Monday, August 27, 2012

Mini baked donuts

I saw these mini baked donuts on My Baking Addiction.Com. The donuts looked so cute, I immediately decided that I needed one of those Wilton mini domnut pans. Like I needed another pan. I think I need another closet in the garage..or a new house. :)So I used my 50% off coupon at Michaels this past weekend and couldn't wait to make them. I think anything mini makes everything that much cuter. I actually used the recipe printed on the packaging of the Wilton pan. Since these are baked and not fried, the texture is more of an airy, sponge cake. And they turned out, too cute. I dunked them in a sugar glaze, then some in chocolate. Love it!!


-½ cup granulated sugar
-1¼ cups cake flour, sifted
-1¼ tsp. baking powder
-¾ tsp. salt
-½ cup buttermilk
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1½ tbsp. butter, melted
-½ teaspoon of vanilla


Prepare pan with baking spray. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in sugar mixture. Add buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla and stir until just combined.

To fill the little donut cavities, you can use a piping bag, a little teaspoon is good, or I used my small dough scoop. Helps get the dough out of the scoop easy.

(it looks greasy because I used a baking non stick spray. No worries, not because it's greasy :D)

Bake 4–6 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched.

Aren't these so cute?!?!

Let cool in pan for 4–5 minutes before removing. Finish the donuts with glaze, sprinkles, or cinnamon sugar. These donuts are more dense and cakey, because it's baked not fried. I guess it's a bit healthier haha. or ALOT healthier!

This one was a simple vanilla glaze: powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water. I used regular vanilla instead of clear vanilla accidentally, so it made the glaze a bit tan-ish..oops. But still delicious nonetheless :D

Then I dipped some in chocolate!!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

50th Bday Party!

Another 50th Birthday party for my neighbor's friend! I was told that she is a soprano singer in her church choir and that it was a yellow and gold theme (that seems to be a popular color combination so far!! :D)

She wanted a G Clef on the chocolate covered oreos. Good thing my parents (mom) used to make me play piano so I knew exactly what that was. I knew that was going to pay off one day! Haha. So it was easy for me to pipe it on with a 2 tip and a piping bag, with yellow chocolate.

She also wanted the cakes pops I had made for her previously..but instead of the flowers I had been doing, I put music notes on it!

Then I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. She liked the fondant toppers for the baby shower I did and wanted it similar to that..The music notes were from the cricut, the letters and numbers from mini cutters and the G Clef was just rolled out into thin ropes and free hand formed, as well as the microphone!

I like to frost the Red velvet cupcakes with the big tip for a smooth swirl:

The chocolate buttercream is frosted with the 1M tip for a ruffled swirl.

Tres leche cupcakes

I had some heavy cream left over from my last project so I went searching for a recipe that can use up my heavy cream. I consulted my trusty Martha Stewart cupcakes book and viola! I found this recipe for tres leche cupcakes. Although I'm not a huge fan of tres leche cake (I feel like it's just a soggy cake in the end) but actually these taste moist instead of soggy. And the key is to serve them room temperature. I brought them to a BBQ and to work and they were gobbled up. I brought along fresh whipped cream to top it off too. (which sounds more impressive than actually making it..easy!) Sorry I don't have better pictures of the end product [sometimes I get lazy :( or forget! ].

6 large eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. of baking soda
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
1 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
1 can (12 ounces) of evaporated milk
1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup heavy cream
whipped cream and ground cinnamon, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325oF.

Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. With an electric mixer, over medium speed, whisk together the egg whites, baking soda and salt until soft peaks form.

Reduce speed to low. Add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until completely combined.

Then, mix in the flour in three or four batches, mixing by hand (carefully, so as not to break the precious air bubbles that will add volume to the cupcakes) until the mixture is well blended.

Pour the batter into the paper-lined muffin pans, filling them only a little halfway through. You don't want this to rise over the cupcake liners, because later you will need to brush them with the milks..and you don't want the milks to overflow!

Bake the cupcakes in a preheated 325oF oven for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven. Immediately poke holes in tops of cupcakes with a skewer.

Whisk together together evaporated milk, condensed milk and the heavy cream. With cupcakes still in pan, brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all the liquid has been used. (I actually probably used half the mixture. I taste tested about half way through because I didn't want the cupcakes to get too soggy or sweet and it tasted great already!) Allow cupcakes to absorb the mixture, at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic once completely cool; bring to room temperature before serving...this is important!)

For the whipped cream, whisk two cups of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cups confectioner' sugar, sifted and whisk until combined. If not using immediately, whipped cream can be refrigerated. covered tightly, up to 3 hours in an airtight container. :) Dust with cinnamon for a final touch.

Enjoy! :D

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baking and taking pictures

So I have an obessession with baking/dessert blogs, dessert wesbites..I go through dessert tables, I read the recipes, then I look for other recipes and compare them to each other..if I'm stranded on an island, as long as I have a computer and wifi, I'll be a happy camper (haha..I guess that's not really likely, kind of beats the idea of stranded on an island eh?) That's on of the ways I look for new recipes. As I mentioned before, I'll look at the ingredients, but a lot of the times, I decide on a recipe by looking at the photos. The prettier they are, the more I am inclined to use the recipe. It's like me at the grocery store. I'm not sure how to pick good fruit, I just pick the best looking ones. Perhaps I discriminate against the uglies, but can you blame me? I want my baked goods to turn out pretty too! :)

