Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The markets and me.

Ive mentioned a few times how i had my own market stall now, and im sure, there are people suffering from this, suffering from curiosity! I know, its mad and exciting and its just plain wrong that ive kept it from you all for this long. Well im here today to tell you that you need wait no more, its market stall time. (much like hammer time but with tighter pants). A couple of times this year people suggested that i get a stall at the markets, but i never really considered it, so much effort, dont know how to go about it and all that. Then one thursday i got a flier in my mailbox saying that market stalls at the sunday markets down the road were only $10, and that if you bought the flier, you got a dollar off at the sausage sizzle. the cheap stall got me thinking, but the latter was definitely the clincher. That night I made a list of the cupcakes i wanted to make, then started the mad task of figuring out what ingredients i needed to buy, what extra things i would need (gloves, plates, plastic bags and all that jazz). After that i went onto the woolies internet shop and did HEAPS of maths and figured out how much it was going to end up costing me per cupcake so i could figure out how much to charge. and even though i was watching back to back episodes of true beauty, it was not a fun night. Friday and Saturday the shopping was started and finished, with much restless sleep and worrying that I'd forgotten something in between. Then came the baking. Oh me oh my, so much baking! I'd gotten the cookies out of the way on the friday night, but that still left the cookie dough cupcakes (which i had to make the cookie dough for as well as the cake!), the black bottom cupcakes, the brownies (i wasnt sure if i would be able to cut them into pretty enough squares so they became cupcakes too!), the chocolate banana cupcakes (my mum always made chocolate banana cake for my birthday, these HAD to be included!) and lastly, the upside down strawberry cheesecakes (which i shall be going on about today!). I started around 2pm (too late!) and transformed into a baking MACHINE (sigh, i wish i were speaking literally here). organise ingredients - mix ingredients - bake - clean - repeat alot untill you have sufficient baked goods. Baking for me stopped around midnight or so, then the icing began. Here was where i had to ask for help, cut to me sitting at the dining room table covered in icing sugar decorating the cupcakes while mum made signs and used the leftover cookie dough to make sample cookies with some weird movie in the background starring Isabella Rossellini, man that woman is hard to understand, or maybe it was the icing sugar in my ears? By two thirty in the morning the table looked like this. I was done. It was a miracle. Maybe not on the same miracle level as like, baby jesus and his immaculate conception, but still, it was pretty amazing. Five thirty i was back up and practically lying on the heater while eating toast. Dad was lovely enough to walk down to the markets super early to secure me an awesome spot and set up the table and brollie. He did astoundingly well! I got a spot with no stall on the other side, so everyone was either looking at me cakes or straight ahead, and i greeted all of them. My voice was hoarse and my cheeks aching from the constant smile by about 10am, i was so perky it literally hurt! But it also helped me to make moolah, and encouraged a man to let me play with his itty bitty pug puppy, adorable times a zillion. It was fun to see the trend of excuses for not buying my cupcakes as the day went on... 7am - 8:30am: "oh ho ho hoo no, i haven't had breakfast yet!" 8:30am - 10am: "oh ho ho hoo no, i've just had breakfast!" 