Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pop Tarts

After going through a marmalade and jam-making frenzy, I'm now left with a burning question, what pastries to make that I could use the jams with? Thanks to the Daring Bakers, I already had the marmalade tarts, but I still wanted to find more...while browsing the net, I came across this recipe from one of my favorite blogs and this one which is a new revelation, so I decided to try pop tarts.
For the pop-tarts I used my favorite Pineapple-Ginger Jam and I chose to make it more simple by not glazing it afterwards.
They kept surprisingly well...I think this is after 5 days...
And I sliced them, you can see my home made Pineapple-Ginger Jam inside...and so after 5 minutes...

This was all that was left...*burp*

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I've never felt more satisfied with an empty bottle of jam until now. This means I've accomplished my mission for this week which is to finish my Daring Bakers Challenge on time. Things have been very hectic lately and I haven't been blogging as often as I would like to. But today, I found the time and I was able to finish it. This isn't the only batch of crostata I made, this must be the 3rd one but it's the only one I was able to take pictures of--it's that good!
The 2010 November Daring Bakers Challenge was hosted by Simona of briciola. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi's Science in the Kitchen and The Art of Eating Well.
I chose to make version one of the given recipe of pasta frolla to make into Crostata di Marmellata and I filled it using the Mango-Lime Jam that I made.

PASTA FROLLA (version 1)
100 grams superfine sugar
235 grams all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 stick unsaled butter, cold and cut into small pieces
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it. Add the lemon zest to the flour/butter/egg mixture. Use fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients then use your fingertips. Knead lightly until it just comes into a ball. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

I made the pasta frolla by hand and I didn't have any major problems with it, but I had to add a bit of water for the dough to come together. After that, it rolled out nice and easy. I used our drinking glasses to cut the base, lined a greased muffin pan with the pasta frolla before I pricked it with a floured fork and spooned in my filling. I cut the remaining dough into flower shapes and stuck them on top, brushed it with egg wash and baked it for 25 minutes.

And there they are, the finished product. Delicious! Thank you to Simona for this challenge, I discovered another yummy dessert.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking Club November Challenge--Chicken Relleno

Time sure flies fast! Wasn't it just a few months ago when I joined Kulinarya and now here I am co-hosting the challenge for November! When my co-host Annie e-mailed me about this month's theme, we were surprised that we had the same thing in mind, Chicken Relleno. We agreed that great minds think a like (tee-hee!) This dish has been a staple on our family Christmas table for the last 25 years or so but when our dearest friend who used to give it to us passed away a few years back, we have missed it. I know my recipe isn't as good as the one she used to make, but here is my version and tribute to Tita Nene.

Chicken Relleno
Spring Chicken 1 whole
Calamansi 5 pieces, juiced
Salt and Pepper

Ground pork 1/2 kilo
Vienna Sausage 5 pieces, sliced into small cubes
Raisins 1/4 cup
Carrot 1 piece, peeled and minced
Onion, Red 1 piece, peeled and minced
Garlic 4 cloves, peeled and minced
Eggs 2 pieces, harboiled and peeled
Salt and Pepper to taste

Debone spring chicken, leaving the legs and wings intact. Wash the chicken and season the cavity with salt and pepper. Marinate in calamansi juice and leave in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
Mix the filling ingredients together. Make a small patty and fry in hot oil to taste the seasoning, adjust as necessary.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the raw filling, insert the peeled, hardboiled eggs in the center and surround with the remaining filling. Roast in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 1 and a half hour, basting the chicken with melted butter every 15 minutes.
I like serving the chicken when it has cooled down a little so it stays intact when I slice it.
I made the extra filling into embutido, another childhood favorite. I simply rolled it in aluminum foil, wrapped it tightly and steamed it for 1 and a half hours.
Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Dilipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish with their family recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do. If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment--we would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mercato Centrale

I'm so busy these days that I haven't been blogging. But there is a good reason for that, I will be a market stall owner at the newest weekend market in Manila--Mercato Centrale which is opening on Sunday, November 21. For those who are in the Philippines, this is located in Bonifaco Global City, Taguig, beside Bonifacio High Street. See you there!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OCTOBER 2010 DARING BAKERS CHALLENGE: Let's Go Nuts for Doughnuts!

