No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Here’s the recipe I tried straight from the Magnolia creamcheese box. It’s really simple and easy to follow. Try it and you won’t regret!

NO BAKE BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (approx. 100g) softened butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice and grated rind

optional:

A Slice of Yummyness!

A Slice of Yummyness!

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground nuts

Cheesecake filling:
1 box Magnolia cream cheese, softened
1 pack Nestle all purpose cream, chilled
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh or Alaska evap milk
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (1 sachet of Knox)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

Topping:
1 can Comstock Blueberry pie filling

Procedure:
To prepare crust:
If you don’t have store-bought crumbs, you can crush them. You can use a food processor for faster result.
Mix all dry ingredients and add butter to bind. blend well. It should be moist and not dry. Add more butter if it’s too dry.

Transfer and press evenly on bottom of ungreased springform pan or pie dish around 8-9 inches in diameter.  Place in the freezer to harden crust while you are make the filling.

To prepare filling:
Using a mixer, whip chilled cream with 2 tablespoon sugar until stiff. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, gradually mix remaining sugar into softened cream cheese. Beat until fluffy and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine milk and gelatine powder and stir in low heat. Mix well until completely dissolved. Do not boil. You can use a wire whisk while heating to remove lumps. Remove from heat then pour and beat into cream cheese mixture.
Fold in cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and beat on medium to high.
Add lemon juice if you want some zest in your cream filling.

To assemble:
Bring out pan from freezer and pour in the cheesecake filling. Spread evenly with spatula and tap pan lightly to set and release some air bubbles.
Cover pan and chill for a few hours.
Top with blueberry pie filling or chosen fruit before serving.

Credit to:
http://www.mymomfriday.com/2010/12/mom-cook-no-bake-blueberry-cheesecake.html

Yummy Yema Cake

Here’s a famous Pinoy cake that you would really love to try. It would really turn your chiffon cake with mouth-watering milky/caramel sauce into a delightful experience. I got this post from Pinoy Hapag Kainan and did a slight revision to my liking and gave some additional tips to it. Thanks to my cousin, Jen Duano, for inspiring me to bake this cake.

CAKE BATTER
2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk or Alaska evaporated filled milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup grated cheese

MERINGUE
8 Egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

YEMA FROSTING
1 can Alaska evaporated milk
1 can Alaska condensed milk
4 egg yolks
Options: add 2-3 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the sauce faster and 2 tablespoon of Anchor butter once cooked for more buttery taste

Directions :

Put cake flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl, mix and sift.
In a separate bowl, put together egg yolks, sugar, milk, and lemon essence.
Beat in slow speed or mix with a wire whisk until mixture is smooth.
Combine dry and wet mixture, continue mixing until well blended. Set aside.

Merengue
On a separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar.
Gradually add in sugar and continue to beat until stiff but not dry.
Add 1/4 of the egg white mixture to flour mixture.
With spatula, fold the remaining egg white mixture make sure the bottom part is well combined.

Pour the mixture in ungreased cake pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325°F for 20-25 minutes.

Yema or Milk Custard frosting:
In a shallow pan or double boiler, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk and egg yolks.
Cook the mixture at low fire, while continuously stirring until the texture becomes thick.

Cake decoration:

Slice the chiffon cake in half horizontally, to make two rectangular cake.
Spread part of Yema frosting at the top of 1st half of Chiffon cake.
Put back the half of the cake and cover the whole cake with the custard.
Garnish with grated cheese and serve with hot or cold drinks.

Cooking Tips:
Put egg whites at room temperature before whipping. Cold egg whites will not peak to foam.
Make sure that the bowl where you put your egg whites is void of any oil. Put vinegar in a tissue and wipe it clean. Any oil will make the egg whites watery.

All-purpose flour can be a substitute for cake flour, The cake will become a bit granulated.

No need to grease your pan but you can line the pan with a wax paper for easy removal of the cake.

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Mocha Yema with grated chocolate

Variation:
Put coffee or chocolate powder into the chiffon cake for other flavor and omit the lemon essence.
Instead of cheese, you can use grated chocolate, almond or coconut flakes.

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Plain Yema Cake

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Yema Cake with Grated Cheese

Why Fry When You Can Bake Your Doughnuts

Baked doughnuts with chocolate glaze

Baked doughnuts with chocolate glaze

Who would not want to have a mother who loves good home baking? I for one is quite blessed to have someone who was not just fond of cooking but baking as well. The aroma of freshly made doughnuts, breads and pastries would usually fill our dining room. We would rush to the table and leave everything behind to have the taste of something hot and oozing with great taste. And now that I am a mother with two toddlers roaming around the room, I constantly think of what good food I can serve them.  With growing and always hungry boys, they are always excited to see what I am baking. And since one old time favourite came to mind, I decided to make some doughnuts and do a twist with the normal fried ones and instead bake them. I want to make it more healthier and more bread-like appeal to it.

