Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

I know this recipe that I am going to share is not related to cakes, but this is absolutely one of my favorite recipes . It's fast and easy to prepare and you'll surely love the aroma of fresh basil.

Pasta puttanesca is popularly named for Italy's "ladies of the evening" preparing it quickly in between clients.


  • 1 lb dried spaghetti ; spaghettini or linguine fini can also be used for this recipe
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, in juice
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olive
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salt water until barely al dente. DO NOT overcook the spaghetti) --2 1/2 teaspoon salt in 6 quarts water. Follow the guide on how to cook the spaghetti found in the label or wrapper.
  2. While cooking the pasta, cook garlic, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in extra virgin oli1ve oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat. For 2 minutes, stir occasionally until fragrant and pale golden.
  3. Meanwhile, puree tomatoes with juice in a blender.
  4. Add tomato puree to garlic oil along with olives and capers and simmer, until pasta is ready. Stir in sugar if you want some sweet taste in your puttanesca.
  5. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Simmer, turning pasta with tongs, until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Cranberry Cake Recipe

This coming Christmas holidays, I am sure many moms are busy planning what prepare for the big dinner with the family. Very often, black forest is made and served in the dining table. But let me suggest another recipe close to the black forest clan,Cranberry Christmas Cake. The name itself tells us that this recipe is apt for this holiday season. It consists of a chocolate genoise that is cut in half, brushed with a kirsch flavored syrup, filled with a silky smooth chocolate mousse and ruby red candied cranberries. The whole cake is covered with glistening white frosting. The cake really looks so festive-- just the right stuff for Christmas.

The key to success of making Cranberry Christmas Cake is to make the chocolate genoise and candied cranberries ahead of time. So as soon as the cake is ready for assembly, everything is ready.

The chocolate genoise can be made and frozen for a couple of months while the easy to make candied cranberries, have to be made few days ahead of time as the cranberries have to be 'steamed' in a sugar syrup and then left to 'steep' in the syrup several days in order for them to become "candied". Candied cranberries can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Since Cranberry Christmas Cake is similar to Black Forest Cake, you can actually replace the cranberry with bottled Morello Cherries in syrup or substitute the candied cranberry with fresh raspberries.

If you plan to substitute the candied cranberries with fresh raspberries, intensify the taste of raspberries by spreading a layer of raspberry puree or raspberry jam on the genoise before you fill it with the chocolate cream and fresh raspberries.

Candied Cranberries:

  • 220 grams fresh cranberries, washed
  • 250 grams white sugar
  • 200 ml water

Chocolate Genoise:

  • 45 grams melted unsalted butter
  • 130 grams white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 65 grams cake flour
  • 30 grams Dutch cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 4 pieces large eggs

Important: When warming the eggs and sugar, whisk constantly to ensure the the eggs do not overheat and curdle.

Filling and Frosting:

  • 600 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 115 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Candied Cranberries Procedure:
  1. Pick over the cranberries and remove any berries that are soft or rotten
  2. Place 2 cups of cranberries into a 2 liter heatproof bowl. The cranberries are going to be 'steamed' so you will need a steamer or pot that is large enough to hold the bowl of cranberries.
  3. Fill the large pot or steamer with a few inches (5 cm) of water and bring to a simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Pour the boiling syrup over the cranberries and cover the bowl with a plate. (You need to 'weigh' the bowl down so it will not move around once it is in the pot with the water.)
  6. Set the covered bowl of cranberries into the pot or steamer.
  7. Cover the pot and steam the berries over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and let cool.
  9. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the berries sit in the syrup for 3 to 4 days at room temperature.
  10. The syrup will become a little jellied.
NOTE: If using right away, drain the berries before using, keeping the syrup for some other use. If storing, place the covered berries, still in their syrup, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chocolate Genoise Procedure:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the melted unsalted butter with the vanilla extract. Keep this mixture warm.
  4. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and cocoa powder.
  5. In a large heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  6. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm to the touch approximately for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer.
  8. Beat on high speed until the egg mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream. This will take approximately 5 minutes and the batter is beaten sufficiently when it falls back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern.
  9. Sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and fold in using a large rubber spatula or whisk.
  10. Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then fold in the rest. Do not over mix.
  11. Take about 1 cup (240 ml) of the batter and fold it into the hot butter mixture with a small spatula.
  12. When completely combined, use a spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the rest of the egg batter. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top
  13. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake shrinks slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  14. Cool on a metal rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a small knife around the edges to release the cake. The genoise can be kept well-wrapped in the freezer for three months.

To Assemble the Cake:
  1. Drain the candied cranberries, reserving the syrup. Make a liqueur syrup by combining 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the drained cranberry syrup with the 2 tablespoons of Kirsch.
  2. Melt the chocolate and water in double broiler. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Cut the chocolate genoise, horizontally, into two layers. Turn over the top layer of the cake (so the top of the cake becomes the bottom) and center it on your serving platter. Brush the layer with about 2 tablespoons of the liqueur syrup.
  4. Make a chocolate cream by beating 1/2 cup of the chilled heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Quickly fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Immediately spread the moistened genoise layer with the chocolate cream.
  5. Place enough drained cranberries evenly over the chocolate cream to cover the cream completely. (The remaining cranberries should be placed back into the left over cranberry syrup, refrigerated, and they will be used for decorating the top of the assembled cake.)
  6. Moisten the cut-side of the second genoise layer with 2 tablespoons syrup. Place cut-side down on top of chocolate cream, gently pressing to compact. Brush the top layer with syrup.
  7. Beat remaining whipping cream with the 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons white sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread a thick layer of whipping cream over top and sides of cake.
  8. Place any remaining cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe large rosettes over the entire top surface of the cake.
  9. Refrigerate the cake, covered, for 24 to 36 hours before serving to allow the aroma and flavor to be set in the cake.
  10. Just before serving, drain the reserved candied cranberries and blot with paper towels to remove any remaining moisture, and randomly place on top of cake.
  11. Enjoy you festive Christmas Cranberry Cake.

Serves 10-12.

Source:Medrich, Alice. Cocolat. Warner Books. New York: 1990 via

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Gluten Free Tropical Banana Bread

Sometimes we have forgotten bananas left in the fridge that eventually turn black. Yesterday, I got this 3 pieces of blackened overripe bananas oozing with strong aroma of sweetness which I find it so wasteful if I'll just put it in our trash bin. So I decided to make use of it by making a gluten free banana bread. I know people in the household loves banana bread for breakfast if not they can have it as dessert for dinner with ice cream or vanilla yogurt on the side with strawberry sauce.. hmmmmm yummy yummy.


