June 14, 2006

Baking without appliances

I felt I was in yesteryear last night when all our circuits and power points for appliances fused . The lights were working fine. However, there was no TV...no hot water...no stove top..no internet...no heater...but only one dear oven which decided to keep me company.
I studied for my exams a little from textbooks but it didn't seem too productive without my notes online. I decided to take a break and bake cupcakes instead. *grin* Ol' school style.....without the electric mixer, stove...or microwave. I melted the chocolate and butter with a pyrex bowl in the heat from the oven and beat the eggs and sugar with a balloon whisk. After about 25 minutes of vigorous beating; my wrist was began to beg me to forget the whole idea. But of course....the mind controls the body and a couple drips of sweat later...TAa DAH!As it seemed quite impossible to do the "cream butter and sugar" version of cakes...I opted for a recipe which only required beating of egg whites and folding in the mixture. I made several tiny chocolate cupcakes which were rich and dense with a strong dark chocolate flavour. These are definitely only for those who have a love for devouring the taste of strong chocolate!
200 gms semi sweet chocolate (minimun 70% cocoa solids)
100 gms butter
couple of drops of vanilla essence
2 eggs separated

1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup almond meal

Melt chocolate and butter in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla+egg yolks+ 1/2 sugar mixture while mixture is still hot. Fold in almond meal. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl till fluffy, add in sugar a little at a time and beat till glossy and stiff. Add a large scoop to the chocolate mixture and lightly fold in to incorporate. Gradually add in the rest of the egg whites and stir gently till combined. Spoon mixture into prepared cupcake cups or into greased muffin tray. Should make approximately 25 mini cupcakes. Bake in preheated 180 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
200 gms semi sweet chocolate/ milk chocolate if you prefer it sweet (omit sugar in this case)
2 tbsp castor sugar
1/4 cup milk

This cupcake requires frosting as it is quite bitter and dry on its own. Break the chocolate into tiny pieces and melt in cream; making sure it doesn't burn or clump. You can tell the chocolate is over heated when it begins to form a grainy texture. For melting in the microwave, 50 seconds on high is more than enough. Remove from the microwave and stir till melted.
Glaze your cupcakes with the thick chocolate mixture or leave it to cool for a couple of hours to form a thick pipable frosting.
The tiny stars were formed with bits of blue sugar modelling paste and a tiny star cutter


jenjen said...

Very resourceful of you to use the heater to melt the chocolate.
As for me I actually like to mix everything by hand, I like the feel of it. I only use the mixer if absolutely necessary.
Although sometimes you do need kinda Popeye type arms to whisk those egg whites to a peak and that's when I pull out the mixer : )

jenjen said...

BTW cute cupcake decorations, where do you find them?

Su-Yin said...

Thanks jenjen.
I make the decorations actually
I just use sugar modelling paste. Knead them with different food colouring paste and shape them. Sometimes molded by hand and sometimes with a cutter. It takes a little more effort, but its heaps more original than the basic decoration items from the supermarket

Jacelyn said...

Did you make the sugar modelling paste? how did you make them?

Su-Yin said...

This batch of sugar modelling paste I made from a powdered mix i purchased from asugar craft store..however; I've made batches of chocolate paste and sugar paste from recipes online before and they turned out alright. Try google-ing for a couple of recipes and pointers