week nineteen

nine recipes made

Friday, April 30, 2010


This is the very first time that I've made salted/savoury muffins. Hoozay! I have to admit, that does sound a little weird. I'm one of those people that just can't imagine salt and muffin or cupcake in the same thing. Imagine it as small vegetable pies. Actually, that still sounds weird...

Anyway, carrying on...

Tomato-basil muffins.
from "500 cakejes" by Fergal Connoly.

2 spoons of finecut basil
300g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
tad of salt
4 scrambled eggs
1 1/4 dl of olive oil
325 ml condenced (thick, none diluted) tomato soup
3 spoons of sundried tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Mix the basil, flour, baking powder and salt with a spoon in a middle large bowl.
In a large bowl, mix the (scrambled) eggs , olive oil, soup and the dried tomatoes (I actually used a little more than three spoons - I guess you can add at will) with a handmixer. Ladle the flour-mixture through it until everything is well mixed.

I added about 100g of roasted and cut pinetree pits to the entire thing - yay for improv.

Put the muffins in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. After about ten minutes, when the muffins had semi-hardened, I added a piece of sundried tomato on the top for decoration. When the baking is done, try to leave them in the oven for another ten minutes or so when it's off and opened a tiny bit, just to make sure they don't collapse if they cool down too fast.

Et voila!

Though they look pretty good and smell even better, I had to admit it took me quite a bit longer to taste these as it would have if they weren't savoury. I'm still not used to the idea, but, eventually, I womanned up and took a bite and - what do you know - they're actually... kinda... really good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


First, let me just tell you that I'm really pleased! I was always having issues with my paper cupcake shapes, the dough always made them lose their shapes, which make my cupcakes turn out flat and shapeless, plus, there was always the added risk of them running out of the shapes while baking, resulting into a rescue action performed by dear 'ol me. Not really that handy, let me tell you that. So, I started looking for alternatives and ended up in a local cooking store (Suly's), which had these silicone cupcake forms in all kinds of bright and cheery colors. I have to admit, I was a bit sceptic about sticking silicone in my oven (hello, melting danger), but they were supposed to hold temperatures up til 250°C and they were dishwashable. So, I gave it a try, and hot damn - they're brilliant! I've never had cakes shaped this well!

 So, on to the cupcakes!

Chocolate cupcakes with chilipepper.
from "500 cakejes" by Fergal Connoly.

230g of soft butter
230g fine white sugar
175g selfrising flour
4 spoons of cocoa powder (100% cocoa)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
4 eggs (I only used three)
2 teaspoons of grinded chipotlepepper or red chilipowder
100g chocolate drops (pure chocolate)

I actually made them without frosting (it's a buttery sort of frosting and I didn't want them to get bad before they could all be eaten - my family's getting a batch of cupcakes every week, bare with them), but the recipe does include frosting, so if you want to add it, here's the ingredients for that!

300g powdered sugar
45g cocoapowder
3 spoons of tia maria (coffeeliquor, somewhat like Kahlua) 
115g soft butter

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Mix all the ingredients for the cupcakes without the chocolate drops in a big bowl with a handmixer until it's nice and smooth. Then stir the chocolate drops under it.

Put the cupcakes in the oven and bake about 20 minutes.

Like I mentioned, I only used three eggs, instead of two - the substance seemed well enough after two, so it's best if you add them one by one, to check if it doesn't get too fluid. Instead of an extra egg, I did add one or two spoons of non-fat milk (I saw that on tv, har har). Nothing too hard about it, it went pretty smoothly.

For the frosting, just mix all the ingredients with a handmixer or a foodprocessor and put it on the cakes with a spatula or something when the cupcakes are fully cooled down.

I have to say, they turned out pretty good (my mom called them delicious, though I personally wouldn't go that far), the chili isn't overwhelming, on the contrary... if you don't know it's in there, I don't think you'd know. It has a spicy touch to it, but nothing too prevailing.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Numero dos, right on schedual.

from "500 cakejes" by Fergal Connoly.

