Monday, November 15, 2010

devilish Gold Truffles

Grind 1-1/2 lbs. of semisweet chocolate (that have already been coarsely chopped) in an electric food processor.

In a heavy saucepan, boil 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of buttermilk or sour cream. Slowly pour this créme fraiche into the ground chocolate mixture.

Mix until smooth and chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Then, blend in 1/2 stick (or six tablespoons) of softened, unsalted butter and 3 tablespoons of cognac. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for another few hours.

Use an ice-cream scoop to shape the truffle balls and place them on the baking sheet. Dip the chocolate balls (a toothpick can come in handy here!) in the remaining chocolate, which can be melted with some vegetable oil. Refrigerate the truffles for hours until they harden.

Some like to imprint their truffles with a gold leaf. All you need to do is to gently press a quarter-sized sheet of gold leaf onto each truffle. This is best done right after the truffle has been dipped in for its chocolate coating.

Pound Cake heny sison

1/2 pound or 1 cup Magnolia Gold Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsps. Ferna vanilla flavoring
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sifted
cake flour
Set rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease butter and line with parchment paper one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Place butter and sugar in the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium speed for 10 minutes or until very light. Add vanilla extract.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

At low speed, add flour gradually. Mix until smooth and there’s no more trace of flour.

Remove from the mixer and fold using a rubber scrapper to make sure the batter is properly mixed.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for a few minutes then unmold on a rack and turn upside down to finish the cooling

Birch Tree Polvoron

1/2 cup Maya cake flour
1/2 cup Birch Tree Milk Powder
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1. Toast the flour in medium heat until light brown, stirring constantly. You will need lots of patience here because it feels like forever before the fine white powder that is the flour even starts to turn remotely brown. You will know when this starts to happen because you can smell it. And there will be a shift in taste also, an almost nutty, quite good even on its own. We like ours really toasted but not burned; the flavor is just better that way.

2. In a bowl, mix very well together the flour, milk, sugar and melted butter.

3. Shape into rounds or ovals using a polvoron molder.

The third step is the most fun for kids, the first is the one they dread the most because it really does take a long, slow time. But it has to be that way, lest you burn the flour. Once molded let it sit for a while for each one to settle and come together, otherwise it will still be too crumbly to handle. We wrapped ours in bright pink and yellow Japanese paper but that tore easily under our inexperienced fingers when we tried to twist it on both ends so pretty soon we shifted to using cellophane. But I think I will still persist in using Japanese paper because not only is it obviously prettier, it is also more eco-friendly.

Festive Super Moist Cake

It’s the holiday season and you know what it means. It’s cakes galore! Moist cake, spiced cake, and just about any cake you can imagine. The Maya Kitchen shares two special recipes that will show you how to bake decadent creations as gifts to friends and loved ones. They also make a lovely centerpiece for your holiday table.
Creamy moist cake is enveloped with rich butter frosting and topped with sweet mango slices. Spiced cake gives a new twist to the ubiquitous fruitcake made more irresistible by nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice and walnuts.

1 pck. (550g) Maya Devil’s Food Cake Mix 550g
1/2 cup     butter, melted
6 pcs.         egg yolks
1/2 cup     water
3/4 cup     mango nectar
1 tsp.            vanilla
6 pcs.          egg whites
1 tsp.         cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup diced mangoes
1/2 cup   toasted almond or pili nuts, chopped

1 cup     butter
1 1/4     cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 pck.     all-purpose cream
1/3 cup almond or pili nuts (halves) slices of mangoes

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Beat until batter is smooth, add diced mangoes. Set aside. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff but not dry. Fold in the batter mixture into the beaten egg whites. Pour mixture into two 8-inch round pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.
Cream butter until light and fluffy. Combine sugar, milk, cream and add slowly to the creamed butter. Continue beating until of spreading consistency. Reserve some icing for borders.
Place one layer of cake in a platter. Spread creamed frosting. Top with diced mangoes and sprinkle half of nuts. Top with another layer of cake. Frost top and sides of the cake. Decorate top of cake with borders using reserved icing, arrange slices of mangoes on cake, and sprinkle remaining nuts as desired.

Apong Emiliano J. Valdés Chocolate

Tibuc-Tibuc (Manyaman at Malagwa)

4 cups pure carabao’s milk or fresh cow’s milk

1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon dayap rind (lime rind) or lemon extract
1/2 cup non-dairy coffee creamer (optional)
For the topping:
1 cup canned coconut cream (cacang gata)

Line a nine-inch diameter bilao or foil pan with softened banana leaves.

Mix the carabao’s milk and cornstarch in a wok with a wire whisk (and the coffee creamer, if desired). Cook over a medium fire until the mixture begins to coat the whisk. Add the sugar. Keep mixing for a few minutes more until thick enough to hold its shape. Add the dayap or lemon. Pour immediately on to the prepared pan. Cool in the refrigerator. When firm, top with latik. Serve cold.

For the topping:

Put the coconut cream in a thick wok and cook until oil seeps out and the cream coagulates into a brown mongo-like texture or latik. Set aside the oil for another use.

Choco Peanut Brownies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup nuts (peanuts, cashew, or walnuts)

Ask an older person to turn on the oven at 350°F or 175°C. Line a 7"x11" pan or 13"x9" foil pan with wax paper.

In a big bowl, mix well with a wooden spoon or hand mixer butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Then, add eggs. Mix well. When there are no more traces of the eggs, add baking powder and all-purpose flour. Mix well until you no longer see the flour.