Sometimes things look so yummy that I instantly start to drool. Now that's a great photograph if a photo evokes that kind of response from a person. Or perhaps I'm just a piggy. Well, that too. ahha. So then I wish I had the skills to take pictures of my baking that way. I already own a Nike D40, that I've had for a few years, but I only have a zoom lense and the 18-55mm standard lense that came with the camera. I've been shooting with that lense, but it's not really a macro lense (which ironically are called Nikkor micro lense..for macro shots. oh why do they have to make everything so complicated?!) I'm no teckkie by any means, far from it. My pea brain can not comprehend/retain all that information that goes along with photography and aperature and shutter speed.. ) reading through all the blogs, I think I'll need to get a fixed lense, like a 50mm to take photos of my baking..and perhaps a food set designer class..what are those people called? They lay out the food and make it pretty and take pictures for books, blogs etc. What a job! :)

Sometimes I do get lazy and I'll use my Iphone to post pictures, but the dont' come out so nice on the blog. Other times I'll forget. Oops. I really need to be more deligent about that, because it looks like crap!! :O But know that I'm trying..and hoping to get be patient! :) Thank you for those that have been keeping up with the blog and supporting me in this little endeavour. It's quite fun! :D

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Skip Hop Owl baby shower

A girl I knew from back when messaged me about making cake pops for her friend's baby shower. I think I met her in Chinese School. Yes those dreadful Saturdays learning Chinese early in the morning-I resented my parents for that, but I wish I had paid attention now. haha. But I met a lot of people there. And it's nice to get back in touch and find out how people are doing...everyone's all grown up and having kids!! It's crazy. So she told me that the theme was the Skip Hop Owl, which I knew, but actually didn't know there was a pink version. So she wanted cake pops of the owl.

I had fun making these. Though a bit frustrating in the beginning, because I had to try a few different techniques to try to get them to look the way I liked. It got easier when I figured it out at the end. I used fondant for the two colored eyes, then melted chocolate and piped the ears, eyes, nose and feet. Here's the picture of the skip hop owl:

What do you think? :)

Then I also made some mini red velvet cupcakes with pink and silver sprinkles (the color theme)!

I hope the baby shower went well!! :D

Green/Yellow Baby Shower

Two weekends ago, I was contacted by a friend of my neighbors for some desserts...I guess dessert bars are getting popular!! :D It was for a baby shower, with a yellow and green theme. Design was left up to me, except she requested happy faces on the chocolate covered oreos. Hahah. Pretty funny. I don't know what they had to do with a baby shower haha, but, it's what the client wanted!!

For the cake pops, I used cupcake liners and wrapped them around the cake pops and tied with ribbon, to look like a blanket covering the baby. I had these yellow and green flower cupcake liners that went perfect with this project! Then I piped on the face and curl!

The vanilla butter cookies were white onesies and I piped the lines of the onesies on. Then I used yellow sprinkles for the designs.

I hope they enjoyed! :D

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Panna Cotta

Here is the other dessert that I made for my neighbor's sister's 50th birthday. Panna cotta is actually one of my favorite desserts. I'm not sure why, because it doesn't really taste like anything itself..unless you throw on some kind of topping, my favorite is a berry coulis. It's milky, and I love the texture, more of a firm custard. MMM. This too is a simple dessert with only a few ingredients! My neighbor wanted some sort of yellow fruit to fit into the yellow theme so I ended up cutting up pineapples to top off these individual panna cottas in 5oz clear glass cups, with a white fondant flower in the middle as an added touch. There are also many different variations of panna cotta out there, I used a vanilla one. The different variations consist not only of the flavor of the panna cotta itself, but the different types of dairy used, some call for half and half some for heavy cream, some whole milk. skim milk..etc etc..I chose this recipe from Epicurious, that called for heavy cream and half and half. I liked how the consistency of this one turned out. Very delicious!


•1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
•2 tablespoons cold water
•2 cups heavy cream
•1 cup half and half
•1/3 cup sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.

In a large saucepan bring cream, half and half, and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring.

Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla. Divide cream mixture among eight 1/2-cup ramekins and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight. *I actually used 5 oz clear plastic cups because she used the panna cotta as part of a dessert spread. Make sure the panna cotta is completely cooled before sticking it in the fridge otherwise the plastic cups will crack.

If using ramekins, dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.

Enjoy! :)

Meingue Cookies

Sorry for the late post, but here's the recipe for the meringue cookies I made for my neighbor, whose sister was turning 50.

I had actually never had a meringue cookie before, let alone make them. So when she asked me to make them, I was excited at making something new. These are pretty simple. It's essentially just egg whites, sugar and air. They sweet, but light and airy. I actually went to the grocery store to buy some (only available at specialty stores!) just so I can taste them and see/feel the consistency so I know how mine were supposed to turn out. Research!! I looked through different recipes, and they're all pretty basic, except with different variations, like peppermint, chocolate chips, cocoa meringues. I ended up making vanilla ones, and tinted them yellow to match the theme of the party.

-3 large egg whites (3 ounces or 90 grams)
-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
-3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine or caster sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor)
-1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip, or I watched a few U-Tube videos that show some people just using two spoons to scoop and drop them onto the parchment to make the cookies. I used the 1M top to make round cookies. Piping is just so much easier for me!

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.

Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip. Pipe 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet.

Or, alternatively, spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared sheets.

Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.) Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight. The meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.

Makes about 10 - 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) meringues. Or, if you want to make smaller meringues to yield more cookies, adjust your baking time to less.

*I ended up making fairly large cookies (about 2 inches) as I piped them and didn't realize that it would take so much longer to bake them (over 2 hours!). The first batch I took out too early, and instead of a smooth surface, it became spotty and shriveled. When I broke into it, it was very chewy and sugary, and stuck to my teeth when I took a bite. Indications that it was underbaked. It's supposed to be light and airy, and when you bite into them, it's supposed to melt into your mouth, no chewing necessary. It's also supposed to be glossy and smooth on the surface. A great simple dessert that look elegant as well!!