Chocolate Yuzu cupcakes

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It’s been a while. I used to bake for my cell group every single time (a privilege indeed) before the kids came along. I enjoy baking because I find it therapeutic and when I see smiles on folks’ faces, it gives me great delight.

But for a while now, I have not baked…regularly. I know that if I am frustrated, my food will not turn out well and I don’t want to be affected by it. My standmixer has been gathering dust for a good few weeks and calls out to be used. And since I had a ladies’ night gathering yesterday, I thought I should just start baking…something.

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It so happened that as I did my grocery via open taste this week, edible flowers were available. Excited much! I have wanted to work with flowers all the while but do not know where I can purchase them. So when I stumbled upon them, I knew I had to purchase!

So, with them on hand, I thought of the cakes I could bake in my current capacity and an all-time favourite came to mind. Just simple chocolate cupcakes that are easy to make. Yea, I cannot afford to bake complicated stuff nowadays. In fact, I baked these cupcakes as I carried the sleeping Dan in the carrier. So anything more complicated and I would get frustrated.

To top the cake sponge, I used Italian Meringue Buttercream, a recipe which I have tweaked to reduce the amount of sugar and butter, resulting in a lighter version. I think I could still cut down on the sugar but I would need time to experiment with it. For the flavour, I added about 1 tbsp of Yuzu concentrate and found that it pairs well with chocolate!

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Using the 1M tip, I piped a rose swirl and ended each rose with the edible flowers. Simple, just like that.

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Try it and let me know how you think?

Chocolate cupcakes ( yields about 16 cupcakes)

80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2oog caster sugar
200g plain flour, sifted
40g Cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
240ml buttermilk (I add 1tbsp of vinegar to 240ml of milk and let it stand for 5 minutes)
2 large eggs ( I used 60g)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line the cupcake tin with cases

2. In a mixer bowl, place the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed until all are fully mixed and the texture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. In a bowl, pour the buttermilk and add in the eggs. Then whisk the two together until properly mixed.

4. Pour 3/4 of the milk-egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.

5. Raise the speed to medium and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and thickens. Scrap down the sides of the mixer bowl regularly to ensure proper mixing.

6. Pour the remaining 1/4 milk-egg mixture into the batter and continue to beat on medium, until all the ingredients are fully mixed and the batter is smooth.

7. Spoon the batter into the cases until 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes, until the batter is risen and spring back when touched.

8. Leave the cupcakes to cool a little before removing them from the tin.

 

Italian Meringue Buttercream
150g fine sugar
60g water
4 egg whites
220g unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch bits
1 tbsp Yuzu concentrate
Pinch of cream of tartar

1. Pour the sugar into the water in a saucepan and let boil to 120C. Do not stir the sugar when boiling. Go on to step 2.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until it reaches the foamy stage.

3. When the temperature of the sugar syrup shows 115C, whisk the egg whites on high until stiff peak. When the sugar syrup reaches 12oC, turn down the speed of the mixer to speed 1 and then pour the syrup into the meringue (beaten egg whites by the side). Do it carefully in a steady stream. Once all the syrup is in, turn the mixer on high and whisk the egg whites until the sides of the mixer bowl no longer feels hot. This will take quite some time.

4. Once the meringue has cooled, turn the speed down to medium and add in the pieces of unsalted butter, one at a time. It will look like it has curdled but fear not, keep whisking and in the end, the buttercream will come together.

5. Lastly, add in the Yuzu concentrate and whisk it one last time so that it is mixed well in the buttercream.

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[Foodie Friday] Hokkaido Milk Bread

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The other day I was shopping at the supermarket at I12 and saw packets of Hokkaido milk for sale. My first thought was to use it to bake the Hokkaido Milk Bread and it was weeks later that I got to bake it.

This recipe is taken from the video above and it uses the Tang Zhong method which promises a soft bread texture. I used about 250g of the bread dough to make red bean buns since Faith and I love red bean anything. This time round, I used the paste from the can but the next time I bake them, I’ll make sure to make it from scratch.

