Top 10 Baking Essentials

Top 10 Baking Essentials

I know it’s been a while since I last posted on the blog, and I’m sorry about that. I haven’t been in a good place lately (another blog post for another time), but I’m back and ready to post again! Today I’m going to be sharing my Top 10 Baking Essentials with you guys, so let’s get started.

  1. Mixing Bowls

Mixing Bowls

I couldn’t live without my set of plastic mixing bowls. They are so versatile and have a great non-slip base. Every home baker needs at least 2 mixing bowls of different sizes.

2. Rubber Spatula

Spatula

These spatulas are so useful for mixing batter, folding in egg whites and anything else that requires a delicate touch.

3. Measuring Cup & Spoons

Measuring Spoons Measuring jug

These 2 are an absolute must have. I would be lost without my Oxo Good Grips measuring jug and my set of measuring spoons. They are equally as useful for cooking as they are for baking.

4. Sieve 

Sifter Sieve

I use an old-school mesh sieve for all of my baking. It’s perfect for sifting flour and icing sugar. Saying that, I’m planning on buying a hand flour sifter because they are a lot less messy than my old-school sieve 🙂

5. Egg Separator 

Egg Separator

I use an egg separator almost every time I bake. It’s a must have for making marshmallow fluff or delicate cake batters. It’s so much easier and less messy than separating the egg in your hand!

6. Hand Mixer

Hand Mixer

I love my hand mixer, it’s incredibly versatile and perfect when you need to mix something quickly. I use it for egg whites, marshmallow fluff and whipped cream!

7. Stand Mixer

Stand Mixer

I was lucky enough to get my Kenwood Patissier Mixer for my 21st birthday. This thing is an absolute life saver when you have to make double batches of cake batter and of course my beloved marshmallow fluff. It’s definitely worth investing in a good quality stand mixer because you’ll end up having it for the rest of your life!

8. Cupcake Pan, Spring-Form Cake Pan & Baking Sheet

Cupcake Pan

Springform Cake Pan

Baking Sheet

These 3 are absolutely essential to any home baker. Having these 3 means you can bake just about anything, from the obvious cupcakes, cakes & cookies, to bread, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls and tarts.

9. Heat Resistant Glass Bowl

Heat Resistant Glass Bowl

I love my Pyrex glass bowl. It’s perfect to use as a bain marie when you need to temper chocolate and make meringue!

10. Small Saucepan

Small Saucepan

The last thing in my Top 10 Baking Essentials is a small saucepan. I use my Scanpan Impact saucepan to make cake batter, sauces, lemon curd and of course I use it as a bain marie.

I hope this small list of baking essentials can help you out in your day to day baking! Thanks for reading my little blog post and have a great day 🙂

P.S. You can get post of the items on my list from Yuppiechef Online.

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

I have been trying to create the perfect vanilla cupcake for some time now. There have been some serious trials and errors along the way (they still tasted good when they were smothered in custard!), but I think I have finally created the best vanilla cupcake ever!

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These cupcakes are super moist and are packed with awesome vanilla flavor. The buttercream is lusciously sweet and the sprinkles are just fun!

Too be honest, this recipe has been about a year in the making. Every time that I have made vanilla cupcakes in the past, they haven’t been quite right. It usually came down to texture (either too dry or too dense). There’s nothing worse than a chewy cupcake!

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The recipe is really easy and doesn’t require too much effort. The batter is very runny, but don’t worry, they bake up perfectly. The secret to the ultra-moistness is heating the butter, water, oil and vanilla together in a small saucepan over a low heat, until everything is melted. Once this mixture cools slightly, you mix it into the flour and sugar mix. Just to add even more moisture, I add in some buttermilk, 1 egg and some vanilla paste (for an extra vanilla kick).

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They are so yummy that you might have trouble stopping yourself from eating the entire batch (I know I did)!

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 2hr 30min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 250ml self-raising flour, sifted
  • 250ml sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 62.5g butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

Buttercream:

  • 125g salted butter
  • 3 & 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles to decorate

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake pan with paper cupcake cases.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, water, oil and vanilla extract and stir over a low heat until it all melts & starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 min.
  3. Mix the sifted flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla paste together in a small jug.
  5. Mix the cooled vanilla butter mixture into your dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Mix in the buttermilk, egg and vanilla paste mixture until it’s all combined.
  7. Fill your prepared cupcake pans with the batter. It will be very runny.
  8. Bake for about 15 min in your preheated oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  9. Buttercream: Beat the butter and vanilla paste until smooth. Add in the sifted icing sugar, 1 cup at a time and mix well. Add in 1-2 tbsp of the milk until your frosting is at a pipeable consistency, i.e. it should be soft, but still hold its shape and not drop off the spoon when lifted out of the bowl.
  10. Once your cupcakes are cool, pipe swirls of your vanilla buttercream onto the cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

Wedding Cake Nostalgia

Wedding Cake Nostalgia

I love food. I mean, I really, really, really love food. Baking is definitely where my heart is. I loved it so much that I decided I should share that love, and in 2010, I did just that by starting a cupcake business. I wanted to focus just on cupcakes, but I ended up straying into the world of wedding cakes (even though I knew absolutely nothing about it). I bought some books on how to make wedding cakes, watched tons of YouTube videos and slowly taught myself how to construct and decorate them. I really enjoyed it at first. I was so excited when I got my first cupcake tower and tiered wedding cake order. It felt great to share my abilities with my clients.

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I started learning new techniques like working with fondant (and making my own marshmallow fondant), making sugar flowers and different piping techniques.

Matthew and Annies Wedding CakeTop-Durban-KZN-Wedding-Photographer-Jacki-Bruniquel-057Purple Cake Company My Fair Lady Cake

Unfortunately, as time went on, I started to dread making them. I’d get up on the day of baking and wish that I didn’t have to do it. Baking had become a chore. The stress of making wedding cakes had taken its toll. It got so bad at one point that I couldn’t even watch the Food Network anymore (that was definitely a low point). I just couldn’t do it. I made the difficult decision last year to stop making wedding cakes. I needed to go back to my first love, my original idea of old-fashioned & decadent cupcakes. After stripping my business back down to basics, I decided that it might be a good idea to start this blog and share all of my favorite recipes (food that I love to eat) and experiments with you.

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Choc Mint Cream Sundae Cupcake

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I really hope you can travel this blogging journey with me and score some sweet recipes along the way!