Sunday, April 23, 2006

i'm off to find the perfect chocolate cake.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Had the Taimis Tea Party. Had the prettiest spread in pinks and reds and yellows.

Got a lot of good feedback. Will post more detailed pix and descriptions of the valentine menu. right now, all the baking, as usual, has left me zombified. Sugar-zombified.

but here's a pic of my little niece holding one of the cookies.

We were coaxing her into holding up the cookie, and she might have thought we were being very silly about it, thus the faintly skeptical look on her cute little face :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A belated parol cookie cake picture. This was the final design my sister came up with, and I think it's fabulous

Been flexing my baking muscles again, and decided to revisit some old recipes. These are orange drop cookies, the first ever recipe I did from the Betty Crocker Cooky book. I remember how stressed I was, how I screwed up zesting the first orange because didn't know you were suppose to stop zesting at the white bitter part, how I stood and waited staring into the oven, hoping the cookies didn't spread. They came out fine the first time, and that encouraged me to keep going, so I owe a lot to these little orange suckers.

And finally, the first fancy cake I ever tried to make, something I call the sugar cloud cake. I started my business with this cake.

It's a meringue shell filled with bittersweet chocolate cream and topped with strawberries. I love this cake. This cake kills me. Every time I make it, it's stressfull. Meringue doesn't like humidity, and every single day here in my hot messy country is humid, so good luck, but somehow, the meringue comes out fine.

This Saturday I'm holding a sort of tea party where my customers (meaning my relatives, ha!) can taste my valentine menu, plus some extra treats. To the two or three people reading this blog, wish me luck.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I've been baking non stop since Tuesday. I'm very tired, so I'll just post pix of all the stuff I'm making and selling. Props to my sis for photos and layout :) we're the little baking business that could...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

This was the day I realized cakes existed. This was my cousin's birthday, and I'm the little one to the very very lower right peering over the table to see what the fuss was all about.

This is before I saw the birthday cake:

And this is after I saw the birthday cake:

doomed...i was doomed...

Thursday, November 24, 2005



I've been sniffing around these food blogs for about a year now, and just recently put up my own baking blog. So this will be my first try to see if I can participate in the community. Here goes!

One of my all time favorite cookie recipes is a nutty, chewy, insanely huge oatmeal cookie, ten inches across, that you cut into wedges like a cake. It's so simple to make, and I usually slap on some frosting and sprinkles on top then serve. But for Christmas, I decided to try for something a little more ambitious.


In the Philippines, we like to start our Christmas around September. Yes, we basically have four months of Christmas, building up to December when we really go nuts. We get no snow, but we make up for it with midnight masses and midnight feasts and thousands of Christmas star shaped lanterns we call parols lining all the streets and houses and office buildings . They come in all shapes and sizes, but there is a special lantern called the Pampanga parol.

This is what a Pampanga parol looks like. It's lit up in different colors, blinking different light configurations every second or so.

So I figure, why not try and decorate my oatmeal cookie like the parol? They're both big, round and flat. Plus my sister, who has steadier hands, was willing to help (meaning she did most of the post-baking decorating, hehe).

So here's how it turned out.

Icing this monster cookie got my sister and I all cross eyed after a while, but I think it was worth it. The cream cheese frosting is not too sweet, the sugars add a nice little crunch, and the cookie as a whole keeps really well in the fridge. Hope you enjoy, and even thought it's only November, Merry Christmas, Pinoy-style!!!

GIANT OATMEAL COOKIE (from Elinor Klivans "Big Fat Cookies"):
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp butter
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c rolled oats
3/4 c raisins
1/2 c chopped walnuts

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trace a 9-inch circle on a piece of parchment and line a baking sheet with the paper, marked side down.

Make the cookie. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer an scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended, about 30 seconds. On low speed, mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the oatmeal, then mix in the raisins and walnuts.

Drop spoonfuls of dough into the marked circle, then use a thin metal spatula to spread the dough evenly over the circle. Smooth the edges of the circle with the spatula.

Bake the cookie until the edges are light brown and the center is light golden, about 19 minutes. It will spread out about 1 inch. Let the cookie cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.

makes 3 cups
1/2 c butter at room temp
6 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c powdered sugar

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowls as needed during mixing. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute, then beat on medium speed for 1 minute to lighten the frosting further.

