Welcome to I Scream Kitchen! This is a blog to inspire you to try new dishes and make your cooking experience a pinch more fun!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes with Caramelized Centres

Red velvet cupcakes
Whether you hate or love Valentine’s Day, there is absolutely no excuse for you not to stuff your face with some delicious desserts! In love? Yes? Then make this for your loved one. No? Celebrate it with a cupcake! Until recently I hadn’t even tried red velvet cupcakes, and I really didn’t understand what the fuss was all about. After I did, my cake world was seriously shaken! Those are so incredibly moist and full of flavour; so much more complex than a plain old sponge. I made those for new year’s and gave the last 2 to one of my best friends for her and her sister, but after eating hers she couldn’t help but nom on her sister’s too (sorry to give out your secret!). Cupcakes do come before family!

The only thing I was concerned about those was the atrocious amounts of red colouring needed to achieve a bright red colour. As I’m not a big fan of additives, I didn’t put by far as much as I should have, so mine ended up on the brown side. If you decide you want them super red, you have to add enough red colouring to the mixture that it looks like blood, as it darkens a bit later. My cupcakes are covered with a delicious cream cheese frosting, which goes so incredibly well with them. On the inside there was a hidden surprise: a caramelized piece of white chocolate, which gave a lovely complex texture to the cake. But enough of me yapping, there’s the recipe:

Red velvet cupcakes
Red velvet cupcakes recipe
(makes around 9)

For the cake:
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup oil (I used sunflower seed, it’s very good because it’s tasteless, don’t use anything rich in flavour like olive or sesame seed oil!)
½ cup milk with a couple of drops of lemon juice in it
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ cup brewed coffee (room temperature, otherwise it will scramble the egg)
1.25 cup flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cocoa-plain
1 packet of vanilla sugar/ 5-6 drops of vanilla flavouring/ 2 tsp. vanilla extract/ 2 vanilla pods
Red food colouring (depends how much you need to use on the type you buy, just read instructions on the packaging)
Around 9 pieces of white chocolate
Cupcake/muffin baking tray
Cupcake paper wrappers

For the cream cheese frosting:
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup sifted confectioners’ (powder) sugar
2 tbsp. softened butter (no margarine!!!)
½ packet of vanilla sugar/ 3-4 drops of vanilla flavouring/ 1 tsp. vanilla extract/ 1 vanilla pod

1. Preheat the oven to 165 C/325F

2. Beat the egg with the sugar until creamy (with a mixer) then add slowly while mixing the oil, milk, vinegar, coffee, flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cocoa, vanilla.

3. Add the food colouring, as mentioned before, if you’d like a bright red cupcake, your dough must look very very bright red, as it darkens with baking.

4. Pour the mixture in a jug, so it’s easier to pour in the cupcake shapes.

5. Put your cupcake wrappers in the holes of the cupcake baking tray.

6. Pour the mixture in each wrapper, so it fills up to 2/3 of the wrapper. Add one piece of white chocolate (if you don’t have white, just skip it, other chocolate won’t fit as well with the other ingredients). The white chocolate will drop to the bottom and caramelize, making for a lovely rich milky caramel. If you’d like something different, you can also put a white chocolate truffle or a Lindor chocolate covered in flour, in the middle of your mixture (poor half of the needed mixture for 1 wrapper, put the chocolate, poor the rest of the mixture). This way your chocolate won’t drop to the bottom and make for a nice surprise in the middle.

7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

8. Wait for the cupcakes to fully cool down before you put the icing on top, otherwise, it will melt.

9. For the icing just beat together all the ingredients and with a butter knife spread it on top of each cupcake. I used a piping bag for a cleaner effect, but don’t expect to be able to make any shapes with it, as the mixture is a little on the runny side. If you’d like to decorate with the icing, you have to put more icing sugar, so the mixture stiffens, but then it won’t be as silky, light and delicious.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wholesome Creamy Butternut Pumpkin Soup

After a season of heavy and ultra-rich holiday dishes, followed by a busy exam period, all I’m craving is something easy, quick, delicious and healthy. Also, having in mind, that it is still rather frosty outside, I would really go for something to warm and cheer me up. This next recipe, as far as I know, originates from Australia, and was given to me by a lovely Dutch lady, who lived there for quite some time (hi Berdien!). When I tried it for the first time, I was amazed how this butternut soup could taste so amazingly creamy and heart-warming, and yet be so incredibly healthy and even good for the line (especially if you use light cream cheese). Furthermore, its amazing and vibrant orange colour can’t help but make you happy and brighten up your day. I made this right around my exams and enjoyed it for lunch, which was perfect as it takes a little over 30 minutes to prepare. However, if you don’t want to eat the same thing over and over again, it freezes perfectly, as well. I just can’t recommend it enough, and let’s face it, it is made of pumpkins, I’m totally partial!

Creamy butternut pumpkin soup

Creamy butternut pumpkin soup recipe
(Serves 8)

800g/1.8 lb cleaned and peeled butternut squash
1 large carrot, washed and peeled
1 red bell pepper (it could be a different colour but definitely not green!), washed and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup cream cheese (I like using a light one with herbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Drizzle pumpkin seed oil (optional)

1. Bring 1l/34 oz lightly salted water to the boil (better use a 2-2.5 l/68-85 oz  pot). It is important that the veggies are put in the already boiling water, so that the colours are preserved.

2. Put the butternut squash, carrot, bell pepper, onion and garlic in the boiling water. The veggies don’t need to be cut finely at all, as they will be blended with a stick blender later. Boil for 30 minutes.

3. Blend the soup with a stick blender (or whatever blender you have/ pass it through a sieve). Add the cream cheese and blend again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. You can definitely stop at step 3. The soup is beautiful just by itself. It tastes creamy and rich even though it is quite healthy. However, if you would like a different variation, you could add any spices to completely change the feel of it. Add some thyme and oregano and/or crisped up Prosciutto and you have yourself an Italian inspired creation. I have also tried it with a Chinese 5-spice and it turns into a completely different dish. My favourite must be the Austrian style of serving it, with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and roasted pumpkin seeds. You can be as creative as you’d like, this dish allows it. Bon appetit!

How does this recipe sound to you? Yummie?