June 16, 2021

Challah Buns With Tofu Cream Filling

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I never liked caramel-topped cream puffs made with Pâte à Choux but could tolerate eclair because of its chocolate topping. I find it dry, flavorless, and cardboard-y. I made faces whenever the snack cart where I used to work passed by and I couldn't understand why anyone would eat it. But day after day twice a day, the cart came with them without fail. Needless to say, I never made the pastries, ever. Oh, and don't make me start with that horrible croquembouche (croque-en-bouche). Yikes!😵

I recently finished watching a Japanese dorama, EdoMoiselle. The female lead is a high ranking courtesan in Edo, now Tokyo, who time travelled to present day Reiwa period. She started working in the coffee shop owned by a father and his daughter. They also gave her a room in their house. Senka, the Edo courtesan, loves the shop's Cream Puffs filled with Tofu Pastry Cream. The tofu surely piqued my interest but I can't stand the cardboard treat puff pastry so I baked half a recipe of challah and formed the dough into round buns. The tofu cream filling I made has no egg yolk nor flour and the end result is yummy, light, and not too cloying. If you are a fan of cream puff, try this tofu cream filling. It can also be used to fill Scottish Cream Buns or mini Chocolate Waffles instead of sweetened whipped cream.

Senka and her favorite cream puff with tofu cream filling

June 15, 2021

Milo Polvoron

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I bought a large tin of "Original Version" Milo made in Singapore. The previous tin of Milo I bought years ago was made in Malaysia. I remember it was grainy and crunchy just like the Milo I grew up eating, sometimes by the spoonful. It's perfect to top Milo shake - you scoop up the crunchy Milo on top before drinking the rest.

This new tin of Milo is powdery, tastes very little of malted powder, and not as chocolaty either. It's a huge disappointment. I cannot return it so I might as well use it but I always add at least 2 tablespoons each of malted milk powder and homemade chocolate sauce in shaved ice treat called Milo Scramble in the Philippines. I recommend the small tins from Colombia which has more chocolate and malt flavor although a tad sweeter. In other words, not all Milo are the same. Ovaltine is out because I find it too medicine-y and tastes even worse. Maybe I'll try Horlicks next time when I finish this tin of Milo.

The polvorones I made today is similar to the Spanish polvorones because I used fine almond flour instead of all wheat flour although I didn't bake them. Filipino polvorones are never baked.

April 13, 2021

Homemade Silky Tofu For Taho

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The Korean grocery store stopped selling pudding-like super soft silky tofu to make into sweet Filipino taho. I never thought of making my own taho from soy milk until I sprouted soy beans, the result of which I didn't like at all. I didn't know what to do with the dried beans and decided to make it into bean curd. Searching for recipes, I found lots for making taho just like the ones sold by ambulant peddlers in the Philippines, at the wet markets in Hong Kong, and in Dim Sum restaurants. 

It is not too complicated but it needs the correct coagulant for a silky smooth taho that is almost like almond gelatin. I used GDL coagulant that I found at Amazon. My first try in making it is a success. I made the soymilk which takes just 1 day or in my case, 4 days because I sprouted the beans first. The result is super silky soft taho exactly like the ones in restaurants and from peddlers. There is no hint of acidic flavor as others have described. I find the result superior to the store-bought tofu. I also recommend making your own soymilk instead of using store-bought because there may be added ingredients in ready made soymilk like sugar and thickener.  

GDL coagulant makes the softest smoothest silken tofu pudding taho. For firm tofu, use magnesium chloride (nigari) or calcium sulfate (food grade gypsum). These coagulants won't make tofu that is smooth and soft as the ones made with GDL.

February 10, 2021

Peanut Tikoy Rolls

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I've been reading about tikoy rolls or balls filled with peanut butter which is similar to mochi and Filipino mache. They're all cousins and each Asian country has its own version of filled glutinous rice flour steamed cakes. Chinese New Year starts in 2 days so I might as well make some. The peanut butter filled tikoy is addicting. Delicious!

Peanut Butter Tikoy Roll
1 cup glutinous rice flour
6 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup water
1 cup ground roasted peanuts
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • Mix rice flour, sugar, and water.
  • Pour into an 8 x 8 inch silicone pan.
  • Steam for 1 hour or until translucent.
  • While rice is cooking, transfer peanut butter into a Ziploc or icing bag and set aside.
  • Sprinkle or spread ground peanuts evenly on top of cooked rice cake.
  • Cover rice cake with 2 layers of plastic wrap. 
  • Invert silicone pan on kitchen counter and carefully peel the rice cake from silicone.
  • Snip a corner of the Ziploc bag and squeeze a half inch thick line of peanut butter at one end of the cake.
  • Roll cake with plastic wrap until peanut butter is completely covered and formed into a roll.
  • Cut the covered portion and pinch seams. Repeat filling and rolling the rest of rice cake.
  • Cut into 1½ inch pieces or desired length.
Brown Tikoy
1 cup glutinous rice flour
6 tablespoons coconut sugar
¾ cup water
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
banana leaves softened in hot water
  • Line 4 ramekins with 2 layers of banana leaves. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir sugar into water until sugar dissolves; add vanilla extract.
  • Stir in flour and mix until fully blended.
  • Pour rice mixture equally into the ramekins.
  • Or line a 6 inch pan with 2 layers of banana leaves and pour all the rice mixture.
  • Steam for 2½ hours.
  • Enjoy while soft and still sticky.
  • Refrigerate leftover; microwave to soften or slice, dip in beaten egg, and shallow fry in butter.

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