Oh my goodness, it's the end of October already! And it's time for another Daring Bakers' Challenge!
The October 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
When I first read the challenge I thought it would be so easy, after all, we've tackled ice cream, puff pastry, layer cakes, croquembouche and the like..boy was I wrong. I underestimated doughnuts. While my fellow Daring Bakers were uploading pictures of their lovely creations, I was slaving away in my kitchen--desperately trying to save mine. First of all, I didn't realize that I already ran out of flour, and when I was kneading my dough, it dawned on me that my flour was mixed in with some cornstarch. Instead of coming together after kneading for 10 minutes, it became more wet. I didn't have any choice but to go through with it--so I salvaged the mixture and went ahead. And then when it was time to roll it out, it kept sticking on the work table, and I couldnt find my round cookie cutters! So I just did my best to roll them into balls, proofed them for 30 minutes and fried them in hot oil. To my surprise, they came out alright--here's a cross section of the flour-cornstarch donuts.
I sprinkled them with some cinnamon sugar but I wasn't satisfied because of the free-form shapes so I melted bittersweet chocolate and dipped the tops. And they came out better looking. Good enough to post my finished products in the forums.

I had to redeem myself, I won't allow myself to be intimidated by these doughnuts so I bought some flour and did the whole thing again. And this time to my relief, the doughnuts came out more presentable. Here they are, made of all-purpose flour, no cornstarch. The dough was easier to knead and roll out, and I found my cookie cutters so they are really round this time. I glazed the tops with melted bittersweet chocolate, nutella and coffee and decorated it with some poured fondant icing (powdered sugar and milk). They got rave reviews at work, everyone said they tasted so good and couldn't get enough of the glaze.

Thank you Lori for this challenge, which taught me never to underestimate any recipe, be it simple or complicated!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking Club October Challenge--Suman!

I have a confession to make, prior to October's KCC challenge, making suman never really appealed to me. I don't have a particular reason, it's just that cakes and pastries have always been easier and more practical to make (at least for me.) And when thinking of desserts, native kakanin or rice cakes don't automatically come to mind. But thanks to our hosts Sheryl and Divina I'm now compelled to flex my kakanin-making skills!
I wanted to make suman that was entirely mine, so I was racking my brain for inspiration as well as perusing through cookbooks and online recipes. Lo and behold, the answer was right inside the cupboard. I remember buying this variety of Ifugao Mountain Rice on the way back from our province last month and when we cooked it for dinner one night, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that it was actually more like malagkit or glutinous rice than ordinary rice. So we forgot all about it and kept it in the back of the cupboard until I found it the other day and decided to use it for making my suman.
I was winging the recipe so my measurements are not so exact...
Ifugao Mountain Rice 1 cup
Coconut Milk 2 1/2 cups
Sugar 1 cup
Calamansi Peel 1 whole
Calamansi Juice 1 tablespoon
Banana Leaves

Combine uncooked rice, 2 cups coconut milk, sugar and calamansi peel and juice in a pan. Stir over medium heat. Cook mixture until rice has absorbed the coconut milk and is almost dry. Cool Mixture.
Pass banana leaves over open fire to make them pliable. Lay the leaf and spoon enough cooked rice to wrap. Carefully fold banana leaves and tie with extra strips of leaf. Put the parcels in a pot and cover with enough water and the remaining coconut milk. Cook until the liquid has almost dried up, about 40 minutes. Take out the parcels and cool them.

LLook at that color--all natural, no food color added!

They say nice things come in wrapped packages

They are right--Ifugao Mountain Rice Suman!

