Cranberry Orange Muffins

With A levels, shopping trips and then work occupying my time, it’s been a long long awhile since I’ve posted anything here. As a matter of fact, I haven’t been near the oven. It’s a wet and awesome morning, the perfect weather for sleeping in, but my incomplete university applications and half-written cover letter is haunting the crap out of me. I haven’t been sleeping well and I got up at 530am today. For some well-deserved self indulgence, I decided on some freshly baked muffins for breakfast before starting on the grueling applications.

The muffins were simple, nothing fancy, but absolutely worth your calories. Second time I’m making them actually! The first time was slightly disastrous since I added the egg into the hot orange juice and it got slightly cooked. A little price to pay for my impatience, but they tasted good enough for a second try :)

Adapted from For the love of cooking

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp orange rind
  • 3/4 cup of fresh orange juice + 1/4cup if batter is too dry
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of canola
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse raw sugar

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 250C. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Place the dried cranberries and the freshly squeezed orange juice in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. This helps plump up the dried cranberries.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and orange rind together until well mixed. In a separate bowl, add the orange juice, cranberries, canola oil, and egg and mix together. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle a bit of course raw sugar on each muffin top. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for a few minutes. Enjoy.

Corn muffins

I’ve been too busy with World Cup and exams to bake for the past 2 months (okay more of World cup!), but I’m back now with corn muffins. I’ve been wanting to make them ever since I had them at Kenny Rogers on Sheena’s birthday. It’s supposedly a duplicate recipe of the ones you get at Kenny Rogers, but they taste a little different. The honey taste here is quite dominant, but I guess that depends on the kind of honey you use too.

2 months away from the oven and I think I’ve lost some of my mojo for baking :( Made a few little mistakes here and there, and I wasn’t all that excited about stepping into the kitchen. Gotta get back on track soon or my dream of opening a bakery will go up in smoke. There’s only a 100 more days to the A’s, but I reckon there’s still the long break next year for me to get things right :> For now, it’s back to the books 8-)

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Buns

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They look like muffins but they’re supposed to be buns. I was too lazy to get another tray so I filled the cups to the brim and they muffin-ed out. Texture wise, it was 3/4 muffin and 1/4 mochi-like. The addition of cream cheese makes it a little more dense, but I was hoping for something denser, perhaps a cross between bread and cheesecake. This recipe comes from Magnolia Bakery in New York and the buns are one of their most popular breakfast items. I thought they were quite good, but Dad tried 1/4 and said he’ll stop there because he’s afraid of getting fat. Maybe I didn’t bake them well enough, or perhaps muffins just aren’t his thing. The last time I remembered, he devoured the entire durian cake.

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Happy 18th, Graci!

Graci wanted a giant brownie for her birthday party, and so a giant brownie it is. It was my first big project, and I was honestly afraid of screwing up. I tripled this recipe, but realised that it wasn’t enough to fill the ginormous tray I bought. At 10 pm, I started on 2 more batches of batter but forgot to double the sugar and eggs. I threw in more eggs after adding the flour but left out the sugar. With 5x the recipe but only 4x the sugar (that’s a whopping 800g), the brownies were still sweet. Maybe too even too sweet for Asian palate; I blame it on the M&Ms. I had no idea that the milk chocolate M&Ms were diabetically sweet, and they cost a bomb in Singapore. $6.50 for a 230g bag, that’s a total rip off.

Mum and Dad wanted to try the brownies so I brought some back. Honestly, I think it looks better all mashed up. Because I made 5x the recipe but upped the baking time by only 10 minutes, the brownie had an extremely gooey interior that ended up looking like a dirt cake. I was too afraid to bake it any longer, for fear that the edges would turn out hard and dry.

When we turn up at your barbecue in pyjamas and Spongebob boxers (because you requested so), you know we really love you. Happy 18th Graci! And churning up a (decent) post at 2 in the morning? Sometimes, I surprise myself ;)

White choc cranberry oatmeal cookies

I had 5 of these for diner despite my cough, flu and impending fever. They were delightfully sweet, but it came from the cranberries and white chocolate. I love the way white chocolate complements all berries, a balance which neither milk nor dark chocolate can match up to.

The cookies were a little soft, but not chewy in the way I wanted them to be. I’m always at the 2 extreme spectral ends; they’re either crunchy (I like crunchy!) or cake-like soft. If only I could make cookies like the ones sold at Subway. Somebody, teach me? :-)

I wanted a hint of citrus, so I prepared some orange zest which I absent-mindedly left out while making the batter. The white chips from Phoon Huat were also too minuscule to be savoured. What a pity… BUT STILL, despite my little mistakes, they were awesome. Next time round, I’ll remember the zest and use Ghirardelli white chips. It’s so hard to find quality ingredients in Singapore. Some niche supermarkets carry the more interesting ingredients, but price wise… If I could go to Australia again, I’ll ship a truckload of chocolate and cream cheese back!

And when time and money permits, I’ll start investing in some food props.

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Green tea white choc macarons.


Unfortunately, these didn’t taste as good as the ones I made on Saturday during lesson at Bakincalf :( I suppose they are passable for a first unguided attempt, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. I have no idea why my white chocolate ganache looked and tasted like condensed milk. That’s quite frustrating since I spent $5.50 on the ganache ingredients while condensed milk is way lot cheaper… I hope they do turn out better tomorrow morning.

When the class did the baking on Saturday, we only had to wait 30 minutes for the shells to form before we popped them into the oven. I had to wait two whole hours before a barely passable shell formed. It could be because the eggs were too cold, or that there was excessive moisture in the air (I read somewhere that it affects, I don’t know). Not to mention that the weather has been a bitch recently, jumping from scorching hot to pouring rain throughout the day.

My second attempt with the piping bag, so please cut me some slack!

I suppose this happens due to under-baking. The second batch wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t clean either. They were kinda over chewy, but I read that macarons taste better on day 2. I hope so!

You know what, I actually ate 3 bloody macarons after 10pm! There goes the run I did today and I’m gonna do a 100 sit ups now to make up for that. I can’t believe that I’m baking and munching away when I have my A level Chemistry SPA tomorrow. After Wednesday, the only experiment I’ll ever carry out again is baking! I will, will, will master these some day!

Creamy lemon oat bars

These creamy lemon oat bars were god-like. Sinking your teeth into soft, chewy baked condensed milk topped with crumbly oats on a moody Monday morning might just send the blues away. You do see some burnt milk, no? It tasted like caramel. My only grouse was that there wasn’t enough condensed milk. The bars were sweet enough, (and maybe even too sweet for Asian palate) but would you say no to a thicker layer of creamy goodness? The recipe called for one can, but I never knew the cans in Singapore were slightly smaller. I’m usually skeptical about bars (they’re not the easiest thing to digest), but hey, I’m sure the oats will save the day no?

Here’s heaven sandwiched between 2 healthy layers of oats! A friend even suggested having condensed milk as a bread spread. I used to have chilled condensed milk with macaroni when I was young, hmmm. If you’re a die-hard fan of PB and condensed milk, you’ll have to try the thick toasts at the Hong Kong cafes!

Alright, so there goes my baking session for the week, time to hit the books! Oh, and did I mention that VJ soccer girls won national champion?! Yeeha!

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