As I am writing this post, I am impatiently waiting for my Google Chrome browser to be allowed access to my blog. It turns out that I have to rely on my backup browser, Mozilla Firefox, to sign in to my blog.
Sometimes, I wonder. Have we become slaves to technology? Access to the internet and the use of cell phones have officially become our next basic needs after water, food and air. Sadly, I am guilty of being enslaved to technology myself. When my internet lines are down, I feel helpless without access to my Windows Messenger, Hotmail and Blogger. Luckily, I am not much of an addict to Twitter and Facebook yet. Perhaps one reason would be that I am at present not an owner of a smart phone. I have to admit that I am slow in catching onto the technology train, for I am still using a Sony Ericsson non touch-screen flip phone.
Now that my cell phone is sending me hints of retirement having served a two-year term, I am evaluating my needs and the functionality of various smart phone models available on the market. Apart from the search for a new phone, I am also toying with the idea of getting a new camera.
My point and shoot digital camera (Sony DSC-T2) has been serving its purpose well when it comes to food photography. There is little need to adjust the manual settings and all I have to bear in mind is the minimizing of camera shake which will cause pictures to lose focus. What caught my attention initially is the touch screen capability which makes navigation throughout the interface a breeze. However, there seem to be a limit to the level of sharpness. Even with the aid of digital enhancement (I do simple edits in Photoshop), some pictures still look a little blurry.
As mentioned previously, I am in quite a chocolate mood these days since May is a month of Chocolate Delights, the theme for Aspiring Bakers May 2011. My idea of an ideal chocolate treat is one that is moist and fudgey/gooey. This Chocolate Mud Cupcake fits the description aptly, with its light moist gooey texture. When eaten warm, it is particularly comforting and even more so when accompanied with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delights May 2011, hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted.
Chocolate Mud Cupcakes (recipe adapted from Tempt: Cupcakes to Excite by Betty Saw)
Taste and Texture: Tender, gooey with tiny bits of almonds.
Serving size: 10 medium sized cupcakes
Equipment and materials:
- Cupcake liners
- Medium size muffin tin
- Electric beater
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring scale
- Wire whisk
- 30g cocoa powder
- 120ml boiling hot water
- 110g dark chocolate, melted and cooled (I used 63%)
- 110g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 165g brown sugar
- 100g ground almond
- 80g egg yolks
- 120g egg whites
Making the Cupcakes:
Preparing muffin tin - Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Preparing egg-yolk batter - In a large mixing bowl, combine the hot water and the cocoa powder. Stir well to remove the lumps and ensure cocoa is well dissolved. Next, add in melted chocolate, melted butter, brown sugar and ground almonds. Stir to obtain an evenly mixed mixture.
Using an electric beater, beat in egg yolks on medium low speed, one at a time, ensuring each egg yolk is well combined before adding the next.
Beating egg whites - In a separate clean metal bowl, beat egg whites on low speed until it turns foamy. Gradually increase the speed to medium high when the volume increases. The egg whites should stiffen in the process and the volume will increase about 6 times. Continue to beat the egg whites until they form medium-firm peaks. This is when the beaters are lifted from the egg whites, snowy egg white peaks are formed and they are slightly wobbly when the bowl is shaken.
Folding egg whites into egg-yolk batter - Fold one third of beaten egg whites gently into egg-yolk batter to lighten. Incorporate the remaining egg whites and fold gently to obtain a smooth, watery-foamy batter. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl to ensure even mixing.
Baking the cupcakes - Spoon batter into cupcake liners until they are nearly filled. The batter will not rise much. Bake cupcakes at 175 degrees C for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes will sink noticeably in the middle when cooled.
- There is no gluten in this recipe. Hence, it might be one factor why the cupcakes tend to sink and shrink.