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

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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

Bicol Express (Beware: hotness at its best!)

Bicol Express

As a Bicolano, it is expected that I am  fond of eating hot and spicy food. I used to watch my mother and some of our family friends prepare this special dish.  And through the years, I have been preparing this for my family and friends. This is also a great appetizer for parties and pasalubong for friends who love spicy food.

Here’s my own version of the famous Bicol express. Please try it and enjoy cooking!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoon cooking oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, minced

1 cup thick coconut cream

2 cups thin coconut milk

1 cup shrimp paste

1/2 kilo pork belly, diced

4 cups sliced siling mahaba or chili pepper

ground black pepper

*Optional

1 cup sliced sigarilyas (winged bean) or string beans

1 small piece of sliced ginger

1-3 siling labuyo or red hot small chill peppers

This is good for 6-8 people. Preparation and cooking time: 40-60 minutes

Directions:

   1.      Slice the chilli peppers in a slanting manner. Rinse thoroughly and drain. Set aside.

           *If you want to lessen the spiciness, you can shake and  remove the seeds while rinsing.

    2.     Heat the pan and pour the cooking oil.

    3.     Saute’ garlic and onion.

   4.     Add the pork and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.

    5.     Pour the thin coco milk in. Bring to a boil and stir.

    6.     Put the shrimp paste, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

    7.     Pour in thick coconut cream and let it boil until half the liquid has evaporated.

    8.    Put the chili peppers (and the vegetables) and cook until oil comes out from the cream.

    9.    Season with black pepper.

  10.     Serve hot.

Tips: Make sure to put on plastic gloves before you slice the chilli peppers to ensure your hand will not have any burning sensation.

         I heard that it’s good to soak the chilli peppers in cold water with salt or pour hot water after slicing.

If you want to know where the term “Bicol Express” originated, here’s a good read:

http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/who-invented-the-incendiary-bicol-expres