How to Paint Wood Texture on Cake Board

4:53:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Go the extra mile on your cakes by decorating the cake board too! One of the nicest, simple and fast techniques you can do is painting a wood texture on your cake board.

You'll need:
White Fondant Covered Cake Board
Chef Knife or any large knife
Ivory Gel Paste (Americolor Brand)
Chocolate Brown Gel Paste/ Chocolate Brown Airbrush Color (Americolor Brand)
Lemon Extract/Vodka (I prefer using Mccormick Lemon Extract)
One Big and One Small Paint Brush (nylon always)

1. Start by making vertical lines on the fondant covered cake board by using the knife. Go crazy. These lines don't need to be precise.
Optional Step:
2. Make even gaps by making deeper vertical lines on each gap to make them look like wooden planks.
3. Mix the lemon extract and Ivory gel paste. The shade of the wood will depend on on your liking. I usually start with a very runny almost watercolor-like consistency.
4. Start painting streaks part by part then gradually add more ivory to your mixture. Continue painting until you are satisfied with the whole look.



5. Add a very tiny amount of brown to your paint mixture and start adding darker streaks.
6. For the optional step earlier, use the smaller brush to paint the gap's lines darker until it's noticeable.
7. Set aside to dry.



Take a look at some more cake samples I made with this technique:

AntMan/Thomas the Train Cake (If you've seen the movie, you'll get why this is the cake design!)




Steak Cake


Nutella Jar Cake with the hand-painted logo! :)

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How to Paint a Galaxy Print on Cake

7:01:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 2 Comments

Recently, we received a cake order with the theme, The Bravest Warriors, another cartoon made by the same creators as the famous Adventure Time animated series.

The cartoon is set in space. So, we agreed on painting the whole base cake with a galaxy background.

We learned from the video tutorial we found on Youtube created by Sea Lemon (I've just subscribed to her channel and I'm starting to love her art and DIY crafts!!! Make sure to check it out!), to give us an idea of how to paint this kind of print on cake.

Here is the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RMqVdYMgBw

For the cake painting, you'll need:

Carnation Pink Americolor Gel Paste
Aqua Blue Americolor Gel Paste
White Americolor Gel Paste
Nylon Paintbrush
Cake Covered with Black Fondant (do not use a covered cake painted or airbrushed with black coloring as the colored gel pastes might mix with the black paint)

1. Mix the first color with a bit of white. Start by making light dabs on the cake until you form random curves.
2. Do the same with the second color. It's okay to overlap some curved strokes on the first color.
3. Once you are happy with the strokes you've made, make circular dabs with the white gel paste. Put a solid white dot/circle on top of it. This creates a halo effect and will look like bright big stars on your cake.
4. With the help of a pairing knife or metal scraper, dip your brush into the white gel paste and start flicking crazily until you're satisfied.

Notes:
1. You can add or change the colors depending on your/client's preference. We made the usual pink/purple/bluish galaxy print since it is the most recognizable.
2.  Make sure to put light dabs, specially if your fondant isn't thick. Heavy dabs might poke your cake. You might end up with a very colorful moon planet or something rather than a smooth 2D galaxy print. Haha!
3. The acrylic paint has a different consistency than the gel paste. The finished product won't be as cloudy as the one on the video but at least, it's close enough. :)

Here's to our first try:


(My business partner, Ina, adding finishing touches to the cake)

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Bringing Back the South's True Vibe: FAT BUTCHIK'S

11:36:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments


A way to cap off a Friday night is to hangout with your best people. Most of us residing in the south would head straight to the busy street of Aguirre avenue in BF Homes right after work. The hassle is inevitable. Of course, finding the right place would depend on the parking spots available.

Luckily, a new spot in this area just opened, Fat Butchik's. Located in the not-so-busy street of El Grande avenue is probably one of the most relaxing spots in BF. Although their place is still a working progress, I cannot deny that their roofdeck resto is a good place to unwind.

The ambience isn't even the best part, it's the FOOD.

Pizza Dip (P150.00). The first time I saw this recipe online, all I could think of is how heavy, rich, and greasy this would be (well, in a good-bad kind of way). To my surprise, I WAS WRONG. Their pizza dip is made from fresh tomatoes and did not feel heavy at all. I didn't feel like it needed any meat in it too. The generous cheese on top completed the whole "pizza dip" idea. Though, I just wished that the pieces of pan de sal paired with it were toasted to give a crunchy bite to it.



Here Piggy (P160 Regular , P280 Platter). Their best seller. The pork belly that was given justice. The whole reason why you need to visit this place. Exaggeration is my way of telling you how SERIOUSLY SERIOUS I am about this flavorful cuts of tender and juicy pork belly with CRISPY SKIN. How can all those adjectives be placed all together and describe a pork belly?!?! Well, yeah it magically did. It was also served with roasted tomatoes and garlic. This was so much win!



