Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lemon Pound Cupcakes

These are Classic Lemon Pound Cupcakes frosted with White Cream Cheese Frosting. I made the cupcakes using Nick Malgieri's Basic Pound Cake recipe, and halved it to make only a dozen of cupcakes. The full recipe would yield one 9x5x3 cake or about 24-26 cupcakes depending on the size of the liners. I added some lemon zest and lemon extract on the pound cake to make it lemon flavored. If you may have noticed, lemon cakes (or lemon cupcakes for that matter) are my favorite together either with a raspberry ganache or cream cheese. I bake chocolate cupcakes most of the time for other people. I try to intentionally avoid making these lemon cupcakes as I eat too much of it. I normally cannot resist it! At the office today, I brought a few pieces for breakfast and to share. However, we decided to skip lunch and just ate the cupcakes with coffee. So now, I haven't had a decent meal the entire day but I'm still full because of the cupcakes.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dulce De Leche Brownies

These are Dulce De Leche Chocolate Brownies with chopped nuts. This is my first time making brownies because I had always been addicted to making cupcakes and cakes. However this time, I need to make something fast because I cannot afford to spend much time in the kitchen with all my office work. This recipe is by Sarah Philips and that in itself has already a stamp that says it is very good. I made these because Manny and I finished the cinnamon rolls that we're supposed to bring to the office as breakfast (which sometimes could be lunch and dinner). So we brought the brownies 8 pieces at a time to the office so that we'll have something to go by because we were so busy. However, each batch that I brought ended up being finished even before lunch because our officemates who drop by either mine or Manny's cube would take one. And they loved it, one of them even went back to take another piece and another one dropped by my cube the next day looking for some. :)


I made these pecanbons about a week ago but was just unable to blog because I was dead busy at work. I baked these last weekend with the thought of having something to eat during the busy days but then, we finished the cinnamon rolls over the weekend!
These are cinnamon rolls topped with caramel sauce and garnished with chopped pecan nuts. These were to die for. Last Saturday, we were so busy working that we ended up eating the rolls for lunch and dinner.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Iya!

My favorite little girl here Iya turned 4 last April 15 and she can't have a real kiddie party here in Israel because first, there are no kids other than her, and second, there are now only five of us here to party. Thet and Mike decided to just have a small get together for her. I made her some cupcakes with sugar flowers because she loved the valentine cupcakes that I made back then also with sugar flowers. She told me to make her pink cupcakes with yummy chocolates and flowers. See, she's only 4 but she knows what she wants already!
I had always planned on making her cupcakes anyway, regardless of whether she will have a real kiddie party or not, and whether they'd buy her a birthday cake or not. However, as the day drew nearer, I got busier by the day at work and the eve of her birthday was the busiest day ever in a long time. I made the sugar flowers and dried it up two days earlier so it had been done already but I still need to whip up the chocolate cupcakes and the vanilla buttercream. So on the eve of her birthday, I planned on going home early to watch Tennis and make her cupcakes at the same time. But lo and behold, that did not happen. Moore's law is really true. I was home at around 11pm, but I cannot stop working yet because I was fixing the test program for my night jobs. I stopped (but not finished) working at 2am, and started working on Iya's cupcakes. I was too sleepy already, but when I started Blacky (my kitchen aid mixer), I seemed to have gotten a boost of adrenalin. Chocolate cupcakes are one of my more comfortable recipes so I finished pretty quickly and while the cupcakes were in the oven, I made the buttercream just in time until the cupcakes were ready to be frosted. By 3am, I was already taking photos of the finished cupcakes. You could imagine that I was so groggy the next day at work.
So these are Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes, topped with Vanilla Buttercream and decorated with hand made Sugar Flowers from a stored home made fondant that I have. My recipe yielded 12 regular cupcakes and 2 mini-cakes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

