Thursday, 1 August 2013

Frosted red velvet layer cake

Frosted red velvet layer cake recipe

Check it Here! 


  1. 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  2. 235g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  3. 400g caster sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 4 large free-range eggs, separated
  6. 30g cornflour
  7. 1 tbsp baking powder
  8. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  9. 235ml buttermilk
  10. 60ml red food colouring (we like Silver Spoon)
  11. 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
  12. 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  13. For the frosting
  14. 300ml double cream
  15. 600g full-fat cream cheese (we like Philadelphia, see Tip)
  16. 500g mascarpone
  17. 300g icing sugar
  18. White chocolate holly leaves and gold sugared almonds to decorate


  • 1. To make the sponges, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4, then grease, dust with flour and base-line 3 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and caster sugar together with an electric hand whisk for 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • 2. In a second large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornflour, baking powder and cocoa. In a third bowl, mix the buttermilk with the red food colouring. Sift a third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then pour in a third of the buttermilk and mix together until just combined. Repeat this process with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk.
  • 3. In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form fairly firm peaks. Add to the cake mixture, a quarter at a time, folding gently with a large metal spoon until just incorporated.
  • 4. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda until it bubbles. Gently fold into the cake mixture, then quickly pour into the tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the middle of each sponge comes out clean.
  • 5. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Cut each sponge in half horizontally to create 6 rounds.
  • 6. To make the frosting, whip the cream in a large bowl until you have medium-firm peaks, then set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone and icing sugar together until stiff, then fold through the whipped cream.
  • 7. To assemble the cake, put a sponge on a platter and spread with a layer of frosting. Top with a second sponge, then repeat until all 6 sponges are layered with frosting. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake, smoothing with a palette knife as you go. Finally, decorate the top with white chocolate holly leaves and gold sugared almonds. Chill the cake for a few hours before slicing; it will keep in the fridge for four days.

Chicken drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks

Check it Here!


  1. 8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 8 tbsp tomato ketchup
  4. 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  5. 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  6. 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1 garlic clove, crushed


  • 1. Score each piece of chicken 2 or 3 times with a knife. Put all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • 2. Add the chicken and stir until covered – use your hands to work the marinade into the chicken. Cover and chill for 15-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°c/fan180°c/gas 6.
  • 3. Put the chicken in a heavy-based ovenproof dish and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve, keeping a few, chilled, for your child’s lunchbox.

Sweet and spicy chicken quesadillas recipe

Sweet and spicy chicken quesadillas recipe

Check it Here!


  1. 4 corn tortillas
  2. 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  3. 100g roast chicken slices
  4. 100g Monterey Jack 1840 Grated Cheese
  5. 1-2 tbsp sliced pickled green jalapeƱo peppers
  6. ½ x 200g pot sour cream and chive dip to serve


  • 1. Spread 2 tortillas with sweet chilli sauce.
  • 2. Tear the chicken into pieces, then divide between the tortillas.
  • 3. Scatter over the cheese and jalapeƱos, then top each with another tortilla.
  • 4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan and cook each quesadilla over a fairly high heat for 2 minutes on each side until crusty and golden on the outside and hot and melting on the inside.
  • 5. Cut into quarters and serve with the sour cream dip.

Where to go during long weekends

Barasoain Church, Bulacan
Check it Here!

The main altar of the historic Barasoain Church is a mute witness to the tumultuous events that gave birth to the Philippines as a sovereign and independent nation.





Camp O'Donnel, Tarlac  

Check it Here!

This the American sector of the war memorial taken on May 2007.


Where to go during long weekends

Subic, Zambales
Check it Here!

The perfect beach as seen in Club Morocco in Subic, Zambales. Subic is often used as a general term for the harbor in Subic Bay.





Hidden Valley Springs, Laguna 

Check it Here!


Hidden Valley Springs is a hot springs resort located in Calauan, Laguna, Philippines. The valley nestles at the foot of Mt. Makiling.


Where to go during long weekends

Tagaytay, Batangas
Check it Here! 

Tagaytay is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations due to its outstanding scenery and cooler climate.




