Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baking my to way to Christmas

I must apologize...I am one day late.  Nevertheless, please allow me to still greet you all a 'Merry Christmas!'.  Hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday and are very much looking forward to the coming of a brand new year.

It's been a full-on baking week for me.  Made boxes and boxes of red velvet cupcakes to give away to family friends.  I've made this kind of cupcake several times for different occasions in the past two months and it has always been a big hit.  Topping the cupcakes with green coloured cream cheese frosting made them even more Christmassy!

For my brother and his family, though, I opted to bake something new and more special...

Chocolate/Green tea cupcakes!

It was my first attempt baking these. The cake was very light and moist, just the way I wanted it.  However, I did not put enough melted chocolate and so the chocolate portion turned out pale and lacking in flavour. I'll share the recipe next time when I perfect it, ok?

But here's one creation I am mighty proud of...

My Christmas pandan chiffon cake!  For an amateur cake decorator like me,  I think I did a pretty good job!

Here's what the cake looks like without frosting (but dusted lightly with icing sugar)...

I super, super love this cake!!!!  Discovered the recipe here sometime ago and have baked it several times.  Look no further because this is the best out there! 

Guess what I got for Christmas?  This... 
...a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in beautiful candy apple red!  Am I lucky or what???  Well, lucky is not exactly the right word...but blessed...I am so blessed to have a family who supports me in what I love doing.  Remember when they gifted me with a sewing machine on my last birthday?  It's not so much about having these material things though.  I am a stay at home mom with four kids and I know that my husband, most especially, wants me to be fulfilled in whatever I choose to do, even if I am not working for pay outside the home. 

Well, that's it for now.  I must take a break from baking and sew something for a change.  Will be back real soon with some project, promise!

Have a great and safe new year ahead!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Heat is On!

Even after 9 years of living in Australia, I don't think I will ever get used to the fact that the Christmas season here coincides with summer.  Somehow, it just doesn't feel right to me. While it did not (and still doesn't!) snow in the Philippines (where I grew up), a cool change in the weather during the months of December and January was always very welcome.

In this part of the world at this time, it BURNS.  It's so hot and dry, my sweat seems to evaporate even before it gets the chance to drip out of my skin.  I don't like summer at all for somehow the heat kills my Christmas joy in general. I would even say I actually hate it if not for one small reason...

The only time I am able to confidently bake bread is during hot weather. There are even times when I look forward to the heat just so I could successfully work with yeast.  Anyway, yesterday was one of those 'good to bake with yeast days'.  It was a scorching 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 deg F).  I decided to make some bread rolls for dinner. Don't you just love the smell of freshly baked bread in the kitchen?

Those are really beautiful...I really wish I could make them everyday.  The recipe came from here.  I skipped the corned beef filling and the bread crumbs, but will certainly try that variation some other time.  One of these days, I am also going to give this a go.

Can't believe it's just a week till Christmas day.  Admittedly, I have not done so much handmade stuff to give as presents this year.  Ok, I actually have managed to sew only one thing...this...

 ...and I'm not even too keen on giving it away.  This softie is One Red Robin's peg bear, the pattern and instructions of which appear on the new book One Yard Wonders.  I have been wanting to make one of this for a long time so I was really stoked to find the pattern in the book.

My gift-giving plans for Christmas?  I have gotten lots of rave reviews regarding my cupcakes lately that I've decided that, while I have no handmade presents this year, I will be giving away lots of my homebaked goodies. Next week will be a busy baking week for me!

In the meantime, it's nearly the Toy Society's Worldwide Christmas Toy Drop.  Have you got your toys ready?  I do!  Another exciting thing to look forward to.

Well, that's about it for now. I hope all is well with you. Will be back real soon!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Here's the Lucky One!

Just a quick post to say a huge 'Thank you!" to all of you who participated in this year's Giveaway Day.  Did you have fun?  I certainly did!

Of course...I am here to announce the winner!  The lucky number randomly generated is...

Comment #29 was made by Katie of The Caped Cow.

Congratulations!  I'll get in touch with you shortly.  I'm super excited to have the bag shipped out to you! Hope you'll like it.

To all those who signed up to be Heart of Mary followers just for this giveaway...I hope you'll stick around and keep on reading my little blog.  I promise you more interesting projects for the coming new year!

Again, thank you all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway Day 2009


Welcome to Giveaway Day 2009

Well...the fact that you're here most probably means that you already know all about this wonderful day in crafting let's get straight to it, shall we?

