Tiramisu Cupcakes

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This has been on my to-bake-list for months but I was hesitant to try this because I was afraid not to whip the cream. When I tried whipping the cream for the first time for another recipe, it did not form. So whenever I needed whipped cream (for hot chocolate, for example), I prefer to buy a ‘ready-whipped’ one.

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Tiramisu Cake is one of my favorite cakes. And it is my second favorite cake.

There was a day when I was craving for a Tiramisu Cake but it was out of reach. At the same time, I was interested with Mascarpone cheese. Not knowing that it is a cream in cheese form, I grabbed one when I went to the grocery.

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Tiramisu Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 280g mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with liners and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, add warm water and espresso powder. Let sit for a few minutes.
  4. In a large bowl using a whisk, cream together eggs, sugar, vanilla, milk and vegetable oil. Add the espresso-water mixture and combine everything together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  6. Using a large ice scoop (or any tool you prefer), scoop out and evenly divide the batter between the lined muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make the topping:

  1. Beat the cream in an electric mixer until stiff. Make sure you don’t overbeat it. Transfer to another container. Using the same bowl, beat Mascarpone cheese until fluffy, add sugar and beat until smooth. Fold cream into cheese mixture. Pipe immediately onto cupcakes.

Notes on whipping the cream:

As to my experience, the only points to note are:

  • Make sure to have your glass/metal bowl and beaters cold. And of course, your cream.
  • Beat the cream on low-medium for 7 minutes or until stiff and make sure not to overbeat.
  • And please, BE PATIENT! 😉

Source recipes: Tiramisu Cupcakes by Laura in the Kitchen

I was given a master set of Wilton piping tips as an advance birthday gift and this was the first time I used one of the tips. I baked this before the Mocha Cake so I was happy to have the beautifully piped frosting on the cupcakes. 

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And… sshhh! I almost cried when I was done piping these yummies because aside from its beauty, they were so beyond WOW!!!

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If you love Tiramisu Cake, you should try this and I am sure you will also love this. And please, let me know if you do.

Burger Steak

Today, I am delighted to share with you one of my favorite dishes from Jollibee.

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Jollibee is the famous fast-food chain in the Philippines. They serve fried chicken, burgers, French fries, spaghetti and a lot more. It’s almost same as McDonald’s, except of course, for the taste of the food they offer.

When dining out at Jollibee, I always go for burger steak and peach mango pie. They are my absolute favorite! But no matter how much I love them, I just can’t go out whenever I crave for them. So, I searched for a Burger Steak recipe. The searching went well and I was happy to have the recipe from Pinoy Cooking Recipes.

Burger Steak

I am adding the message below due to the comment I received recently that this recipe is salty which makes it a disaster and a failure: 

This recipe works for me and if you are in doubt of this recipe being too salty, start with 1 beef cube… make it 2 or 3, (adding a chicken cube) when you feel the need to. We have different taste buds – meaning, you have to adjust the recipe according to your taste! 

Ingredients:

For the burger patty: 

  • 500 g fresh ground beef
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • cooking oil

For the mushroom gravy: 

  • cooking oil (use about 2 tbsp from the oil used to fry the patties)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 2 beef cubes
  • 1 chicken cube
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup canned mushrooms, sliced
  • ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

For the burger patty: 

  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except cooking oil. Mix until everything is incorporated.
  2. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the mixture. Roll into a ball and flatten using your palms.
  3. Fry the burger patties until lightly browned. (Do not overcook to avoid toughening.) Drain on stack of paper towels. When the oil is absorbed by the paper towels, transfer to a serving plate until mushroom gravy is ready.

For the mushroom gravy: 

  1. Dissolve 2 tbsp of flour in 2 cups water. Set aside.
  2. In a pan with medium heat, add cooking oil (use about 2 tbsp from the oil used to fry the patties).
  3. Saute onions and mushrooms.
  4. Add beef & chicken cubes until dissolved. Add the water-flour mixture.
  5. Simmer until mixture thickens.
  6. Pour over the sauce over the fried patties.
  7. Serve with white rice.

