Category Archives: Chocolate

Sort-of-red Velvet Cupcakes


Been itching to try baking red velvet cake. I’ve never baked or eaten red velvet before but it seems to have a good presence and reputation, so they should be good right??

I made my cupcakes according to this recipe. I didn’t use red colouring, just because I didn’t have any and didn’t want to get any. I kind of reasoned that since food colouring only affects the appearance and not the taste it wasn’t really too necessary. Some will beg to differ I’m sure. Instead of food colouring, colouring from beets are usually used to dye the cake red. I just wanted an easy and relaxing after work baking experience, so no colouring, artificial or otherwise.

I don’t think buttermilk is available in Australia but I honestly wouldn’t bother getting it even if its available just to use half a cup. Substituted by mixing 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar (or you can use lemon juice) in 1/2  cup of milk and letting it stand for a few minutes.

Freshly baked

I tried a little bit of the cupcake after it came out of the oven. I could taste the ‘vinegar’ in the cake while it was hot but after having another one after icing it, it just tasted like a nice and moist chocolate cake. I divided the batter into 11 cupcake cups instead of 12 and that’s probably why the cupcakes rose a bit too much and cracked. Somehow I never manage to the surface of the cupcakes I make smooth and even but that’s because I never manage to divide the batter correctly.

For the frosting, I halved the amount of ingredients used. But when I was making  it, I was somehow under the impression I was quartering it. So I ended up using about 250g of mascarpone (in place of cream cheese) and 1/4 cups of icing sugar (I think I was possed by the I-can’t-do-math ghost or something, that’s actually 1/8 of the original recipe!). The mascarpone was left over from making the tiramisu chocolate mousse on Valentine’s. Based on my extensive watching of the foodwishes youtube channel, mascarpone is a richer (read: more fat) cream cheese, so definitely okay to substitute.  I ‘sprinkled’ some cocoa powder on top of the iced cupcakes. 😀

They are absolutely divine. Really delicious!! I managed to ice 8.5 cupcakes generously. 0.5 because I kind of got the first one wrong. I left my absolutely new piping bags out of my luggage when I came back, so I had to improvise. I used a zip lock bag and cut an opening in one of the corners. Didn’t turn out too bad. =) Was never really good at errr… artsy stuff. So I think it’s not bad for my standards.


Will definitely make these again in the future and I might even try using some beetroot to make real RED velvet cake. They tasted really good and the little calculation mishap wasn’t really a bad thing. The frosting tasted just right and really complimented the moist chocolate cake.

I’m eager to try making this pandan chiffon cake recipe this weekend. Hopefully I’ll manage to find some pandan extract.


Happy Valentine’s!


Happy Valentine’s everyone. =)

Many will say Valentine’s is just a ploy to sell things to the masses (my colleagues) and it’s probably true. But instead of buying expensive things and going out for an expensive dinner, I decided to cook and make something special instead. The main course I made is actually something very simple that I’ve done many times before because it’s so easy.

My Valentine's Gift

I’ve always wanted to get these heart-shaped chocolate lolis as gifts when I first set eyes on them in Koko Black . So with Valentine’s as an excuse I made my boyfriend give them to me. =) And I got 2 as well! Was really delighted.

For dinner, I made roasted chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

Main course

 The chicken thighs were seasoned with Keen’s curry powder, paprika, a pinch of chilli powder and ground pepper. I’ve always made roasted chicken parts like this and they’ve always turned out well. Roast at around 200 degrees Celcius for about 35-40 minutes.

For the mashed potatoes, I used my thermal cooker to help save cooking time . I cut up the potatoes the night before and soaked them in water. In the morning, I replaced the water, salted it and boil the potatoes. Then returned it to the thermal cooker to continue cooking while I go to work. After the potatoes have softened, to make the mash, I added butter, milk, salt and pepper and mash until soft and fluffy. No measurements because its all to taste. To make the mash fluffier, add milk until it’s the right degree of fluffiness. The gravy is made with Gravox Traditional gravy mix. I added the jus from the roasting chicken and some cream because I had some at hand and simmered to thicken.

Carrots and brocolli are the staples in my diet because I love the crunch and sweetness of both vegetables. Just steamed them over boiling water in my colander because I didn’t have a steamer.

Our Valentine's Dinner

And dessert is Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse from Chef John’s blog. I started off with the espresso, butter and chocolate, left it over the double boiler as instructed but when I started stirring it all together, it became a lumpy, grainy mess and not the silky mixture that Chef John got. Happened to me before when I made chocolate truffles a few years ago. Since then, I’ve researched and I think it’s caused by moisture in the chocolate but by adding more water it sorts out the problem. So I added a few tablespoons of water and it indeed sorted the problem, my chocolate mixture became silkier. =)

Both of us only manage to finish one of the bowls (the recipe was for 4 servings anyways). It wasn’t too sweet and tasted pretty good but I felt it wasn’t light enough which I think is caused by my over beating the cream. For a first try, it was a pass and it’s was actually really easy to make. I always thought that making mousse is complicated and tricky but thanks to the video (which is linked above), it gave me the confidence to try it myself. And below is the money shot. =)

Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse

Hope everyone has had a great Valentine’s. =) I’m going to try making some bread this weekend to have with bacon and eggs, butter and jam and just on its own. Check out Chef John’s youtube channel, many great videos and easy to make recipes.