Cake



Christmas is one of my most favourite times of the year. I love the music, the traditions, the snow, the shopping…It really is the happiest time of the year for me. I’ve always had really good memories with my family.

A few weeks leading up to the Christmas time, especially since it corresponds with exam time for students, I tend to bake little treats to keep my energy going, give me something sweet to munch and put me in the Christmas mood. Baking cupcakes is always a quick fix and I happily decorate them in the holiday spirit.

Recipe:

it’s pretty basic and simple. Get yourself a cake box mix or use your favourite recipe. Top it off with homemade or store-bought icing and decorate as you will. It’s a great treat to do even closer to Christmas day as it is a fun activity to get others involved (relatives, children) An alternative for gingerbread men or houses since those might be a little more costly to buy or harder to make.

These were a simple white cake mix (probably french vanilla). I bought the icing and had christmas inspired red green and white sprinkles plus white chocolate chips to garnish.

My twist on the cupcake came with what was inside… (more…)

Cheesecake is one of my favourites desserts. Other than plain cheesecake, my favourite flavours are of the fruit nature. For a family potluck party, I decided to make a cheesecake from scratch (ok, well almost from scratch hehe) I choose the lemon flavour for the refreshing flavour it brings and the hope that it would cut down the greasiness of some of the other foods.

I don’t have any go to recipes for cheesecake as it had been a long time since I last made one. So off to google I went to try and find a recipe that was manageable and tasted delicious. Upon first glance, the recipe seemed rather simple; mix the ingredients, put into crust, bake and then cool. But I discovered while going through the making of this particular cheesecake that its actually a much more lengthier process. I was so happy that I had decided to start making this a day earlier as it turned out to be just enough time to get it all done. And as with many things in life, patience brings it rewards as this cheesecake was incredible. (more…)

UPDATED 01/12/09 @ 3:45PM — I forgot a few more dishes so for those who have already read this post, check the end to see even more food from the party

New Year’s is a huge event for my family because it’s a two fold celebration. In addition to the general excitement for the new year, New Year’s day happens to be my father’s birthday. My family throws an annual New Year’s bash, invite all of our family and friends and party from the afternoon until the wee hours of the morning. Because it is such a long event and there are more people than the normal get-together, there’s a pretty big spread on our table.

After a year of numerous parties, my family tends to feel like we’ve gone through the majority of the Filipino dishes out there. Therefore, we like to attempt to ring in a new year with different food that isn’t always typically seen at a Filipino party. When deciding upon the menu, we consulted a variety of sources for inspiration and recipes and came up with a menu that features some of our most favourite dishes, some experimental food and some tried and true Filipino food.

Recipes that I reviewed

Recipes from various sources

Click to see more food from the party!

(more…)

I know I am terribly over due for a post and I have several (decent) reasons. First is the fact that I went home for my Christmas vacation and although you make think that I would have more time to update since I have no school to distract me, its actual more time-consuming as there are more responsibilities and duties while at home. During the holiday season there are several parties to attend, a lot of shopping/errands to run and many attempts at cleaning the house. Second is the fact that although as readers, there are no new posts, I do work on the behind the scenes stuff. For example, I’ve really been working on generating more readership that is stable. I’ve been joining other blogging/food networks to promote the blog because my secondary goal for this blog is to gain a decent amount of readership. I think I’ve done very well for only 3 months of publication and I hope that things only get better from here on out. I also spend a lot of time uploading/editing photos. My lighting and camera quality are not always the best so I do take the time to edit photos to make them as appetizing as possible. I’m trying to do the research needed to improve my photography skills so that I can cut down on editing. So I’ve caught up on editing, done a good chunk of promotion and gained more readership so now its time to get back to what it’s all about; food posts!

We’re gonna go way back to feature the main party food for this Christmas season. This is what a Filipino feast is like during the holiday season, in particular my home for New Year’s. Warning: this post is picture heavy!

For the annual Christmas day party, our family friends take turn on rotation deciding who will host it. This year it was held at my uncle’s house in Whitby from lunchtime until dinner. It was a potluck event and everyone was required to bring something. My family had decided to bring shrimp & vegetable tempura. It was also our opportunity to open our gifts with everyone else. Shortly after, I fell asleep from just exhaustion of the past few days. I awoke in time to eat a little bit of dinner, picture taking with the family and then headed home. But back to the food. There were tons and I wanted to feature all of them.

This was a black forest cake made by a family friend who specializes in baking. I’m not a huge fan of black forest cake, primarily because I’m not a fan of cherries. However, I was informed by my all-cake-loving sister that it was delicious. It was a beautiful cake fit for the season.

This was the tempura my family had brought. We used shrimp, eggplant, sweet potato and green peppers. It was a hit at the party and there were hardly any left overs. My favourite is always the sweet potato. It wasn’t as crisp as it could be since it was cooked earlier in the day but it was still very delicious and very easy to make.