This year, I am giving you the chance to win this gorgeous shopping tote!

(one side view)

(the other side)

You've probably seen this sometime ago in a previous post. Anyway, for the benefit of those who haven't seen this or don't remember...this is the Market bag, the pattern of which came from an issue of the Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection magazine.  I don't know why they chose to call the bag such as I personally think it is too pretty to take to the market. 

This particular Market bag was made using 'Fig & Plum' 5" squares from Moda.  It is very nicely sewn up, if I may say so myself.  The bag is very roomy, about 17 1/2" by 13 1/2" by 4" in size.  Not only will this make a perfect shopping companion, it can also be a great overnight tote! interested?  Here are the mechanics:

1. If you haven't done so already, SIGN UP to be a Heart of Mary follower. You don't need to have a blog to do so.  By being a follower, you will not only be regularly updated on what's going on here, but you will also get the opportunity to connect with others in the blog community, especially with those with the same interests as yours.  As for me, I like clicking on those little thumbnail images and learning about you (or your blog, if you have one) as well.

To be a follower, just click on the Follow button located on the side bar where all the tiny pictures of all the current members are.

2.  I am willing to ship to anywhere worldwide BUT please be sure that the postal system in your country is reliable.  It would be such a pity if the bag doesn't reach you and just gets lost somewhere!

3.  Leave your name and email address in the comments section below.  Without this information, your entry will be invalid.  Don't worry...I will not spam you ever! 

4.  You will have until the end of the day of the 6th of December to join. The Giveaway Day winner will be determined by Random Number Generator on the 7th and will be posted here shortly after.  Winner will also be notified by email.

Simple enough?  Good...wait...there's more...

In the navigation bar at the top, you will find a link to my eBook Shop, Simple Things.  (Please take note that this is not the same as my Etsy Shop although all the items for sale are the same.) Purchasing any eBook from the 2nd to the 6th of December will entitle you to a second eBook, of equal or lesser value, for FREE!  If that sounds good to you, go to the shop right now and browse around. You might just find something you'd like to make and give away this Christmas. 

If you do decide to make a purchase, don't forget this most important thing. When you head on to Paypal to make your payment, tell me in the 'Instructions to Merchant' section which second eBook you would like to receive.  Your PDFs will be sent to you promptly to the email address associated with your Paypal account, unless you specify otherwiseLimit one freebie only per customer.

Well, that's about it!  I hope you all can join in the fun!  To go to the master list of all participating blogs and view all the other awesome giveaways, just click on the Season of Giving button below.  Good luck!

handmade holidays button

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From the mouths of babes...

Sometimes, as parents, we avoid telling our young children the truth. We don't explain things the way we should or don't show how we really feel simply because we think they are incapable of comprehending. But the fact is, they do feel...they do understand...and so much more than we give them credit for.

While having dinner last night, I overheard this conversation between my daughter and youngest son.

Missy: "If you had one wish, what would it be?"
Matthew: "I'll wish Mama's mom back."
Missy: "Why?"
Matthew: "Because that would make Mama happy."

How sensitive is my son to my feelings.  Oftentimes, I even think that, at his tender age of 8, he knows me even deeper than most people do.  I thanked him for what he wished for but quickly added that I did not desire for his Lola to come back.  If she does, I told him, she'd only get sick again and I do not want that.  She is much better off staying in heaven...

Mom and Matthew in 2005

Friday, November 20, 2009

Homemade Goodness!

The next time I pass by Krispy Kreme, I would surely have seconds thoughts about buying their (expensive) doughnuts for my family.  Today, I made a major breakthrough for myself...maybe a small one for some, but definitely, a big deal for me!

I cooked this wonderfully light and soft yeast doughnuts...a first for me but for sure, will be followed by batches and batches more.  My whole family loved them!

The doughnuts did not have holes as I do not have a proper cutter.  But who cares about the holes?  They're yummy in whatever shape.  Next time, I'll probably try them with chocolate icing and some nuts...

Want to have a go?  Here's the recipe.  Enjoy!

Yeast Doughnuts

3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
1 sachet (8g) INSTANT dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)**
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup warm milk
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Extra butter to grease bowl
Cooking oil for deep frying

Mix together flour, salt, nutmeg, sugar, and yeast.  Add egg, milk, butter, and vanilla. Mix until well-combined. Knead dough for about 8 to 10 minutes until it is soft and smooth.