Back in the days when life was simple, Fridays were normally dinner in Makati, cinnamon rolls and lemonade in Cinnzeo and Hot White Mocha in Starbucks to shake of the sleepiness. I remember us Intel jologs with our heavy bags and office laptops scouring through Greenbelt just for that and have those long talks and make fun of each other. I also had very good Cinnabon memories always having the classic rolls at Podium, always bringing something for my mom as I used to always drive by it back then before going home to Antipolo. The last time I had cinnamon rolls was a month ago at Cinnabon in Mecca Mall in Amman. Since then, I had always been craving for it and there is nowhere here in Israel where I could find anything like it. And as always, I braved to make it myself.
I was not able to find a definitive recipe in the web so I again combined what I feel is the best out of each recipe. There are three components to the rolls, first is the bread roll, second is the cinnamon filling and third is the cream cheese frosting. Making the bread is tricky, I kneaded to combine yeast, sugar, salt, milk and flour, then knead it for 10mins and let it rise until the dough has doubled. It took about an hour for the bread to rise to double its size. After which I rolled out the dough into the square 9x13 baking baking, then covered it with generous cinnamon filling (brown sugar, melted butter and lots of cinnamon), then I folded it into dough rolls which I then cut into serving sized breads. And then I let it rise again until each rolls doubled up which took about another hour. After that, I just baked it for 18mins until it is golden brown, took it out and smudged it all over with cream cheese frosting. It was sooo good! I even amazed myself at how it tasted! We have not even finished it yet and Manny wanted me to make new batches already! But as they say, eat it today, wear it tomorrow. Holy smokes, there goes my diet.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Butter Pound Cake with Lemon Fondant Glaze

Pound cakes are traditional American cakes and are called as such because it requires a pound of each of the ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs and butter. These cakes are lighter but has a burst of butter which provides a very rich taste and denser feel to the cakes.
This is my first time to bake a pound cake. I had always wanted because I had been keeping a good Pound cake recipe from Nick Malgieri (of the Institute of Culinary School NY) but as usual, I don't want to bake anything excessive that we will not be able to finish.
Last Thursday, Thet asked me to bake a Pound Cake and I was excited just because I now have a reason to bake a Pound Cake. However, I was too busy to be able to work on it as soon as I wanted to. I even had to go to work on a weekend because of too much work load because of my impending test program release. Thet requested me to bake a Flo Braker recipe which I assume when she saw made her crave for one. LOL! Flo Braker is also a very respected and popular baker but this is my first cake recipe from her. I always had mine from Sarah Phillips, Rose Levy Berenbaum, Nick Malgieri, and from my fellow baking911 members. I finally got to bake last Saturday night after dinner and finished up before midnight. I know I'm such an addict, considering I'd be going to work again the next day.
Preparing the batter for this recipe required sifting the cake flour three times to achieve a fine texture for the cake. After creaming the sugar and butter, and after mixing with the eggs, I had to just fold in the flour delicately to avoid overmixing. I also don't have a loaf pan that is normally used for Pound cakes so I had to just resort to my 8X3 round pan and in doing so had a little extra batter for a pint sized mini cake. The cake baked for 40mins, and I took it out and cooled it in a rack for another 30mins.
While the cake is cooling, I prepared the fondant glaze (imagine those sugar frostings on top of a krispy kreme donuts or even dunkin donuts). Once the glaze is ready, I drizzled the hot onto the cooled cake for a first coating of the entire cake. Then after the glaze has slightly cooled and the consistency had slightly thickened, I poured the second coat on top of cake in the middle and let it spread by itself. I took the photo while the cake was still on the drying pan, and then transferred it onto another clean pan and covered it ready for handling. Not without saving a mini cake for me to try if it is good though. And now I can blog about it because we ate the small piece from a leftover batter and it was all praises from Manny's discriminating taste. ;) It was very luscious and rich without being overpowering and the hints of lemon on the cake and glaze provides a good flavor kick on the cake.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Creamy!

Happy 3rd birthday my big baby boy Creamy! My boy is growing so fast, and I'm missing on his growing years! Hehe. He had his indulge day on his day, he ate some pancit and lumpia and ice cream!
Tomorrow, he will be back again on his meat stew, no-salt, no-carbo diet because he is obese at 125lbs. LOL. He probably is getting sick of the food he is eating, I would imagine it does not have any flavor to it because it is just a little meat, vegetables and water stewed for about an hour. It does not have any salt or spices to it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mocha Buttercream

I had originally planned on working this weekend but after having had a very early meeting yesterday, I ended up sleeping through the entire day. And because I had a lot of sleep during the day, I slept very late already, and woke up very late today! It does become a vicious cycle! Haha. As always during weekends, I plan on baking something that would get us by the breakfasts in the office. Breakfasts here in our office are european/mediterranean. I always bring my own breakfast because I am not really into eating bell peppers, fresh olives, tomatoes and cream cheese in the morning. I want my fried rice, egg and daing!
Anyways, I made some Yellow Vanilla cupcakes topped with Mocha Buttercream today. The Yellow cupcake recipe that I used turned out to be slightly crunchy and dense making it very filling. It is my first time making some Mocha Buttercream which turned out to be very rich and yummy!
I swirled the frosting on top of the cupcakes and I topped it with a few pieces of silver and pearl dragees. I will be meeting up with Thet and Ate Jen later so I'll bring them a few pieces.