How to Paint Grass on Fondant


Last week, I got an order for a fondant Dora cake.The customer sent me a pic for inspiration. As a cake decorator, I always wanted to have an originality or create my own style in cake decorating. I somehow did what was in the picture but put a little touch of mine. By the time that I am pondering on what and how to do the cake, I thought of painting on fondant again. 

It was very easy. And I bet, you already have all the tools that you will need in painting the grass. I used 3 different shades of green (kelly green, moss green and leafy green). All from Wilton. You got to have a paint pallet. If you don’t have this, you can use small plates instead. And, a paint brush. Because I wanted my brushes to be thin and tall looking, I used the #6 detailed paint brush. 


Since that was my first time painting a grass on a cake, I practiced first on paper towel and on a spare fondant. I suggest you do that also. The practice helped me as well to familiarize with the stroke of the paint brushes that I have. I practiced with 3 paint brushes, but I like the output of #6 detailed paint brush, that’s why I chose it. It’s up to you how you would like your grasses to look like. Just experiment with the brushes. 😀


Let’s get started!

Put a little amount of each food gel coloring and water on the pallet. Wet your paint brush and brush a little of the first shade you want. Starting at the bottom going up, paint your grasses. You can do bottom going up and a little sideways to show that your grass is swaying. Try to do different strokes so that your grasses will have variations. Put more color on the brush as necessary and paint more if necessary. 

Here is the cake I made.


Enjoy painting. 

Thank you.

The Baking Engineer

Putong Bigas


My sister and I were used to attend Simbang gabi when we were young. It is a Filipino culture that when you attend Simbang Gabi, there is always a food after the mass where you can buy just outside the church or in the stalls beside the road going home. Puto and dinuguan is our favorite food after the mass. And I can still remember my grandfather’s sister, Ate Nene, was popular in our place for selling the puto and dinuguan. Almost all of the churchgoers in our place were after her puto and dinuguan. During those times, I am not concerned how it was being made. I am just fun of eating. 


When I came here in Canada, I missed every Filipino food that I love to eat then. One time, when I had a conversation with my mother through skype, Ate Nene was in our house, so I asked her about the recipe of her putong bigas. Without second thought, she shared it to me. But, due to my negligence, I misplaced it. 


Until my mother came here, that’s the time I thought of putong bigas again and so we experimented on it and arrived with our own recipe. We tried doing it twice and we were not happy with the outcome. And so we tried again for the third time, and voila, we succeed! 
On the first try, we steamed it for 15minutes, and so it was not cooked well. We can still feel the tiny bits of rice on it. On the second try, the puto was very soft and sticky. On my observation, the water was too much. And so, we revised our recipe. And on our third try, everything was a success. The taste, the texture, success!


Putong Bigas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of white rice (we are using jasmine rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Cheese and salted egg for toppings

Direction:

  1. Get a medium bowl, place the rice and water on it. Let the rice soak in water for at least four (4) hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare your food processor. Place some of the rice and water on it. Finely grind the rice. 
  3. Repeat step 3 until you finish all the rice.
  4. Put the ground rice into the mixing bowl.
  5. Add sugar, mix very well.
  6. Add the baking powder. Set aside. Let the mixture sit for 15- 20 minutes for the baking powder to be in effect.
  7. Get your steamer and put water on it. Place into stove and let it boil.
  8. Cut cheese and salted egg into small pieces. Set aside.
  9. Once the mixture reached the 15-20 minutes waiting time, put into mould.
  10. Fill the mould up to 3/4 full. Put the cheese or salted egg on top of each puto mixture.
  11. Set the moulds into the steamer and steam for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Remove from stove. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes. 
  13. Remove puto from the mould and serve.

Thank you for reading and I hope you share this recipe to your friends as well.

The Baking Engineer


Filipino Macaroons


I just came from work and need to rest a bit. Then, I thought of while resting I can write again a recipe to share here.