10am - 1pm: "oh ho ho hooo no, i shouldnt, im on a diet!" All responses were accompanied by a pat of the belly. I wish i would have filmed it, i would have pitched it to david attenborough and we could have worked together to inform the world in a classy accent about this strange species: the market goer. Finally the end of the day came, and packing up began. I was just about to throw out the display samples when my friend and my mum's friend turned up, circling the table... me - well i guess it's time to throw these babies out. my friend - what? you arent going to sell those?? me - theyve been sitting out uncovered for 6 hours, people have been breathing on them, lots of people. my friend - *incoherent cupcake chewing sounds* mums friend - yoink! *chewing noises continue* they may have possibly gotten cooties, but on the plus side their "oh yuuum!" noises bought customers over to buy the last few cupcakes, good for me! So thats pretty much the end of my cupcake stall story, it was long, i know, im sorry, im not so good at the summarising... but yeah, to finish up, we went home and counted our moolah, minus-ing the float to see our profit and counted up 92 dollars. this was quickly followed by me looking devvo'd and whispering "but i spent ninety FIVE dollars... i worked for days to LOSE three dollars???" (i never was a good sport...) much relief was felt when mum remembered she hid some money in my car incase we got mugged by a gang of market goers. so all math mistakes aside i ended up selling $210 worth of cupcakes, a total profit of 110 bucka! not so bad huh? probably ended up at like $2 an hour for my (super intensive) labour but i didnt care, i made profits, i got to bake HEAPS without the worry i was fattening up the fimfam, and i got to hang out with my mum and see what it was like to be on the other side of the market experience. The markets were in town again last sunday, i got the flier again, i considered it, then decided to end on a high note. I want to be that mysterious girl who only came to the markets that one time, that everyone hopes will one day come back and smile fondly at their belly patting. Here is my little stall all set up, and my pretty pokey (my car) in the background. Oh! and mum sneaking in in red on the right! See how dewy the ground is? it was so early and cold! Now back to (nearly) the beginning. The actual making of the cupcakes. I picked this one to make cause it was my favourite, plus i took the most photos of it! Market baking day didnt leave much time for photo taking so a few of these photos are from when i cooked them before. Doesnt this strawberry just look derish? In the cases. It may look like alot of strawberries but it turned out really well, they kind of smooshed together and into the cake, its making my mouth water just looking at it! OH! and when you make these, make sure you put some of the strawberry pieces on a spoon and dip it in the mix and eat it. Its one of the best things i have ever tasted. for serious. Here they are cooling, arent they pretty! You can see the strawberry peeking through, trying to say hello! Here they are all nice, iced, and decorated with crushed gingernut biscuits, ready to go to market. Upside Down Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (pretty much the best cookbook i have. everything i have made from it has become an instant favourite, i highly recommend it!) Makes 12 (I think i only ended up with 9 or 10 cupcakes each time and there wasnt that much cake in each of them, so dont try and spread it out to make 12, they'll be lame).
  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (im sure that instead of the baking powder and plain flour you could just use self raising, but im too scared to try it!)
  • pinch of salt (i think its so silly that so many of these recipes tell you to use unsalted butter and then add salt. I always just skip the salt and just use normal butter)
  • 40g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk (i used low fat, they were still awesome to the max)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 12 large strawberries, chopped into small pieces (i chopped up a whole punnet which was like, 12 small strawberries and it was too much)
  • 200g digestive biscuits (i used gingernut biscuits because i use any excuse i can get to put ginger in everything. I blended like half the packet and it was WAY too much, so dont waste good biscuits!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C, place paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter with an electric mixer on low speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  3. pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Divide the chopped strawberries between the paper cases. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in to centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Roughly break up the biscuits and put them in a food processor. Process until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of finely ground biscuits.

