Monday, May 23, 2011

Cupcakes for Mother's Day!

I suddenly got into a cupcake craze recently (will I have to give up this craze to concentrate on the certification program I just applied for?), when my son asked me if we could bake some cupcakes for him to bring to school for his snacks. You can read about it here.

Since then, I have been itching to bake, not just cupcakes, but homemade breads too!

My first bread in a very long time turned out not well risen causing the bread to be very heavy and dense. We ate it anyway with soup.

My second attempt at making bread turned out so much better because it was a quick bread which did not use yeast but just baking soda and baking powder. I had baked Banana Nut Bread, and it was delicious!

My 3rd attempt was making wholemeal bread after finally being able to get my hands on a pack of wholemeal flour at the International Center for Cake Artistry (ICCA) at Kota Damansara last week.

I have been looking high and low for bread flour and wholemeal flour at every grocery stores that I went to but failed to find any. So, when I finally found it at ICCA, I grabbed both packs.

Though this wholemeal bread looks like it is almost perfect, but it wasn't done in the center. I had to take it out of the braed machine and knead it by hand and later baked it manually when my son accidentally switched off the bread machine 2 hours before it should have been done.

It became hard when I tried rectifying it by putting it back into the oven two hours after I had taken it out of the oven upon realising that the center was uncooked/not properly baked.

I hope to try making the wholemael and basic white bread again this coming weekend, and I hope, this time, that it will turn out well risen and light. Wish me luck!

Coming back to my cupcake craze, after making a batch of chocolate cupcakes 2 weeks ago, which Aiman really loves, I just had to try other recipes too!

It was Mother’s Day 2 weekends ago, and initially, I had wanted to go out and get my two mums something which I thought they would both like, but, alas, time was not on my side. But I still wanted to give them something to show my appreciation and love to them both, I decided that something homemade would be the best gift. And what would be more apt to a person’s heart if not through the tummy! LOL! *wink*

I was going back to Kota Bharu for work the Monday after Mother’s Day, and I thought this would work out just perfect for me to bake my mum and my MIL some cupcakes. I could pack the cupcakes for my mum in a cupcake box which I had bought at ICCA which has a cupcake holder or casing to keep the cupcakes in place.

So, that Sunday, Mother’s Day itself, with my son’s help, I first set out to bake the wholemeal bread. While the bread was being done in the bread machine, I started on the Banana Nut cupcakes from a recipe I got off the internet (this internet thingy is really wonderful, isn’t it? You can get almost anything from the internet!) .

You can get the recipes here too!

It said that the batter is enough to make 18 cupcakes. I should have spread it over 20 or 22 cupcakes as some of the cupcakes overflowed while baking, thus making some of the cupcakes lopsided.

Maybe my cups were much smaller in size compared to what was recommended, I am not sure, but I had used the standard size cupcakes I bought at ICCA..

Anyway, other than the cupcakes being lopsided, the taste is really yummy! You should really try out the recipe. It’s really good!

My son was excited to get started on the decoration, but we had to wait for the cupcakes to fully cool down before we could frost them.

I started on the frosting in the evening, following the buttercream recipe I had since I started cake decorating some years back. Although I have not been doing any cake decorating in the last 5 years, I don’t remember ever having problems with the buttercreame frosting. However, this time around, my frosting turned out too thin and difficult to handle.

I just could not shape the icing into flowers that I wanted. It just kept coming out flat and shapeless.

When I tried refrigerating it in the piping bag, I ended up almost bursting the piping bag when the frosting at the tips hardened but the remaining of the frosting remained thin.

I was almost losing hope and wanted to just bring home the cupcakes to my mum as plain cupcakes, but my son insisted that the decoration are lovely (my son has a way of making me happy! *smile*) and insisted that I frost all the cupcakes. He even helped with the sprinklers.

This is how the cupcakes ended looking like....

Very kiddish, huh? Oh well...... *sigh* It was worth a try. I am not giving yup. I am going to bake more cupcakes and give the cupcake decorating another go.

I don’t know if my mum and MIL appreciates the kiddish decoration *grin*, but I know that my mum likes the banana cupcakes, and I think she finished every single piece that I brought back (there were six), despite the frosting being all mushy and messy when the frosting melted during transportation from my house to my office to the airport onto the plane and finally reaching its destination at my mum’s house some 400km away!

How they looked before the journey began
How they looked upon arrival. My mum had eaten
a piece when I took this photo! *grin*

The journey started as early as 6.45am from my house, transiting at the fridge in the pantry of my office, before making its way to the airport and then onto the plane, taking a ride on the car to my mum’s house, and finally landing on the dining table of my mum’s house! LOL!

The cupcakes had crossed water (there is a river next to my office), been on the road and taken a flight some thousands of kilometers above sea level! Now that’s what I call a high flying cake well travelled! LOL!

HAPPY MOTHER’s day Ma and Mak! Love you both! Hugs!

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