April 26, 2009

Lasang Pinoy Sundays: Swirls And Twirls

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ube, maple paste
matcha and chocolate, chocolate buns, rye

Swirls and twirls must be two of my favorite words in the English language. How else do I explain my obsession in making swirly bread loaves, buns, and cookies. I seem to be attracted to anything swirly. A few weeks ago I made meringues with swirls. It's very easy to do: Using a small brush, draw three thin lines of paste food dye on the whole length of a disposable icing bag, form the meringues with a large star tip, and you'll have swirly pattern on the cookies. Next time I make these meringues I'll use Filipino flavors such as ube, langka, and buco-pandan. I bet those will taste good.

matcha and lemon meringues

Lasang Pinoy Sundays, a weekly gallery of food photography is hosted by SpiCes.

The Ube Swirl bread recipe is here for those who are interested. :-)

April 24, 2009

Nutella Zebra Cheesecake

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extra yummy with a sliver of hazelnut brittle

less than perfect zebra swirls

I have bookmarked the recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Swirls in my Filipino recipe collection magazine for 2 years already but was hesitant to make it because the cake is super rich and utterly bad, health wise. The crustless cheesecake recipe by Alice Medrich in Baking With Julia cookbook that has low-fat cottage cheese, Neufchâtel cream cheese, and hazelnut praline paste is a better choice. I adapted her recipe using Nutella and making the zebra swirl effect just like the Filipino recipe. I like that the cheesecake is much lighter and the Nutella is just perfect. I used the hazelnut brittle I made for the original recipe to decorate and enhance the hazelnut flavor of the cheesecake. The zebra effect is not perfect but the cheesecake is very yummy.

Nutella Zebra Cheesecake
2 cups low fat small curd cottage cheese
½ cup sugar, add more to taste
8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup Nutella, whipped
hazelnut brittle, optional
  • Drain the cottage cheese for at least 1 hour.
  • Butter sides of an 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spoon the drained cottage cheese into the work bowl of a food processor and process for 3 minutes until cheese is silken. Add the soft Neufchâtel cheese along with the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple of times during the process. Don't overdo or you'll have a thin batter.
  • Divide the batter and transfer into measuring cups with pouring spout. Stir in the Nutella in one batter, mixing very well.
  • To create the zebra pattern: Pour half of the Nutella batter into the prepared pan. Then from 1 foot above the pan, slowly pour the white batter into the center of the Nutella batter. Repeat with the batter 3 times, pouring into the center of the pan, lessening the amount of batter with each pouring.
  • Place the pan on a roasting pan, fill roasting pan with hot water halfway up the side of the round pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer on a wire rack, loosen cheesecake with a thin knife, and cool completely in the pan. Chill for 24 hours before slicing. Serve with hazelnut brittle if desired.

April 18, 2009


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Canonigo and mango: heavenly!

I have never heard or eaten this dessert called Canonigo, the Filipino version of the French dessert ile flottante or oeufs à la neige, and have no clue where in the Philippines the dessert originated. The Spanish word canonigo means parish priest and so I am guessing the dessert as the name implies is a recipe from a priest (not improbable, Father Leo comes to mind), the cook in a priest's household, or a Filipino family whose name is Canonigo. If anybody knows, please enlighten me, I'll appreciate it.:-)

April 14, 2009

Glutinous Rice Snacks

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betcha can't eat just one of these crispy chewy glutinous rice macapuno balls
Several months ago several readers emailed me asking if I can post the recipes for bilo-bilo, buchi, or bicho. These, I believe are variations of the Filipino snack made with glutinous rice and water or coconut milk formed into tiny balls or flat ovals usually boiled in coconut milk, or steamed, fried or baked. The balls I made today are a combination of several recipes I found online. I don't know what it should be called, I think glutinous rice balls or bilo-bilo are both okay. Or Crispy Chewy Sweeties. BTW, I prefer these tiny snacks without any sauce, except for the plains ones which I like with caramelized sauce flavored with a little soy sauce.

Macapuno Bilo-bilo
1 cup glutinous rice flour
½ cup water
½ cup chopped macapuno
light olive oil for frying
coconut sauce or brown sugar sauce (boil 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup water until syrupy), optional

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour and water until a dough is formed. Adjust water or flour as necessary. Add the macapuno to the dough and mix well.
  • Form dough into 1½ inch balls and place on a platter.
  • Heat half an inch of oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Fry the dough balls a few pieces at a time until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with or without sauce.
  • For simple bilo-bilo, omit macapuno and fry as above. Serve with preferred sauce.
  • Variations: omit macapuno and add chopped sweetened ripe jackfruit or grated young coconut.
  • Sauce variation: caramelize 1 cup white sugar and ½ water, add a few drops of soy sauce.
1 cup boiled and mashed yellow mungbeans
1 cup sugar, or to taste
2 cups glutinous rice flour
¾ cup to 1 cup water
½ cup boiled and mashed taro
light olive oil for frying
  • Combine mungbean and brown sugar. Form into 1-inch balls. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour and ¾ cup water until a stiff dough is formed. Add more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix in the mashed taro.
  • Form the rice taro dough into golf ball size rounds, flatten a little bit, place a mungbean ball in the middle, gather rice dough together and seal. Flatten to about half inch thick ovals.
  • Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve immediately.
  • Variation: fill with a mixture of sugar and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Keep leftover mungbean paste in an airtight container and refrigerate.

eat them while they're hot and puffed

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