Brownie Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting and Sea Salt

Brownie Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting and Sea Salt

Have you ever noticed how a contrast can help you realise how amazing something is?

I made 2 cupcake recipes over the past 2 weeks, ones that were just okay and ones that were so good they blew my mind (guess which one this recipe is?). The week before last I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes with a white chocolate frosting. Me and my hubby had been invited to one of his friend’s house and I wanted to make something for his kids.

Brownie Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting and Sea Salt

The frosting was not at all what I expected and making it was kind of tough. The white chocolate just did not want to melt and the end result was just okay. They tasted fine, and I even went ahead and did a photoshoot for them. I think I even went and edited the pictures, thinking that I would post them. But something kept holding me back. They were okay cupcakes, but nothing amazing. I was still debating about whether I wanted to post them when I made these last week. Holy COW.

One bite of these cupcakes made me realise everything I was missing with the other cupcakes. And yes, they’re a completely different recipe, but they made me realise that I didn’t want to post a recipe that I didn’t love. Because if I don’t love it, then how can I tell you how amazing it is?

Brownie Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting and Sea Salt

So let’s talk about these cupcakes. OMG. If you love chocolate, my friends, these cupcakes are for you! I’ve been experimenting with chocolate ganache lately and I finally made it as a frosting for these cupcakes. Again: holy cow. I want to dunk my face in this frosting. It was SO good. Rich and chocolatey, this frosting is not for the faint-hearted. Because it was so rich, I sprinkled some sea salt on top (aka my new best friend) and it was the perfect compliment to the decadent flavour.

The cupcake itself was so fudgy and chocolatey. It’s a brownie cupcake, so it’s a little more dense than your regular cupcake. Just like brownies, the trick to these cupcakes is to slightly underbake them to get that fudgy factor. If you overbake them, then you’ll get dry, cakey cupcakes, which no one wants.

Brownie Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting and Sea Salt

The best part of this recipe is that it only makes about 8 or 9 cupcakes. Why is that the best part, you ask? It means there are less cupcakes to consume because trust me, you’re going to want them ALL. One bite of these and my husband told me I couldn’t have any, because he wanted them all. -_-

Let’s take a look at the recipe!

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Friday Things

macarons

Hey guys!

What’s new and exciting? How was your week?

Today I had one of those days where I actually got a lot accomplished. Lately, I’ve been feeling so unproductive. I write myself a mountain of a to-do list but only get one or two things done. Today? I checked everything off! It’s just so satisfying to be able to check everything off your to-do list. Today I actually felt productive. So productive that I have enough spare time to write this post on a Thursday night. 😛

I took a macaron making class last weekend and it was the best. I’ve looked at the recipe for the classic French treat several times but I just backed away every time because it seemed so daunting and precise. But I found a class somewhat close to me and went on Sunday to learn how to make these delightful pastries. And I know you might hate me for saying this: but it’s not that hard at all!

It just requires a LOT of precision. You need to use a scale to weigh the ingredients, not measure them by cup. That already throws me off because everything I bake comes in cups and teaspoons. But not macarons! They also require some specific ingredients that you probably don’t have lying around in your kitchen. It’s also a lot of ‘just knowing’. Like you can’t overmix the batter or your wafers will come out hollow inside. You can’t overbake them. You have to slam your trays on the counter to get the air bubbles out. Your batter needs to be just the right consistency to get the little ‘feet’ to form. You get the idea…

Call me crazy or maybe it was because we had a chef showing us numerous times, but it actually wasn’t that difficult. Of course I have yet to attempt to make them at home, so let’s see what I say when I have to make them by myself. Also, I’m ITCHING to make them again but I need to buy a whole host of things before I can even dream of getting started. Oh, and you need to age the egg whites for at least a week! Crazy right? But despite the meticulous nature of the recipe, I enjoyed making them. It was challenging, and I’ve missed being challenged. Regular cookies and cupcakes seem like such a breeze compared to these.

My brother didn’t believe that I made these. I sent him the same picture above and he was like which bakery did you steal this picture from… I don’t think he believed me even when I sent him a picture of the cookies in progress! And my mom still doesn’t understand what these are; she always calls them macaroons and was confused when I sent her the picture. She was like, where’s the coconut? Lol.

