Simple treats, Simple recipe and very little time

So I came across a recipe on the internet the other day that I finally decided to try out. The thing about this recipe that was so intriguing is that it stated all you needed was a microwave!

Now admittedly, you can’t feed an army this way, but it’s an easy way to cook 2-4 personal treats without having to use the oven. And if you’re living in a warm area of the world, you don’t always want to turn that puppy on.

I’m a fan of short and simple, and this doesn’t require any strange ingredients other than possibly cake flour. (Using all purpose makes the texture dryer, more like bread and less like cake)

 

So without further ado, heres the recipe! (Makes 2)

 

For the cupcakes:

4 tablespoons of chocolate ice cream, (don’t do non-fat)

2 tablespoons of cake flour, (If you use all purpose flour the texture gets all messed up

1/8 tsp baking powder.

 

For the ganache topping:

1 cup semisweet chopped chocolate,

1/4 cup heavy cream

 

 

1) Alright, now combine your chocolate ice cream with your baking powder and flour, and mix with an electric mixer until there are no flour chunks left. You want it to be smooth.

Split up your batter into two regular silicone cupcake liners. Microwave each one individually for about 30 seconds.

2) Microwave heavy cream until it begins to bubble and boil. Pull out immediately, and place in a bowl with your chopped chocolate. Use a big wooden spoon and stir until your ganache forms. If you can’t melt the chocolate completely on the first try, stick it in the microwave again for a couple of seconds, (not more than 10-15 seconds at a time otherwise chocolate will burn) and stir again.

 

Afterwards, place in the refrigerator to get it firm and malleable for frosting. If it gets too hard, place in the microwave for a couple seconds again :)

 

 

Frost your cupcakes with your ganache, and indulge in a special kind of personal bliss, with no oven needed ;)

Cornbread poppers

Recently, I was looking for new recipes to use our silicone baking cups and had an epiphany. Why not take a great recipe and just make smaller portions?. So, I did. I found a great cornbread recipe online that we’ve used in the past and made a regular batch.

Instead of pouring the batter into a single baking pan I used mini-silicone baking cup molds and regular sized silicone baking cups molds. They turned out to be an exceptional snack that could not be ignored. IMG_3284

A couple of notes on the cornbread recipe: It calls for 1 cup of cornmeal to 1 cup of flour. All of us have our preferences regarding taste and texture. So after your first batch, play with the flour and cornmeal ratios to get a good texture/taste result. I’m not a big fan of “cakey” cornbread so I used a little more cornmeal than flour.

Some recipes substitute honey for sugar, so bake at your own preference.

We did make a honey – butter mixture that goes well with the cornbread and its supper addicting.

IMG_3282

 

The cornbread “poppers” came right out of the silicone baking cups and looked great all stacked on a platter for the meal. They were bite size and….”you can’t have just one.”

The next time you are looking for a new recipe or a new way to enhance an old recipe, try different sizes. Contrary to popular belief, size does matter.

 

Happy Baking,

M

What Makes Silicone Baking Cups So Special?

The Phenomena Called Cupcakes

Creating blog-worthy cupcakes requires the perfect recipe, well-honed culinary skills, an artistic eye and the proper equipment like silicone baking cups. Within the last two decades, the simple cupcake evolved from plain miniature cake to an artistically decadent pastry. The cupcakes I have tried to bake have all the variety, flavor, rich texture and aesthetics one gets from specialty shops at premium prices. At home, these can be replicated easily with proper paraphernalia such as trusty silicone cupcake liners.

DSC_0169

Though all of what I have mentioned above requires an investment of time, money and personal devotion to the art of baking, a true foodie will never regret having all the essentials in making a cupcake masterpiece. For this, the handy and resilient silicone baking cups will never disappoint you. So let me show you how convenient, economical and fool-proof this cupcake baking aid is by a comparison below of the traditional types of cupcake liners and the silicone cupcake liners.

