Thursday, July 29, 2010

Valentine's Day Cupcakes..

I would just like to share you guys about my first High Humidity Icing. If you may notice on the picture below, the icing was cracked. It's because the consistency was too stiff. It was my first time to use High Humidity Icing so I was a little hesitant to add more milk.

These cupcakes were ordered by Ms. Tricia of ZAP!, where my husband used to work in 2007. They ordered it as a Valentine's Day gift for their clients. They liked the taste of the cake and the frosting so far. Flavor of the cake was Banana. I know it seem a little outdated, I just want to show you guys that I somehow progressed in frosting piping. ;)

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.. Indeed..

I have this recipe for years and it has always been my family and friend's favorite. I got the recipe in a cookbook my friend Fleur Zara gave me titled 'Heavenly Chocolate Recipes' and since then, I held on to it. I've already tried other recipes but they didn't suit my taste.

Photo taken by Jobert Monteras

The moment my friend gave me the book, we tried the chocolatechip cookies recipe right away and we didn't expect it to be that good. It is crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. The quick cooking oats gave it the perfect texture a chocolatechip cookie should have. You could even add nuts or substitute raisins to chocolate chips if you want to make it more healthy.

Every time I bake these babies, my daughter would get a chair, put it in the kitchen, check if it's already cooked from time to time and watch every movement I make. She can literally eat a handful of cookies fresh out of the oven. She is my biggest fan.

Here's the recipe and see for yourself.. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2 dozen

1/2 cup Butter (softened)
3/4 cup White Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Water
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Quick Cooking Oats
6 ounces Chocolate Chips

  • Preheat oven to 350'F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine butter, sugars, egg, water and vanilla and beat well. 
  • Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add oats and chocolate chips and mix well.
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking tray and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. 

Note: If you want outstanding results, use the best brand of ingredients there is. :)

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies on FoodistaBest Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Friends for Life..

Last Saturday (July 10), my friends Ram Medina, Jaja Gonzales and Gale Barcena back in HSBC where I worked in 2007, paid me a visit. Ram brought us her mom's famous Crispy Pata and Sisig, Jaja brought Lechon Manok. Gale came a little late and she wasn't able to prepare something, which is fine coz her presence is important more than anything else. Our friend JL didn't make it for some reason we haven't figured out yet, but we're pretty sure it's credible. We know JL, she keeps her promise, so maybe something more important came up. :)

The Arrival..

I baked Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream frosting (an all time favorite) for them . We spent the whole day feasting, talking about the good old days, endless picture taking and swimming. Ram requested for Spaghetti so I asked my Mom to cook. The food was awesome. The Crispy Pata was breath taking as well as the Sisig. The Lechon Manok was very appetizing because of It's mild sweetness. Mom's Spaghetti was sensational, as always. :) We're only four, but we have enough to feed ten. :)

this isn't actually the consistency I was aiming for..

It was sad that at the end of the day, we had to go our separate ways again. After all these years, they haven't changed a bit. It was so much fun being with them, no dull moments, just plain fun. Though I was thinking of what happened to JL that whole time, hoping she was just trying to surprise us, with ice cream in hand. But it's all good. :)

It feels really good to have true friends that's going to stick with you, for better or for worse, through thick and thin. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kursten's Birthday

December 5 of year 2009, we celebrated Kursten's 3rd Birthday at McDonalds Glorrietta. We were actually aiming for McDonalds El Pueblo, the one in Ortigas but it was fully booked. It was only 3 days before the date that we were able to find a venue and lucky for us, it was near both mine and my husband's office. 

I was actually having second thoughts about the cake, to buy or to bake? But I've decided to just bake them myself, since it was my baby girl's special day.

The cupcakes turned out pretty good. I made 50 Butter cupcakes and just accessorized it with candy toppers.  I bought a cupcake tower (gold is the only available color that day) for a better presentation. It looked proffesional ;) for a rookie like me. I also brought boxes for individual cupcakes in case anyone wants to take it home. Everybody loved it.

It was a great party coz our families, friends and colleagues were there. Though Kursten had a tantrum the entire day, we still managed to have a great time.

Food was fine, the usual of course. We chose the best package available. All in all, the party was a total success despite of the last minute preparations. My husband and I were contented that the people who attended had a great time as well as our Baby Girl. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Baby Shower Cupcakes

Last June 28, my friend Richie sent me a text message saying that he's going to hire me in baking cupcakes for a family member's baby shower. I excitedly accepted the order since I wasn't able to bake for awhile because of my husband's conditions (I'm not going to elaborate :D). Richie confirmed the order of 60 cupcakes in 3 flavors (Mocha, Chocolate and Butter). 2 days before the delivery date which is on July 3, I went to Sweetcraft in Boni Avenue for ingredients. Prices of ingredients are pretty high at the moment but it didn't matter since I am baking for a friend.

