Friday, October 26, 2007

Open Face Breakfast Sandwich

I got this recipe from Domino Magazine, it quick and easy for lazy mornings when you don't really want to cook, but don't want to eat cold cereal again for the millionth consecutive time.

Egg Benedict for a Crowd

non-stick cooking spray
12 slices Canadian Bacon
12 eggs
6 English muffins, split
6 tablespoons butter, softened
chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375F. Put two 6-cup silicon muffin trays on a baking sheet (I used regular sized tin muffin pans) and coat well with cooking spray. Crack an egg into each muffin cup, cover each egg with a slice of Canadian Bacon. Butter the English muffin and place the buttered-side down on top of the bacon. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Cover mufin pan with a plate (I used a baking sheet) and flip over, remove muffin pan. Spoon with the Bernie Sauce and sprinkle with the chives.

Bernie Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Mix together the mayonaisse, mustard, pepper and lemon.

Pumpkin-Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Ginger Frosting

I've been dying to bake pumpkin cupcakes since August, I've been constantly searching for a can of pumpkin in the supermarkets, but I was told by a clerk that "canned pumpkin is only available during the Thanksgiving season". I don't get it, what's the point of canning food if it's only going to be available when in season? Maybe people don't buy canned pumpkin in this island util November, but still that pumkin is gonna stay edible at least two years from when it was first canned.
Anyway, so at last I got me some pumpkin and did the cupcakes, using as base a Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes from Simply Recipes. I really love the way they turned out, when you eat them you taste the spices and the sublte flavor of the pumpkin followed but the nice after taste of the carrots and walnuts. The cream cheese with the ginger compliments the spiciness of the cupcake. The candies on top are chocolate covered ginger. I've got to say that I'm actually very proud of this cupcakes.

Pumpkin-Carrot Cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger, ground
1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/2 cup buttermilk
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup carrot, shredded

-Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses and honey, until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add one at a time, the eggs, then the pumpkin and vanilla; beat until incorporated.
-In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to the pumpkin batter. Add the walnuts and carrot stirring until just combined.
-Pour into paper lined cupcake pans, filling close to the tops (I used an ice cream scoop) and bake 18 minutes or until done. Let cool completely.

Cream Cheese-Ginger Frosting

8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ginger spread
-In the bowl of an electric mixer, put the cream cheese, ginger spread, butter and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate 30 minutes if too soft.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Naranja Cupcakes

In Puerto Rico oranges are called chinas, in the rest of latinamerica oranges are naranjas, but in Puerto Rico naranjas are bitter oranges that I don't have a clue what they would be called in english. Some think we call the oranges chinas because they would arrive to the ports in boxes that said "made in china", but this theory to me sounds kinda made up. The naranjas are not eaten in Puerto Rico, only the zest and pith are used to make dulce de naranja, a kind of preserve cooked in heavy syrup for a few hours. But I decided to use them for something something other than the dulce de naranja! For I don't think it's fair for the poor fruit to be tossed away... yes, I made cupcakes with them. I used a Seville Orange recipe from Dressing for Dinner with a few changes. The result was a bitter sweet combination, a soft dense cake with a hint of citrus paired with a strong sweet and sour icing.

Naranja Cupcakes

1/4 Lb sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 Lb self-raising flour
2 eggs
3 teaspoons naranja juice
1 1/2 teaspoons naranja zest
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F, line a muffin tin with paper liners. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment mix the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Then add the eggs one at a time until it's all blended. Slowly add the flour in three additions alternating with the milk and vanilla, ending with the flour. Divide the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

Naranja Icing

1 stick unsalted butter
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup naranja juice
2 tablespoons orange zest

Cream the butter, then add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and mix. Add the naranja juice, zest and remaining cup of sugar; mix until all is well blended. Ice the cooled cupcakes