A Cheese Sausage (P160 Regular , P280 Platter). "125g of pure Hungarian muscle. Salted, peppered, smoked and pumped full of cheese. This bad boy is sat beside a volcano of smashed potatoes with a molten lava of cheese and blurp of hot chili." - menu description. CHEESE Sausage, check! MASHED POTATOES, check! Plus wait, LAVA OF CHEESE WITH CHILI? Check, check, check!

The sausage is homemade. Though, there wasn't anything "wow" about it, it's the smashed potatoes on the side that made them a perfect pair.



Sacre Bleu (P250). What I enjoyed most about this is of course, the pure chunk of juicy beef. Though I am not a fan of pan de sal buns, the bleu cheese that topped the beef is good. The Truffle Fries served on the side were also a contender. The potatoes used were REAL. Unlike the usual grocery-bought, processed side dishes, I appreciate restaurants who actually take the time to prepare these "side" dishes and make them play a big part of the meal as well. These are the small things that diners remember.




House Brewed Iced Tea (P90). Served in one fat ass mason jar. Cold, refreshing and homemade. Your ninety bucks is well worth it.



Just a heads up, the food takes time to prepare. Everything is made from scratch and most dishes are smoked with so much love. Make sure you're in for a long night. Every bite is worth the wait.

Butchik, the man behind the food and of course, the logo, described his cuisine as bar chow. So to my boyfriend's delight, he paired all of our orders with an ice cold bottle of beer.




The cool breeze, three floors away from the some-what bustling street, meters away from loud bars, good choice of music (a good playlist of 80's-90's classics), and well-cooked food... YES, I'll come back for sure.

FAT BUTCHIK'S
El Grande Ave. BF Homes
Above Pan de Manila

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How to Paint Denim Effect on Cake

8:10:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Just recently, a repeat client of ours sent us what cake she wanted to order for her son's first birthday. We love it way too much when our clients get creative but of course, we also throw in our suggestions to make it look even better. 

A three tier cake with the top layer being a cupcake "cake" design, the second would be a "chalk art" style with her son's name written in script with a chevron border. And finally, the denim textured cake. At first, I was thinking about covering the cake with a navy blue fondant and simply put "stitches" on the pockets to make it look like jeans. Fortunately, while doing my research, I was able to find a way how to make it look even more realistic with paint.




Here's what you'll need
1. Gel Paste Coloring
Royal Blue Americolor Gel Paste
Navy Blue Americolor Gel Paste
(I use this brand because it does not darken/change it shade as much once the fondant has set/hardened and also, another great thing about it is that it doesn't change the consistency of your fondant. Compared to the other brands that make your fondant so soft and sticky after kneading)
2. Lemon Extract
I prefer using this rather than vodka because it gives an extra lemony flavor that pairs well with the fondant
(If you are using Americolor Airbrush Paint, there is no need for this unless you want to lighten the shade)
3. Fan brush (Nylon always, you don't want those animal hair brushes in contact with your cake now, right?)
4. Super Light Blue Fondant Covered Cake

Let's get started!

1. Mix the Royal Blue gel paste with a BIT of lemon extract. Do not put too much or else you'll end up having large, light, and watery strokes on your cake.

2. Make vertical strokes on your cake. The thinner the strokes are, the better. Please forgive my excitement as I ended up making some thick ones. The spaces are okay, there will be a few more coats afterwards.

3. Once you are finished with the vertical strokes (including the top), make horizontal ones.

4. Let it dry a bit. Once you think that it has absorbed the paint. Start the darker strokes using the Navy Blue Gel paste (mixed with lemon extract) this time. Do the same strokes earlier until you are satisfied with the denim look.



You may also add streaks that are close to the color black (navy blue gel paste with decreased amount of extract). Make sure that you leave out some lighter parts so you won't lose the denim effect.

Here the finished cake!



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CUE AND BREW

4:13:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

If you have seen these self-moving, no-spill drinking glasses, then you are in a good place. 



A recently opened restaurant located in the strip of Aguirre Ave., BF Homes, Cue and Brew, offers a specific menu of smoked pulled pork and beef brisket along with a variety of side dishes - Truffle Mac n' Cheese, Coleslaw, Mashed Potato, Parmesan Fries, Dirty Rice, and Steamed Rice.

We tried both the pork and beef.

Smoked Pulled Pork Plate (P260.00)
(Includes two side dishes)



12-hour Smoked Beef Brisket (P295.00)
(Includes two side dishes)



Anything with the words 'potato' and 'mac 'n cheese' on a menu I'll choose over everything else just because... It's potato... and mac n' cheese! Do i need more explanation? Carb-loading? What carb-loading? Haha. For our sides, of course, we had to go for the mashed potato and truffle mac 'n cheese. The dirty rice got our hungry appetites, whoops, I meant curious minds working and tried it as well.