Place dough in a large greased bowl. Turn dough to grease its entire surface. Cover bowl with cling wrap and stand in a warm place until dough is double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and turn out into a lightly floured board. Roll it out (with a rolling pin) until it is about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds using a doughnut cutter. Carefully transfer to greased baking sheets and let rise again until double in size, about an hour.

Deep fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, then drain in paper towels. While warm, roll in white sugar or ice tops as desired.

**Take note: I used INSTANT dry yeast and therefore, mixed it directly with the other ingredients.  If using ACTIVE dry yeast, it would be necessary to dissolve it first in some of the warm milk along with a bit of sugar.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Of special occasions and wonderful things

The past few days have been pretty full that I've had no time to write something new here.  Last Friday (the 13th) was both my husband and niece's birthdays.  My niece loved the red velvet cupcakes I made for my mom's birthday that she requested if I could bake some (40 pieces in fact!) to share with her classmates and teachers.

I had enough leftover cream cheese frosting to use for another batch of cupcakes (this time, chocolate buttermilk) for my husband.

The following day, my husband and I reupholstered our dining chairs. The original fabric upholstery was so difficult to keep clean, what with four kids, that I had decided to change it to vinyl. This was supposed to be a task for my husband alone but after he did two chairs, Quality Control just had to step in (that would be me!). He gladly let me do it my way.  I am very pleased with the outcome...boring but more manageable anyhow. 

(Sorry...I forgot to take 'before' photos...)

The vinyl cost $14.95 AUD a meter.  We used up less than two meters for the six chairs. Not bad at all, don't you think?

On Sunday, we had 4 different families over to watch the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto boxing match on cable TV.  This is a really huge thing among Filipinos, you know.  I am not so used to having visitors around so it was kind of tiring but fun, nevertheless.  The win by the 'Pacman' was a great bonus to the fun indeed!

Yesterday, I accompanied my sister in law for a 2-hour drive to Robert Gordon Pottery. She had wanted some serving dishes custom-made.  What beautiful ceramics and dinnerware they had in there!  The long travel was well worth it.  I happily came home with a few items...factory seconds at great, low prices.

I had actually purchased a few more things (something to do with cupcakes...) but I will reserve showing those off for a future post.

Anyway, in between all these, I still managed to squeeze in some sewing.  We are experiencing an early summer here in Australia (seems like we skipped Spring altogether!) that I had promised my son I would make him his own water bottle carrier.  That way we could freeze his water and it would keep cold for school.

The long strap on this was salvaged from a worn-out mini messenger bag I had and the camo fabric is a remnant from a previous project.  Very manly, isn't it?

I have more projects (suitable for the hot weather) in my head but I really don't know when I would have the time to sit down and work on them. I don't even know if I would be able to achieve a handmade Christmas this year, just like in 2008.  Seems as though I am already running out of time.  Well, anyway, speaking of handmade Christmas, Handmade Holidays 2009 is already on at Sew, Mama, Sew! (in case you haven't heard by now). Just click on the button on the sidebar to view a range of awesome crafting. And also watch out for their Giveaway Day. I will definitely be joining in again! That will be on the 2nd of December.  Head on to the SMS blog for details.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My First (and Second) Toy Society Drop!

This is long overdue.  I signed up with the Toy Society in April and have been postponing my toy drop since. last, I decided that today was to be THE day.  I took out two of my handmade softies yesterday, printed out the tags and letters, and packed them in zip lock bags, ready to be taken into the streets to look for a new home.

I set out really early this morning just to make sure no one will be watching me while I make the drop.  First stop was at a kindergarten just a few kilometers away.  Luckily, the gates weren't locked even on a Sunday and I was able to slip in easily.  I am really excited about the kids' reaction once the school opens tomorrow!

Second drop was over at the public library.  The library opens at 2:00pm (I think) on Sundays so no one was on sight that early.  I put my package right at the entrance.

So...what did I learn from this fun adventure?  Just one basic thing really... It is great to give and receive something in return.  But the joy that comes with giving something for nothing is so much greater.  I truly believe the giver is blessed by the whole experience in the same way as (or even deeper than) the receiver.  I'd gladly do this again anytime.

Want to spread the love this Christmas?  Why not sign up for the 2009 Worldwide Christmas Toy Drop?