Childhood memories

Recently I went to visit my grandma at her farm in Aguas Buenas. There still a few fruit trees from when my grandpa used to work the land, he was a farmer. There used to be hundreds of banana and plantain trees, acerolas (caribbean cherries), guanabanas, limes, a huge mango tree, even papaya trees and oranges. I remember he even had a corn field from which he would kee some of the cobs. He used to dry them in the sun adn then he would toast them with sugar and out them in banana leaves to cool; I don't know how I never broke a tooth eating those things. My brother, my cousins and me would pick the limes from the tree and make lime juice after a long day playing in the farm and sometimes my grandpa would get coconuts from the coconut trees and serve us coconut water, I used to love to sit with a spoon and scrape the sweet white flesh from the coconuts insides. After lunch I would go with my grandma to the chicken coop, where I would help her get the eggs the chickens had layed before they began eating them (I think they get jealous from one another and try to destry each others eggs). Coffee! I miss picking coffee on the afternoons with grandma; she would place them outside to dry in the sun, then peel it in the pilon (mortat), toast it, to finally grind it... no coffee will ever be good enough for me after years of drinking our coffee. We lived about 5 minutes from the farm and sometimes I wish I could have stayed living in the country, but we moved to the city and even though we would visit weekly, it was never the same.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cheesecake Cupcakes

This miniatures disappeared the same day I made them, my family devoured them like they were the last desserts they were ever going to eat. But I don't blame them, they were moist and sweet with a hint of saltiness that left you wanting to eat a million if these. The recipe asked for fruit preserves, I used apricot jam for half the cupcakes and for the other half mango preserves. Recipe from The Baking Sheet, Autumn 2005.

Cheesecake Cupcakes
Makes: 12

12oz cream cheese
1/2c sugar
2 Large eggs
1 egg yolk
1tsp lemon zest
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp salt

Beat the cream cheese at low speed of an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, increasing to medium speed, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Mix in the eggs one at a time, taking care to scrape the bowl after each addition, and mixing until smooth with no lumps. Beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt.

Preheat the oven to 300F. Line the wells of a muffin pan with papers. Scoop the batter into the cupca by tablespoonfuls; the cups should be 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven, they will fall down a bit and give you the head room you need to put on the topping.


3/4c sour cream
1 egg white
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/4c sugar
1/4c fruit preserves

While the cupcakes are baking, combine the sour cream, egg white, vanilla extract, and sugar in a small bowl. After the cheesecakes have baked for 25 minutes, remove them from the oven and spoon a teaspoon of the topping over each, taking care to cover the entire top. Place a half teaspoon of jam or preserves in the center and return the cheesecakes to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Chill until ready to serve.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Cola Frosting

Last Thursday was my mom's birthday. She wanted me to make her a chocolate cake, so I found a recipe of chocolate cake with mayo and a cola chocolate frosting. Even though it sounds weird, it tasted very good even though it had a strong chocolate flavor, there was no hint of it having mayo and it added moisture to the cake.It's great for days when there's no milk and eggs at home, because the mayonnaise substitutes them. This was the first time I did a double layer cake, so it wasn't perfect, but I think that for a first time I did pretty good. Again, when dealing with a chocolate frosting I had problems because of the heat, I actually had to stop frosting it and put it in the fridge because the frosting was slowly melting. The recipe doesn't have walnuts but I added about 1 1/2 cups chopped in the middle of the cake and on top because my mom loves adding nuts to EVERY dessert she makes. I got the recipe from The Baking Sheet from Autumn 2005, a newsletter from from King Arthurs Flour me and my mom used to receive.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Cola Frosting
Makes: two 8 inches round cakes

2c all-purpose flour
1c granulated sugar
1/2c brown sugar
1/3c unsweetened cocoa
2tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
1/2tsp espresso powder
1c water
2tsp vanilla extract
1c mayonnaise
1c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Pour in the water, vanilla and mayo, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping once to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pans.

