Coming home to Mom and Tina’s

An evening visit to Mom and Tina’s bakery cafe last week left me wondering why I haven’t heard of and visited them sooner. It took me almost six months and their nearest outlet is a short tricycle ride away.
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What is endearing about the cafe is how they put a premium on detail. The interiors from the plump sofas to the wooden accents remind you of home, or a little cottage in the middle of the woods sans the cannibal witch…take your pick. The ambiance, now that Christmas is just around the corner, is incredibly festive and comforting. I feel that it’s part of the attraction and it works spendidly.
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You go there to soak up as much positive juju there is, and of course, to taste the food which is actually really good. It’s the blissful marriage of form and food that makes Mom and Tina’s a winner.
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The rolls that went with my delicious pasta all’Amatriciana (homemade fettucine with bacon and black olive sauce) were crusty on the outside and light and airy on the inside…in other words, it was the perfect foil.
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Their selections are diverse, which compels you to come back and eat with gusto once again.
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Never leave the place with trying the mini sans rival. Their pint-sized version of the real thing doesn’t scrimp on flavor with its luscious butter cream and nut filling between layers of chewy meringue. It could be a meal in itself given its calorie count, but if you’re like me…I ain’t countin.
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It has only been a week and my recent visit just last Sunday where I ordered their filling bacon and spinach quiche really affirmed that this is a place I’ll frequent. The beauty of it is that sometimes time stands still. It has the kind of laid-back, “I could read a book here all day” vibe you look for when you want to feel like you’re home because the semblance is there.

In a way, when you’re at Mom and Tina’s, you’re essentially coming home.

Mom and Tina’s Bakery Cafe

FRDC Building
106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave.
(C-5), Pasig City
Tel: 914-0833 or 571-1541
 
G/F Unit 14
Tropical Palms Condominum
Dela Rosa St. cor. Perea St.,
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel: 840-4299 or 894-3598
 
2nd floor,
Regis Center,
Katipunan Ave.,
Quezon City
Tel: 990-2875 or 990-2815
 
58 Sgt. Esguerra Ave.,
South Triangle,
Quezon City
Tel: 332-3080 or 332-3589
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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cheesecake and Streusel Topping

If there’s one recipe that brings back a lot of great memories – it has to be Red Velvet cupcakes. This was probably one of the first recipes, the first cake/cupcake recipe that I tried with stellar results. It was around mid-March of last year that I made a really great Red Velvet, as a response to Julie Ruble of Willowbird Baking’s call for a cheesecake challenge. I made Cheesecake Stuffed Red Velvet cupcakes with Streusel, and that pretty much set the bar on how I want my Red Velvets.
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March last year was a great month for me. Coinciding with the production of these great cupcakes, I really started to solidify my love for cooking. The last few posts in my old blog were devoted to food. The pictures, though not as great as I wanted it to be, reminded me of the baby steps I was taking.

Last year, I had around two weeks without anything to do after my final exams, so I cooked while waiting for my graduation. Graduating with honors left me with an incomparable high that took time to abate. And I’m glad I had to review for my licensure exam and put my blog on hold because that just made me go into food blogging more determined to put myself out there. I said goodbye to my old blog and here I am, reincarnated so to speak.
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And personally, out of all the recipes on my blog, I’m really happy that I get to share this one the most because, well, I love it so much. It has been a long time coming.

No Red Velvet I’ve tasted so far comes close (immodesty aside; hey, I don’t brag a lot). This time, however, after much thought, I decided to not to use Julie’s recipe and use Ginny Roces’ Red Velvet recipe from her book, Bake Me A Cake. There are a few subtle differences between the two recipes, but I just really hoped Ginny’s red velvet recipe would be as good as Julie’s.
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The verdict: after increasing the amount of chocolate needed, I’m really pleased with the outcome. For those of you who have tried Julie’s recipe, this is just as good. For those who have yet to make a red velvet, well, this is a perfect recipe to pave way for a fruitful love affair with the little cake flavor that could.

Moist crumb, with the perfect hint of chocolate, this was another crowd pleaser.
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You can forego the streusel, but I just think that streusel + cream cheese + red velvet is the one. Everything is done for good measure after all. And seriously, this is something full of good measure.
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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cheesecake and Streusel Topping (makes around 35 – 36 cupcakes OR two 9-inch round cakes; adapted from Bake Me A Cake by Ginny Roces de Guzman)

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup/ 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Streusel
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed

Cupcakes/Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (I used 1 cup/1 block butter AND 1/2 cup vegetable shortening)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid, like McCormick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Make the cream cheese filling: In your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until creamy and smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the streusel: In a bowl, combine the ingredients together and mix well. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, “cut in” the butter pieces into the flour and sugar mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Make the cupcakes: preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Line a 12-piece cupcake tin with paper cups/liners. If you’re baking cake, line two 9-inch round baking pans with wax or baking paper.
  4. Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl.
  5. In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until light and fluffy, around 5 – 10 minutes. Add the eggs and the egg yolks one at a time, while continuing to beat until well mixed.
  6. Combine the evaporated milk, red food color, and vanilla in a bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tins, until halfway up the sides. Resist the urge to overfill. Using a tablespoon, add the cream cheese mixture on top.
  8. Two methods in adding the streusel: Method 1 – You may choose to add it immediately prior to baking. This partially melts the streusel and you are left with a few coarse crumbs on top (which is still pretty good). Put it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake.
  9. Method 2 – After adding the cream cheese topping, place the pan into the oven and bake for around 5 – 7 minutes, or until the batter is beginning to rise. Remove from oven and sprinkle streusel over the batter. Return it to the oven and bake it for around 15 – 20 minutes more, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake. This will yield cupcakes with a more generous, prominent streusel topping. This is more taxing but if you’re after the streusel, then it’s really worth it.
  10. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!

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9 mornings: Peaches and Chocolate Tablea Cupcakes

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.

No I won’t blog about how to make hot chocolate. Since I’ve already broken my novena streak, I might as well make up for it by going the extra mile today.
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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!
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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.
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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
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. 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.
  3. Using a hand blender/electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter/shortening and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Gradually add cocoa mixture, beating well.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  7. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  8. 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.

To fill the cupcakes (the Cone method) – more insight here and here 

  1. 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.
  2. Gently coax out the sliced portion (or cone) using the knife, making sure that the rest of the cupcake is not damaged.PhotobucketPhotobucket
  3. 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.

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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)
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All is not lost for CDO and Iligan. PLEASE HELP THE PEOPLE IN ANY WAY YOU CAN. PURIFIED WATER AND CLOTHES ARE ESSENTIAL.

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