Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake Pavlova

Having made Chocolate Pavlova for the Daring Bakers' Challenge last month, I was inspired to make pavlova in cake or pie form. I thought it would also be more within my budget, if I used cream cheese instead of mascarpone cheese for the filling. And so I was able to come up with Chocolate Cheesecake Pavlova which is getting to be a big hit with family and friends. I can't seem to make enough of this dessert. It's so easy and simple to make but at the same time, it's delicious and tastes heavenly.

For the pavlova base, I followed the DB recipe, it's very simple and easy to make

Egg whites 3
Granulated sugar 1/2 c + 1 tablespoon
Cocoa Powder 1/3 c
Powdered Sugar 1/4 c

Butter a pie pan and set it aside. Using the whip attachment of your mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy, add the granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed of the mixer and whip until firm peak. Do not over whip. Combine the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar and carefully fold it into the whipped egg whites, making sure it is well incorporated and the mixture is uniformly chocolate colored. Spoon mixture onto prepared pie pan and spread it evenly. Bake in a preheated 200 degrees farenheit oven for 2 hours. Turn off oven and let the pavlova cool inside for 1 hour.

Cream cheese 1 bar (225 grams), softened
All-purpose Cream 250 grams
Bittersweet Chocolate 200 grams

Chop the bittersweet chocolate, mix 125 ml of the cream with it and melt over double boiler until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool. Using the whip attachment of your mixer, whip the remaining cream and the softened cream cheese until well blended and mixture has doubled in volume. Fold in the cooled cream and chocolate. Pour into cooled pavlova base and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Serve cold.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking Club July 2010--Ginataan

The theme for this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club is Ginataan, or Filipino Coconut Cream/Milk -based dishes. One thing about the Philippines is the abundance of coconut trees...I mean you look everywhere and you're bound to see one at least. Some call it the tree of life here because of its many uses and one of those is when the flesh of the mature coconut is grated and boiling water is poured on it and after that, the pulp is squeezed to produce coconut cream (first pressing) and coconut milk (the next presssing). But I have a confession to make, even if I live a few minutes from the wet market I didn't buy grated coconut, I went to the supermarket and bought the ready-to-use packet. But the end product still tasted the same, although it's not as creamy as I want it to be.
For my recipe, I chose to make Ginataang Isda. Usually when this is cooked here at home, we use tilapia but I made mine with sole fillet.
Ginataang Isda
Lauric Oil (also from coconut)
Sole fillet
Onions, minced
Garlic, minced
Dried Pepper, sliced
Coconut Cream 65 ml
Patis (fish sauce), to taste
Preheat pan with about 2 tablespoons of oil, saute garlic and onion. Add the pepers and cook until fragrant. Add in the coconut cream, lower the fire, add about 1/2 cup of water. Add the fillets and cook for 5 minutes. Gently turn the fish over and season with fish sauce, cook for another 3 minutes. Serve hot, and enjoy :)

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful 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.

The current members are:
Kath -
Trisha -
Trissa -
Olive -
Caroline -
Ninette -
Asha -
Malou -
Cherrie -
Acdee -
Valerie -
Sheryl -
Divina -
Anna -
Joy -
Maribel -
Tressa Jen -
Pia -
Malaka -
Mimi -
Erika -
Kat -

