Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Diana, my not-so-savvy-in-the-kitchen bff, the same one who used an espresso spoon to scoop ice cream, made heart shaped egg in a basket for us. Aw. What a good bff.
Friday, April 23, 2010
What's to come on the Lime Shop in the next days (pictured above).
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Since Hummingbird bakery is supposed to be all the rage in London, England, I was really excited to get my own copy of their cookbook in my last Amazon order.
- When preparing the ingredients, I was surprised to see how little sugar, butter and vanilla this recipe used. (In fact, a lot of the recipes in this book use very little sugar and butter.)
- I followed the directions carefully and added ingredients and mixed as per the book.
- I prepared 12 cupcake liners in my tray and started scooping the cups two-thirds full as directed.
- Hmm... Did a double take at the book since I only got 8 cups going. Weird. The recipe says "Makes 12".
- Moving along, I popped them in the oven and waited. Took them out and was surprised to see how pale my cakes looked. Hmm....
- As the cupcakes cooled, I prepared the icing.
- Having sampled some batter and icing along the way, I knew they were on the bland side but I really thought all of the flavours would come together nicely when the cupcake was complete.
- TASTE TEST VERDICT: Disappointing. Bland cake. Thick sponge consistency. Tasted very floury. Bland icing. Consensus: bland and boring. My worst cakes to date (yes, that includes my Duncan Hines Cake Fails).
- Delicious looking, beautiful, inspirational pictures.
- Beautifully laid out chapters.
- Recipes: BORING. Terrible. Waste of time, money and good ingredients.
- If the goodies in the actual Hummingbird Bakeries taste anything like what's in this book, I would be shocked.
- Buy Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book instead. (Martha hasn't failed me once.)
HUMMINGBIRD BAKERY'S VANILLA CUPCAKES
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 cup all purpose flour
a scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tbsps of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE FROSTING
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsps whole milk
a couple drops of pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Line cupcake tray with paper cups.
2. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl. Mix and beat at slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is well combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat well.
3. Whisk egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into flour mixture and beat well, scraping bowl along the way. Do not over mix.
4. Spoon batter into cupcake tray, two-thirds full and bake for about 20 - 25 mins or until golden brown. Insert tooth pick in the middle of a cake and make sure it comes out clean before removing from oven. Place on a cooling rack.
VANILLA FROSTING DIRECTIONS
1. While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat icing sugar and butter together in mixer at low speed. Combine milk and vanilla in a separate bowl then add to butter mixture, a few spoons at a time. Mix well until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier it becomes. Frost completely-cooled cupcakes with frosting.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Since I had so many spare apples lying around, I thought I'd try Michael Smith's Old Fashioned Apple Pie. My mum and I both shared a hand in making this pie. The results were DELICIOUS. It's a simple pie recipe for a very homey OLD style of pie (hence the name). My brother commented that the crust could be a little more pastry-like, but I thought it was just perfect. Very unpretentious.
OLD FASHIONED APPLE PIE
Makes 8 slices
FOR THE PASTRY
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) of frozen butter
8 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE FILLING
6-8 Honey Crisp or 12 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1. Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Using a standard box or potato grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour and toss lightly with your fingers until it is thoroughly combined. Sprinkle in ice water and mix with your fingers until the dough comes together in a ball. Divide it into two pieces, making sure one half is slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten and chill for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. Resting will help tenderize the pastry and make it easier to roll.
2. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly, just until it is pliable. Lightly flour your hands, the rolling pin, your work surface and the dough. Roll out the larger pastry disc into a circle large enough to slightly overlap the edges of an 8-inch glass pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by folding it into quarters then unfolding it in the dish.
3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
FILLING DIRECTIONS AND COOKING
1. Toss the apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Add the apples to the bottom crust then roll out the remaining smaller disc and carefully place over the top of the pie. Roll and crimp the edges of the dough together, tightly sealing them. Poke a few vent holes into the top of the pie and place on the bottom rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour, until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling.