Let’s Bake! (Ensaymada Edition)

Let’s Bake! (Ensaymada Edition)

I haven’t done a post like this in ages! I have done lots of baking, but nothing I felt like sharing on the blog. I should have taken photos of the russian fudge I made last week as I got lots of questions about it. I’ll keep it in mind for next time!

So Ensaymada was first introduced to me by a Filipino parent at the centre I work at. He brought these in during a family xmas party and I loved it. It’s a light, fluffy little muffin thing, covered in buttercream and topped with lots of cheese. It is so good, so I decided I wanted to try make some.

Anyway, I followed this recipe from Foxy Folksy, a blog run by a lovely couple. I had never worked with yeast before, so I was nervous but I had always wanted to try. So once the dough was all made, I left it in the kitchen for a few hours to see if it would double in size. It did!

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I didn’t have a before photo, but it was way less than what you see above. The next step was the most fun. Lots of rolling and kneading to get 16 pieces, which is how much the recipe makes. Then you roll out those pieces again and coil them up to get the shape.

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They don’t take too long to bake, and the house smelt so good while they did. After 20 minutes, they were all golden, so I took them out to let them cool.

Little pillowy buns! I whipped up some buttercream then grated some cheese. All these final touches took around half an hour, then we dug in! It was delicious, before we ate more though, I wanted to take some pretty pictures.

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Yummy! These ones were not as light as I had tried before, it was a little more denser. More like a muffin texture, but it was still delicious. Both sweet and savoury at the same time, each one felt like a mini meal. Breakfast was set for the next few days!

Have you baked during the lockdown much? I’ve loved trying out new recipes, and also pulling out old trusty ones too!

Angela.

 

Let’s Bake! (Carrot Cake Balls Edition)

This is another trusted Nerdy Nummies recipe, but not from the cookbook. Ro uploaded the video sharing the recipe a few weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since! So over the weekend, I gave it a go!

Here is the video which tells you everything you need to know about how to make these. She also has a written version on her blog.

My ones didn’t come out as perfectly spherical or decorated, but I gave it my best shot and I’m still really happy with how they came together!

Once you have all the ingredients, you take all the dry ingredients and mix them in one bowl.

carrot cake ball 01

Then you take all the wet ingredients in another bowl.

carrot cake ball 02

Then mix it all together, adding the carrots.

carrot cake ball 03

Now you pour it into a cake pan and cook for 30-35 minutes at 180 degrees. While that bakes, I piped out my carrot decorations (which I forgot to take a photo of, but you’ll see them later). You’ll want them to set for at least an hour.

Now comes the fun part. Destroying the cake you’ve just made and crumbling it up into breadcrumbs! Add some buttercream to the mix until it all resembles playdough. Then scoop them into balls.

carrot cake ball 06

I tried to make mine perfectly round, but this was as close as I could manage. Anyway, now I get to melt white chocolate.

carrot cake ball 07

Drop the cake balls into the chocolate to coat them. Then scoop them out and place them on the tray. Add one of the iced carrots before the chocolate hardens. My iced carrots didn’t look exactly how I wanted, but I think they work this way.

carrot cake ball 08

The last touch is to sprinkled some biscuit crumbs on top. I got excited and added lots, but hey, crushed biscuits are yummy.

carrot cake ball 09

carrot cake ball 10

That’s all for today’s baking post! As always, I love trying out Ro’s creations. I never expect to make an exact replica, but it’s fun giving it my all and seeing what comes out in the end!

Have you baked anything recently?

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes Edition)

One of our cupcake flavours during the wedding was Choc Peppermint. As my last wedding anniversary celebration post, I wanted to try recreate one of our desserts! I settled on Chocolate Peppermint.

I found the recipe online here. It makes 18 cupcakes.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint essence
  • 100g baking chocolate
  • Frosting
  • Green food colouring
  • Dark chocolate for decoration

choc mint 01

In one bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

choc mint 02

In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and mix each time.

choc mint 03

Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix some more. Add in the mint essence and melted chocolate.

choc mint 04

Spoon the mixture into the tins. Bake it for around 25 minutes at 160 C.

choc mint 05

They rose up a lot in the oven. But because of that, they sank a lot in the middle. I’m not sure what I could do to stop that. It was a bit tricky to work with.

