#BakeDaySunday: Cinnamon Loaf

 

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Yesterday was #bakedaysunday for me (also #imnotbrokesoicanbakeday and #ihavealltheingredientssoicanbakeday haha), so I decided to whip up something nice for me and my loved ones. 🙂

Actually, the original plan was to make chocolate chip cookies dipped in chocolate ganache (YES, chocolate heaven), but I scrapped that one cos I’m too lazy to buy one missing ingredient. So, I had to make do with what I already have in the house and, fortunately, there are just enough ingredients to make a cinnamon loaf.

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So, why cinnamon?

Good question… and the good answer is: I LOVE CINNAMON! ❤ There was a time in my life that I didn’t have a thing for cinnamon, but when a friend from Sweden suggested that I try it with my coffee, that’s when everything changed. Now, I put cinnamon in my coffee, in my oatmeal (all the time), and now, in my baked goods!

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Okay, I won’t bore you with the declaration of my love for cinnamon. Here’s the recipe, fully credited to Taste of Home. It’s so easy and convenient and I love it!

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Cinnamon Loaf
(Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used two Yakult)
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Also set aside.
  4. Beat butter for about one minute, until light and fluffy. Gradually add the one cup of sugar, then add eggs one by one, making sure to beat well with each addition. After that, add the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the creamed mixture. Beat until just mixed (don’t overdo it!).
  6. Transfer half of the batter to your loaf pan (preferably a 9×5 pan), which should be coated with cooking spray (I don’t have that, so I just spread some butter all over it). After that, sprinkle 3/4 of the sugar-cinnamon mixture over the batter.
  7. Finish off by putting the other half of the batter and sprinkling the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted comes out clean (in my case, it took me a little more than an hour).
  9. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove the loaf from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack.

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Verdict: soooo yummy! *thumbs up*

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I’m not carrying my own chair or anything. Haha. It tastes so good— not too sweet nor too bland— and I have people to support my claim! Haha!

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In fact, there’s nothing left of it anymore… *wink*

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I’ll definitely make this again. No excuses because the instructions are so simple and the ingredients are easy to find. Plus, having a very tasty cinnamon loaf around sure is useful— I can definitely eat it for breakfast or dinner. ❤

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Happy blogging (and baking!)

dfsa.

(PS: All photos are mine; please do not use without my consent. Thank you!)

S is for Sophie’s Mom

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If you’re a frequent visitor (and reader lol) of my blog, you should know by now that I love cupcakes… and that I have a plan to try out every cupcake stores in the metro. So, as part of that plan (and for this day’s A-Z Blogging Challenge entry), I now present to you… Sophie’s Mom!

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Surprisingly, this chic cupcake shop is soooo near my place. Haha.

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One day, I decided to check this place out. According to my research (lol), their bestseller is red velvet cupcakes. Unfortunately, they were sold out the moment I got there. Fortunately, there were still three flavors available: dulce de leche, brazo de mercedes, and mango.

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(From left to right: mango, dulce de leche, and brazo de mercedes)

In summation, all of the cupcakes taste really good. The dulce de leche’s a bit chunky and cold, but it was my favorite. 🙂  Finished all of them. Haha!

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I was a bit disappointed because I wasn’t able to try their red velvet, but these three cupcakes made up for the other’s absence. Sophie’s Mom also has other offerings, such as truffles, cookies, mochi ice cream, tarts, brownies, eclairs, and more.

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Aside from the food, I also love the place’s interior. Yes, it’s the usual design of every cupcake place I’ve been to, but still cute. 🙂

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(Look at those knick-knacks… especially those cupcake liners priced around P60.00! Rad!)

I’ll definitely go back here… hopefully the red velvet cupcakes are already available by then!

Oh, btw, visit their Facebook page for more information!

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Happy blogging (and eating)!
Jane

 

C is for Chocolate Crinkles

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For my 3rd A-Z Blogging Challenge entry, I will share our (my officemates and I’s) first attempt to make chocolate crinkles.

Disclaimer: We are not professionals. Lol.

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If you’re an avid visitor of my blog, you already know by now that I bake cupcakes from time to time. But this time, I tried my hand on crinkles as per my officemate’s request. It was a Valentine’s Day favor that I couldn’t say “no” to.