I came across with this recipe which I adapted from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001561.html and from http://shaunasever.com/2010/03/baked-doughnuts-yes.html.  This  is really quite simple and easy. I have also added some tips to keep in mind while baking.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm milk, divided, 95 to 105 degrees (take its temperature–too hot and it will kill the yeast)
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (about half a packet)
1 tablespoon butter or shortening, melted and still warm
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

For the cinnamon-sugar coating:

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugarlet the dough rise for an hour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water or as needed

*Makes about 1 dozen of regular size or 2 dozens of mini doughnuts

Place 3 tablespoons of the warm milk (not overly hot to the touch) in the bowl of an electric mixert. You don’t want to kill the yeast.  Stir in the yeast and set aside for at least five minutes (or until foamy).

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of warm milk in a small bowl, stir in the butter and sugar, and add it to the yeast mixture. On low speed, stir in the egg, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated.

Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. At this point, make a few adjustments – if your dough is seriously sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add a little bit of milk. Eventually, you want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and become soft and smooth. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface, knead it a few times by hand, and shape it into a smooth ball.  Knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.doughnut dough risen

Transfer the dough to a greased or oiled bowl (cooking spray works great here), cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place. Let the dough rise until its doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on a floured work surface. The dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

Dip your doughnut cutter or use your 2-3 inch cookie cutter before you  stamp out the circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut holes in the centers with a smaller cutter.  Cover the baking sheet with a clean cloth and let the doughnuts rise for another 30 minutes.

http://www.pillsbury.com/-/media/PB/Images/holidays-celebrations/spring/grands-spring-doughnuts-how-to/grands-spring-doughnuts-how-to_02.ashx

cut the dough in circles

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, about 8 minutes – start checking around 6 minutes. Better to underbake then overbake here–pull them early if in doubt. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Add the sugar coating or dip into the glaze.

For the cinnamon coating:

While the doughnuts are baking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugars and cinnamon in a separate bowl (or large ziploc bag), stirring to blend evenly.

For the glaze:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Tips:

You may add a pinch of sugar into the warm milk to make the yeast more active. I read that the yeast loves to feed on sugar.

If you don’t have a cutter, just use two different sizes of round cutters at least the other cutter is half the size to have a more defined hole in the centre.

You can either dip the baked doughnut or add some fillings to to it.

Happy Baking!

Leche Puto or Steamed Custard Cake

One of my favourite pinoy desserts is leche flan!  How much more if you put two pinoy favourite merienda treats together? And voila! you Have the LECHE PUTO or the custard steamed cake. All you have to do is use a steamer. So easy to make even if you don’t have an oven. This is a great snacks/dessert for all ages.  You can bring this to any party. Who would say no to a milky and caramel  sweet delight!

Ingredients:

For the flan:Leche Puto

4 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk (395g)
2 tsps lemon/calamansi juice or 1 tsp lemon extract

For the puto:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
4 eggwhites (about 2/3 cup)
1¼ cups water

1 tsp vanilla

a few drops of yellow liquid food colouring (optional)

 

1.  Prepare the flan first.  In a small bowl, mix together the eggyolks and condensed milk.  Add in the lemon juice or extract. Remove any bubbles. Then put in your plastic sauce container for easy pouring

2. Heat water in bottom pan of steamer until water boils rapidly.

3. Grease puto molds then put the flan mixture into each mould, filling each about 1/3 full and cook in LOW HEAT for 5-7 minutes only. It should look solid and slightly firm enough to your touch. Then remove from heat and set aside.

4.  Prepare all the dry ingredients, sift, and mix together.

5. Slightly beat the egg whites and add the water. Then pour the dry ingredients and mix together. DO NOT overmix.

6. Put the batter inside the plastic sauce container and add the liquid batter to the flan until almost full.

7. Bring back to a boil your water and LOWER THE HEAT before steaming back the prepared puto molds. Cook for 10 minutes and let it cool.

8. Use a thin knife to remove the leche puto, invert and tap a little before putting in prepared baking liners.

Happy steaming!

 

Adapted from: http://pinoyinoz.blogspot.com/2014/04/leche-puto.html

 

TIPS:

Do not overcook the leche flan.   The flan should remain creamy yet firm enough to hold its shape.

Get yourself these inexpensive plastic sauce dispensers.  It makes filling up the moulds so much easier and cleaner.

