Chocolate Cake and Le Butter

Dear future self,

Just a piece of advice: Always remember that in order to make buttercream frosting, you’ll need to use butter. Hahaha!

Sincerely,

Me.

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I only had about two hours to bake and prepare a homemade chocolate cake for my younger brother who was coming home from a retreat in the province. I wanted it to be a surprise because we weren’t able to personally surprise him on the day of his birthday since he was out of town. So, I hurriedly prepared the cake batter and frosting, baked the cake and cupcakes, and frosted them just in time.

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While I was making the frosting, I noticed that unlike the other batches of frosting that I made, this batch produced fewer cups. I felt that something was missing, but because I didn’t have much time, I continued to frost the cakes. The frosting was very smooth, chocolaty, and creamy! It tasted like melted ice cream and it had just the right amount of sweetness!

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After eating dinner with the family at home, we brought the cake and cupcakes out and greeted our brother, Gabo, a happy birthday! By God’s grace, the freshly baked cakes were light, fluffy, and moist and the family appreciated how the frosting complemented the chocolate cakes. Of course, Gabo also pointed out that we used his favorite brand of milk chocolate on the cake and I think he was happy about it. Yay! Haha.

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When it was time to clear the table and clean the dishes, I placed some of the cupcakes and cake in the refrigerator and stored the leftover frosting in a small plastic container. Just before rinsing the rubber spatula that I used, I dipped my finger on the remaining chocolate frosting on it and tasted it one last time before the night ended. I couldn’t believe it. Immediately, I blurted out “Shucks. The butter. I forgot to add the butter!”

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It was hilarious because earlier that day, I even made an extra effort to buy more unsalted butter for the cake that I was going to make and I forgot to use it. Hahaha! I felt bad at first because it wasn’t the frosting that I originally wanted to make, but at the same time, I was grateful for it because it was a new discovery for me!

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When I told my family about it, I also mentioned that I was actually planning on using 1 cup of butter for the butter cream frosting. And when they heard “1 cup” they immediately said “Then, it was a good thing that you forgot to add it. Haha.”

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I love how God uses even the simplest mistakes made in the kitchen to remind me of how His grace is always more than enough for me. I was tempted to feel bad because I wasn’t able to use butter cream frosting for the cake, but at that moment, that melted-ice-cream frosting was THE frosting that God wanted us to taste and enjoy. Plus, although it would probably taste delicious too, we were spared from indulging on butter that night. Alright!

It was a great reminder for me to keep on trusting that God is in control, that He knows exactly what I need, and that He is always more than enough for me. :)

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”

[Proverbs 19:21]

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To my younger bro, ‘Gaboot’,

You’re now 21 years old. Woohoo! We’ve had so many crazy moments together since we were kids and I know that we will continue to be crazy when we get older. But, by God’s grace, I’ve seen you become more mature in different aspects and it has been a blessing for me to see you grow. I pray that God would continue to give you the desire to know, love, and serve Him all the days of your life. May He use you even more to reach out to others and share the love of Christ to those around you. And even though this stage in your life might be quite challenging, I believe that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Psalm 105:4!

Lurve,

Le Butter. (HAHA. *inside joke*)

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CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES*

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

4 eggs

1 cup plain sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir the flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Mix in the butter until the ingredients are well-combined.
  4. Add in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners and bake for about 15 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center of the cupcakes if they’re done.
  6. Cool completely before frosting. I used Cadbury milk chocolate to design the cake too!

 

*Recipe adapted from http://bakingamoment.com

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CHOCOLATE FROSTING**

1 cup milk

2/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

  1. Mix the milk, white sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in a pan.
  2. Bring it to a boil while stirring, until the mixture is thick. Set aside to cool.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Set aside to slightly cool.
  4. Whisk the chocolate mixture in step 1 with the softened butter, until creamy.
  5. Add in the melted chocolate. Whisk until fluffy and well-combined.

**Recipe adapted from http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Celebrating with Strawberry Cake

Last Wednesday, I was thinking of baking Strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting for today’s blog entry. I wanted to bake a cake because it was my way of celebrating God’s goodness in my life. After eight months, He has answered one of my major prayer requests and I am very, very grateful! By God’s grace, today marks my first day at work! Woohoo!

strawberry cake
strawberry cake

After purchasing the ingredients last Wednesday, my mom and sister suggested that I bake on Thursday instead because it was already getting late. At first, I was hesitant because I wanted to bake already, however, I eventually agreed.

After a few minutes, I realized that I didn’t have parchment paper at home! I knew that I couldn’t bake the cake without it because the batter would just stick to the pan after baking and it would just end up in a mess. I was actually tempted to use wax paper; but, I knew that it would not stand the heat of the oven. It was obvious that in order for me to produce the best cake possible, I had to wait until the next day to buy parchment paper.

“Okay, Lord, I will wait.” I whispered before going to bed.

The next day, I immediately made phone calls and asked if certain stores were selling that type of paper. There was a time when I was already losing hope because it seemed like I was never going to get it. I told God something like this: “Lord, I really want to bake this cake today. I know that if it’s your will, you would provide the parchment paper. But, I thank you still, because I even have this opportunity to bake. Thank you, in advance, because I know that you will provide and make this a beautiful cake.”