Source recipe: Burger Steak by Pinoy Cooking Recipes

Notes:

If you feel that your patties don’t come together, you can add 2 tbsp of flour/panko bread crumbs and one beaten egg to the beef patties mixture.

If you are going to use all beef cubes, it will give you a darker gravy. If you will use both beef and chicken, it will give you a lighter one. So it’s all up to you. 😉

I served mine with buttered carrots and corn. And of course, like every time I dine it at the said fast-food chain, I always go for iced tea. 😉

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Burger Steak is our version of Salisbury Steak. I don’t know how the two differs but I will give the ‘Salisbury’ steak a try some other time. For the last time, let’s take a closer look at this yummy dish…

thenotsocreativecook-BurgerSteak3Ahhh! I think I should make this again, like NOW!! 😀 I super enjoyed this dish up to the last bite. I hope you do, too!


The below photo is the latest photo from my birthday this month:

thenotsocreativecook-BurgerSteakBD3Also, I will give you the recipe of this mashed potatoes, which is not fancy at all. Here it is:

EASY MASHED POTATOES RECIPE

You’ll need potatoes (I really don’t measure), heavy cream, salt and pepper.

Peel the potatoes. Boil the potatoes until fork-tender/mashable. Mash using a fork or potato masher. While mashing, pour in heavy cream – stop until desired creaminess is achieved. Add salt and pepper.

Mocha Cake

A coffee-infused cake with velvety mocha buttercream. 

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Turning a year older is not as bad as it seems. As I grow older, I think I am becoming more mature and I have learned a lot. I will not enumerate all of them as I don’t want this post to be a dramatic one. Haha!

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Anyway, there’s nothing so special about today except for… it’s my birthday. This day will be different from my previous birthdays as I will not have something on the table except for my first favorite cake. If you are a regular reader, you’ll remember about the Mocha Cake I always talk about. Finally, I had a chance to bake it.

Mocha Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp Nescafe coffee granules
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or any flavorless oil)
  • 1 cup cake flour or cake flour substitute
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

For the mocha buttercream:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 12 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Nescafe coffee granules
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 5 tsps water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

For the cake: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two 9×2-inch round baking pans with parchment paper on the bottom and spray with non-stick spray (both bottom and sides). Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in color.
  3. In a small bowl or cup, combine coffee granules and cocoa powder. Add in water and vanilla. Mix until no lumps. Pour this mixture to the egg-sugar mixture.
  4. Add in vegetable oil and mix to combine.
  5. Sift cake flour and baking powder over the mixture. Mix until well combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  6. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks.
  7. Add about just a cup of meringue (egg white mixture) to the bowl with egg yolks just to thin the mixture. Then add the rest of the egg whites by doing the cut and fold process.
  8. Evenly divide the batter between the two round baking pans.
  9. Bake on two racks for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Rotate and exchange the pans halfway through baking.
  10. Remove from the oven and let it stay in the baking pan for about 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer the cake on a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

While waiting for the cake to cool completely, let us make the mocha buttercream.

  1. In a heatproof bowl, add egg whites and sugar. Place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl). Whisk the egg whites and sugar for about 3-5 minutes or until the meringue is hot to touch and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating (using an electric hand mixer) for 5 minutes in medium speed.
  3. Add half of the softened butter and beat until smooth. Then add the other half to combine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Continue beating for another 6-10 minutes in a medium-high speed until thick.
  4. In a small bowl or cup, combine coffee granules and cocoa powder. Add in water and vanilla. Mix until no lumps. Pour this mixture to the buttercream and mix until well combined.

To assemble the cake,

  1. Cut parchment paper larger than the size of your cake stand of serving plate, cut into 4. Place these above your cake stand. This will keep your cake stand/serving plate clean while frosting.
  2. Place the first layer of your cake on the parchment-lined cake stand. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the buttercream over the cake and spread evenly using an offset spatula.
  3. Place the second layer of the cake over and spread with a thin layer of the buttercream all over the cake. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Spread a thicker layer of buttercream all over your cake.
  5. Decorate the cake as you wish.