Update (9th of November):  Yay! My two toy drops are now posted in the Toy Society site.  See them here and here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Remembering mom

Last night, as we lay in bed, my 8-year old son asked me, "Do you know why ever since I was born, I have been happy to be in this world? Guess." I answered, "Because everybody loves you?" "No", he quickly said.  "It's because I have you."

I wish I was that expressive to my mother when I was young. I learned to be so only later in my life, when I truly realized how valuable my mother was to me.  I am comforted in the fact that she knew how much I loved her long before she passed away.

Today (27th of October) is actually my mom's birthday.  She would have been 85.  Although she is no longer physically with us, this day will forever remain special.  We celebrated...had a nice dinner with my brother and his family, had ice cream and cupcakes (baked them myself!)...but the celebration was no longer about the years my mom had here on earth but more about the new life she now enjoys in heaven.

Happy birthday, Mom!  I love you and I miss you.

PS. One last eBook to be given away in the shop!  Don't miss out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Special request to honor a little angel

I am very blessed to have four beautiful, healthy children.  I personally wouldn't know what to do if something bad would happen to any of them.  

When I hear of stories of babies born with medical issues or children suffering from serious illnesses, my heart really breaks.  And that is why when one mother came to me for a little request, I had no second thoughts about helping out, even in a little way.

A couple of days ago, I received this email...

Hi Corinne!......hope it's okay to just act like I know you and am sending a friendly email. Anyway, your blog/website is one of my favorites and I have a request. I recently started a project of starting eye masks for NICU babies that normally can't wear clothes and am hoping that you could send people my way to help out with this cause. .........I had recently lost my baby girl, Ireland Rose to a condition she was born with known as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia or CDH. Anyway, to honor her, I decided to make eye masks. My daughter's condition was found out while I was pregnant and during that time that I was making things for her...well, I knew she wouldn't be allowed clothes, hats or socks and wanted her to have something from me! ...thus, I came up with the eye mask. I kept researching and seeing these pictures of little newborns with blankets draped on their faces and well, I thought she'd look so cute with a custom made eye mask. .........Anyway, I could go on and on but my blog is at I would love if you could post these and maybe interest people either doing this for their local NICU/hospital or having them make them and send them to me.

Thanks so much

Chanda has posted the pattern and instructions on how to make the baby eye masks on her blog. You can find details on what to do with the eye masks or where to send them in there too.  If you wish, you can also download the pattern directly from here.

I will be making some of these eye masks myself. Please extend whatever help you can. Thanks!

PS. To my Aussie friends, the Matchbox kitchen makeover competition is still on.  Please vote!

Only two more free eBooks to be given away in my shop! Hurry!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Secret Recipe - Cathedral Windows...please vote for me!

To all my Aussie readers,

Have you heard of "The Search for the Secret Recipe" from Matchbox?  If not, please view this video first...

I don't usually join competitions but I mustered enough courage to join this one.  After all, the main prize is so tempting...a $20,000 kitchen makeover!

My entry is my late aunt's recipe for Cathedral Windows, a special dessert which I had already shared with you
here before.  I am hoping the Australian public will love this even though this dessert is not widely popular Downunder.

The major winner will be determined by the Promoter and judge Poh (of Master Chef fame).  However, there will also be a Spot Prize for the Online Voting winner and this is where I will be needing your help...

To vote, you will need to register on the Matchbox (Secret Recipe) site, after which you can choose your favourite secret recipe.  My entry can be found here:

The Secret Recipe - Cathedral Windows

**update (19 October, 6:45am): If you've been clicking on this link and it says that 'the recipe you are searching is probably removed', please check again later today.  I added a second photo to my entry last night and approval is still pending.  Will probably get back up on the site later today. Thanks!

***update again (9:52am): Recipe is back up on website! Link should work now.

The good news is Matchbox is also giving away a Voter Prize, which means, if you vote you will also be eligible to win some great kitchen goodies!

Can I bother you with voting?  Please? Pretty please?

Competition ends on the 31st of October.

P.S.  The shop special offer is still on.  Looking for 3 more buyers to get a free eBook!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Some exciting changes and a special offer!

I nearly shed tears (and blood!) trying to make some cool changes to this blog.  Although I am quite computer savvy, HTML codes are just not my thing. I honestly had to google everything I needed to know.  I worked by head off, consumed hours and hours in front of the computer, and neglected a lot of my household duties in the process, just to make this work...and I think I finally did it...

