Chocolate-y Cake pops

choco
chocolate bars and pops

On this side of the world, my favorite chocolates and candies can be bought from a lone shop – at the United Nations Commissary. I’m talking about certain american products; those are not readily available in our local groceries. I would ask a friend then, who works at the UN to buy me some…thank goodness, she has always been kind. If only I could I would buy wholesale candy and chocolate sales like those at http://www.bwcliffordcandy.com, though we have awesome chocolates around, I still crave for Hersheys kisses and my all-time favorite Cadbury topdeck…two of the brands the website distributes.

Speaking of cravings, yes I was craving for hershey’s frosting that’s ready in a bottle to smudge on cakes. It has been very seldom now that I bake. The kids were on vacation and it means that I actually have more time in my hands to bake but instead we’ve been out and about in the sun. That includes eating out as well. While at Starbucks, my youngest got fascinated with cake pops he kept asking me to make some. Since they’re quite pricey there I took it as a challenge and somewhat a good chance to bond with them. I got some time off yesterday so I made some. Here’s a fun recipe that you can do with the kids at home.

What you need:

Cake
Frosting
Chocolate for coating
Candy Sprinkles
Lollipop Sticks

1. Bake your favorite chocolate cake or buy a ready-made cake. Even your choice of cupcake would do, not limited to chocolate. Make sure to let the cake cool down if you chose to bake one.

2. Break down the cake into fine crumbs into a bowl with either spoon or hand. This is what my kids enjoyed doing.

3. Take your frosting and add a small amount into the bowl of crumbled cake. You have to make this mixture just moist enough to make them sticky but not gooey. As each cake and frosting are different, you need to make this according to preference.

4. When you get the consistency you like, scoop out a little of the mixture into balls. Arranged the balls in a tray with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

5. While waiting, melt chocolate for coating on double broiler. This could be any chocolate but those used for chocolate fondue would be best.

6. Take out the chocolate balls from the fridge. Let the melted chocolate cool down a bit. Dip a lollipop stick on frosting (to make it sticky) and insert, just halfway through a ball. Do this for all the balls.

7. Dip each ball onto melted chocolate and coat them fully. If you have something to let them stand up to, the better, you can use a piece of styrofoam block for that.

8. Decorate the cake pops  with candy sprinkles or with melted white chocolate placed in a frosting bag.

9. Refrigate the cake pops once again before serving.

chocopop
Needs practice shaping and a longer stick. ^_^

Oreo Cookie Cake – More like Oreo cheesecake

oreo cookie cake

We first got to savor a slice of Oreo Cake from a cafê that daughter and I frequent. We really liked it, even my older son who is very particular with cakes liked it too…When we visited mom-in-law at my brother-in-law’s place my son saw a box of ready-to-make Oreo Cookie cake. The idea is to make a cake that resembles an Oreo cookie…white filling – ‘cream’ or ‘creme’, sandwiched between two circular chocolate or golden cookie pieces, here that would be layers of chocolate cookie crust.

This cake is very simple I believe the packaged ingredients are the same with the original recipe. I saw that most have the same ingredients but this one is something I’ll try.

Ingredients

1 (20 ounce) package oreo cookies
1/2 cup melted butter

250 grams cream cheese (Philadelphia)
250grams Mascarpone cheese
150 grams confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
360 ml  cold heavy whipping cream

Directions

1. Crush cookies, leave some as bite size pieces or reserve some of the crushed cookies for the top. Combine melted butter and crushed cookies. Press the mixture into 9×13 pan. Leave in freezer for 5 minutes.

2. Beat half of cream cheese and half mascarpone in a bowl, pour half of sugar and mix in remaining cream cheese and mascarpone.

3. Include vanilla extract and slowly put in whipping cream, mix until smooth and thick.

4. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on crust and top with remaining crushed cookies or if you prefer bite size pieces, top the cream cheese with those. Put in the fridge for an hour or two.

 Carefully remove from pan, slice and serve. Voila, a giant oreo cookie and one happy lil’ kid…

piece of cake

for:

Food Friday

Red Velvet Cupcakes

cuppy

Winter is getting the better of us. We’re becoming much like squirrels…we only get out of the house when need be. That is to go to school and buy food. That is why I am so thankful for the corner shop that sells vegetables and fruits in bulk, they also have meat that I can get for less – well, compared to grocery prices. Most importantly, eggs in abundance. I can get 30 eggs for 4euro whereas 10 eggs at the grocery shops cost 2euro already. The eggs are important for hubby and I, building up muscles from protein, for the macarons that we so love to make and for the cupcakes…for the same reason as the macarons.

redvelvet

There are a number of red velvet cake and cupcake recipes around but I wouldn’t go test each of them as they did here. Though I got to be thankful I know now which recipe I should follow next. These cuppies were made some months ago, unearthed from archives and posted oh so late. ^_^ I anyway hope you enjoy these eye candies. This is from one of my favorite bakers, Stephanie Jaworksi of Joy of Baking.

redvelvet

for:

Food Friday, Yummy Sunday

Candy Sprinkles

vanilla

One of the best way to bond with kids is baking, it’s an enjoyable activity for my kids, at least. They love to put tins,  crack eggs, measure the ingredients, mix the batter, watch them in the oven as they “grow.” But I think the most they’d like to do is to frost and put those sprinkles.

