Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Gorgeous aren't they?! Thanks a lot to AverageBetty! The attempt to make these cupcakes is long overdue. Yesterday morning, aside from having other things in my head, upon checking the fridge after breakfast, I realized that the butter needs to be consumed ASAP.

So it's really high time for some
Cheer Up Yourself Moment! And boy, these cupcakes are miraculous!

Now I am on happy mode again! ;)
The original cupcake recipe actually has pudding inside. Yummy! If only I had all the time in the world I would make the pudding but for now I only had time to make the cupcakes and frosting.
Nonetheless I am thrilled to say that it was a success even without the pudding in it. Maybe next time! :)

If you are planning to make these cupcakes, make sure to take out the butter and eggs at least 30 minutes to an hour before you start, to achieve room temperature : )

For the chocolate Cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk (buttermilk info below! read on!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350(F) / 175(C)

Melt chocolate and set aside - either in the microwave-carefully Or the old way. (I used the old way!)

Cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar using your electric mixer

Add eggs and mix well

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix very well.

Add flour and baking soda and combine thoroughly.

Add buttermilk slowly and combine thoroughly until smooth.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes or so. (my cupcakes took 28 minutes)

Just test the doneness on the 20th minute by inserting a toothpick in the middle and see if it comes out clean with very few crumbs. Otherwise, allow a few more minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 10 minutes.

Remove from the tins and cool completely before putting (filling and) frosting

Note: If you don't have ready to use buttermilk, you can make some by mixing together 1/2 tbsp calamansi or lemon juice plus milk of almost 1/2 cup. If I may suggest, in a measuring cup, put the calamansi or lemon juice first, then slowly pour some milk until it reaches the 1/2 cup mark/line. For other buttermilk substitutes, click here :)

For the Frosting:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
(Original recipe used 2 1/2, however, I would like to lessen my sugar intake.... *lol* NYEH!!!!)

1/2 cup butter (I used 1/4 regular butter and 1/4 UNSALTED butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons whipping cream (I used, chilled Nestlé All Purpose Cream)


Mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-4 minutes.

Blend in vanilla.

Add tablespoons of cream gradually and continue to beat on medium-high speed for several minutes more, until light, fluffy and smooth.

Mixture will have a pearly sheen and perfect spreading consistency.

For my Pink frosting, I added about 4 "dots" of Red food coloring then i just folded it until I achieved the pretty pinkish color.

Get a big load of frosting on a knife

Swirl frosting and put on some candy sprinkles

Note: Do not refrigerate before frosting cupcakes.

Let me share some highlights below:

Look at this egg!

This is was the first cupcake liner I have ever filled! Really, I was nervous! Walang exaj ito!

Because I was nervous, I am dead sure I overfilled some cupcake liners! Hehehe!

I wanted to make Blue, Purple and Yellow colored frosting. But Pink was the winner!

Little J had the privilege of being the first "customer".

He ate a cupcake and a half. BUT, Mommy gave the unfrosted ones!
Too much sugar + Toddler = HYPER ACTIVITY *lol*

It's almost the weekend! Cant' wait to have another cupcake tomorrow!
I still have a few left in the fridge! Goodnight!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Banana Pancakes

Good morning! :)

Banana adventures are here again so expect more banana action in the future.

As a start, I would like to have some banana pancakes. I have said before that I like french toast more than pancakes, but that does not mean I totally dislike the latter.

I can never say NO to banana pancakes.

Ooooh what more if I have a waffle maker. I can try Banana Walnut Waffle a la Pancake House... right, honey? (

I have tried a couple of mixes when I was younger and lazy (lazier?). I used to make them using the "Just add water" and your done kind of mix. But it just doesn't match the classic good ol' thick, fluffy and moist pancakes.

So I went back to Maya Original Hotcake Mix.

I just followed package instructions, added 5 very ripe mashed bananas, mixed them well and cooked them in a very hot non-stick pan. I used up the whole box (which i think was 500grams) and 8 pancakes came to life.

On the photo however, there's only 5. The last three were not included anymore ;)

I tried to make whipped butter, but unsuccessful. I wanted to achieve the Pancake House style but couldn't! Any suggestions? :)

For the syrup, here at home we use Clara Olé Maple Syrup. I guess this is one of the most affordable and still yummy pancake syrup I have tried. I like this brand in fairness!

Swak Sa Bujey
!!! (Fits the budget! / Bujey = Budget).

Know more about Clara Olé here.

I also like the combination of banana and cinnamon, so just before serving, sprinkle some cinnamon powder over the pancakes.

MMMMmmmm.. smells good and tastes a whole lot better! :)

How about you, what's for breakfast?

A happy Monday and a great week to all! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Siomai House - My one true dumpling love

Commercial muna tayo.... I'm hungry and it's late :(

This isn't paid advertising. But if they come across this entry, I hope they can give me 1 year supply or maybe a lifetime supply of their very delicious, succulent, juicy, mouth-watering Siomai!

I have eaten tons of siomai from different stalls or restos in my lifetime and I never really "patronized" any of them. But after trying Siomai House, I can definitely say they can count on my loyalty for life.

I never liked "chilli" in my dumplings, but Siomai House made the difference and it totally changed my outlook about adding some spice to my food.

During mealtime you would see a lot of people lining up in their stall/kiosk. That's how good it is.

Their chilli-garlic sauce is superb and different from the rest!

And I bet you my last 25 centavo you will either get another order or have a take out.

4 pieces of Siomai for only
25.00 php. Yup. Great, right?

Me? I can eat 8 pieces in just one sitting..or standing...and take home 32 pieces for 200.00php.

Di naman ako adik noh?

And take note, their siomai is actually a bit bigger than the others' siomai size.

Sonia says, "parang puto!" Hehehe.