Spread half of the batter on the pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup each of chocolate chips and nuts. Top with the remaining mixture. Sprinkle again the remaining 1/4 cup each of chocolate chips and nuts.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Ask an older person to remove pan from oven. Lightly tap center of cake with a metal spoon. If center is not wet, then it is ready. Cool well, then loosen from pan. Invert on to a chopping board. Cut into two-inch squares.


The brownies will be chewier if you do not overbake them. Buy an oven thermometer in the kitchen section of the supermarket for accurate reading.

Moist Banana Cake

4 whole eggs (about 1 cup eggs)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh milk
1 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup quick
cooking oatmeal
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups overripe banana (bongolan, lacatan or latundan)
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F or 175°C.

Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with wax paper.

Beat in a bowl with a hand mixer at high speed or heavy-duty mixer for two minutes the eggs, granulated and brown sugar, molasses, salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Turn the mixer to low, and add milk and cooking oil. Mix for a few seconds to blend. Add flour and oatmeal, and mix until there is no more visible trace of flour. Add the mashed bananas. Increase the speed to high, and mix for another 30 seconds.

Pour the batter and spread on the lined pan. Bake for 70 minutes or until a cake tester or barbecue stick inserted in the cake center comes out clean. Cool in a pan, then loosen out and invert. Remove the wax paper.

You can also bake the batter in 24 paper-lined 2-1/2-inch muffin pans for 20 to 25 minutes

Pampango Taisan

The taisan is so named because it resembles the local brick-shaped knife sharpener.
For the egg white mixture:
8 egg whites (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar

For the egg yolk mixture:
1-3/4 cups cake flour or 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup melted butter
5 egg yolks (about 1/3 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 °F or 175 °C.
Line the bottoms of three 8x3x3-inch loaf pans or two 9-1/2x5-1/2x3-inch loaf pans with wax paper.
In a separate dry, clean bowl, beat at highest speed of an electric mixer the egg whites with the cream of tartar. When the mixture has fine bubbles or the mixer leaves fine lines on the egg white mixture, gradually add in the sugar. Continue beating for three more minutes if using Kitchen Aid, or four minutes more for an ordinary hand mixer.

Put together in a bowl the egg yolks and all other ingredients. Beat well with a mixer for about two minutes.
Pour the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Gently fold with a wire whisk.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smoothen the cake batter with wire whisk to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes if using 8x3x3-inch pans, or 45 minutes if using 9-1/2x5-1/2-inch pans.
Cool. Loosen the sides of the cake with a metal spatula. Remove the wax paper.
When totally cool, brush the cakes with 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.
* * *
To make a mocha taisan, omit the vanilla. Add one teaspoon instant coffee.
For a pandan taisan, replace the vanilla with one teaspoon pandan flavoring.

Philip, Teresa, Thomas Earl Huang’s chocolate chip cookies

1 cup softened butter
3/4 granulated (white) sugar
3/4 brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 whole eggs (1/2 cup)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Ricoa chocolate chips, reserve half for topping

Beat in a bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer the butter, sugars, baking soda, vanilla, and eggs. When the eggs have been incorporated well, add the flour. Mix well. Fold in gently half of chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter with a small ice cream scooper (size 24) or a medium-size ice cream scooper (size 18) on to two oil-greased baking pans (14x16x1-inches) or bake paper-lined pans. Top with remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 350°F or 175°C for 12 to 15 minutes or until sides are brown. Cool on wire racks.

Store in airtight container. Will last one month at room temperature.
Makes two dozen big cookies or four dozen small cookies.

For oatmeal cookies, use 1-1/2 cups oatmeal and 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour. You may use raisins, glazed fruits, and dried mangoes from Cebu in place of chocolate chips. One cup walnuts, cashews or peanuts may also be added. Oatmeal makes the cookies chewier

Lala Indar Ampatuan’s Leche Flan

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

For the filling:
6 whole eggs (1-1/2 cups eggs)
1-1/2 cups condensed milk
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 teaspoon dayap, lemon or orange rind, grated, or McCormick ube, langka, or pandan flavor (optional)

Prepare a five-cup capacity oval or round metal pan. Spread the granulated sugar at the bottom, and sprinkle with the water.
Put on top of a stove. Start on a high fire. When the sugar begins to caramelize, lower fire and tilt the pan with the help of a potholder to even out the caramel. Remove from the fire.
Pour the filling over the caramel. Cover tightly with a doubled-up foil with a one-inch overhang on the sides. Crimp the edges well. Place on a steamer with two-inch-high boiling water. Cover.
Steam on medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool. Remove the foil. The center of the flan should still be soft. Loosen out the sides with a metal spatula. Put a serving plate on top. Invert.

For the filling:
Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and strain.

Seal the foil cover well, so that the steaming water does not enter flan mixture. Otherwise, it will never get cooked.
When the water boils, put the fire to medium so that the flan mixture does not boil. This is the secret to smooth, creamy flan.

Roselle Monteverde Teo’s No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

For the crust:
1-1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter

For the filling:
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water
1 225-gram bar cream cheese
1 cup all-purpose cream, cold
1 cup condensed milk

For the topping:
1 cup blueberry pie filling, canned, or fresh fruits

Line the bottom of a nine-inch by three-inch high springform pan (with a removable bottom pan) with foil or wax paper.
For the crust, mix well in a bowl the prepared Graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar and butter. Pour into the prepared pan. Press on the bottom with a spoon or small pizza roller.
For the filling, dissolve the gelatin in the water over a low fire, or heat in a microwave set on medium heat for one minute. Set aside.
Put in a bowl and beat until creamy the cream cheese, all-purpose cream, and condensed milk. Add the melted gelatin and beat at high speed until blended. Pour immediately into the pan. Level off. Refrigerate for an hour or until ready to serve.
Top with the blueberry filling or fresh fruits of your choice.
If using fresh fruits, brush the fruits with bottled jam or jelly to prevent discoloration.