For the Tangzhong
250ml water
75g all purpose flour

For bread dough
375g all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 packet yeast (2.5 tsp)
125ml Hokkaido Milk
1 egg
145g tangzhong
3 tablespoons butter, melted

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1.    To prepare the tangzhong.  In a medium heat pan, combine water and flour mixture until it thickens like a paste.  Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

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2.    To prepare the dough, sieve the flour and combine with sugar, salt, and yeast in the mixer bowl.  In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and add the milk, butter to the egg and whisk to combine.

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3.    Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.  Using the dough hook, mix for 1 minute.  Add 145g (1/2cup) of the tangzhong and continue to mix until a dough is formed. The texture should be smooth and sticky. Store the remaining amount of TangZhong in the refrigerator for at most 3 days.

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4.    Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to proof until double the size, about 1 hour.

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5.    Sprinkle some flour on the counter surface.  My dough weighs about 780g and I set aside 250g of the dough for my red bean buns. Divide the remaining dough into 4 equal pieces and use a circular motion to shape them into balls.

6.    Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an oval shape disk about 1cm thick, fold the edges to the middle and roll again into 1cm thick.  Roll to form a tube like shape

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7.    Place 4 rolls seam side down into an oiled loaf pan. I used a silicon one.

8.    Let it rise again until double in shape for another 30 minutes to an hour.

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9.    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Do an egg wash on the surface of the dough and bake the loaf for about 15-20 minutes in total.  When you see that the loaf turns golden brown, cover the bread with foil to prevent over-browning.

10.    When the bread is ready, let it cool for 5 minutes and shake it off the pan and place it on the cooling rack.

For the red bean buns, I weigh five 50g bread dough and roll them into balls. Thereafter, I divide the can of red bean paste into 5 portions. Each ball of dough is flattened and then the red bean paste is wrapped inside it. Then put it into the muffin pan with the seam side down.

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Bake the red bean buns together with the Hokkaido Milk Bread for the same amount of time.

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A word of caution though. Look at the bun that has ‘exploded’? That’s because I put too much red bean paste in it. And you are right. I didn’t divide the paste properly so when it came to the last bun, I tried to stuff as much paste as possible. ;(

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The Milk Bread is truly soft!
Try it when you are free.
😉

Yogurt bread

All thanks to the little one, I have found another bread recipe that is both suitable and easy to bake. It’s also a bonus that they are really, really very soft!!!

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The other day, I was mentioning how Faith does not want to drink milk anymore to my Church’s cell group members and one of them, an early childhood educator, shared a recipe with me. It’s from her coursemate who always feeds them with bread and other goodies. So I popped over to the link and love the ingredients used – yogurt and milk! They are what Faith needs now!

To make the bread more substantial in terms of taste and nutrients, I have added 1/2 tablespoon of Chia seeds and 1/4 cup of raisins.

This is my version:

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250g bread flour
15g castor sugar
3g salt
3g yeast

(B)
100g flavoured yogurt ( I used Yoplait’s yogurt @ room temperature)
60g fresh milk (at room temperature)
25g egg (about half an egg)

(C)
30g butter at room temperature

(D)
1/2 tbsp Chia seeds
1/4 cup raisins

1. Place ingredients in (A) into the standmixer and using a dough hook, mix them for about 10 seconds.

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2. Add in ingredients in (B) and mix, on medium speed, until a dough is formed.

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3. While continuing to mix, add in (C) and mix on high for about 5 minutes. Towards the end of the mixing, add (D). When the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl anymore and has passed the window pane test, it is ready.

4. Turn out the dough and give it a final few kneads, shape it into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or cling-wrap and leave it to proof in a warm place till double its size (about 1 hour).

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5. When proofing is completed, punch down the bread dough to release the air.

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6. Divide the dough into small portions of about 70g. Shape each portion into a smooth ball and placed them into a loaf pan.

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7. Cover the loaf pan with a cling wrap and allow the dough to go for second proofing until double its size again.

8. Egg wash the top of the buns.

9. Bake in preheated oven at 170-180C for 20 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
10. Remove bread from loaf pan to cool completely.

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I suspect I will be using this basic dough for other flavours! Yay!

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And this is Faith, enjoying {shredding} the yogurt bread.