Classic Brownie Squares

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa, unsweetened
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 200C

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, beat until light and creamy. Add cocoa, mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir, then add half a portion to the creamed mixture. Stir again then add the other half, mix until fully incorporated. Add chopped nuts.

4. Spread the batter into the floured/buttered/lined baking pan.

5. Garnish with more nuts on top then place the pan into the oven and bake for 8 to 11 minutes.

 

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My Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/2 all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups dark chocolate chunks

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Then add eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla.

3. Mix a half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and when fully incorporated, add the other half. Stop mixing if you see only little flour left then stir in chocolate chips. Let sit for about 10 mins.

4. Using your hands or an ice cream scooper, drop dough balls to the baking pan lined with baking paper

5. Place the baking pan into the oven and bake for 8 to 15 minutes.

 

Mocha Cake with Cocoa Espresso Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:

6 Egg yolks
1 cup Granulated sugar
2 tsp. Espresso/Instant coffee granules (I used Nescafe)
2 tsps. Cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp  Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tsps. Warm water
1/2 cup  Canola/Vegetable Oil
1 cup Cake flour
1 tsps. Baking powder
6 Egg Whites, at room temperature
1 tsps. Cream of tartar

Instructions:

1.Preheat the oven at 180C. Grease a 9 inch round pan.

2.Cream the sugar and egg yolks until you get a creamy light yellow mixture. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar till stiff peaks are formed.

3. Mix the coffee granules with cocoa powder and add the warm water, mix well. Pour this into the egg sugar mixture along with the oil and beat well to mix.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder over the sugar mixture. Stir until everything is blended well.

5. Fold in the egg whites into this mocha batter until no traces of whites are seen.

6. Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a stick inserted comes out clean.

7.Cool the cakes in the pan for a few minutes and then turn them on to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Recipe Notes: If cream of tartar isn’t available, you can substitute it with either white vinegar or lemon juice.

 

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cups evaporated milk
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

1. Melt chopped chocolate on a double broiler, stir thoroughly until smooth, remove from heat, then set aside to cool.

2. Using a blender, mix the milk and sugar and beat for a minute. Add vanilla and pulse. Add the melted chocolate and soft butter and blend for about 2 minutes. Beat for another minute or until thick and shiny; you will notice a change in sound, this means you already have the right consistency.

3. Pour icing to a bowl and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.

Recipe notes: MAKE SURE your unsalted butter is at room temperature before using. I learned to hard way and had to discard my almost finished icing to make a new one. The coldness of the butter destroyed the texture and so the icing had tiny bits of lumps. It changed the taste of the icing as well. Eeeck.

 

Three-Spice Carrot Cupcake

Ingredients:

2 cups All-Purpose flour
2 cups grated Carrot (2 large carrots)
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees.

2. Mix sugar, eggs (1 at a time), and oil until thick. Add salt, baking soda, carrots, flour, walnuts and spices and stir well until fully incorporated.

3. Put batter into cupcake pan with cupcake paper and place into oven for 8-11 minutes.

Recipe notes: Baking time always depends on the oven. So always check.

 

Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages) softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

Instructions:

With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.  If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

Recipe Notes: Make sure your butter and cream cheese is in room temperature if you want a smooth icing. I learned the hard way.. I had a lumped icing. Wooops.