You may notice that I now have a navigation bar at the top of the page, just below the banner.  Nothing much really.  That one was quite easily done.  Just a quick rundown of the choices:

Home - brings you to the most recent blog post
Free Tutorial PDFs - will open a new window which will allow you to download my tutorials in PDF format.  This replaces the previous widget on my sidebar.
My Etsy - will open a new window bringing you to my Etsy Shop, Simple Things

and last but not the least...the one that nearly killed me...

eBook Shop - will bring you to my new, alternate shop!

I've decided to create another shop, which links directly to this blog, just to give you a second option.  All the eBooks being sold there are the same ones in my Etsy shop. The prices are the same as well. If you want to purchase a pattern but you don't have an Etsy account (and can't be bothered opening one), you are most welcome to purchase directly from me.  In the process, you will be saving me a bit on Etsy fees too!

I invite you all to have a look.  The first page explains how the site works.  It's a small, simple shop, nothing fancy (as if I am capable to come up with anything fancy!).

I've tested all the buttons on the shop and everything seems to be in working order. Care to be the first one to try it out?  


THE FIRST FIVE BUYERS WILL GET AN EXTRA eBOOK OF EQUAL OR LESSER VALUE AS THEIR PURCHASED eBOOK FOR FREE!  Only one free eBook per customer (so even if you purchase more than 1, you will only get 1 free, sorry!).  After you complete your transaction on Paypal, return to the shop's homepage and leave a comment so I would know who the first five buyers were. On your comment, include what second pattern you would like to receive. Please also make sure you identify yourself so I can match you with your Paypal transaction.  

Take advantage of this offer!  Head on over to the shop now!

(I will put an update here as soon as the five transactions come through, just so you'll be aware.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

A sweet pinafore for a birthday girl

We've been invited to a 1st birthday party this coming Saturday. The little birthday girl is the same one I made some baby washers for sometime ago. I am not particularly close to the parents of this baby but her mother appreciated my handmade gifts so much that I thought it would be nice to make another handmade present.

I sewed this one up on the weekend.

I did not have a clue on how to go about sewing a baby dress so I quickly did a search on the internet for ideas. I thought a pinafore would be simple enough for me. There were a few tutorials available but I found no pattern. I had to draft one myself using a children's clothes sizing guide to help me.

It was hard to part with the Japanese Matryoshka fabric but I did not have any other fabric on hand suitable for a child that was big enough. I used snaps at the shoulder straps for closure (instead of buttons) for safety reasons. The dress is completely lined and has no exposed seams.

Even though I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, I just couldn't resist adding the small pockets.

Now I just have to pray the pinafore fits!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Super-soft Coffee Cupcakes

Twenty-four cupcakes...gone in a flash. My kids and I did not even let them cool completely. So soft and light, I can eat tons of these in one sitting.

Enough said. Just take my word for it.

Super-soft Coffee Cupcakes

1 cup less 2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
2 teaspoons instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven at 180C/350F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with regular-sized paper cups.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat at high speed until foamy. Gradually add in the sugar while beating continuously.
4. Blend in vanilla, oil and coffee solution.
5. Add in egg yolks one by one, beating well after each addition.
6. Lastly, add in flour/baking powder mixture. Beat until well blended.
7. Pour batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake in oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.
8. Remove from pans and let cool slightly in a wire rack before dusting the tops with icing sugar.

Best eaten while still a bit warm. Serve with tea or ice cream!Why not bake it today? So easy...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Carry your Water Bottle in Style

Just a quick note to let you all know that my new sewing pattern is now available in my Etsy shop! This is a 17-page PDF containing detailed instructions on how to make a one-of-a-kind Water Bottle Carrier. It comes with 39 photos!

Isn't that cool?

With the instructions, you will be able to sew a water bottle carrier that: 1) is insulated (to keep your water hot or cold); 2) has an adjustable strap; and 3) closes with a drawstring to keep your bottle from accidentally slipping out. Directions on how to customize your carrier to suit a bottle size of your choice are also provided.

This is great to take anywhere! Why not make one for your kids, for school or for presents even? Christmas is not too far away...

I worked tirelessly on this one yesterday and am mighty proud of the resulting eBook. Hope you'll give it a go! You won't be disappointed...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The makings of an eBook

In my previous post, I mentioned about creating a new eBook. The truth is, I've been laboring on it for months now. My pattern has gone from one revision to another as I have been trying to find the easiest sewing process as well as the simplest explanation to go with it. It's been a challenge...

