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Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

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More than any other cupcake in the world, chocolate cupcakes are my absolute favorite. It’s the simplicity in the cupcake that makes it my ideal cupcake. It is also in it’s simplicity, however, that makes it tricky to make. Before this recipe, I have already tested 3 other recipes and all yielded wonderful cupcakes. But there would always be a ‘but’. One’s not chocolatey enough, the other one was too eggy and the other one was a bit dry. Although these three tasted great, it’s not the ultimate chocolate cupcake.

Then it hit me, chocolate cupcakes are just miniature chocolate cakes (duh!), so for really really good cupcakes, I just need a really really good chocolate cake recipe.

I have to look no further, my go-to chocolate cake recipe is a modified version of Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate cake. No buts, this recipe produces a soft, moist, and definitely chocolatey cupcakes. Not to mention a simple set of instructions. Although the original calls for an electric mixer, this particular recipe can be made with just a bowl and a whisk. Finally, I have found the recipe for my ultimate chocolate cupcake!

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So why chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cupcakes? Simple, it’s a (1)chocolate cupcake, frosted with whipped (2) chocolate ganache, and finally drizzled with a (3) chocolate glaze. So that’s chocolate in THREE forms in ONE cupcake. What could be more chocolatey than that? Here’s the recipe:

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There’s a reason why I haven’t posted any brownie recipe yet.  Yes, brownies are probably among the simplest and easiest  recipes to make, but I’m a sucker for good brownies. And I want them plain -no nuts, no whatever drizzle on top, maybe occasionally frosted with a ganache. Just pure chocolatey goodness. And for years (yes, years) I’ve been trying to bake and perfect my brownies. There were successes, but a lot of failures. Not that they taste bad, it’s just I want my brownies right in the middle of cakey and fudgy when it comes to consistency.

The first brownie I ever baked was around 7 or 8 years ago. It was the Truffle Brownies from the Food Network. I remember using hazelnut filled chocolate bars in lieu of regular chocolate bars coz that was all I could  find in the province. It was really, really good… but too fudgy. After all, it was a truffle brownie.

My Brownie recipes stored in my iPod Classic.

Brownie recipes stored in my iPod Classic.

Years went by and I still couldn’t find my ideal brownie. In fact, I have kept a record of notes in my iPod Classic dedicated to brownies. I tried recipes from Ina Garten, Giada de Laurentiis, Martha Stewart and almost every Food Network star with a brownie recipe! Haha! Until I stumbled upon Julia Child’s Best-Ever Brownies recipe just last year. I wasn’t even thinking of brownies at that time. I was looking for something else in my recipe folder when I saw her recipe. It was a sign I guess. The universe was already telling me to try this particular recipe. An besides, it’s called the ‘Best-ever’ brownie,  so maybe…just maybe, it really is the best-ever brownie recipe…ever.  So I tried baking it and boy, I found my pot of gold!

Be cautioned though, the way it is prepared is a bit different from your traditional,  one-bowl brownie recipe.  There are a few sugar crystals that are left undissolved which creates a gritty-in-a-delicious-way texture. Though a bit fudgy to my liking, it was a non-issue coz I just adjusted the flour. Plus, the flavor was spot-on! So with a few tweaks here and there, I finally have my very own, go-to brownie recipe.

Simple and plain. This is my best-ever brownie.

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I’ve said this a thousand times before and I’ll say it again, I hate bananas! But when turned into a dessert, it’s a whole different story. I already have two great recipes for banana cakes here on my blog so I guess it’s time to add another one. This time though, let’s make banana muffins.

Muffins, unlike cupcakes, are fairly simple to make even for a beginner.  No need for electric mixers and other gizmos. With just a spoon and a bowl, you’re good to go! This recipe is adapted from Allrecipes.com; excellent as it is, I adjusted the recipe to my liking which I guess is even better. Adding brown sugar makes the muffin more moist, the cinnamon in the batter adds a subtle hint of earthiness and the banana essence takes the flavor to new heights. The banana essence is just optional though. If you think your bananas are sweet already, there’s no need of adding the essence.

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As I’ve said, these moist and flavorful muffins are already great as it is… but wait, there’s more! We’ll add a crumb topping. Adding the crumb topping makes them even more special. The sweet, cinnamon-y and crunchy crumb topping makes this muffin recipe definitely a keeper.

Here’s my recipe:

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Cheesecakes intimidate me. To start with, it’s a sosyal food. Then it’s complicated to make (sort of) because you have to usually cook it in a bain-marie. Also, cream cheese is a bit pricey here in the Philippines. And I’m not really a fan of cheesecakes,  so  I never thought I’d ever make one.

But all of these changed when I chanced upon an episode of Anna Olson’s Fresh on the Asian Food Channel. She made mini lemon meringue cheesecakes and turned a complicated recipe into a simple one. First there was no bain-marie method involved (thank God!) and they were so tiny, so they cook fast. The serving portion is just perfect, and they were so cute to look at. With her recipe, I was determined to make one too.

As fate would have it, last Wednesday, we threw a surprise baby shower for my sister. It was my chance to try out her recipe. However, my sister’s having a baby boy, so color-wise, yellow wouldn’t go well with the theme. It has to be blue! (Last year, I made pink cupcakes for my other sister’s baby shower). So what is a blue cheesecake? Go figure!


Loosely-based on Anna Olson’s lemon meringue cheesecake recipe, here’s my mini blueberry cheesecake recipe: (more…)

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Everyone loved the banana cake I made a few weeks ago. Following my cake recipe, I  added something extra to make the cake even greater!  The Crunchy Crumble on top of this cake, and the honey added into the cake make this truly special.

Here’s my recipe: (more…)

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Here’ a confession: I do not like bananas! Unlike my brother who is a monkey and can finish a hand of bananas in a minute, I find it difficult to just even finish one. Yeah, that yellow monster is my least favorite fruit and there are only  3 ways you can make me eat and enjoy one: (1) Fried (Banana Q/Turon/Pinaypay) (2) Candied (Saging con yelo) and (3) Banana Cake.

And speaking of cakes… it’s a whole different story when it comes to banana cakes because I love them! Banana cake, banana bread, banana loaf, whatever you call it, it’s the same… uh, banana. I like calling it a banana cake, so let’s just stick to that.

So, one weird day, as much as I hate the fruit, I suddenly craved for a banana cake. Good thing I have Ahma’s recipe, which for me, is the best banana cake. It’s super rich and moist! But as I was browsing through the recipe she gave me, she actually didn’t finish writing the whole recipe down! So how am I going to bake a cake with only “Separate  eggs and beat egg white until medium peaks” as an instruction. Not to mention, this would be my first time to make such cake. So here comes old friend Martha to the rescue (their recipes are so different by the way) With her instructions, together with parcels of Ahma’s recipe, here’s my version of their banana cakes! (more…)

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Kabayan, Kababayan, or Puto-puto. These little Filipino muffins are sold in any bakery here in the Philippines. One of the popular bakery staples, the kabayan is a personal favorite.  I love these little munchkins so much that I can finish 5-7 in one sitting.

I’ve been wanting to to bake some but I couldn’t find a recipe online. Until I stumbled upon this site. The recipe is actually simpler and resembles a typical American muffin except  for the brown sugar and oil substitution.

With a few tweaks, here’s my kabayan recipe:

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