Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Brazo de Mercedes Challenge

Back when I still lived with my mom and she was out, she'd always ask me what I wanted her to take home.  4 out of 5 of the time, I would tell her to bring me something saccharine for my sweet tooth.  And 3 out of that 4, it would be an image of a cake in my mind's eye.  Not just any cake, mind you. It was always specific. Nooo, it's not chocolate cake.  It's Brazo de Mercedes, my super duper ultimate favorite!

This afternoon, I challenged myself to bake one, but not in its usual rolled form.  Since I'm into cupcakes, why not make a cupcake version of this dessert of soft meringue with custard filling? You'd think it would be easy since I already had a recipe to follow (thanks to Rolly's officemate, Mira, who gave me the link to the recipe).  To me, however, it was a relatively tall task since I know that I am no good at anything involving egg whites. But what the heck.  There's no harm in trying (except for the ingredients which would go to waste, just in case). Hehe.  Oh well, I'm glad I did it because otherwise, I wouldn't have created these drop-dead dainty cuppies! :)

Here's the recipe I got from, just in case you want to bake Brazo de Mercedes, too.


8 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/4 cup cornstarch
300ml condensed milk
300ml water

8 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla


1. Pour condensed milk in a pan.
2. In a bowl, mix water and cornstarch.  Add the mixture to the condensed milk and start heating up the pan.
3. Whisk in the egg yolks gradually while the pan is still not too hot. 
4. Whisk continuously until very thick.  The texture should be of piping consistency before you turn the burner off.
5. Set aside to cool down.

1. Beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the vanilla and cream of tartar.
2. Gradually add the sugar while beating the egg whites.  Mix until stiff peaks form.
3. Pipe to prepared baking cups.  Leave a hole at the center of each cup for the custard filling/topping (but don't pipe in the custard yet!).
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 minutes, or until the top of the meringue turns slightly brown.  After baking, set aside for a few minutes to let it cool.
5. Finally, pipe the custard into the center and on top of each meringue cuppy.  You may dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar if you want to. :)

And there you have it - your Brazo cuppies! :)  If you're not as bad as I am with egg whites, I bet this recipe will be easier for you. ;)  Good luck!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blueberry Frenzy

To our close friends, Rolly and I are probably the epitome of cheesiness. *GRIN*  But he's the cheesier one.  And he likes blue.  And strawberries.  That's why I baked blue-berry-cheese cakes! 

Huh? (?!$#@?>%&!!)

Hehe.  I'm pretty sure I didn't make any sense in that intro paragraph.  But really, all I wanted to say is... 

I baked blueberry cheesecake cuppies and they were a hit! Yipppeeee! :)

It was Sunday last week.  Rolly had been asking me to learn how to bake a blueberry cheesecake, so being the good wife that he thinks I am (haha), I researched for a newbie-friendly recipe that I could follow.  I found one from but adjusted it a little bit.  And the result?

Ta daaaaah!

They looked pretty, but I wasn't very sure how they would taste.  It's the first time I baked cupcakes without flour; everything just depended on the 'glory' of cream cheese (and a bit of crushed graham).  I even thought, sayang naman if these would fail, ang mahal kaya ng cream cheese!  But you know what my family and friends said?  "MASARAAAAP!"  Yaaaaaay!  The comments made me soooo kilig! :)   

The blueberry frenzy didn't end here. 

After my boss tried my cheesecake come Monday, she asked me to bake some for her daughter (who's very kagigil adorable by the way) who's celebrating her birthday the same week.  I felt extremely giddy because that only meant my cheesecakes were really good diba.  Hehe.  (Sorry I really had to say that =P). So I said yes without batting an eyelash!  And then she said she needed 48 pieces.  Waaah!  Haha.  That's too many and I felt scared and pressured, but there was no turning back.  And it was for baby Anika anyway who's very close to my heart.  Eventually, I willingly and happily took on the challenge.

I realized the task was not at all easy as pie, especially since this was the first time I would be selling my cupcakes. Meaning, the "consumers" weren't my friends and family.  In fact, these would be people who do not know me at all (baby Anika's party guests).  There was pressure, yes, for the cupcakes to really taste good! Ang dami daming pumapasok sa isip ko as I was baking. =|  But in the end, everything paid off. :)  I even got a text from my boss after the party saying that no less than her daughter's school directress loved the cupcakes!  She said they were tastefully done, literally and figuratively.  Wooooow!  I flew to seventh heaven!  

Grabbed from my boss' instagram. :)
It was her who packaged the cuppies like this.  Lovely! :)

This was a first.  And it was a superb first.  Saying that I was overjoyed is an understatement. :)  


Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Husband That Prays

When praying to God for a partner, what qualities do you wish the person has? For many girls perhaps, myself included, a guy is considered “desirable” if:
  1. he’s physically attractive (Admit this, girls! :) But of course this is subjective);
  2. he’s got something good in between his ears, in other words, he's smart;
  3. he’s nice and sweet and can make the butterflies in your stomach flutter (hmm, not sure if this applies to all or if it’s just me =P); and
  4. he’s responsible and can be a good provider just in case you end up at the altar.  

