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Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

March 26, 2011
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (or SMBC, as it’s called among the more srs bsns type) is legitimately scary. Why? I’ll… explain later. While searching for a strawberry frosting without icing sugar, I found this one which is originally from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. At first I was like YEAY PRETTY and then I was like OH WAIT because I remembered all the things I’ve read about SMBC. And thus I present to you,
SMBC; How Much Do You Scare Me, Let Me Count The Ways.

1) A recipe I had previously read made it seem like this was the most temperamental frosting ever. Like if even a gram of egg white was off (Gram! I’m supposed to weigh my egg whites? Weigh them?!) then the frosting would probably be ruined and I would have failed as a human being.
2) I seriously read a user comment somewhere where she spent an hour trying to beat the frosting back into stiffness after adding the butter. AN HOUR. I’m using a hand mixer okay, I ain’t got an hour!
3) Way too many comments about this frosting ending up soupy for my liking
4) The last time I made a frosting with eggs in it, it tasted like EGGS.

But I really, really wanted to make a frosting with strawberries in them that didn’t use icing sugar so I decided to be fearless for once and try it.

And it turned out so freaking amazing. Exception to the rule, what what!
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Soba Noodles

March 24, 2011
I LOVE soba. My family doesn’t get it, they would make this face (0_o) whenever we eat out and I order cha soba. A while back I was watching one of the many, many reruns of a Nigella Lawson show and she made a soba noodle salad of sorts and I was pretty much drooling. Right after that I got online, did a google search for “nigella+lawson+soba” and hurrah for me, this was the top result! Needless to say I’ve been making it ever since. So many times in fact that I’ve added and subtracted a couple of things.

Thus I present you my take on Nigella’s take on soba noodles!
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The Best Chocolate Sheet (Cup)Cake. Ever.

March 22, 2011
A favourite website of mine (and probably everyone else) is Pioneer Woman and I’ve made her “The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.” a few times before. 3 times to be exact.

My cousin turned 15 recently and I used that same recipe (here) and turned it into cupcakes!

If you are thinking of doing the same, I have a couple of suggestions.


1) I dipped the tops of the cupcakes into the pot of icing, and used only half of the icing recipe but still I had a lot of it left so I would recommend making only a quarter of the icing recipe.
2) I filled the cupcake liners 3/4 full and got exactly 18 cupcakes. This gave me beautifully domed cupcakes but if you’d prefer a flat top cupcake then only fill the liner 1/2 full.
3) I stupidly added the nuts into the icing and when I dipped the cupcakes into the icing, the nuts didn’t “stick” to the cupcakes at all (DUH, NADIA!) so I would recommend sprinkling the nuts post dipping.
4) This one is from my aunt; Toast the nuts! Untoasted nuts can taste stale.

Other than that, definitely make these! Best (and easiest!) chocolate cake/cupcakes. Ever.

Glutinous Rice

March 21, 2011

 

“Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth.” – Japanese Proverb

 

I love Bak Chang, especially now that there are a lot of halal ones available. In fact my aunt makes her own from scratch and they are delicious! This one was black pepper chicken, so not really the most authentic but variety is the spice of life no?

Toffee Bars

March 18, 2011
I love bar cookies. They’re like cookies without the hassle of baking in batches, which I kind of despise. So when my friends asked me to bake them something (anything!), I decided on these because they were simple enough and looked absolutely delish. And I know I know, another toffee-centric recipe?

I’m sorry, I searched for “bar cookies”, this came up and I couldn’t not make it!
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Sambal

March 14, 2011

 

“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett

 

Well luckily for me, I’ve never felt the need to exercise the “leave it” card. Thanks ma!

Of Rice and Hen

March 7, 2011

 

“Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook” – Chinese Proverb