Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cupcake Frosting

No cupcake is complete without frosting, and one of the most popular frosting is cream cheese frosting. Basic cream cheese frosting can be altered with flavoring such as vanilla and maple to add some extra pizazz, but classic for me is alone, white.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
12 oz cream cheese
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, mix butter on medium speed until light and creamy.

Add cream cheese and mix until fluffy.

Slowly add the sugar, one cup at a time. Continue to mix.

Finally, add the vanilla extract to the mixture and mix until it has a creamy consistency.

You can store this frosting for up to three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When you are ready to use it simply mix it with an electric mixer until it becomes smooth.

This should give you excellent frosting to top your cupcakes with! If you want to alter it to make it Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, simply add maple extract instead of vanilla. You can also play around with this cream cheese frosting by adding a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon. This will spice things up and tastes great on pumpkin cupcakes (Halloween!) or on apple spice cupcakes. Cream cheese frosting tastes great with most every cupcake though I wouldn't recommend topping off vanilla cupcakes with this frosting.

Basic Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes (best on the net)

Super moist!

3/4 Cups unsweetened best dark chocolate (melted)
3/4 Cups hot water
3 Cups all purpose flower
1 tsp baking soda
1 heaping tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter (1 stick = 113gr - 339gr)
2 1/4 cups sugar (only 2 cups was not sweet enough, the 1/4 is important here,  unless you're putting frosting on top)
4 large eggs
A generous splash of vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat your over to 350 degrees.

Beat together chocolate and hot water until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and powder, and salt until well combined.

YES this works! Just do it
Melt butter and sugar together in a saucepan over low-medium heat until smooth. Once smooth, transfer to mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth.

Add eggs, one at a time. Add cocoa and mix. Add vanilla and mix well. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture. Don't over mix!

Now pour cupcakes into the cupcake tins and pop your chocolate cupcakes in the oven. Bake for around 20 minutes, rotating pan at the halfway mark.

You can store your chocolate cupcakes for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to two months but they taste so delicious when they're fresh. Frost them with chocolate, buttercream, or cream cheese frosting for an extra tang! Sometimes I like to top them with just some powdered sugar. These chocolate cupcakes are very rich and frosting might be too much for them. If you want a lighter frosting, go with boiled. This also tops chocolate cupcakes off great, but my favorite is the cream cheese.

Cream cheese frosting/topping

Dark Chocolate Cupcake recipe

Vanilla yummy Cupcakes

220g self raising flour
160g plain flour
225g butter, softened
340g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
4 large eggs
125ml whole milk
125ml natural yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla extract

180 degrees/gas mark 4 oven, approx 20 mins. Perfect!

Yield between 2 dozen and 30 vanilla cupcakes.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

2.. Mix together cake flour, flour, sugar, and baking powder. Make sure these are combined well.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add butter. It will be easier to cut the butter into small squares at room temperature. Don't just add the whole stick.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, yogurt and vanilla extract. Add this to the dry vanilla cupcake ingredients.

5. Beat until combined but don't over beat!

6. Fill 2/3 full cupcake tins with cupcakes batter.

7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (give or take a few).

You will know your vanilla cupcakes are done when you pat on the tops and they spring back up at you. If they sink then the vanilla cupcakes need more time.

As far as frosting the vanilla cupcakes goes, I would suggest using the buttercream frosting recipe. Decorate your vanilla cupcakes with colored sprinkles, sugar candies or fruit.

Vanilla Cupcake recipe

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ruti's Fish

Steak nisha ha nilus

The numerous times I've made this, and still I don't have an image to post here.
This is my absolute default recipe for guests comming over.
Quantities are ommited as it's so personal.
Its so easy, stress-free just what you need for feeding friends or after a long day.

Tomatoes (tin or fresh)
Lemons (pickled or fresh)
Fish Nilus

1. Chop garlic and onions and fry in a little oil.
2. Add Salt and tomatoes for a red sauce.
3. Arrange fish (between 2 or 3 fingers thick) into a deep dish.
4. Squeeze in wedges of lemon in between the fish.
5. Sprinkle some corriander.
6. Pour the tomato sauce, cover with aluminium foil and bake. After 40 minutes, check the middle of the dish if the fish is soft,moist and opaque.

Tip: Take the fish out of the oven just before it is done.
This way the fish stays perfectly moist when it's finally served.

Garnish with corriander, and salt


Pickled Aubergines/Eggpants

Aubergines, nice plump and firm
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Garlic peeled and chopped
Greens: Cilantro/Corriander

1. Slice the aubergines about 1cm thick.
2. Spread on baking sheet and drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
(Note: I don't bother "sweating" the aubergines first)
3. Grill till brown, turn over and brown second side. Set aside.
4. Add Balsamic, garlic, salt and chopped corriander. Toss

This gets stronger and more aromatic the longer it stands.

This can be repeated for sweet potatoes and whatever vegetables in season that you want to go anti-pasti with.
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