Cream Cheese Icing

Humming Bird Bakery Cookbook

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes - double the recipe for a 20cm cake

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold

  1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric mixer on medium slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. (this really isnt alot of butter, so it was really hard to get it to mix through the icing sugar, so i always just end up putting the cream cheese in early and it still ends up great)
  2. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
  3. Turn the mixer up to medium high speed and continue beating until the icing is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not over beat as it can quickly become runny.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For when it's too late to bake.

One night I was up late, everyone else was in bed, and i got this massive urge to make something. I knew it was too late for baking, something about baking after midnight, it just doesn't seem quite right. I was looking at this website called Peanut Butter Boy and going through his astoundingly large collection of peanut butter recipes. I heart peanut butter, so yeah, this is my kind of site. I was looking at his recipe for peanut butter hotdogs (not real hotdogs, dont freak out, just click the link!) and saw something about cinnamon raisin peanut butter and something deep inside me knew that awesomeness was on it's way. The recipe is mad easy, and doesn't need a mixer, so as you may have guessed, that is exactly what i made that fateful night! I wasn't in the blog making business at that point so no pictures were taken. I briefly thought about telling you about it with loads of descriptive talk so you could picture it yourself, but then i thought, 'I wouldn't read that, i like PICTURES.' So i took this opportunity to make some more, and im glad i did, now i have pictures AND more delicious crazy flavoured peanut butter! I ran out a while ago and have been trying to just eat normal peanut butter, too boring for words. Once you have this stuff, you just can't go back. You've been warned...
Look at this, just four ingredients! I know there is a series of books with recipes made up of four ingredients, but they never sound all that super delicious. THIS on the other hand...
So here they all are, tossed in together, the peanut butter is buried under there somewhere, im pretty sure anyway. I know it looks a but scary, all that cinnamon, but its not, this is just the FIRST lot of cinnamon i put in, there is more to come...
This was my favourite bit. Im big on stirring, i could stir all day long if i had the chance. Thats why i get a little sad when making muffins and some cupcakes. That pesky little "do not over mix" they throw in there, it always ruins my fun. Ive given out more than one batch of tough cupcakes because i decided to ignore that rule, it was still kinda worth it though, for me anyway. So yeah, I love this recipe alot cause i can stir till the cows come home, and since i have this lovely spatula and super smooth bowl, sometimes i do. I figure it just helps to smoosh the cinnamon in, which can only be a good thing.
And voila! cinnamon sultana peanut butter! (Can you keep a secret? I made this like half an hour after dinner, and the thought of a sandwich was... too much. So after i made this, and made the obligatory bite mark in it (see later photo) it went in the bin. I know, im sorry, im evil and wasteful. Dont tell jesus...)
"eat me michelleeeee, i dont care if you're so full of dinner you might explode, im so deliciously cinnamonny!"
"okay, i will admit, you are lovely and cinnamonny, but i cant, maybe some other time."
I went to put the peanut butter back in it's jar, but it ended up like this, with some in the bowl as well. I kept stabbing the peanut butter in the jar with a knife, trying to get rid of the air holes, then i remembered i put almost a cup of sultanas in there. Ah science. Luckily I had a near empty jar of peanut butter in the cupboard so i put my extra in there. Now i know everyone else isn't as big a hoarder as me, so i say you buy the jar, eat some boring peanut buttered toast for a few days, then when there is a sultana gap at the top, go go gadget fancy peanut butter.

Cinnamon Sultana Peanut Butter

From Peanut Butter Boy

The four, measly, easily attained ingredients

(note, this is obviously not a strict recipe at all, i changed things to how i like them, so you go crazy and do the same if you like!)

  • 450g peanut butter ---500g peanut butter (this is an american recipe, so the jar sizes are different. My jar of peanut butter was 500g so incase you get the same jar as me, ill include both measurements for the rest of the ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup sultanas --- 3/4 cup sultanas (this is a bit more than necessary, but i really love sultanas...)
  • 2T sugar --- 2 heaped tablespoons sugar
  • 3tsp cinnamon --- 4tsp cinnamon (okay, i started out with 4tsp of cinnamon, but it just didnt taste enough, the peanut butter taste REALLY takes over. So i kept adding and ended up with... dare i admit it?... 6tsp of cinnamon! I know, it sounds mad, but even with that much, it didnt taste mad cinnamonny! Ill taste it in the morning after it's had some time to soak in or whatever it does, if it tastes horrible i'll pop back on here and change it. If i dont change it, then you'll know, it was as awesome as i suspected.)

4 ingredients, one step!

You can mix it in the jar if you want, but that would be hard so i reckon you should just put it all in a big bowl, mix till your heart's content, put it all back in the jar, then take some back out and put it on toast. Yummers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Savoury? More like flavoury!