Sherida Monteverde Tan’s Cheese Corn Muffins

Sherida Monteverde Tan’s Cheese Corn Muffins
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
3 whole eggs (3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tall can condensed milk (1-1/2 cups)
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup corn kernels

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C. Line 24 (2-1/2-inch) muffin/ cupcake pans with muffin paper.
Put all the ingredients, except the flour, in a big bowl and beat with a hand mixer or wooden spoon until creamy. When blended well, add the flour, starting at low speed for one minute. Increase speed to high and beat one minute more. The batter will be firm.
Scoop onto prepared pans with a size 18 (medium) ice cream scooper. Top with one teaspoon each canned whole kernel corn and grated cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Manang Lourdes Cabrera’s Guinatang Halo-Halo

For the guinataan, the secret is boiling all the tough ingredients well for 30 minutes, ensuring that the gabi and other hard items have softened thoroughly. In the past, everyone would boil the fruits in coconut milk, but with the high demand for coconuts in the world market, coconut milk has become expensive; thus, boiling water will do. Finishing it with three cups coconut cream and two cups sugar in the final part of cooking will give it the savory taste.

Manang Lourdes always cooks this for the New Year. The floating rice balls, according to her, bring luck.

12 cups boiling water
1/2-kilo ground glutinous rice (galapong)
1/2-kilo camote (yellow sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4-kilo pink gabi (called mag-anak in the public market), peeled and cubed
1/4 kilo ube (purple yam) peeled and cubed
5 saba bananas (plantain), peeled and cubed
100 grams langka (jackfruit), ripe, sliced into strips
2 cups cooked sago
3 cups canned/tetrapak coconut cream (kakang gata)
2 cups granulated sugar

Shape the galapong into 1/2-inch balls.
Put the camote, gabi, and ube in boiling water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. When soft, add the remaining ingredients, except the coconut cream and sugar until all the galapong balls float to the surface. Simmer until cooked.

Father John Barro’s Bibingkang Malagkit

The secret to making good bibingkang malagkit is using pure glutinous rice or sticky rice. Any mixture of regular rice will make the texture unbalanced and the taste uneven, leaving some parts with an undesirable crunch.
The second tip is using pure coconut cream, or the first extraction from the niyog or mature coconut. The first extraction is the juice that comes when you squeeze the meat and let it filter through a muslin cloth. The repetition of the first process with water added is the second extraction and is called coconut milk. Coconut cream gives an extra, melts-in-the-mouth flavor, giving this dessert a rich, creamy taste. Palm sugar or panocha with powdered cocoa gives a nice, brown color.

6 cups malagkit, washed and drained
8 cups water
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups canned/tetrapak coconut milk (second extraction)
1-1/2 cups panocha (tinaklob or palm sugar), grated
2 cups canned/tetrapak coconut cream (first extraction)
1/4 cup Ricoa cocoa

Cook the washed malagkit with eight cups of water in a rice cooker for 20 to 25 minutes.
Line a 15-inch bilao or round serving tray with banana leaves that have been previously softened over a low fire.
Mix the panocha and coconut cream over low fire until it begins to thicken.
Caramelize the sugar in a big wok. When brown, lower the fire and add the coconut milk. When the sugar has dissolved (the mixture will be oily), add the cooked rice. Mix with a long wooden spoon until it leaves the sides of the pan. Pour on to the prepared bilao. Press down with a rubber scraper to even out the mixture. Pour over the topping. Sift the cocoa on top.

Mario Mendoza and Arlene Arceo’s Chocolate Cake

For the cake:
1 cup softened Magnolia Gold butter
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1-1/4 cups Ricoa breakfast cocoa
1-1/2 cups Magnolia fresh milk, cold
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the icing:
1 tall can condensed milk
1/4 cup Magnolia Gold butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350°F or 175°C.
Line a 9x13x2-inch pan with waxed paper or use 12 one-cup capacity Bundt pans. (Available at Cooks Exchange, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City.) Grease bottom and sides with butter.
For the cake:
Beat in a big bowl at high speed with a hand mixer the butter, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. When mixture is creamy, add eggs, one at a time, and beat until blended.
Turn mixer to low speed and add the cocoa, cold milk, and flour.
When mixture is almost blended, raise speed to high and beat for two more minutes.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. If using the mini Bundt pans, fill until 2/3 full, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool. Remove from pan.
For the icing:
Put in a pressure cooker the can of condensed milk with enough water to cover the top of the can. Be sure to peel the paper label to avoid staining the insides of the pressure cooker. Cook for 20 minutes. Cool the pressure cooker before opening. Let the can cool down before opening.
Melt over low fire the butter and chocolate chips. Put in a bowl with the cooked condensed milk. Beat until creamy. Drizzle or spread over top of cake(s).
An undented cooked can of condensed milk (dulce de leche) will last a year at room temperature, so I suggest you cook six cans at a time.

Easy-to-make crepes Crepe batter

Mix in a bowl with a wire whisk then strain: 1/4 cup melted magnolia gold butter salted, 2 cups fresh milk, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 4 whole eggs (1 cup eggs).
Note: For dessert crepes, add 1/4 cup granulated sugar for flavor and to make it brown.
Heat a six- to eight-inch non-stick pan over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil.
Pour 1/3 cup of crepe mixture on pan. Swirl pan and cook until it leaves the sides of the pan. Slide cooked crepe on 8x8 wax paper. Repeat until you have 12 crepes. May be kept in the ref covered with foil for three days or one month in the freezer without the filling.

