i like it hot.

April 25, 2006 at 5:09 am (masarap/taste good, reflectionary)

there are a few things i've learned from my tatay. i learned how to wash rice before cooking it (called saing). i learned how to shuffle a deck of cards right before playing solitare. i found the pleasure in sitting quietly on a spring afternoon listening to baseball on the radio. but the two things that that i remember the most from my tatay is how to make bibinka and how to make ginataan. i think i'm straight with the bibinka, but the ginataan is a little more tricky.

ginataan is a warm, coconut milky creamy dessert that is like comfort food with a lotta surprises in it.

sometimes, there's some jackfruit.

sometimes, there's saba cooked in brown sugar syrup in it.

sometimes, some taro root.

other times, there's sticky rice balls.

or, a pleasant purple surprise – ube (purple yam). the way i like it is with corn, rice, and bilo-bilo (small sticky rice balls).

today, i made my first batch with the aforementioned ingredients.

get this stuff:

1 cup sweet rice flour

1/4 cup water

1/2 tbs. vanilla

2 packages frozen coconut milk (thawed)*

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup sugar**

1 can coconut cream

1/2 package frozen sweet white corn (trader joe's is the sweetest)
1/2 cup uncooked rice, rinsed

do it:

1. heat coconut milk, milk & cream in a pot on medium heat till it simmers. add rinsed rice.

2. in a separate bowl, combine rice flour with just enough water to hold the dough together (approx. 1/4 of a cup). you want the dough to hold shape but not be super sticky.

3. once rice is soft, make small dough balls and place in pot. cook dough for 5 minutes, simmering on medium heat. add frozen corn and bring back to simmer. mix in vanilla and turn off heat.

4. get your ginataan on.

there could be many different variations of this dessert. you could add cocoa powder to make it chocolaty, or some fresh mangoes right before serving it to give it a little tang, chop up a bit of plantains and simmer for awhile. the possibilities are ginormous. 

*i like using the frozen coconut milk because it tastes more fresh than canned, however, canned will work as well.

**adjust the sugar to suit your taste. add a bit more if you have a sweet tooth ( :

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maple banana bread

April 7, 2006 at 6:40 am (masarap/taste good)

making banana bread makes me feel good. really, taking darkening bananas and turning it into something delicious is a good feeling, like drinking warm milk when you wake up in the morning. not to mention, it makes your house smell incredible…! my aunt once told me that when you are trying to sell your house and hold an open house, you should bake chocolate chip cookies to entice the potential buyers. if i ever sell my house in the future, i'll be baking a maple banana bread.

i made the following recipe and running out of half of the intended maple goodness, i improvised and used condensed milk, which turned out great. it made the bread fluffy and creamy, moist and with the right amount of sweetness. i also like this recipe because it doesn't have a whole lot of refined sugar. next time i'd try it with a full dose of maple syrup and see how it turns out.

ingredients:

4 cups of unbleached flour

2 large eggs

1 cup (2 sticks) melted sweet butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 mashed super ripe bananas (about 2 cups)

6 tablespoons milk 

3 tablespoons brown sugar

ready, set, go:

1. heat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. mix butter, bananas, and eggs in a bowl. mix in maple syrup and condensed milk. add milk.

3. combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl.  

4. combine flour mixture into wet ingredients only till all ingredients are combined. the secret to a good banana bread is to NOT OVERMIX. mix just well enough for everything to pull together.

5. divide batter into two 9X5 inch loaf pans. sprinkle brown sugar on top of each loaf. bake for about 40 min. or till clean knife comes out after being inserted in the middle of the loaf.

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okay so i am a chocoholic

March 3, 2006 at 8:58 am (masarap/taste good)

this week i think i’ve eaten at least one new chocolate thing each day.
sat – valhrona melted between whole wheat bread, toasted

sun – trader joe’s 70% melted in a warm croissant

mon – leftover chocolate cocoa nib cookie
tues – chocolate bibinka

ie:

wed – an italian equivalent of a ho-ho with hazelnut filling, more chocolate bibinka (story to follow) – and bought two bags of chocolate fortune cookies in oakland chinatown
thurs – 3 pieces of chocolate macadamia clusters (and bought a chocolate roll from goldilocks)
chocolate… does a body good.

however, i am really inspired to start working with fruit, learning how to infuse desserts with extraordinary flavors. last week i went to a persian market on stevens creek and bought rose and orange blossom waters, orange blossom syrup and turkish coffee. i’d love ideas on what to start on with these ingredients.

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chocococo loco

January 19, 2006 at 4:45 am (masarap/taste good)

Because I have nothing to write today:

I {heart} this blog.

And I love chocolate and coconut!! Imagine, chocolate & macapuno (a young coconut). What a couple!!! Hershey’s came out with Mauna Loa Extra Creamy Milk with Toasted Coconut & Macadamia Nuggets and they are the best thing to come out of Hersheys, EVER!!

Sadness though, they have actually discontinued the sweet because it was a limited edition : (

I have been wanting to use the toasted coconut strips that I got some months ago at Trader Joe’s and until now, I haven’t the perfect recipe to try them in. Until now…
Gâteau Choco-Coco

(from chocolateandzucchini.com)

– 75 g (1 cup) unsweetened coconut flakes
– 200 g (1 cup) sugar
– 100 g (1 stick) butter, softened
– 125 g (1/2 cup) fromage blanc or plain yogurt
– 4 eggs
– 150 g (1 1/4 cup) flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, diluted in 4 Tbsp hot water

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Line a 25-cm (10”) cake pan with parchment paper. I used a square 23-cm (9”) baking dish for easier sharing.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and sprinkle the coconut flakes over it. Put into the oven for eight minutes or until golden, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven (leave the heat on) and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or in a food processor, combine the sugar and butter. Mix until white and fluffy. Add in the fromage blanc and the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition. Add in the cocoa powder mixture and mix again.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder (sieve the flour if you’re mixing by hand) and coconut flakes. Add the flour mixture into the batter, and mix until just combined. Try not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the cake pan, level the surface with a spoon, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back to the touch, and a knife inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Don’t bake it to death, otherwise it won’t be as moist inside. Let rest on the counter for a few minutes, then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

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