marble cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Today I went grocery shopping, did my laundry, and watched The Good Wife and Miranda (finally done!) I also cleaned up my iTunes and started making alternate album artworks. And this happened:

I used my 55-250mm lens, after not using them for quite a while, and the pics turned out to be surprisingly.. nice. Guess it was worth the purchase? Mmhm.

I still need to learn how to make frosting. And to frost properly. Well.. there’s always tomorrow, yes?

Marble cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Baking Bites
makes 10 cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour – 2 tbsp
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

cream cheese
powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar, and add egg. Add half of the buttermilk, and fold in flour + baking powder + salt. Mix thoroughly and add the rest of the buttermilk. Add cocoa powder to half of the mixture. Divide batter evenly, half vanilla half chocolate, into muffin tins. Bake at 180’C for 25 minutes. For the frosting, mix cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Make sure that the cupcakes are cool before frosting.

That last picture is probably one of my favorite pictures ever. Just sayin’.


apple pie

Things I like right now:

    • The Good Wife
    • dolce far la niente, aka the pleasure of doing nothing
    • being in the kitchen
    • Coldplay
    • the smell of freshly baked apple pies

    Things I hate right now:

    • my inability to sleep before the sun rises
    • the ugly lighting in our kitchen, which basically makes taking pictures impossible
    • the fact that I can’t travel… until a month from now

    Whatever. I’ll just bake. Or cook. Or the two of them combined, whatever.

    Apple pie
    loosely adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe

    2 cups flour
    145 gr unsalted butter, cubed
    few tbsp of sugar
    cold water
    pinch of salt

    3 large apples, sliced thinly
    115 gr unsalted butter
    3 tbsp flour
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup water
    pinch of salt

    First make the crust. Put flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add cubed butter, mix until it forms a sand-like mixture. Slowly add water and continue kneading until it becomes.. a dough. Roll into a ball, cover with cling wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

    Put the sliced apples in a bowl. In a pan, melt butter and add sugar, flour cinnamon, and water. Cook until the mixture thickens, and pour into the bowl of apples. Mix thoroughly.

    Assemble everything, make pretty lattices if possible, and bake at 220’C for 15 mins, then at 180’C for 35 mins.

hello: cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glaze

Phew. Hi. Oh my god, I should probably start writing something decent as these words I’m typing right now will be the first words that are ever written on this blog. Hi. HI. *waves* 🙂

Okay, so after contemplating for quite a while, I decided to give food blogging a go! I’ve been reading food blogs for a while now (I normally read them before going to bed — and this normally results in me stopping myself from rampaging the kitchen at around midnight), and to be honest, you all amaze me. I have no idea how you guys can come up with such creative recipes, good pictures, and witty posts on a daily basis. I always thought I’d never, ever be able to do the same. I’ll probably blog once or twice, but then I’ll be like ‘meh this takes too much time’ and then time goes by and the next thing I know is that I can’t even remember my wordpress password and ta-da, that’ll be the end of it.

I’ve blogged a couple of times, I had this silly little blog back when I was in junior high (haha, reading those posts just make me want to laugh my butt off, I swear) and I’m pretty much on Tumblr 24/7 (okay, not literally), but I have never ever blogged about food – so I’m putting 100% effort! Woohoo. My goal is to at least cook or bake something that’s blog-worthy at least once a week. The term ‘blog-worthy’ is a bit vague, I know, (I mean, rice with fried eggs = blog-worthy, yes?) but let’s just see how it goes!

So, once again, hi! Welcome to Apple Pie & Espresso! Oh god I just realized that I haven’t even introduced myself — well, hi, I’m Manissa 🙂 I’m nineteen and I’m a college student living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands! I’ll set up a proper ‘About Me’ page soon, but let’s just say I love cooking and baking more than life itself!

Anyways, today I finished my exams for this block, and I thought I should give myself a treat by *drum-rolls please….* BAKING! I’ve been eyeing on this recipe for cinnamon rolls that I found on How Sweet It Is (fabulous blog, by the way!) and voila, I can say that I’m pretty happy with the result! I think I’m even on what people usually call a sugar high right now. Oh yeah.

I was really scared that they wouldn’t rise properly, and this is also my first time baking proper bread here in my new flat, and oh god I haven’t ‘played’ with yeast in years – but hey, there’s always a first (or.. second) time for everything, right? And just look at how gorgeous they are.

And my kitchen was a mess. A MESS. This week I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to chores and oh god dishes were piling up (hey I had to study!) and this cinnamon roll baking business resulted in a couple of dirty bowls etc but oh well, no worries, I cleaned everything up afterwards 🙂

And yes. It was crazy good. I told my friends I was going to bring this to our little dinner thing tomorrow — IF it turned out to be a success. But don’t tell anyone, I think I might say that it was a mess, just so that I can enjoy this heaven-sent good all by myself.

Or should I just make another batch tomorrow? Hmm hmm.

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glaze

loosely adapted from How Sweet It Is (I made it sans cookie dough!)
makes 1 pan

1 cup milk
1/4 cup peanut oil (that was all I had!)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp yeast
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

melted butter
brown sugar

3 tbsp cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk — just pour it slowly – so if the glaze reaches the desired consistency already then just stop adding the milk
a drop of vanilla essence

Scald the milk, oil, and sugar. Let the mixture cool for about half an hour (or longer). Once it’s lukewarm, add the yeast and wait for a minute or two. Then add 2 cups of flour, mix, and cover and let it raise for about an hour. Add the remaining flour, baking soda, and salt — and transfer the whole thing into a floured workspace. Roll and flatten the dough with a rolling pin (I don’t have one, sigh, I had to use my hands and a mug haha), and  brush with melted butter and then cover with brown sugar and cinnamon! Form a log, then cut into 1 inch long slices and transfer into a baking pan (don’t forget to brush the pan with melted butter!). Preheat your oven at 375 degrees and let the dough rise again for about 20 minutes. Then bake for about 20-25 minutes. While your oven is doing its job, start making the glaze by basically mixing all the ingredients. The glaze should have a syrup-like consistency, well, perhaps a bit thicker than syrup. Once the rolls are done, pour the glaze and….. indulge.

Now the entire flat smells like cinnamon. Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.