  • 2 pieces bananas, slightly over-ripe
  • 1 pieces large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spray 9x4 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl,using an electric mixer, combine mashed bananas, egg, brown sugar, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well until consistency is smooth and even.
  4. In a separate clean bowl, sift together potato starch, cornstarch, coconut flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, coriander and salt. Mix well using wire whisk.
  5. Combine the wet mixture and the dry mixture without over mixing.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, smoothing as much as possible, to ensure a uniform top.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on wire rack for 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.
  9. Slice and enjoy eating.
  10. Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying out.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Banana: Natural benefits and medicinal properties

Banana: Natural benefits and medicinal properties

Monday, November 1, 2010

Very Luscious Banana Bread Recipe

I would like to share another banana-based recipe which I got from This is very easy to prepare bread because it does not require a "mixer". One thing that I like about this bread is its a little heavy kind of banana bread with vey delectable luscious moisture...simple a melt in the mouth kind of bread. But one thing that you must remember to get the very moisture result, you must use all black bananas. Another important thing which adds moisture is the sour milk. I never use buttermilk in this recipe. Just add a tablespoonful of vinegar to your regular fresh milk and leave for a while to allow the formation of curdle. This kind of banana bread is ideal as give away during Christmas. Its inexpensive and very easy to prepare.

I have tried a lot of different recipes of banana bread I got from net blogs, but this one I think is the perfect one. You may try this too.


  • 2 cups sugar (475 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 grams)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (535 grams)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (175 grams)
  • 3 pieces large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk (65 ml) -- just add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to make into sourmilk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (150 grams)
  • 4-5 pieces of completely black bananas


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease or line with parchment paper 2 loaf pans
  3. In a large bowl, mash bananas thoroughly
  4. Dissolve soda in sour milk ( buttermilk ) Foams may be formed when baking soda is added
  5. Mix all ingredients by hand
  6. Add in 1 cup chopped nuts
  7. Bake at 350° for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out ALMOST clean.
  8. Let cool 15 minutes after removing from oven and remove from pans or let cool, cover with foil, slide into freezer bags and freeze. Great when using tin foil pans.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Banana Apple Muffins with Oats

In my recent blog, banana has been put much emphasis in most recipes I shared. This is because banana provides numerous natural health benefits.

Click here to read the Top 5 Health Benefits of Banana.

To mention a few, banana is a great energy booster; it contains high dose of trytophan, a hormone that eventually gives you a happy relaxed feeling, iron-rich food which could improve your blood health and most of all its a good source of potassium, essential for muscular metabolism. These benefits from banana could be the primary reasons why athletes, body-builders, gym goers and the like always include banana in their afterwork out diet.

What are the natural medicinal benefits of banana?
Try this simple easy to bake banana nut bread. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare with 20 minutes baking time. This is best served cooled although many prefers it served warm with ice cold milk. A slice of this banana bread after a heavy work out would re energize you making you feel full but not heavy.


Yield: 18 Servings

  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened

Note: margarine is preferred for it contains less saturated fats. Read about the facts and fallacies between butter and margarine

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 pcs large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apples
  • 6 Tbsp cup honey
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt (iodized)


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degree F.
  2. In a kitchenaide bowl, cream butter and sugar at medium speed
  3. Add eggs at one piece every 30 second interval. Continue mixing until well combined.
  4. Add the mashed banana, chopped apples, and honey. Continue mixing for 1 minute.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing just until moistened. Do not overmix.
  6. Scoop batter in individual paper-line muffin tins. Fill up to two thirds full.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins test done
  8. cool in pan for 10 minutes before taking out to the wire rack

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Frozen Banana Yogurt Recipe

Yogurt for dessert has become the all time favorites of most people who are concerned of their weight. Why is yogurt getting more popular as part of daily diet nowadays? To add to your list of yogurt-based desserts, here is an easy to prepare recipe of frozen banana yogurt.

  • 4 cups plain yogurt or vanilla flavored
  • 1 cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup all purpose cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups ripe mashed bananas

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, salt, all purpose cream and vanilla. Cover with a cling wrap and put inside the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add mashed bananas to the chilled mixture.
  3. Freeze as directed.
  4. Once frozen serve in individual dessert cups.

Enjoy and have fun eating yogurt

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Banana Yogurt Smoothie


What are the benefits of Yogurt?

1 cup unflavored yogurt
1 medium-sized frozen banana or use fresh banana and 2 ice cubes
1 tbsp. hon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Other frozen fruits such as peaches or strawberries can be added or substituted. Blend until thick in covered blender

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Banana Yogurt with Toasted Oats


  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 500 mL homemade curd or plain yogurt or vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 6 Tbsp toasted oat pots
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • cinnamon powder or nutmeg
  1. Sprinkle 6tbsp oats on a baking tray with 2tbsp sugar. Grill gently for 3-4 minutes, turning every minute until golden and crisp.Allow to cool and set aside.
  2. Mix the banana and yogurt in an osterizer or blender or food processor until smooth
  3. Spoon into dessert cups and chill for 30 minutes
  4. Sprinkle on top toasted oat pots
  5. Dash lightly with cinnamon powder or nutmeg to add spicy taste

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Monday, September 27, 2010

White chocolate cookies Recipe

These white chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks have crisp edges yet soft and chewy in the center with full buttery sweet taste. It is called White chocolate cookies with chocolate chunk because because distinct chocolate chunks are added to the batter instead of the traditional chocolate chips. Chocolate chip cookies are one of America's favorite cookies and these white chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks recipe of Mrs. Debbi Fields became the springboard for various adaptations.