I will share to you another Filipino dessert and it is called coconut macaroons. This pastry is made up of milk,dessicated coconut, flour and egg. It is very easy to make. Even newbies in the world of baking can do this dessert. You do not need an electric mixer to do this.

My first try to do macaroons was a failure. The macaroons shrinked and was really sticky. And, nobody ate it. My assumption why it failed is because I just used a small amount of coconut. The second time I tried it was during the birthday of my friend’s daughter. Good it was a success. And many of the visitors liked how it tasted. From then on, from time to time, I get some orders for macaroons. I am glad that I can share to you today my recipe. Enjoy!

Filipino Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs (room temp)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 cups dessicated coconut

1 can (300ml) of condensed milk

Direction:

  1. Preheat oven at 350 F.
  2. Prepare small muffin pan and line with muffin cups/liners.
  3. Get a small bowl, combine flour and dessicated coconut. Set aside.
  4. Get a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar. Add condensed milk. Mix very well.
  5. Add egg one at a time. Mix very well.
  6. Add vanilla extract. Mix.
  7. Mix the flour mixture to the wet ingredients gradually. Beat until well combined.
  8. Fill muffin cups until half.
  9. Put in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Let macaroons stay in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer in the cooling rack to completely cool. 
  11. Enjoy eating your macaroons.

Sans Rival Cake

The first time I heard about this cake is when I was still a kid. Though, I am a cake lover, I haven’t tasted this cake, ever! Not until I baked one because someone requested it from me. Not until after my 30 years of existence here on earth! 😊

Sans rival is a Filipino dessert made of meringue, buttercream and cashew nuts. Sans rival is a french word which means without or no rival. They say that this is the Filipino counterpart of French macarons (which I haven’t tasted yet also). There is a smaller version of this which is called silvanas. Sans rival is best served when chilled or frozen. Others use cashew nuts on both the meringue and buttercream, others use some other kind of nuts. It really depends on your preference. With my recipe, I used almond flour in the meringue and coarsely chopped cashew in the buttercream and toppings. My friend told me that it taste good also with pistachios. I am not trying it though, coz pistachio is really expensive. 

After searching for different recipes, and looking for the common denominator among the ingredients, I came up with my own. And lots of my friends loved it! Here it is, enjoy!


Sans Rival Cake Recipe

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking time : 60 minutes

Ingredients: 

For Meringue wafer

6 egg whites (room temp)

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

For buttercream frosting

6 egg yolks

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup coarsely chopped unsalted roasted cashew nuts and some for toppings

Direction:

Meringue

  1. Prepare 2 baking sheets.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 4 8-inch squares or 9-inch circles on it.
  3. Preheat oven at 300 degree F or 150 degree C.
  4. Place the egg whites on a mixing bowl. Starting on low speed, start mixing it then gradually shifting to medium speed. Beat until frothy.
  5. Slowly, add the granulated sugar. Shift to high speed. Beat until stiff but not dry.
  6. Remove bowl from the mixer. Add the almond flour to the meringue and start to fold. Do not over mix.
  7. Get a pastry bag, fill it with the meringue mixture. 
  8. Fill the squares or circles you draw in a spiral manner. This way, you will have an equal distribution of the mixture in each square or circle.
  9. Put them in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until meringue is crispy and dry. Be sure they are dry because if not, you will have a sticky meringue.
  10. Once done, let them sit for 5 minutes in the baking sheet and remove them after and place them in a cooling rack.