Cream or custard filling
Put in a Pyrex bowl, mix, then put bowl on top of pan with 2 inches high of boiling water and cook until creamy 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup granulated (white) sugar, 2 cups fresh milk. Optional: For chocolate custard, add 1/2 cup choco chips before cooking.
Put 1/4 cup custard filling on 1/3 of crepe. Top with thin slices of your favorite fruit (mangoes, fruit cocktail, etc.)
Fold top, then roll tightly.

Put in a 10- or 12-inch skillet, 1/4 cup each of butter and granulated sugar over medium heat until sugar is caramel colored. Remove from heat and pour about 1/4 cup rum or brandy. Return immediately to gas stove and tilt pan to ignite (avert your face). When flame dies down, add 2 cups of your favorite juice (mango or orange) Cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour on crepes. Note: Or put 1/4 cup butter and 1-160 grams best fruits (mango or any jam of your choice) with 2 cups fresh milk.  Stir until simmering. Omit rum or brandy.

For savory filling
Omit the 1/4 cup sugar. Add 1 cup cooked and chopped chicken or tuna or shrimps or corn beef, or chopped ham or cooked mixed vegetables and 1/2 tsp. fine salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper. Serve warm as is or top with your favorite store- bought spaghetti sauce or 1-290 grams can cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1 cup milk. Stir until boiling.

For buckwheat crepes
Mix and strain: 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 cups milk, 1 cup buckwheat (Santi’s/ Rustan’s Fresh), 4 eggs,  1/2 tsp. salt.
Cook like crepe. Brush both sides of cooked crepe with melted butter before filling with sausage, ham,

Johnlou and Alou Koa’s Very Light Mango Cream Cheesecake

1)    Prepare an 8x8x3-inch disposable pan.

2)    Crust: 1 1/4 cups finely pounded Danish butter cookie crumbs, 1/4 cups each of powdered/confectioners sugar and melted butter.

3)    Filling: 2 tbsp. Knox unflavored gelatin, 1/2 cup mango juice, 225 grams cream cheese, 1 cup very cold all-purpose cream,  1/2 cup mango jam, 1 pint (2 cups ) mango ice cream,

4)   Topping: 1/4 cup Danish butter cookie crumbs.

5)    Procedure: Mix crust (see number 2) in a bowl. Spread on bottom of pan. Put plastic cling on top of crust and press well with fingers. Remove cling.

6)    Dissolve unflavored gelatin in mango juice over low fire or microwave on high 40 seconds. Set aside.

7)    Beat cream cheese, all-purpose cream, mango jam at high speed with a hand mixer until creamy. Add ice cream. When blended gradually add lukewarm gelatin until well mixed. Pour on prepared crust. Level off.

8)   Sift butter cookie crumbs on top (see number 4). Freeze until ready to serve. Cut into eight pieces.

Carrot Cake

Oil was often used to make the cake lighter in texture, though butter makes it more delicious. Brown sugar made it rough while the granulated sugar increased the sweetness. Molasses (also called sugar cane juice), salt and cinnamon add color and flavor while the eggs and flour hold the ingredients together. Baking powder expands the size while baking soda stabilizes it. For the frosting, cream cheese is often used, though mascarpone cheese, a soft cow’s milk cheese made near Milan, gives a better taste. The curd from the cream is whipped into a thick, velvety cheese that has a rich sweet flavor.

In baking, it is important that the oven is preheated for 15 minutes and the temperature is exact. Use an oven thermometer to get the exact reading. Measure all ingredients using cups, spoons, and for mass production, use a weighing scale. After baking, cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pans. Hot cakes are hard to handle and will deform, so be patient. To decorate, place the first layer topside down on a plate. Place one third of the frosting and spread using a spatula. Add the second layer on top of the first layer. Place the remaining two-thirds mixture on top of cake and decorate top first then the sides. When decorating, place your third finger in the center of spatula for easier handling. Store in the refrigerator or freeze in a box to keep frosting from melting, serve cold.

1. Preheat oven at 350° F or 175° C. Line 2-9 inch round pans with bake paper or grease one 10-inch Bundt pan or one 9” x 13” x 2” aluminum foil pan.

2. Beat in a bowl at high speed until creamy with mixer; add 1 cup softened Magnolia gold butter salted, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. molasses, 1 tsp. each of baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt.

3. When creamy, add 4 whole eggs to total 1 cup eggs.

4. Turn mixer to low speed and add 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour until smooth.

5. Fold in 1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes previously soaked in 1/2 cup brandy or rum (at least 30 minutes), 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or cashew or peanuts, 3 cups grated carrots with skin on.

6. Fold in prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes if using 2-9 inch round pans, 45 minutes if using 9” x 13” x 2” pans, 55 minutes for a 10-inch Bundt pan.

7. Serve or top with: Beat at high speed in a bowl: 225 grams cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered/icing) sugar; gradually add 1 cup very cold all-purpose cream, beating well after each addition.

8. Note: Mascarpone cheese may also be used in place of cream cheese. Peeled and grated young pumpkin (kalbasa) in place of carrots, which is now in vogue abroad.

Lala’s Kusilba (Plantain or saba in syrup)

1) 8 pieces semi-ripe saba, peeled.

2) Put in a medium saucepan and mix well then turn on fire: 1 cup each of dark brown sugar and water. When boiling, add bananas. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until syrupy. Serve. (Sliced camote or sweet potatoes may be used (1/4 inch thick slices to total 4 cups).

