Archive for November, 2008
And now it’s time for some shameless self promotion!
For those outside the Philippines who are asking about how to have these cupcakes delivered to their loved ones here, you can order at Cookie Blossoms, my online store. Also available are other luscious goodies so please feel free to browse. I accept orders from all over the world but delivery is only to the Phillippines.
For those based in the Philippines who are interested in ordering, kindly drop me a note here or contact me at (0917) 6953441 so I can give you the local price list.
Recently, I also installed a tool on this site called Snap Shots which enhances links with visual previews of the destinations site. Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave my site, while other times it lets you “look ahead,” before deciding if you want to follow a link or not. Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.
Christmas is in the air and I’m gearing myself for more baking. Lately, I have been churning out loads of cookies. Prior to this cookie baking frenzy, I already lost some unwanted pounds since starting an exercise routine. I think I must have gained back those pounds (and more!) with all those cookie “samplings.” Being a cookie monster that I am, I just can’t resist a bite or two especially when it’s an extra large chocolate chip cookie pop “conveniently” sitting beside a large mug of milk. Mmmm . . .
November 27th, 2008
Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Cake - melt-in-the-mouth chocolate truffle cake. Flourless and with no added sugar. Decorated with chocolate leaves and roses made of pliable candy. Price available upon request.
died and went to heaven
My teenaged goddaughter K._, one of my “tasters”, told me recently she wanted a break from cupcakes and requested for a cake. Not just any cake, she insisted that I bake for her a chocolate cake.
And so I made this truffle cake adapted from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This has only three essential ingredients—good quality dark chocolate, eggs and unsalted butter. Total baking time is a mere 15 minutes. I was a bit worried that the cake might not turn firm enough after baking but the recipe said that the cake will indeed appear soft and assured that this is how it should be. After three hours in the refrigerator, it indeed became firm.
I decided against covering the cake with chocolate ganache and instead played up its simplicity by encasing it with chocolate leaves (I used rose leaves plucked from our garden) and decorating with roses made with pliable candy. The candy is the only sugary stuff in the cake and you can choose to go all out sugar-free by not eating it. (This decoration was also inspired by the Beranbaum book, only I made slight changes).
After the photo was taken, the family had slices and they all gushed about its taste and texture. “Death by chocolate,” “died and went to heaven,” “melt-in-the-mouth,” “I want this for my wedding(!)” and simply “mmmmmm” filled my ears which really pleased me. It was like a mousse and truffle, airy, soft but not runny. I just made half the recipe because I wanted to test how the chocolate bars I got would fare. The family is not too fond of intensely bittersweet chocolate so I used dark chocolate that is marked with 45% cocoa solids.
As it is, the cake is just pure heaven. I might experiment with chocolates with higher percentage of cocoa solids next time. I used to bake a recipe similar to this only with a slight difference in ingredient proportions and procedure. My friend L._ who ordered it said her children loved it but after trying these two, I am sticking with the Beranbaum recipe
By the way, here’s a shout out to Ms. Beranbaum and The Cake Bible, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year (the book was published October 19, 1988) and still continues to be an inspiration to all bakers and lovers of good food. I learned a lot of techniques in this book and it is very enjoyable to read, too (I found myself laughing out loud on some instances, really). I also took Ms. Beranbaum’s cue and vowed that all cakes (and cupcakes) I make should taste as divine as they look. To quote from the book: “Cakes made for special occasions must dazzle the eye. But no matter how carried away I get with decorating, my chief concerns are always flavor and texture. If a cake isn’t going to taste absolutely delicious, there is no point in making it!” How true!
November 16th, 2008
Blooming Garden Cupcake – luscious devil’s food cupcake frosted with slightly sweetened whipped cream and decorated with marshmallow flowers. Price available upon request.
my sweet, edible flower garden
Wow, it’s been a while since my last post as I had been busy with projects here and there. And with the holidays creeping around the corner, the days ahead will no doubt increasingly turn hectic.
This is actually the very first decorated cupcake I made. In our house, chocolate rules so I baked my foolproof devil’s food cake into cupcakes. I saw the decoration in a magazine and I decided to adapt it as well. Since I dislike powdered sugar-based buttercream, I used slightly sweetened whipped cream tinted green. The flowers are made of snipped marshmallows and the life-like butterflies are made of wafer paper—entirely edible, as I want all my cupcake decors to be. You can either print them on wafer paper with a special printer using food colors as inks or you can buy printed designs from a cake decorating supply store. However, I had a bad experience with the store from where I got my butterflies so I will not be revealing which store this is. Sorry!
Notwithstanding the unpleasant shopping episode, the cupcakes are wonderful to look at and divine to eat!
November 14th, 2008
New York Style Blueberry Cheesecake(lette) – bite-sized silken cheesecake with lemony notes and a dollop of blueberry topping. Price available upon request.
my blueberry nights
I had these bricks of Philadelphia cream cheese that I had been intending to use for a green tea project. I was deep in my tests for green tea cupcakes and I was thinking what icing to use. I decided on a green tea cream cheese frosting. It tasted ok but the flavor of green tea completely dissolved the next day. With this result, I put the project on hold. I just didn’t realize that only a few days were left before my cream cheese reaches it’s “best before” date.
On the brink of the dreaded date, my pediatrician sister C._ mentioned to me that she needed to bring food for their meeting. What perfect timing! I volunteered to bake a cheesecake for her—New York style cheesecake with blueberry topping. To avoid the fuss of cutting the full-scale cake into portions, I baked the cheesecake in a lined cupcake pan. And instead of the usual graham cracker base, I used rosquillos, those round crisp biscuits that Cebu is famous for.
I wanted to add whipped cream rosettes on top of each miniature cheesecake but I felt that would have been too much. With or without the whipped cream, these are darling gems—creamy smooth, not too sweet and with a hint of lemon. I baked these again and substituted some butter cookies for the rosquillos as it was out of stock in my local supermarket.
C._ said her colleagues gobbled up the cheesecakelettes in no time. And it helped that they were just the perfect fit for any hungry mouth!
November 14th, 2008