When i say im a bake-aholic, i really mean that im a sweets bake-aholic. I read bread recipes and go 'eh, all that effort, and i still have to put something on it to taste good?' I think the closest i ever came to real savoury baking was the cheese and vegemite scrolls i made once. they were good, but they had nothing on bakers delight cheddermite scrolls so i abandoned savoury baking for another few years. This year i started getting curious though. I'd look at savoury muffin recipes and make faces, it just wasnt how god intended muffins to be! but still, there would be that little voice inside me going "but you love bacon, why not put it in a muffin? bacon goes well with everything... except maple syrup." then i would agree with the little voice "no, never maple syrup. crazy canadians."
Then today, i was thinking about what kind of muffin i wanted to make. i owed my dad some baked goods, he likes eating the spoils of my baking for breakfast, and the last of the chocolate peppermint cupcakes i made on the weekend went to my mums work them to eat while watching their weekly super exciting training video. now dad puts up with alot of weird, fruity cupcakes and you never hear a complaint, so i thought i would bake something just for him. to show just how lovely i am, i baked what i thought i may never ever bake... savoury. savoury MUFFINS no less. it was a very big, internal struggle for me, but i went out there, i spent 10 minutes looking for cornmeal, i didnt find it, but i didnt give up. i asked someone where it was, they asked me if it was the same as cornflour, i said i was pretty sure it wasnt, we said a few more things, then we found it. under its sneaky alias, 'polenta.' then i went to the deli and asked for sundried tomatoes, the girl asked if i wanted SUNdried, or SEMIdried. she was surly and made me feel silly for not knowing the difference. but i soldiered ON. i wasnt going to let the savoury muffin win this round. no no no. making the muffins was super easy, the sundried tomatoes were stinky but i managed to look past that when i saw how quick the muffins rose! polenta has some serious risability to it. i like it. We all had a little taste once they came out of the oven and numMERS! i dont even like sundried tomatoes and i liked them. So please, if you are scared of savoury muffins, know that i was once like you and have overcome these fears. My crippling fear of spiders remains but since i cant fix that with baking, i think i'll just ignore it for a bit and eat some of my new savoury muffins!
Cornmeal, in one of it's many packages.

Sundried tomatoes, getting their stinky oil all over the place.

the sundried tomatoes deceiving me into thinking they are bacon. i need to stop talking about bacon.

I havent worked with cornmeal before (incase i hadn't already made that blatantly obvious) so i wasnt sure how much they would rise, and the recipe book wasn't helping me out any, so i filled to here. the outer part of the cupcake didnt rise at all, but it domed up in the middle. I reckon next time i'll fill them up to a bit before the top and see what kind of wild ride that takes me on.

probably a misleading angle, makes them look all huge and mighty, but really they are pretty small.

Corn muffins with sun dried tomatoes

Muffin bible

Each of the recipes in the book is meant to make 12 muffins but this only made seven itty bitty little muffins. So i would recommend doubling this recipe. Fo sho. (You'll have to do the maths though, maths is not what im about). Foodbits.

  • 60g coarse cornmeal (or polenta, or whatever the shop feels like calling it that particular day)
  • 70g plain flour
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 small egg
  • 100ml milk
  • 1T corn oil (psht, like i was buying a bottle of corn oil just for this, i used vegetable oil)
  • 25g sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped. (as you can see in the picture these muffins arent LOADED with tomatoes, and im really just all about overkill when it comes to choc chips and anything you add to muffins, so i reckon you could add like 40 or 50 grams of tomatoes and it would be more deliciouso without tampering with the muffin too much. ALSO while eating these i did remember my 'bacon makes everything better' rule and got to thinking. Next time i make these i reckon i would add a little salami or of course, bacon. Add anything you like really, a bit of garlic, olives, follow your tastebuds.)
What to do with the foodbits
  • preheat oven to 220C (ive got a fan forced so i lowered the temp to 200C)
  • Stir all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • beat egg with milk and oil and gently mix into dry mixture.
  • fold chopped sundried tomatoes into batter.
  • spoon into greased muffin pans (they were a little hard to get out, but only because they were so solid. its worth the effort getting them out though, i think they would look weird in pretty cupcake cases, plus maybe they would stick to the paper.)
  • bake for 12 minutes. (the tops wont brown much, but the bottoms do so dont worry if they look slightly pale)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coffeeshop failure, pineapple flower success!