Yield: about 2 dozens

  • 110 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 90 grams Cake Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 225 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 grams finely chopped white chocolate
  • 45 grams granulated sugar
  • 44 grams light brown sugar
  • 2 larges eggs at room temperature
  • 100 grams semi-sweet chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small dry bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate with the (4 tablespoons) butter, stirring until blended smoothly for about 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a Kitchenaid bowl, cream the butter at low speed until soft and fluffy. Add in the white and brown sugar. Continue beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted white chocolate and vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chunks.
  5. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown lightly. The cookies will still be soft in the center.
  7. Cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute and then transfer to wire rack for further cooling.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Carrot Cake Recipe II

Carrot cake has never gone out of style. Take a bite and you'll find the answer why. Carrot cake is rich, moist spice cake filled with grated carrots and roasted walnuts or almonds. It is loved by its tangy and sweet flavored cream cheese icing. What truly interests me about carrot cake is despite its orange color and the presence of carrots which provide the texture and color along with its moisture and sweetness, its flavor is almost indistinguishable. The addition of pineapple or applesause somehow offset the strong taste of carrots.

Carrot Trivia

During the Middle Ages when sweeteners were difficult to find, carrots were used as substitute in most European sweet cakes. Carrots along with beets, contain more sugar than most other root crops.

Carrots are originally purple grown in Afghanistan since the 7th century AD. As carrots became popular moved towards the West, the orange variety came about and was then introduced to America. Carrot comes from the Greek word "karoton".

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 100 grams walnuts
  • 300 grams raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 280 grams refined sugar
  • 220 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

for Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 60 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 200 grams confectioners
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin)

for Garnishing
  • 100 grams toasted and finely chopped walnuts or pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Line 2 9-inch round pan with parchment paper
  3. Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
  4. Finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
  5. In a clean bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  6. In separate bowl ( bowl of KitchenAide), beat the eggs at high speed for about a minute or until frothy.
  7. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored. Continue beating for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract.
  9. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
  10. Add the grated carrots and chopped nuts.
  11. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In bowl of electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps.
  2. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blacky black juice

Black dessert and beverages from black carrot concentrate are now getting its popularity because of its known nutritive values. Highly packed with potent phytochemicals such as beta-carotene, anthocyanidins, polyphenols, flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants.

The problem though is you could hardly find the real black carrot in the market. If you can not find them at your regular produce vendors, try a Middle Eastern or Turkish specialty shop.

Try this recipe and if you like the taste, you can make this as your post exercise beverage... truly invegorating and thirst quenching. One serving gives you 126 calories with zero gram fat.One glass per day is the recommended frequency of intake either during or after a meal or after your heavy work-out.


8 Large Fresh Cleaned Black Carrots
1 Fresh Cut Lemon Wedge (Optional Garnish)


Install your juicer. Make sure the blades and receptables are cleaned and sterile.
Thoroughly wash and rinse your black carrots under cold running tap water.
Cut the black carrots into halves or quarter or to any tidbit size depending on the size and strength of your juicer. Prepare a tall clean clear glass under the juicer spout and begin feeding the carrots into the machine one at a time. To garnish, add one freshly cut lemon wedge to you glass. If you find the color of the juice to black and appears less palatable, you may dilute your juice extract with lemon juice.

Black carrot juice concentrate and puree may also be incorporated in many cake recipes and desserts for a healthier diet.


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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coffee Cake Recipe

One of life's unique little pleasures is when you are leisurely sitting in the morning facing the sunrise with a delectable slice of coffee cake paired with hot aromatic cup of coffee.

Coffee cake is one of the informal everyday cakes. Many may think that this cake contains coffee because of its name, but actually its name is referred to how its is actually eaten that is with a cup of coffee. While some coffee cakes contain yeast as its leavening agent, most are leavened by baking powder or baking soda like butter cakes and quick breads. But what makes it different from quick breads though is coffee cakes are not baked in a loaf pan and it is neither filled with frosting nor covered with icing which makes it different from regular cakes. The batter though is similar to the butter cake. It is richer in taste and texture because of the sour cream added instead of the regular fresh milk. Sour cream may be substituted with yogurt for a lighter texture.

What makes coffee cakes distinct from other regular cakes is the streusel topping made from a mixture of sugar, flour and ground cinnamon, with added nuts and chocolate chips. In other varations, rolled oats or even fruits are added to the streusel mixture. The streusel when baked, becomes slightly crunchy with a grainy texture contrasting the soft texture of the cake.

Coffee cakes are best eaten a day after it is made and best served warm from microwave oven.


Coffee Cake Topping

  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans - 100 grams
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar - 50 grams
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips - 50 grams
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour - 15 grams

Coffee Cake

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour - 200 grams
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature - 140 grams
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar - 150 grams
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt - 160 grams

Coffee Cake Topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of oven.
  2. Roast the nuts in the oven for 8 minutes or until fragrant and lightly brown. Cool and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl s mix in together sugar, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside
Coffee Cake
  1. Prepare the 9-inch spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour.
  2. In a dry bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using the KitchenAid stand mixer, using speed 2, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add in the sugar and continue beating until mixture is soft and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time at 30 second interval. Beat in the vanilla extract. Kitchenaid mixing technique.
  4. Reduce the speed to 1, and add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
  5. Spoon half of the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.
  6. Sprinkle about half of the nut topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then sprinkle with the remaining nut topping.
  7. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.
  9. Keep the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blueberry Trifles Recipe:

Blueberry Trifles Recipe

As trifles are traditionally served in large glass bowls so all the layers can be clearly seen, this version of blueberry trifles break the usual since it is prepared in individual serving glasses. However, it still follow the classic sequence of layering of stuff beginning with slices of pound cake, then sprinkled with liquer to add some biting taste, then followed by a layer of fruit or jam to offset the biting taste of alcohol, then a creamy smooth mustard layer, topped with softly whipped cream then finally garnished with crushed cookies or sprinkles or tiny bits of fruits.

What makes trifles interesting is that variation exists for every layer. Pound cake may be substituted with a sponge cake, butter cake, or ladyfingers locally known as broas. Brandy or rum may be used instead of Grand Marnier to sprinkle over the cake. You can actually use any spirit or liquer to soak the cake or you can omit it.

In this version of blueberry trifle recipe, blueberry sauce is used to replace the fruits and jam. You can opt for other berries preserve or even peaches, pears,or kiwi.

For this recipe, instead of smooth custard and whipped cream, it is replaced with a delicious creamy smooth layer of softly whipped cream with mascarpone cream.

The final layer is decorated with crushed Gingersnap cookies. Toasted nuts can best replace the Gingersnap cookies.

Blueberry trifle is best served after a minimum of four hours chilling in the refrigerator.

