Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Brissy Chrissy Foodie Finds

Spending Christmas away from what we have been used to in good ol’ Pinas, though a bit lonesome at first, always proves to be an exciting and most interesting experience.

For one, it gives us a good picture of how people in different countries celebrate (if at all) important occasions.  And being “forever-Pinoys-at-heart”, what better way to showcase the celebration of Christmas than with glorious food!

I was especially thrilled with these “finds” as they reflect how Aussie-based Pinoys have adapted to the holiday customs and traditions of the locals in the only nation-continent of the world.

Pavlova is essentially a merengue-based cake which is topped with whipped cream and fruits (usually a variety of berries) in season.  Though it is usually homemade, most just run off to the nearest grocery store to get the “basic cake” and just do the toppings at home. 😳  It is considered a traditional holiday dessert here in roo-land. 

VERDICT: Light, not too sweet… plus the berries provide the much needed anti-oxidant fix to combat those nasty free radicals brought about by consuming all those other “sinfully rich” holiday offerings – hahaha!

This was yet another “foodie-scovery”…

This is also called Christmas pudding in these parts.  I am not admittedly a huge fan but it is indeed amusing to find out that the “fruit cake circle”  (remember the joke about the 12 fruit cakes that just manage to go around every Christmas season? 😉 ) has apparently made its presence felt  here too!

Lastly, though not of the edible kind, we were pleased to be able to participate in yet another Aussie Christmas tradition – the wearing of  paper crowns around the meal table while partaking of the holiday food.  These paper crowns come from inside “explodable” Christmas bonbons (pretty much like the party poppers found in Pinas)… Too bad though that I wasn’t able to take proper pictures to illustrate my point since we were all happily “caught in the moment” of letting ’em bonbons pop to get the crowns (plus mini plastic toys!). :mrgreen:

Suffice it to say that our first Christmas Down Under was definitely memorable and that we certainly – especially with those fab desserts and poppin’ bonbons – had a “blast”!

Ooh-la-la-Laduree! :D

Being perpetual foodies-at-heart, the many fabulous sights we saw during our recent family holiday still seemed wanting to render us fully satisfied insofar as the “full sensory experience” is concerned.  Good thing  an undeniable highlight happened –  our oh-so-pleasant introduction to traditional French food! 😆

Admittedly, we were at first reluctant to try this particular cuisine as visions of small portions, exhorbitant prices and snooty maitre d’s came to mind everytime  (*shudder*) …

Thank goodness we were proven wrong!

And to shake things up a bit – I will not start my post with appetizers nor mains (expect those in later posts 😉 ) but, you guessed it – with dessert! 😳

So please, sit back, relax and let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away (Versailles, in France, to be exact), there was a family who visited a grand museum which was a royal palace once before.  Among the many paintings, sculptures, and fancy things one would expect from a palace were there, of course, but they were certainly intrigued to see this…

“Secrets?”, they wondered, as these tempting delights flashed before their eyes…  “What could they be?”  And, needless to say, curiosity got the better of them and they explored some more… they wanted to unlock whatever this “secret” was… and these seemed to hold the elusive key!

“Hmmm… too fancy!”

“Too plain…”

“Perfect match!” They all agreed. Just right.

And so, excited at having unlocked a sweet secret, they hurriedly grabbed this…

They opened the bag excitedly and found exactly what they were looking for…

Secrets that were just too sweet not to share…

For who could certainly resist treats as delectable as these? 😉  They all decided it would be best for everyone to be in on these “precious secrets”.

 The secret is out – sinfully sweet and calorie-laden  almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling – premium double-decker macarons from Laduree!

That night, they all slept happily ever after – with that unmistakeable silly macaron-triggered smile painted on their faces. They had been to macaron-heaven and back – the secret has been unlocked and they want the whole world to know.

The End.

 

Mr Cool

If you were to ask hubby the best way to beat the heat and humidity in Manila, his surefire “prescription” (at least to us who know him well) would be…

Take at least one of these (be it Quickly, Zagu, Ice Monster… name it, he’s had it!) :mrgreen: per day (now you know why it’s just so hard to lose weight!) to chase the uncomfortable heat (and stickiness too…eeewwww!!!!) away!

The photo above is actually two glasses of the all-too-familiar pink Pinoy “samalamig” I remember being  sold by street vendors with rolling wooden carts  when I was a kid staying at my grandparents’  house over the summer.  Back then, this was usually ladled into glasses from plastic jars with red lids… I never actually knew what it was called and how it tasted till fairly recently when – you guessed it – hubby was “enticed” to purchase some for a (ahem) “taste test”.

Except that these particular ones actually came from a food stall – in a mall! What can I say? “Ice scramble” has come a long way indeed! 😀

And as for hubby, all I can say is that he’s definitely…

PS Excuse the poor picture quality as I took these photos from my phone cam only.

Afternoon Delight

It’s the second day of summer break.  School’s out, the kids are home and my fridge and pantry contents badly need to be emptied (yes, our “official exodus” from the desert happens in 14 days! 😀 )…

Win-win solution? Make a yummy snack (something sweet, preferably, to please the kiddos) that use up as much ingredients as possible both from the fridge and the pantry (to please me – hahaha! 😆 ).