Buttercream frosting

  1. Put water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Place in heat while constantly stirring. The sugar will melt and form the syrup.
  3. Put eggyolks in the mixing bowl, beat in a low speed and gradually shift to medium speed.
  4. Check your syrup, lift the stirrer, if it formed a thread-like syrup then it is good enough.
  5. Beat eggyolk again in a medium speed and pour the syrup into the eggyolk slowly.
  6. Mix until the mixture is cold enough to hold the butter. Make sure the mixture is cold because if not, butter will melt and it will ruin your buttercream.
  7. Cut the butter into cubes. Eggyolk and syrup should be mixing continuously.put the butter on to the mixture.
  8. Once you have put all the butter, shift to high speed. The buttercream will crumble, but don’t worry. It will form the perfect buttercream as it continuously beating. Do not overmix.
  9. Put the coarsely chopped cashew nuts on the buttercream and just mix in medium speed, just enough that it spread all over the buttercream.

Cake Assembly

  1. Get a cake board. Spread some buttercream on it. Just enough that it will hold the meringue wafer into place.
  2. Put one square or circle of the wafer on it. Cover it with buttercream.
  3. Get another layer and put it on top of the first layer. Fill it with buttercream.
  4. Get the third layer and do the same. 
  5. Get the fourth layer and do the same.
  6. Cover the sides of the cake with buttercream as well. 
  7. Now that the cake is fully covered with buttercream, put some cashew on top. Decorate the cake however you wish. 😊
  8. Put into the fridge or freezer.
  9. Enjoy your cake!

Thank you.

The Baking Engineer

Nanay’s Leche Flan

image

Since I have many condensed milk stored, I thought of making a leche flan again . This is my Nanay’s version of Leche flan which is crowd’s favorite in every occasion.

Leche flan is also known as creme caramel or caramel custard. Leche means milk and flan is a french word which means flat cake. This dessert is made up of milk, sugar and egg yolk. 

Nanay’s Leche flan is always a favorite in every occassion. Oftentimes, people who tasted her leche flan describe it as very smooth and creamy. Others even say that it “melts in your mouth” kinda thing. Well, we are not knew to that, as my Nanay is known for her sumptuous delicacies and dishes.

As a one proud daughter, I am very much delighted to share her recipes with you. Try making some and experience the heavenly goodness taste of my Nanay’s Leche Flan.

Ingredients:

30 pcs large egg yolks
4 370 ml can of evaporated milk
2 cans condensed milk
2 cups + 9tbsp granulated sugar

Instructions:
1. Put 3 tbsp of sugar to each llanera. I used 3 6-inch round cake pans.
2. Put llanera under low heat. Caramelize sugar.
3. Remove from heat once sugar is already golden brown in color. Set aside.
4. Get your steamer, put half full of water to it. Let the water boil.
5. Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
6. Place 30 egg yolks in a large mixing bowl.
7. Open all the cans of evaporated and condensed milk.
8. Mix milk and 2 cups of sugar with egg yolks.
9. Whisk altogether. Mix until well blended.
10. Pour 1 1/2 cups of each egg mixture in each llanera/pan.
11. Place the llaneras/pans in the steamer. Adjust heat to medium. Steam it for 50 to 60 minutes.
12. Remove from steamer.
13. Test if cooked already by inserting a toothpick o the mixture. Once the mixtire stayed open, it is cooked already.

Now try it on your own and enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Crinkles

Edited: June 1, 2016

My husband told me that I got a nice shot on this one. I used my iphone on this one, gotta love the iphone camera now! I am enjoying using the focus on my camera. I hope you found them nice,too!


I bet every baker knows what crinkles are. I first knew about these cookies when I was in highschool. It was being sold in our canteen. As a chocolate lover, these cookies caught up my attention immediately. They are wrapped on a parchment like paper and being sold individually. The cost of these cookies? Php5. Expensive,huh?!

I can still remember the ooey-gooey taste of the chocolate crinkles that I used to buy then. It’s super soft and chewy that you will want to ask for more. My fantasy with those chocolate crinkles ended when I graduated in highschool. So sad that I wasn’t able to find same crinkles when I was in college. For 5 years, I was hunting that crinkles again, but, sorry to me. Crinkles that I usually see on the bakeries are crunchy or hard and not really good to eat.