Luckily for me, I've found someone with these qualities (and more!) in the man I've decided to spend forever with. However, it’s only after we got married and lived under one roof and really got to know each other in a deeper level that other traits or habits have appeared to be very important too. Luckily for me again, though my husband is far from being perfect, he's got the things I've discovered are essential in a marriage. To mention one, 
my husband is one who prays.  

Like what I wrote in a previous entry, Rolly and I pray together at night before we catch our Z's.  And in these prayers, he's the one who leads.  There are times when I would forget and I'd already go under my blanket, but my husband never does.  He would tell me, "Hal, we still haven't prayed." He'd scoop me up to sit and then we would start.  Our prayers are never "formal" though.  It's always as if we're only talking to my dad or his dad, saying our Thank You's and petitions aloud, so that I could hear his prayer and he could hear mine.

Perhaps you might be thinking, why make a big fuss out of praying? What's important is that the person believes in God and he does what's right.  True, but it is more than that to me.  You see, my husband doesn't only pray.  He prays with me.  And when we do, it's more than just simply sitting beside each other and saying words together. When he prays with me, he gives me an intimate glimpse into his heart, into his soul.  He allows me to hear the things he is most thankful for and he ushers me to learn about the deepest desires of his heart.  And this is vice versa.  To me, there's a certain level of intimacy that is achieved when praying as a couple.  It's different.  I feel like we are closer, we are more honest to each other, and we are one.  The bond is stronger, because God's hand holds it.

If you are married and you wish to grow closer to your spouse, I hope you try doing this, too. Rolly and I are far from being religious and it's not like our prayers are long and tedious.  It only takes about five minutes for us, as a matter of fact.  But these few minutes are worth it.  You'll see. ;)


"A man who is intimate with God 
will never be intimidated by men." 
~ Leonard Ravenhill


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dream Number 1

"Making a decision to have a child - it's momentous.  
It is to decide forever to have your heart go outside your body."
~ Elizabeth Stone

For two of my female officemates, this week has been a pretty momentous one that will go down in the history books of their lives.  This week, they found out that there's a bun in their oven! :)

When I heard the news, I felt happy.  Overjoyed, even.  Especially for one of them who has been patiently waiting for the lil pea to come for two years now.  I felt how she must be feeling, the excitement of a would-be mommy.  I went to her and hugged her tight.  Her eyes spoke of an unmistakable elation, bliss which could never be expressed with words alone.

Rolly and I have been married for 10 months tomorrow, and we have been actively trying for me to conceive for 7 months already.  When there was no sign of a baby the month after we started trying, I felt very concerned.  We went to a doctor to get our reproductive functions tested, but the OB told us that it's way too early to be worried. Several months passed and much to my frustration, Aunt Flo (a.k.a. my monthly period) still hasn't missed a visit. We went to another OB and we were told exactly the same thing.  The doctor also explained that even under the most perfect conditions, only 1 out of 4 women conceive during the first 3 months of actively trying, 2 out of 4 within the succeeding 3 months, and so on.  Thus, it takes one full year or 12 months of "baby-dancing" to reach the 4 out of 4 possibility of conception for perfectly healthy couples.  After a year and Aunt Flo is still a guest (an unwelcome guest in my case), that's the time when the couple can get their reproductive system checked up.  This means 5 more months of trying and waiting for Rolly and me! :)

At times, I get paranoid.  

What if I will never bear a child?  What will happen to my motherhood dreams?  My life will be worthless and I will forever be unhappy.  

Thoughts like these run through my head.  Ever since I can remember, I have always known that I want to become a mommy someday. Perhaps because I am very fond of kids. As a matter of fact, I used to write that in my "what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up articles in gradeschool.  This has always been my number one dream.  Not wealth, not a booming career.  But a family.  A happy family with a loving husband and wonderful kids.

You know what gives me peace in times like this when my head starts to go crazy?

It's my FAITH.  God knows more than I do how much I want to become a parent.  And He is not a selfish God.  He is a very generous God.  No father wants the heart of his child to be broken.  And Jesus knows He will break my heart if this dream of ours doesn't come true (what a brat, I knooow). That's why I am very certain that He will bless Rolly and me with children. That's what He promises me everyday whenever we pray.  When?  We don't know.  But our faith in Him includes faith in His timing.  When our little munchkin (this is how we call our unborn child) arrives, we know that the time can never be more perfect. :) We may not understand why, but the Lord always has His purpose. :) For now, we will just keep on trying, and we will never stop praying. :)

P.S.  I have a feeling that the Lord is sending the Little Munchkin to my womb this year. ;)  That's our makulet prayer every night.  I wish God will get exhausted from all our pangungulit and finally give in! Haha. :)  

Excited about God's promise, 

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