Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chocolate Cupcakes

A cup cake also known as fairy cake is a small cake. It is designed to serve one person. I usually make cupcakes for my hubby and son. They usually bring it to the office (for my hubby) and to school (for my son). My hubby always shares it with his officemates. It is easy to bring cupcakes because they don’t require plates and it is served individually. I usually don’t put frosting for my cupcakes unless I will bring it to birthday parties or celebrations.

I got my chocolate cupcake recipe from Good Housekeeping magazine (Philippine edition). But I find it a little dry. I want my cupcakes moist and a little spongey so I changed some of the ingredients and suit it for my taste.


2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups refined sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup hot water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
cashew or walnuts (optional)


Line muffin pans with paper bake cups. Stir together all purpose flour, refined sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I usually sift dry ingredients thrice. Add the butter, canola oil, milk, hot water and vanilla extract. Beat with mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating until smooth. Fill cups ½ full with batter. In on oven preheated to 350°F bake 15-20 minutes until center of cupcake springs back when touched lightly. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup butter, and I changed it to the mixture of 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup canola oil. Good Housekeeping recipe also calls for 2/3 cup milk but I also changed it to 1 cup instead. I also add cashew nuts or walnuts.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Lasang Pinoy 14: Asado

This month’s theme for Lasang Pinoy entitled A La Espanyola is about Spanish influence in Filipino cuisine. The strongest culinary influence is from Spain which ruled the Philippines for almost 400 years. Food historians claim that 80 per cent of Philippine dishes are of Spanish origin. Because the Spaniards formed the elite, dishes adapted by upper-class Filipinos were also Spanish-inspired. In our house, we usually prepare relleno, paella, morcon, and callos whenever we have parties and/or celebrations.

The usual technique of sautéing tomatoes, garlic and onions with olive oil was introduced by the Spaniards (according to some famous chefs, good quality olive oil comes from Spain). Add to that, as in popular baked good and desserts like Pan de Sal (a crusty dinner roll), Flan (an egg custard), Ensaymada (cheese buns), rice dishes as in Arroz Valenciana or Arroz Con Pollo, etc. Most Spanish recipes had been modified to accommodate what ingredients were readily available in our country Thus, the emergence of a cuisine Filipinos called their own, adapted to their tastes. Even our favorite adobo shows Mexican and Spanish influences but with regional variations.

Spanish-influenced dishes are usually part of my weekly menu. I love to cook caldereta, mechado, embutido, and afritada. Asado is one of my favourites so I asked my aunt to give me her asado recipe. In Spain, asado means “cooked in the oven.” But my aunt’s version of asado recipe is very Filipino. The meat should be cooked in a very low fire until tender. This is my first time to cook this dish and it tastes good. The taste of our Filipino asado resembles that of our paksiw na pata.

800 gms. pork (kasim or porkloin, whole)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup soysauce
1/3 cup sugar
Bay leaf
Spring onion

1. Sliced the pork thinly.
2. Mix the water, sugar and soy sauce in a large frying pan. Add salt and pepper. And the bay
leaf and bring it up to medium high heat.
3. Lay pork pieces in the sauce, cover and cook on low heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes and flip the pork, cooking an additional 10-15 minutes until the meat is tender.
4. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Drizzle the sauce over the pork and sprinkle with spring onion.

I would like to thank Purple Girl for hosting this month's LP.