Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

I'm feeling a bit lazy today...maybe because it's a Saturday. So...what to bake when not really feeling up to it?? Oh I know...Cookies! I used the recipe in my Professional Baking book by Wayne Gisslen but I divided it by four.

BUTTER, unsalted 90 grams
BROWN SUGAR 75 grams
SALT 2 grams
EGG 1 piece
WATER 15 ml
Cream Butter and sugars using the paddle attachment of Kitchenaid mixer. Add egg, vanilla extract and water. Continue beating. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add into egg mixture and mix using the lowest setting. When flour has been absorbed set to medium until well combined. Turn off mixer. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, leave spaces in between. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 15 minutes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Mommy! is my mom's 61st birthday. Like all my sisters, she also has a sweet tooth, she loves chocolate as much as I do so I made her a chocolate mint cake with a rich fudge sauce. I got the recipe somewhere on the internet, it got rave reviews so I tried it myself. The first recipe is for the chocolate mayonnaise cake (yes, instead of eggs and butter--mayonnaise is used). The second recipe is for the fudge frosting that I used to cover my cake. The cake didn't rise as high as I was expecting, but the moistness is worth it.

All-purpose flour 2 cups
Granulated sugar 1 cup
Cocoa Powder 1/3 cup
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
Baking soda 1 teaspoon
Mayonnaise 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Grease and line bottom of 9" round cake pan.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda. Using the paddle attachment of kitchenaid mixer, combine mayonnaise, cold water and vanilla to dry ingredients. Beat until smooth (around 4 minutes). Pour into prepared pan and bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cut cake into 2 layers. On first layer, put chocolate covered mints and return to oven for 4 minutes until chocolate is melted, spread evenly with a spatula and cover with second cake layer. Cool completely.

Cocoa Powder 6 tablespoons
White sugar 2 cups
Milk 2/3 cup
Butter 1/2 cup
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Combine ingredients in saucepan over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat allowing mixture to boil gently 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and cool before beating in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with paddle attachment on kitchenaid mixer until thick enough to spread without running off the cake. Spread over top and sides of cooled cake

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal is a recipe that comes from the south of the Philippines. Chicken is marinated in annato oil, lemongrass, vinegar, soy sauce and other seasonings before being barbecued while continually being brushed with annato oil. Traditionally, it is served with sinamak which is vinegar with garlic, chili, and other spices.

Chicken (cut into quarters)
Lemon grass 1 bundle
Soysauce 1/4 cup
Vinegar 1/4 cup
Fish sauce (patis) 2 tablespoons
Annato 2 tablespoons
Canola Oil 1/4 cup
Black Peppercorn 1 tablespoon

Make annato oil by heating canola oil in a pot, adding annato and cooking just until oil colors. Drain and discard seeds. Marinate chicken in annato oil, soysauce, fishsauce, vinegar, crushed lemongrass(white part only) and black peppercorn overnight. Preheat grill and cook chicken 5 minutes each side, if chicken is still raw, add another 3 minutes on each side. Baste chicken with marinade while grilling. Serve hot with rice and sinamak vinegar.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dreams are Made of These

My sister sent me a box of Anthon Berg chocolates. But the're not just chocolates. They're made of my favorite coffee and dark chocolates. They come in teeny cup shapes. There is an espresso-filled one, another one is cappuccino, the third one is toffee macchiato and last but not the least vanilla frappe.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ratatouille--Philippine Style

Pinakbet is a lot like ratatouille, except that in my opinion, it's tastier. My Ilocano grandmother always made hers the traditional way, no sauteeing, just piling the vegetables in a deep pan, drizziling it with fish bagoong--cover and cook until vegetables are tender. I like making mine the modern way. I saute onions, tomatoes and garlic and then I add vegetables. I also like topping mine with chicharon (pork crackling), bagnet (Ilocano version) is still the best but ordinary chicharon will do. Before i work with eggplant and ampalaya, i slice them first and sprinkle a bit of iodized salt, leave them for 5 minutes then rinse. This is to remove the bitterness.

