Tasty Treats

2012-May-07, Monday 08:15 pm
chebe: (AliceWithTea)
This started with a recipe; 'Rose Petal Cupcakes'. But I couldn't find extract of rose oil, and I couldn't be bothered candying rose petals. So really I just took the pink theme and ran with it. A friend of mine loves pink, and is lactose intolerant, so I tried my hand at making these dairy-free. I substituted soya-margarine for butter, and rice-milk for milk. I added a little pink gel colouring to the mixture, but when it was baked the colouring stayed in the middle and a regular cake-coloured crust formed around the outside. Bit odd, further investigation warranted. I added lots of pink gel colouring to the soya-margarine-and-icing-sugar icing, and it worked great.




Then there was 'Warm Molten-Centred Chocolate Cupcakes'. Surprisingly simple; 1 oz margarine, 2 oz caster sugar, 1 egg, 3 oz self-raising flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, beat. Spoon half into 8 cupcake cases, place a square of chocolate in each, then cover over with the other half of the mixture. Cook at 190C/375F for 20 minutes, eat.

I added a square of plain and a sneaky square of white chocolate to each. The plain melted lovely, the white seemed to re-solidify and was no fun at all.




Things learned; gel colouring can behave strangely in the oven, soya-margarine can make the cakes a bit hard, and rice-milk can leave them a bit dry. But still tasty. And what's with measuring butter in tablespoons? Seriously, just why? I can deal with volume, but it's not ideal. Measure with weight people, weight! Fyi, 8 tblsp. == 2 oz. That is all.
chebe: (GoldenMask)
Hello again my fellow dreamers, and assorted other readers. It's been a busy month. Enjoyable, but tiring. And now it's over, and in this country at least, Winter has begun.

Halloween was yesterday, but the season began last Friday. I went to a friend's party, and brought cupcakes. What's so scary about cupcakes? Well, you should take a look at Lily Vanilli's 'A Zombie Ate My Cupcake' book. Gruesomely delicious.



I made the graveyard cupcakes, and the red velvet cupcakes which use two bottles of food colouring for a batch of twelve and are possibly more fun to make than eat. It does require two sets of beaters, but quickly begins to look like blood, and be warned it will stain everything! I did find her icings way too rich for my stomach so I've swapped them out for a cocoa-icing that I really like, but the gingerbread is her recipe, and was also a big hit.

Saturday and Sunday then were Gaelcon, and I had more fun than I'd expected. I am not a gamer, but there was still plenty of shiny to grab my attention. I picked up a couple more pieces from Ula (you have to check out her Cthulhus and steampunk-cufflinks), discovered that there was a second version of Deathnote (?!!), and picked up Arkham Horror and Chez Goth (my first games ever).


Then yesterday, Monday, was a Bank Holiday, so I sat home and watched way too many movies. Halloween is still the best holiday all year.

American Brownies

2010-Jul-12, Monday 07:25 pm
chebe: (MangaMe)
I like baking. Cooking, not so much. But baking, it's methodical, it's logical, there's measurement, experimentation, and delicious results. It requires a certain amount of exactness. In short, it appeals to me.

But I get frustrated by a couple of things. Many recipes available online are North American, and use short names for things we've never even heard of this side of the Atlantic (I understand half and half is half cream and half whole milk?). But also, especially with the North American recipes, but also with the tried-and-tested old recipes in my mother's books, is the problem of measurement. (Which I also think this is a source of failure for new bakers, an ounce is quite a large range. Metric on the other hand, is much more precise.)

Another pet peeve is one purely of convenience. 6oz gets converted to 175g. Baking supplies don't come in 175g. 8oz is 225g. Supplies now-a-days are sold in 100g, 150g, etc. In days past when we had plenty of time to spend baking day in, day out, that was okay, you could use up the balance the next day. Now though it can result in mostly full packets being thrown out because they've been open, and unused, for weeks or months!

So, my aim is to convert recipes to my style, and my tastes. This can seem quite complicated when written down, but when lining up the ingredients it makes so much more sense.

And so, without further a-do, I give you American Brownies, alá moi.


Ingredients )

Hardware )

Directions )
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