Sunday, August 9, 2009

simple and good

I was supposed to post this up a longg while ago but the lazy bones in me prevented me from doing so. It's so long that I kinda forgot what I wanted to include in this post. bahh..

I titled this post "simple and good" for obvious reasons. It's always nice to get back to the basics and bake good'ol cookies and cupcakes after ploughing through with all the fanciful cakes.

My brother actually requested for this chewy chocolate chip cookies. While I remember the recipe being really simple and quick, I was apprehensive with how the cookies would turn out. After all, the skill with baking chewy cookies are the temperature and accurate timing. Pull them out too soon and they'd be too soft, pull them out too late and they become crispy. =S

I've used Anna's recipe (subscribe here!) for the chewy cookies and I must say they were really pretty good. What I love about cookies are that you could flavour it any way you like it! Don't like nuts? Omit them! Love more chocolate? Up the choc chips! Love a little citrus kick to it? Add some orange or lemon zest. Looking for something colourful? Add some M&Ms. See? The combinations are endless. These cookie dough yielded cookies approximately the size of those at subway. Having said that, it wasn't as successful an attempt as my previous one but still nice, crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle. I'd have liked it a little more chewy though. So you see, I must have either baked it too long or at too high a temperature.
Nonetheless, the gooey choc chips dispersed amongst the cookie made up for everything. How wrong can chocolate go? The colour was great and not overly sweet. YUM!
Next up! CUPCAKES! If you noticed, I mentioned having to bake 210 cupcakes for an order. I was terribly upset with the way those 210 cupcakes turned out and am really glad that the people who ordered were alright with it. *phew*
Feeling indignant about it, I decided to try it out again. The same problem persisted, but manifested in a smaller scale. Maybe I haven't got to know my oven well enough. Yikes! The recipe I used yields 16 cupcakes. With so many cupcakes, I intended to flavour some so that it wouldn't be so boring to eat 16 cupcakes of the same flavour. Being the forgetful me, I happily filled the 12-hole muffin pan and popped it in the oven. Only to realise after 5 mins that they were ALL plain! I had intended to flavour them with some piped strawberry jam on top and some others with sprinkled chocolate chips. Sigh..I was only left with 4. So I went with chocolate chips with all 4 since the bag of chocolate chips were already sitting on the kitchen counter.

The cupcakes definitely tasted as good, with a slight improvement in the appearance. Great for snack, decorating and dessert! Despite it being a pound cake recipe, the cake was still soft and fluffy and more importantly, moist!
Again, this recipe was taken from Anna and it can be found in her book. This recipe is also featured on a TV program aired a while ago on channel 8. Hop on over here to get the recipe! (episode 7)


Anna Chan said...

The pound cupcakes in your latest picture look nice!! I think sometimes different ovens give slightly different effects. In the studio kitchen where the television crew did my shoot, there were two ovens. i baked half a batch of cupcakes in one oven and half a batch in the other oven at the same time. The cupcakes from the first oven were perfectly rounded on top, the ones in the 2nd oven were slightly peaked. [shrugs] Don't feel bad about slight differences... as sometimes its beyond our control, unless we know exactly how our oven behaves. =P

youfei said...

Hi Anna,

Well, the one I used for the picture is one of the nicest looking ones WAHAHA..

But it wasn't peaked as badly as the others. I think to accomodate my ever so temperemental oven, I might resort to baking it at 170 or 175 at a longer time. *shrugs* Gotta experiment again. hehe..

I'm thinking of getting a nice, new big oven for "old house" that's gonna be fully renovated. Maybe you can give me some suggestions? haha! Gotta admit it's a pain figuring out how your oven behaves..especially when they perform differently at different times. sighh...

Anna Chan said...

hmmm what oven to get would depend on your budget ... some people say ariston or baby belling, some say delonghi, I say rowenta (hahah!) but i think it's what you can get used to.

for ovens, i personally feel that bigger ovens are more stable... also, go for what you will use for a long time without it becoming a white elephant.

If an adjustment to the temperature fixes the problem, then don't buy a new oven! hahaha

I dono whether this is useless or useful advice though =P

youfei said...

hmm..i'm actually looking for built-in ovens..and probably bigger ones. The present oven I have barely fits two 8" round tins. I have to put them at the diagonals for them to fit into the oven. So it can be a little frustrating when i have to bake repeated batches. Which also means, more temperature changes when I open and shut the oven more times.

Thanks for your advice! Sure helps narrowing down my search =))

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