Banana Nutella Choco-chip Muffins

12 Feb

I am on a nutella craze these days.. I tried out a nutella cupcake recipe last week that I didn’t like very much. Still on the hunt for the perfect one!

Today, I wanted to bake something I could eat for breakfast in the coming week. I did a quick search for a chocolate chip muffin.. and found a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe instead. And nothing goes better with banana than NUTELLA! Here is the recipe for a banana chocolate chip muffin.. with a nutella surprise inside :)

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins.

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cup flour
3/8 cup brown sugar
3/8 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 

Wet ingredients:
1 egg

1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup mashed banana
nutella 

Steps

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, yoghurt, vanilla, and melted butter.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Fold in mashed bananas.

5.  Use a tablespoon to fill muffin cups with batter. With a separate teaspoon, place a small scoop of nutella in the middle. Add another tablespoon of batter to cover the nutella.

6.  Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes at 350C.

Enjoy :)

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Holiday goodies galore!

29 Dec

Instead of buying gifts this year, I decided to bake for co-workers and friends! Besides, home-made is better than store-bought :) After reading through baking blogs and googling ideas.. I chose to make three goodies:

  1. Peppermint Bark
  2. Oreo Truffles
  3. Oatmeal Lace Cookies
The peppermint bark and oatmeal cookies turned out great. I didn’t like the oreo truffles too much – maybe because they were too soft. They are good when eaten chilled. I had a hard time keeping them cold so I opted not to make them anymore after the first batch.

peppermint bark & oreo truffles

They were surprisingly simple..  I think finding the packaging took me longer (finally found them at the Dollar Store near work and at Michael’s). Here are the recipes!

Peppermint Bark 

Ingredients:
5 squares of Baker’s white chocolate
5 squares of  Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
2 drops of peppermint extract
5 candy canes, crushed

Steps

  1. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place the candy canes in a ziplock bag and crush to tiny pieces. Sieve the crushed pieces to separate the big candy cane chunks and the finer candy cane “powder” into two separate bowls. Set aside.
  3. Melt semi-sweet chocolate squares in a double-broiler (substitute: use a metal bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water).
    ** The key to melting chocolate is to make sure there is no moisture or water that touches the chocolate).
  4. Once smooth and completely melted, add two drops of peppermint extract to the chocolate then pour onto the cold cookie sheet. Spread thinly using a spatula.
  5. Repeat steps 3 with the white chocolate squares.
  6. Once the white chocolate is melted, pour the candy cane powder and mix it with the chocolate.
  7. Pour the melted white chocolate and candy cane mixture onto the already-frozen/cold semi-sweet chocolate. Spread.
  8. Sprinkle the larger crushed candy cane pieces on top of the white chocolate.
  9. Put back in freezer for at least 30 mins (or in the refrigerator for at least an hour). Once chocolate has hardened, break the chocolate into pieces.

Oreo Truffles (from Easy Oreo Truffles on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
1/2 package of 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 package of oreo cookies, crushed
4 squares of Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate

Steps

  1. Crush 4 oreo cookies using a food processor and set aside.
  2. Crush the rest of the cookies and mix with cream cheese. Use a hand mixer to thoroughly blend the two.
  3. Using two teaspoons, shape the mixture into round balls.
  4. Use a double broiler (substitute: metal bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water) to melt the semi-sweet chocolate.
  5. Once melted, place the oreo balls on top of a fork and use a spoon to scoop melted chocolate on top of it. Keep doing this until the oreo ball is completely coated.
  6. Place chocolate-covered oreo truffle on parchment paper.
  7. When you’ve dipped all oreo truffles in chocolate, put in freezer to cool.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies (from Lacy Oatmeal Cookies on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, and baking powder (this is your dry ingredients bowl).
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg and add vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture (this is your wet ingredients bowl).
  5. Add all dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Place parchment paper on top of cookie sheet and drop teaspoon-sized dough on it. The cookies will spread quite a bit so make sure you don’t put them too close to each other.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden yellow or brown.
  8. Leave on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Voila.. the finished product :)

Christmas is in the air*

27 Dec

Christmas = No work = Plenty of down time = new blog posts!

What better time to start posting again than Christmas :) It’s been almost 19 months since I last posted. Bad me. What matters is that I’m back!

I am usually away from Vancouver during Christmas time so I never get to enjoy all the Christmas festivities around town. Last year before flying home, I was able to squeeze in seeing the Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge & Bright Nights at Stanley Park. Due to my passport being stuck in the East Coast, I didn’t get to fly home and enjoy a filipino Christmas with the fam :( This meant more time to enjoy all the Christmas fun in Vancouver. I managed to drag R with me to the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen & Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt.

It was beautiful at Van Dusen! So much lights.. I think every tree and plant had lights on them. They also had a light show every 30 minutes where lights over the fountain were “dancing” to Christmas songs. We went early in the evening on Dec 24th so the lines weren’t so bad. By the time we left, the line quadrupled! We also enjoyed a chocolate waffle (R had a wiener waffle lol) while inside the park. Yum!

Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden

During one of the rainy days, we decided to go for a quick walk through the Hyatt. They had some amazing gingerbread houses.. one of them even had cookies and milk for Santa in the living room! My favorite had to be the one by the VCC Pastry Arts students (closely followed by the Quidditch field).