After I cooked this, I brought it with me to work and shared it with my friends who found the color very appealing. It was different from the usual suman because the rice had a nutty texture to it, otherwise it was very delicious. Oh and when I looked it up, I think this type of rice is called Pirurutong.

Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine.
Each month we will showcase a new dish with their family recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.
If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment--we would love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks October, 2010 Challenge: WE ARE ON A ROLL!

Our October 2010 hostess Lori of Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged the Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Cuisine.
As much as I would have loved to try making dolmades or stuffed grape leaves, I couldn't find the time to comb through Manila looking for the elusive packed grape leaves that I may or may not find. But seeing the other Daring Cooks in my situation found stuffing cabbage leaves as much fun--I proceeded to do the same.
Lori gave as a lot of freedom with this challenge by allowing us to make our own filling. So to go with the cabbage leaves, I chose to make my mine Asian.
Ground Beef 250 grams
Dried Shrimps (hibe), pound finely 30 grams
Uncooked Rice 50 grams
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Red Onions, minced 1/2 piece
Carrots, minced 1 piece
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix until blended. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Cabbage Leaves 1 small head
Carefully peel off the layers making sure they are not torn. Discard first two layers. Boil water and blanch the leaves for 1 minute until just pliable. Lay out on a tray, and finish all the leaves.
Lay one blanched cabbage leaf, roll out a small log of the filling. Carefully roll the cabbage, folding the sides as you go. Lay the rolled leaves packed tightly together in a plastic container and freeze overnight.
Thaw for 10 minutes. Lay them in a pot close together with the seam side down and fill the spaces with carrots. Aside from adding flavor, the carrots will keep the cabbage rolls from unraveling. Fill with chicken stock just enough to cover the rolls. Add in dried chilis. Weigh down with a plate and cook for 40 minutes.
After cooking for 40minutes. I carefully took out the cabbage rolls and set them aside on a plate. I simmered the stock and adjusted the seasoning with salt and pepper. When I was satisfied with the taste, I took out the chilis. I poured the sauce into a blender and pureed the carrots. Then I added the pureed sauce to the cabbage rolls--the sauce took on the orange color of the carrots and made the cabbage rolls more tasty.

I would have to say that cabbage rolls are a revelation to me. I've never made this before and was pleasantly surprised that it was delicious. I brought them to work and ate them for lunch and had more than enough for the next day!

Thank you for this challenge Lori! I really had fun with it and I discovered a new way of cooking cabbages. I may have to hunt down the elusive grape leaves and try making dolmades :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bread of Life

I just love this picture I took in Photography class. I'm inspired to strive, to do better when I look at it. It gives me a lot of inspiration and hope and somehow it just reminds me that I should keep on blogging, keep on practicing--taking pictures...Have a happy Monday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lemon-Raisin Bundt Cake

Did anyone notice it's just 85 days until Christmas? Time has just flown by this year! And you know what that means of course! It's baking season (well of course, it's always been baking season for me but you get my point.)

One of my all-time favorite cake pans is the Bundt pan, the shape just reminds me of all things Christmas-y. So I decided to bake this lemon-raisin cake in a bundt pan to remind me how close the holiday season is.

I believe this cake is called Tassenkuchen but of course I had to give it an easier-to-remember name. :) I got the recipe from another food blog but I tweaked it a little to make it mine.

This smells so delicious while baking and is a dense cake topped with a rich chocolate ganache, perfect for counting down until the Christmas holidays.