 Tanghalang Maria Makiling, Laguna 

Check it Here! 

This is a National Arts Center structure designed by National Artist Leandro V. Locsin located in the slopes of Mount Makiling in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines.



Where to go during long weekends

Laiya, Batangas
Nice place check it here!

Laiya is an area in San Juan, Batangas that is famous for its beautiful resorts.




 Clark Air Field, Pampanga 

Nice place check it here!


This photo was taken during the 14th Hot Air Balloon Festival held in Clark Air Field, Pampanga on February 13 to 15, 2009.

Where to go during long weekends

Anawangin Cove, Zambales 

Anawangin is a crescent shaped cove in San Antonio, Zambales, that is famous for the lush pine forest surrounding its white-sand beach.



 Taal Volcano 

Nice info Here!


The Taal volcano undoubtedly gives a unique appeal to onlookers as it poses an extraordinary landscape for a volcano. Acquiring the title for the smallest volcano in the world.


'Hyper-local' news coming to Google Now

'Hyper-local' news coming to Google Now 

Google is working on a feature that would push stories relevant to a user's location direct to their smartphones and tablets in order to build greater community bonds and encourage people to take a greater involvement in their neighborhoods.
Google Now was one of the standout features of the latest version of the Android operating system (Jelly Bean) and is a contextually aware program that understands a user's likes, dislikes, routine and physical location and uses that information to automatically push relevant information to his or her device.
Since its launch a year ago, it has already received a number of updates: it already has the ability to analyze emails and calendar appointments in order to automatically service up a weather forecast or traffic news that could mean being late for an appointment. Earlier this month, it also rolled out beyond Android devices as a standalone app for Apple's iPhones and iPads. And now Google is planning to add local news into the already growing mix of features its offers.
Already being tested in closed beta -- meaning that only Google employees and invited individuals are trying it out -- Johanna Wright, Google's vice president of search and assist, says that if the feature is officially rolled out, it will serve up news on a "hyper-local" level. That could mean a report specific to a street corner, rather than to an area code or city.
As she explained in an interview with Quartz, its ultimate goal will be to teach people more about their neighborhoods and maybe even get them actively involved in their communities: "It teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son's school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It's very, very targeted to you and your interests."

Google+ trends: Samsung beat out Apple in consumer survey

The Samsung Galaxy S3 

On Thursday, August 1, Google+ users are buzzing about news that the Samsung Galaxy S3 beat Apple's iPhone 5 in a US consumer satisfaction survey.
The survey, conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index and released July 31, found that in terms of consumer satisfaction, the Samsung Galaxy S3 rated higher than Apple's iPhone 5.
Each phone was assigned a score on a scale of 0-100, the Galaxy S3 was awarded 84, the Galaxy Note 2 also scored 84. Apple's iPhone 5 came in third place with a score of 82, the 4S also scored 82 and the iPhone 4 came fifth with a score of 81.
Google+ users, and presumably fans of Samsung, are sharing the news under Thursday's third-placed trending topic "Galaxy S3."
Elsewhere on Google+ users of the social network are sharing images of leaves under "#LeavesOnThursday".
Under this hashtag Micha Fire shared an image of a vaguely heart shaped leaf and Ray Bilcliff shared an image of a butterfly resting on a leaf.
The top 5 most talked about topics on Google+ on August 1 at 9:00 AM GMT are:
01.   #LeavesOnThursday02.   #Pictures03.   Galaxy S304.   #TravelThursday05.   Mariano Rajoy

Beauty Supplements that Actually Work


We're sure we're not alone in wishing for a pill that'll magically make our skin, hair and nails look picture perfect. Even though that (sadly!) doesn't exist, there are certain supplements that can help boost your beauty routine-though it's definitely better to get your nutrients from food sources, says Jessica Wu, MD, Los Angeles-based dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face.
Here, get the skinny on what supplements can make your hair thicker, your nails stronger, your skin more radiant and more. Just remember that it's best to check with your doctor before you start adding supplements to your diet.

