Baking Project #11: Chocolate Coated Candies Blondies

Thanks to Gordon Ramsay, I was introduced to Blondies. And this recipe is by far the most delicious. It's chewy and only sweet as far as sweet goes. I made this right after making a roasted chicken and what do you know, I was finished in half an hour, and I was eating a few pieces twenty minutes later.

And if there's a good thing about being alone for a week is that I get to have all the blondies for dessert. A real treat, right? 



Chocolate Coated Candies Blondies


     1 cup all purpose flour
     1/2 tsp baking powder
     1/8 tsp  baking soda
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/3 cup butter, melted
     1 cup packed brown sugar
     1 egg, beaten
     1 tsp vanilla extract
     1 cup chocolate coated candies 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C). Grease and flour an 8in by 8in baking pan and line with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together melted butter and brown sugar. Add in egg and vanilla and mix. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Fold the candies.
  4. Press the batter into the pan and scatter a few candies on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from: A Pumpkin and A Princess

Cooking Project #2: Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

For a week I was alone in the house (well technically, there were two of us but we rarely see each other as she worked during the night) and so I had a lot of time in my hands. I cooked, baked and baked some more. And all of these lasted us for a week. I had to eat a lot of leftover food for dinner.

First on the list: bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. This one is so easy to make. You only need to season and sear the pork, wrap it with the bacon strips, cover with maple syrup and roast. See, easy right?

Since the pork tenderloin didn't have any fat, the key here is to eat it with the bacon. I had it for lunch and I almost ate everything. It's really that good. Season the pork well and you'll go for seconds and thirds. I ate it with fried rice and I sat on my chair for almost an hour, alone but enjoying.


Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin


salt and pepper
1 lb pork tenderloin
6 pieces bacon strip
1/3 cup maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet. Sear the pork tenderloin until all sides are brown.
  4. Lay all the bacon strips on a chopping board,one side overlapping the other. Make sure that the width of the bacon will cover all the pork. 
  5. Transfer the pork on top of the bacon, using a spoon, knife or fork roll up the bacon to cover the pork. If the bacon won't stay in place, use a toothpick to hold them together. Transfer back to the skillet and cover with maple syrup. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes, basting twice with the pan juices before the 30 minutes end. Baste again before serving.

Baking Project #10: Banana-Walnut Muffins

My mother loves carrot cakes, and my aunt too. During our get together, I am always assigned to bring a carrot cake which resulted to a pack of leftover walnuts in our cupboard. Each day, I see the walnuts and I tell myself not to worry as one day I may have to make a carrot cake again.

And that time had come, but not in a form of a carrot cake but muffins. One weekend I was ready to bake. I checked our refrigerator and found out that we had no milk but we had 5 pieces of bananas. So I said, OK, I'll just make muffins. And so I made twelve, twelve very delicious banana muffins with nuts. 

I was supposed to bring 4 pieces of these to work and give them to John Lee, but I kept on forgetting. In the end, I just ate them after three days for breakfast. And you know what, they're still moist and soft. Try them too, you can be done in less than hour. I promise! And you can have them for breakfast too. Just like I did.


Banana-Walnut Muffins


5 pcs very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 175 deg Celsius.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the melted butter and mashed bananas. Mix in the sugar, vanilla and egg. Add the baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Add the flour and mix just until combined. Fold in the walnuts. The less you stir the batter at this point, the fluffier the muffins would be once baked.
  3. Prepare 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Pour the batter into each of the tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the tins and allow to cool in a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: A Sweet Pea Chef

Cooking Project #1: Roasted Chicken

I have only eaten homemade roasted chicken twice. The first time I was in Taguig, living with my relatives and I was tasked to tend to the chicken while it was roasting. I don't remember now how it tasted or if I ever needed to return it for further roasting. My second time was very memorable. Julius and I were married a few days ago and it was the first time that we celebrated the New Year as husband and wife. Even though we had to leave the house at 10 in the evening and go to Taguig where my brother and mother were staying, we still decided to cook to welcome the new year. Julius was so excited. He called my mother-in-law for the recipe and diligently did everything from cleaning the chicken to cutting the vegetables. I watched as he did everything, equally excited as I wait for him to finally put the chicken in the oven.