Monday, September 27, 2010


The September 2010 Daring Baker's Challenge was hosted by Mandy of "What the Fruitcake?!" Mandy everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on the recipes by Peggy Porschen and the Joy of Baking.
Oh my, it's the end of September already!! And it's time for the Daring Bakers! For this month it was a fun challenge, I'd have to admit this is the first time I've decorated my cookies with icing. When I first read the challenge, I heaved a sigh of relief, no more ice cream! I mean, I love ice cream but it was time for a change. And what a refreshing change this is! I haven't had this much fun baking for a while.
This is by far the best sugar cookie recipe I've tried, I used another recipe of sugar cookies when I baked with some kids from a kinder class and it became unmanageable after a while, but this particular recipe was not as sensitive as that.
Mandy said to decorate the cookies with the theme of September and what it means for each of us, well September is when I start the countdown for my trip to the I made my cookies into marine animal shapes.
And I couldn't resist making flower shapes just because they are cute and girly when decorated with pink :)

Thank you Mandy for this month's challenge, I had a lot of fun and in the process learned to be a bit more patient. Love the cookie recipe!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Simple Tomato Sauce

So I finally made the sauce for my fresh home-made pasta and I decided to make a simple tomato sauce to go with it. This sauce is very easy and can be modified in a lot of ways, meat or seafood and other vegetables can be added to it, but I preferred it this way with just the tomatoes and the basil.
Crushed Tomatoes 400 grams can
Garlic 3 cloves, crushed and minced
Onions, 1 whole, minced
Basil leaves, fresh, chiffonade
Olive Oil, 1tablespoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat pan with oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent and mixture is fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add fresh basil towards the end of cooking. Serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with basil.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking Challenge--FILIPINO-SPANISH DISHES

The Philippines was colonized by Spain for 300 years and their influence in Filipino culture is very much felt in food and religion--I don't want to talk about religion, because this is a food blog so let's focus on food. Even if the Spanish conquistadores have left for many many years, they have left an indelible mark on Filipino cuisine, many of our food have Spanish names and we have very similar dishes. Whereas in classic European cooking they use mirepoix which is a combination of carrots, onions and celery, we use tomatoes, onions and garlic which has been passed on to us by our Spanish colonizers. And one very good example of this is Pochero.
For this month's Kulinarya Cooking Challenge, I made Pochero, the Filipinized version of the Spanish Cocido which is a very similar stew made of chickpeas, potatoes and meat. When I was growing up, we didn't really cook pochero a lot because everyone wanted Nilaga which was a simpler stew made by boiling meat, cabbage, beans and potatoes--kind of like pochero but without the chickpeas and tomato paste. So it was really a treat if pochero was going to be the main dish. That's why I really wanted to cook this, I wasn't disappointed--the combination of the meats and the sausage with the rich tomato soup was delicious!
Chicken thighs 2 pieces
Beef round, cubed 250 grams
Chorizo de Bilbao 1 piece, sliced
Tomatoes, diced 2 pieces
Onions, minced 1 piece
Garlic, minced 3 cloves
Tomato paste, 1 tablespoon
Spring onions, 5 stalks sliced
Red Bellpepper, 1 piece, diced
Cabbage, small quartered
Beans, cleaned and sliced
Potates, 2 boiled
Chickpeas, canned, drained
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a medium pan, cover beef and chicken with enough water and bring to a boil with the spring onions. Cook until beef is tender. The chicken may be taken out first to prevent it from getting too soft and breaking apart. Strain the broth and save for later. Set aside the meats.
In another pan, saute tomatoes, onions and garlic until onions are translucent and the mixture is fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, add the sliced sausages also. Pour in the strained broth. Add the meats and let it simmer. Add the vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Do not overcook the vegetables. Serve hot with rice.
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine.
Each month, we will showcase along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


What in the world is tupig? No it's not two pigs--although that's how it sounds like when you say meat product in there. It's a native rice cake that is common in the northern part of Luzon. It's made of rice flour and coconut and sugar wrapped in banana leaves and grilled. I've almost forgotten how good this is, the aroma of the tupig that I warmed up in the oven toaster was intoxicating. A hundred pieces were sent to us and had to be refrigerated and warmed as needed. I'm going to be a little bit stingy with these--I don't think I've seen any here in Manila and if ever there were, I'm sure it's not as good as the ones from the province.