Red Onion, sliced thinly 1 piece
Tomatoes, sliced into wedges 2 pieces
Garlic cloves, minced 8 pieces
Baby eggplants, sliced into quarters lengthwise 5 pieces
Baby ampalaya (bitter gourd), sliced lengthwise 4 pieces
Okra, sliced into half crosswise 10 pieces
Squash, peeled and cubed 100 grams
String beans 100 grams
Canola Oil 2 tablespoons
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bagoong (Shrimp paste) 2 teaspoons
Wash vegetables. Slice amplaya legthwise, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, sprinkle salt and leave for five minutes, rinse. Slice eggplants into quarters and sprinkle with salt, leave for 5 minutes then rinse. Set aside. Peel and slice squash into cubes.
Preheat pan with canola oil, add sliced onions and cook until fragrant and translucent. Add tomatoes (cut into wedges) and continue cooking. When tomatoes have broken down, add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add squash, ampalaya, eggplants, okra and string beans. Cover pan and let cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock (about 1/4 cup) and bagoong. Cover and cook until vegetables have softened around 10 minutes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's for Lunch Today?

It's another holiday here in Manila. And that means all my brothers and sisters are home for lunch. M asked me if I could cook something nice for lunch, I decided to make aligue (crabfat) pasta. I added fresh chili to it and topped it with shrimps and crabmeat. Aligue can be bought in bottles here in Manila. I bought mine from Rustan's Supermarket in Powerplant.

Aligue (crabfat) 1 bottle
Garlic, minced 3 tablespoons
Calamansi juice 1/4 cup
Olive Oil 2 tablespoons
Crab meat 8 sticks
Shrimps 1/4 kilo
Angel Hair pasta 250 grams

Preheat pan with Olive oil, add minced garlic and chili, saute until fragrant, do not brown. Pour in crabfat and cook for 2 minutes. Add calamansi juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add crabmeat and shrimps and cook just until shrimps turn pink. Add in cooked pasta and stir until coated with sauce.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I just had to try out a new deli that opened a stone's throw away from where I work. The facade was very clean and attractive and the whole "deli" vibe was inviting my curiosity. So after work last night, we took the plunge and tried it. I was surprised when we went in and everyone seemed to be busy minding other things. It was as if the "soft opening" signage gave the staff an excuse to be unattentive. After wandering for a few minutes along the aisles of mostly Australian goodies, a kind waiter came over and told us that more merchandise was available upstairs so off we went and I was pleasantly surprised to find kitchen equipment was also for sale. I zeroed in on a silicone-handled pair of tongs and asked how much it was. It took them almost the entire duration of my stay there to inform me that there was no price for it yet and so they cant sell it to me! Nevermind, I came to try the food anyways. We tried the pasta, I ordered the Sausage pasta with Italian chili sausage and red sauce and my cousin M tried the Sausage pasta in cream sauce. We were the only dining customers at this point but our orders took very long. We werent disappointed though, my pasta looked and tasted good. I just hope that next time I go back there, they have ironed things out and everything will be smooth.

Italian Chili Sausage Pasta in Tomato Sauce

Sausage Pasta in Cream Sauce

Friday, August 22, 2008

Calamansi Streusel Bars

Everytime I come across a lemon bar it gets me thinking if I can use calamansi instead. So, for today's recipe, I substituted calamansi instead of lemon and instead of just sprinkling powdered sugar on top, I made a streusel. The final outcome looked really nice, and yes...calamansi can be used instead of lemon :)

Calamansi Streusel Bars

Butter 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar 1/4 cup
All-Purpose Flour 1 cup
Salt 1/8 tsp

Using the paddle attachment to fyour Kitchenaid mixer, cream butter and sugar until light. Add in flour and salt and beat until dough comes together. Pat evenly on the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Bake in a 350 degree farenheit preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Sugar 1 cup
Eggs 2 pieces
Calamansi Juice 2 tablespoons
All-purpose Flour 2 tablespoons

Beat eggs and sugar together using the paddle attachment of Kitchenaid mixer until light and fluffy. Pour in calamansi juice and continue beating, until well incorporated. Add the flour and beat for another minute. Pour filling into baked crust. Sprinkle streusel on top, pieces may sink into filling. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool before slicing, sprinkle with icing sugar

Butter 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
All-purpose flour 1/2 cup

Mix all ingredients by hand until lumps are formed. Be careful not to let butter become too soft.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Logganisa Quiche

Quiche (KEESH) consists of a pastry shell filled with a savory custard made of eggs, cream, seasonings and various other ingredients. It originated in northeastern France, the most famous being Quiche Lorraine (crisp bacon bits and Gruyere cheese in the filling). I wanted to give mine a Filipino flavor so I decided to use Lucban longganisa as flavoring. I also used the easiest pie dough recipe which is the 3-2-1 pie dough recipe, 3 parts flour-2 parts butter-1 part liquid.