A little while ago I was asked by a coffeeshop owner to bake some of my cupcakes for them so they could see if they wanted to buy them off me and sell them in their store. At this point i think i was very lucky that i didnt widdle myself on the spot. Ive been so bored and have wanted to bake, but not eat all the baking, so i figured this would be perfect! I went into the shop with a list of cupcakes i can make (which i spent aaages preparing excitedly) and handed it over. The lady looked at it and said "oh, i dont care what you make, make anything, except peanut butter, i hate anything with peanut butter in it." i should have known from that moment something was wrong and that i should not even attempt to do business with these people, i mean, who doesnt like peanut butter baked goods?? I tried to talk to her about what prices she would be looking at paying, how many a day they would want, just to get an idea whether i could do this but she brushed me off and said she would see me the next day with my samples.
So i rushed home and made three of my favourites, black bottom cupcakes (chocolate cake with a dollop of cream cheese baked into the middle, nummers!) cookie dough (you'll just have to wait till that one comes, trust me though, it's worth it!) and hummingbirds. I was up till midnight, i was exhausted, and still had to decorate them the next morning. But i was still excited and my keen-ness kept me going. All that left the second i turned up though. Before she even tried my cupcakes or even really looked at them, she told me that the prices i was asking were too much, and they were really just looking for a colourful, plain cupcake for kids. I looked over at my hours of baking, my 30 dollar investment, wasted. I wasnt trying to rip her off, i was asking less that what i sold them for at the markets, i figured out i would be making less than 10 dollars an hour even at the price i was willing to sell them at. I left them with her though and told her to get back to me. I know it sounds like im a horrible baker in denial, but really they were just looking for a wholesale seller who could afford to sell their cakes for peanuts. I asked around and everyone that has met this lady agreed she was scary, wish i knew that before! But oh well, all an experience! Plus it inspired me to make these super pretty pineapple flowers I found in martha stewart's cupcakes. Totally worth it just for that. (Did this make me sound bitter? I meant to sound all 'whatevs' about it but reading over it, eep, i smell bitter... whoops)
Here are my lovely samples all ready to go in my lovely cupcake courier, which i would marry if it were legal.

And here are my lovely pineapple flowers all close up. Stylin' no?

And an aerial shot for reference later.

Dried Pineapple Flowers

Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes 24 flowers

2 large or 4 small pineapples, peeled (I only bought one pineapple, and because it was my first time giving it a go, i admittedly only got like 5 decent looking flowers. If you need alot of them, and youre unsure of your cutting skills, probably get 2 pineapples)

Preheat oven to 110C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Use a small melon baller (or in my case a knife) to remove pineapple 'eyes.' Use a large sharp knife to cut pineapple into very thin slices. (I thought i wasnt cutting mine thin enough but just did my best, and they still worked really well, so dont freak out if yours arent paper thin, when they are dried out they shrink down a fair bit.) (Here is where im going to reference the aerial shot. My pineapple slices were all smooth and round, but i wanted them to look more like petals so i cut triangles out of the edges, i think you can see this best on the left flower. Up to you if you want to do it, i just like it this way!).

Place slices on baking trays. Bake until tops look dried, about 30 minutes and flip them. Bake until completely dried, about 25 to 30 minutes more. (Go a little more or less depending on thickness. Mine were done on the second side after like 20 minutes, so you just have to keep an eye on them). For curved flowers place them in a muffin tin, otherwise just leave them on a wire rack. (I dried mine on a rack but they still dried curved up). Once cooled, flowers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

jersey caramel cookies and the fimfam, a lovely mix.

