Tag Archives: dessert

Meringue Cookies

Happy Mother’s Day! And what better way to celebrate this occasion than to have your mom be a sensory panelist for your baked goods?IMG_1170This is Ricelessasian temporarily taking over the writing portion of the blog because Matchachoco was busy with schoolwork.

For a Mother’s Day post, I decided to bake meringue cookies because of their elegant appearance…perfect for the occasion! They are also simple to make and require only a few basic ingredients: sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar. A ‘PLUS’ about these treats is that they’re fat-free. But if you’re a huge fan of fatty deliciousness, fear not, because it’s also a very flexible recipe. You can top them with nuts, fold cocoa powder in the meringue mixture, add chocolate chips, etc. 🙂

I really enjoyed making these treats and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

-Ricelessasian

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A note about the recipe: Do not use liquid egg whites. I once tried the recipe with liquid egg whites and the meringue did not turn out as fluffy as I wanted it to be. You will not be able to pipe the meringue into swirls if you do not reach a fluffy meringue consistency.

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Meringue Cookies (makes about 20-25 medium size pieces)
I used Joy of Baking as a reference for the recipe.

Ingredients

2 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4  tsp cream of tartar
Any flavoured extract such as lemon, raspberry, almond, vanilla etc. (I used vanilla extract)
Food colouring (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, beat egg whites with an electric beater until it becomes foamy. Once foamy, add the cream of tartar and continue to beat.
  3. Gradually add sugar while beating the meringue, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not add the sugar all at once as it will deflate your meringue. Continue beating, until your meringue has reached stiff peaks and  smooth to the touch. Add flavoured extract and food colouring.
  4. Pipe the meringue into a baking sheet topped with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for about 1.5 – 2 hours. It depends on the portion size of each cookie and the humidity in your kitchen.
  6. After baking, leave the meringue cookies in the oven with the oven door slightly open for an hour or more. Store the meringue cookies in a resealable plastic bag. This will prevent the meringue from being sticky to the touch.

meringueMeringue has reached stiff peaks when you lift the whisk and stiff peaks form. You can also tell that the meringue has reached stiff peaks if you invert the bowl and the meringue does not fall off.

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TIP:  If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a resealable plastic bag (make sure it’s the thick ‘freezer’ bag type) with one of the corners cut off. When I use different colours for the meringue, I always use the same piping bag. Not only does it save on piping bags, but it also gives me a gradient effect whenever I change colours.

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P.S. In case you’re wondering why there’s only one whisk attached to my electric mixer, it’s because I broke the other one. 😦

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..And that, boys and girls, is why you should soften your butter at room temperature properly.

Avocado Lovers’ Double Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

Welcome to Underground Culinary Lab!

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To start off, me and my partner-in-crime (PIC), also known as Ricelessasian, wanted to begin our journey into the food blogosphere by creating a healthy yet decadent dessert. We love the idea of pairing a nutritious & fresh ingredient with a higher calorie item because we truly believe and live by the idea that there IS such a thing as a ‘healthy’ dessert that avoids compromising its delicious flavour.

We chose a wonderful recipe that we were both inspired by when we attended a Healthy Baking event at school. Few people would think of using beets in their desserts, let alone in cupcakes, because of their ‘earthy’ flavour, but we appreciated the subtleness of the beet flavour in the final chocolate cupcake product. TIP: using beet puree is an awesome substitute to using red food colouring that is au naturel when making THE People’s Choice dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes.collage1
Just recently, Ricelessasian thought of a way of ‘tweaking’ the recipe to making it even more nutritious…and at the same time, taste good! Instead of just plain dark chocolate frosting, we incorporated avocado to ‘up’ the omega-3 fatty acids (the GOOD fats), which made the frosting richer and more luscious. Though I doubted how it would taste like at first, just like I do with the notion of savory desserts, I love…love…loved them! The three empty cupcake liners are good evidence of that.

Hope you enjoy them too!

-Matchachoco

A note from Ricelessasian: Don’t put as much frosting as we did in each cupcake or it’ll be too rich. I got carried away with the frosting. 🙂

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Chocolate Beet Cupcakes (makes 11-12 cupcakes)
Original recipe by Maria. The only change we did was replacing the butter in the recipe with non-hydrogenated margarine.

Ingredients

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or butter
3/8 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5/8 cup skim milk
1/2 cup beet puree*

*To make beet puree, boil peeled beets in unsalted water until fork tender (it took us about 45 minutes). Once cooked, let the beets cool and slice into chunks. Puree beets in a food processor.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream non-hydrogenated margarine and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla; mix well.
  4. Mix flour mixture and wet ingredients (beet puree and milk) in three alternating batches, starting and ending with flour mixture. After each addition, beat well and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  5. Fill 11-12 cupcake liners with the batter evenly. Bake just until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

TIP: To get fuller looking cupcakes, make only 11 cupcakes.

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Chocolate Avocado Frosting (enough to frost 12 cupcakes with some leftovers)

Ingredients

2 large avocados
~50 g chocolate of your choice (we used 72% dark chocolate)
1/2- 1 cup powdered sugar*
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Skim milk (optional)

* Amount of sugar depends on what type of chocolate you use. Since we used 72% dark chocolate, we used 1 cup powdered sugar.

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate using double boiler or by heating in the microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing the chocolate in between intervals. This will prevent the chocolate from being overheated.
  2. Puree avocados in a food processor. You might have to add some skim milk if you have a difficult time pureeing the avocados. Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and melted chocolate to the avocado puree. Blend well.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to stabilize the frosting.

Feel free to make any adjustments to the amount of ingredients we used. This frosting has a strong dark chocolate twist to it.

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