For my third, I wanted to make it myself. I found a recipe that was not just easy to make but the ingredients were also easy to find. Just one trip to the grocery store and I was ready. And let me tell you, of all the roasted chicken I tasted (including those in restaurants) this by far is the most delicious. I even regretted that I only roasted for three people as I wanted to eat more after I finished the 2nd leg but I had to stop myself as the plate was almost empty.


One Pan Roasted Chicken


1 lb chicken parts 
1 tbsp butter, softened
half piece of lemon
1 tsp dried thyme
vegetables (whatever you want)


  1. Preheat oven at 425 deg F.
  2. Clean the chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a clean bowl, mix butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme until well blended. Smear on the chicken.
  4. Place the chicken on a roasting pan (uncovered) and put in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Halfway through remove the pan from the oven and scatter the vegetables around. Replace into the oven and continue roasting. Pierce the chicken to check if it's done.

Baking Project #9: Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake. I am fascinated with the red velvet cake. The red cake is such a huge contrast to the white frosting. And the cream cheese frosting itself, can stand on its own. I swear, I can eat all of it little by little. But as fascinated as I am with the red velvet cake, I am actually afraid to make it AGAIN. I’d made it once and the top of the cake looked like a volcano crater. It just wouldn’t bake through. I even returned it in the oven and baked it twice the baking time but the result was the same. The side was already burnt but the top didn’t change much.  It was such a huge failure and made me think that it’s a very technical cake. And since I never went to a baking school, I thought I will just always fail.

Three years later, I was searching for a cake recipe that I could try. And thanks to Pinterest (again!) I found the one that I just knew would turn into a successful and delicious velvety cake. And I was right. The color, the texture and the taste it wasn’t just good, it was great. If you’re into red velvet cakes, you may try this recipe.


Red Velvet Cake


For the cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

For the cream cheese frosting

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar


For the cake

1.       Preheat oven to 175 oCelsius.
2.       Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
3.       Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and whisk until blended. Set aside.
4.       In the bowl of your mixer sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
5.       Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
6.       Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7.       After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the cream cheese frosting

Beat butter until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and mix until blended. Little by little and at low speed, add in powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. 

Recipe for the red velvet cake was adapted from: Bakerella

Baking Project #8: Chocolate Crinkles

When I was still in college and living with my relatives, I used to see a plate of crinkles on the table almost weekly. My aunt was moonlighting with her baked goods so it's common to see brownies and tarts in the house. When I left and lived on my own, that hobby was passed on (or acquired?) to my uncle who had to retire early as per his doctor's advise. But if there's one person who was greatly influenced by seeing my aunt baked, it was her daughter, my cousin Jana whom by the way is my favorite.

Anyway, despite seeing those crinkles I never got one and took a bite. Five years in college followed by more years of working and never once did I buy myself a piece. Don't get me wrong, despite it's simplicity I was really enticed by the black and white combination. I just know deep down that it's delicious. However I can't figure out why I haven't tasted it before.

But thanks to Pinterest(!) I saw a lot of photos and recipes (!!!) of crinkles. I tried one and loved it so much I'm not trying anything else (am I missing out a lot???). As of today, I already baked them twice. But yesterday when I went to Shopwise, I saw a load of crinkles being sold and I realized that mine are small in sizes. Tee hee! Well, lesson learned. 

And oh by the way, they'll be making their way to Julian's first brithday! I'm already preparing for it.

If you're interested, here's the recipe: 


1 cup cocoa powder (I used dutch processed)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp espresso powder 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup confectioner's sugar


1. In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat together the cocoa powder, sugar and oil until they combine and becomes shiny and gritty.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat well.
3.In  a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Mix into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Cover the dough and place it in a freezer for two hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350 deg F and line two baking sheets with parchment papers. Place the confectioner's sugar in a bowl. Using a spoon, get a clump of the chilled dough and roll in into a 1-inch sized ball using your hands. Roll the ball in the confectioner's sugar and place in the baking sheet. Do the same until you fill the whole sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute in the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: I recommend that you cover your hands with confectioner's sugar before rolling the dough or some of it will stick in!

For printable version, click here.

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