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I know I'm really late posting this, but I have a really good reason. Around midnight of Tuesday another typhoon slammed the Philippines. The wind was howling and whipping the trees like paper. I had a sudden feeling of de ja vu, would this be like the other typhoon last September last year that cost us our house, cars and pets? I had to remind myself that we now lived in a safer place, in a 3-storey townhouse, away from the flood-prone community. Just when I was recovering from my initial panic attack, all of a sudden the electricity was cut off and Quezon City was plunged into darkness. And this black out went on and on ...the electricity was down, internet was down, even the phone lines were not working properly. And the worst thing was the rumors swirling around that we would be in this state for at least 3 days...but wonders of all wonders, after 26 hours, we finally got the power back, the internet back and the phone lines were working perfectly! And so here is my they say..better late than never :)
The July 2010 Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network Online.
While I was lurking in the forums, I noticed that almost everyone had food processors for their nut butters--I was already thinking if I should use the blender at home to make my job easier, but then someone suggested using a mortar and pestle, which was what I did. The thing about turning nuts into butter manually is the amount of labor that goes into it. I was getting tempted to just whizz everything in the blender...but I chose to make it the good old fashioned way with a lot of elbow grease and well...grease in the form of oil. Even then, my nut butters didn't turn out as smooth as my fellow daring cooks. But when I used it to thicken and flavor my dishes, it was well worth it.
The first dish I made was Pipian which originally used chicken, I wasn't too keen on using plain chicken so I made chicken meatballs instead. For this recipe, I made cashew nut butter.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon annatto seeds (atsuete/achiote)
green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small thai chili, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut vinegar
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 T cashew nut butter
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Chicken Meat Balls
500 grams Ground chicken
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Onions, minced

In a bowl, mix ground chicken, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Make sure all the ingredients are well blended. Form into meatballs, makes approximately 12. Set aside in the refrigerator, this can be done ahead of time and frozen.

Heat olive oil in pan, add the annatto seeds, cook and stir until the oil takes the color of the seeds. Discard seeds using a slotted spoon. Increase heat and add the chicken meat balls, brown them. Remove chicken to a plate. Add the green onions, garlic and chili and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dissolve rice flour in a large cup of the chicken stock. Add to pan with the cashew butter and Fish sauce. Return the meatballs to the pan and simmer, covered for 20 minutes until sauce thickens, adjust seasoning as necessary. Garnish with whole cashew nuts and chili, seve hot.
*The original recipe calls for peanut butter, but I took the liberty of using cashew nut butter.

Seafood Kare-Kare
2 tablespoons Oil
1 tablespoon Onions, chopped
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice flour (toasted and dissolved in about a cup of shrimp stock)
2 tablespoons annatto seeds in 1/4 cup of boiling water
2 eggplants, sliced
1 bundle string beans, sliced
2 whole Flower crabs
1 whole Cream Dory Fillet, sliced
1/4 kilo shrimps (head, shells and tails removed)

Clean shrimps by removing the heads, tails and shells, do not throw. Make stock by boiling the heads, tails and shells in about 2 cups of water, let it come to a boil, skim the surface of scum and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and throw out the shells, set aside the shrimp stock.

Preheat pan with oil, saute the garlic and onions. Add the toasted rice flour dissolved in shrimp stock. Add the peanut butter and the annatto water. Mix well until sauce is thick and smooth. Add more stock and add the seafood. Remove the fish and the shrimps as soon as they are cooked. Let crab cook and add the vegetables.
Serve hot with sauteed bagoong (shrimp paste).
Peanuts being crushed for my nut butter

Seafood Kare-Kare with Flower Crabs, Shrimps and Cream Dory Fillet

I really had fun with this challenge and it made me explore the Filipino dishes using nut butters. Thank you Marge and Natashya!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chili Garlic Crabs

One of my favorite all-time food is crabs, it's just unfortunate that some family members are allergic to it that's why we don't have it as often as I would like. But when we do have some at home, I make sure I eat lots of it. There was even a time my friend Wendy and I went all the way to Singapore for some Black Pepper Crabs and when we were finally eating it, we didn't talk until we finished!
At home, crabs are sometimes cooked in coconut milk with string beans and squash. Or if everyone is feeling lazy, it's just steamed and cooked in it's own juices. But I would have to say that my favorite way of cooking them is in Chili Garlic sauce. It's simple and mouth-wateringly delicious!

Chili Garlic Crabs
Crabs 2 pieces, washed
Vegetable Oil
Chili Garlic Sauce 1/4 cup

Preheat pan with oil, saute the chili garlic sauce until fragrant. Add crabs and a little water, cover and cook until crabs are bright orange and meat is cooked, about 10 minutes....Serve hot with calamansi on the side..Enjoy!