Saturday, October 27, 2012

THE DARING BAKERS OCTOBER CHALLENGE: Layering Up: Mille-feuille/Napoleon

Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!
I was excited for this month's challenge not only because of the recipe but more so because it was hosted by Suz, one of my favorite bloggers!  I've been reading every single blog post of hers ever since I chanced upon it in one of the challenges here a while back and let me say, she really has a way with words, she has the yummiest recipes and she takes really nice pictures!  So...on to the challenge...what is it exactly? 
‘Mille-feuille’ is French for ‘a thousand leaves’ (or ‘layers’), which is very apt, as it contains both layers of pastry (usually three) and layers within each pastry sheet …in short...puff pastry! (insert shudder here)

To tell you honestly, I was a little bit wary of doing puff pastry again because of the hot and humid weather here in the Philippines.  The few times that I made puff pastry, it was really a race against time and temperature.  Even if the dough was refrigerated as often as possible, the butter tended to seep out after a few rolls and this was no exception...but the recipe Suz gave was awesome, I don't know if the weather cooperated today but there was less oozing of the butter today. Here is a link to the whole recipe that was given to us.
The recipe is very straightforward as is the directions.  I just forgot to take out the baking parchment for the last 5 minutes of baking time for the first puff pastry sheet so it was a bit pale but otherwise everything went well.
 I decided not to experiment and to stick to the recipe that was given to us.  So instead of using my fool-proof recipe for creme patissiere I followed the recipe here and didn't have any problem with the setting of the cream.  I made the puff pastry in the morning and the creme patissiere after lunch.  I refrigerated it for 1 hour and it had thickened enough to set properly.
Thank you Suz for hosting this month's challenge, it was indeed a challenge for me!  The resulting product was delicious and everyone at home oohed and aahed at this pretty and deliciously decadent dessert. 
Dear friends, please don't forget to check out the other Daring Bakers versions of Mille Feuille, you won't be disappointed, I promise!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I have a confession to make to my Kulinarya friends, this is the first time I made Filipino-style spaghetti in my whole life.  Don't get me wrong, I like it, and there were one or two instances that I drive-thru Jollibee just to get my sweet spaghetti fix.  I remember when I was small, we used to attend children's parties where this dish was never absent.  
So here I am today, making my own version of Filipino-style sweet spaghetti and I was being stubborn at first, because I only bought Del Monte sweet style spaghetti but the taste and color were lacking so I had to give in and fortunately I found a bottle of UFC Tamis Anghang Banana Catsup in the cupboard! And voila, just like spaghetti came out as Pinoy looking and tasting as the ones I remember from my childhood!
 The most important ingredient in Filipino-style Spaghetti...Banana Catsup!

2 Tablespoons Lauric Oil (Coconut Oil)
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
2 medium Red Onions, peeled and minced
250 grams Mighty Meaty Hotdog, sliced into rings
500 grams Ground Lean Pork
2 pieces Bayleaf (dried and crumbled)
500 grams Del Monte Sweet Blend Catsup
320 grams UFC Banana Catsup
200 grams Button Mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
500 grams Royal Spaghetti, cooked
Preheat pot with oil, saute onion until fragrant and translucent, add the garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add the bayleaf and the ground pork.  Cook until pork is no longer pink.  Add the catsup, hotdogs and mushrooms.  Add enough water so that sauce will not be dry.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  
Serve hot over cooked spaghetti noodles and lots of cheese!
Yummy sweet spaghetti
And there you have it...Filipino style sweet spaghetti just like the ones from my childhood!

Kulinarya Cooking Club 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.
If you’re 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!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Rachel Dana was our October 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge hostess! Rachel brought Brazil into our lives by challenging us to make Feijoada and Farofa along with some other yummy side dishes traditionally served with Feijoada, which is a delicious black bean and pork stew.
According to Rachel :"Feijoada is a famous Brazilian black bean stew filled with meat, mostly pork parts. A really traditional feijoada will have pig ears, feet, nose…this originated with slaves and what was left for them to cook with. I made a more “modern” feijoada, I guess some would say, with sausage and ribs and ham, but this is how my in-laws make feijoada, and I find it easier, in many ways. If you want to add pig ears and such, please try it out.
Though farofa and vinagrete aren’t necessarily a part of everyone’s feijoada meal, they are definitely a part of mine. I think it will be fun to play with these recipes, I would have loved to do a whole challenge only on farofa and vinagrete, but the main component of the best farofa is mandioca flour, and since this isn’t easy for everyone to buy, I figured it wouldn’t work out too well. Fortunately there is farofa made with corn flour and even ground breadcrumbs, called Farofa da Rosca. So I think everyone can manage one of these three.."
This is the first time that I will be cooking and tasting Feijoada although I have heard of it before so with an adventurous twinkle to my eye...I rolled up my invisible sleeves and set out to conquer this latest Daring Kitchen challenge!
Rachel's recipe called for salted meats, and I didn't have any so I decided to use pork ribs instead.  I also substituted chorizo bilbao for the smoked sausages.  Aside from that I followed the recipe...and here is how my final product looked like.

For the Farofa, which was supposed to be cooked with cornmeal I went ahead and used dry breadcrumbs which our gracious host also said we could use. I really liked the flavor of this one...
I had all the ingredients for the vinagrete and I'd have to say this one was really delicious and a perfect foil for the saltiness of the Feijoada.
I didn't have any collard greens or white rice so I didn't make those two.  But thanks to Rachel, I was able to make a dish that is completely foreign to me and we had this for dinner tonight.  I would definitely make this again!
Please don't forget to visit the other Daring Cooks for their own versions of this month's challenge!