Monday, November 28, 2011


Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake! And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog.

I have a confession to make, I didn't make the Sans Rival because I was so pressed for time, November and December is very hectic for me and instead of skipping this month's challenge, I opted to make bibingka and another Filipino dessert that was easier to make than Sans Rival.

So what exactly is Bibingka? Bibingka is traditionally served during Christmas. It’s similar to other Asian desserts that use rice flour as the base, like mochii. The traditional method of preparation is to line a special clay pot with banana leaves, pour in the batter, top with banana leaf, and then sit it in coals to cook. It is served with a shredded, mild, white cheese and slices of salted egg on top for favor contrasts.



2 cups (480 ml) (320 gm) (11.3 oz) rice flour

1/2 cup (120 ml) (80 gm) (2.8 oz) glutinous rice flour

1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) baking powder

3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm) (6 oz) sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml) (75 gm) (2⅔ oz) unsalted butter melted

1-1/2 cup (360 ml) coconut milk

6 pieces banana leaves cut into 8-inch (20 cm) circles

1 salted egg, sliced into 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick slices

Butter, salted or unsalted, for brushing the tops

1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) white granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) grated coconut (optional)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) grated Edam cheese (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.

2. Line six tart pans or ramekins with banana leaves and brush the leaves with butter

3. Combine rice flour, glutinous rice flour, baking powder, and sugar together in a bowl. Beat eggs in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add butter and coconut milk and mix well. Add the flour mixture and blend well until smooth

.4. Pour the rice batter equally into the six pans or ramekins. Lay a slice of salted egg on top and bake until the cake is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Take the cakes out of the oven and brush the top with butter. Turn the broiler to low and broil the cakes to brown the top for about two minutes
5. Serve the cakes warm. Brush the cakes with butter and sprinkle with sugar, grated coconut, and grated Edam cheese.
Cooking notes from Jun:
• For the rice and glutinous rice flour, I recommend using the Thai brand commonly found in most Asian grocery stores.• Use either tart pans or ramekins lined with banana leaves cut into circles. The cakes baked in 6-inch (15 cm) pans more closely resemble the traditional ones. The cakes baked in 4-inch (10 cm) ramekins are thicker and take longer to bake.• Instead of a sliced salted egg, the cakes can be topped with slices of Edam or Gouda cheese.• When using frozen grated coconut let the grated coconut thaw then place the thawed coconut on paper towels to soak up the extra moisture. Place them on a baking tray and lightly toast them for about a few minutes with the broiler (griller) turned on low. Use grated coconut and NOT grated young coconut.

Instead of Sans Rival I chose to make Brazo de Mercedes which is also made of meringue but is not as time consuming to make. I used this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks KULINARYA (A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine) which is authored by several well known Filipino chefs.

Rolled Meringue with Creamy Filling
1/4 cup (60 grams) butter
1 cup (120 grams) All-purpose flour
8 eggs
1/4 tsp (1 gram) Cream of Tartar
!/2 cup sugar (100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
1 Lemon
1 1/4 cups (350 ml) condensed milk
1/4 tsp (1ml) vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 250 degrees farenheit.
Grease, line and grease again a 9 x 13 inch pan. Dust with flour, making sure the whole surface is covered. Discard extra flour.
Separate the eggs.
Beat the eggwhites with cream of tartar until fine bubbles form. Add the sugar gradually to the egg whites until resulting meringue is stiff but not dry.
Spread the meringue on the prepared pan mao king sure the ends slightly overlap the edges of the pan because the meringue will shrink a little during cooling.
Meanwhile, dust a clean cloth measuring approximately 12 in. x 12 in with half of the powdered sugar, set aside.
Grate the lemon rind to produce 1/2 tsp. zest. Set aside.
Bake the meringue in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Invert baked meringue on the cloth dusted with powdered sugar. Roll up the meringue into a cylinder and set aside.
In a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon zest and vanilla essence. Over medium heat stir continuously until the mixture thickens and is of piping consistency.
Unroll the meringue. With a pastry bag fitted with a plain round piping tube 1 inch in diameter, pipe the filling along the center of the meringue. Roll the meringue.
*Instead of piping the filling, I spread it on the unrolled meringue.
Serving suggestion: Dust the top lightly with the remaining powdered sugar. Slice crosswise into 1 1/4 inch thick slices.