I tried making a few more calls after praying and finally, I was able to find parchment paper in one of the nearby stores! Woohoo!

While I was already baking the cake, I was thanking God for being so awesome that day. Then, I realized that he actually allowed me to go through the “parchment paper hunting” experience to remind me of how the past eight months have been for me (and my job hunting). Talk about perfect timing!

strawberry cake batter
strawberry cake batter

I want to share snippets from my journal (conversations with God) about my job hunting experience, so you can understand my situation more. :P

November 8, 2011 12:04pm

…I’m feeling a bit sad because I still don’t have work… But, I thank you because even if I don’t see how things will work out, I still believe in your faithfulness…

strawberry puree
strawberry puree

December 8, 2011 4:00pm

…Sometimes, I’m still tempted to sulk and to compare myself to others. Some of my friends already have work and I wonder why I still don’t have a job. *sigh* But, you continue to remind me to trust in You and I do trust in you. Thank you for speaking to me again through your word and reminding me that I have hope in you. I just pray that I would continue to have the desire to love you more than anything/anyone else…

January 8, 2012

Pastor Peter asked us: “If you had one request to ask from God, what would it be?” Of course, I remembered my prayer request to have a job. However, you reminded me that that one request actually shows what is most important in my life. And Lord, more than asking for a job, I want to request that I may be more intimate with You in this waiting period. You are more important than my future job…

February 8, 2012 10:53am

…No work yet. But, by Your grace, I can say that I am actively waiting for the best first job you have for me. Thank you also for reminding me of your promises in the Bible and helping me dwell on your different characteristics…

March 8, 2012 10:15 am

I want to work… But, even if you don’t answer my prayer immediately, I still choose to thank you, Lord. I trust you so much. You are in control.

One of the things that I learned from 2 Samuel 2 today is to always seek your opinion first before making decisions. For the past months, I’ve had the opportunities to be interviewed by different companies, but somehow, you still haven’t given me the blessing. Please continue to give me wisdom…

April 8, 2012

(Our family was touring Singapore and sadly, I wasn’t able to write in my journal and read the Bible that day. Although I had some prayer time with God, I still missed the privilege of learning from his word. Looking back, I realized that God never changes. Even if I sometimes am unfaithful in my walk with Him, He still is faithful. He still loves me the same. What an amazing Father! :) )

May 8, 2012

There are times when I still feel pressured by the people around me, especially when they say something like this: “What? Wala ka pang work? Ang tagal mo nang naghahanap ah.” I just laugh when I remember those moments, but, of course, it still stings a bit when I think about it. *Sigh* But, I thank you because you continue to encourage me to continue doing my best in job hunting and to trust in You, my Hope. :)

strawberry cake
strawberry cake

 

I read this in my quiet time “Psalm 21:2 You have given him his heart’s desire” and it reminded me of how you answer prayers. Sometimes, I’m still tempted not to believe it. But, Lord, you are God and I am not. You can do anything.

June 8, 2012

7:23am

Thanks for today! I have an interview later. I’m kind of nervous but, Lord, I will get out of my bed, I will step out in faith and do my best later because I believe if it’s your will for me, you would provide this job for me. You are in control. I read psalm 49 this morning. Thank you for reminding me not to place my security on earthly things. You’re everything, Lord. You know I will praise You no matter what happens today. :)

4:30pm

WOW, LORD. I GOT THE JOB. WOW. WOOOOOOW. o_O Thank you!!! :”)

strawberry cake
strawberry cake

YESSSSSSS!!! After 8 months, more than 60 applications sent, a number of unsuccessful interviews/job applications, a rollercoaster ride (emotionally and spiritually), consultations with God and people around me, etc… God has answered my prayer request to have a job! :) Woohoooooo! :D :) :D :)

strawberry cake
strawberry cake

SO, TODAY, I CELEBRATE AND PRAISE GOD BECAUSE:

1. God is God – He is sovereign. He knows what He is doing. He knows what’s best for me.

2. God’s timing is always perfect – Even if I got the job eight months after my graduation, I can clearly see the reasons why He allowed it to happen; that this is His best for me; and that this is where he wants me to be now.

3. God understands – Throughout the past eight months, He has comforted me in so many ways and He has reassured me of His love for me, especially when I was at my lowest moments.

4. God is faithful – in spite of my unfaithfulness sometimes.

5. God answers prayers – He gave me the desires of my heart: to be more intimate with Him and to have a job. Interestingly, He gave the job to me when my heart was fully surrendered to Him. Only by His grace!

After baking the strawberry cake, I got so amused that I started doing research about strawberries more! According to www.whatscookingamerica.net, strawberries that have been harvested do not ripen. This means that it is important to wait for the strawberries to fully ripen before picking them.

That simple trivia reminded me of how God let me go through the long wait before picking me and placing me in the workplace that I am in right now. I guess He wanted me to be “ripe” first. He wanted me to focus more on Him and have my character molded by Him before giving me the privilege of having work.

Thank You, Lord! You are forever amazing… and I want everyone to know that! :D

Encourage yourself one treat at a time! :)

Recipe by: Brandi from www.lookimadethat.com