Image Courtesy of Joy of baking

YIELD: 6 individual servings of 240 mL per seving


8 pcs of 1.5-inch slices of Pound Cake (can be replaced by sponge cake and lady finger or broas)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other liquer (optional)- but this will add some biting taste to offset the sweetness of the fruit jam
1 cup Blueberry Sauce
225 grams fresh blueberries - about 2 cups
1 cup heavy whipping cream (contains 35-40% butterfat)
2-3 tablespoon granulated white sugar
2/3 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 crushed Gingersnap cookies (home made or store bought)

Pound Cake:
  1. Cut eight 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) slices of pound cake.
  2. Measure the diameter of four trifle glasses and, using a cookie cutter, cut the pound cake slices into eight rounds so they will fit snugly into the glasses.

Mascarpone Cream:
  1. Place the heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Whip until soft peaks form.

To Assemble the Trifles:
  1. Place one round slice of pound cake in the bottom of each trifle glass.
  2. Sprinkle each slice of pound cake with about 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier.
  3. Next spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of Blueberry Sauce on top of each round of cake.
  4. Cover the sauce with a few of the fresh blueberries.
  5. Place a large dollop of the whipped cream/mascarpone mixture on top of the berries.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours to allow the flavors to mingle.
Finally, sprinkle each trifle with come crushed Gingersnap Cookies before serving.
Makes 4 - 1 1/2 cup servings or 6 - 1 cup servings.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

How to make frozen chocolate banana pops?

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops are surely irresistible. The sweet flavor of a frozen banana covered with thin coating of shiny chocolate, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, and candy sprinkles are the perfect combination for children and adults to love.

Try making these frozen chocolate banana pops with your kids around as a fun way of introducing them to the pleasures of the kitchen.


  • 115 grams chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 3 large ripe bananas - take ripe bananas that are still a little firm and cut it into 2-3 inch chunks.
  • Chopped peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or pistachios
  • Toasted unsweetened coconut
  • Granola
  • Sprinkles or Chocolate Jimmies

Note: To toast coconut, place in a 300 degree F (150 degrees C) oven and bake for about 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch carefully.

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the bananas into 2 - 3 inch (5 - 7 cm) chunks. Insert a popsicle stick into the pieces of banana. Place on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Melt the chocolate and olive in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.(Note: you may substitute light olive oil with vegetable oil)
  4. Remove the frozen bananas from the freezer and, taking one piece of banana at a time, dip in the melted chocolate, making sure the banana is completely covered with chocolate.
  5. Roll (or sprinkle) the chocolate coated banana in chopped nuts, toasted coconut, granola, or colored sprinkles.
  6. Place all pops on the baking sheet and freeze.
  7. Once completely frozen, the bananas can be stored in a covered container, for about one week.
To serve, place the frozen chocolate banana pops in the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to soften the bananas.

Yield: Makes about 9 frozen chocolate bananas pops.

Via [Joyofbaking]

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Strawberry Ripple Ice cream

  • 1 can Carnation Evaporated milk (chilled)
  • 1 can Carnation condensed milk (chilled 6 hours prior to use)
  • 12 oz Fresh Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Stawberry flavoring
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. Put chilled evaporated milk in a Kitchen Aide bowl and beat until volume is doubled
  2. Add in condensed milk, wiping the sides once in a while
  3. Add in strawberries and and sugar in blender to make puree
  4. In separate bowl beat fresh cream using electric beater until frothy
  5. When everything is mixed well, add the frothy cream then fold well with a large spoon.
  6. Pour this mixture into ice cream mould and put in freezer
  7. After 1 hour, when the cream mixture is set, pour strawberry sauce and slightly mix using knife in round direction to give ripple effect
  8. Put back to freezer for 12 hours or until mixture is fully frozen

To make the strawberry sauce:
Boil water, add sugar, cook until become thick and turn to syrup. Add strawberry essence and food color

To serve:
Scoop out ice cream in glass pour strawberry sauce and decorate with wafers.
Serve frozen.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Strawberry Ripple Smoothie

This new blend of strawberry ripple is so refreshingly good for breakfast.Easy and quick to prepare. It is low in fat, high in flavor and rich in vitamins.


  • 1 1/2 cups (375mL) frozen Europe’s Best® Country Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) yogurt (Vanilla or strawberru flavor)
  • 370 ml evaporated milk(fat-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • honey to taste


  1. Place all ingredients in Oster blender
  2. Process at high speed until smooth. Set to pulse a few times to break ip pieces of fruit
  3. Add crushed ice to desired amount (optional)

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Friday, July 2, 2010

What is Mascarpone?

, pronounced mas-kahr-POH-nay, is a soft unripened cheese that belongs to the cream cheese family. It is a thick, buttery-rich, sweet and velvety, ivory-colored cheese, with a delicate and mild flavor, produced from cow's milk that has the texture of clotted or sour cream.

Mascarpone originated in the area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso, Italy, southwest of Milan, probably in the late 16th or early 17th century. The name is said to come from mascarpa, a milk product made from the whey of stracchino (aged cheese), or from mascarpia, the word in the local dialect for ricotta (although mascarpone is not made from whey, as is ricotta.[Wikipedia]

Mascarpone is a triple-creme cheese, made from a generally low-fat (25%) content fresh cream. It's made from the milk of cows that have been fed special grasses filled with fresh herbs and flowers – a special diet that creates a unique taste often described as "fresh and delicious."

Mascarpone is used in regional dishes of Lombardy, where it is a specialty. It generally is used alone (sometimes a bit of sugar is added) or in zabaglione. Milky-white in color, it is a thick cream that is easily spread. When fresh, it smells like milk and cream, and often is used in place of butter to thicken and enrich rissoti.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is Marsala wine?

Marsala wine is a fortified wine like sherry and port with a rich, smoky flavor that can either be sweet or dry. It originated from the Italian City of Marsala (Sicily).

Marsala which is made from Sicilian grapes is a famous wine fortified with brandy to convert the sugar into a higher alchol content. Marsala comes in different variety: Secco (dry), semisecco (semi-sweet), and dolce (sweet) variety. The dry style is often served was an aperitif or used to flavor poulty, meat and vegetable dishes while the semi-secco and dolce marsalas are best served with dessert.

Marsala is available in different hues depending on the the kind of grapes used.
  1. Marsalas Oro (Gold)and Ambra (amber) - made with white grape varieties such as Grillo, Catarrato, Inzolia and Domaschino.
  2. Marsala Rubino (Ruby) - made from dark skinned grapes such as Pignatello, Calabrese, Nerllo Mascalese or Nero d'Avola.