A few months ago my mum found this recipe in the sunday paper by donna hay, it seems kind of un-donna-ish; jersey caramels dont scream class to me but hey, im not classy and am in no place to judge donna so i cut it out and saved it. I wasnt just saving it for any time though, i knew that if i baked this and my cousin wasnt around to eat them all, well, he might just never let me see his beautiful little kiddies again, and i just couldnt have that. so i held onto the recipe untill they came up for a visit. it sure was tough though. Finally the other week they came up and graced me with their super energetic presence and i greeted them with hugs, cheek pinching, and the only thing they really wanted, cookies with jersey caramels in them. oh and dont judge your cookies by mine, i got distracted (as per usual) and overcooked them a little. my peeps didnt seem to mind though, and we managed to eat a fair few of them before my cousin's middle child heath came and ate the jersey caramel out of the middle of all the leftovers. i can tell my cousin is a real dad because he ate the soggy chewed caramel-less biscuits heath left behind, ah, love.
day 2 of their visit we made our way down to the park. heres my little toby, not so little anymore.
An action shot of heath, his whole life seems to be an action shot, not sure if i have any photos of him not moving!
And my little goddaughter ruby doo, i put her on the roof, she seemed pretty okay with it.
Oh yeah, and the cookies i was talking about before! Donna's didnt spill over like mine, but i kind of like them like that, derish!
Caramel Cookies Donna Hay Makes about 16


  • 60g unsalted butter (i always just use normal butter, its probably an offence punishable by death in real baking kitchens so yeah, shhh, dont tell donna) (and possibly a little extra butter, see note in method)
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour (after months of using american and english recipes, i was so excited to actually be able to use self raising flour again!)
  • 8 jersey caramels halved (or if you can't get jersey caramels, just use any soft, chewy caramel lollies)


  • Preheat oven to 180C. Place the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  • Add the flour to the butter mix until a smooth dough forms. (My dough was really dry and crumbly so i just melted a little more butter and added it a bit at a time till it stuck together. As you can see in the picture they were still a little dry so i guess a little too much is better than not enough).
  • Roll tablespoonsful of dough into balls and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper. Press to flatten and top each with half a caramel. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden.

Friday, September 18, 2009

oreos and cheesecake and 21st birthdays, oh my!

So the other day was my sister’s boyfriend’s 21st. I’d already bought him an early birthday present in August (a 10 bucka copy of hotrod) but decided it wasn’t quite enough so I thought i’d give him the gift of cheesecake, martha stewart style. I got martha stewart’s ‘cupcake’ book a little while ago and have been using every excuse possible to bake the hell out of that book, its awesome, i want to bake pretty much everything. I’ve only baked like three and my oh my, it was a sin martha was ever jailed, how dare they take her baking abilities away from the world?? psht, whats a little insider trading when there are oreo cheesecake cupcakes to be baked!
One thing I have to say about martha’s recipes is that they always make ALOT. Doing the shop for these cakes was a little embarrassing, a kilo of cream cheese, two boxes of oreos, wow. I tried to work on my “dont worry, it isnt all for me, its a present!” face in the mirror before I went to the shops but it was too specific so i just settled for my “someone else gave me their shopping to do, what a crazy list huh?” look. No one actually cared though so it was okay. Just like when i was doing my shop for my baking stall at the markets, oh, i thought there would be gasps as i put all that flour in my trolley, at least an interested look, turns out everyone is just interested in their own shopping, sigh, what a world we live in. Okay back to it, here are some visual aids to help you to realise just how much you want to get your oreo cheesecake bake on.
The oreos, partway through me smooshing them to pieces. Well actually i just chopped them with a knife but i still kind of smooshed.
It’s no seafoam green kitchenaid (swoooon) but it mixes a kilo of cream cheese like that! (thats around where i clicked my fingers, didn’t you hear?)
In go the cookies… I didnt crush them up too much, if you do you just get the idea there are oreos in there, i wanted it to be all about the oreo goodness.
Okay so this next photo is good for several reasons. all the paper cases look pretty together you can see the oreo surprise at the bottom (shh, dont ruin the surprise for anyone else) you can see how high you’re meant to fill them, though i reckon you could even go a little more, i just got nervous) After they were all baked i got too excited by how cool they looked from underneath that i forgot to take a photo of them from above… lame. But heres the good part, when you cook them theyre just setting so they dont rise at all really, so they end up looking pretty much like they do before they go in to oven, so woo, it doesnt matter that i forgot, hopefully…
I only have two cupcake tins and so very lilttle patience, so I just got a brownie tin, put some oreos on the bottom and spread the leftover mix on top. I left the oven at the same temp and cooked it about half an hour i think? i should have paid attention. But yeah, just keep an eye on it, give it a poke, if its firm it should be good to go. I have to say that i kind of preferred this to the actual cupcakes. I havent had cheesecake in a while and the cupcakes themselves were very cheesecakey, which can be awesome but this was good because it had a thinner layer of cheesecake. Each to their own.
Now the recipe says to cool the cupcakes in their tins, then store them in their tins till serving. I think this is silly, i left mine in the tins for like ten minutes then checked them and the tins looked like this. Soggyyyyy. So i took them all out and cooled them on wracks then put them in containers and left them in the fridge. I was scared they would collapse or something but they were fine. Silly martha, so overprotective of her cheesecakes.