Banoffee Squares

1) Place broas (lady fingers) at bottom of 8 x 8 x 2-inch aluminum pan or else whole graham crackers may be used, 5 to 6 bananas such as lakatan, latundan and bongolan (peeled and slice each into 2 lengthwise), 1 can (1 1/2 cups) cooked condensed milk, 1/2 cup softened Magnolia Gold butter, 1 can very cold whipping cream, chocolate syrup, and cherries with stems for garnish.

2) Procedure: Remove label from condensed milk, put in pressure cooker with enough water to cover can. Close pressure cooker. Put on high heat. When pressure cooker “ hisses” lower temperature and time 20 minutes. Turn off stove. Cool well, then remove from can. Open top and bottom of can for easy removal. Or boil can with enough water to cover; cover pan and cook 2 hours.

3) Put condensed milk in a bowl with the butter and beat until smooth. Spread 1/3 of mixture on top of graham crackers/broas/lady fingers. Arrange 6 banana halves on top. Top with graham crackers/broas/lady fingers. Spread 1/3 of condensed milk and remaining banana halves. Top with graham crackers/broas/lady fingers and remaining condensed milk. Cover with foil. Freeze until ready to serve.

4) Remove foil and cover top completely with whipped cream in can (shake well), drizzle with chocolate syrup. Top with cherries

Marshmallow Crinkles

To make excellent crinkles the right ingredients must be used. Its main ingredient is chocolate, which has been described by Aztec emperor Montezuma as the “divine drink” because he believed it gave strength and endurance. So high was the value of cocoa beans that they were used as currency during that time. Cocoa beans were brought to Europe in 1502 by the returning crew of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Because of its caffeine content, chocolate bars were given to soldiers during World War II to keep them awake. The art of chocolate-making evolved, and in 1828 the Van Houten family from Amsterdam discovered a process wherein the cocoa beans could be pressed so that the cocoa butter content could be extracted then returned to the beans for better flavor and smoother texture. The more cocoa butter content, the higher the quality. This allows the sugar to be absorbed easily and makes chocolate not just for drinking, but eating. When melting chocolate use very low fire to prevent it from becoming bitter and rough textured. Microwave heating can be used but only for a maximum time of two minutes on medium setting per cup of chocolate chips. Incidentally, cocoa butter is highly prized as a beauty product by pregnant women who rub it on their tummies to reduce “stretch marks.”
Other ingredients to make chocolate crinkles include butter which should not be cold or frozen for easier mixing and so that you no longer have to “cream” or soften the butter with a mixer; vanilla extract, 1 whole egg, brown sugar, granulated or white sugar, baking soda, all-purpose flour, milk, and powdered sugar. Brown sugar, which is refined sugar coated in molasses, makes your crinkles chewy; granulated sugar makes it sweeter; while baking soda is a neutralizer for any ingredient that is too acidic. Flour adds volume and texture while the egg holds the ingredients together. In making crinkles, fresh milk is often used, though if you want to use powdered milk use 3 tablespoons milk plus one cup water to get one cup milk.

1) Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 3 squares of one ounce each Ricoa unsweetened chocolate, 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup thinly sliced marshmallows or chocolate chips, 1/2 cup powdered sugar to sift on crinkles before and after baking.

2) Procedure: Put in a saucepan and melt butter and chocolate over low fire until all the chocolate has melted. Remove and pour chocolate mixture in bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except powdered sugar and marshmallows. Mix well at high speed for two minutes. When no more trace remains of eggs and flour, scoop dough in trays. Sift powdered sugar and bake 12 minutes. Add marshmallow/chocolate chip and return to oven one minute. Remove tray, cool for 10 minutes. Remove crinkles and store in jars when cold. Tip: Crispy cookies like lengua de gato are stored while warm, chewy cookies must be cooled completely.

3) When melting butter and chocolate both ingredients must have the same temperature. Never melt chocolate using frozen butter as this will cause the chocolate to form lumps. Use a size 18 ice cream scooper and place on a tray lined with wax paper or parchment paper so undersides will have a smooth finish. Leave 2 inches of space in between as the dough will spread. For homemade-look cookies use two spoons to form dough for uneven shape and grease tray lightly with oil so undersides will be rough. Sift powdered sugar on top to create cracks or “crinkles.” Marshmallows or chocolate chips are optional toppings. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 12 minutes. Check center, if firm, but sides still soft, remove and cool. Sift more powdered sugar for snow effect. Store in cookie jars lined with paper napkin to absorb excess moisture. Will last at room temperature for a month.

Christmas Punch

1) Put in a punch bowl and mix: 8 cups buco juice from the 4 coconuts, 1 cup fruit cocktail juice,1/2 cup syrup from bottled nata de coco or pina, 1/2 cup powdered orange or pineapple or any drink of your choice, 4 cups cooked small sago ( tapioca)

2) When ready to serve, add 4 cups ice cubes and 1 cup Philippine rum, if desired. Serves 16.

3) Note: You can buy cooked sago from the market. Wash well. Or boil 5 cups water. Add 1 cup uncooked sago. Mix once in awhile and cook uncovered until clear, about 15 minutes. Drain. Put in a bowl with twice the amount of tap water to the sago to prevent it from sticking. Drain when ready to use

Buco Fruit Salad

1) Put in a bowl: 4 cups grated young buco for fruit salad (drain, save juice from approximately 4 coconuts, 1-450 ml can fruit cocktail (drain reserve syrup), 1 cup bottled nata de coco or nata de piña (drain and reserve syrup).

2) In a separate bowl, beat at high speed of electric hand mixer until thick: 2-225 ml tetrapak very cold all purpose cream. Gently fold in cocktail mixture. Top with red and green bottled kaong or cherries with stem. Cover with plastic cling and refrigerate until ready to serve. Will last four days, serves six to eight.

