Double lime cupcakes Double lime cupcakes

It’s the basic butter cupcake — with lime. Why “double”? Because there’s lime in the cupcakes and lime in the glaze. But lime is a citrus — won’t all that lime make the cupcakes too tart? No, actually, all that lime makes the cupcakes truly delicious. Lime zest goes into the batter making it very aromatic with a hint of lime flavor but no tartness. The glaze is made with powdered sugar and lime juice, and is just the perfect balance between tart and sweet. [Read more...]

3-cheese mini corn muffins 3-cheese mini corn muffins

Based on the corn muffins a la Kenny Rogers in the archive, these mini muffins are made tastier with the addition of three different kinds of cheese and chopped parsley. I used jalapeƱo cheddar (found at S&R), feta and mozzarella. Hot cheddar, salty feta and gooey mozzarella. You can use some other cheese combination if you want to create a different contrast of flavors.

These mini muffins are great for breakfast, they can be packed into lunchboxes or carried to picnics. Since they’re best while the cheeses are soft, if you decide to pack and carry them, keep them in an insulated container to allow them to stay warm. [Read more...]

Orange-glazed blueberry muffins Orange-glazed blueberry muffins

The recipe that inspired these breakfast muffins was labeled as “baked donuts.” Since I don’t have donut baking pans, I improvised by using something quite-similar — mini-tube pans. However, after eating one of these baked goodies, I couldn’t bring myself to call them donuts. They simply aren’t. Cooking something in the shape of a donut doesn’t make it so. A donut, essentially, is a yeast-raised bread. These are muffins, and they so wonderfully illustrate that crucial difference between muffins and cupcakes — that muffins are quick breads while cupcakes are small cakes, irrespective of the presence of icing, frosting or glaze.

The yield and baking time will depend on the pan you use. If you use a donut pan, you’ll probably get a dozen pieces and the baking time will be reduced to 10 minutes. Like I said, I used mini-tube pans and I was able to fill only four holes — just right for me, Speedy, Sam and Alex. [Read more...]

Salted caramel cheese tart Salted caramel cheese tart

Cheesecake is not something you can cut and serve straight out of the oven. A cheesecake has to cool slowly and thoroughly, and chilled for best results. It’s the same with this cheese tart which is really a cheese cake baked in a tart pan and with only half the usual amount of cheese and cream mixture. No Graham cracker crust for this dessert. Instead, the crust is made with flour, butter, sugar and chopped nuts. Amazing texture.

But there was no time to chill the thing without torturing everyone. And that’s what it’s like for my family to see something they want to eat but still can’t. The weather is cold enough though (there is a typhoon) to allow the salted caramel cheese tart to cool to room temperature fast. And, in this weather, room temperature is cool enough to dispense with the chilling.

Speedy said the whole tart was his and the girls should ask me to bake something else for them. Of course, the girls disagreed. They weren’t about to give up their share. No, definitely not. [Read more...] Salted caramel cinnamon cake

Salted caramel cinnamon cake

One of life’s simplest pleasures has got to be eating cake or bread still warm from the oven. In my dream world, I’m up before the crack of dawn everyday and, by the time the sun is up and my family is getting ready for the day, there will be warm cake or bread on the breakfast table. And, on the side, homemade jam and cheese, and home-cured ham.

But I have yet to find that intersection between my dream world and my real world. Yes, I bake breads and cakes. Yes, we occasionally make jam. Yes, I have made ham (no preservatives, of course). No, I haven’t tried making cheese yet. The part that ruins my dream world is that we never seem to have home baked bread or cake, homemade jam and home-cured ham all on the same day.

Maybe, someday, when we’re better organized and we have the proper storage space… For now, we’re happy enough that we get to enjoy home baked bread and cakes even when there’s no homemade jam or ham to go with them.

Because Sam loves cinnamon rolls, I baked a cake version for her. Well, for all of us, actually. This was breakfast a couple of weeks ago. [Read more...]