Oh and did I tell you guys that I’m on a diet? But that didn’t stop me from having one every single day since I’ve made them! Seriously, I cannot stop myself! They’re just so delicious and I keep telling myself who knows when I’ll get around to making them. And so I keep making excuses to myself before I have one. I just washed a lot of dishes, so I need one. I’m having a bad day, so I definitely need one. I have a weird taste in my mouth, better wash it out with some macaron flavour. Do you see what I mean? But now I only have one left and I’m trying to save it. I don’t know what for, but all I know is that once it’s gone, there will be no more macarons. 🙁

In other, unrelated news, I’ve started working a new project that is taking up pretty much all of my time. I wish I could tell you guys, but it’s got to stay a secret for now. But know that as soon as I can, I’ll be sharing the news here. And no, there’s no baby coming for all of you who are immediately going to think that! -_- Every single person I’ve told this news to, automatically thinks I’m about to share THAT kind of news, after I tell them I have something to tell them. Seriously though, after you’re married, that’s the immediate conclusion people draw. Can’t there be other good news a girl can share?

But anyway, this new project is exciting and thrilling and lots of work. So if you don’t me around here so much, it’s because I am knee-deep in said project. I’ve had to re-shift some of my priorities as well because of this, so no more working out (it didn’t take me long to quit) and no more baking (for now).

I recently started this really amazing Netflix show called Daredevil and it is SO good! My brother has been recommending it to me for ages but I kept putting him off. (I really should listen to him more.) Then finally one night me and my hubby were looking for something new to watch together, since we have such different taste in TV, when my brother mentioned it again. I finally watched the trailer and we were hooked! If you like masked vigilantes, you will LOVE this show. It’s got a great cast of characters who have some serious baggage, including the hero who’s a blind lawyer, and a crazy sick but interesting villain. It’s not for the squeamish though (aka me) so be warned that there’s lots of blood and guts flying everywhere. At least for me. The best part is that it’s a Netflix original show and so all the episodes are there so there’s no waiting for new episodes. Season 2 was also just released and we’re trying to go through it slowly, because after this it’s waiting a year. >_<

Anyways, that’s it from me for this post! Hope you all have a good weekend.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

By now, you all must know how obsessed I am with the Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re my ultimate comfort food. I make them when I’m craving something chewy and chocolatey. As a creature of consistency, I like sticking to the recipe that has held through thick and thin for me. But now things have changed…

GUYS, I think I’ve discovered the secret to the most amazing chocolate chip cookies. And they involve chocolate chunks, not chips! Yes, that might seem like a fundamental thing to change, but trust me on this. It’s SO much better!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

When the chocolate chunks melt, they create these rivers of chocolate through the cookies that are absolutely delectable. Instead of having dried up chips, you have this gorgeous chocolate pooling throughout your cookie and it’s just amazing. And because of their size, you can probably still have a pretty good chocolate to dough ratio, if you’re big on that (like me)…

Adding chunks instead of chips (or in addition to, if you’re a chocolate-nut like me) might seem like an old hat. Ok, fine, it’s not that revolutionary. But add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt? And your cookies are suddenly on a whole other level!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

I love the combination of sweet and salty, and it is absolute perfection in this cookie. The salt provides a contrast to the sweetness in the chocolate and works to heighten it, if you can believe that. It’s just the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

Also, can I just make a small comment here about how photogenic these cookies were? I seriously felt like a photographer on Canada or America’s Next Top Model, going “Work it, girl!” “Give me that pouty face!” “Ooh, these angles on your face, girl!” Seriously though. These cookies were so beautiful with sparkly coarse sea salt sprinkled atop their gorgeous chocolate chunks. They were calling my name throughout the whole photoshoot. But I resisted. (Except obviously for that small bite I took for the purpose of these pictures. You’re welcome.)

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

Okay, enough of my rambling. Let’s get to the recipe! Continue reading →

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Friday Things

Hello friends!

So this edition of Friday Things is almost at the end of Friday night, but it still counts, right? It’s been kind of a crazy day but I had time to kill so figured I’d do a quick post.