3) Tip: Always store all purpose cream in the refrigerator. Never freeze as it will curdle.

4) Note: For very special fruit salad, use 1 cup cold all purpose cream and 1 cup (220 grams box) cream cheese instead of 2 cups all purpose cream. Consume within two days.

Mango Frozen Cake

For the mango frozen cake, this pudding type dessert is one of my favorites because of my love for mangoes. Mangoes are rich in vitamins and pectin, a soluble fiber, which aids in your blood cholesterol level. Like papaya it is sometimes used as meat tenderizer. Use sweet breads to enhance the flavor, and for the custard filling mix well before adding to ensure smooth texture. Adding sugar on top and torching gives it a glazed finish though this is optional.

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 F or 175 C. Grease one 8x8x2-inch aluminum foil pan with (bottom and sides) softened Magnolia Gold butter.

2) Prepare 12 pieces honey sweet bread or 12 pieces tasty bread. Arrange 4 pieces on prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Top with mango slices, 1/3 of custard filling. Repeat two more times. Bake 45 minutes. Note: If oven is unavailable, cover top tightly with foil and steam for 45 minutes. Cool then freeze.

3) Top with 1/4 cup white (granulated) sugar. Blow torch to brown. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

4) Filling: 3 ripe mangoes. Peel and sliced thinly lengthwise.

5) Custard: Mix in a Pyrex bowl with wire whisk: 1/2 cup melted Magnolia Gold butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup eggs (4 eggs), 1 1/2 cups Magnolia fresh milk, 1 tsp. cinnamon.

6) Note: Bananas and other fruits may also be used

Lengua De Gato

Lengua de gato literally means cats’ tongue because of it size and shape. It was first introduced by Spanish pastry shops like La Cibeles and Dulcinea although the French also lay claim to it calling it langue de chat. Filipinos, on the other hand, have lengua de gato a lucrative home business for pasalubongs.
I would always order a whole jar from Good Shepherd in Baguio and eat it while watching TV or during recess in Brent. Even at this moment, while writing this article, I’m munching on some lengua de gato. It was one of the first recipes that I made on my own. The ingredients are readily available, the process is simple and straight-forward, and the cookies can be made in abundance. The most important part is to make sure the eggs are cold to easily separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, ensuring that no egg yolk will go to the mixture so it will remain firm and crispy. After mixing all ingredients, use a piping bag and follow the size written on the recipe below. Bake and let cool using parchment/bake paper for easy removal, which by the way is reusable.

1) Pre-heat (turn on oven) at 350 F or 175 C 15 minutes before baking.

2) Prepare two cookie sheets lined with bake/parchment papers so cookies will not stick. One plastic 12 to14-inch disposable piping bag (available in baking house ware section of SM Megamall). Snip a 1/2 inch wide hole with scissors when bag is half filled.

3) Beat with a wooden spoon or hand mixer: 1 cup softened Magnolia Gold butter salted, 1/ cup granulated sugar (white sugar), 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 egg whites), 1 tsp. vanilla (note: other flavors like pandan, ube, etc. can be used). Lastly, add 1 cup all-purpose flour. When blended, place in piping bag. Pipe 2 inches long, 2 inches apart on prepared trays. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until sides are brown. Remove from pans. Cool. Store in cookie jars while warm with a paper napkin at the bottom to prevent spoilage. Makes 80 to 100 pieces.

4) Note: you may pipe into rounds, put choco sprinkles, serve with coffee.

Leche Flan For Halo-Halo Topping

2 pieces store-bought oval llanera (2 cups capacity aluminum molds).

Put 1/3 cup sugar per mold. Put mold on top of medium fire (use a pot holder) to tilt pan until sugar is dissolved and caramel colored. Repeat with second mold. Pour filling on each. Cover tightly with doubled-up foil with a half-inch overhang. Seal well by crumpling with your fingers. Water from steamer will prevent the center of flan from getting firm. Put on top of steamer over simmering water (do not fast-boil as this will create holes or rough-textured flan). Steam 35 to 40 minutes. Cool. Remove foil. Loosen sides with a knife or metal spatula. Put a deep plate on top and invert.

Mix in a bowl with a wire whisk then strain: 12 egg yolks (3/4 cup egg yolks), 2 cans condensed milk (3 cups) 1 tsp. vanilla extract or ube or pandan flavor.

Note: Another way to serve this is to put some cooked flan in an ice cream glass. Top with crushed ice and some flan. Serve with milk on the side.


Yema means “yolks.” To keep the yema moist, use a double boiler or saucepan half filled with water and heated until boiling point. Place a metal or glass bowl on top and use the steam from the bottom pan to cook the mixture, a technique used to prevent scrambled eggs. Beat the yolks with a wooden spoon or whisk before adding the other ingredients. For the leche flan, use all yolks; this will make it creamier and richer, excellent for halo-halo topping. To get a smooth texture, the water must be simmering when steaming as high heat will form many holes.

Put in a bowl and mix well, then put bowl on top of double boiler with 2 inches of simmering water. Mix with a wooden spoon until mixture is thick enough to form into 1-inch balls when cool enough to handle. Mixture: 12 egg yolks (3/4 cup yolks) 1 can condensed milk (1 1/2 cups), 1/2 tsp. grated dayap (lime) rind or 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 cup softened Magnolia Gold salted butter.