I’ve bought some edible pearls and colorful sprinkles. We’d be baking again today.

Cream Cheese Frosting

cuppy

What make cupcakes more special? This…frosting that’s smooth, melt-in-your-mouth that you’ll be having seconds…and thirds…and fourths.

Ingredients:

Make sure that the cream cheese and Mascarpone are in room temperature before mixing them in.

250 grams cream cheese

250 grams Mascarpone cheese

115 grams confectioners sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

360 ml  cold heavy whipping cream

1, In your bowl beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese with an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer until smooth.

2.Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar, continue beating until smooth.

3. Slowly add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread.

Note: You can add more sugar or more cream to achieve the consistency you want.

4. Top your cupcakes by spreading the frosting or put them in an icing bag and pipe your cupcakes using your favorite nozzle to create attractive designs.

Cupcakes for Breakfast

Early morning yummy smell. That’s what woke up the kids on a Saturday morning. The weather hasn’t been so cooperative – summer at 14 degrees? It’s not really that bad…I’m not really a summer person. I enjoy 18-22° more than sunny 30° or up. I’d prefer that too over rainy days and especially when I’m staying at home finishing translation jobs.

So along with the rainy and cool atmosphere I baked these yummy breakfast treats. Normally they’d prefer doughnuts, croissants and semmels but they wouldn’t say no to cupcakes either.

My youngest loves choco bits on top of his so I made these with especially loads of them. He’s been allergic to cow’s milk as a baby so he grew up having soya milk…since he turned five the doctor gave a go for cow’s milk which he loves so he would often request some. That mug, by the way, was one he designed at the kindergarten.

 For the recipe, I’m still using my old recipe and here..I’m reposting it.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4 large eggs, set at room temperature
1 cup milk (you can substitute buttermilk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
semisweet chocolate chips

Note: If you don’t have self-rising flour you can make them at home. For each cup of all-purpose flour, you need to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

How to:

1. Preheat oven to or 390°F or 200°C. Line your muffin tins with cupcake papers, about 24.
2. In a bowl put in the flours, stir to combine and set aside.
3. In your mixing bowl, mix the butter with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
4. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating milk or buttermilk and vanilla.
7. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overmix.
8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, filling about 3/4 full. Drop in a teaspoonful of chocolate chips to each before putting them in the oven.
9. Bake in a 350°F or 180°C oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick/cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
10. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 15 minutes.
11. Remove cakes from the tins and put on a wire rack before icing.
12. Ice with your favorite frosting/icing or serve as is.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking: 20-25 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

for:

friday potluck guest host girlichef It's a Keeper

Moist Ube Cake

Well, the title says ube – the tagalog word for purple and also the tuber from which my kids’ favorite cakes are made (purple yam) but this cake didn’t really turn out purple. If any there’s just a hint of lavender to it. Teehee.

I can’t remember the recipe I used I just added in the ube powder to the batter and it ended up quite moist and soft. We love it, even the husband who rarely eats cakes.

ube cake roll
ube roll

 

This is how a sliced ube roll looks like…this one also has macapuno,  a Philippine variety of the coconut palm that does not contain water inside the coconut shell and with soft jelly-like “meat.” We would simmer it with water and add some sugar to get a sticky-yummy consistency. I truly miss how creative and diverse we Filipinos could get with food, not just cakes but ice cream flavor – combination too! I say “daring!” That’s what we are.

Anyway, here is an ube cake recipe that I would love to make. Am sharing this with you and in a way to remind myself to bake it in the near future. lol. I got this from Heart of Mary.

Ingredients:

For the chiffon cake:

{A}
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

{B}
7 egg yolks (from large eggs)
1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (about 100g) grated ube (purple yam)
1 teaspoon ube flavouring
1/2 teaspoon violet food powder or violet gel paste

{C}
7 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

{D}
3/4 cup sugar

For the frosting:

2 cups whipping or thickened cream
1 250g package of cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar (edit: added on 21/8)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12 oz jar of macapuno (preserved coconut sport)

I am not taking credits for this recipe so for the procedure please click here. Can’t wait for my free time, I’ll totally try this.