So I have a confession: I just finished watching the last episode of Fuller House. And I actually liked it. Lol. Like so many kids growing up in the 90s, I loved watching Full House. It was one of the few shows I could watch with my (brown) parents, and they actually enjoyed it too! When I first heard about the remake/sequel, I was a bit hesitant, but then jumped on board when I watched the trailers. But after watching the first few episodes, I was a bit let down. The show was insanely cheesy. I guess it didn’t help that I had my husband watching it with me and he kept cringing every five minutes. He eventually gave up and I thought I did too, until I finished my Downton Abbey rewatching and decided to give it another shot. And I’m so glad I did!

The show is still cheesy. The humour is silly. The characters repeat many of the same lines. And there’s so many attempts to break down the fourth wall. But it’s still cute. And funny. And loveable. It’s like curling up with an old teddy bear, one you’ve outgrown but still have fond memories of. So if you’re looking for something light and silly to watch, I definitely recommend it! Especially if you watched and loved the original. Just try to look past the cheesiness…

In book news, I’ve been struggling with a book called Kingdom of Little Wounds, and it’s honestly one of the gruesome books I’ve ever read. It’s supposed to be a teen fairytale retelling, and while the concept sounded interesting, it just depresses me. It reminds me of cautionary tales masked as fairy tales and there’s also this whole sickness aspect to it. I really want to soldier on, but I feel like it might be on it’s way to becoming another Did Not Finish title. 🙁

I’ve also started dieting again. And it’s just so difficult! I don’t remember how I used to do it. The last time I lost a huge chunk of weight I dieted for about a year and it became so easy to me after awhile. But it’s only the second weekend and all I want are cookies and ice cream and pasta and pizza and everything else sugary or carby. Yup, it’s like when I’m fasting: when I can’t have it, I want it! I’m thinking about having cheat days on Saturdays again, like I used to, because I think it helps me stay on track the rest of the week and not cheat in little ways. I also tried to cut back on the baking, but my excuse is my husband, and so far I’ve made him sugar cookies and brownies in one week and sampled them both. 🙁 Ugh, why don’t I have more self-restraint!

But in related news, I HAVE been working out! I know, it’s crazy right? You all remember how much I hate working out right? And the truth is, I still hate it. But I’ve sort of found a solution. I find this link to some Jillian Michaels workout videos and I decided to try them out. In the beginning I was only able to do about 20 mins (including the stretch lol) but now I can do 40 mins! I know, I’m amazed too. I do it in the morning, first thing when I wake up, well before I have a chance to get lazy and skip. It’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t skipped a day yet 😀 I was starting to get bored of them, because I have to listen to the trainer say the same thing every single time I do it, but now that I can do most of the workout, I just put music on on my laptop while the video plays and I follow. It definitely makes it slightly less boring. Here’s hoping I get some results soon!

Anyways, it’s getting late and my eyes are closing as I type this. So I hope you all have a good weekend! I’ll be back soon to share a new recipe with you all. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Recipe: Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

So I’ve been suffering from a bout of laziness lately. I haven’t felt like doing much these days and seem to be stuck in a funk. All I want to do is rewatch episodes of Downton Abbey and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.

I started from season 1, episode 1, and it’s been so much fun watching the series again, after knowing what happens in the end. I loved it before, but now having all six seasons at my fingertips and being able to watch the whole show, has made me love it even more. It’s like reading a really good book that I can’t seem to put down!

And while I love watching the show, it’s made me abandon writing (for now). I was so sure I was going to start writing again, but I just seem to be in a funk and don’t feel like it. I’m still hashing out the plot and it’s such a slow process since my brain feels like mush these days.

Easy Chocolate Cake

I haven’t been reading much either. I recently read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. It didn’t grip me. I’ve recently started another Teen book but I haven’t really gotten into it yet.

But one thing I am into is this easy chocolate cake! If you’re feeling lazy (like me), then this cake is for you. Moist and chocolately, the chocolate ganache is literally the icing on the cake. It’s also not a complicated recipe or one that’s time-consuming so it’s perfect for chocolate cake cravings on ordinary days. Have a look!

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