The Traditional Types of Cupcake Liners

Paper Liners. These are ordinary paper liners that have no grease lining at all. These liners are the most affordable. However, proper presentation is not guaranteed because paper liners permit the shortening from the batter to seep through. This is especially difficult for the newbie in baking cupcakes.

Glassine. Glassine paper liners are shiny before use. These are more resistant than plain paper to oil and moisture. Being steam-treated during the manufacturing process makes this type much resistant to grease. These liners also come in different colors that are lovely to behold.

Foil Liners. Foil is the most resistant to grease and moisture. They come in silver and gold colors and give the finished cupcakes a premium cachet. However this is not really sturdy.

Die cut. This type of cupcake liner is exactly what the term suggests because these liners come in different cutaways and shapes. Unfortunately, these liners are only for decorative purposes and for most of the time, aren’t made to last. One needs to use a different liner for baking and transfer them to another set for serving. This is an expensive cupcake liner.

Silicone Cupcake Liners. Instead of a paper base, these cupcake liners are made of pure food-grade silicone and come in various colors. Silicone molds come in different shapes, too. Silicone baking cups are reusable, surviving the rigors of microwave and regular ovens, as well as soaping and rinsing in the dishwasher.

yogurt cupcake 2Silicone cupcake liners are so firm they hold their shape and need no cupcake baking trays. They can simply be placed on top of ordinary cookie sheets and popped in the oven. That’s a saving right away in baking supplies. Let’s face it fellow foodies, who doesn’t love the idea of simplicity and convenience while enjoying your yummy treats?

Silicone  baking cups also let you dispense with paper liners. One can simply spray a light coat of oil within the silicone cupcake mold and pour the batter directly. That means you can pop the baked goodies out with no mess, no fuss. After the cupcake finishes baking, it can be left to cool and the silicone cups can be easily peeled away. Since this is a method that saves much time, more baking enthusiasts have begun to patronize the silicone baking cups.

The cupcakes can be transferred to any decorative container or served as it is. Generous dollops of icing and cream on top will make your cupcake tastier for children and those with a sweet tooth. The home baker can serve the cupcake in the silicone cup to take advantage of the decorative shades and shapes.

Unlike foil or paper linings; silicone baking cups aid in baking the cupcakes evenly and this makes the food taste even better. Heat is spread evenly through the mold, making sure that the outside is as moist and perfectly cooked as the inside. This is because the silicone cups are made from the finest materials.

silicone baking cup quiche

Silicone cups lend themselves to other uses in the kitchen too. With this, you can bake single omelets, have fun with Jello, store baby food or make mini-loaves and quiches. Isn’t this just one of the best kitchen essentials you can have?

In Conclusion…

Silicone cupcake liners are economical, sturdy and reusable. They aid in cooking the cupcakes evenly and can be used to prepare other fun dishes. Coming as they do in different sizes, shapes, designs and aesthetically pleasing colors, silicone cups are quite frankly the best option for silicone baking cups.

If you found this blog informative, feel free to comment below. Enjoy baking! J

How Green Are Silicone Cupcake Liners?

 IMG_2549

Overview on the Silicone Cupcake Liners

With the cupcake craze all over the planet, more baking enthusiasts are searching for the finest and greenest materials to help them create this mouth watering delicacy. One good choice for the environment conscious cupcake aficionado is silicone made baking products. So, if you have been waiting to try silicone cupcake liners, here’s something that ought to push you over the edge. Silicone cupcake molds are a great convenience not just due to the affordable price but because of doing the job perfectly! What makes this product more interesting is the possibility of reusing it for years. This means less guilt on your part – less food trash destined for your landfill.

A Great Baking and Serving Aid

IMG_2557Not only do they come in colorful shapes, but the Silicone cups are a great way to make muffins and cupcakes. Firm cupcakes are always wonderful to hold. With the shape of each silicone cupcake liner, you can achieve this. So forget the traditional means of baking cupcakes.  With this new cupcake liner, all you’ll have to do after preparing the cupcake batter is to stand the sturdy silicone cupcake liners on a baking sheet. Then pour the yummy batter you made and soon you’ll be ready to pop the eagerly-awaited goodies into the oven. Fairly easy.

