Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inspired to Bake and Make Fresh Pasta

I wanted to be productive at home so today was about making Deep Chocolate Cupckes and finally getting a test run on my new pasta maker.

Living in KL means easy access to these kind of stuff. I asked my friend to buy the pasta maker from Hock Choon at Ampang (since we rarely go to that area). My suspicion is that it is cheaper than if I buy it in Mont Kiara or Bangsar area. I paid less than rm100 for it.

Started baking at 4pm and thankfully cupcakes came out beautifully. While the pasta took more of my attention because I was fascinated and foreign to that new machine. Turned out to be easier than I thought. We made fresh egg pasta, from flour and eggs only! I bought the special flour (as suggests in my Jamie Oliver cookbook). Tipo 00 flour or farina di grano tenero from Italy, bought it from the BIG supermarket at Publika Mont Kiara.

For the pasta sauce I made 2 kinds: truffle cream sauce for me and hubby while little Alex had the cheesy sauce. Toddlers love cheese sauces (my observation!)

Love the taste of fresh pasta. Beats the instant pasta hands down. Really soft and tasty! Plus Alex had a little fun with pasta maker... She tried to help!

Tip for moms who have daughters like me: I baked so many times yet it doesn't mean that little Alex will eat all the stuff I do. Today I added some colorful stars on the cupcake topping and she tasted 4 spoons of cupcake! Yehey!!! Little joys of motherhood.

I brought the cupcakes to the office the next day and had good reviews from my colleagues. So I decided to jot down the recipe so that others may try it out. This is really for CHOCOLATE lovers because it really has that deep, rich chocolate taste. It is obviously different from the store-bought ones which are more commercialized. I highly urge using superb, top quality ingredients because that makes a BIG difference in the overall taste. The original recipe called for a chocolate ganache topping. I changed mine to cream cheese butter frosting to have that contrast with the chocolate color and taste.


Ingredients for Cupcakes:

  • 100g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa) - try to buy good quality swiss chocolates
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee (decaffeinated for preference)
  • 1 cup flour (I use Organic Unbleached Flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark coca powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Preheat the over to 180 C. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, break up the dark chocolate. Mix the boiling water with the instant coffee, and pour over the chocolate. Stir and allow to melt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, coca powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (at least 3-5 minutes on low speed). Add the eggs, one at a time. I use the mixer machine for this.

Beat in the flour mixture, by tablespoon, alternating with the melted dark chocolate and the milk.

Fill the cupcake liner. I fill it all up until all the batter is used up in the 12 muffin cups. Usually this is about as high as the muffin cups.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a tester inserted comes out only just clinging with crumbs. Take the cupcakes out of the oven and allow to cool.

For the Ganache Topping:
100g Dark Chocolate 
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tbsp cream
1 tbsp butter

Combine all the ingredients for the ganache in a metal bowl. Set the bowl over a small saucepan filled with boiling water, and stir until just melted. Set aside.

Smooth over the dark chocolate ganache on the cupcake (when it has cooled down). Let sit for a few hours to set or put in the fridge.

These cupcakes are so deep and chocolaty, you might want to serve them with some plain unsweetened whipped cream on the side to lighten them.

Or, another option is cream cheese butter icing. I replace the dark chocolate with 2-3 tablespoons of Cream Cheese. Then just add butter and cream, plus sift some icing sugar into the batter and use the mixer machine to whip everything together. The "sweetness" depends on your taste and you can adjust it as you go along. Optional, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla essence into the cream cheese topping.

Do try it. I am so, so sure you will enjoy the deep chocolate cupcakes!

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