Personally, I prefer including loads of photos to go with my instructions because I like my readers to be able to figure out what to do just by looking at them. Taking photos can be a real pain for me though. Natural lighting is the best, but the weird Melbourne weather is just too difficult to work with! Yesterday, I was all set to go on with my project but the weather kept changing from sunny to cloudy and I just could not take decent shots from inside the house.

So today, when I woke up to what seemed to be a beautiful, sunny day, I had the awesome idea of transferring my crafting our backyard. Not only was it great because it was bright, but also because I had a huge space all to myself! Why didn't I think of this before?

I started real early, was very hopeful I was going to accomplish something and that I would have all the good photos I needed...

And yey, I did it!

The weather turned cloudy just after I was done and I was so thankful I had finished what I had set out to do. Now all I need to do is organize my photos, write up the instructions and complete the PDF. Sounds easy but I still have a long way to go...

Here's just a sneak peek into my soon to come out 'How To'. It's actually something you've already seen here before though just a little bit different...

Hope you all would look forward to that!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kitchen (Mis)adventures

I have been away from blogging for a while, haven't I? For the past week or so, I have been quite preoccupied with a lot of experimenting, mostly in the kitchen. I was hoping I could share some great discovery in here...unfortunately, a lot of my experiments were unsuccessful.

My particular focus was finding the right recipe for steamed rice cakes, a popular Filipino food more commonly known as puto. Traditional puto is made from rice soaked in water then grinded and allowed to ferment before the actual steaming. The whole process is quite long and tedious. Commercially produced puto nowadays make use of wheat flour. Although delicious as well, it is just not the same in texture and flavour as the real thing.

I've tried a variety of puto recipes over the years. To this day, I remain unsatisfied. I am not really after doing it the traditional way. All I want is something that at least will come close.

So what happened with my experiments? Well, I do not really wish to bore you by documenting all of my failed attempts. Let me just say that out of my four tries over the past two weeks, only one batch was worth sharing with the rest of the family and was photograph-worthy as well...

This particular puto was nice and soft and very tasty too. However, after eating one piece after another, the baking powder aftertaste became so overpowering. It's a pity because it looked so good...sigh

For now, I've decided to set aside my search for the perfect puto recipe. Today, I just wanted to try something else...something my family could actually eat and enjoy...

I thought of making this other Filipino favourite as my daughter has been requesting for it anyway. It is called Cassava Cake (Cassava Bibingka)...considered a cake, but not really what we usually imagine as one. I like this version because it is not too rich and the recipe yields just the right firmness and sweetness unlike others I've tasted. I made use of packed grated cassava and canned coconut cream, ingredients which are readily available in Asian groceries.

Finally, a successful kitchen adventure I can proudly share with you!

(the cake still in the pan) (the cross-section)

(ready to be served)And here's the recipe!

Cassava Cake (Cassava Bibingka)

about 10 -12 servings

For the cake

500 gram pack frozen grated cassava, thawed

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups thin coconut milk ***

For the topping

300 ml can sweetened condensed milk, about 1 1/4 cups (I used skim)

2 eggs yolks

1 cup coconut cream ***

1/4 cup butter

*** Please see Step 1 below.

Take note that cooking times may vary depending on your oven. I'm using a crappy, old oven so it actually takes me longer!


1. From a 400 ml canned coconut cream, set aside 1 cup for the topping. Add just enough water to the remaining coconut cream to make 2 cups thin coconut milk (to be used in Step 3).

2. Preheat oven to 190C (350F). Prepare a 9" by 13" baking pan by lining it with non-stick baking paper. Brush the bottom with a little butter.


3. Beat eggs until foamy, then add the sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix in the grated cassava and the 2 cups thin coconut milk (from Step 1).

4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until cake is firm to the touch. Cook the topping while the cake is in the oven.


5. In a double boiler, combine condensed milk, egg yolks, coconut cream (the 1 cup set aside from Step 1), and butter. Stir constantly while cooking until mixture is thick, about 15 minutes.

6. Take cassava out of the oven when ready, then spread the topping evenly over it. Put the pan back into the oven and bake until top is golden brown, about 10 - 15 minutes.

7. Cool cake completely in pan before cutting. Cake becomes firmer as it cools down.

8. Slice and serve with coffee or tea. Enjoy!

I am hoping to do some sewing over the next few days. I have a long overdue new eBook in the making. Fingers crossed, I will be able to finish it really soon!

Have a lovely weekend!