1 egg white
6-8 oz powdered sugar

Beat the egg white. Gradually beat in the powderedsugar, a little at a time, beating out any lumps.

Spread cream cheese frosting over cookie and pipe royal icing according to parol design (what we did was print out a picture to follow, like the parol above, then kind of improvised with star shapped cookie cutters, filling them in with icing). Finish off with colored sugar and candy covered chocolate pieces.


My Lola Betty passed away last Sunday. She was the color red, she was Christmas, new year's and Easter egg hunts. She was birthday cake.

My mother loves telling this story about her, how Lola Betty had a simple, economical yet elegant solution for dessert. She'd boil a can of condensed milk until it caramelized, slip the gooey richly brown cylinder out of the can and plop it on a dish, to be cut up in sections and eaten like a little sticky cake.

Looking through Lola's old cookbooks, I found the original recipe where I think she got the idea. And I'm making it in her memory.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c hot coffee (or hot water)
1 Crumb Pie Shell

Crumb Pie Shell
1 1/2 c fine crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter

mix crumbs and sugar together; stir in the butter. Line pie pan with mixture by pressing it firmly into place. Chill for 20 minutes or bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) 10 minutes. Cool. Makes 1 (9-inch) shell.

To caramelize milk:
Place unopened can of sweetened condensed milk on rack in cooker with 4 cups of water. Pressure cook. Reduce pressure with cool water. 3 3/4 lbs. Pressure 1 1/2 hours, 15 lbs. Pressure 1 hour

Putting it together:
Cover bottom of pie shell with sliced bananas. Add hot coffee to can of caramelized milk and beat until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Decorate with whipped cream or nuts.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I have a dessert dream list. Most of them are things I’ve read in books, or seen in movies, so I’m not even sure if some of them are possible, but here goes anyway…

1) Little Women -
The March sisters are surprised with a Christmas feast after giving up their Christmas breakfast earlier in the morning to a poor family. The spread included French bonbons and pink and white ice cream. i borrowed an illustrated version of the book, and there was the feast in all its technicolor glory.

2) a Disney cake -
What would that be, pray tell? It’s the cake I always see in Disney shorts and Alice in Wonderland, looks like single layer sponge cake with pink icing dribbling nicely down its sides and topped with a single luscious cartoon cherry. This kind of cake always ends up destroyed by some Disney mischief, never eaten, and I always felt bad about that…

3) yellow cake with stickiest squashiest chocolate icing –
I always find this in any variety of books. The Anne series by L.M. Montgomery has it in certain parts described as a “a big gooey chocolate cake” and harry potter’s first ever birthday cake is a slightly sat upon and sticky chocolate cake, and the idea of all that buttery yellow cakey goodness smothered with stick-to-the-roof-of-your-tongue chocolate icing just makes me feel all melty and happy-kid.

4) The Narnian Chronicles – several things actually, c.s. lewis knew his sweet shit
Turkish delight:
“each piece sweet and light to the very center” yum. I actually found a Turkish Delight candy bar covered with chocolate in a specialty store in festival mall. A lot of people don’t like Turkish delight, the rose syrup makes them think they’re eating perfume, but I adore it, especially with pistachios. I want to learn how to make my own some day.

gloriously sticky marmalade roll:
When the Pevensie children sit down with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver for a meal, this is their desseret. Have still yet to find a recipe that might possibly come close to this

The list isn't finished. This bit is just skimming the top of all the whipped cream and custard fantasies clustered in my head.

I did manage to create one dream dessert. I always wanted to make some gorgeous triple layer cake slathered with tons of icing, “clapped together with layers of ruby jelly”. That’s from Anne of Green Gables, but the rest of the fantasy takes bits and pieces from other things. I always liked fluffy white icing, after seeing the huge marshmallow mushroom in the Willy Wonka Chocolate Room, and strawberries, because of all the Strawberry Shortcake Cartoons I used to watch as a kid. So I ended up making a strawberry meringue cake, a gorgeous monster of a dessert, bleeding beautiful strawberries and covered in slightly browned meringue icing.

It’s not a perfect cake, as you can see. The middle genoise layer sort of collapsed, and I can’t seem to get the knack of making the meringue peak and swirl elegantly. The cake ended up looking like it had little marshmallow devil horns.

But it tasted gooooood…so, I can move on to the next dream dessert ☺