Source recipe: Mocha Cake ala Goldilocks by Gourmeted

Notes: 

I doubled the mocha buttercream recipe just to make it enough for the roses for the frosting. If you’d like to double it, please be patient in beating if using a hand mixer as it will take time to form. Mine took about 20-30 minutes.

I used 2D Wilton piping tip for the frosting. Check out this video on how to make the beautiful roses on my cake.

Whew! That was long! That’s the reason why I don’t bake this frequently – just looking at the instructions makes me tired. Haha! But everything was worth it. The cake was soft, fluffy and incredibly delicious!! This is the second time I bake this cake. The first time was last year – on my birthday, too.

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Goldilocks’ is a known bakeshop in the Philippines and I LOVE their Mocha Cake so much (like I could just finish the whole cake all by myself). My Mom never failed to buy me the cake during my birthdays. Its been ages since I was looking for a Mocha Cake recipe and my friend, Google, gave me something like a Coffee Cake but I was not sure if it was something I was looking for. Patiently, I searched and searched. Nothing. Until a friend of mine, Joice, gave me this site. Gosh! I was drooling the exact moment I opened the site. Hahaha!

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I want to put more words to this post but I guess the photos will do the talking for me. I guess the beauty and the deliciousness of this cake almost left me speechless.

I really hope you could try this cake. 🙂 I promise that you will love it… and please let me know!

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Thank you so much for spending this day with me! Have a nice weekend! 😉

Tomato Corn Pasta Soup

Soups are mostly served in the Philippines during cold and rainy days. But do you consider the weather to make a soup? I don’t. I can eat soup anytime of the day at any season – hot or cold.

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I was craving for something with tomato for several days. It can be pasta or a soup. But since I have already satisfied my craving for pasta, I knew it was the soup that my tummy was looking for. On the same day of my craving, I saw this soup from Liz and I thought I have to make it on that day or the next day. And yes, I made it on the next day.

Tomato Corn Pasta Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500ml diced plum tomatoes*
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste blended with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cups corn kernels, drained
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked pasta (al dente), kept warm (I used macaroni)
  • 4 spring onions,sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a pot with medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions and garlic, saute until fragrant.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste blended in water and cook for 5 minutes. Add corn, carrots, vegetable broth and bring to a boil Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add cooked pasta and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Note:

If you feel that the soup is too thick, add broth and adjust the seasoning.

Since I didn’t have canned tomatoes on hand, I diced my own tomatoes. But this is not required, by all means get yourself canned tomatoes. 😉

Source recipe: Tomato Corn Pasta Soup (with Snap Peas) by My Favourite Pastime

I was supposed to try fresh egg noodles but it was not available in our local grocery store. And macaroni is the only pasta I had. I don’t have the willpower to go out to buy other kind of pasta as I really feel the need of making this soup at that exact moment. Haha!

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Anyway, the soup was really good and it really satisfied my craving! Thanks a lot for sharing this delicious soup, Liz. 🙂

Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

This is where I used my egg whites.

Puto is a Filipino steamed rice cakes. It usually uses rice flour but mostly, we use all purpose flour. I wonder if we can still call it ‘rice cakes’ even if we replace rice flour with all-purpose flour. I guess we still can as most of the recipes I have found used all-purpose flour.

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I was lucky that these steamed rice cakes turned very successful. The first time I tried, the texture was not good as I have put the cheese in the middle of the batter so it was not fully cooked. I tried to let it stay longer inside the steamer but I got the same result. The second time was supposed to be a surprised present for my friend but I was the one surprised as the cakes were soaked in water – I have not used cheese cloth or any good substitute cloth so the water dripped on the cakes and made it soggy. It’s been months since the second try. I was hesitant to try this for the third time but I didn’t have any easy recipe in mind that uses egg whites, so I forced myself to make this.

Puto (Steamed Rice Cake)

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • cheese for topping

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your moulds and your steamer.
  2. In a bowl, place egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and water. Mix well.
  4. Gently fold egg whites to the flour mixture.
  5. Pour the batter to your puto moulds and fill up to 2/3 full.
  6. Add grated cheese on top.
  7. To avoid water drips, place cheesecloth or fine cloth in between the steamer tray.
  8. Steam for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a puto comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the steamer and transfer to a serving plate to enjoy.

