[Cakes & Bakes] Vanilla Cupcakes with Honey Passionfruit Frosting

A relative back in Malaysia gave mum several dozens of homegrown passionfruit a week back and I inherited 10 of them.

I’m really lazy with my fruits (I often leave them untouched until they are no long able to be eaten), but I’m quite excited about creating some things with those passionfruit so I decide to freeze the pulp until I need them.

IMG_3263

And with a brush of coincidence, I came across a beautiful Vanilla Sponge Cake with Cream and Passionfruit recipe on Donna Hay magazine. If you’re keen in the recipe, it’s in the latest Fresh issue.

photo

I used the same recipe, but made 12 cupcakes instead and the Vanilla cupcake base were so amazing. Fluffy, fragrant and very… “eggy”.

IMG_3316

While I was about to start on the cream frosting, I realised that I was out of sour cream, so I decided to improvise on the frosting and took inspiration from my favourite food blogger for a Honey Frosting instead.

Just a note, I used only 2 cups of sugar instead of 3 because my food tasters have pretty low tolerance for sweetness. I’m glad I cut down the sugar because it would have been too sweet if I followed the recipe to a T.

With all these improvisation and deviation, the end product looked nothing like the beautiful sponge on the glossy page of the magazine, but I still liked them enough 🙂 The tangy passionfruit pulp cuts the sweetness of the honey frosting and the crunchy seeds helped to layer the texture.

IMG_3345

IMG_3387

IMG_3365

IMG_3344

“The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last.” ― Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

[Cakes & Bakes] Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

My family members have been some of the best supporters for my bakes and I love making things they like, especially for special occasions.

Mum has always been a fan of chocolate banana cakes, especially the one from Secret Recipe. So I’ve long set my mind on baking a choco banana cake for her birthday 🙂

Searched through some recipes and finally decided to make a cupcake version instead as I really wanted to practice my piping.

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T (which is extremely simple) and the cupcakes turned out really moist and fragrant! Some things to share from the experience:

– Make sure the banana is ripe enough so that the aroma and taste are will not be overwhelmed by the chocolate

– I used Valhorna cocoa powder and the chocolate flavour is really rich and intense

– The cupcakes stay moist in the fridge and still tastes pretty good 3 days old

– If you’re lazy or have no time to prepare the frosting, it tastes pretty awesome as a chocolate banana muffin too!

– I sprinkled some chopped almonds on top of the frosting to create some contrast in terms of colour and the texture. The nutty flavour also helps to cut the richness of the cake and frosting

– Washing up after making chocolate-anything is such a back-breaking chore… But it’s worth it 🙂

IMG_3126 IMG_3163 IMG_3172 IMG_3191 IMG_3196

IMG_3217IMG_3200

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

[Gallery] Les Jardins

It’s been some time since our last post because I have been thinking about how to make the blog a little more interesting and personal. I did not want it to be like most of the other food blogs because 1) I’m usually not the one cooking and Wayne cooks in such a  laissez faire manner, it’s not easy for me to blog about the process and 2) cooking and baking are fun, but I find myself always looking forward to the process of photographing the final product and actually spend more effort on it than the cooking itself!

Recently, my interest in foodstyling and food photography have been growing with inspiration from some amazing food magazines, blogs and instagram accounts. I’ve long wanted to take photos of better quality and with more interesting composition but found the quality of the cameras I had rather limiting.

Couple of days back, Wayne finally bought a new DSLR and we’ve been having so much fun with it! For future posts, we’re hoping to showcase more thematic food photos and I hope to experiment with more interesting attempts at food styling.

Some days back, we came home to a sweet surprise at our doorstep from my dear girlfriend, Jia, who just returned from Paris.

A delectable selection of vibrantly colored macarons nestled in a lovely purple box.

2013 Les Jardins Pierre Hermé

IMG_4930

Couldn’t tell you how excited I was, but I had to try so hard to convince myself (and Wayne) not to eat them till I take some lovely photos.

Spent whatever free time I had the next day thinking about how I’d style the shoot. Had such a tough time deciding on the flowers to buy to complement the macarons and this beautiful rustic bunch just stood out. Colorful and full of character but doesn’t steal the show. Perfect!

IMG_6114

Here’s our first (and very amateurish) shot at food photography!

IMG_4932

(the set-up)

IMG_4935

IMG_6042

IMG_4939

IMG_6038

IMG_6043

IMG_6047

“She was sitting in a garden more beautiful than even her rampaging imagination could ever have conjured up, and she was being serenaded by trees.” ― Lynn Kurland, Spellweaver