Sunday, October 26, 2014

Super Heroes' Cake

"An apple a day keeps doctor away, A hobby a life keeps Psychiatrist away"
First part is a known saying, second part is added by me. It has been a long time since I wrote a blog post. You see, if there are people who lack any hobby (example my husband), I am one of those who have too many hobbies. Juggling life with hobbies becomes challenging and it is more difficult if one hops from one hobby to another like I do.

Coming to the point of this post, even though I have been super busy with life, hobbies, I did find some time to decorate this cake for my friend's son's birthday. Nowadays, I tell people to get the plain cake from the bakery and I just do the decorating since it is not as time consuming. Birthday boy has a collection of super hero figurines and he wanted them on his cake. Since I have two girls, I know nothing about these super heroes but put together something that the kid suggested and my kids told some stories about. Birthday boy wanted iron man to fly and I faked it by building a rice crispy mountain and leaning iron man on top of a Popsicle stick.

Spider man looks like he is shooting the web. The stick is a spaghetti on which I piped some black icing. This was done when I was surrounded by 15 kids talking simultaneously at the party hall. It is one of the simplest cakes I have ever decorated but the birthday boy was happy. That's all it matters, right?

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Silicone Baking cups - a product review

A baker can get away without investing in fancy tools but cannot do without good baking pans. Any hobby baker or an obsessive baker will have many pans and cannot resist trying out new pans. I belong to such a category of bakers. You name the shape and size of the baking pan, I probably have it. When Rizzi from 'The New York  Baking Company' contacted me to try their silicone baking cups and write a review on the product, I couldn't say no. Could I?
First of all, these are so cool to look at. Compact to store compared to the regular muffin or cupcake pans which take up quite a bit of space. Since these are silicone cups, you don't have to worry about the cupcake or the muffin sticking to the pan. And since they are not rigid, you can fit a lot of them on a cookie sheet and bake two batches on the same rack thereby avoiding the rotating the pan work.
I baked some chocolate walnut muffins and did not even grease the cups. I should have at least misted them with vegetable oil spray since a little crumbs did stick to the pan. But it could be just because the recipe was a low fat one and quite wet batter was used. Other than that, these worked great. These are dish washer safe, oven safe to 425 F, BPA free.
Since we don't have to line them with paper liners, it is a good way of going green. But, wash them in warm soapy water couple of times before using them for the first time.

Those of you who are interested in purchasing or knowing more about this product can check it out at  silicone baking cups.
Product Name: Silicone Baking Cups
Brand: The New York Baking Company
RRP: $8.95
Material: BPA free silicone
Disclaimer:  Product was given to use and write an honest review. I have not been compensated for writing this review.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Vanilla Muffins

This is one of those recipes which can be tweaked into different flavors by changing the additives. I was planning to make it a mango muffin but when I went to chop the mangoes, I found it was spoiled from inside and I had to throw it out. This made good snack for the kids and is pretty easy to make too. Pictures are really bad since it has been raining like crazy for the past 2 days here with no sun light whatsoever.
One Year Back - Honey Rolls / Buns
Two Years Back - Lemon Coconut Bread, Vanilla Cake using Homemade mix
Three Years Back - Dry Fruit Yeast Bread/Cake
Four Years Back - Coconut Almond Cookies
All purpose flour - 2 3/4 cups
Baking Powder - 1 TBSP
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/3 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Milk - 3/4 cup
Vanilla - 1 TBSP
Optional - 1 cup of dried fruits or chopped fresh fruit or chocolate chips or nuts.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease the cups. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, both the sugars. Stir in vanilla. Start adding the dry mixture to wet alternating with milk starting and ending with dry mixture. This batter is very very thick.  Divide between the cups and bake for 20 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. These muffins almost look dry on the top but are very moist. Cool on the wire rack.


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Apple Pie Bread

I have made apple pie only once in my life. I do know how to make it but never make it since I am not fond of it. Do you know the reason for me not liking it? It is because almost all the time, filling separates from the crust while eating and for some reason, I don't like the feel of just the filling or just the crust. So, I incorporated the apple pie filling into the applesauce bread and called it Apple Pie Bread. Cool right?
One Year Back - Pumpkin Pecan Bread
Two Years Back - Sweet and Spicy Almonds, Lemon Coconut Bread
Three Years Back - Holiday Gift Ideas
Four Years Back - Eggless Pecan Pie Bars
Adapted from a banana bread recipe from the book - The Sweet Melissa Baking Book 
Ingredients: Makes one 9 X 5 loaf or 4 mini loaves
For the apple pieces:
Unsalted butter - 2 TBSP
Brown Sugar - 3 TBSP packed
Granny Smith or baking apples - 2 cored and chopped into 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes
Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp

For the bread batter:
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Ground Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg - a pinch
All Spice - a pinch
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Sugar - 1 cup
Orange juice or water or milk - 1/4 cup
Applesauce - 1 1/2 cups

Heat butter in a skillet. Add chopped apple pieces, brown sugar, cinnamon and stir. Let them cook for about 5 minutes or bit soft. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Making the bread:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper (recommended) or grease and flour. In a bowl, whisk together flour, spices, salt. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugar till eggs are beaten and have mixed well with sugar and oil. Stir in applesauce. Now add the dry mixture alternating with orange juice or milk. When no streaks of flour can be found, add the cooked apple mixture. Stir. This is quite a wet batter. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or till done in case of a large loaf pan or 40 - 45 minutes in case of mini loaf pans. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn on to the wire rack very carefully to cool completely.  I baked them into mini loaves.


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