Marsala wine is classified according to the quality level and time it has been aged.
  1. Fine - the lowest level among the kind of marsala wine which contains at least 17% alcohol and 1 year wood aging;
  2. Superiore - contains at least 18% alcohol and 2 years wood aging;
  3. Superiore Riserva (also Giaribaldi Dolce-GD, London Particular-LP, or Superior Old Marsala-SOM) at least 4 years wood aging;
  4. Vergine - the highest quality among its kind, with at least 5 years wood aging.
  5. Vergine stravechhio or riserva - aged a minimum of 10 years.

Another variety of marsala wine called Marsala Speciali (also called Cremevo) is a flavored wine made with 80% Marsala plus other ingredients like eggs or coffee.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Modified Classic Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu (pronounced "tih-ruh-mee-SOO") is an Italian dessert invented in the 1960's at the El Touga restaurant in Treviso, Italy.

Tiramisu literally means "pick me up" or "carry me up" because of the jolt feeling you get after eating the espresso mixed with alcohol lined with ladyfingers. The ladyfingers are dipped in the mixture of espresso and rum or Marsala and then layered with a custard or chocolate cake base that has been mixed with mascarpone cheese.

Makes 8 - 10 servings.


Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Marsala or dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) (227 grams) mascarpone cheese
  • 32 crisp ladyfingers (Savoiardi)
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) very strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark rum or Marsala


  • Cocoa Powder for Garnishing
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated or chopped
  1. In a medium sized saucepan heat 1 3/4 cups milk and 1/2 cup sugar just until boiling.
  2. In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and egg yolks. (Egg yolk mixture)
  3. When the milk comes to a boil (from step 1), gradually whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Transfer this mixture into another clean large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.
  4. Continue to whisk the mixture constantly for another minute or so or until it thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl to remove any lumps that may have formed.
  6. Whisk in the Marsala (or rum), vanilla extract, and butter. Immediately cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Refrigerate until cold, approximately two hours.
  7. Remove the cooled custard mixture from the refrigerator.
  8. In a separate bowl, with a wooden spoon, beat the mascarpone cheese until it is soft and smooth.
  9. Gently fold, or whisk, the mascarpone into the cold custard until smooth.

Coffee Soaking Syrup: In a large shallow bowl combine the coffee (espresso), sugar, and Marsala (rum). Taste and add more sugar to taste.

To Assemble:
  1. Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap extends over the sides of the loaf pan.
  2. Working with one ladyfinger at a time, dip 8 ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and place them side by side in a single layer over the bottom of the loaf pan.
  3. Spoon 1/3 of the cream filling over the ladyfingers, making sure they are completely covered.
  4. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers by dipping them (8) ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and placing them on top of the cream. A
  5. Cover the ladyfingers with cream and repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, cream, and ladyfingers.
  6. Cover the Tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
To Serve:
  1. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the tiramisu.
  2. Gently invert the Tiramisu from the loaf pan onto your serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.
  3. Sift cocoa powder over the top of the Tiramisu and decorate with grated or chopped semisweet chocolate.
de Laurentis, Giada. 'Everyday Italian'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 2005.
Sax, Richard. 'Classic Home Desserts'. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York: 1994.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

What is Grand Marnier?

Grand Marnier
is a liqueur made from the dried peels of Curaçao oranges. It was invented by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880 and is still produced by the same family in France. The company that produces Grand Marnier boasts that it is the most exported liqueur from France and is sold in over 150 countries to be used in a wide range of drinks and desserts.

Varieties of Grand Marnier

Types of Grand Marnier primarily depends on the type of Cognac used ranging from Lower-end Cognac to 50-year old Cognac.

  • Yellow Label or Cordon Jaune (not available in the U.S.) is the lowest grade Grand Marnier, which is not made from Cognac, instead made from common grain alcohol. It is rarely used as drinking alcohol, but commonly used in cooking, such as in making Crepes.
  • Red Label or Cordon Rouge, the most common Grand Marnier is made from Cognac, using essentially the same technique as the original Grand Marnier in 1880. Cordon Rouge is often used in cooking, but may also be enjoyed in various mixed drinks or by itself.
  • Centennial Edition, or Cuvé du Centenaire is made using the same technique as the Red Label, but substituting 25-year-old Cognac for the normal Cognac used. This costs nearly $200 per bottle.
  • Grand Marnier 150 is a blend of the highest-quality 50-year-old Cognac costing more than $200 per bottle. It is often difficult to find hence, its advertising tagline..... "Hard to find, impossible to pronounce, and prohibitively expensive."

Brendan 2010

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to make your own clarified butter?

This video demonstrates the proper procedure of making your own clarified butter

Clarified butter is the best fat for use in Mother sauces for a richer less greasy product instead of olive oil. Clarified butter also has a very high smoke point, making it great for use in stir fry. Thousand of occasional recipes call for clarified butter. However, if you do not have clarified butter on hand, you will need to clarify your own unsalted butter which is a very easy step. Here's how.

You need a good quality unsalted butter. Melt whole unsalted butter in a large stockpot over low heat to prevent the burning of milk solids. Turn off the heat when the butter is fully melted. Move the stockpot to the refrigerator and let sit overnight. The water will sink to the bottom, the butter will solidify on top of that, and the milk solids will be on top of the butter after cooling. Remove stockpot from the refrigerator and scrape off the milk solids off from the top. Lift your block of cooled clarified butter off the top of the water. Cut into pieces and store.


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Friday, June 11, 2010

Chantilly Crèpes Recipe

Chantilly crèpes (pronunciation: crep as in yep, not crayp) are the lighttest, laciest, most tender crèpes imaginable. Cornstarch is used in this recipe instead of the usual flour . To make more tender, delicate as handkerchief crepes, cook the crèpes immediately after mixing the batter. If flour is used, wait for an hour after mixing the batter.

  • 3 pieces large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 43 grams unsalted butter (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 grams clarified butter**

* you can use up to 1 cup cornstarch if you prefer thicker crèpe with more bite
** If clarified butter is NOT available you can prepare your own Clarified Butter. Click here to see how.