I started baking the next day at 11:00 AM. It was a little hard for me to bake and take care of my daughter Kursten at the same time. I have a small oven that can bake only 12 cupcakes at a time, I had 3 flavors to mix with just a hand mixer and a lot of baking utensils to wash. I usually wash my baking utensils right after using it because it makes me more comfortable since my kitchen is a little crowded. I had a little trouble with my chocolate cupcakes recipe that I can't figure out so I had no choice but to do it again. I finished frosting the cupcakes at 11:30 PM. I was so exhausted.

Been longing to grab one..

The next day, I was supposed to deliver the cupcakes to Tomas Morato, QC. but my Mom had to go to the hospital and nobody-else was available to take care of Kursten so I asked Richie to pick the cupcakes up instead. He came with his beautiful wife Rina at 3:00 PM.

2 days later, I uploaded some pictures of the cupcakes on Facebook and found a notification that Richie made a comment on my photo album which made everything worth it.
"FYI sold out cupcakes mo, and everyone found the designs so adorable! My nephew must've eaten 10 all by himself.. I had around 4 hehe"
I was so happy that all of my hard-work was paid off and I was able to make people happy with what I created. 

photo taken by Rina.. 

 I've came to the realization that my love for baking is unconditional. That it doesn't matter if I always get tired baking hundreds of cupcakes with just a hand mixer, that my oven can only bake 12 cupcakes at a time and that my kitchen is too small for home baking business. None of this matters to me. A little dramatic, but true. :D

It's Blueberry Week..

I was craving for blueberry flavored deserts for the past few days of April, so I came up with the idea of making Blueberry Cheesecake. The funny thing is 'I don't eat cheese', any type of cheese at all, because the smell makes me feel nauseous. My relatives call me 'Keso' though. I find it annoying when I was little but got used to it eventually. It's a little crazy but I took my chances. 

next time I'll do better with the plating.. :D

I got lucky in finding the perfect recipe that satisfied my taste. Not too sweet and cheesy, just right. The consistency of the batter was awesome and I got that by not putting too much gelatin in the batter. I reduced the amount of gelatin by half a teaspoon and it divulged the natural texture and creaminess coming from the cream and cheese mixture. Though the blueberry pie filling I bought wasn't that good because the brand I was aiming for wasn't available, It still became a huge hit. My husband and Mom loved it. Surprisingly, I loved it as well. Cheese isn't so bad after all. Think I'm going to stick to this recipe for awhile. After all, there is always room for improvement.

2 days later, I bought Yummy Magazine to check out the featured recipe of Pastry Chef Aileen Anastacio. I've tried a couple of her recipes for the past 2 issues of Yummy Magazine and it was both delicious. Just in time! The featured recipe was Blueberry Muffins. No second thoughts and I went to the grocery store for ingredients. Apparently I wasn't able to bake it that day because there's no available blueberries in that store. So I went to Rustan's the next day and lucky for me, they still had 2 packs of blueberries left. Though it's not that fresh already, I went on and bought it. Tadaaaah!! :D

fresh out of the oven..

The recipe was just as I expected, "outstanding". Though it took 40 minutes to bake (it was supposed to be just 1 tablespoonful per paper cup for 20-25 minutes, but I made it 2), the texture was perfect. It has this blueberry burst and buttery flavor, not too sweet yet very moist sensation that was indeed mind blowing. The streusel on top gave it a little crisp that blended well with the soft and cake-like texture of the muffin. 

ready to go..

The next day, I went to my family in Caloocan and brought them some of the muffins. Just after a few minutes, muffins were gone. They undeniably loved it and asked for more the next time I visit. It was all worth it, not to mention the 16 oz. blueberries worth 350 Pesos for 16 muffins. Well, I'm not rich.. So 350 pesos for a few ounces of blueberries is a little expensive for me. :D

Another great recipe that is definitely going to be in my 'Best Recipes' list.  

Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Serves 12 muffins  Prep Time  10 minutes  Cooking Time 20 to 22 minutes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups frozen blueberries

For the streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar

  •  Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line muffin tins with paper cups.
  •  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  •  In another bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Pour over the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
  • Add the frozen blueberries.
  • Using a 2-ounce ice cream scooper, scoop the batter over the muffin cups.
  • Make the streusel:Combine the flour, butter, and light brown sugar and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle top of each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of streusel.
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until tops are golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Note: You can use either Frozen or Fresh Blueberries.

 Blueberry Muffin Recipe on FoodistaBlueberry Muffin Recipe                                    
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