Roll balls in granulated sugar. Put each ball on tiny (1-inch) colored muffin/ macaroon paper. Will last 1 week refrigerated. Re-roll in sugar when sugar melts in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Mousse

The word “mousse” means foam in French, and is a soft, creamy food that is lightened by adding whipped cream and eggs. There are two types with the first being very sweet because sugar is added, while the other version is bitter because the chocolate is the dominant flavor. It is also added on top of sponge cake to create a mousse cake, popularized by the French. To make excellent mousse you must melt the chocolate using a double boiler wherein a glass or metal bowl is placed on top of a saucepan with simmering water. The steam from the water helps melt it slowly, ensuring that the chocolate texture is smooth. Do not use a plastic bowl as the mixture will become oily. Gelatin or the gelatinous substance from animal cartilage and tendons keeps the mousse firm, especially in tropical climate. Gradually adding the egg yolks and butter to the chocolate mixture will also prevent the eggs from forming lumps. Never use frozen butter or cold cream because this will make the mixture undesirable.

Chocolate Mousse
1) Prepare eight 1/2 cup capacity stemmed glasses.

2) Ingredients: 2 cups (tetrapak) all-purpose cream, not cold; 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips; 6 egg yolks; 1/4 cup softened butter (salted)

3) For garnish: 1 can very cold whipping cream, 6 cherries with stems, choco syrup.

4) Procedure: Put in Pyrex bowl the all-purpose cream and gelatin. Leave for 5 minutes to “bloom” or expand. Add the chocolate chips. Put chips in 2 inches of simmering water (double boiler) and mix until chocolate chips are thoroughly melted. Remove bowl from fire.

5) Put the egg yolks and butter in a blender and pulse 2 minutes. Gradually add hot choco chip mixture.

6) Return mixture to Pyrex bowl and cook over simmering water, stirring with wooden spoon until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.

7) Pour into glasses. Place on tray and freeze 1 hour or refrigerate 4 hours until ready to serve. (Will last one month in freezer, two weeks in the refrigerator.)

8) Add whipping cream from can to fill tops of glasses. Top with syrup and cherries.

Special Pan de Sal

1) Preheat oven 400º F or 200º C.

2) Grease a 14 x 16 x 1–inch baking sheet.

3) Put in a bowl: 1 cup tap water, 1 tbsp yeast, 1 tbsp sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.

4) Add 1/4 cup vegetable lard (shortening) or butter, 1/4 cup powdered milk, 1/2 cup granulated or white sugar, 1/4 tsp fine salt, 2 slightly beaten eggs. Gradually add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Knead, adding 1 cup more flour. Form into a ball and let rise on greased table or bowl for 25 minutes.

5) Make a 2-inch-thick cylinder (or baston) 24 inches long. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Put on prepared tray. Let rise 25 minutes. Dip your forefinger in all-purpose flour and poke into bread. If it leaves a dent and doesn’t spring back, bake right away at pre-heated 400º F or 200º C oven for 25 minutes. Makes 12 big pan de sal.

6) Note: For dark pan de sal use 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Diane Martinez’ Corn Muffins

1) Preheat oven to 350º F or 175º C.

2) Prepare 6 big grease-proof, 1 cup capacity (non-stick) muffin pans or line 24 one-fourth cup capacity muffin pans with muffin paper.

3) Put all ingredients in a bowl: 1/2 cup softened Magnolia Gold butter, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 whole eggs, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 cup ground yellow cornmeal, 1/2 cup milk, 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup frozen cooked whole kernel corn.

4) Scoop onto muffin pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm. For 1 cup capacity pans bake 40 to 45 minutes.

Johnlou & Alou Koa’s Mango Smoothie

1) Put in a blender: 2 cups ripe mango, 2 cups mango or vanilla ice cream, 1 cup cold fresh milk. Blend. Pour unto 8 tall glasses 1/4 filled with crushed ice. Top with cooked sago.

Marieliese Evaristo’s Green Mango Juice
1) Put in a blender: Flesh of 2 very green mangoes, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 can (1 1/2 cups) Sprite or Seven up. Pour onto 6 tall glasses (Zombie glass) filled with crushed ice.

Francis & Annette Canuto’s Melon Shake

1) Put in a blender: 4 cups cubed melon, 1 cup fresh milk, 1/2 cup condensed milk. Shake. Pour in 8 tall glasses that has 2 tablespoons each of sago and half-filled with crushed iced. Top with a scoop of vanilla or ice cream of your choice.
2) Note: other fruits like mango, among others are also ideal for above recipe.

Delfin & Steven Viola’s Watermelon Shake
1) Put in a blender: 8 cups cut up watermelon with 1 cup granulated sugar (white sugar). Blend.
2) Pour unto 8 tall glasses with filled crushed ice. Top each with a spoonful of cooked sago

Sago Gulaman

Tony and Nena Atienza’s Gulaman and Sago
1) Two bars (red and green) of gulaman (seaweed in bars. Available in markets), 4 cups water, 1 cup granulated sugar, prepare 2 glass or metal molds of 3 cups capacity each to put cooked gulaman,1/4 tsp. each of pandan and strawberry extracts.

a. For the sago (tapioca pearls): Boil 5 cups water and add 1 cup uncooked sago. Stir once in awhile (uncovered) for 15 minutes or until clear. Drain. Put in a bowl and pour tap water twice the amount of sago to prevent them from sticking. Reserve some for our drinks/shakes today.

2) Ten tall glasses for halo-halo, half-filled with crushed ice when ready to serve.

3) Topping: 1/2 cup toasted pinipig. Serve with 2 cups Magnolia Fresh Milk or canned coconut cream or sugar syrup. For the sugar syrup boil 1 cup water with 1 cup dark brown sugar until just dissolved. Cool.

