Monday, June 24, 2013

Funfetti Cake

Cakes were what first got me "into the business", and I'll always remember that.

My birthday's coming up in 4 days, and I won't be in Hong Kong during that time, so I figured I should bake myself a cake before I leave for Hokkaido (yay!).

I scrolled through many, many, many, cake recipes throughout the past week and I couldn't seem to make my mind on one. Should I make that extra-dark Hershey's chocolate cake? How 'bout that nice lemon sponge I saw? Or that beautiful cheesecake I made ages ago? 

I finally made my mind up on funfetti cake.

I have seen SO many funfetti cake recipes, but I never could pull myself to go make one. Eh, it's way too much work. Nah, that's way too many sprinkles for my mind to handle. Later, I don't have time for it now. 

Excuses just seemed to come and go, but I finally found the perfect recipe and decided to give it a try.

And guess what? 

I don't regret it the least bit.

Yeah, you've probably figured it out by now.

I'm not the best cake decorator. 

I never will be.

If you want a big and florid cake, go find Buddy Valastro. I have mad respect for that dude.

But to me, what matters the most about baking is what the finished product tastes like. I do enjoy some decorations and stuff, but at the end of the day, it's all about how enjoyable it was while you were savoring it on your palette.

I have to admit though, I was terribly surprised when I cut it open. I had no slightest idea how pretty it would look! But the best part was that the cake tasted oh-so-good--it's dad approved!

The cake had such a moist, buttery crumb--it was that good! I'm definitely not the best cake froster, but I think the sprinkles on top stole the show--and distracted the viewer well! I used a little bit of what I call a "swoosh" technique to frost the top. I simply used an offset spatula and took advantage of its length by making "swooshes" with the frosting around the top of the cake!

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I did run out of "normal" sprinkles. So.....I had to go buy some more, but they didn't have "normal" ones! They only had something called a "bat mix". I had to get that one because it was the only thing close enough to "normal" sprinkles, but it did morph my cake into a Halloween-funfetti cake (not that I mind though!). 

Of course, I would've loved a wider range of colors in my cake, but I think it turned out pretty well for a first-timer!

I would definitely make this cake again--of course, when I can find nicer sprinkles!

Hope the sprinkles brightened up your day!


P.S. The cake passes for a carrot and spinach cake, as one my somewhat opinionated friends on Facebook commented. I guess if you switched the sprinkles for carrots and spinach, you might get the kids (like me!) to eat their veggies!

Happy baking!
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies take two (....because Abby Wambach beat Mia Hamm's Record)

Abby Wambach beat Mia Hamm's international goal scoring record! She totalled up to 160!
But no, that wasn't the real reason why I baked chocolate chip cookies.....
At least I don't think it was.
I did mention in the first brownie post that I had to bake for a church party, and that's what I did!
I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and they turned out, as usual.

   Some of them were a little chipped, oops!
 ...or maybe I "taste-tested" them....................go figure.

The recipe yields somewhat flat cookies, but they're crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside---just the way I like it!

What am I doing taking pictures of cookie butts/bottoms?

Happy baking!

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Browniesss....(part 2)

True to my word, I did make a second batch of brownies!

Yes, I totally just cheated.........

That picture above is of the first batch, but I took it after I posted the previous entry, so forgive me!

I love the picture above! So pretty and artistic! 

I did not just praise myself for my awesome photography skills.

Each individual brownie square was packaged in a nice treat bag, then tied off with a small silver/gold strip of wire.

In total, I made 30! The picture below is only a portion of what I actually made!

Happy baking!
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Browniesssss....(part 1)

I looooooove brownies.

Especially if they're warm, fudgy, and moist.

I was requested to make 30 portions of brownies and 30 cookies for a church party. Now I don't know about you, but I love it when I get requests! It just gives me another reason to bake, and it makes other people happy!

This morning, when I was whipping up my first batch of brownies (from a box mix, I might add) something just didn't go right. The batter just wasn't its usual self.

So, I took a gamble and made a new batch FROM SCRATCH.