Once they were cooled down, I made the frosting and added a drop of green colouring to change the colour. I piped it on, and added a piece of dark chocolate on top for decoration. It came out pretty good!

choc mint 06

I think I should have added a few more drops to the frosting to make it more greener. It comes off yellow in the pictures which is funny. It was a very light green in real life, I swear!

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I had fun taking some photos and then I dove in and ate one. It was quite sweet, and I think I prefer the other chocolate cupcake recipe I made a few months ago. I always love giving a new recipe a try though!

choc mint 08

What cupcake flavour do you like?

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Red Blood Cell Cupcakes Edition)

Welcome to another baking post! As always, I’m delving into my Nerdy Nummies book. I can’t help it, there’s so many cute and creative things I want to make. This time, I went with a Science-themed one. Although it also came out kind of creepy and horror  themed in the end. Either way, making and eating it was fun! Unlike my previous baking post, this one took a while to make. A few hours, but it was worth it!

Here we go!

For the Red Velvet Cupcakes, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 stick butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tbsp red food colouring

For the Red Blood Cell decorations, you’ll need:

  • Red Fruit Chews (Starburst Fruit Punch)
  • Little bit of red frosting
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

cupcakes 01

You need multiple bowls for this bit. In one bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat together the bitter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue whisking together.

cupcakes 02

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and milk. Alternate the dry mixture and wet mixture into the large bowl. Add the red food colouring in early and continue mixing.

cupcakes 03

Pour the batter 2/3 into the muffin liners. Bake at 180 C for 18 to 20 minuntes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean from the centre. Mine took just over 20 minutes.

cupcakes 04

I decided to cut off the excess liners from my muffins to make them easier to decorate. Time for the blood cell decorating! So in the Starburst packs, take out all the red ones.

cupcakes 05

Unwrap the chews, and cut them into quarters. Then you roll them into circles. The last step is to indent them in the middle to get them to look more like blood cells. Ro suggests using a circular fondant tool, but I don’t have one. I used a baking bead, it worked really well. This part tooked the longest out of the whole process.

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Use a small dab of the red frosting to use an adhesive and place the cells on the cupcakes, however you like.

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Now it’s time to make the raspberry puree. Ro suggests just using red buttercream icing for this part if you’re in a rush, but I wanted to do the original recipe. In a pot, combine the water, sugar and raspberries. Boil it then simmer for up to 30 minutes. After this, pour it through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

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Return it to the post and gradually add cornstarch to thicken the puree. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down.

cupcakes 09

Now to add the final bloody touch. My puree was a bit watery, but I like the effect it made. It was bleeding all over the cupcakes. Which is why mine ends up more horror themed than science.

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Still, it looks awesome! I’m so happy with it!

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cupcakes 12

What do you think of them? Is it more of a science themed treat, or maybe horror? I like to look at it as a mix of both!

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Chocolate Heart Cupcakes Edition) – A Collab with Anni

It seemed fitting to do a baking post in honour of Valentine’s Day. Plus, I just love baking, and trying new recipes from my Nerdy Nummies book. I also wanted to do a collab with the lovely Anni from Glücksgeist! A fellow Ro and baking fan, as well as another proud owner of the Nerdy Nummies book. So we decided to collab and both bake some chocolate cupcakes!

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need to make 12 of these chocolate cupcakes (The original recipe makes 24 cupcakes, which is why the measurements below will be all over the place):

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp +2 tsp flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp + 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

heart cookies 01

Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, brown and white sugar), and set aside.

heart cookies 02

Mix together the eggs, water and vanilla. Add in the sour cream and oil, then whisk together.

heart cookies 03

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the sour cream mixture. Stir until combined, but be careful not to overmix.

heart cookies 04

Now add the muffin liners into your prepared tins. I also saw an idea on Pinterest of adding marbles to the tin to get your cupcakes to take on a heart shape. Seemed fitting for a Valentine’s themed creation, so I gave it a shot. I will say it was a little fiddly, but I managed to do it pretty well. I filled in the liners up to 2/3 with the batter. Then I baked it at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

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The heart shape wasn’t as pronounced as I hoped it would be, but it definitely gave them a more unique look compared to the previous cupcakes I’ve made!

