Archive for July, 2012

Miniature versions of things are adorable. Don’t you think?

Like tiny animals? Or small bottles? Little books and teeny-weeny envelopes?

If you like the full-sized version of a particular thing, chances are you’ll go awww when you see the miniature version.

I’ll give you an example. You like regular sized cupcakes?

Then you’ll love these! ๐Ÿ™‚

Such cute little things, no?

These mini chocolate cupcakes are so pretty, it’s hard to eat them. Perfect for those sudden sweet cravings, and just the right non-guilt inducing size, these babies are delicious.

Make them for special friends like I do. Or make a secret batch just for yourself. (Like I do too :P)

Mini chocolate cupcakes

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10-12 mins
Makes: 15-18 (depending on how small your liners are)


40 g plain flour, sifted
20 g cocoa powder, sifted
60 g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
60 g butter (melted and cooled)
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing

60 g butter, at room temperature
60 g icing sugar, plus a bit more if needed
2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
food colour of your choice (optional)
sprinkles of your choice (optional)


For the mini cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 180ยบ C. Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, and baking powder together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Stir well until everything is combined and you have a glossy, smooth batter.
2. Line a cupcake tray with mini cupcake liners. (I use one 12-holed tray and one 6-holed tray.) Carefully spoon the batter into each liner. Fill each one about two-thirds full.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting

1. With an electric whisk, mix the butter and sugar together with the milk and vanilla. Add a few drops of your chosen food colour and mix again.
2. The frosting should be soft and creamy with no lumps. If you plan to pipe with a paper bag, you will need to add more icing sugar to make the frosting stiffer. If you choose to just spoon the frosting onto the cupcakes like I did, it’s nice to have a softer frosting.
3. Pipe or top a little frosting onto each of the cooled mini cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles.


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It’s Friday. And that means happy things are near.

The weekend. Late nights and sleeping in.

Brunch. Friends and laughter.

Reading. Baking cupcakes.

Long phone conversations. Not setting the alarm.

Small things. But happy things.

This chocolate mousse is a bit like that.

Small, yet it carries the power to bring closed-eye smiles and deep contented sighs.

The best part is it only takes about 15 minutes to make.

Try it, and watch your weekend get even better ๐Ÿ™‚

5-ingredient Dark Chocolate Mousse

Prep time: 15 mins
Makes: 4 large servings


300 ml cream
100 g dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white
50 g caster sugar


1. Heat about half the cream in a pan until it just starts simmering. Take it off the flame and add the chopped chocolate. Stir well until the chocolate melts and you have a rich ganache.
2. Fill another large bowl with ice and make the pan with the ganache sit in it. Add the remaining cream and the vanilla extract, and beat with an electric whisk for a few minutes, until the cream is incorporated. The mixture should be at the soft-peak stage.
3. In another clean, dry bowl begin to whisk the egg white. Add the sugar a little at a time and keep whisking until you have stiff peaks.
4. Fold the egg-sugar mixture into chocolate ganache gently until it’s well mixed. Transfer into serving bowls or wine glasses (if you’re feeling fancy :P) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before eating.

Giveaway winner: The winner of my first ever giveaway -the Cakes and Cupcakes book (chosen by random draw) is Archana_Kartha! Congratulations! Email me (charis1984@gmail.com) your postal address so I can send this book out to you. For the others- this is the first of many giveaways, I promise. I wish I could send each and every one of you cupcakes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a fun weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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Black forest cake

So I’m really obsessed with this book.

Beautifully written- it’s strangely modern and hauntingly poetic at the same time.

The characters are so real, you’ll definitely identify with more than one.

There are forests and dragons and swords and direwolves. Seriously, how can you not love it already?

I’ve always found the name “Black forest” cake very intriguing. When I looked for the origin (secretly hoping for a tale of a dark forest shrouded in mystery and magic), I was a little disappointed to find out it was named after a very normal and non-magical German region.

What does not disappoint however, is this cake.

Indulgent, moist, and creamy- it has magical qualities ๐Ÿ™‚

Too bad I can’t have a direwolf. At least I have cake. And that will suffice for now ๐Ÿ™‚

Black forest cake
Adapted from: Step-by-step Baking

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 40 mins
Serves: 10


85 g butter, melted and cooled, plus a bit extra for greasing
6 eggs
170 g caster sugar
120 g flour, sifted
50 g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling/topping

1X 400g tin of red cherries, including the juice
4 tbsp brandy (use Kirsch if you have it)
600 ml cream
200 g dark chocolate, grated


For the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180ยบ C. Line a 9-inch round baking tin with parchment paper and grease the base and sides with butter.
2. Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and make it sit on a saucepan filled with water. The base of the bowl should not touch the water. Put the saucepan (with the bowl over it) over a medium flame and as it starts to get warm, begin whisking the egg-sugar mixture until it is pale and thick. Remove from the heat and whisk for another 5 minutes, till it becomes a bit cool.

