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Posts Tagged ‘sweet’


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After chugging down what seems to be kegs of beer, Uncle Ben once told young Peter what could be one of the most famous lines in comic book history: “With great beer, comes great food.”

I know, I know, this is more of a Gusteau-Remy drunken moment, so before I get into trouble with unauthorized references, I’ll come clean – I just made that up. There was no beer talk between Uncle Ben and Peter… or was there?

Ok, let’s change the topic. Since Oktoberfest is coming pretty soon, everyone will find an excuse (do we need one?) to consume gallons of beer. So what could be more perfect than a recipe that pairs well with ice-cold beer? Actually, anything goes perfectly well with cold beer!!!

While I am the greatest fan of the Filipino style of bbqing AKA pork cutlets skewered on sticks, basted with a ketchupy bbq sauce concoction, anything bbq is really a favorite of mine. So, if you’re not in the mood to fire up your grill, firing up your oven is a good alternative.

Here’s the recipe:

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Here’s an updated version of my Singapore-style Chili Crabs.

Being a Samareño, I’m proud to say that we have the best crabs in the whole world! 🙂 The crabs from Maqueda Bay are so sweet and juicy. Then we have the Alimango (mud crab) from Calbayog that are so rich in flavor!

Back home, we would cook the crab by just steaming ’em and that’s it… just as simple as that. If there are left overs, we would make crab omelette. Then I discovered crab cakes, which are basically fried patties of crab and potatoes dredged in flour and breadcrumbs. But it was only a few weeks ago that I discovered Singaporean Chili Crabs! A heavenly recipe for crabs! The perfect balance of spicy/sweet combo complements the crab so well.

So after some online searches, a few video demos, I made my list of what my version of Singapore-style Chili Crabs would be. I sort of mixed different recipes, threw in a few of these, removed a few of that, until I came up with what I would think is the ultimate chili crab.

Here’s the recipe:

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According to Leonardo da Vinci, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This is perhaps why posting a vanilla cupcake recipe is difficult.

The flavors of this cupcake rely on its simplicity. Unlike other cupcakes, a vanilla cupcake has nowhere to hide its flaws; no fancy frosting nor any sweet filling can mask a bad tasting vanilla cupcake. In order to be a good vanilla cupcake, it has to be simply good. It’s that … simple. Yes, the simplest of things can sometimes be the most complex of all.

In the world of cupcakes, it is said that you only have to master two flavors: vanilla and chocolate.

Perfecting these two basic flavors can create a smorgasbord of gastronomic wonders just by tweaking an ingredient or two. You will be amazed by the seemingly limitless supply of wondrous combinations.

For a vanilla cupcake, everything relies on the ingredients. Real butter is a must, and the same goes with vanilla. If you want great tasting cupcakes, use great tasting ingredients.

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As mentioned earlier, nothing can mask a flawed cupcake therefore, it is imperative to have a trusted recipe.

Here’s mine: (more…)

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A chocolate cupcake with a dulce de leche frosting, most people would assume it’d be called as such. Yet, why did I name it as so?

Well, let’s take a bit of a walk in my memory lane.

Back in high school, I used to buy this certain homemade candy called “yum-yum”, our local version of yema.  This delectable candy was sold by a friendly lady who never fails to call any of her customer “Darling!” (yes, with an exclamation point; she had that much enthusiasm). And because of this, most students have come to known her as Darling. I was one of her avid customers (at P3 for 2 pieces, it was a steal!)

Now, you all know that I’ve perfected my chocolate cupcake recipe. The great thing about chocolate is that it mixes well with a variety of flavors so, I’ve begun to experiment in making it even, uhmmm… yum-yummier.

Back to my past, growing up, I’ve always adored my Ahma’s Chocolate Decadence cake. It’s a chocolate cake, frosted with chocolate fudge icing and topped with a caramel glaze.

Looking into my previous posts, I’ve always been a fan of bite-sized treats and my grandmother’s cake is no exception; I just had to make a smaller version of this.

With that in mind, I wanted to incorporate yum-yum into my cupcakes; yum-yum, as delicious as it is, is a hard candy. I can’t necessarily use it as frosting as it’d be difficult to bite into along with the cupcake (believe me, I’ve tried). After endless contemplation, I’ve realized that the yum-yum was actually inspired from a more well-known sweet treat, dulce de leche!

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Dulce de leche and yum-yum are pretty much the same; they only vary in texture, with dulce de leche being the softer version. I’ve tried using real yum-yum for the cupcakes and it was disastrous! The frosting was tough and chewy, and would not pipe well. It was a mess! By using dulce de leche, you still get the wonderful flavor of yum-yum with just the right smoothness in a frosting.

Lo and behold, I give you one of the products from my small kitchen:

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Dulce de leche (or, DDL for short) is a classic South American confection that is prepared by slowly cooking sweetened milk in order to create a caramel-like product. Literally translated, it means ‘candy of milk’ or ‘candy made of milk’. A traditional recipe of DDL calls for a can of condensed milk to be boiled for hours until the contents caramelize and form a brown, viscous liquid.

Yes, you read it right – HOURS.

Depending on the consistency, it can take up to four hours to create this Latin goodness.

Personally, this takes too much time; so, I looked for ways to speed up the process and searching online directed me to the process of using a pressure cooker.
A bit of caution though,  a pressure cooker can be dangerous to use if you are not familiar with it thus it is important to have someone who knows how to use it help you with the process.
With that being said,  I’m coming clean – I didn’t make them myself. I am terrified of pressure cookers!!! So, I let some generous (and brave) souls do the work for me! I just gave the instructions on how to make dulce de leche.

So here’s the recipe: (more…)

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I came up  with this idea simply because I love S’mores. Come on, who doesn’t love the flavors of luscious warm chocolate and sticky roasted marshmallows sandwiched in rich graham crackers? With these flavors in mind, I knew that turning this favorite camping snack into a cupcake will definitely be a winner.

When I celebrated my birthday last year, I wanted a new cupcake flavor to serve. Fresh from a stormy camping trip,  s’mores was my top choice. The concept was simple, chocolate cupcakes frosted with marshmallow fluff and topped with graham and chocolate bits. Looking back, I made pretty tasty cupcakes but I knew something was missing; I have yet to perfect the fluff and more importantly, the cupcakes!

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When I finally discovered my new chocolate cupcake recipe, I knew I had to give my s’mores cupcake a second try. I also made necessary revisions with my marshmallow frosting along with the over all presentation of the cupcake.

Then I suddenly remembered something. A few years back, Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes made s’mores cupcakes in one episode of the Martha Stewart Show. I knew I had her recipe somewhere so I immediately searched for it in my little recipe folder. With my new chocolate cupcake and her recipe in hand, I finally perfected my S’mores cupcakes (which I consider one of my best cupcake recipes to date).

So, what makes up a S’mores cupcake? Here’s a diagram:

Smores anatomy

 

Now let me teach you how to make one. Here’s the recipe: (more…)

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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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