Guess what I came up with?

Still can’t figure it out? 😳 How about if I show you this?

Yes, you’re getting there… it is a favorite Pinoy merienda (snack) fare and it is a form of rice cake… 😉  What else could it be but…

Though I would’ve preferred a more caramelized top with the cheese melting (notes to self – get those mini blowtorch thingamajigs soon – and use the “melty” kind of cheddar cheese next time), the taste of this finished product definitely did not disappoint. It was D-E-L-I-S-H!   More importantly, hubby (when he got back from work) and the gremlins gave it their unanimous seal of approval (*clap, clap, clap!!*). 

Many thanks to my “co-desert diva”  Toni for the simple yet very tasty cassava cake recipe!  Hope to do an encore of this in Manila soon!

PS Here’s the easy recipe for anyone who may be interested.

WHAT YOU NEED:

For Cake: 2 packs grated cassava (available in most Asian stores), 1 can coconut milk, small can evaporated milk, 2 pcs raw egg, 1/4 cup butter (melted), 6 tbsp grated cheese (I used cheddar), 1/2 cup condensed milk, 14 tbsp sugar (I just used 10)

For Topping: 1 can coconut milk, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup condensed milk, 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp grated cheese, 1 pc raw egg

HOW TO:

For Cake: Combine all ingredients (except coconut milk) in bowl and mix well.  Add coconut milk until well incorporated.  Pour batter in greased baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven (10 mins prior to actual baking time) at 350F (or 176C) for 1 hour.  Set aside.

For Topping: Combine sugar and flour in heated sauce pan.  Pour in condensed milk and mix thoroughly.  Add cheese while stirring constantly.  Pour in coconut milk in mixture and stir continuously for 10 mins or until mixture thickens.

Pour topping over cake and spread evenly.  Separate egg and set aside yolk.  Glaze topping with egg white.  Broil cassava cake until color turns light brown.  Garnish with grated cheese and serve.  Share and enjoy! :mrgreen:

 

Birthday Boy’s Blessed Bash

Unlike the “bigger” celebrations (in terms of venue and number of guests) of previous years, hubby’s birthday this year was much simpler – yet, if I may say, more personal and intimate. 😀

We just celebrated at home with me cooking/baking…

Fresh from the oven, savory goodness…

Chicken ala King – for the “king of the house” 😉

And what better way to say, “Long live, the ‘king’!” than with this long-life pasta dish – Baked Spaghetti!

Hmmm… something missing from your simple spread?

…and him going to our newest favorite bakeshop, Saadedin, to grab the requisite cake(s).

Oh yes, the birthday boy had – not one, not two – but  5 different kinds of birthday cake! :mrgreen:

Yum, yum!

Since he was spoilt for choice for his birthday cake(s),  wonder which cake will he choose to blow? 😳  It came down to these two “finalists”…

Caramel?

Or chocolate? 🙄

Whatever the party or wherever we may be, I’ve always believed that birthdays are meant to be “grateful days” – a perfect time to take stock of what has happened in one’s life thus far, to count blessings and to look hopefully to the future… And if we could do this with the ones we love,  then all the better, right? 😉

 

Incidentally, he chose both! After all, birthday boy knows best! 😆

Belated happy birthday, Hon! Your life is truly a blessing. Looking forward to spending more blessed birthdays with you and the gremlins. Love you!

 

LaPiS: Flour

Though I do not consider myself a baker nor a pastry chef  by any stretch of the imagination, I admit that I do feel mighty proud of myself when I am able to pop these baked goodies from scratch from my oven…

Divalette’s packed lunch for today 🙂

My sister’s birthday cake.  Related story here. 

Of course, with much help from this week’s “featured ingredient” – FLOUR!

To see what other fab foods can come out of flour, visit LaPiS.

 

Chill Thrill

Alas, the comfortably cool days of winter have finally bid us adieu… and – in this part of the world most especially – the heat is most definitely ON!!!  😥 

Goodbye, 20s and 30s… hello 40s! ( just to make it clear – I’m talking about temperature on the Celsius scale here – and NOT my age, okay?) :mrgreen:

Good thing hubby discovered these babies during our recent trip to our favorite Japanese hyakuen (one hundred yen – or the equivalent in riyals – in our case 😉 ) store – Daiso

Yes, what better way to keep cool on a warm summer day than with these…

Homemade popsicle makers – with straws! 😎 I remember having similar contraptions like these when I was little (I think my mom bought it from the roving Tupperware lady) but this is the first time I’ve seen one with straws – perfect for catching those sticky popsicle drips – even before they happen! Now that’s doubly cool if you ask me! 😉 

And so, with hubby’s equally bright idea of freezing some strawberry milk to make the popsicles, it was pretty exciting to see our three gremlins’ wide-eyed anticipation in having their first taste of homemade popsies – something, incidentally, that they also helped in preparing earlier.

The verdict?

What can I say? Leave it to the Japanese to think of amazing innovations to seemingly ordinary and long-forgotten kitchen gadgets.  And at the very reasonable price of SR7 (USD1.86), it’s truly a delightfully cheap (chill) thrill.

A return trip to Daiso is surely in the offing.  Subarashii desu! 😀