4) Procedure: Shred the red gulaman in a saucepan and add 2 cups water. Let boil until gulaman is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup sugar and strawberry extract. Mix and pour on container. Refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour). Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Do the same with the green gulaman and pandan extract. Pour in 10 glasses half-filled with ice. Top with a tablespoon each of sago and pinipig. Serve with fresh milk or coconut cream or syrup.

5) Note: Instead of sago and pinipig you can use canned lychees, peaches, and Mandarin oranges. Use syrup from can in place of milk.

Sachertorte (Rich chocolate cake)

a) Ingredients for the cake: 3/4 cup Magnolia butter, 5 squares Ricoa unsweetened chocolate, 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup fresh milk, 1 tsp. each of vanilla , baking powder, salt, baking soda, 6 whole eggs, 2 cups all-purpose flour.

b)Procedure: Preheat oven to 350º F or 175º C. Put wax paper on the bottom of 10 one-cup-capacity ramekins/ custard cups or use two 9 x 1-1/2-inch round pans.

c)Put on a tray for easier handling. Set aside. For the filling in between the cakes, pick 2 jams of your choice.

d)For the frosting put in a bowl 2 cups chocolate chips, 1/3 cup vegetable lard or butter, 1/4 cup each fresh milk and corn syrup. Spoon on top of cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Smoothen with a metal spatula.

e)Procedure for the cake (see letter “a”): Put ingredients in a Pyrex bowl and melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler. Tip: Half-fill pan with water. Put glass or metal bowl on top with the chocolate. To keep it smooth, lower fire to simmering so water does not get into chocolate. Remove from fire. Add granulated sugar. Beat with mixer to cool chocolate. Add milk, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn mixer to low speed and add flour. Scoop into 10 prepared ramekins until 2/3 full. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when center is tapped with a spoon.

f)To assemble cake: Cool cakes completely. Loosen with a metal spatula. Invert on a plate. Remove paper. With a sharp knife, slice cake horizontally into 2. Spread 1 tbsp strawberry jam on the first layer. Top with cake. Drizzle with chocolate glaze (letter “d”).

g)If using two 9-inch round pans, no need to slice the middle. Spread the jam in between layers.

Granola Bars

By: Karen Young of Karen's Kitchen

Harvest Loaf
Looking for a heftier loaf? This one is full of texture and very much like a granola bar—fruity, nutty, and full of fiber.

1 loaf   Prep Time 25 minutes  Baking Time 25 to 30 minutes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped figs
3/8 cup chopped dates
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup sliced almonds
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter and flour an 8x3½x2¼-inch loaf pan, making sure to cover the corners. Line with parchment paper then grease and flour the paper lining.
2  With a wire whisk, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
Set aside one whole fig and date for topping. Quarter them lengthwise and set aside. With a spatula, mix figs, dates, walnuts, and almonds together.
Pour fruit and nuts into flour mixture. Mix together.
5  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla.
6  Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Spread evenly and smoothen the top. Decorate with the quartered date and fig, pressing lightly to embed the fruits at least a quarter of the way in the batter.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes then remove loaf from pan. Allow to cool thoroughly. Wrap airtight and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Fig-finding tip  If you’re lucky, you could chance upon fresh figs in supermarkets. But this recipe uses the dried kind.

Gwen Uy's Chocolate Cake

By: Gwen Uy

Gwen Uy's Chocolate Cake
Making the frosting for this cake requires extra patience—cooking time is approximately 1 1/2 hours. But the result is well worth the wait. With a bottle of good, ready-made caramel sauce from the grocery for drizzling, your guests will be unable to refuse a slice. Make it a big one!

Makes one 9-inch cake  Prep Time 30 minutes  Bake Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 60 to 90 minutes for the frosting

For the cake base
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coffee powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 whole eggs

For the fudge frosting
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups condensed milk
2 cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter

1  Preheat oven to 350˚F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2  In another bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, coffee powder, and vanilla into the warm water.

3  Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then alternately add the dry and liquid ingredients, making sure you begin and end with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into two 9-inch greased and lined round cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6  Make the frosting: In a thick saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and flour.

7  In a mixing bowl, combine all liquid ingredients then pour into a saucepan. Whisk until well combined.

Place the saucepan on low heat and keep whisking until the frosting is thick and of spreading consistency. Blend in butter. When ready, spread on the cakes.

Pistachio Cheese Loaf

By: Karen Young of Karen's Kitchen

Pistachio Cheese Loaf
Moist, nutty, and cheesy, this one is Karen Young's favorite. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, this loaf tastes as pretty as it looks.

1 loaf  Prep Time 25 minutes  Baking Time 32 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2  cup cream cheese, softened
1/2  cup butter, softened
3/4  cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 5 pieces maraschino cherries, halved for topping
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
1 tablespoon pistachio nuts for topping

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter and flour an 8x3 1/2 x2 1/2-inch loaf pan, making sure to cover the corners. Line with parchment paper then grease and flour the paper lining. (Learn how to line and grease a  pan here)

2  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, then sift together. Set aside.

3  With a flat beater, beat cream cheese on medium speed. When the cheese is free of lumps, add butter.

4  When mixture is homogeneous, add sugar. Cream on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time on medium speed, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

6  Switch to lowest speed and add dry ingredients gradually. Remove bowl from the mixer stand. With a large spatula, fold in nuts.

7   Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread evenly then smoothen top.

8   Garnish with maraschino cherries and pistachios in desired design, pressing gently to embed toppings partly into batter.

  Bake for 32 minutes or until cake tester dipped in center comes out clean.

10   Stand on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool to room temperature. Wrap airtight, store in refrigerator, and serve the following day.

Buttery tip  If you like a more buttery flavor, substitute the cream cheese with butter.