The Cook Book Challenge – Week 13 : Love

Week 13 : Love
Recipe :  Red Velvet Cupcakes
Cook Book : Jamie’s America by Jamie Oliver
The buzz about red velvet cupcakes are in the air.  I’ve never eaten one  or even seen one.  So I had to see what the fuss was all about.  I thought making red velvet cakes will be perfect for Valentines Day and for this week’s theme for the cook book challenge: Love.   After all, red is the colour of love, isn’t it?
Hubby and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day though I have received roses some years in the past.  This year we celebrated it with my brother, @mrEd2U and his family.
The only thing that I was worried about while baking these little beauties was if it will turn out red enough.  I have read blogs where they had problems with the colour where the cupcakes turned out more brown than red.  I had red food colouring in the pantry but was one of those cheapo ones that come in a pack of 4 with 3 other colours.  To make sure, I went out and bought a proper red food colour.  From the photo below, you can see that colour of the cupcakes turned out just fine.
I made this a family affair and let my 3yo help decorate it.  For the frosting, I opted to use a chocolate ganache and not the frosting included in the cook book recipe.

I loved how it turned out.  It was, like it’s name, velvety.  It was light and airy.

Fresh out of the oven
Makes 12 cupcakes
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 large egg
sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoon of red food colouring ( I only used 2 tbls)
2 heaped tbls cocoa powder
150g plain flour
125ml buttermilk
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1 1/2 white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180degC and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Using an electric mixer cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Gently beat in the egg, a pinch of salt, the vanilla extract and the red food colouring.  In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa and plain flour and fold half of it into your butter mix, followed by half the buttermilk.  Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk until you have a smooth mixture.
In a small bowl, mix your bicarb of soda and white wine vinegar together so it fizzes up, and stir this into your cake mix.
Divide the mixture between your cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  To check they’re cooked through, insert a skewer into the centre of a cake- if it comes out clean, they’re perfect, if not just pop them back into the oven for another couple of minutes.  Leave them to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely while you make your frosting.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
230g dark chocolate, chopped
250ml of cream
Place the chocolate in a large bowl.  Heat the cream on medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Remove from the heat and pour into the chocolate.  Stir till completely mixed.  Cool completely by placing in the refrigerator.  When cool, whip using an electric beater. Whip till you get the desired texture.
Bon Appetite,

It’s been a busy year..

So… Here I am again. It’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog. The past year has been quite busy with our Nando’s store and being pregnant but I vow to get my blog up and running again… promise :)

Here’s a few pics from the previous year that I managed to get pics of…

Deanna’s 3rd Birthday. I baked and decorated her birthday cake. I got the idea from a book called “30 minute kids cakes”. The birthday girl help decorate it.

Mooncake Festival 2009 at Queen Victoria Market. It was actually quite disappointing as there were only a number of food stalls. There weren’t a lot of choices but we were all hungry so made do with what was there.

Cherry and strawberry picking in Bacchus Marsh. My family loves to go cherry picking in Summer. We used to go right across to the other side of town to Red Hill to do it, however we discovered cherry picking only 20-30mins away from us in Bacchus Marsh. Oh the joy!

Christmas Eve 2008
My rocky road snowy mountain
My parents’ Christmas display.
Lobster was one of the main attractions that night

Yarra Valley Farmer’s Market at Yering Station.

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. We make the pilgrimage every year.
Strawberry Kebab from the children’s menu.

I hope to keep my blog updated with my food adventures. I hope you keep reading.
Bon Apetite,

Little One’s Birthday

Little One turned two last July…. where does the time go?

To celebrate we had a party with family. It was a simple affair.

Because it was a cold winters night, I decided to cook two warming dishes.

The first was a chicken curry. I love curry but that wasn’t always the case as I couldnt handle anything spicy or anything with a slight heat. Thanks to hubby, that has changed. I now cook it very often and I have fine tuned my own version.

I also cooked beef bourguignon. I got the recipe from a number of sources. I used different steps from different recipes. I like to chop and change a lot of my recipes to suit me and my pantry.

For dessert, I made a Mars Bar Trifle. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? And it was. I got the recipe from a newspaper magazine when I was in England. It’s simple to make but you have to be prepared as you need to start it early (or the day before) as you need to let each layer set before doing the next step. I changed the recipe slightly. The original recipe had coffee jelly in it but since Hubby doesn’t like coffee (I know, what’s wrong with him, right?), I substituted it with chocolate jelly. It actually worked well and it looked great. If anyone wants the recipe please leave a comment.

The birthday cake was from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. It was a tropical chocolate cake. The cake has pineapple in it however because it was pureed we couldnt taste it. I think if I make it next time, I will put pineapple pieces in it as well so we can taste it. I guess what gave it the tropical taste was the stickky coconut icing.

Since our trip to HongKong DisneyLand, the Little one is into the Disney characaters at the moment so I couldn’t resist placing a Minnie Mouse on top.

Bon Appetite,

It’s Been A While

Can’t blog…eating…

Brazilian Festival

Christmas Day 2007 Lunch…

Coconut Crusted Tuna with Tomato Rice & Tuna Pineapple Salsa…

Strawberry Festival

Birthday Cake & Mia Tai’s…

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, sorry for the hiatus, and Bon Appetite