Okay now try and say that this is not supercool. I want to hear someone say it, i really just dont think anyone could. I dont even think it matters that we dont have a photo of the top of the cake, this MORE than makes up for it, right? yes, right!

So in conclusion, I’ve been told the cupcakes were a hit, they got a little slimy on top but my people didnt complain, i just worried. I would definitely make them again, theyre just a little different to the usual cupcake and yeah, awesome. Please enjoy them, care of martha!

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes Martha Stewart, Cupcakes Makes 30


  • 42 oreos (or the like) 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 910g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (i used castor sugar but im sure normal sugar is fine)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs at room temp lightly beaten (ive never really gotten the whole room temp thing when it comes to eggs. i never actually do it and it works okay…)
  • 1 cup sour cream (ive never made a cheesecake before, the sour cream freaked me out a little but it was good!)
  • pinch of salt

What to do with it all

  1. Preheat oven to 135C (seems super cold, i was worried i had converted it wrong, but hey, all was good!) Line standard muffin tins with paper liners, place one whole cookie in the bottom of each.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually, add sugar and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Drizzle in eggs a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
  4. Divide batter evenly among cookie filled cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wracks to cool completely. refrigerate in tins at least 4 hours, remove from tins just before serving. (Or be a rebel and do like i did! I know, im wild.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

baking: my blessing, and my curse. my super delicious curse.

So many nice, non fattening, portable hobbies out there. I look at those people on the bus, doing their Sudoku, looking all content and relaxed, all those people of an afternoon going for a run. Hobbies you can do almost anywhere, almost anytime. I was even one of those people once, I gave knitting a go, I would knit of an evening while watching telly, while talking with my roommates. It made me happy, then I realised that I had twenty scarves and lived in a climate that never really got past light jacket weather. Then I found that ‘500 cupcakes’ book and went ‘oh fun!’ I didn’t even care that there weren’t REALLY 500 cupcakes in there. However many there really were they were pretty fun. I thought the baking phase would pass, I starved it with 18 months in Japan with no oven, then I went mad on it, with a weekend filled with baking for a market stall I booked at the last minute but no, the baking hobby is like that guy that turns to liquid metal in terminator. I can’t remember the end of that movie, he might have died at some point, but from the parts I saw, he was really hard to kill, so yeah, thats my simile and im sticking with it. So i’ve decided to just embrace the baking. It’s causing bit of a rift between me and the old jeans I can’t fit into anymore but hey, who needs jeans when you have baked goods. (Oh god, I just pictured myself saying that again in like five years, when i’m one of those people who has to be moved out of their bedroom window by a crane, maybe i should rethink my attitude towards the jeans??) Hopefully this blog will be a step in the old jeans wearing direction. I’m hoping that by sharing my favourite recipes with you guys, I can live vicariously through the baking you guys do and maybe not bake so much myself? Fingers crossed.