A warmed-up tupig is excellent when paired with something hot, like tea or coffee--maybe that's just me. You can enjoy it whichever way you want.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The September 2010 Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge the Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John's source for food preservation information was from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Can you believe how fast time is flying? It's whizzing by, I swear. Wasn't it just a few days ago when we made pierogis? And now here we are with the new DC challenge!
I was both intrigued and intimidated when I read about this challenge. First because having been born and bred in a tropical country, home canning was not familiar with me, I don't remember my grandmother canning her vegetables and fruits because they were readily available most times of the year, secondly I'd have to admit, those charts made me dizzy. But after I read of the completed challenges in the forum, I began to see that it wasn't as hard as I initially thought. Thinking that perhaps I should can something I really like, I decided to make the bruschetta in a jar, and it was fun and easy! Now I can't wait to try making the rest of the recipes that John had provided.
I had a problem looking for the canning jars but I finally found two which were so expensive but I bought them just so I can participate. I used green and red tomatoes for my recipe, because I wanted them to look pretty when I plated them, and I wasn't disappointed!
Thank you for this challenge John. I am a convert to preserving food now!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fresh Pasta

I've been wanting to use the pasta maker that was sleeping inside the cupboard for a long time, I just didn't have enough motivation until today. And am I glad, I did! It was the easiest most rewarding thing I've done this week--well except, for the foot spa and shopping trip I did this morning.

What else could be easier than the standard recipe of pasta which is just flour and egg and a lot of elbow grease?

2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 large Eggs, beaten
In a large bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, make a well in the center and pour in the beaten eggs, mix well. The mixture will be lumpy, so I began mixing it with my hand and when the dough was coming together, I transferred it to the worktable and I kneaded it for 10 minutes.
Let dough rest covered with a kitchen towel for 20 minutes.
Flour the pasta machine generously and roll the dough, adjusting the machine as the dough gets thinner.

I used the attachment of the machine that makes the fettuccine. If you dont have a pasta machine, this can be done by hand. Roll pasta with the rolling pin until thin enough and cut with a sharp knife. And there you have it, how easy is that? Now if I can just decide what sauce to cook for my fettuccine...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Curried Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Soup

I love soups during rainy days, and I love pumpkin so it's but natural for me to make it into soup. I like roasting the pumpkin and garlic first before making it into soup. The roasting and the curry powder adds another dimension to the taste and makes it different from other pumpkin soups.
Olive oil
Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons
1 head garlic, top sliced off cleanly
1 kilo pumpkin, sliced
1 whole white onion, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 liter chicken stock
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit, place the prepared garlic, and sliced pumpkin on a pan, drizzle with a little olive oil. Put pan in the oven, take out the garlic after 20 minutes leaving the pumpkin to roast for another 20 minutes (for a total of 40 minutes). Squeeze the garlic, the bulbs will come off easily from the peel. Mince finely. When pumpkin is done, take it out of the oven, wait for it to cool, peel and dice. It should be soft.
Preheat a pot with oil, add minced white onion, and then the garlic. Sprinke the curry powder and cook until just fragrant and the onion is translucent. Add the chopped pumpkin. Coat with the curry powder and add the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes.
Transfer to blender, process until smooth, being careful not to let any of the hot liquid splatter. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with parsley. Enjoy hot.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fruits From My Childhood

Anyone who first sees this fruit always asks...what is that? And when I answer LITUKO, I get more questions. Lituko is the Ilocano word for Rattan Fruit, as far back as I can remember, it's always been available at certain months in our Northern province.

I made an unexpected trip back home last of my dearest cousins passed away. I will always cherish the memories of this fruit for me because he always brought lituko for me whenever he would drive to Manila. And when we made the 7 hour drive trip back to the province, lituko greeted me at the numerous vegetable stalls that dotted the mountainous highway.

