Ube Bars

My brother tells me that ube bars are common in various neighborhood panaderia (bread bakery).  I felt insulted.  Not my kind of ube bars, I said.  Mine are special!

I set to work to prove him wrong.

My bars have a lovely thick bottom crust… and the ube filling is full of ube flavor – not from a flavoring agent but from the real thing!  And there is a thin, crackly crust on top too.

He sent me a pm a day later – he ate his words.  He said – Definitely not panaderia fare!

Whoooo hooooo!

(The little girl is likewise enamored with it!)

 

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Orange Loaf

We had a couple of oranges just sitting fridge. The little girl did not want juice and no one else wanted to eat them. I was getting worried that it would spoil… sooner or later…

So as usual, I looked for something to bake that would use the orange! Obvious solution, orange cake! Of course I did not ordinary orange cake, I wanted ooommmph… which meant some form of alcohol content!

I found a solution in the book “Booze Cakes”… the recipe that was entitled “Screwdriver Cupcakes”.  The original recipe used orange vodka, but i used triple sec (I did not have orange vodka on hand!)  The recipe also specified coconut but I skipped that as well.

The idea of a frosting, while tempting, was also dismissed.  I was thinking of sharing the cake with my mother and she does not appreciate frostings!  So I baked the recipe in 2 loaf pans and when they finished baking I just brushed a mix of marmalade and orange juice on top to make a sticky orange loaf!  As extra, I placed some candied orange (diced) on top of one of the loaves (this loaf went to my mom).

Hubby and the little girl loved it!  The little girl!  who often disliked any flavor other than chocolate!  The little girl asked for seconds and thirds!!!

My mom (and younger brother) loved it too!

Wow!

Also, a tip that I learned – takes more work, I know, but believe me, IT IS WORTH IT!!!!

Rub the orange zest in the sugar!!!!!!

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

If you want a fast and easy dessert to cool you down, this is it.  This is as easy as… well, pie!

Buy a chocolate cookie crumb crust from the supermarket.  While you’re there, grab a tub of your favorite chocolate ice cream.  Before heading to the check out counter, drop by the aisle where they keep the chocolate syrup.

Upon reaching home, let the ice cream soften a little, then scoop into the cookie crumb crust.  Freeze until solid, then top with with the chocolate syrup!

Done!

(The easy version is always the sweeter version.)

Of course, if you want to do it the hard way…

For the crust – Mix 2 cups of chocolate cookie crumbs with 6 to 7 tablespoons of melted butter.  Press evenly into a 9-inch pie plate and bake at 350F for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Cool completely.

(I don’t add sugar anymore since I feel the cookies are sweet enough especially if whole Oreo cookies are used.  But, if you like a sweeter crust, by all means, add sugar as you prefer, but don’t go over a third of a cup or it will be too much.)

For the chocolate ice cream –

1 cup full cream milk
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
100 grams at least 62% bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
1 cup condensed milk
60 grams cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place the full cream milk in a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the “caviar” into the milk; throw in the pod too. Stir in the cocoa and salt. Heat over low-medium fire until the cocoa is dissolved and the mixture is almost boiling. Stir constantly.

Remove from the heat, add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted and mixed in. Stir in condensed milk. Cool in the fridge.

When the chocolate mixture is fully cool, whip the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add the cream in fourths and whip until soft peaks. Fold in the the chocolate mixture.

Churn in an ice cream maker, according to machine instructions, or freeze for 6 hours or so, stirring the mixture every hour to minimize formation of ice crystals.

Scoop the chocolate ice cream into the chocolate cookie crust and freeze until solid.

Finally for the topping – Heat 120 grams whipping cream until almost boiling (but do not boil). Stir in 60 grams (at least 62%) bittersweet chocolate (chopped) and mix util chocolate is melted. Cool. Then pour onto the ice cream pie. Freeze until ready to serve.

Fudgy Brownies from Bravetart

It is very very fudgy and super chocolate-y, but I wonder why it doesn’t have the crispy crust on top?  Maybe because I used a glass baking dish instead of an anodized baking pan?

Well, I guess that’s it, especially after I read this article.  So now I am on a mad search for an anodized baking pan (or maybe a set…)

Anyway, I bought the book!  Which is rare these days.  I used to collect cookbooks and have hundreds but lately I only buy a book when I really really like it and even then I usually buy the digital version – there is something about being able to bring hundreds or thousands of cookbooks with you all the time.  I like that I can just open my tablet or Kindle and read anywhere, anytime!  Then again, I still like the feel of pages… so…

I bought the book!  I know I could have relied on the recipes that could be found online but after reading all the reviews and hearing all good things about the book… I resisted no further and clicked the “buy” button.

