ingredients were gauged by looking at the batter texture.

Surprise! Surprise! These muffins turned out to be great! They were completely light and fluffy, with the right moisture and texture. Parfait!!!

Here's how I did my muffins.
In a small bowl:
  1. Lightly whisk 1 egg with a few spoons of sugar
In a big bowl:
  1. Sift 200g of flour into a big bowl
  2. Put 50g of soft butter into the bowl
  3. Stir with a spoon till the mixture resembles bread crumbs
  4. Pour in the egg mixture
  5. Pour in milk until the texture of the mixture looks like ice cream
  6. Scoop into paper cups
  7. Bake at 180 degrees

Almond Butter Cookies

These were made for Chinese New Year 2010. 

225g butter
100g white sugar
20g icing sugar
1 egg
310g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

How it was done:
1 - Cream the butter and sugars till light and fluffy.
2 - Beat in the egg.  Then add the vanilla and almond extracts.
3 - Combine the flour and salt, then stir into the sugar mixture. 
4 - Chill the dough for at least 10 min till it firms up a little. 
5 - Transfer the dough to the cookie press and press out onto ungreased cookie pan.
6 - Bake at 180 deg C for 10 min, or till lightly golden at the edges. (200 deg C if using light coloured baking pans.)
7 - Remove and cool on wire racks. 

28 June 2010

Brown Sugar Apple Cake

It was Sunday afternoon. 
Mom and Dad were visiting and hinted at a home-baked goodie for their breakfast the next day.  
So I looked around my kitchen and saw 2 apples sitting all alone on the counter.  Scrolling through my BB for a quick apple recipe, I found...

Apple Cake!
Just mix everything together, pop it in the oven for 40 min, and voila!

Once the cake was cooled and sliced, sample portions were handed out.  Following a round of seconds, the leftovers were packed in tupperware and Mom and Dad left with smiles on their faces.

Here's the recipe:

50g mix of pumpkin seeds and almonds
2 Fuji apples (green applies work well too)
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
200g plain flour
50g white sugar
50g brown sugar
1/5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
80 g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs Amarula liquor (or milk)
40g raisins
Soak raisins in liquor for 5-10 min.  In the meantime, peel, core, and chop the apples into bite size pieces. Toss with 1 - 2 tbs of lemon juice to prevent browning.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and liquor and mix until fully incorporated.

Sprinkle some flour to coat the nuts and chopped apples.  Then fold them into the batter together with the raisins. If the batter is too thick, stir in some milk (or more liquor).
Pour into 8" square baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 170 deg C for about 40 min.  (Bake at 180 deg C if you are not using a dark non-stick pan.)
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!