It was a bittersweet reunion for our clan, it is sad that we always seem to be brought together by sad events (funerals). And it's especially hard this time because Kuya Tito was the oldest cousin and was always in charge of things. But I believe that it's not goodbye but really "see you again" . You will be missed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brown Butter Pound Cake with Chocolate Cream

I'm currently loving the brown butter pound cake recipe from the August 2010 Daring Baker's Challenge that I made another cake based on it. I got a lot of feedback that the cake tends to dry up when it's frozen which I didn't experience because I ate all the trimmings as soon as it was cool enough to make into a baked alaska. But I wanted to make sure my cake wouldn't dry up or lose any flavor so I soaked the sliced cake in a rum syrup, sandwiched a creamy middle and covered it with a simple chocolate cream.
I made the exact same recipe as the brown butter pound cake, I baked it in a 9-inch cake pan. Sliced it in half and soaked it in this syrup:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Rum

Cook sugar and water in a pan over low heat. Until sugar dissolves and caramelizes. Take off heat and pour in the rum, set aside to cool.

250 grams All-purpose Cream
Cake trimmings
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatine
1/4 cup water
Sprinkle gelatine in water and leave to bloom for 10 minutes. Melt over double boiler. Set aside. Slice trimmings and chop them roughly. With the whisk attachment of your KitchenAid mixer, whip cream and the chopped trimmings, slowly pour the melted gelatine into the cream and cake trimmings. Whip until doubled in volume, scraping down the sides.

100 grams Bittersweet Chocolate
250 grams All-Purpose Cream

Chop chocolate into smaller pieces, melt over double boiler, set aside. Whip cream and chocolate with the whisk attachment of your mixer until well-blended and doubled in volume. Set aside in the refrigerator while assembling your cake.

Slice Cake in half, soak both sides with rum syrup. Spread the cream filling evenly on bottom half, top with the other half and press lightly. Cover with chocolate cream and decorate.

I love the taste of brown butter pound cake and is it just me or saying it in French makes it sound yummier :) Beurre Noisette--Yum!

Friday, August 27, 2010

AUGUST 2010 DARING BAKERS CHALLENGE ~ Nutty and toasty meets cool and creamy...

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

I didn't know how delicious browned butter cake was and how good it smelled until I baked it last night. I think I was on a sugar high for the rest of the evening while it was baking. And I was in sugar heaven when I trimmed the edges and had to eat them--I didn't want them to go to waste :)
I've been quite busy and didn't think I'd be able to make it but here I am, and I'm glad I participated in this challenge. I made vanilla ice cream with blueberries to top my beurre noisette pound cake. I remember freezing the ice cream in plastic-lined cups, but in the morning, they were not frozen, more like chilled but I tried to salvage everything and covered it with my meringue (which didn't whip too firmly due to the weather). I stuck it in the oven for 5 minutes but didn't get the "torched" look, I had to bring them out or risk the ice cream melting on me.

Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See “Note” section for cake flour substitution)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.

2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.

3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.

5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for an hour. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, then let cool to room temperature.)

2. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2 litre) bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.

3. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into a custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.

4. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon [5ml] if you are using a vanilla bean; 3 teaspoons [15ml] if you are not using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.

Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)

8 large egg whites
½ teaspoon (3g) cream of tartar
½ teaspoon (3g) salt
1 cup (220g) sugar

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.

Thank you Elisa for this challenge! The browned butter pound cake recipe alone was worth it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking Club August 2010--Lumpia

Lumpia is the theme for this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club. This was supposed to be posted last August 22 but I have been extremely busy. I found the time today because I came home from work early and I made this for my dinner. I grew up eating all kinds of lumpia, fried and fresh, with meat filling and vegetable filling. But my favorite kind would be fresh vegetable lumpia with home-made crepe wrapper. I already did a fresh lumpia post with heart of palm or ubod which is one of my favorite lumpia filling. But today, I didn't have it here at home so I made my filling with cabbage, carrots and shrimps. And wrapped it with home-made crepe that I sprinkled with chopped flat parsley.
Lumpia Wrapper
All-purpose flour
Fresh Milk
Chopped parsley
I have a confession to make--I didn't have measurements for this. I just eyeballed it.
I whisked the flour with the water, and milk. Added the egg and oil and added more water to make it runny but not too thin. Then I sprinkled the choppped parsley to make it more attractive. I cooked this on a teflon pan that I wiped with a little oil.