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Enough blabbering. Here is the step-by-step guide! Recipe followed: this one. We just improvised with the ingredients.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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Ingredients:
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 eggs

Procedure:
1. Combine butter and cocoa powder in a microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir.
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2. Mix the chocolate mixture with sugar.
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3. Add the eggs one by one. Beat well.
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4. Add the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Stir with a spatula until it becomes a soft dough.
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5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2hours.
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6. Remove from the refrigerator. While bringing the dough to room temperature, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
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7. It’s time to shape the dough! Form small balls by hand. Then, completely cover the dough balls with powdered sugar by rolling them on it.

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8. Place on the cookie pan after (or in this case, my muffin pan since I don’t have any cookie sheets. Ugh.) Bake for 10-15 minutes. After that, let them cool for 5 minutes.

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They weren’t what we’re expecting them to be, but they taste good. *thumbs up* I just wish they cracked more and were softer to bite. They’re not so hard; it’s just that they’re not chewy. Oh well. Beginners! I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to improve our crinkle-making skills.

The hard work was worth it, though– my officemate pulled it all off and I think the girl appreciated the crinkles.

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Note to self: buy a cookie pan! Hahaha. Till the next baking session! 😉

Happy blogging (and baking)!
Jane

 

Cupcakes by Sonja: Simply LOVE

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Cupcakes by Sonja, located at 2/F Glorietta 2 Bridgeway, Ayala Center, Makati (with brances at Serendra Piazza, Rockwell, Shangri-La Plaza, Rustans Fresh Forbes Park, Greenhills Shopping Center, Robinsons Galleria, and TriNoma). Contact: 625 48 84

Date: February 1, 2014

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Wow! I can’t believe I finally had the chance to start my so-called “Cupcake Journey!” 🙂 It’s been long overdue since I don’t have enough riches to pay for the sumptuous but pricey cupcakes that bakeshops offer. But thanks to my finance provider (my sister hehe), I was able to taste some of Cupcakes by Sonja’s mouth-watering cupcakes.

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I’ve always wanted to try Cupcakes by Sonja ever since I saw their branch in BGC. Back then, I didn’t have any money to splurge, and it was kinda far from my place. Fortunately, they opened a new spot in Glorietta 2, which is definitely nearer. Yay!

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I absolutely love the decor and feel of the place. It’s simple and cute; not heavily decorated because the branch sits right in the middle of Glorietta 2 walkway. I like its 360-degree style and, best of all, the bulbs surrounded with wire whisks! How creatively crazy is that?

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Okay, now the food. Last Saturday, my sister and I decided to satisfy our sweet cravings and ordered two cupcakes: red velvet and peppermint patty.

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In fairness, both cupcakes were of right sweetness and fluffiness. Good job!

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(Red velvet cupcake)

The red velvet is my personal favorite. I like the fact that there’s a slight tanginess in the frosting and it compliments very well with the sweetness of the cake. For P85.00, this cupcake sure is worth it!

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(Peppermint patty cupcake)

Meanwhile, the peppermint patty’s good too. I ordered it because I like all things mint (from my usual Starbucks drink to my favorite ice cream flavor), and I was excited to taste a peppermint-flavored cupcake. Unfortunately though, I didn’t taste enough mint. The frosting’s too sweet for me— in fact, I didn’t finish the whole thing. The cake’s good, though; feels smokey chocolate in the mouth, but not my kind of choco. Peppermint patty’s not entirely disappointing, but I guess next time I shouldn’t expect too much. 😉

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Overall, it was a splendid experience. My sister and I sitting on a high stool (just because the place’s packed and there were no low seats available), munching on cupcakes while watching people pass by… Cupcakes by Sonja is definitely a must-visit. I wanna try more of their offerings soon!

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(The finance officer… LOL)

Happy eating!
♥ Jane

(Mis) adventures of a cupcake rookie part III: Coffee Cupcakes

The newbie baker is back! 🙂

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I’m actually a bit excited to share my third cupcake baking experience with you folks. Why? Because this time, I chose my favorite drink in the world as my cupcake flavor— and the outcome is really good!