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for 10 secondes
  2. Heat the crèpe pan on medium-high heat until hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
  3. Brush lightly with clarified butter and pour a scant 2 tablespoons batter into the center.
  4. Immediately tilt the pan to the left and then down and around to the right so that the batter moves in a counterclockwise direction, covering the entire pan.
  5. Cook until the top starts to dull and the edgest begin to brown (aprrox. 15 sec)
  6. Using a metal spatula, lift the upper edge and check to see if the crèpe is golden brown.
  7. Flip the crèpe over and cook for another 10 seconds or until just lightly brown.
  8. Release the crèpe by inverting the pan over the countertop.
If crèpes are served on the same day, it is fine to place 1 crèpe on top of the other. But if you will keep the crèpe in the refrigerator separate each crèpe with pieces of wax paper so that it will not stick to each other.

Yield: 24
Storage: 2 days refrigerated; 3 months frozen

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Banana Bread Recipe: Everybody's favorite

Banana Bread has been tested through time. My mother used to baked banana bread daily and sell it to coffee shops and school canteens in our locality since I was in Grade 1 til I reached college. She has fully mastered her craft in baking banana bread that she can do it with her eyes closed.

Banana bread is her favorite recipe not only because it is quick and easy to prepare but also it does not require very expensive ingredients.

It is quick to make that is why it is everybody's favorite and many calls it Quick Banana Bread. The dry ingredients are mixed well in a bowl. The wet ingredients are mixed together in a separate bowl. Then the two components are combined and you are done.... you will be delighted by the banana bread's wonderful moist texture and vanilla sweet flavor.

Banana Bread Recipe
Yield : 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (230 g)
  • 3/4 cup refined sugar (150g)
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (115 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cups mashed bananas (|454 grams) (bululan variety)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts or cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)(115 grams)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C and place oven rack to middle position. Line with parchment paper or grease and flour the sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine together all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine the wet ingredients: mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  4. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky.
  5. Do not overmix the batter as it will yield a tough rubbery bread. It is alright if the batteris not smooth. Chunky and thick batter is better.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for about 60 min or until bread is golden brown and when toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.
Banana bread is best served at room temperature or after it has been kept in the refrigerator overnight. The crispy golden brown crust will turn soft when the bread is covered and store but the sweet flavor and moist texture remains intact.

This bread can be frozen.

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Monday, May 31, 2010

New diet guide for high cholesterol patients

New diet guide for high cholesterol patients

Saturday, May 29, 2010

7 Day Food Journal Meal Plan

7 Day Food Journal Meal Plan

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eating Fats does not make you fat

Eating Fats does not make you fat

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pineapple Mango Upside Down Cake with a twist

Pineapple is a tropical fruit which is not associated with mainland America. But Americans just scream about pineapple upside down cake. This recipe of pineapple upside down cake is twisted with mango which pairs remarkably with brown sugar and cut through the plain cake. It is a plain treat with no frosting , gleaming with slick buttered pineapple and a variation would have cherries on it but its truly a delicious homemade delicacy.

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 fresh pineapple rings, peeled, cored, and cut 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1/4 cup toasted roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and sugar a 9 by 2-inch round baking pan or 6 ramekins (4-inch diameter)
  3. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Heat until butter begins to turn brown. Remove pan from heat,
  4. Using a sauce whisk, add vinegar and brown sugar, and mix well. Return to heat to melt sugar, if needed.
  5. Pour a little of the brown sugar sauce in the bottom of the ramekins or baking pan.
  6. Cut each pineapple ring into pieces, maintaining the shape of the ring.
  7. Add 1 pineapple ring to each ramekin or line the bottom of the large pan with pineapple.
  8. Add mango around the pineapple.
  9. Drizzle pineapple with remaining brown sugar sauce and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  10. Make the batter.

    • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    • In a separate bowl, beat on medium to high speed one stick of softened butter using paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
    • Add 1/2 cup superfine sugar and beat very well, until mixture is white and very light and fluffy.
    • Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
    • Alternately mix 1/3 cup milk, then 1/3 of flour mixture into butter-egg mixture in 3 portions.
    • Do not overmix.
    • In another bowl, beat egg whites with clean beaters or a balloon whisk.
    • When whites begin to foam, add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until they hold soft peaks.
    • Scrape 1/2 the whites into batter and mix gently until blended.
    • Fold in remaining whites carefully, until just blended. Divide batter among ramekins or pour into baking pan. (If using ramekins, place them on a baking sheet.)
    • Place cake in preheated oven.
    • Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes for ramekins or about 50 minutes for the round pan or until the tester comes out clean.
    • Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes in the pan.
    • Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake and invert onto deep dessert plates or a deep platter so that the sweet syrup not overflow.
Pineapple mango upside down cake with a twist


Saturday, May 8, 2010

No Bake Cheesecake

Yield: 8 slices

Among the many categories of cheesecakes, the no bake cheesecake is the most common because it uses common ingredients, can be whipped up in no time, and you do not have any problem regarding over baking and cracking, which is commonly associated with cheesecakes. Even if this recipe does not require baking in the oven, it still maintains the rich and tangy flavor of cream cheese and it is still smooth and creamye This recipe does not have eggs and flour.


Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 cup (100 grams) graham cracker crumbs or digestive biscuits (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) crushed ginger cookies (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 5 - 6 tablespoons (70 - 85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

  • One 8-ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream


  • 1 - 21 ounce (595 grams) can cherry pie filling


Graham Cracker Crust:
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, ginger cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
  2. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a well greased 8-9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while making the filling.

Cheesecake Filling:
  1. In the bowl of your KitchenAid Standmixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  5. In a separate clean bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  6. Gradually fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Pour the filling over the chilled graham cracker crust and smooth the top.
  8. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about an hour and then spread the cherry pie filling on top.
  9. Return to the refrigerator to chill for several hours, or even overnight.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Creamcheese Brownies Recipe

Yield: 16 square pieces



  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter,cut into cubes
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) refined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Creamcheese topping:

  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, soft
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) refined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Prepare a 9x9 square pan lined with parchment paper
  3. In a bowl over a simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate.
  4. Remove the chocolate-butter mixture from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Using the wire whisk, add the eggs one at a time until completely blended.
  6. In a separate dry bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour and salt.
  7. Add in the dry ingredients into the chocolate butter mixture and mix slowly using the wire whisk until batter is smooth and glossy. You would know if it is done when the batter comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  8. Place the batter into the pan.
Creamcheese topping:
  1. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Beat in the egg until batter is smooth and creamy.
  4. Spread the creamcheese batter evenly over the brownie batter.
  5. Using a spatula swirl the creamcheese and brownie batter without mixing them completely just enough to give a marble effect.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and remove the brownies from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. Refrigerate for 2 hours before slicing into squares.
Among the many varieties of brownies, cream cheese brownies is my favorite because it doesn't taste very sweet and the creamcheese neutralizes the deep rich chocolaty taste of the brownies. It's a perfect combination of dense and fudgy brownie and sour creamy taste of cream cheese.

