September 30, 2009

Pandan Crêpe Layer Cake

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I found a year-old [home canned] jar of mangoes in syrup in my pantry. They aren't spoiled and still very good so I sliced them really thin to fill the pandan crêpes I had been planning to make. I stacked the crêpes and mango and cream filling instead of fill/roll individually. It is not such a brilliant idea because they went slipping and sliding when I cut the "cake" into slices. It's okay, though, because it is so good and with chocolate sauce is extra yummy. I just pushed them back together to make it look tidy. I'll make a proper pandan chiffon layer cake with similar filling next time.

Pandan Crêpe Layer Cake
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
½ cup pandan water (blend 6 pandan leaves with ½ cup water and strain)
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons light olive oil
3 drops green food dye gel

thin slices of ripe mangoes
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons condensed milk
  • Mix crêpe ingredients except butter in a blender until smooth. Heat a 7-inch skillet, rub with butter and pour about a quarter cup of batter, rotating the pan quickly to spread evenly. Cook on medium-low heat until edges are dry, lift, and flip to cook the other side. Stack on a plate and let cool completely.
  • Prepare the cream filling: Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add condensed milk and whip for 30 seconds until blended.
  • Fill individually with mangoes and cream, roll and place on a plate seam side down. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Or, if you prefer the layered look: place one crêpe on a platter, arrange sliced mangoes on top, spread 2 tablespoons of cream and repeat with the rest of the crêpes and filling, and a crêpe on top. Cut into 6 slices. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.

all my favorites in one yummy dessert: pandan, mangoes, cream, condensed milk, chocolate

Crêpe on Foodista

September 29, 2009

BBAC #21: Pain à l'Ancienne

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Pain a l'Ancienne

After baking 20 bread recipes in The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, I can honestly say Peter Reinhart is absolutely spot on when he says bread Number 21, Pain à l'Ancienne is one of the easiest doughs in the book to make. There is very little kneading involved, no shaping, no proofing, and scoring, which IMHO is almost futile anyway, is just an option. All you do is mix, refrigerate overnight, cut the dough into equal portions, elongate the pieces a little bit which is not hard to do, bake, and 20 minutes later, you will be enjoying a crispy [crust] sweetish light and airy most delicious bread you will ever have, at least to me it is. It is so good I can't stop eating it. This is currently my favorite bread from the book. Wait, didn't I just say that last week, and the week before last? Aack, I am starting to sound like a broken record! And there is a possibility that I will say the same thing the next 22 weeks.^__^

The slack dough uses ice-cold 40°F water and after mixing with flour, yeast, and salt, the dough is immediately stored in the refrigerator overnight. Peter explains that the delayed fermentation using ice-cold water produces a bread that "has a natural sweetness and nutlike character that is distinct from breads made from the same ingredients but fermented by the standard method, even with large percentages of pre-ferment". It has something to do with the natural sugars in flour but I won't go into details of the chemical reactions going on in this dough. The bread is delicious and it's all that matters.

Some of the loaves came out nice and straight but some are crooked and uneven which I like even better because of their rustic appearance. Adding to my delight are the irregular large holes in the crumb. Once again I am grateful to Nicole for this nifty idea of becoming Peter Reinhart's virtual apprentice and being able to bake great tasting loaves of bread. This is one recipe that I will be baking over and over. I actually baked a second batch the very next day and the result is consistent in flavor and texture, light airy crispy flavorful bread.

Pain a l'Ancienne
Pain a l'Ancienne

We didn't wait for the bread to cool because the loaves finished baking just in time for dinner. We spread aioli on the slices and had them with Green Bouillabaisse for a most satisfying vegetarian meal. This dough can also be shaped into ciabatta or focaccia which I will be making very soon.

flavor 5
texture 5
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 5
worth 5
Total: 30
Average: 5

September 27, 2009

Green Bouillabaisse

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delicious meatless dinner: all-vegetable bouillabaisse, crusty bread, and aioli

After weeks of having chicken and meat, we usually crave for vegetarian dishes to sort of "cleanse the palate". And Michel Richard's fishless bouillabaisse recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy an all-vegetable craving. The preparation is a bit involved so I cut it down by using frozen baby artichokes. I also used very young rainbow chard from my garden in place of baby spinach and the white parts of green onions because we don't care much for leeks. The combination of flavors is fantastic and a large bowl of this healthy and delicious green bouillabaisse is extremely satisfying specially with aioli-topped fresh out of the oven Pain à l'Ancienne.

Green Bouillabaisse With Aioli

adapted from Michel Richard's Green Bouillabaisse

4 large ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 green onions, white parts only, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ pound frozen baby artichokes
a pinch of saffron
½ tablespoon sugar
a quarter of a star anise
½ cup dry white wine
1½ tablespoons Pernod (anise liqueur)
1 sprig thyme
salt and ground black pepper
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced
1 fennel bulb, cored and julienned
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 cups baby spinach
  • Cut the tomatoes in half. Remove seeds over a strainer on top of a bowl. Set aside the strainer. Grate the tomato halves directly on the bowl. Discard tomato skins. Strain to measure 1½ cups tomato water. Set aside. Discard tomato pulp or keep for another use.
  • Using a peeler, remove a quarter of the orange zest. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute onion until soft. Add the green onions and minced garlic and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add sugar, star anise, saffron, and orange zest. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add artichokes, wine, Pernod, thyme, and tomato water. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Let mixture come to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until artichokes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add zucchini, celery, and fennel. Simmer until fennel is tender crisp. Turn heat off and add spinach or chard.
  • Remove and discard the sprig of thyme. Transfer bouillabaisse into a serving dish and serve with slices of crusty bread and aioli.

one 4-ounce Yukon Gold potato, peeled, diced, and steamed
4 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
1 egg yolk
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grapeseed oil
fine sea salt
ground cayenne pepper
a few drops of lemon juice
  • Put potato, garlic, egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon oil in a blender. Blend until potato is fully mashed. With blender running on high, slowly drizzle the oil, stopping to scrape down the sides when necessary, until mixture has thickened.
  • Season aioli with cayenne, lemon juice, and sea salt to taste. Transfer into a jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

September 26, 2009

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays: Fruits And Vegetables

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

For this week's [freestyle] theme, here are a few of my favorite fruits and vegetables. Oh, how I wish I could have atis and green mangoes all year round.


manggang hilaw

Asian Vegetables
ampalaya, patola, sitaw, puso ng saging

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