The thing is, I am fine with using a boxed mix. I will gladly make you 20 batches of brownies, but definitely from a mix. If you asked a random group of bakers, I might as well be the first one to admit that I HATE making brownies from scratch.

Here's why:

1. I haven't had any luck with made-from-scratch brownie recipes. Ever.
2. Many brownie recipes are not foolproof.
3. There is no way of guaranteeing that your brownies will turn out moist and fudgy like the ones from a mix.

Judging from the results I had though, I think I have FINALLY made a batch of brownies from scratch that I'm actually happy about!

Look, just look! So beautifully moist. I think I'm in love.

And yes, I did flip them upside down to cool because this recipe gave me the most beautifully crisp crust on top. I was so afraid of breaking that crust when I transferred it onto the cutting board that I decided to leave it upside down. Whatever.

Mmmmm......did I just make you drool on your laptop? Yeah, thought so.

Sadly, National Brownie Day isn't coming anytime soon (I learned that from my math fair project), but I'll definitely be making these brownies again on that day!

Er....I mean....this afternoon. 

That's right, folks! I'll be making another batch of these later in the day, and I'll be making another batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies too, so stay tuned!

Happy baking!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

S'mores Brownie Cups....almost......

School is officially over!!!! Which means....SUMMER HAS BEGUN :) YAY. 
To kick off a (hopefully) awesome summer, I made S'mores Brownie Cups with my bestie....well....
I almost  did. Because I forgot the graham crackers. Whatttttt??????
But anyhow, we still managed to make some decent brownie cups with marshmallows on top.
You know, when you have a whole bag of marshmallows, you gotta figure out how to use them. I used 6. Now I need to figure what to do to the rest (NOT eat it....summer diet in force)

In the oven!

So cute! Love the little white hats on these cute little brownie cups!

I had to "undress" one of them cuz that one didn't melt properly, but I don't mind because one of my family members doesn't like marshmallows.

That was a grrrreeeeaaaaattttt head start to my summer! I'll be cooking a lot this summer, so stay tuned!

Happy baking!
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, so earlier today I did tell you that I was gonna bake some choc chip cookies later on. Well....i guess I did! 

The recipe was super was just a random Martha Stewart one. The first batch wasn't so good and I thought it lacked a bit of texture, but I baked the next few batches a little longer and they turned out just perfect!

Classic chocolate chip can't go wrong with that one! 

And of course, I just had to take a picture of the cookie dough. Such a great recipe!

You can find it here.

Happy baking! 
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Best Chef Award.....

This'll be a quick post since I'm heading out in a couple of minutes, but yesterday we had our eighth grade field trip...and.....guess what? 

I got this:

Haha best chef of eighth grade? I don't know. But hey, I'm happy, and I'm glad people approve of my culinary skills!

I'll be making some cookies later, so stay tuned!


Happy baking!

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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Baker's Secret--Math Fair Project

So a while ago we had our annual academic fair at our school, and this year I had to do a math fair. Now if you know me, I LOVE math, and this year, I was able to incorporate baking AND math into my project. SWEEEEEEET :) 
My project was called "The Baker's Secret", and to be honest, I do think it's quite hard to solve until you understand the concept. Anyhow, I think that bearing in mind I went solo while other people had partners to split up the work load, I did fine.

The title of my board...not too original, but very fitting nonetheless!

"The Story" a.k.a the wordy stuff before you get down to the core of the actual math.
The inside of the story

But seriously, did you know? I'm gonna have to bake a batch of brownies on December 8th!

The secret and guarded solution!
The inside of the solution

I just HAD to stick on some measuring spoons! Hey, authenticity is great, and I am a little OCD about this kinda stuff!

Not to mention, I made a little rolling pin myself as well haha :) But if you bake like me, you'll realize how ironic that is because rolling pins are NOT required to make brownies ha!
The final product :) Doesn't look too nice, but I think overall the content was good.

And of course, hard work pays off :)

Overall, I think the fair was a GREAT experience--I LOVED it! While it was a little hectic having to manage all that work myself, I did enjoy coming up with a good story and getting to think of little bits and pieces that I could add onto my board. I definitely am proud of my board, and I think the little imperfections only make me prouder :)

Happy baking!
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