Everything was delicious and cooked well! The beef and pork were tender and full of flavor. Despite coming as a group of 12 without any reservation (we basically occupied most of their space), they have managed to serve their food still at its best quality.

Just a note-to-self or to like-minded people like me as well who likes their sauce/gravy on the side, remember to request for it because they serve it together with the meat already. My reason for this is because, as a self-proclaimed gastronome/foodie/food blogger whatchamacallit, I like to appreciate and taste the flavor that went into the food while cooking specially if their meats have been smoked for hours. Personally, I think the meat alone can stand out without their sauce but don't get me wrong, their sauce is quite good as well. :)


CUE AND BREW
248 Aguirre Ave., BF Homes
Paranaque City
(beside Amalia's and right across the food truck place)
Full Menu: http://ph.phonebooky.com/cue-and-brew-aguirre/menu

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A Taste of Thailand: Silom Thai Restaurant, SM Bicutan

2:54:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Through my whole 23 years of existence, my inborn love and enthusiasm for food, and SM Bicutan being one of the nearby malls I grew up with, it is such a shame to admit that it was only a few days ago that I have tried Silom Thai Restaurant. It's probably the best restaurant to dine in SM Bicutan. The ingredients and food preparation is of quality and would exceed your expectation. Their ambiance, table setting(specially the textured metal drinking glass), and serving plates are simple yet has that very asian feel.



I wasn't as excited at first since Thai cuisine isn't one of my top favorites but as a person with an undying passion for eating GOOD FOOD, I was still more than willing to give it a try.

Thai Iced Tea with Milk (P90). After a sip, it immediately brought me back to the authentic milk teas I used to drink in HongKong. I have never been to Thailand yet so I have no point of comparison but if it's as good as HK's milk tea then this must be the real deal of Thailand's!



Vegetarian Spring Rolls (P130). It was a surprise when i took a bite-sized piece of these rolls. It was so fresh and light. The perfect appetizer before digging into their rich flavorful dishes.



Crispy Pork Salad (P255). How can something so healthy be so sinful at the same time? Eat this salad and you'll know what I'm talking about. If I had more than 2 thumbs, I'd raise them all!


Chicken and Pork Sate (P185). The peanut sauce was not overwhelming which I love. Both meats were tender and well-seasoned


Red Curry with Fish Fillet (P240). I am not familiar with red curry or rather any Thai curry but I found this so different from the usual Indian and Japanese curries I've tasted. This had a light curry taste yet salty specially when it cooled down. (I honestly don't know if that's a good or bad thing, haha)



Fried Rice with Shrimp (P180). Serves around three. Perfect pair to the red curry fish and sate.



I can't wait to come back and try more of their dishes and desserts!


SILOM THAI RESTAURANT
Upper Ground Floor, Mall B SM City Bicutan
Paranaque City

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The Place for Everyone: Sol Victoria's

12:19:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 2 Comments

Honest, well-flavored, inviting - would be the top three words to describe Sol Victoria's. This restaurant, lounge, and pub serves delicious comforting dishes suited for all kinds of crowd. Their place is divided into two, a non-smoking air-conditioned area and an outdoor for the smokers. 

It was our date night last Tuesday and because of the horrendous traffic in our area. We decided to dine somewhere near and convenient. For a no-fail experience we agreed to have our dinner once again at Sol Victoria's.

For our appetizer, we ordered the Honey Tokwa (P150)
I've always been a fan of honey and tofu that's why this was so much win for me.



We were offered the Porterhouse Steak since the rib-eye was not available for the same price of (P450). Winning components of the steak were the mashed potatoes and rosemary steak sauce.



Grilled Pusit (P250)
It's rare to find a perfectly grilled and stuffed squid. It was so soft and was easily cut by a table knife.



Szechuan Eggplant (P150) has to be my favorite! The eggplant skin remained its subtle crisp despite it being served with the sauce.



SV Rice (P150), buttered rice with ground pork bits and sausage is a meal in itself. This single order is good for 3-4 people. Was so happy to take home some left overs to have for lunch the next day!



From the three words I described this restaurant with, HONEST is really what it is. You get what's on the menu for a reasonable price.


SOL VICTORIA'S
Blk 6 Lot 27 Russia St.
Better Living Subdivision
Paranaque City
Facebook Page: Sol Victoria's

2 comments :

EAN'S GRILLED BURGERS (a.k.a. Yung P50 Quarter Pounder sa Kanto Burger)

4:52:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Who says a burger can't be P50 cheap and amazing? Well now, It's a dream come true for burger lovers out there. Right beside BPI Family bank (El Grande Branch BF Homes) is where these glorious burgers are born. 