Wrap steamer cover with a towel to remove any dripping water directly to the prepared flan & puto.plastic sauce dispenser

Red Velvet Cake

photo-3Red is the colour of love. What a fitting way to show how much you care with the colour of love  tastefully seen in your baked creation. As the Mother’s day is fast approaching, I would like to share this favourite recipe of the ever famous RED VELVET and make someone feel special today.

Ingredients for the cake batter:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 tbsp. Hersheys cocoa powder 

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk*, room temp.

2 large eggs, room temp.

2 tablespoons red food coloringred velvet slice

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Ingredients for the Cream cheese frosting:

1 (8 oz or 237ml) package of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

*You can substitute buttermilk with yakult or sour milk

Directions for Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers or in two 8-inch baking pans. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a large bowl, gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick if done. Remove from oven and cool before frosting.

Directions for Frosting:

In a medium bowl, cream the butter then add the cream cheese until well incorporated. Mix the vanilla then gradually add the confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. Then pipe it with your choice of icing tip and spread on top of your cupcake.

Adapted from:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/red-velvet-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe.html

Cream Puffs

I fell in love with baking because of cream puff. It’s made of lots of eggs and you can be creative with the shape or have your own filling in custard, bavarian, chocolate, pudding, fruit jam, etc.  For a first-timer, this is not so hard to make. Your family and friends will surely love it. Enjoy baking!
Cream Puffs

Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen puffs, depending on size

Cream Puffs

Ingredients:

For the choux dough:
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
    • 5 oz all purpose flour (1 cup)
    • pinch of salt
    • 4 extra large eggs (or 5 large)
For the pastry cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  2. Place the water and butter in a saucepan and melt over medium high heat. Dump the flour and salt in all at once and stir, on the heat, for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and the dough falls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the dough to a food processor and let it cool for five minutes. Then add all the eggs. Pulse the mixture until the dough is smooth and has incorporated the eggs. The dough should look like a super thick cake batter.
  3. Transfer this choux dough into a piping pag and pipe out small mounds of dough, about an inch in diameter, and about 1/2 inch tall. They will puff up considerably and you don’t want to make them too tall. Bake for about 25 minutes until the puffs are golden brown, then remove them from the oven and use a knife to poke a small hole into each of the puffs. This will let the steam escape and prevent our puffs from getting soggy. Let them cool completely before filling. That means it’s a good time to start making our pastry cream!
  4. Scald the milk in a saucepan over medium high heat (you want to cook the milk to about 180 degrees F, when little bubbles start to form on the side of the pan. This is the stage before a boil). While the milk heats up, whisk to combine 1/2 cup sugar, the egg yolks, and cornstarch. Once the milk has come to the right temperature, slowly dribble the milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly, then return all of the liquid to the pan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for the next minute or two, until the mixture comes to a boil and the mixture thickens up considerably. Remove the pastry cream from the heat and stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust vanilla and salt levels if needed.
  5. If you’re adding the whipped cream, let the pastry cream cool completely before you start whipping the cream. To whip the cream, combine the heavy whipping cream and 2 tbsp sugar in a bowl and whip with either a hand mixer or a whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold this mixture gently into the pastry cream to lighten it. You can now fill the puffs with this mixture. Enjoy!

http://www.fifteenspatulas.com/cream-puffs/

What’s the difference of natural cocoa from the Dutch-processed cocoa powder?

natural cocoa vs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder

natural cocoa vs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Now that I have been using different brands and types of cocoa powder, I felt that I have to research what’s best type to use when it comes to baking sweet treats. So I stumble upon a lot of articles and reasons for using which kind of cocoa that would fit your recipe.

Natural cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are simply roasted, then pulverized into a fine powder. It is used in recipes that require baking soda (alkali). Known brands are Hershey’s or Ghirardelli. To bring the full flavor, you can combine it with a small amount of boiling water.

The Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa powder is treated with alkali to neutralize its acids.  It goes well with recipes that require baking powder. Popular brands like Callebaut and Bensdorp are just some examples. It is mild in flavor, darker chocolate shade or somewhat reddish and easy to dissolve in liquids. It is ideal in baking cakes and pastries.

It is highly recommended to best use the type of specified in the recipe as the leavening agent used is dependent on the type of cocoa powder. Some prefer Dutch-processed cocoa than using natural cocoa and baking soda in cakes. While others prefer the natural cocoa powder in brownies and cookies.

If you are in a baking store, if you are unfamiliar of a particular brand, it is always good to inquire whether the cocoa powder that you are getting is natural or alkalized to make sure you will be using the right one. You have an option to use the imported brands or the local ones depending on the quality, money’s worth and taste of course.

I hope this is of great help to you. May you be enlightened by what I have researched and hopefully help you with your baking.

Sources: joyofbaking.com, yummy.ph