They also sell Gulaman as refreshment, for only (drumrolls please!) 8.00 php!

So affordable, right!?

If you had a loooooooooooong day just like mine, don't you wish you can eat something you really want right at this very moment?


If only I can have you for my midnight snack... Maybe tomorrow. Or the weekend.

I wish I can provide all the branches of Siomai House in the Metro here. In the meantime, here's a list of the Siomai House stall/kiosk locations I am aware of:

Robinson's Metro East
Libis (foodcourt beside Piandre)
MRT stations
Marikina Public Market

I will update this list when I get more info : )

Goodnight everyone!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Homemade Atchara

Huwhat? MASON JARS at 30% off at Handyman? I want. So hubby got them. It was a good catch. 12 750ml jars for only less than 600php. SKP? (Rica: San Ka Pa?)

Thinking of what to do and what to put in them, out of all the ideas I had in mind, I remembered my Mommy Tess' famous Atchara. I knew it was very famous in our neighborhood. I can still vividly remember the many containers she used to fill up with it and sends them to those who ordered from her or to some relatives who simply "requested" :)

By the way she even makes tinapang bangus from scratch (which they say is best eaten with atchara)
--but I have no plans of trying it.

To be honest, I am not really an atchara eater. I have tried it a few times but I am okay without it. How ironic isn't it? I love food - but I am actually a boring eater when it comes to condiments. The few condiments I pair with food are: mayonnaise, fish sauce,
calamansi, soy sauce and Knorr Seasoning... and I am not kidding!


Hubby loves atchara (and any pickled veggie for that matter), as well as our household's tres marias. For Little J, not sure yet. I have yet to know. My in-laws eat atchara, as well as my Dad.

In this light, I pretty much believe that putting a great effort to make homemade atchara for the ones I love will be very worthwhile, right?

So let me share with you Mommy Tess' recipe of homemade atchara:

For the Atchara Syrup

2 cups of white vinegar
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp salt

- Best to make this ahead of time. Stir all ingredients together until sugar and salt has dissolved. Then simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes until it boils. Then set aside to cool on room temp.

Next, prepare:

2 medium size Green Papaya - peeled, washed and grated
1 medium size Sayote - peeled, washed and grated
2 tbsp salt

- Mix the grated papaya and sayote with the salt and leave for about 5 minutes.

- After 5 minutes, wash with water, drain and squeeze all the juices, then repeat this process (i did mine 5 times) until the saltyness is gone.


- either you air dry it (which may take longer) , or you dry it in your oven toaster for about 15 minutes at 300F/150C

- when they are dry, let cool and set aside:

Then prepare:

About 15 to 20 pieces of shallots/
sibuyas tagalog, peeled
1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced (or buy the peeled ones)
3 to 4 tbps of ginger cut into strips
1 green chilli, sliced (seeds and stem not included)
1 carrot sliced into strip and some in flowerettes (my favorite part! see photo below!)

I was so "kilig" when making these flowerettes!

When the syrup has cooled down, put all the veggies in the pot, mix them altogether until the veggies have absorbed most of the syrup, then start filling up your jars - unless you cannot stop appreciating the wonderful colors it has created:

Don't forget to sterilize your containers first!

After filling them up, put them in the fridge until consumption.

This recipe filled 2 Mason Jars (750ml each) and 1 250ml jar.

Looking at these beauties, I was happy that it was a success. Hubby took the taste test, so that's enough for an A plus! ;)

I suddenly thought I might be missing a lot. I know I am. Hubby told me so!

Please... just give me a little more time and maybe I will have the urge to finally put this on my condiments list ! :)

In the meantime, I will watch the atchara fanatics enjoy this with whatever fried, smoked or BBQd food we have! :)

Cheers! The weekend is here! :)

P.S. Credits to my angels for helping with the "grating" part. Thank you ates! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ube Roll Cake - An attempt.

I have been dying to try this recipe of Kusina ni Manang for the longest time. I have waited for my Dad to arrive from his Baguio trip so that I could have Baguio Made Ube Halaya. MMMMmmmmm. Yum. (tapos, gawa pala sa Cubao at dinala lang ng Baguio eh?!! Joke!)

Just a brief background: I-HEART-UBE. Especially UBE Cakes - wherever it's from I don't mind. I like buying Ube Rolls from neighboorhood bakeries. My Dad brings me Ube Rolls in some of his visits. Hihihi.

To my dear Manang Kusinera - thanks for sharing your recipe! It was a blast! I super enjoyed making it. Though I goofed on the chiffon/sponge part, like I told you, the filling and icing took away my frustration in an instant!

Just to let you know, Manang's filling/icing recipe is the best by far. The combination of Ube and Cream Cheese made the difference. It was 'heavenly' for me. No exag, promise!

My Boo-boos on the cake roll:

1. I used a jelly roll pan (12X16) larger than the the size indicated in the recipe. My supposed roll became quite flat.

- It was the closest one to the size in the recipe (15X10). The other pan available is waaaay too small.

Gintong Aral - Huwag magmadali. Maghanap ng kaparehong sukat ng pan. Lookie down!

2. My first time to use egg whites in cake: Beat egg whites until stiff.

My egg whites never went 'really' stiff. I think I started whipping it when it was still cold.

Pers taym eh!


Manang said:
Best to whip whites when they are room temp.
And this.

Sorryyyy! I was tooooooooo excited. Really. Just like what i said here about Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cheesecake: Now I know better. :P

The sponge instead became moist and heavy and definitely not like what Manang has perfected.

Nonetheless, it was all good - according to my friendly testers ;) Thank you guysh!

I will make this again and again until I get it and because I will never get tired of ube cake. Especially Manang's recipe! :)

'Till my next attempt! :)