Hazelnut cupcakes


A simple recipe to make and the key is to incorporate air. So beating voluminous egg whites and sifting flour and icing sugar are steps that can’t be missed 🙂

I’ve modified the original recipe a little:
– 3 tbsp Ap flour (didn’t have cake flour)
– 2 large eggs
– 1 c almond flour (got mine at Trader’s Joe)
– 1/2 c icing sugar
– 2 egg whites (used liquid egg whites)
– 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (skip. didn’t have it. This is to stabilize the egg whites in the whipping process)
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp of sugar
– 2 tbsp melted butter ( replaced with olive oil)

1. Preheat oven at 400, found 425 is too high and the cupcakes were burnt in 5 min

2. Grease muffin tins and set aside

3. To minimize the washing, beat egg whites first to stiff peak adding the tablespoon of sugar and 1/8 tsp of salt to create a nice shiny stiff peak.

4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until it forms ribbon. Sift and fold in almond flour, flour and icing sugar.
It is important not to over mix the batter.

5. Gently fold in the egg whites follow by the melted butter or oil.

6. Pour/ scoop into muffin tin and bake for 8-10 min. Test for doness – insert toothpick should come out clean or touch top of cupcake it should spring back, smells good, looks golden.


Source: Opera cake recipe on epicurious

Take the cupcakes and dip into melted chocolate (with cream) and chopped hazelnut (from traders joe). ~ta-da



Last Weekend possibly?

Foggy SF

This past weekend was eventful.

Our good friend, Roy, cooked us a nice meal. Over wine and mussels we babbled till past midnight. Feeling full (*burp) and pampered, we walked the quiet streets of sf, we experienced the coldest winter described by Mark Twain with chilling winds pushing against us every step of the way. Truly is a local delicacy! 


We spend Saturday strolling along Filmore for Filmore Jazz Fest. Listened and wiggled to Kim Nalley as she mesmerize the crowd with her voice. The crowded streets and packed stalls of vendors successfully disguised Filmore for Jazz. Its a good revisit of the event since my very first visit to SF.

Filmore Jazz Fest

Never thought spending an hour or so at the park with a 3 year old can be so rewarding. We all realized that we are too old to chase/ run/ hop/ dance/ sing/ slide/ swing with her continuously over 5 minutes. But it was fun watching her piling up the wood chips, drawing large strokes, as if she was conducting her masterpiece, I can’t help to wonder what she is trying to express? In between playtime, catching up with close friends about parenthood and marriage life. Questions remained unanswered are why our men behave like Sheldon? hmm..

The park

To wrap up the weekend, we had a nice car ride to Sutro Tower and Twin Peaks to experience the fog, an SF signature! The trip ended with a visit to Sausalito – beautiful, clean and neat. We were lucky that we got seats, wine and dessert at Cafe Divino while being impressed by a live performance from Stafford and Sturdevant. Can’t have too much Jazz?! xp

Foggy SF

hopefully it won’t be our last weekend here 🙂

GG Bridge from afar






Macaron, a finicky kind of dessert

MacaronMacaron are basically meringues with almond meal and icing sugar, but what make them so finicky is that every step could lead to failure. For instance, I did not let the macaron dry long  enough resulting in a wet batter and a tray of cracked macaron.  If you would like to try this out yourself, be sure to watch Beth’s video and do some research online.

One of the most useful resource of all: Beth’s Foolproof French Macaron Recipe – YouTube

Beth explained in great depth the details of making macaron successfully.

I’ve used her recipe using measuring cups and the macaron turned out pretty good.


3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar (50 g)
2 cups confectioners sugar (200 g)
1 cup almond flour (120 g) (SEE NOTE BELOW)
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar (2 ml) * You can omit if needed, just may take a bit longer to reach stiff peaks but the recipe will still work)

Tips for success:

  • Since it is meringue based – be sure egg whites are at room temperature and without any fat from yolk
  • Print 2 pages of a4 circle as guide for piping – it’s faster than drawing 🙂
  • Make sure the dry material (icing sugar and almond meal) is sifted, the more times the merrier (like 2 times maybe)
  • Last but not least, allow the tray of batter to rest for at least 15 minutes before baking. More time is needed if the atmosphere is humid.

Have fun baking 🙂

Nutella Macaron