Fish Oil for Clearer Skin
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements are a natural anti-inflammatory-meaning that they can help calm broken out skin, says Wu. Plus, they can also decrease a hormone that's associated with both oil production and clogged pores, two culprits behind unsightly spots. Wu recommends taking one to two teaspoons of a liquid fish oil supplement, which your stomach absorbs better than pills, in the morning, 10 minutes before eating breakfast.
Bonus: Not only have fish oil supplements been linked to clearer skin, but they've also been shown to help replenish your skin's moisture-perfect if you have eczema or tend to be extremely dry, says Wu. You'll look more radiant thanks to the natural oils found in the supplements.
Iron for More Luxurious Locks
"Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of thinning hair in otherwise healthy women," says Wu. It's no wonder, really, considering we lose iron every time we get our period (thanks, Mother Nature!). To keep your hair thick, strong, and healthy, try to eat more iron-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, and consider taking an iron supplement or a multivitamin that contains iron, suggests Wu.

Biotin for Stronger Nails
If your nails are constantly breaking and flaking, considering adding a biotin supplement to your diet. It'll help you grow healthier nails (and hair), and will keep dry, brittle nails from ruining your next manicure.
Lycopene for Sun Protection
"There are lots of studies on how eating tomatoes can help you fight sunburn and sun damage," says Wu. "We think that that may be because tomatoes have a high level of lycopene antioxidant, and you can get lycopene supplements." Just remember that filling up on lycopene doesn't mean you can skip slathering on sunscreen!
Probiotics for A Healthier Scalp
If you suffer from embarrassing, itchy dandruff, you might want to consider taking a probiotic supplement. Some evidence shows that these supplements can help soothe and balance a scaly scalp, says Wu.

Bad Breath's Surprising Remedy 

 It's something no one likes to talk about. It's embarrassing to tell someone they have it, and very embarrassing if you have it: Bad breath!

Clinically known as halitosis, bad breath can affect anyone. We’ll tell you the most common cause of bad breath, and one simple solution to help you control it. That's the subject of today's Just Explain It.

Americans spent billions of dollars on dental care in 2010, according to a study by the Pew Center on the States. However after all that money, most people will continue to battle bad breath.

We all know onions or garlic can contribute to bad breath, but did you know that even when food is digested and then processed through your bloodstream, odors could be released from your lungs as you exhale?

Other causes of bad breath include heartburn and acid reflux. Tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, can also make a mouth smell not so fresh. Tonsil stones are calcified deposits of bacteria, food particles and dead cells that form in the crevasses of the tonsils.

Some serious causes of bad breath can include sinus infections, bronchitis, and problems with the liver and kidneys.

But the culprits for the overwhelmingly majority of people are strong-smelling food or drink, or bacteria.

Every mouth naturally has bacteria in it, each with its own combination of 100-200 types. If you think that’s a lot, scientists have identified about a thousand types of bacteria that can inhabit a mouth and affect the way it smells.

When you eat, bacteria begin to process food, including the food particles left behind after your meal. And that creates odor and more bacteria.

But the fact is, it’s the type and not the amount of bacteria that’s the cause. A mouth without bad breath, has a balance of odor-causing and non-odor-causing bacteria. If odor-causing bacteria overruns other bacteria, then that person will have unpleasant smelling breath.

A dry mouth is another cause of odor-creating bacteria. Saliva doesn't just keep your mouth hydrated, it also cleans out food and dead cells, and fights the growth of bacteria. Because we don't produce as much saliva when we sleep, our mouths can dry out, and create more bacteria which causes morning breath. Consuming alcohol, smoking, some medications and even coffee can cause a dry mouth, too.

So, how do you control the bacteria? We all know water has good health benefits, but it also does a couple of surprising things for your breath. Water hydrates the mouth and contains oxygen and that helps deter the growth of bacteria. Water also stimulates saliva which fights bacteria, it can also restore your mouth’s pH levels and remove food particles stuck in your mouth.

Have some more water throughout the day and you'll be able to stay on top of those hundreds of types of bacteria, and hopefully have fresh breath.

What do you think? Are you surprised that water can be so helpful in fighting bad breath? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter using #JustExplainItNews.