For:



Perfected Macaron (procedure)

macarons andco
pink

In making macarons, you need to start at least 3 days before…or longer. The eggs should be aged, leaving it in the fridge for at least 24 hours will make it more elastic – less air makes for smoother crust.

There are discussions about how eggs are aged. There’s either you put in the fridge upto 4 days or you leave it covered outside the fridge but  the salmonella-could-be-a-problem is brought up. So I chose the fridge as it has been becoming warm up here. I left the egg whites there for 2 days. The egg yolks are yet to be made into leche flan. 🙂

Macaron is rightfully derived from meringue, alright – it could be French, Italian or Swiss. French meringue uses fine white sugar which is beaten into egg whites. Italian meringue is made with boiling sugar syrup, instead of caster sugar. Swiss meringue is whisked over a bain-marie to warm the egg whites, and then whisked steadily as it cools. During our last attempt I used Italian, this time it’s French and I like the outcome.

macaron flat
on baking paper

 

For the ingredients please refer to previous post. For making macarons you’ll need a digital scale, mixer, bowls, spatula and scraper, piping bags and a round nozzle, baking tray and papers.

– Make circular patterns on baking papers – where you pipe the batter later. You can buy a macaron template too for this, at the moment I don’t know where to buy them.

– Sift 180g almond meal and 270g icing sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar or Powdered Sugar) together (this is your tant pour tant). Set aside.

-In a mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed slowly reducing to medium speed. Add in the caster (refined sugar) while the mixer is at medium speed, beat until stiff (this is your meringue).

– Fold the tant pour tant and meringue. At first I did a method of folding them in with counting…that was before a kind soul posted a comment with a link on the video of how Jill Collona, the author of Mad about Macarons. In the video, Jill showed the secret to making smooth macarons by removing oxygen in the batter with the use of a scraper. True enough these batch despite me not using a nozzle and piping bag turned out smooth enough.

macaron row
with cream cheese filling

– Put the batter in a piping bag with  a  small tip nozzle. Pipe the mixture onto the baking paper, not exactly the size of the circle as it will “run.” Leave the macarons aside so that they dry up a bit and that they form skins, about 30 mins or so.

– Depending on your oven, bake the macarons. I said depending because I’ve tried a lot of times and though some said to leave the door ajar, mine turned out hollow when I do that. So what I did was to keep the door closed but I lowered the oven to 150°C. I baked them for around 12 minutes, taking them out once to turn the tray. You can also check by touching a piece and you’ll know  that it’s ready when it’s dry.

– When they’re ready get them out of the oven and leave to cool a bit. Slide them off the baking paper, find matching pieces and turn upside down (at least half of them). They’re ready to be filled in.

macarons inchoco
with chocolate ganache

For the chocolate ganache:

Put chopped 230 grams chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring 180 ml cream to a boil and pour on chopped chocolate. Put 30 grams butter and combine well. Let them cool and have them fill in two shells.

For the confectioner’s icing:

Combine 4 cups confectioners sugar with 1 cup unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, mix them in together and slowly put in 4 tablespoons milk or light cream until you achieve a buttery consistency. You’re ready to fill them in to.

Let the macaron cookies, fille up anf all rest and put them in the fridge for a day. This will make the filling put more flavor on the shells. Let them out at least an hour before serving.

macaronplate
Chocolate ganache or cream cheese? You choose! 🙂

For: Yummy Sunday, Weekend EatingIt’s a KeeperRecipe SwapFat Camp FridayFriday Potluck.

Macaron Perfected!

Finally, I can proudly say that after a lot of trials and using different recipes, we did it! We’ve made macarons and it’s easier than before, they developed lovely feet and were crunchy outside but very soft in the inside. We tried both ganache and confectioner’s frosting for filling…both tasted awesome!

Again, let me differentiate that this macaron is almond cookie as there is macaroon – made of coconut.

choco macaron
for the ganache

We always get excited when we see these cookies develop feet. It’s about the 5-minute mark when they appear and it means that I have to turn the tray – for them to be baked equally on each side.

For this batch I used the following recipe – the site I forgot to bookmark. 🙁

Ingredients for the macaron shells:

150g egg whites, aged

100g caster sugar (Superfine Bakers Sugar or Granulated Sugar)

180g almond meal

270g icing sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar or Powdered Sugar)

red food color (powder)

macaron in oven macaron with feet
we got feet!

The photo above reminds me of one of the funniest quips I ever read.

“This guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! there was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! there was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women… poof! he turned into a box of chocolates.”

—-

macarons2
with choco ganache and cream cheese filling

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache filling:

230 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces

180 ml heavy whipping cream

30 grams unsalted butter

For the confectioner’s icing:

4 cups (460 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or light cream

For now, I’d just be teasing you with that – the ingredients. Tomorrow, I’d be posting the procedure on how these French cookies are made. 😉