115g soft butter
115g fine, white sugar
115g self-rising flour
2 eggs
150 g unsweet applesauce (i used with chunks)
3/4th of a theespoon cinnamon
100g chopped pecannuts (i left these out)
100 g yellow raisins
about half an apple

Preheat the oven on 175°C.
Put thebutter, sugar, flour and the eggs in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a handmixer until it's a smooth and pale mixture. Gently mix the apple sauce, cinnamon, (nuts) and raisins through it. Put in your cupcake forms, put some very thin slices of apple and a tad of sugar on top and bake for approx. 25 min.

Easy as abc, though at the end, the dough appeared to be slightly too much running, so I added a little extra flour on "good feeling". Not too much, because I don't want any of the flavour to get lost, of course. It's best to use rubber forms for these cupcakes, because, like I said, they're pretty runny even when they're in the forms. Mine sort of went all over the place while I was baking them. But... they were saved, and came out pretty decent. I waited ten minutes, took them out of the oven again and only put the apple-slices and the extra sugar on top after that, so they'd firmed up a bit. Not bad, not bad.

I was slightly scared that they wouldn't form well, with the runny..ness, but they came out a pretty golden-brown color, and after letting them cool of for about ten minutes, we (me and my tasting assistant, aka, my mom) had our taste and we approved. They turned out better than the last (banana-honey). Yay.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


I may not be as ambituous as Julie Powell once was, but then again, I'm only twenty and I do have a life outside baking. Plus, whereas Julie went through an entire cooking catalogue (bless her, I wouldn't have the guts) I'm not really much of a cook myself. I prefer baking. Mixing, matching and putting the result in the oven where it can bake brown-gold. So... Cupcakes. Or, if I don't get any recipe suggestions from you guys (if anyone is even reading this at all), cupcakes, cakes and pies. Yes, I gladly welcome you all to send me some suggestions in the comments. All recipes are welcome, sweet or spicy, sugary or salty.

Now, on to the first experiment, shall we?

Banana-honey cupcakes. 
from "500 cakejes" by Fergal Connoly.

4 mashed bananas
175g of lightbrown sugar
80g of honey
4 spoons of melted butter
230g flour (self-raising or esp. for baking)
1 theespoon baking powder
a snif of salt (not too much)
150g mashed walnuts (i used hazelnuts instead)

Preheat the oven on 175°C.
Put the bananas, sugar, honey and butter in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a handmixer. Gently mix the baking powder, flour and the salt through it. When everything is well mixed, add the nuts.
Put in your cupcake forms and bake for approx. 20 min (I baked them 30).

Making the dough is pretty easy and I think I got that finished in about fifteen minutes tops. It looks like they're going to be pretty sweet, with all that sugar and honey in there but it has a nice, soft, beige-yellowish color and it already looks delicious in my opinion.

They're looking good so far, though, when I'm writing this, they're still in the oven. Fingers crossed, knock on wood. I've already put them in longer then the recipe says, but the banana seems to be keeping them pretty light colored. Five more minutes!

Et voila, not too bad. I haven't tasted them yet, they're still cooling down and they're still quite soft so I'm still crossing my fingers in hopes of a good result, but they don't look half bad, and that's got to count for something, right?

Edit: tasted and approved. They're pretty good. They're not too rich on taste (the banana and the honey are very very soft and the nuts more or less dominate the cookie) so I put some more honey on top of them at the very end which gives a better, subtle honey taste to the whole thing and brings out the banana better, too.

And that's that.

Countdown: 52 weeks, 1 cupcakes. 

Monday, April 05, 2010

Introducing: the cupcake project.

One year. 52 weeks.

The idea: 

After watching Julie&Julia, the 2009 movie based on the novel with the same name, I've decided to create my own Julie/Julia project. I'm not going to try my hand at 536 recipes (in all honesty, i'm neither skilled nor crazy enough for that challenge), but I'm giving it my own twist. 
52 weeks in a year, 52 different cupcakes to make. 

Sweet, salted, spicy and with a twist, hundreds of options and a lot of determination to start this year-long journey and quite possibly embarass myself if i fail miserably. 

Countdown: 52 weeks, 0 cupcakes.