All-Purpose Flour 120 grams
Butter 80 grams
Water, cold 40 ml

Place flour in bowl, cut butter into small pieces and rub into flour, until it resembles coarse crumbs, pour water and pat just until mixture comes together. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Longganisa, Vigan 1 pack
Cheddar Cheese, grated 1 cup
All-Purpose Cream 1/2 cup
Eggs, beaten 8 pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Butter baking dish. Roll out dough to about 1/4 of an inch and carefully line the bottom of the baking dish, trim off excess dough. Set aside. Remove longganisa from casing, crumble and cook in half an inch of water. Cook until water has dried up and longganisa is frying in its own oil. Fry until brown but not crispy. Remove from heat, drain off excess oil, set aside. Beat eggs, cheese and all-purpose cream, add longganisa and pour into crust. Bake for 40 minutes until center is set. Serve hot.

Rainy Days Are Here Again...

Yes, it's official, another typhoon is going to hit the Philippines. I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy downpour. I don"t like rain. Just like what the song says "...rainy days and Mondays always get me down..." I want to curl up in bed and read a good book until the rain stops. And I'd like to eat a big bowl of my favorite pasta...

Canola Oil 2 Tablespoons
Garlic, minced 2 Tablepoons
Anchovies, flat fillet 60 grams
Crushed Tomatoes 500 grams
Olives, black 100 grams
Capers 60 grams
Preheat heavy pan with canola oil, add in garlic and anchovies, saute until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in olives and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes and serve over hot pasta.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Banana Almond Raisin Loaf

I think the best bananas come from the Philippines. And it's available here all-year fact I have banana stalks (trees) beside my house. So it's but natural, that I also like making banana bread--my dad is a connoiseur when it comes to banana breads. But it's been a long time since I've baked one. So today, I've decided to test if my banana bread recipe is as good as it once was. Dad said it's the best he has eaten...and that's not just because he's my dad!


BUTTER, unsalted 1/2 cup
EGGS 2 pieces
BANANAS, ripe and mashed 3 pieces
All-Purpose Flour 2 cups
Baking Soda 1 teaspoon
Baking Powder 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teapsoon
Almonds, chopped 1/2 cup
Raisins 1/4 cup
Plain Yogurt 1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Grease and line a 9x5 loaf pan (I used 2 smaller ones)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs one a t a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed bananas and yogurt. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend in banana mixture just until combined (batter does not have to be smooth) Fold in raisins and nuts. Bake for 60 minutes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Buco Pie

My sister M came to me last Friday with a special request. She wanted to bake buco pie with me--she said she was going to be home on Monday because it was a holiday here in the Philippines. Everytime any of my sisters or brothers come to me with a request that combines two of my favorite things (family and baking) I always cave in.

Buco is the meat of a young coconut. It's widely available in markets here in the Philippines. Buco pie is a staple dessert in many of the restaurants here. Some are really good while the others are filled with cornstarch thickened goo with a few pieces of buco meat. My sister asked me to make this recipe which they did in Home Economics class (...I miss highschool) This one is promising because it doesnt contain cornstarch at all and there's lots of buco meat :)


All-purpose Flour 3 cups
Salt 1 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening 3/4 cup (I used real butter)
Water, iced 1/3 cup

Sift all purpose flour, set aside. Dissolve salt in water. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into flour. Rub butter between hands and continue until butter is the size of peas (I'm making a mealy pie dough). Add water, do not knead dough. Just combine until dough comes together. Pat into a disc and wrap with wax paper. Refrigerate while making pie filling.

Buco meat 2 cups
Granulated Sugar 3/4 cup
All-purpose Flour 1/2 cup
Coconut water 1/2 cup
Evaporated milk 1/2 cup
Dissolve sugar in Coconut water, Add flour and continue whisking, pour in evaporated milk. Whisk until no lumps remain, transfer to a pot and cook over medium heat stirring the bottom of the pan with a silicone spatula. Cook until thick about 5 minutes. Add in buco meat and continue for another 5 minutes until very thick. Take off heat and cool.