The silicone cups I’ve seen come in least three lovely pastel colors: pink, lilac and canary yellow. Hence, they make for great color variety when served to little children and visitors. You can bake a big batch and not have to worry about storing them for the children’s party the next day or church bazaar this coming weekend.

Silicone cupcake molds are sturdy and hold their shape well even when refrigerated, frozen and reheated. Just remember to apply frosting and candy bits only after you have taken every cupcake out of the mold.

Silicone cups are like every baking pan and implement. Hence, proper care is a must for each of these cupcake liners. One good reminder is to grease them properly before pouring batter. This will make sure that extracting your goodies will be a breeze.

Some complain of how messy it can be since they have forgotten to grease the silicone cupcake liners. In fact, this happens not only to the silicone cupcake liners, but to almost every other cupcake liner. Why?

This is what happens – you keep trying to peel off the sides and simultaneously push up from the bottom. However, unlike paper cups and molds, the advantage of the silicone cupcake molds is they do spring back. Dig too hard and the cupcakes disintegrate. The solution, as any expert home baker knows, is to apply a thin layer of shortening so the batter does not stick. Another quick remedy would be to spritz lightly with nonstick spray and the baked goodies will spring out without a crumb left.

The Secret to Reusing and Recycling

Wash lightly and with soap and warm water. Silicone cups can be used over and over again. That is the secret to economical baking and reducing your ecological footprint. Pure silicone cupcake liners are non-porous. No matter how carefully one peels off paper cups, there will always be plenty of crumbs inside and the outside gets saturated with grease after one use.

Even the metal ones are so thin they quickly lose shape – but never with the silicone cupcake liners! When properly spritzed, pure silicone cups are easy to dispense from. Hardly any crumbs are left behind, as mentioned earlier. The ease in cleaning and storing is just an answered prayer for the baking enthusiasts – especially the busy moms who only want the best for the whole family.

One last precaution: choose carefully when buying your first set of these silicone baking cups. Some imported brands contain fillers, which can be toxic. You’ll recognize these potentially toxic fillers because the cups turn white when you give them a firm twist.

Silicone cupcake liners are an excellent choice for home baking because they are colorful, sturdy and can be used over and over again. They’re a great salve for your conscience, save money and help you do your bit for Mother Earth.

For more product information, just click this link – Silicone Cupcake Liner – this is the real deal not just for your baking adventures, but for the environment as well.

Happy Baking,

If you find this blog post informative, do leave your comments and suggestions below…

Meat loaf saves kids from Lentil over dose.

I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s and had quite the child hood rearing. At one point, my mom found God and decided to jump into a vegan lifestyle before it was a keyword. :-) That said, growing up I heard about meat loaf from friends, that actually ate meat, and I was always a little skeptical. The reason I say that, for a time, we didn’t eat meat….. AT ALL. So, my mom’s version of meat loaf was “Lentil loaf.” Yea, I kind of reacted the same way too the first time I heard it. Lentil loaf, or at last the one that was prepared for us, was the vegan version of meat loaf. I am sure there are great recipes out there for lentil loaf and nothing against them, but I’m just not a fan. My only salvation in powering through that stage of our child hood was the ability to finally use ketchup!

When I finally did put myself out there, and this was years later, to try homemade meat loaf, I was pleasantly surprised. There have been dry meat loaves and different recipes, but over all a good meat loaf is great comfort food and the perfect left over.

That said, here’s a link to a great meat loaf recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-meatloaf-ive-ever-made/

With a twist. Try using silicone cupcake liners to make mini-meat loaves. You may just save the world of child around you.