Cola Frosting
Makes: 4 cups

1/2c (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/3c unsweetened cocoa
1/2c cola beverage
6c confectioners' sugar

In a small saucepan, bring the butter, salt, cocoa, and cola to a boil. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar. Beat on low speed to incorporate the sugar and to cool the mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then gradually add more sugar. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, beat until the frosting is a soft, spreadable consistency. It will continue to firm up as you work with it (unless you live in a humid place where it will melt), so keep the unused portion covered with a damp towel.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blueberry Muffins

These muffins were good, but turned out too sweet because I put too much sugar in the batter. There was 1/3 or so of sugar that I was suppose to sprinkle over he muffins right before putting them in the oven, but I forgot and it ended up in the batter.Texture wise they were great, they turned out moist and soft with the blueberries bringing juiciness to the muffin and the exterior was chewy in a good way, a very good way. They weren't bad, it's just that they could have been better.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pumpkin and Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe was really good, but you could barely taste the pumpkin because instead of the canned pumpkin I used fresh puertorrican pumpkin that's more like a squash than a pumpkin; so next time I'll use the canned type. What I really loved about this cupcakes, besides the chocolate chips, it's how great the frosting was, the toasted cinnamon was an awesome pairing with the cupcakes, I'll probably be using the frosting recipe again for other cupcakes. Anyway I go this recipe from here

Monday, June 18, 2007

Amish Peach Pie

So, I had some frozen peaches lying around the other day and my fiancee's mom gave me some Pillsbury pie crusts she didn't want, of course, I decided to make a peach pie. Besides cupcakes the dessert I love the most is pie... ok, I lie, I love cheesecake as well, but that's not the point. I went only and found a wonderful recipe for peach pie at iChef that didn't have a pie pastry covering, but something better: a crumb topping. The pie is best when eaten as soon as it cools, because after I put it in the fridge the crumb topping turned soggy in a so-not-appealing-way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Red Velvet Cupcakes

more cupcakes!!!
These are red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, done the same day i did the carrot cupcakes. The recipe is from the Magnolia Bakery recipe book, which i don't own, i just got the recipe here. Oh god, the food coloring was a bitch to deal with because it kept staining everything, including my hands (not very nice to have ultra pink fingers for three days). The pictures didn't come out very pretty because the plastic i used to wrap it is one of those self sealable ones and the cream cheese just got stuck in the crappy plastic, but they tasted very good.

Carrot-ginger Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

The best cupcakes I've baked so far, even though there are two things I have to fix. Next time I will use real orange juice instead of the canned one I used and I plan to add more ginger, because even tough the recipe used 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger and I added and additional tablespoon, the cupcakes had a ginger-y aroma but you barely felt the taste of ginger. I got the cupcake recipe from and the frosting from chockylit.

Tofu Cheesecake with Peach Topping

This is a tofu cheesecake with peach topping I did for Mother's Day. Now, i know it sound icky because of the tofu, but it's easy to make and tastes incredibly good; i mean, my family ate the whole thing the same day. I added to the recipe a almond/graham crust instead of the simple store-bought crust the recipe asked for and the peach topping, because i was not too sure of how good it would taste by itself. If the color of the peach topping looks weird is because instead of using cornstarch, i had to use flour because I thought I had cornstarch but when I was about to do the recipe I discovered that I didn't have any!. You can get the recipe at Recipe Zaar.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

I've been baking cupcakes lately. I really like them because they are small and fun to make. The first recipe I tried was the Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, the vanilla cupcakes recipe I got it from and the chocolate ganache recipe i think i got it from chockylit. The chocolate ganache began to melt as soon as i piped them into the cupcakes because that day was horribly hot & humid since it's Puerto Rico... in summer. What was I thinking? When I read recipes I always forget that I live in a tropical area & maybe certain things in the recipe will turn out different because of the humidity. In the end, once i put them in the refrigerator for a while, everything turned out delicious! Everyone in my house loved how the chocolate gave the vanilla cupcakes intensity and a touch of decadence.