Cinnamon Swirl


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Let them bake!

Finally! My baking mojo is back!

I haven’t baked since Christmas, not because I don’t want to but because my baking mojo has nowhere to be found. I just didn’t feel like baking and I’m getting tired of baking the same things – brownies, blondies, cookies. Plus, it’s a bit tedious (a lot of bowls are needed!) to do cupcakes and muffins.

Then last week, after browsing through my favorite baking/food blogs, the baking mojo in me started to fire up and I saw the perfect Cinnamon Swirl recipe!

It’s my first time dealing with yeast! I was a bit hesitant on doing this recipe since it would deal with something I haven’t handled before (I have no formal training on baking, just a few classes here and there). But the smell of making the dough was soooo good!! Just by the smell of it made me oh so giddy…like when I see my crush/es! 😉

The whole waiting for the dough to rise was exciting! Seeing it double in size made me realize that I could handle yeast! I was afraid that it wouldn’t rise that it would just stay flat. Yeah, I was that praning (sorry, what’s praning in english?).

After all the wait (2 hours to be exact), I rolled it out and made the cinnamon filling. I think I may have over-rolled the dough since as I was rolling the dough, it felt thin and after cutting the log, it felt as if the whole thing would collapse. At least the next time I’ll bake these babies, I’ll have some notes to refer to 😉

1st time = success

The smell of cinnamon filled our house and it was sweet! It is, by far, the best baking smell that have ever filled our house 😉 After they all browned out, I made the glaze and it’s just perfect! I was thinking of skipping the glaze, good thing I didn’t skip on it as I would’ve missed out on the additional yumminess 😉

Cinnamon Roll Sampler with a generous helping of Cream Cheese Galze

So, how did it taste? It was beyond good! I surprised myself with this one as I thought that this would be a failure. The rolls were just right – soft and moist! One of these babies would be the perfect ending to a perfect dinner…if I could make them in larger numbers 😉 Will definitely make more of these soon 😀

Cinnamon Swirls
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 16-18 buns.

1 cup lactose-free milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 cup Muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough: Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (You may also use a KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process.) Form into ball.

Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.

Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven (I baked the “trimmings” in separate cups) cut remaining dough crosswise with thin sharp knife  into 16-18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

Spray two 8-inch square metal pan with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes. Don’t skimp on the double-rising time.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

For glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.


How to Mix the Perfect Milo Drink


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If you had an awesome childhood, it would mean waking up to drinking Milo with your breakfast before heading to school. If you can’t say that was the case, then it’s never too late to whip up some good ol’ Milo. Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby give you the Perfect(at least so far, to my knowledge) Milo Drink Recipe. This is a result of years and years of trial and error, and so far I still can’t beat this personal best discovery.

  • Grab a standard size mug (about 250-300mL size)
  • Put 1 and 1/2 heaping tablespoons of Milo (the Milo can calls for 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon, but it’s just not enough 😉 )
  • Add 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of condensed milk
  • pour a small amount of hot water(from thermos / heater) just enough to cover the milo / condensed milk layer. This should be just about 3/4 inch of the mug or less. DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH WATER. This is just to dissolve the Milo. (Milo can’t be properly dissolved in not-hot water). Mix it to your heart’s content until it’s got that creamy chocolate-y goodness look.
  • Pour cold milk to fill up the rest of the mug. (No diet / skimmed / 2% milk! Use the real good stuff.) 


    Optional Add-Ons:

  • Add some ice for added coldness! (not too much otherwise the ice will water down the flavor)
  • Throw in a spoonful of Milo on top of the already-cold mix! Because, like I said, Milo can’t decently dissolve in not-hot water, the Milo will either remain on top(Also ummy to drink Milo half-drink half-powdered while you sip it) and/or form little hard round drops of Milo (the wetness makes the group of Milo round up, but it’s dry inside) resulting into crunchy tiny bites. We discovered this because my yaya was always rushing in the morning and for a busy season, she didn’t mix our Milo well, creating these crunchy Milo drops.

There you go. I shared you one of my life’s secrets. 😉 Hope you all get to try it out soon. You will definitely not regret it.


P.S. This is my first guest blog on here, how did I do?

Cream Puffs and Eclairs



I got into a basic pastry workshop in Enderun which runs every saturday, starting today until August 11. The class is a bit pricey but our chef instructors are the best!

So anyway, for today’s class, we made Choux Pastry and Creme Mousseline. Since I am a pastry noob, I didn’t know what these meant when I saw the course outline, and after pulling out the baking trays out of the oven that I realized that we were doing Cream Puffs and Eclairs! Yeah, yeah…I am such a noob =))

I wasn’t able to taste these babies right away but when I did, it was heavenly! I just over-pipped the mousseline in the eclairs so it was very chocolatey but other than that, it was very yummy!

Will definitely bake this again 😉

Marbled Brownies


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I’m baking again..for now 🙂 i gave in to my officemates’ (including my bosses) request to bake once more. I was intending to bake yet another batch of cookies, but one of my bosses requested “Brownies with Cream Cheese”. I didn’t know any recipe for that and thanks to google, i found Marbled Brownies 🙂

It was an easy bake, since i was working with a pre-made mix, Ghirardelli’s Triple Chocolate Brownie mix and the cream cheese mixture was very easy to prep.

I got to do two batches. My first batch turned ok but it was still a bit “gooey” in the middle.

My second batch … well, my second batch was a bit more “solid” than the first one but it was still gooey nonetheless.

As for it’s reception in the office and in my dad’s office…I could say that it’s well-received! Whew! 😉 And this Christmas, I might sell these babies as well 😉

Death by Chocolate Cookies


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I finally baked again, thanks to this year’s longest long weekend!

I named these babies as Death by Chocolate cookies since I used Ghirardelli’s Triple chocolate brownie mix and added a chunck of white chocolate in the middle. These babies turned out to be softer than the usual cookies that I bake, thanks to the brownie mix.

Fortunately, everyone liked them! Guess I’ll be making these babies for a number of times…until my Ghirardelli mix runs out.

xoxo, GelaMerce