3. Add the flour and cocoa, spoon by spoon into the egg mixture, folding it in very gently using a spatula. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the butter and vanilla extract as well.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until the cake starts coming away from the sides. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4. Once cool, slice the cake horizontally into 2 even layers and place them on separate plates.

For the filling/topping

1. Mix the brandy in the reserved cherry juice. Slowly drizzle this over the 2 separate layers of cake. Do this a little at time: so the liquid is soaked up by the cake before you add more.
2. Pit the cherries and cut them in halves.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Now it’s time to assemble the cake. Put the first layer down gently on the serving platter and cover the top with cream (all of it save a little) and the cherries (save some of the best cherries for the top of the cake). Top with the second layer of cake.
3. With a knife spread a little bit of cream around the sides and top of the cake and press the grated chocolate all over.

Dot the top of the cake with cherries. Serve!

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Breakfast is the most difficult meal of the day for me.

It’s because I’m not a morning person.

These three examples from Pinterest depict my morning emotions perfectly.

Are you a morning person? How do you do it? HOW?

I don’t like waking up at all, let alone waking up and then cooking a breakfast.

So after months of dad’s long distance yelling about the importance of breakfast, being miserable after eating biscuits each morning, and feeling very unproductive, I decided to fix things.

I turned to my favourite ingredient of all time: eggs.

Last Saturday night, I decided I would conquer breakfast. And I did.

These savoury egg muffins are the perfect breakfast food. Make 10 on the weekend, and freeze them in sets of two. All you have to do in the morning is microwave and eat! Maybe with a slice of toast. But they’re great with just a dash of tomato sauce.

The best part is you can put anything in them.

Here are some combos you could try:

Tomato, ham, and cheese (yum)
Peppers, mushroom, and corn (yummers)
Salami, spinach, and broccoli (yummest)

Savoury breakfast egg muffins

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Makes: 10


7 whole eggs
5 tbsp milk
1 tsp vegetable oil, plus a bit more for greasing
1 large red pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
50g salami, chopped
garlic flakes
mixed dried herbs
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 180ยบ C. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the milk and whisk well.
2. Heat a non-stick pan, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and lightly toss the red pepper and tomato in it for a few minutes. Set aside.
3. Add the chopped salami, garlic, herbs, and cooled pepper-tomato mixture to the egg mix and stir everything together. Season to taste.
4. Grease 10 individual silicone muffin cases, or a non-stick muffin tray. Divide the mixture into each of them, filling them about 3/4th full. Put into the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes. The muffins should rise and come away from the sides of the cases. Remove from the cases, cool, and then freeze for upto 1 week. Or just eat right away ๐Ÿ™‚

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Do all mothers think their children will never get fat?

This must be the case because my mother just got me this:

It’s a one kilo jar of peanut butter!

Let’s stare at it in disbelief for a minute longer, shall we?

*disbelief* turns to *complete glee* ๐Ÿ˜€

My mind’s been whirling with peanut butter recipe ideas, but I got off the merry-go-round at Dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting station.

This cake is delicious by itself- it’s incredibly fluffy and soft and not too sweet. Like your grandmother. Add the peanut butter frosting, and watch it transform into something wicked and sexy. Like _____. (Fill in whoever floats your boat. I’d say Hugh Jackman :P)

The frosting still tastes and feels like peanut butter. It has all the gooey, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness that we love about peanut butter.

Fun way to start the peanut butter celebrations! Don’t you think?

Thanks Mom ๐Ÿ™‚

Dark chocolate and peanut butter cake

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 12


150 g plain flour, sifted
90 g cocoa powder, sifted
240 g finely ground sugar, sifted
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp coffee powder
240 g butter, salted is fine, but melted and cooled (plus a bit more for greasing)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
50 ml cream

For the peanut butter frosting

150 g peanut butter
150 ml cream


For the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180ยบ C. Line the base of a 9-inch round cake tin with parchment and grease the base and sides. Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and coffee in a large bowl. Add the butter, vanilla, and the eggs (one at time) and mix everything together well. Stir in the cream vigorously.
2. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
3. Remove and leave on a wire rack to cool before removing from the tin.

For the peanut butter frosting

1. With an electric mixer, mix the crap out of the peanut butter and cream! You’re done! ๐Ÿ™‚

To assemble- Gently slice the cake horizontally in half. Slather on half the frosting and top with the top half of the cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake. Serve! (This cake tastes best at room temperature.)

Also, have you guys checked out this fun contest that ITC is running? All you have to do is upload a picture of you having a fun moment at any of the ITC hotels and you could win a 2 night/3 day stay at any ITC hotel of your choice! Pretty cool, right? I’m entering of course. If you want to, click here.

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