It just had to happen. My disease just had to come back. I have this strange affliction that I know is pervasive worldwide. I thought I had it under control for a while now, but apparently not. And it just had to come back at a time that I desperately need it to leave. My disease: I constantly hit the snooze button on my phone alarm. Yes, I have that kind of sickness. And I am one of millions with this bad habit.
Am I being overly dramatic here? Not really (humor me). It’s just that because of that bad habit, I missed Misa de Gallo today. Well, I could always put a spin to my situation and say that missing Misa de Gallo is also part of my tradition, but I’m really disappointed. This year was supposed to be the year I complete the 9 mornings because I have the luxury of time.
Next year will be totally different because I have plans brewing in my head that might be so pivotal that my life as we know it will do a complete 180. But I’m holding on. Even if I think every day is like I’m living in borrowed time, I’d like to relish whatever golden days of peace I have.
Growing up my holidays would never be complete without three things: ham, Cartoon Network Christmas marathons and instant cocoa mix or better yet, tablea for hot chocolate. I’ve outgrown the Christmas marathons (Plus cartoon shows today have lost their luster. Do you agree?), ham is still there albeit in controlled proportions and I’ve realized that Christmas goes on without hot chocolate. Still, when I get the chance to relish quiet time with cocoa, the memories when life was simpler come rushing back.
Between instant cocoa mix and tablea, I’m partial to the latter because I love dark chocolate. Tablea is essentially a dark chocolate tablet that dissolves in boiling water. Sure, the preparation isn’t as “instant”, but sipping it is magic. It’s hot and toasty, smooth, punched with milk and sugar but still slightly bitter. Nothing compares.
Here in Zamboanga, the iconic Myrna’s bakeshop churns out a mean Black Forest cake. It’s not punched with rum and it’s not studded with cherries. Instead, their Black Forest is a simple chocolate cake filled with nuts and peaches. It’s simple, unpretentious and just delicious.
I decided to make something quite similar, using a basic chocolate cake recipe but with the addition of tablea. Since I was craving for Myrna’s Black Forest, I decided to fill it with crushed peaches!
This chocolate cake/cupcake recipe is a keeper because it’s moist and not overly sweet. It holds its shape well and isn’t crumby. Filling cupcakes takes this dessert to the next level because it’s the perfect way to introduce something refreshing to an otherwise plain chocolate cupcake. To pair chocolate and fruits together is just genius.
Chocolate Tablea Cupcakes (makes 20 – 23 cupcakes)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
- ¾ cup tablea chocolate, chopped (I used 10 pieces)
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup shortening/butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (in a pinch: 1 cup milk plus ½ – 1 tablespoon vinegar)
- Filling: 1 can peach halves (I used an 825 g can because I tripled the recipe for this so you can adjust as needed) chopped into very small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Line two 12 cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. In a bowl, mix cocoa powder, coffee and tablea with boiling water; stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Using a hand blender/electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter/shortening and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
- Gradually add cocoa mixture, beating well.
- In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Using a small paring knife with a narrow blade, carefully slice halfway between the center and the edge to create a space that you will use for filling. Do not completely slice through the cupcake.
- Gently coax out the sliced portion (or cone) using the knife, making sure that the rest of the cupcake is not damaged.
- This is optional: Slice the pointed/inner side of the “cone”, leaving only the top portion. When you are done filling, pop the top back into place to act as the “seal” or “plug”.
This takes patience and practice but if you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.
Tomorrow is another day for Misa de Gallo, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully aside from hearing mass, I’d churn out something easy and simple to blog about tomorrow, for a change (haha)
All is not lost for CDO and Iligan. PLEASE HELP THE PEOPLE IN ANY WAY YOU CAN. PURIFIED WATER AND CLOTHES ARE ESSENTIAL.