Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lemon Bars!

Sour, tangy, acidic. That's what lemons are for me. I didn't really think of lemon as my main ingredient on my future baked goods. Why? Well maybe because its price here in the Philippines is relatively high, just like strawberries. Also, my acidity levels are always on the verge and I keep a big amount of coffee on the list of my weekly intake of acidic foods. That's why lemons are not on my list.

But this early week of February, we went to the chilly yet amazing land of Sagada and we were informed that lemons are one of their main product! We were so surprised as what we have known, lemons are just imported by other countries. So after exploring the historic undergrounds, scenic views, hanging coffins, muddy mountains and warm cafes. We headed to the marketplace and bought a lot of cheap but really fresh vegetables as Sagada is known to be one of the source of the veggies that are sold at SM supermarkets and local wet markets. We were so ecstatic about our vegetable hoarding and at last! We saw their own produce of lemons :)


The BIG greenish thing on the left is the Sagada lemon and on the right corner wearing bright yellow, is I bought from Divisoria (a place in Manila where you can find a lot of things in bargain). I can say that our own produce is not quite tangy, which is by the way my preference :) and as you can see, it is bigger than the usual lemons that we see in the supermarkets. Lemons from Sagada are 80 pesos per kilo (about 4 lemons) and the Divisoria lemons are 100 pesos for 10 pcs. Both are quite cheap compared to the supermarket prices. BUT! Sagada's lemons are waaaaayyyyy juicier than the other. I don't know if I just bought an old stock from Divisoria or Sagada's lemons are just freshly picked when I bought them. Well anyway, I still recommend you to buy some when you get to go to Sagada ;)

There is one restaurant at Sagada that is very famous for their lemon pies. So of course, we went and tried their lemon pie but to my disappointment, I did not finish a slice of it :( I don't know what's famous about their lemon pie but in my taste..it's just sour. Well maybe I am just biased because I like pies that are moist and creamy. Theirs are just like sour jello pudding to me :( And that's the reason why I am writing now ahaha! So I googled a lemon pie recipe and I made sure that it has milk or cream on it. I found one that has graham crackers as a crust and I immediately tried it. I can say that mine is an upgraded version and pretty much creamier than what we had on that restaurant. But unfortunately I wasn't able to take a picture of it so I tried another recipe and here it is, the lemon bars! If you like sweet and sour foods then this recipe is for you! I adapted the recipe from Nestle and tweaked some ingredients a little, most specially the lemon juice. I cut it to 1/2 cup since I don't like them to be too tangy. But if you're into sour thing, then you can follow the real recipe which is 2/3 cup of lemon juice :)



Lemon Bars
Adapted from Nestle 

INGREDIENTS:

For the CRUST
2 cups All purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
200g of unsalted butter, softened

For the FILLING
1can (14oz) condensed milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 to 3 tablespoon all purpose flour, depending on the consistency of the batter
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salit
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
Sifted powder for toppings (optional)



DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to to 175°C or 350°F. Prepare an 8x12 inch pan with parchment paper. Preferably hang the parchment paper on the sides, this will be a big help in transferring the baked bars.
2. Combine flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in the butter and cutting it in when it forms some crumbs. Then press this lightly onto bottom and halfway up at the sides of the ungreased pan.
3. Bake the shortbread for 20 minutes or until light brown.
4. While baking the shortbread. Beat condensed milk and eggs in a large mixer bowl for about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon juice, flour, baking powder and salt just until blended. Fold in the lemon zest and pour the batter onto the baked shortbread.
5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Chill for 2 hours or overnight then cut into bars. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Welcome 2017!

Whaaat!! My last post was last July 2016? Really??? Mabs!!! What happened!?! I thought you want to grow this food blog! Not only to share your learnings from baking but to earn (cashing cashing! $$$) something from it..Waaahhhh and until now you're not puting some ads here :( Haayy what a shame..


Yeah, that's how I talk to myself, whenever I want to spank myself for not putting some effort to fulfill my dreams..But anyway,..it's 2017 now! New Year! That means new resolutions and time to pursue that long forgotten resolutions of the past year ahaha! So now I declare,


"Thou shall write a post on this precious blog at least once a month. May it be a novel-like post or a shorty short statement. Also, put ads on it before February 2017 ends. If! And only if google Adwords approve. Or else, try and try until they...approve.."


So for this January post, I want to share some pictures of my baked goods last Christmas. I want to thank my sisters for trusting me on this. They ordered Christmas themed cupcakes for their colleagues at the office :)

And because of this pictures an officemate ordered too!


 Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Fondant toppers


Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes with Boiled Icing


Also some soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies :)


It really feels good to gain profit from this. Even though I am so tired and a little zombie-like because of  lack of sleep, it feels good to earn from something you love doing :)



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Simple Strawberry Cheesecake

One monday night, I'm with my buddy/colleague and we were shopping for our usual "salad-dinner" for the week. It's our routine to go to the dairy aisle of the supermarket, just to check if there are some discounts or promos on some very expensive "can't pronounce the name" cheeses that we're drooling to taste. And so we went. To our surprise, we saw a BUY 1 TAKE 1 Pauly cream cheese! The only problem was, the box has 48 oz of cream cheese! Double it because its BUY 1 TAKE 1 so we have 96 oz of cream cheese at hand, and the expiry date is just 3 weeks to go!

And our dilemma began if we will still buy the cream cheese or not...

What recipes are we going to bake/cook?...

That 96 oz of cream cheese can make SIX 9 inch pan of cheese cake..

How are we going to consume that big amount of cheese cake while we're still on a diet?...

That my buddy's dad is suffering from diabetes that's why she can't bring the cheesecakes home...

and so on and so forth..



I think we were like that for about half an hour until we finally remember that we still have an aspiring baker at the office. Problem solved! Talking about the dilemma's of a wannabee bakers on a tight budget! Ahaha! So now I'm sharing with you one of the easiest recipe that I've tried since I became a trying-hard but striving baker. That was not so long ago, so if you do know a more simple recipe than this, don't hesitate to share it! I'm not saying that this recipe is not good, actually this one is to crave for! Only, its ingredients are expensive and I'm assuming there are other recipes that are still yummy but has lesser ingredients.



Okay enough of this story-telling! Here's the recipe. Enjoy! :)

Strawberry Cheesecake
Makes: One 9inch pie

INGREDIENTS:

For the CRUST
128g crushed grahams
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sieved
74g melted butter
Pinch of salt

For the CHEESECAKE
16oz cream cheese
2 large eggs
152g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can of preferred fruit preserves for toppings (mine is strawberry)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350°F. Prepare a 9 inch pie pan for this recipe.
2. In making the crust, mix the graham crackers, confectioners sugar and salt. After all are incorporated, mix in the melted butter.
3. Put the mixed crust into the pie pan then press it to the bottom and up to the sides of the pan. Set aside.
4. To make the filling of the cheesecake, first beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds or less. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature for easy mixing.
5. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat the mixture until smooth, with the mixer set to medium speed.
6. Put the mixture into the pie pan then place it in the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes or until the filling does not wiggle when you try to move the pan.

I also tried baking on a 6 inch springform pan and this happened :(



Looks like a thick danish bread to me ahaha! The ingredients are half of the above recipe and the baking time is 1 hour, that's why the crust burned :( But still it tastes good, with a slight bitter flavor :))) Maybe I should lower the temperature next time.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Millionaire's Squares for Father's Day


I'm offering my first bake post to all the fathers out there and most specially to my father who is already with the Almighty, up in heaven. I want to show the world that even if he's not around, he will always be in our hearts. That's why I baked a super rich and delicious squares for him, the Millionaire's Squares! And why Millionaire's Squares? Who doesn't want to be a millionaire? I think everybody, especially fathers who are breadwinners (except for the billionaires of course) wants to be one! 



Well here's an easy to make dessert for father's day and make them feel a millionaire! Because this day, they deserve a million of love and care from us :)  

Millionaire's Squares

Makes: 16 squares

INGREDIENTS:

For the SHORTBREAD/BASE
50g Caster sugar
150g Unsalted Butter, softened
250g All purpose flour

For the CARAMEL
175g Caster sugar
175g Unsalted Butter
4tbsp Honey
300ml Condensed milk
 
For the CHOCOLATE TOPPING
300g Dark Chocolate
1/4 cup Fresh Milk

 
DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oven to 160°C. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
2. Put sugar, butter and flour into a bowl then mix well until you form a soft dough.
3. Spoon into the prepared pan and press lightly to form a smooth base.
4. Chill for about 20 minutes and then bake for 35 minutes or more until the base is golden in color. Leave to cool.
5. For the caramel, place the butter, sugar, honey and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. 
6. Stir the mixture gently until it has soft bubbles and thick. I did not time this step but the picture below shows when did I stop cooking the caramel mixture. It was thick and has some streaks when you mix.


7. Pour the caramel on top of the cooled base.
8. After the caramel has cooled. Chop the dark chocolate and put the fresh milk into a microwavable bowl. Melt it using the highest temperature in the microwave mixing and checking it within 10 seconds interval. (I checked mine 3 times then just pressed the small chunks of chocolate to mix them well) Pour the chocolate on top of the caramel then let sit to cool.
9. Once cooled, refrigerate for an hour or more then cut into squares then serve.

 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I feel a little disappointed and at the same time motivated..Well, here I am, doing now my first post on my long overdue dream blog. I'm a little disappointed because my blog title shouldn't be mabsconfecssions. Though yes, it has my nickname and quite creative, but still I like my other "well-thought" of blog name :( I won't share it yet since I'm still holding on to it and thinking to buy a domain so I could have it like..forever! Anyway, I'm still happy that now, I'm starting to move forward in achieving one of my dream..to own a baking blog! :)