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I looooooove coffee. I started appreciating its wonders when I worked as a part-time barista in Starbucks. Being exposed to different kinds of coffee beverages (pure black or Frappuccino) made me realize how amazing coffee really is. Since then, coffee would always be in my everyday routine. If I go on a day without drinking coffee, I feel kind of incomplete.

That’s why when I stumbled upon a super simple coffee cupcake recipe, I immediately saved it in my laptop and happily waited for the weekend to come… and here we are! (I owe my coffee cupcake knowledge to Divya of Easy Cooking (thank you so much!). Click the link to see her recipe and step-by-step procedure.)

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I really liked this recipe because I already have all of the listed ingredients! I’m still saving up for my Boracay trip next week, so the fact that I don’t have to buy anything really helped me (and my pocket) a lot. 🙂

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Okay, now the cupcakes. They were so easy to make and, in fairness, they taste great! Aside from their “mocha-like” taste, I really like the texture and firmness of the cupcakes. My past attempts weren’t so great— first ones were mistaken for brownies, and the second ones were “too airy and soft.” So I’m proud of myself for finally doing things right. 🙂

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Oh, by the way, these cupcakes are great on their own— frosting or no frosting. But since they’re a bit too plain for me (in terms of appearance), I decided to dip some of them on my leftover chocolate ganache. The taste is, well, acceptable, but I think I prefer the plain ones. Lol.

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So there… my third attempt to bake awesome cupcakes. Surely not the last time, too. 😉  Stay tuned for more (mis) adventures!

♥ Janey

Mis (adventures) of a cupcake rookie part 2: Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache

So the cupcake (mis) adventure continues…

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Last Saturday, I spent my “first weekend after work for 2014” in the kitchen. After my first attempt to bake a decent batch of cupcakes last week, I’ve decided to try again… still with chocolates.

Actually, I was planning to bake red velvet cupcakes because it’s my other favorite flavor, but I changed my mind because I’m saving up a bit. This month, I’ll be going to Boracay (first time!) with my officemates, so I’ll be needing lots of pocket money. Because I’m experiencing shortage in terms of cash, I’ve decided to make cupcakes out of my existing ingredients from last time’s attempt. Luckily, I still have enough flour, chocolates, etc.

For my second time in “mastering the art of being a self-educated cupcake baker,” I used Aikko Aragon‘s chocolate cupcake recipe from Our Awesome Planet. I made some changes in the ingredients and topping, but aside from that, I just followed her instructions. 🙂

About the changes, well instead of using chocolate chips for the ganache, I just used my existing SureBuy Bittersweet Baking Chocolate to save money. For the heavy cream, I used Nestle All Purpose Cream.

Meanwhile, my chocolate batter turned out nice. After filling all the cupcake liners, I giddily put them in the oven and watched them puff up. So much kilig feels.

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When I took them out, though, I was a bit disappointed. Yes, they were softer than the dark chocolate cupcakes (too soft, I think), but their tops looked kinda rough, cracked and crispy (but I guess that’s normal…?)

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Moving on with my life (LOL), I let it pass and cooled them while I was preparing my ganache. After countless manual beatings with my wire whisk, the chocolate ganache still didn’t meet the right consistency for piping; it’s too thin to put into the piping bag. Since it was getting too late, I decided to refrigerate it (and the cupcakes) and see what will happen on the next day.

The following day… disaster welcomed me as I opened the ref and peeked at my ganache. It became too thick and crumbly! I panicked for a moment (yes, typical me), then I thought of a way to make things work. I heated the ganache for less than a minute, took out the cupcakes (which turned out moist and a bit sticky), dipped some onto the ganache, and refrigerated them again.

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After almost an hour, they looked like this:

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I may not have pulled off the swirled chocolate ganache I’ve been dreaming of, but I’m still glad at how things turned out. Glazed cupcakes, anyone? 🙂

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In terms of taste, well… according to my “taste testers” at home, my chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache taste just right— not too sweet and not too bland. When I asked my sister, she just gave me a thumbs up. Works for me! Hahaha.

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Of course this is not the end of my cupcake adventure. If I have the time and money, I’ll bake my third set of cupcakes. (And by that time, I hope I get the frosting right. Lol.)

And yes, I know I’m not good with plating and food photography. Oh well… :3

♥ Janey