Lumpia Filling
Cabbage 1/4 shredded finely
Carrot, 1/2 peeled and sliced thinly
Onion, 1/2 peeled and sliced
Garlic 1 clove, minced
Oil, 1 tablespoon
Shrimps, peeled

Preheat pan with oil. Saute onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the carrots and cabbage. Cook until the vegetables are wilted. Pour the shrimps and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until shrimps are pink. Do not overcook vegetables.

Lumpia Sauce
Brown Sugar
Garlic, minced
Peanuts, chopped finely

Mix all ingredients together except the peanuts. Combine until well blended and cook over low heat until mixture thickens, the sugar dissolves and the sauce becomes dark and fragrant. Sprinkle some peanuts on top and reserve some for garnish.
Lay the wrapper on a clean surface, place some lettuce (I used arugula) and spoon the cooked filling on top. You can also sprinkle some of the chopped peanuts. Roll carefully making sure the lettuce peeks out of the top. Drizzle some of the sauce and garnish with peanuts again. Enjoy!

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month, we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Champorado at Tuyo

I love eating breakfast...that's a non-negotiable. When I don't eat breakfast I get cranky and feel out of sorts. It is usually a piece of fruit, yogurt, lunch meat and coffee. But there are special days when I want to indulge myself and this is one of those special days...what to have for breakfast? How about a steaming bowl of champorado and tuyo (salty dried fish). Champorado is a sweet rice porridge made from glutinous rice flour, cocoa powder and sugar. It is usually served with milk.

While others eat them with bread, tearing them into little bits and dunking them in the champorado, I prefer eating this sweet rice porridge with salty dried fish. The crunchy, salty fish balances the sweetness and creaminess of the champorado, perfect for rainy day mornings!
Thanks to my friend Judy who was generous enough to share her delicious champorado with us.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


The August 2010 Daring Cook's Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n' Bites and Anula of Anula's Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.
It's the time of the month again for posting our challenges for the Daring Cooks and to tell you honestly this is the first time that I've ever come across a challenge that was not familiar with me at all. Yes I have heard of pierogis but they are not something that were appealing enough for me to try. We have Asian dumplings here (Chinese siomai, Japanese gyoza and Korean mandu) and we even have our own version which we call empanada which have flaky layers. But I'm glad I tried making these pierogis and I must say the recipe (number 1) that I used is very nice. I wasn't able to roll them out as thinly as I wanted to, but they worked well with the fillings I used.
For my savory pierogi, I chose Pork Adobo which is an iconic Filipino dish--they say that there are as many adobo recipes as there are cooks in this country. I rolled out my pierogi dough and filled it with the shredded pork adobo. After I sealed them, I put them in the freezer overnight, cooked them in boiling water and then I finished the pierogis in the Adobo sauce. Cooking them until they were coated evenly.
For my sweet pierogis, I used banana as my filling. I wanted to make them into Turon which are fried banana spring rolls. They are usually filled with banana and jackfruit, but since I didn't have jackfruit, I chose to mix it with nutella. This is really yummy! After filling the rolled out dough, I also put them in the freezer overnight, cooked them in boiling water and fried them in butter. After which, I sprinkled them with muscovado (raw) sugar.

Really yummy! The bananas and nutella go so well together, making this taste better than I expected. And the smell of butter and sugar is so delicious!
Thank you LizG and Anula for this challenge! I had a fun time making this pierogis, although I don't think I will be making them again.