27 October 2011

Dark Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

WARNING :: This is for serious chocoholics!!  

Hands up if you are a fan of lava cake!!

The first time I tried this, it was love at first bite. How could a chocoholic resist rich chocolate cake AND luscious velvety molten chocolate oozing out from the centre?

Absolute heaven!

It's good as it is on its own.
But even better with vanilla ice cream.
Although, my husband will say it's better with cookies 'n cream.

This decadent treat is the probably the easiest thing to bake!
Even easier than muffins.
No need to worry about batter deflating.
No need to worry if it's gonna rise or not.
Just mix everything up and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes!!

You can even make these in advance.
Or freeze it for future cravings.
I can't think of an easier and more versatile recipe, really.

Dark Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes
Makes 4 small cakes packed with intense chocolatey goodness.

140g dark chocolate (get the best quality you can find and afford)
80g butter
90g sugar
2 eggs
60g flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter and sugar.
When well combined, remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
Temper the eggs with a little of the chocolate mixture.
Then stir the eggs into the chocolate and mix well.
Add flour and mix well.

Divide the mixture among 4 greased ramekins.
Bake at 200*C for 10 minutes.
Let the cakes cool in the mould for a few minutes before unmoulding.
(Best served warm.)

Now brace yourself for the full impact of C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E decadence!!

23 October 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes + Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Isn't that just a gorgeous photo?

Fortunately, the cupcake was made by me  :)
Unfortunately, the picture wasn't taken my me  :(

These first three gorgeous photos were taken by my talented friend - Chester Tan.
He's an artistic photographer. And an award-winning musician.

Check out his pictures, music and reviews of the latest gadgets from his blog.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 small cupcakes.

180g flour
20g cocoa powder
140g sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
113g butter, softened
120ml milk
1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture till smooth and velvety.
Divide the batter equally among 12 cupcake cases.
Bake at 160*C for 12-15 min.
Remove cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes more than enough for 12 small cupcakes.

2 egg whites
90g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g butter, soft but still cold

Whisk egg whites and sugar bain marie (in a double boiler) till sugar is fully dissolved.
Remove from heat and whisk for about 10 min till peaks are stiff, thick and glossy.
At this point, the mixing bowl should be cool to the touch.

Change to the paddle attachment.
Add vanilla extract.
With the mixer at low to medium speed, add the butter by the tablespoon, ensuring that each addition is well incorporated before adding the next spoonful.
If the mixture curdles, don't panic. Continue adding the butter and beating the mixture on medium speed.
After a few minutes, the mixture will come together and become creamy and satiny.
Add colouring if desired and beat till evenly distributed.

Now you'll have soft, light, smooth and satiny frosting for your cupcakes!
And taste it... it's not as sweet as traditional buttercream. Tastes and feels more like a mousse - all thanks to the meringue.

For these cuppies, I used a 1M piping tip.

* * * * * * *

And now for my very amateur photos, taken in a hurry before dashing out of the house to pass these to my friend.  Chester, thank you for your friendship :)

15 October 2011

All Wrapped Up

3rd attempt at a fondant cake.

Settled on a simple design. Or so I thought.
It looks simple.
But sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to do perfect, don't you agree.

First, I added too much water when microwaving the marshmallows. So I ended up with fondant that was too moist.

I made the bow and tail ends in advance, so it would have time to dry and set up. But when I was moving the bow, the tip of one of the tail ends broke.
Fortunately, I still have some leftover fondant in the same shade.

Now I have a profound appreciation of fondant cake decorators. Each element you see on the cake is made by the delicate hands of an artist.

Practice makes perfect.
And I'm determined to get those straight edges and sharp corners.

For the fun of it, since I had a little fondant left, I made a little flower.
My hubby calls it a purple chrysanthemum...

Till the next fondant project...