Monday, August 21, 2017

Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream - #CIC

I'm late! I'm late! Sorry to my fellow Crazy Ingredient Challenge members. It's the end of the day on the 20th and I'm just typing this. It was bad planning on my part coupled with my electricity company hating me. I woke up early this morning intending on getting this done. I'd be a little late but not too late. I woke up to a message from my cousin - "There'll be no electricity today between 7:30 and 5." It was 6:41 am. Welp. That changes things. My phone wasn't charged and there were a ton of other little things that I needed to get done in 49 minutes. CIC would have to wait.

I don't know why there was a scheduled power outage - maintenance, perhaps - but I am back in the land of the living. Life without internet is rough! The lack of electricity, in general, sucks too. But one can make do during the day. No internet, however? That's no way to live. I finished a novel that I've been reading for a few months and fully intended on getting a bunch of other things done. But I napped instead.

Let's soothe our souls with cupcakes. The winning ingredients were chili powder and honey. Easy. But the easy ones always stump me. Luckily, I have people who think for me so it was JJ who suggested chili chocolate cupcakes with a honey buttercream. I'm supposed to share a cupcake with her. Uhm. Well.. Maybe if I pretended that I didn't make them then I don't have to share them? The chili powder isn't particularly strong. It's an underlying flavour. I think next time I'll skip the cinnamon so the the chili powder and cayenne can really shine. Experiment with the cayenne. I doubled the amount called for in the original recipe and I think I could definitely kick it up another notch. But someone else who is sensitive to pepper might not feel the same way.

Scroll down to see the other chili powder and honey recipes this month!

Chili Chocolate Cupcakes
(slightly adapted from Good Food; yield: 12)

115 grams of flour
60 grams cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
115 grams butter
200 grams sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
120 millilitres milk

Honey Buttercream 
300 grams butter
120 grams confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake wrappers.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time at beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Add a third of the flour mixture and half the milk - mix until just incorporated. Add another third then the rest of the milk. Mix again until just incorporated and then mix in the remaining flour.
Scoop about a quarter cup into each cupcake wrapper. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the buttercream.
Beat the butter until creamy and then slowly incorporate the confectioner's sugar. Beat until well combined and then add in the honey, vanilla, and salt. If the buttercream is too stiff, add a bit of milk. If it's too thin, add in some more powdered sugar.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Vegetable Steamed Buns - #BreadBakers

The Bread Bakers are turning off their ovens in favour of steaming this month with a steamed buns theme. It's perfect for me since I have not been able to use my oven since March 31. My stove has decided to be extra efficient and have the cooking gas last almost twice as long. Wonderful, really. It just that there isn't enough gas remaining to get the oven to the desired temperature. We can only cook on the stove top. Normally a tank of gas lasts about 7 months. This one was bought almost 13 months ago. Clearly, there's some kinda sorcery involved too.

Onto the steamed buns!

I've been obsessed with these little steamed buns for years now.  I first saw a cheeseburger filled version over on Willow Bird Baking. I didn't own a steamer so I just lusted. Three years later, baozi was the theme for Sourdough Surprises and I just had to try. Still no steamer but I rigged one with a plate. Not perfect but good enough for me. They tasted great but my shaping was horrible. It's a couple years later and my shaping is still horrible. They look good after the I've just shaped them but once they rest and then go into that steamer, they take on a shape of their own. I don't own one of those special bamboo steamers but I used a metal steamer basket that I had hanging around.

Scroll down to see what everyone else steamed this month!

Vegetable Steamed Buns
Yield: 12 buns
Dough adapted from Yi Reservation

230 grams all purpose flour
25 grams sugar
20 grams cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
120 ml water
1 1/2 cup steamed vegetables.
(I used callaloo, a Jamaican green leafy vegetable)


Whisk together flour, sugar, cornstarch, yeast, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil and then stream in the water. Knead for 10-15 minutes until you have a soft, smooth dough. The dough should not be sticky nor should it be dry. If it is sticky, sprinkle in more flour. If it feels dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it is soft and smooth.

Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for 45-60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out each ball into a 4 inch wide circle. If the dough resists, let it rest for a bit. Each circle should be thicker in the centre.

Add approximately 2 tablespoons of filling to each circle leaving about an inch uncovered around the edges. If you're great at pleating, pleat away! If not, seal as best as you can, it will still taste great.

Place the buns on squares of parchment and let proof for 30 minutes. You may have to seal them a bit more after proofing.

Steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Do not open lid while steaming. Enjoy warm.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Corned Beef Stuffed Muffins - #MuffinMonday

I've mentioned before (and by before, I mean a million times) that a typical Jamaican breakfast is savoury.  Some of my favourite sides include fried breadfruit, fried plantains, and fried dumplings.  Fried, fried, and more fried. Twice fried plantains are a huge favourite but when my mother would make fried dumplings, I would be in heaven!! For years, I resisted kneading dough and so I never made dumplings. Now that I do knead, the frying aspect gets in the way. Oil is always too hot or not hot enough. Breadfruit and plantains require much less finesse since they're ready to eat before frying.

Some days there would be a surprise inside the dumplings. My mother would take a piece of dough and wrap it around some corned beef, and then fry it. BEST dumplings ever. I decided to recreate that for Muffin Monday this month. Now the dough for a fried dumpling is very simple. Flour, baking powder, and salt are standard. You can then add water or milk or both. You can also add a splash of oil or some butter too. Some add a little bit of sugar. I decided to add onion, garlic, and pepper to my muffin. For the stuffed fried dumplings, you can sauté the corned beef in onion, garlic, and whatever you choose before stuffing it but that's extra work that I don't believe in.

But let me back up for a bit. I'm sure that you're reading "corned beef" and not picturing the corned beef that I used. When you say corned beef in Jamaica, you are referring to a strange looking thing that comes in a can. But the strange looking meat is delicious! I love sautéing it with various seasonings and adding mixed vegetables. That's the typical way to serve it. Corned beef sandwiches are popular too.

Now whenever I'm craving corned beef stuffed dumplings and not in the mood to fight with hot oil, I can just whip up some easy muffins. Want more muffin inspiration this Monday? Scroll down to see what the other muffin bakers made for you today.

Corned Beef Stuffed Muffins
(Yield ~ 10 muffins)

240 grams flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
a dash or three of black pepper
40 grams onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
240 millilitres milk
60 millilitres oil
1 egg
1/2 - 1 tablespoon of corned beef per muffin


Preheat the oven to 400F and prep a muffin pan - grease or line it with cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir in the onion and garlic.
In a separate container mix together the milk, oil, and the egg.

Slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Fill each cup about a quarter full with muffin batter and then top with some corned beef. Cover each with additional muffin batter.

Bake approximately 15 minutes or until the muffin is golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Best eaten warm!

Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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