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Once they were fully cooled, I made some Royal Icing, and added some pink food colouring.

heart cookies 07

I piped the icing on the cupcakes in a heart shape (as best as I could), and then added some pink sprinkles on top. I mixed it up, as I had quite a few sprinkles, and the cupcakes came together.

heart cookies 08

They’re not perfect by any means, but they are pretty adorable! A perfect Valentine’s Day sweet treat.

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I will also say, I loved the chocolate recipe I used from Nerdy Nummies. It’s a bit like a sponge texture, it was really light and airy. I definitely plan to make this recipe again at another time!

heart cookies 10

Be sure to check out Anni’s post as well and see how she made her chocolate cupcakes!

Out of interest, what’s your favourite type of cupcake?

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Smart Cookies Edition)

The other day, I shared a photo on Instagram of the smart cookies I had baked! I followed a recipe from the Nerdy Nummies book I got for my birthday. In case you guys can’t tell, I am in love with this book! This recipe definitely was the most challenging one I’ve tried. Making the chocolate chip cookie dough was easy enough, it was the decorating that got tricky. I haven’t had much experience with piping. I often just bake cookies or muffins and leave them as is, so this was a good challenge. I’m so happy with the end result!

Let’s get into this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need! I halved the original recipe. This recipe allows for around 18 cookies.

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (113 g)
  • 6/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Bag of chocolate chips
  • Icing in black and pink

ingredients

You’ll also need the glasses template for this. She has it in her book, so I traced it out onto a piece of paper. I put wax paper on top, and did my best to pipe the glasses. Ro suggests letting the icing on the glasses harden overnight. So this was my first step.

glasses

The next morning, I began preparing the chocolate chip dough.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

Add the egg in and beat well.

Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt) and combine all together. Normally, you’d add chocolate chips to the dough, but this recipe has exact placings in mind for them.

dough

Round them into balls and place them on the baking sheet. I have a habit of flattening them a little.

ready to bake

Bake them until they’re golden brown (around 7-9 minutes).

cookies

Let them cool for a bit. While they’re still warm, place 4 chocolate chips at the top and 2 near the bottom. Make sure to leave enough space for the glasses.

chocolate chips

Now you need more icing. Some more black, and some pink. Once you have that, set it aside and grab those glasses. This part was the trickiest. You need to carefully separate the glasses from the wax paper, in one piece preferably. I made a lot which is good, as they had a habit of breaking. Add a little icing on the back of the glasses to get them to stick. Once they’re on, pipe on the eyes and smile with black icing.

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The final touch is to pipe the pink cheeks. Mine came out more red than pink, but it still works!

smart cookie

Now you have some smart cookies!

smart cookies recipe

smart cookie hiding

smart cookies

These are such cute cookies! This was definitely the trickiest recipe I’ve tried so far, but for my first attempt, they came out pretty well!

Have you guys tried baking anything new recently?

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Star Constellation Cookies Edition)

As you guys may know, Rory got me the Nerdy Nummies recipes book for my birthday. I decided to try the Star Constellation Cookies first, as a way to celebrate New Years! It also didn’t look too intimidating which is good.

Basically, to make the cookies, I made her basic recipe of Lemon Sugar Cookies first, then cut them into star shapes, and ice them and add some sparkles.

recipe

Here’s the ingredients that you’ll need.

For the cookies (this recipe makes 24 cookies, I’ve halved the original recipe):

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (at room temp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tbsp lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • White pearl dust

ingredients

First, we make the lemon sugar cookies dough.

Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl then set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter until it’s softened. Add the sugar and beat until it’s light and fluffy.

Add the egg in and mix.

Beat in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla. Gently add the flour mixture and mix together until well combined.

dough

Roll the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using the star cookie cutter.

cut out stars

Place them on the lined baking trays.

stars

Bake them at 180 C for 10-13 minutes. You want them to be firm to the touch but not brown at the edges (Ro’s words). You’ve got to keep a close eye on them as they’re very small so they can easily burn. Once they’re out, let them cool completely.