Click to see more photos!

(more…)

Every once in a while, I have the craving to bake something from scratch. It’s tough to do sometimes in my apartment as I don’t have all the supplies and materials needed for baking. While trying to figure out what I could make, I discovered that I had some plain yogurt and lemons in my fridge that I wanted to cook with. I decided to look up a lemon pound cake recipe and although there were many that didn’t require the  yogurt, I wanted to find one that I did.

Although I had a baking pan that I could have used to make a loaf, I decided to portion it from the start and make cupcakes instead of a loaf. I’m not much of a baker so I can’t improvise as well as I could with regular cooking. Hence the need of a recipe.

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 1/2  cups  sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon zest
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
  • 3/4  cup  vanilla yogurt
  • 2 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt (more…)

For my 20th birthday I spent time trying to think what I could do that was silly and fun to commemorate the fact that I was growing up, leaving teenage/childhood years behind and moving to the adult woman phase.

photo found on google

After being inspired by the above cake, I decided that I wanted one just like it for my 20th birthday. It was colourful and fun. I haven’t baked a cake in a long time, especially one from scratch and since I knew making all the layers and colouring it would take a long time, I didn’t want to add in my own hassles of trying to make it from scratch hence the help of boxed mixes :)

I bought french vanilla mix because it was the only white cake boxed mix I could find, the food colouring I had on hand, french vanilla frosting and vanilla frosting with rainbow sprinkles. And although it turned out very tasty, I want to attempt making it from scratch next time (and trust me there will be a next time).  For the boxed mix all you do is add eggs, milk and oil and colour it according the colouring instructions on the back of the food colour box although I multiplied the amounts of drops to intensify the colours.

I only had 1 baking pan and 2 bowls so I was forced to make one batch, colour it one portion at a time and bake it before moving on to the next colour. Hence, it took me and A literally ALL day to make. I will definitely have more supplies next time around. We took one box and split it into 3. We had originally only wanted to split it into two but I was determined to have as many colours/layers as in the inspiration photo. The colours were (bottom layer to top): pale purple, baby blue, neon green, vibrant yellow, warm orange and super bright red.

I then frosted each top layer with the vanilla frosting and the top and sides with the rainbow sprinkles frosting. I had thought while I was spreading it that it wouldn’t be enough (I was under the impression that it should look something like a full buttercream frosting) but it ended being just right since it would have been sweetness overkill.

I took the above photo to try and help give a better sense of how incredibly tall this cake was. But that’s expected with 6 layers. We finally finished the cake at around midnight. A ate the first slice at 3 am because although he tried to wait for a more appropriate time, he just couldn’t wait any longer. And since he was kind enough to make it with me, I figured he deserved it. The next day I took a photoshoot of it before any more got eaten. I ended up saving a huge slice for my father who begged for me to send it to him which I did. He hogged it to himself and no one else at home got it and now I’ve been requested to make it again.

Final product:

Review:

It was lots of fun to make and although there are lots of steps, they are simple and easy to follow. It’s very appealing to the eye and makes for a great birthday cake. It is a tad sweet so be sure not to eat too much. I’m hoping to make it again in the near future. I love the idea of coloured cakes. I think it’s really exciting to cut into it and see the designs. I also heard about the checkered cake effect that I want to try out in the future. The cake didn’t turn out the same as the photo but I know how to cook it to make it look just like that. In the end, the browning of the outsides didn’t really matter since it was all covered in icing and it helped to define the layers better. This cake was certainly one of the main highlights of my birthday!

Aromaz is located in the building at the back of the Price Choppers in Scarborough. It is my family’s go-to bakery for our all-time favourite cake. If I could have this someday as my wedding cake, I would do it for sure. Aromaz features many chinese buns and breads that you would typically find in other asian bakeries. They have logs, tarts, and cookies along with all the savoury food.

The real show stoppers are their cakes and other desserts featured in their display case. There’s so many to choose from and they’re all beautifully decorated with glazed fruit, icing and chocolate shavings.

As you can see, the varieties are  numerous. Most of them include fruit both on top and inside and a lot of the cakes are mousse cakes but there’s a little something of everything. Their presentation is so clean and beautiful. The last photo features mango cakes. The one with the peaches on top…that’s the one my mother and I choose to have for our birthday cake. It’s a white chocolate mango cake and it is amazing! What makes it so good is that it’s not overly sweet, the mangos balance perfectly with the cake. The icing and the white chocolate shavings on the outside are a treat. It’s very light but still very filling. They personalize the cake by adding a greeting no charge. They write it on a chocolate circle. I think we’ve come across some other places that have a similar cake but we like it best here. There’s also a food court and a great chinese restaurant inside the plaza if you’re hungry.

Aromaz
2301 Brimley Rd
416 321 3232
no website

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