One technique for a dense fudgy brownies is to have little flour, no leavening agent like baking soda and baking powder and to incorporate very little air possible when mixing the batter.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Chocolate Shortbread Recipe

A good shortbread depends on the quality of unsalted butter. So it is important to use the best unsalted butter you can afford. Unsalted is much prefered because the salt in "salted" butter can overpower its sweet flavor and can also mask any odors the butter may have absorbed in storage. Another key for better shortbread is good vanilla extract. It adds a strong pleasant flavor to the shortbreads. A pure vanilla extract is the best to use than the synthetic vanilla as it leaves a bitter aftertaste. The cocoa powder used in this recipe which gives the natural chocolate color and taste of the shortbread, is the regular unsweetend Dutch cocoa powder. The brand and type of cocoa powder greatly influence the flavor of the shortbread. The chocolate shortbread can be stored in a container at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 12-16 shortbread wedges.


Chocolate Shortbreads:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk


  • 3 ounces (90 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) lightly salted or unsalted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8-9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
  3. In a large clean bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. Using the KitchenAid stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Click for KitchenAid beating technique.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and egg yolk. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add the flour cocoa mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat just until a dough forms. Do not OVERMIX.
  7. Press the shortbread dough in an even layer onto the bottom of the tart pan.
  8. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, or just until the shortbread no longer looks wet and is firm to the touch. Place the rack in the center of the oven for even baking.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack for cooling. Pour the prepared glaze on the top of the shortbread.
Procedure for the Glaze:
  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
  2. Immediately upon removing the shortbread from the oven, pour the warm chocolate glaze over the shortbread
  3. Spread evenly the glaze using a spatula or back of spoon.
  4. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and press them gently into the glaze so that it will not fall off from the shortbread when one takes a bite.
  5. Let the chocolate shortbread cool completely then cut into 12-16 wedges.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sour Cream Apple Coffeecake

Sour Cream Apple Coffeecake

115 g unsalter butter1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 pieces apples (chopped, preferably fuji)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350FGrease a 9-inch round or square baking pan
  2. In a large clean bowl, cream butter and sugarAdd in the eggs at 30 second interval, add vanilla extract
  3. In a separate dry clean bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the cream alternately with the sour cream. Remember always begin and end with the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir until mixture is even and smooth. Do not overbeat.
  6. Spread half the batter in the pan and top with chopped apples.
  7. Sprinkle a little of the topping on the apples and cover with the remaining batter.
  1. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.
  2. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


  • 8 oz espresso
  • 4 oz chocolate syrup
  • 20 oz steamed milk
  • crushed ice

  1. Distribute crushed ice in 4 tall glassesAdd 5 oz steamed milk in each glass.
  2. In a separate container, mix espresso and chocolate syrup.
  3. Pour espresso chocolate mixture slowly down the side of the glasses.
Useful tips: If you think that melting ice cubes will make your mochaccino watery, it is
best that you prepare your mochaccino a day ahead. Pour your mochaccino into ice cube trays.
Once frozen, pop it out into your glasses and allow to melt.


Chocolate Ganache Tart

I want to share this easy to prepare chocolate tart recipe which I got from 2007 issue of Real Living magazine. I have tried this at home and served as dessert during my 39th birthday. My guests were so impressed and couldn't just resist taking the whole slice of it.
This is best served with a glass of ice cold mochaccino.

YIELD: one 9-inch tart



  • 200 g bittersweet chopped chocolate
  • 320 g heavy cream


  • 1 2/3 cups All Purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp refined sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup (225 g) unsalter butter (preferably Anchor butter)



  1. In a large clean bowl, combine all purpose flour, sugar, butter (cut into small cubes, soft). Mix well until it resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed. Lightly knead the dough a couple of times and flatten into a disk shape.
  3. Cover with plastic cling wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. Roll out dough to an 11-inch diameter circular shape on a slightly floured surface. Drape dough over the tart pan. Fold in the sides to make a border.
    Cover the dough with parchment paper or foil and place weights such as rice or beans. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the weights and cover and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until pie crust turn to golden brown. Cool completely.


  1. Place the bitter sweet chopped chocolate in mixing bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in a saucpan until it is scalding but not boiling. Pour over chopped chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate.
  3. Mix until thorough blended. Pour over prepared tart crust
  4. Chill over night or at least 8 hours.
  5. Garnish with crystallized fruits or chocolate shavings.

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Kitchenaid: What are the different whipping stages of egg white?

Beating the egg white to make into a foam would be very critical. It requires proper timing, appropriate speed, at suitable temperature. With the aid of kitchenaid stand mixer, beating the eggwhite makes your whipping so easy. Here is a guide on how to beat egg white to desire whipping stage.

What you need: Egg whites at room temperature

Place egg whites in clean, dry bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip. To avoid splashing, gradually turn to designated speed and whip to desired stage. See chart below:

1 egg white gradually to 10
2-4 egg whites gradually to 8
6 or more egg whites gradually to 6

Whipping Stages:
Frothy - large uneven air bubbles
Begin to hold shape - air bubbles are fine and compact; product is white
Soft Peak - tips of peaks fall over when wire whip is removed
Almost Stiff - Sharp peaks form when wire whip is removed, but whites are actually soft
Stiff but not dry - sharp stiff peaks form when wire whip is removed. Whites are unifor in color and glisten
Stiff and dry - sharp, stiff peaks form when wire whip is removed. Whites are speckled and dull in appearance.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

KitchenAid: How to mix and knead yeast dough

Follow these steps in mixing and kneading yeast dough using kitchenaid stand mixer. This steps are applied for bread making using Rapid Mix method.
  1. Place all dry ingredients including yeast into bowl, except the last 1 or 2 cups flour.
  2. Attach bowl and dough hook.
  3. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 15 seconds or until ingredients are combined.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, gradually add liquid ingredients to flour mixture, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Mix 1 minute longer. If liquid ingredients are added too quickly, they will form a pool around the dough hook and slow down mixing process.
  5. Continuing on speed 2, gently tap remaining flour around sides of bowl, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed. Mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
  6. When dough clings to hook, knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
In making bread using the conventional method, dissolve the yeast first in warm water in warmed bowl. Add remaining liquids and dry ingredients except last 1 or 2 cups flour. Turn to speed 2 for about a minute or until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Proceed with steps 4-6.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kitchen Aid: Mixing Tips

How to convert your favorite recipes into Kitchenaid mixer recipe? Mixing technique may vary depending on how the mixing is done, manual or by electric aid, and what particular instrument is used.