Source recipe: Puto by Pinoy Cooking Recipes

I was dead tired when I made this and it was almost midnight. I was not expecting this to be perfect but I guess that was the prize of having fun in the kitchen and trying to explore other recipes or techniques when you fail the first time. I was so HAPPY that it turned out so well.

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If you have noticed, I did not use all the 10 egg whites in this recipe. What happened to the others? Well, that should be a different post but it was not successful. I baked meringue cookies and expecting to have a delicious and beautiful result but unlucky me, the supposed to be beautiful pastel-colored meringue turned into brown (almost black) meringue. YES! You understood that right. I was alarmed when I smelled something burning and when I came to check, the oven was smoking! Anyway, I baked the second batch but it was not still 100% successful but at least edible this time.  I promised myself, I will not stop until I get a perfect meringue or maybe that will be a ‘try and try until you cry’, haha!

Nonetheless, part of the egg whites are successful (more than successful, I must say) because I really loved these steamed cakes. This can be served during breakfast with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. But of course, it can be eaten anytime of the day, just like I did.

You can also use individual aluminum moulders as the beautiful and colorful ones I used above are only available in Asian stores (if I am not mistaken). If using aluminum moulders, make sure to spray it with cooking spray before putting the batter to avoid sticking or you can put paper liners inside the moulders like what I did below.

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But, it is advisable to use plain, white paper liners. I did use white but with prints, so the color stayed on the cakes.

Leche Flan

Leche Flan is the Filipino version of Crème Caramel which is popular in Europe. It is, according to Wiki, a heavier version of Spain’s Flan de Leche (literally means ‘Milk Flan’) which uses more egg yolks and condensed milk.  Leche Flan, like the Filipino Spaghetti, parties are not complete without this.

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Leche Flan has also been a favorite dessert of mine. When dining out in a Filipino restaurant, I make sure to always have this. Honestly, the first time I made this was a complete failure – the flan was so soft that it was about to break and it had a very pale color. The second was the same. Another problem I encountered was the caramelized sugar – I was so impatient that I did not wait the sugar to be well caramelized before putting it into the molder. I did not do it again within months. Last year, I was craving for it and this dessert was out of reach. So, I decided to be patient because I know it’s the only key to get a good Leche Flan, if not perfect. And you know what? I got it perfectly!!

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This blog was not present during that time so I have not shared them with you. And since I started this blog, I have not made one ‘coz it uses a lot of egg yolks and I have no idea what to do with the egg whites except for Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Or maybe I have, but I don’t want to do additional baking/cooking/steaming. Yeah, I guess that was the reason.

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Anyway, last month, I finally had the ‘power’ to spend time at the kitchen for hours, so I made this dessert again.

Leche Flan

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can evaporated milk
  • 1 large can condensed milk
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your moulds and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan with medium heat, add sugar and water. Do not stir. Cook until it caramelizes or turns amber. Immediately pour and divide into the prepared moulds. Let it cool down.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  4. Divide the mixture to the prepared moulds until its about 1 – 1.5 inch thick.
  5. Cover the mould with aluminum foil. Steam for 30-35 minutes.
  6. When done, let it cool down then keep in the fridge for about 3 hours or until chilled.
  7. When ready to serve, run a knife thru the edges and invert in a serving plate.

Note:

*Ramekins can also be used instead of the aluminum moulds: Pour caramelized sugar, next the custard mixture and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the ramekins in a pan (e.g. roasting pan). Add hot water to the roasting pan (water bath) until it reaches half-way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 350 F for 40 to 50 minutes until the flan is firm. Let the ramekins cool and then let them chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

Source recipe: Leche Flan by Ang Sarap

Ohh! Just look at that?! So smooth and creamy!!

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What did I do with the egg whites? It will be on the next post.

I enjoyed this dessert until the last bite! 😀

 Don’t know how to caramelize sugar? Click here.