There’s a limited time offer for a discount on silicone cupcake liners. Save $3 dollars with this code: QM4VWMUA

Ingredients 

  • Brown Sugar Meatloaf
     Original recipe makes 12 servings
  • 7 buttery round crackers, crushed
 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the onion and garlic, beef, crumbled bread, crushed crackers, egg, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 can tomato sauce. Gradually stir in the milk 1 teaspoon at a time until mixture is moist, but not soggy. (Transfer the mixture to a 5×9 inch loaf pan.)  or Transfer mixture to cupcake molds; fill molds to 3/4 full or to top.
  4. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 40 minutes. (check mini-loaves for temperature and for being done) If not done, continue baking 15 minutes, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
  5. You may want to do this next step towards the end of the original baking time, depending on how done the mini-loaves are at the end of the first cooking segment. 
  6. In a small bowl, mix the remaining tomato sauce and ketchup. Pour over the top of the meatloaf, and continue baking 10 minutes.

Kitchen-Friendly View

  • PREP15 mins
  • COOK1 hr10 mins
  • READY IN1 hr25 mins

Footnotes

  • Cook’s Note:
  • The milk is optional, and is added due to my high altitude and dry climate.

Happy Baking

Its Easy Peel at every level

Silicone cupcake liners and tupperware….. now you’re on to something

We have two young boys both under the age of 4 and packing a lunch or food on the go can be a tough proposition. However, I was able to put my silicone cupcake liners to work recently. As most moms and dads know, when their Little “independent” kids get to a certain age they like to eat on their own. So, we figured out a way to facilitate their independence and give them the variety they need in their meals. We cut up portions of lunch meat, cheese, fruit, and a quesadilla and put each in their own cupcake liner in a Tupperware container. Perfect for good food separation and easy to travel. The kids loved it and it made for easy clean up. I’ll have to post a few pictures soon.

If you find more uses for cupcake liners post them here and share with the world.

 

-M

Banana bread muffins perfect with silicone cupcake liners

So I’ve been jumping in with both feet using these cupcake liners and found that if it can be baked, it can be put in cupcake liners. I recently did a banana bread recipe and instead of a glass baking dish, I used the cupcake liners and they came out beautifully. The recipe calls for them to bake for an hour. After letting them cool, I realized in smaller portions I should have baked them for 45 minutes and checked. The positives out of the finished recipe were that the banana bread muffins came out great, they had a little crispy exterior and chewy interior. They were the perfect snack size and hard to resist.

Here is the recipe I used:

Banana muffin Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour (debatable: check at 35 minutes; I recommend 45 minutes or a little longer for a crunchier crust)
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar (the original recipe called for 1 cup or 3/4 cup but I backed off the sugar as the bananas are naturally sweet)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt – (I made one batch with salt and one without. Not a lot of difference)
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into the silicone cupcake liners on a cookie sheet and bake for the recommended time (45 minutes – 1 hour)  Cool on a rack. Remove from liners and serve.

They make for great snacks on the go and good for lunch time treats.

 

The world of Silicone cupcake liners

Who would have thought there are so many uses for Silicone cupcake liners. They are innovative, compact and easy to use. Before we get into the multiple uses, lets talk about baking. After all, that is what they were intended for in the first place.

We’ve used them for baking muffins and cupcakes but did you know they are perfect for poaching eggs, creating popsicles, jello molds for all kinds of jello ideas including Jello shots. You can make your own baby food and freeze them in the cupcake molds for perfect portions. You can make mini omelettes for breakfast. Use the molds to create chocolate bowls for that next dessert idea. Freeze your juice mix in the molds for smoothies. Frozen yogurt pops are fun too.

Non baking uses range from candles, to crayons, to shaving soap molds, body butter bars, mini vase for flower arrangements, and use the cupcake mold to open bottles. Put the cupcake molds in drawers to help organize smaller items and clean up clutter. Use them in lunch boxes or Tupperware for food separation. You can even use them to roll garlic.

Every kitchen should have a set of 12. You don’t need to have the cumbersome muffin pans anymore that are a pain to clean and take up space. When using them in the oven, you simply place them on the cookie sheet and bake.

Pick up a cute pastel set here: http://www.amazon.com/Silicone-cupcake-liners-decorative-guarantee/dp/B00CC1C8LY/

If you can think of additional uses for these molds, please post a reply. We look forward to hearing from you.

-M