This mixing instructions can be used to to convert your favorite recipes for use with the Kitchenaid Mixer.

To help determine a mixing procedure, your own observations and experience will be needed. Watch the batter or dough and mix only until it has the desired appearance described in your recipe such as "smooth and creamy." Use the Speed Control Guide below to help determine proper mixing speeds.

  • 1 STIR - for slow stirring, combining, mashing, starting all mixing procedures. Use to add flour and dry ingredients to batter, add liquids to dry ingredients, and combine heavy mixtures.
  • 2 SLOW MIXING - for slow beating, mashing, faster stirring. Use to beat heavy batters and candies, start mashing potatoes or other vegetables, cut shortening into flour., beat thin or splashly batters, and mix and knead yeast dough.
  • 4 MIXING/BEATING - for mixing semi-heavy batters such as cookies. Use to cream sugar and shortening and add sugar to egg whites for meringues.
  • 6 BEATING/CREAMING -for beating, creaming, medium fast whipping. Use to finish mixing cakes, doughnut, and other batters.
  • 8 FAST BEATING/WHIPPING - for whipping cream, egg whites, and boiled frostings
  • 10 FAST WHIPPING - for whipping small amounts of cream and egg whites.

The standard procedure to follow when mixing most battes, especially cake and cookie batters, is to add:
1/3 dry ingredients
1/2 liquid ingredients
1/3 dry ingredients
1/2 liquid ingredients
1/3 dry ingredients
Use STIR SPEED until ingredients have been blended. Then gradually increase to desired speed.
Always add ingredients as close to side of bowl as possible, not diretlly into moving beater.

If ingredients in very bottom of bowl are not thoroughly mixed, the beater is not far enough into the bowl.

When preparing packaged cake mixes, use SPEED 4 for medium speed and SPEED 6 for high speed. For best results, mix for the time stated on the package directions.

Solid materials should be folded in the last few seconds of mixing on STIR SPEED. The batter should be thick enough to prevent fruit or nuts from sinking to the bottom of the pan during baking. Sticky fruits should be dusted with flour for better distribution in the batter.

Mixtures containing large amount of liquid ingredients should be mixed at lower speeds to avoid splashing. Increase speed only after mixture has thickened.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Home Blender by Best Green Life Co., Inc

This home blender is also best for making smoothies.

  • Mixing wave for excellent process in a crown-shaped multi-purpose device with three protrusions. It can shorten cooking time by changing the stream of materials through the three protrusions in the mixing process. It can also be used for excellent treatment when processing or grinding foods, more than 3cm in length.
  • Available by changing multi-purpose knives according to the needs;Horizontal blades: mixing, grinding; S-shaped blades: graining mill, mincing meat or chopping
  • Safety devices -Overheat prevention for motor with artifical intelligence sensor.Triple safety switches: different types of switches such as a functional push button switch, a micro switch, and a safety pin button on the lid must be in accorded position for proper operation
  • Equipped with powerful motor.
Power: AC 220v / 60hz480w
Container capacity (mixer / girnder) : 2100cc / 700ml
Master cartion: 4units
G. W: 19. 08kgs
Origin: Korea
Inner packing: 400mm*280mm*210mm
Carton size (units) : 585mm*425mm*450mm
Unit per master / export carton: 4units
Net weight: 17. 28kgs
Gross weight: 19. 08kgs
Master / export carton: 0. 112cbm
Quantity per 20 ft container: 1, 068units

for details and if you want to purchase this item, follow this linkis


This Classic series Kitchenaid mixer is one essential powerful tool in pastry business. It makes your baking routine a whole lot easier and convenient. Kitchenaid Professional is known for its durability and reliability in home cooking. I am going to feature here the one which I have been using for the past decade, The Classic Series Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.

It is a Classic Series model which features a 250-watt motor, 4-1/2 quart stainless steel bowl and a tilt-back mixer head design that provides easy access to bowl and beaters. This series has models of varying capacity ranging from 4.5 quarts to 6 quarts.

General Features:

* 10-Speed Solid-State Control
* Includes: Flat Beater, Dough Hook and Wire Whip
* Power Hub for Additional Attachments
* Capacity for Kneading Two Loaves of Bread
* Assembled with Pride in Greenville, Ohio
* Dimensions: H 13.9" x W 8.7" x D 14.1" 22lbs

You can view more of kitchenaid products and accessories from the following sites:
Kitchenaid Official Website
Kitchenaid Professional Shop

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Importance of Food Labels

Food labels found at the back of the package can give you useful information to help guide your food preferences. What do you need to check in food labels? What kind of information do you get in food labels? In food labels you will find that ingredients are always listed in decreasing order of weight.
Generally, labels give information based on values per 100g and per serving.

Here is a list of facts found in food labels.
  1. Energy - expressed in kilojoules (Kj) and kilocalories (Kcal). This information is helpfuil if your are monitoring your calorie intake especially when you are to lose weight. Generally, opt for low-calorie products.
  2. Protein - is unlikely to cause any large fluctuations in your blood glucose level.
  3. Carbohydrates - the total amount of carbohydrates is given. It gives information on how much of it is made of sugar (i.e. 2.0 g or less of sugar per 100 g is low) . This can help you to determine the effect of that food on your blood sugar level.
  4. Fat - choosing items with a lower fat content (3.0 g or less per 100 g serving is low) will help you to lose weight. Foods with higher proportion of mono- or polyunsaturated than saturated fats are more healthful.
  5. Fibre - choosing foods with a higher fiber content will help you keep healthy.
  6. Sodium - this tells you the amount of salt per serving. Limiting your salt intake will be beneficial to your blood pressure.