Divide dough. Roll out half of dough into 1/4 inch thick round. Making sure dough does not stick to bottom by moving it. Dough has to be rolled out from the middle outwards. Carefully lift dough and drop carefully onto prepared pie pan. Do not pull sides. Pat to adhere to sides. Pour in cooled filling.
At this point you can decorate the top of the pie any way you want. I made mine a lattice. I rolled out the remaining pie dough and cut it into equal sized strips
and made a lattice design for my top crust. Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 40 minutes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Turon with Caramel Sauce

Turon (Fried bananas wrapped in lumpia or springroll wrappers) is a definite Pinoy comfort food. There's nothing like eating turon right after a meal of liempo and rice. I tried making my turon more to my liking by adding a caramel sauce and drizzling it on top.

Saging na Saba 3 pieces
Canola Oil 1/2 cup
Lumpia wrappers 6 pieces
Jackfruit 6 pieces, cut into strands

Sugar 1/2 cup
All purpose Cream 1/2 cup

Peel and cut bananas lengthwise. Cut wrappers into halves. Preheat pan with canola oil. Lay one piece banana on a wrapper, put jackfruit strands on top. Wrap securely and seal with water. Fry turon until golden brown.

Make sauce by cooking sugar in a heavy pot until cramelized, do not stir. When no lumps remain, take off heat and add cold cream, whisk until smooth. Drizzle over turon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

I tweaked a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and made it my own by adding powdered coffee, this always disappears faster than I can bake them. Im going to post the pictures later on but here is the recipe :)
Butter, unsweetened 1 cup (1 bar)
Brown Sugar, firmly packed 3/4 cup
White Sugar 3/4 cup
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
Eggs 2 pieces
All-purpose Flour 2 1/4 cups
Baking Soda 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Powdered Coffee 1 tablespoon
Chocolate Chips 1 cup
Walnuts, chopped 1 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit, line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using paddle attachment of Kitchenaid mixer beat butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla and eggs until light and fluffy. Add in flour, baking soda and salt and coffee. Mix well. Remove from mixer, scrape sides and stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dark Fantasies

Whenever I have a craving for chocolate, it's always the dark ones that tempt me. I love all kinds but when I really really want chocolate, I find myself rummaging through my dad's stash in the fridge...look what I came up with today!!! So I'm going to indulge myself and hopefully not finish all these by myself!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Curried Carrot Soup

Rainy days always make me want to stay home and curl up with a good book (I can always read the Twilight series again) but of course I can't do that, I'd still have to go to work--the responsibilities of being an adult :)
I just need a really hot soup (preferably thick and filling) before I head out the door with my umbrella and brave the rain. This carrot soup hasn't failed as a rainy day comfort food.
Carrots, peeled, diced 1/2 kilo
Onion, peeled and minced 1 piece
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Chicken stock 750 ml
Tomato paste 15 grams
Curry powder 2 teaspoons
Bayleaf, dried 1 piece
Canola oil, 30 ml
Preheat heavy pot with canola oil, saute onions, garlic and carrots, add in curry powder, bayleaf and tomato paste. Cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant and paste is cooked. Pour in Chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes. Take off heat, and puree using blender. Strain through a sifter making sure that soup is smooth and lump-free. Bring back to heat, taste and season. Serve hot with a slice of warm focaccia.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When Toast Isn't Enough

I usually just have toast and egg for breakfast but there are days when toast just isn't enough and that's when a hot plate of eggs (over cooked until the edges curl up in golden brown perfection) and our family's version of carne frita is the best alternative. I don't remember not having this kind of breakfast while I was growing up. My grandmother used to marinate a big batch and just fry as needed. Waking up to the smell of frying carne frita brings me back to my childhood.
Sirloin, thinly sliced

Soy sauce


Calamansi (a type of Philippine lemon)

Garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until meat is coated with the mixture. Marinate overnight. Fry in very hot oil and serve with eggs for a great breakfast :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Almond Gateau with Praline Buttercream--July Daring Bakers' Challenge

...I finally made it!! Because of my crazy schedule I wasnt able to post my Almond Gateau in time but I persevered and I finally did it. It was a very complicated cake, with so many components but it tasted really great. I probably won't be making this cake anytime soon again but I have to admit it's one of the best tasting cakes I've ever made!!

I used almonds instead of filberts because they're hard to find here in Manila. I used rum for my flavoring. I almost cried when I was making the buttercream because it looked like curdled cheese at first but I kept on mixing it with the paddle attachment and the final product looked great.