The recipe for brownies was the first I tried.  It’s rather complicated compared to my own brownie recipe (which doesn’t require a mixer even) but still worth it because it is delicious!  Of course hubby declares this brownie (and all others too) as “never as good as” mine but then again, he is my number 1 fan and a super loyalist! (hahaha)

The recipe can be found here.

(Now, where the heck can I find anodized pans????)

Salted Egg Prawns

Salted egg yolks are the “IN” thing right now.  salted egg yolk potato chips, waffles, vegetables, chicken, shrimp…

So here is  my take on the shrimp dish.

Let me just say that I have an issue with just using the yolks.  I keep wondering what to do with the salted egg whites!!!  So to avoid wastage or the problem of what to do with the whites, I threw them right into the dish (hence my dish is salted egg shrimp and not salted egg yolk shrimp).

Also, i kind of dislike the “creamy” or “saucy” kind…

20 pieces large shrimp
cornstarch or tapioca starch
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

3 salted eggs, organic preferred*
thumb-sized ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece siling pansigang (green chili), sliced**

The first thing to do is to prepare the shrimp/prawn. Cut the heads from the bodies.  Trim the heads and remove the “horn”, as well as any “whiskers” and “feet”.  Set aside in its own bowl.  Sprinkle with a large pinch of sea salt and several turns of pepper grinder.  Mix lightly.

Remove the shell from the bodies.  Make a long slit at the back and remove the “vein”.  Make the slit a bit deep, but not past halfway.  Pat dry.  Place in a bowl.  Sprinkle with a large pinch of sea salt and several turns of pepper grinder.  Mix lightly.  Leave to marinate about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep frying pan, to deep fry the shrimp.

Sprinkle the shrimp heads and shrimp bodies (in their separate bowls still) with  cornstarch or tapioca starch.  Eye-ball it, use just enough that they are coated but not thickly so.  When the oil is very hot, deep fry the shrimp heads and shrimp bodies.  In my smallish wok, it took 3 batches for the shrimp heads to cook and 4 batches for the bodies.  (The shrimp bodies should curl in a “round” shape.)  Drain on paper towels.

While the shrimp is frying, remove the shells from the salted eggs and chop coarsely.  Set aside.

Remove excess oil from the pan, leaving only about 1/2 tablespoon.  Sauté the ginger and garlic.  When fragrant, add the chili (whichever you prefer).  Add the chopped salted eggs.  Stir lightly over low-medium heat until the mixture in foamy.

Return the fried shrimp to the pan and mix lightly.  Season to taste, if desired (in my case, I felt it was not necessary).

Serve immediately.

*the salted eggs found in the supermarkets here are already cooked and ready to eat.  they are usually colored purple, but the organic ones are not colored and are of better quality.

**if a spicier dish is preferred, use the smaller, spicier bird’s eye chili (labuyo), the more, the spicier!

 

Suman sa Kamoteng Kahoy

I don’t have an English translation for this – when I searched (in Google) for what it is in English, most sites said it was a rice cake of sorts.  But this is not strictly true since there are many kinds of suman, and while most are made of rice and/or rice flour, not all suman is made of rice/rice flour…

This suman in particular.  This suman is made from kamoteng kahoy or cassava.

And this is the kind of suman that I loved as a child.  Unfortunately, in recent times, it has been gussied up so much (with chocolate, too much sweetener, etc.) that I can’t find my favorite childhood suman!!!  hmpf.

I want the plain, simple suman!

It is not difficult to make, really. BUT, BUT, what is complicated is processing the cassava.  I had always been warned to be careful because choosing the wrong kind of cassava or making a mistake in grating or processing it means danger – it is said to have a poisonous compound!

Then, wonder or wonders, I found frozen grated cassava in a specialty store!

And of course I set to work making my favorite!!!

1 kilo frozen, grated cassava, thawed
1 young coconut, grated (drink the water, it is healthy!!!)
muscovado sugar, depending on taste, 250grams to 450grams

banana leaves, passed through heat to soften

Just how easy is it?

Mix the thawed grated cassava with the coconut strips and sugar. Wrap in banana leaves. Steam about 30 minutes. Done.

Then enjoy!