It was when I was working already, KL, a very good friend of mine tried baking some crinkles. She is a good baker, anyway. If I am a novice on that field, then she is the professional one. She asked me to taste it and wow! It tasted heavenly! I felt like screaming that time (exaggerated! Haha!) because that is the same crinkles I am looking for so long! Since we are really close, I always ask her to bake some for me, which she always does. I know she really loves me! But then, time came that we have to leave our company and go on separate entities. And I missed eating crinkles again.


After 6 years, I tried doing it on my own since I already have all the time to do it. I even ask KL about her recipe, but according to her, she cannot remember it anymore coz she misplaced her copy.
Google is my partner on every question I have that no one can answer. I searched the net and look for some recipes. I got 3 recipes for chocolate crinkles and tried comparing them. In the end, I only chose one. And this recipe came from http://allrecipes.com.

You do not need lots of different ingredients here. Just the usual, flour, sugar, cocoa,eggs,salt, baking powder and vanilla. They are very easy to do. The only thing that i do not like on this recipe is the chilling of the dough. But, nonetheless, they are really good for amateur bakers. I guess this is the best recipe I ever had for the chocolate crinkles. This is the same recipe I used when I did the crinkles souvenirs of my son’s baptism. And everyone loved it. Guests even asked for more.

After a long story, here is the recipe for the Chewy Chocolate Crinkles

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Mixture Preparation

1. Sift together the cocoa, white sugar and vegetable oil in a medium bowl.
2. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Mix well.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt on a medium bowl. Mix well.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.
5. Cover dough and chill for at least 4 hours.

Baking
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.
7. Get a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper.
8. Get the prepared mixture. Roll dough into one inch ball.
9. Roll and coat each ball into the confectioner’s sugar.
10. Place coated balls to the cooking sheet.
11. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
12. Let the crinkles stand on the cooking sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack.
13. Enjoy eating!

As a beginner in baking, I would say that this is very easy to do. Why not try it on your own and give feedbacks afterwards. Thank you!

My Passion

When we arrived here in Canada and knew that I will be a housewife for a year or more, I thought of something to do that will pass my boredom. With just one snap, I already knew what was it. Baking!

I know I have passion in cooking and baking even before we landed here. Somehow, due to lack of time coz of my workload in the Philippines, I hardly cook for my family. I cannot even bake coz I do not own an oven then. Oven in the Philippines is really expensive and I cannot afford to buy one. Good thing, here in Canada, all cooking range is equipped with baking oven. I was very happy when I saw that because I can now practice my cooking and baking skills. But I am much happier when I am baking.

Since I do not have a formal lesson in baking, I tried to Google some recipes and watched a lot of videos in Youtube. I got tons of tutorials from these media.

My first try on baking was chocolate chip cookies. I often read or hear from others that cookies are very basic when it comes to baking. So there I was, bought a box mix of choco chip cookie and tried baking them. But then, I didn’t follow the instruction written on the box. Instead, i copied a recipe from the net. Outcome? Failed! Haha. I was just laughing when I saw the finished product. It was so thin and crunchy. And I don’t like them! I thought I will never try baking again. Moral lesson, always follow instructions. As simple as that.

Since I really want to prove to myself that I can be a good baker, I tried another recipe again. This time, it’s a peanut butter choco chip cookies. Voila! It’s a success! However, it was just my daughter and I ate all the cookies. My husband just tasted it but told me he wasn’t happy with the taste. Arrggh, picky eater!

Anyway, I already accepted the fact that my husband will not be my greatest fan when it comes to baking coz he doesn’t like sweets. At least, I have my daughter who loves to eat my creations.

Well, that is not the last baking session I had. I still continue my journey to baking and cooking. With a span of one year, I learned a lot about cooking and baking just by reading ebooks, watching videos and joining forums in Facebook.

I already got lot of recipes from the net and also tried them. I will share on this blog the recipes I found so you can also try them on your own.

Thank you for reading.