Most people don't even notice their signage and just head onto the grill. I heard most of my friends refer to it as "Yung P50 na quarter pounder sa kanto Burger." Whenever I mention their name to them and talk about what I got, it doesn't even ring a bell. They would act as if it's a new place without even realizing they have eaten there quite a few times already!

Thanks to my boyfriend, who supports all my food cravings and adventures, he surprised me with this beauty...



You know someone knows you too well when they order you a mozarella cheese-stuffed patty with bacon and mushrooms! And guess how much it was? ONLY ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE PESOS.

Their main burgers are the quarter pounders for only P50. Add ons like bacon, mushrooms, tomato, etc., come with a minimal fee.

I have never eaten a burger and wanted another one of it right after. The fact that it's cheap makes it even more delicious.

PURE BEEF. GRILLED. BURGERS.

Go try it yourself! :)


EAN'S GRILLED BURGERS
265 El Grande Ave BF Homes
Paranaque City

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My New Favorite in the South: Hana Yo Japanese and Korean Restaurant

9:49:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

There were two restaurants we wanted to dine in BF that night and sadly both were already full. Not wanting to waste our precious parking slot (we all know parking in Aguirre Ave. most nights are the worst), we were on foot searching for a place to eat. 

Hana Yo has been one of the oldest Japanese Korean restaurants along Aguirre Ave. BF Homes Paranaque. No, they don't serve fancy plated dishes with sky high prices. They serve so much better than the appearance alone, AUTHENTIC Japanese Korean meals that are reasonably priced. You can tell how authentic a place is if most of their customers are from the same country as the food.

As usual, it won't be an authentic Korean restaurant without the banchan. The kimchi is one of the best I've tasted so far! :)



Here's what caught our hungry appetites:
Gyoja P150.00 (Korean menu)
Fried Dumplings



Yes, P150.00 for ALL of those. This isn't your typical gyoza. If I'm not mistaken, it's deep fried. It's good but I found it a bit oily and doughy.

Kimbab P100.00 (Korean Menu)
Korean Rice Roll



What I'm happy about this one is that the rice isn't dry and the ingredients inside were not bland unlike the ones I've had before in another Korean restaurant.

Hirekas P250.00 (Japanese menu)
(Pork Sirloin with Rice)



The meat was so tender and the breading gave the right crunch and wasn't heavy.

And lastly the WINNER DINNER of the night...
OMURICE!!!
P200.00 (Korean Menu)



I apologize for the exaggeration in advance. The foodie animes we've been watching got me curious on this dish. I've googled and watched videos on youtube a few months back and got me itching to taste one ever since. So here we are, finally, as the omurice was served I can't help my smile getting bigger and bigger. The smell immediately made me grab my chopsticks and see the rice underneath the egg.

The egg has this amazing brown sauce. The rice has corn, mushrooms, peas, tender meat cubes, et cetera, and more et cetera of goodness. To sum it up, it was a comforting and delicious meal.

And to our surprise, they serve complimentary Yakult right after!!!



Definitely coming back here again! :)


HANA YO JAPANESE KOREAN RESTAURANT
Aguirre Ave., BF Homes Paranaque
(Right after Meat Depot on your right side if coming from El Grande Ave.)

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How to Make: Easy Mini Minion Cupcake Toppers

2:55:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments


MINIONS are back! Thanks to the movie released a few days ago, we're back to making these tiny yellow fellows. Minions/Despicable Me has been one of the top most requested cake/cupcake themes  by our clients ever since the films came out. Now, our numbers of pastries with this design has increased once again!

Making 3D toppers for cupcakes that would fit in an individual packaging is a common issue for most bakers. I had a few times before that i've made a large topper for a cupcake and totally forgot about considering it's height to fit that tiny box.

So here's to show how we make our minion cupcake toppers that would fit in this kind of packaging or any other box with the same height:

(Photo from RM Boxes, our supplier for almost 5 years)

You'll need:
Colored Fondant
 - Yellow (Lemon Yellow Americolor Gel Paste)
 - Navy Blue (Navy Blue Americolor Gel Paste)
 - White
 - Gray (Mix a small piece of black and green fondant with a bigger piece of white fondant)
 - Black
Round Cutter
Rolling Pin
Pairing Knife
Nylon Paintbrush
Water

Step 1:
Shape your yellow fondant into balls and gradually form them into small ovals and start making the arms as well. It's work from color to color to avoid washing hands from time to time. Cut out blue fondant parts and start assembling using your brush and water.


Step 2:
Start adding the eyes, the frame of their glasses and most of the black parts and assemble.



Step 3:

Once all the parts are complete, let them set in a cool dry place. I took a photo beside the gel coloring to show the size. It's around 1-1.5 inches tall. 


These cupcakes were ordered together with this cake: 

Spot the tiny extra minion topper I added! :D

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