Thank you Catherine for this month's challenge and for a chance to showcase Filipino Desserts. For the other Daring Bakers' versions of Filipino Desserts click here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daim Bars

What could be more satisfying than candy? A dessert made from that candy that's what! One of the things I really liked about living in Singapore was that IKEA was just a bus away. I didn't go there just to buy things but I would go there to eat...and have a Daim cake for dessert. I first came across this dessert in IKEA Beijing and totally fell for it, and the rest is history. And then I came back home to the IKEA, no Daim cake! Then one of my friends gave me a bag of Daim candies...and I had the brilliant idea to recreate one of my favorite desserts. But then I totally forgot about it until this week. So here is my version...Daim Bars!
I googled a lot of recipes for Daim cake, there were some but I wasn't satisfied with most of them so I made my own. Pastry cream sandwiched between two layers of almond meringue and topped with chocolate ganache and chopped daim candies...yum!
3 eggwhites
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup sugar

Using the whip attachment of your mixer, beat eggwhites until frothy, carefully pour sugar. Whip until stiff peak. Fold in chopped almonds and spread on a parchment paper-lined jelly roll tray. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 20 minutes.
Invert the cake onto another tray with parchment paper and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Set aside.
1 cup Fresh Milk

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Butter
Scald fresh milk. In a clean bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornstarch making sure it is smooth and there are no lumps. Carefully pour scalded milk while whisking it so that the eggs don't get scrambled. Pour back mixture into pot and cook over medium heat, while continuously stirring mixture. Pastry cream is cooked when it is the consistency of custard, take out of heat and mix in butter.
1/4 cup Cream
100 grams Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
8 pieces DAIM chocolate candies, chopped
Put bittersweet chocolate and cream in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir mixture until smooth.
ASSEMBLY: Slice the meringue layer in half. Spread the pastry cream on one layer and cover with the other half. Refrigerate until firm. Spread the chocolate ganache on top and garnish with the chopped Daim candies. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
I know that I wrote refrigerate until read to eat...but I cheated and tasted or rather ate one piece just to test if it tasted like the Daim cake from IKEA. I dare say it tasted quite close to the real deal!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Our theme for Kulinarya Cooking Club for this month is ARROZ CALDO which literally means hot rice in Spanish. Arroz caldo which is like the Chinese congee or porridge is the ultimate comfort food for most Filipinos. Everytime someone is sick and it really doesn't matter if it's fever or stomachache, he/she is bound to be fed with arroz caldo. But it doesn't mean it's served only for that purpose, it's also standard fare for the colder weather which we are supposed to be experiencing now--but it seems like summer is trying to make itself felt in the middle of November...

The basic Arroz Caldo is flavored with chicken, which is what I decided to cook. I was deadset on using risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli) to make it more interesting but at the last minute, I saw brown rice...
1 medium Onion
2 cloves Garlic
1/4 kilo Chicken breast
1 cup Brown Rice, uncooked
1 liter Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Fish Sauce (Patis) to taste

To Make Chicken Stock: Debone chicken breast, set aside in refrigerator. In a pot place chicken bones, peeled and sliced carrots (1 piece), 1 onion, 1 stalk celery (with leaves), 2 cloves garlic, a few peppercorns and 2 dry bayleaves with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Turn down hear, skim the scum from the surface and simmer for another hour. Chicken stock is usually simmered for 3 hours but this was just for one serving so I adjusted the time accordingly. Strain stock through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth. Reserve liquid.

Preheat a clean pot with a tablespoon of oil, add onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add the chicken breast, cook for 3 minutes, or until golden. Add rice and chicken stock. Cook until rice is soft, take out the chicken breast. Flake chicken meat and set aside. Continue cooking rice and stir to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. You can add more liquid as needed. Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce.

Fill bowls with hot arroz caldo, top with flaked chicken and garnish with sliced spring onions. Serve with calamansi and hardboiled eggs.

Using brown rice for my Arroz Caldo was a good choice. It added more body to this filling dish. And the addition of the egg made it a complete meal for me last night. Thank you Joy for choosing Arroz Caldo for this month's theme.
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. By sharing these 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!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quick Escape

Brother: Achi (elder sister in Chinese), do you know any nice resorts that are reasonably priced in Batangas?

Me: Yes, I know a few...why?

Brother: My friends and I are going on can come if you want.