  

  

We also met up with some friends at the Christmas Market and saw the Santa Clause Parade. The weather was perfect on parade day.. a tad bit chilly but once we found our spot in the crowd, everyone blocked the wind :)

Rogers Santa Clause Parade 2011

Happy Holidays everyone!

Yummy.

5 May

So ever since the last time I blogged, here’s what I’ve been baking. Most of them are stuff I’ve baked in the past so I won’t be posting the recipes. Anywho, enjoy :)

Moved.

5 May

Figured it was about time I updated my blog hehe.. now that I’m done with school and everything. Decided to move it from blogger to here. No reason, really. Just wanted a change. I imported most of the entries from the other blog so if the formatting is messed up, just ignore them. Can’t be bothered to fix them all :p (I have the time.. I just don’t want to.)

I haven’t really been baking much over the past few months. Been waaay too busy with school. My life basically revolved around school. I wasn’t even able to keep up with my TV shows.. which has never happened before. But it’s all over now! I now have a BSc :) Now I can go back to doing fun things like baking, photography, watching TV shows and movies.. instead of reading textbooks, doing problem sets, pulling all-nighters for papers, and studying for exams. Definitely not gonna miss that!

Anyway, keep checking back! I’ll def try to update this blog a lot more often this summer.

Triple Chocolate Muffins

29 Dec


A year or two ago, I tasted the triple chocolate muffins at Tim Horton’s for the first time and they were soooo good. I haven’t had them in a while — they don’t seem to have them in all the Tim Horton’s stores. So I decided to try and make my own… turned out pretty good :) How can you go wrong with a chocolate muffin with 2 kinds of chocolate chips? Yummy :D

Makes 15 small muffins.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix milk, egg, oil, and vanilla.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the wet ingredients, mixing them well each time you add.
  • Add the chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 175˚C for 15 mins or until the toothpick comes out clean (when you poke the muffin).

Red Velvet Cupcakes

8 Sep


I’m back!! After 3 months of traveling around and spending time with family, I’m finally back at home (I have multiple homes. Yes I’m a nomad.) Which means I can bake again! I did bake a few times when I was in the Philippines but it was all old stuff — Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Cupcakes, Apple Crisp — stuff that are already up on this blog.

I had a day to kill before school started so I thought I’d bake some cupcakes. I’ve tasted some reaaally good red velvet cakes and cupcakes in the past so I wanted to make my own. As with everything else, my favorite part is always the frosting — cream cheese frosting.. mmm yummy.

These cupcakes turned out a little dry so I’m gonna have to tweak it next time. But anywho, here’s the recipe.

Makes 12 medium-sized cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tblspoon red food coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 cup flour
2 tblspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 175˚C.
  • Cream together butter and sugar.
  • Add egg, buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla to the mix.
    ** I had no buttermilk so I put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a mixing cup and filled the rest with milk until the 1-cup mark. Use half of this for the recipe. **
  • Mix in baking soda and vinegar to the batter.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the other bowl. Mix well.
  • Pour batter into cupcake cups until they are half full.
  • Place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 of an 8oz. cream cheese block, softened
2 tblspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

  • Cream together cream cheese and butter.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Slowly add icing sugar.

** Remember to cool cupcakes completely before adding the icing because it will melt.

Yummy Rating:

(It was a little dry.. and not as red as I wanted it to be.)

Banana Crumb Cupcake

14 Jun

Banana cupcakes with a sweet, crunchy topping!

Flour Mixture
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Banana Mixture
3 bananas (overripe), mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup oil

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tblspoons flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbslpoon butter, softened

  • Combine the flour mixture and the banana mixture in a big bowl. Stir.
  • Spoon the batter into muffin/cupcake cups and fill them up halfway.
  • Sprinkle crumb topping on top of the batter.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 175 degrees C for 15-18 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if they are done (should come out clean).

Ta da!

Yummy Rating:
♥♥

My New Toy: Lumix DMC-LX3

5 Jun


This is the new toy I bought yesterday. One of things on my to-do list for this summer is to buy a DSLR and take photography lessons. Ended up being too expensive so I decided to go with a semi-pro point and shoot camera (Lumix DMC-LX3) since all the settings can also be set manually. Next goal is to buy a book and teach myself all these photography jargon. Been tinkering with it all day today :D I’m learning how to set everything manually so it’ll take a while. Shutter speed, aperture, exposure..


I’ll also be using this camera to take pictures of all the stuff I bake. As you can see, I still have lots to learn..! :)

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Swirl

5 Jun

Recipe from Black Bottom Cupcakes I.

These cupcakes turned out really moist! The chocolate cupcakes I made before were super dry compared to this. Instead of cream cheese frosting, there’s a cream cheese filling in the middle of the cupcake. I think I put too little because you can’t really taste the cream cheese part.


I didn’t have a cupcake pan or cupcake liners so these are brand new. I bought 100 pieces of cupcake cups for only 6 pesos (C$0.13!!) and the pan for about 150 pesos (C$3.50). Really cheap! Have to remind myself to buy tons of baking stuff before I go back to Vancouver.

Yummy Rating:
♥♥♥
(I didn’t really like it but other taste-testers did!)