This next part was tricky for me. I made Ro’s royal icing recipe and filled it in a bag, with the smallest decorating tip I had. I outline the stars with icing, then fill in the center. Ro suggests using a toothpick to help spread it evenly.

icing

I can’t even tell you how many cookies I had from this batch. I know it was over at least seventy. Anyway, the last step is to add the white pearl dust. Mix equal parts water and pearl dust, then use a small paintbrush to add the final decoration to the cookies.  Now you’re done!

cookies

So many star cookies!!

cookies 2

These are star constellation cookies after all. So I arranged them to look like some constellations. From left to right, I made Little Dipper, Libra and Sagittarius.

I was having so much fun with all of these, but in the end, we just wanted to eat the cookies. I really recommend this recipe, even if you just use the lemon sugar cookies recipe. They’re so yummy!

star constellation cookies

As an extra reason for celebration, it seems I’ve reached 2300 followers! I know I mention each hundred that passes by, but I’m just so happy and thankful that my blog continues to reach new people! I do my best to keep up with everyone, so please do stop by and say hi in the comments!

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles Edition)

What a mouthful of a title. Anyway, this is a variation of one of my favourite types of cookies, the snickerdoodle! I got the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which I found through Tialla’s latest What’s Up Wednesday post. The cookies sounded amazing, so I knew I had to give the recipe a go.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or you can use 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice)
  • 1/2 cup (90g) white chocolate chips or chunks

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

cookies 01

It’s a lot of stuff, so I made a list before grocery shopping to make sure I would have everything. The only thing we didn’t have is pumpkin puree. I think it comes in cans over in the US, but we couldn’t find it anywhere here. So instead we bought a pumpkin that was already chopped and just pureed it ourselves. Then we ate the rest of it cause pumpkin is yummy.

Let’s get into it!

Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar together.  Then whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin and set aside.

cookies 02

In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and the spices).

cookies 03

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

cookies 04

Fold through the white chocolate chips.

cookies 05

After this, the original recipe really recommends chilling it for at least 30 minutes! Once that’s done, take it out, prepare the baking trays and preheat the oven to 175C.

Mix your sugar and cinnamon topping together in a bowl.

cookies 06

Roll your dough into little circles and dip them generously in the mixture.

cookies 07

You can flatten them a little here, you should come up with around 18 cookies. The recipe suggests baking them for 8-10 minutes. They should be really soft, but for me they were too soft. So I would bake them a little longer next time. Just a personal preference.

cookies 08

That being said, the cookies came out really nice! You can definitely taste the pumpkin which gives it a nice spin on the original snickerdoodles I know! They look really cute too which is always a bonus.

cookies 09

cookies 10

Have you guys ever made snickerdoodles before? What variations have you tried?

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Angela.

Let’s Bake! (Lolly Cake Edition)

I was in the mood for some sweets, specifically a lolly cake. I didn’t realize it was mostly just a big sweet in New Zealand. Have you guys heard of it before?

lolly cake

Anyway, I wanted it, and turns out it’s pretty easy to make. There’s not even any baking involved. It is also in no way good for you, but we won’t let that stop us.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 packet Eskimo lollies (190g)
  • 1 packet Malt biscuits (250g)
  • 120g butter
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut

lolly cake 01

Another question, do you guys have these lollies called Eskimos? They taste super soft when you bite into them, almost like a hard marshmallow.

lolly cake 02

Anyway, you break them all into little pieces.

lolly cake 03

Next, get your packet of malt biscuits.

lolly cake 04

Now smash them all into smithereens. I used a blender as it was faster.

lolly cake 05

Add the butter and condensed milk into a sauce pan and melt them over a low heat.

lolly cake 06

Now you need to combine all these ingredients into a big bowl. It gets pretty sticky at this point, but you need to roll your dough into a big roll. I made mine more of a loaf.

lolly cake 07

Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Before it gets too hard, slice it up, and that’s it! You have lolly cake.

lolly cake 08

lolly cake 09

It tastes just like the slices from the bakery. It’s sooo good, and also soo bad cause it’s super unhealthy. But once it’s a while, treat your self!

lolly cake 10

What’s your favourite treat from the bakery?

Angela.

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