Me: Yay!!! Yes I'm going with you and I'm going to call for reservations now!

(stumbles upstairs to laptop for list of Batangas resorts)

This was how it started, one of my brothers decided to go for a quick getaway with his friends to Batangas and I decided to tag along. Nevermind that all of them are more than 10 years younger than me (haha). I needed a quick escape from city life.

Thursday dawned bright and clear in the city but as soon as we exited to the Star Tollway going to Batangas, it started drizzling and the clouds got darker and heavier. Oh please...let us have sunshine! But the weather didn't dampen our mood, we arrived at La Luz Resort in San Juan Batangas.

La Luz Resort is situated at the quiet end of a long stretch of resorts, it's a good place to go if quiet relaxation is what you want. They don't accept walk-in customers and you have to deposit 50% of your total bill and reserve ahead of time. They also have rooms you can rent if you want overnight accomodation.
How cool is this? While having a relaxing massage in our cabana, I happened to look up and see this...horses! I spent the day relaxing...after the massage (I nearly fell asleep) one of my sisters and I spent a little time sunbathing even if the sun was a bit shy and kept hiding behind the clouds. We played some beach volleyball but most of the kids were just relaxing in the cabana where they watched a movie on the laptop one of them brought (kids these go the beach and they stay indoors..tsk tsk!) And then it was time to eat...again.

The day tour rate (PhP 750.00) included lunch and snack. I wasn't able to take pictures of the lunch buffet, the food was simple Filipino fare but it was really good. The snack buffet wasn't disappointing either, was it really that good or was I just hungry?

Even before we went to this resort, I was already planning an overnight stay but I'd have to think it over again because one thing that I was disappointed with was the beach. It was rocky, or stony--I mean instead of sand, the beachfront was full of small stones, and that was important to me...I want real sand!

The drive back was longer because of the traffic but I didn't mind. It was a relaxing quick escape and I was recharged when we finally saw the big lights of the city.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Sara of Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks' hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I was surprised when I read this month's challenge at the forums because I had just finished taking pictures of my sister's current obsession...making tea eggs! So instead of making my own tea eggs...I'm just going to post this picture of what she made and the recipe she used for it which she adapted from Jaden Hair's blog Steamy Kitchen.


6 eggs
3/4 cup soy sauce

2 tea bags of Earl Grey

1 teaspoon sugar

Place eggs in a pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove eggs, leaving water in the pot and gently tap eggs with back of spoon to crack the shell all over. Return eggs to the pot of water and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Cover pot with lid and let steep overnight.

*When the liquid is cool enough, we transfer them to containers and store them in the refrigerator.

And another surprise...I actually have Sara Perry's book in my collection. But instead of following recipes there, I decided to get creative and follow in the footsteps of my fellow Daring Cooks Oggi and Pia in using tea for Filipino dishes and here is what I came up with.

GINATAANG KALABASA AT SITAW (Squash and Yard Long Beans Cooked in Coconut Milk)

1 Tablespoon Lauric Oil

1 medium Onion

2 cloves Garlic

1 bundle Yard Long Beans

1/4 of a small Squash

1/4 kilo Shrimps

1 cup grated Coconut or 1 cup Coconut Milk

1 bag of Earl Grey tea

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fish Sauce (Patis) to taste

To Make Coconut Milk: Pour 1 cup hot water over grated coconut. Let cool and squeeze grated coconut. Strain liquid and discard squeezed coconut. Set aside the liquid in the refrigerator if not using right away.

Peel and devein shrimps, set aside.

*I made shrimp stock by boiling the heads and shells with water and celery leaves.

Peel and mince onion. Peel, crush and mince garlic. Wash beans and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Peel squash and Cut into small wedges. Open the tea bag and pour contents in coconut milk.

Preheat pan with oil, saute onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the squash and the shrimp stock (just enough liquid to almost cover the squash pieces). Cook for about 5 minutes. Add cococonut milk and beans and let simmer until vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Add the shrimps and toss to coat with the mixture, cooking for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce. Serve hot.

*This is the first time I've tried incorporating tea into a Filipino dish but I think the addition of Earl Grey tea to the coconut added a new dimension to the taste. I was tempted to add shrimp paste to make it more tasty but it might overpower the tea so I decided against it.

Thank you Sara for this month's challenge, it is indeed unique! For other Daring Cooks tea recipes click here.