Lemon-Strawberry Roll

Friend C gave us these big, fat, juicy strawberries last week.  We wanted to eat them as is but I gave specific instructions to leave some because I wanted to make this cake!

Truth be told though, I bought some more strawberries because I wanted strawberry curd for the filling and real strawberry buttercream for the frosting!

For the cake, I used a different recipe.  I found this book in a second-hand bookstore –

with the recipe for Lemon Jelly Roll on page 234.

While I already have a lemon sponge cake recipe (which I believe to be the best), I am always ready and willing to try other recipes!

Anyway, I got the recipe for the cake from the book.  My adapted version –

Prepare the jelly roll pan first of all! I usually just line line with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Sift together then set aside –

1-1/4 cups AP flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine and beat (on low-medium speed), for 2 minutes*, –

3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon, plus soya oil to make a total of 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a separate bowl, beat 3 egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until frothy. Add 1/2 cup sugar by tablespoonfuls and beat until stiff peaks (but not dry).

Fold half of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gradually add the flour mixture to the yolk batter (I used an 1/8 cup per addition), folding gently after each addition. Fold the remaining egg whites into the yolk batter.

Place the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a tea towel** slightly larger than the size of the pan. (The recipe specifies that it be dusted with powdered sugar but I don’t do it.) Immediately after baking (make sure that the cake is really done but not overdone), invert the cake on the cloth and remove the paper. Gently roll the cake on the shorter end. Leave the cake until it cools.

Fill the cake with strawberry curd and re-roll. Frost with strawberry buttercream and garnish with strawberries and strawberry syrup.

Notes –
* the original recipe specified that the lemon and orange juices be heated but I did not follow that instruction.
** I used the material from a flour sack, sewing 2 layers together to make a sheet that was 1 inch larger than my pan on all sides. So far none of my cakes have gotten stuck. I was told that the material is muslin but honestly I don’t know!

For the rest I wanted STRAWBERRYYYYYYYYY!!!!!  Strawberry curd for the filling, strawberry buttercream for the frosting… I wanted more strawberry so I decided the cake would have strawberries for garnish.  And to make things even more strawberry, I thought of making a strawberry syrup or glaze, ALL from REAL STRAWBERRIES!!!

All in all, I used about 1 kilogram of strawberries!!!!

For the filling, I got the recipe for strawberry curd from bakedbyrachel – that was 450 grams of strawberries right there…

For the buttercream and syrup, I followed the advise of a friend – Macerate about 350 grams of strawberries with some brown sugar for a couple of hours.  Lightly mash the strawberries to draw out more of its juice.  Drain well. Heat the strawberry juice liquid until reduced.  Add sugar as desired to obtain the sweetness level that you like.  This is the strawberry syrup (it’s actually loose and not thick at all).  For the rest of the mashed strawberries, place in a heavy pot and add the juice of 1 lemon.  Heat over low heat and blend using a hand blender.  Heat gently and cook until thick.  Cool completely.  Chill.

I like my buttercream to be looser and less sweet so I generally use (considerably) less powdered sugar.  But basically, it’s softened butter, powdered sugar, and the cooled strawberry puree!  That’s it!

Having said and done all that, it does not have to be THAT complicated – instead of using homemade strawberry curd for the filling, use your favorite strawberry jam.  For the frosting, there are many ready-to-use frosting available off the shelf; same with the strawberry syrup!  The cake will still be good!  Promise!

Anyway, we served a slice of the cake to the kid’s piano teacher.  And he raved about it!!!!

Creamy Coleslaw

Who doesn’t like KFC chicken?  I am a fan!  But there is something else they sell that I really like – it’s their coleslaw!!!  I like that it is minced and that it has pineapple.  I like that the dressing is sweet…

But when I make my own I make it differently.  Why?  Well, because I am lazy! I just shred the cabbage and even if I would like to mince the cabbage, I am simply too lazy!!!  Plus, hubby seems to prefer crunchy slivers to tiny minced pieces…

In any case, it is delicious!  Even if I do say so myself! 🙂

1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
1 small head purple cabbage, shredded
(should come up to 2-1/2 to 3 cups of shredded cabbage total)
1 medium carrot, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste, as preferred
1 tablespoon minced celery
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
ground pepper, to taste

Toss shredded cabbage, carrots, and drained crushed pineapple tidbits together. (Some of the coleslaw I’ve eaten have raisins and minced onions i them but I prefer mine without. You may add them, if you prefer or as you like.)

In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, minced celery, and spices. (Just to let you know my brother likes his coleslaw with a dash of mustard!!!) Add vegetables and toss to mix. Chill at least 4 hours.

Pork Pata, Osso Buco style

Hubby doesn’t eat beef anymore so once in a while I make a beef dish using pork.  This particular one is Osso Buco but using pork leg.

about 1 kilogram of lean pork leg pieces
1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

7 pieces small Spanish onions
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 big carrot and/or potato, cubed
handful of celery leaves
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, or to taste
2 pcs. bay leaves

Clean the pork leg pieces by rubbing with salt and rinsing then parboiling.  Dry thoroughly with paper towels.  Dredge in seasoned flour mixture. Shake off excess; set aside. Heat butter and oil together until butter melts. Brown the pork leg pieces on each side, around 5 to 8 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Sauté garlic and onions until fragrant in the same pan. Add carrots and/or potatoes and celery leaves. Put the beef shanks back in the pan and mix in the cooking wine and diced tomatoes.  Add enough water or stock to cover everything and throw in the spices.

I always use my magic cooker to cook this dish.  But it can be cooked with a slow cooker as well, or a pressure cooker.

When the mixture boils, I let it simmer about 10 to 15 minutes on the stovetop and then put the pot into the magic cooker.  After 4 hours, I check if the meat is tender.  If it is not, then I place the inner pot on the stove and let it simmer another 15 minutes then it goes back into the magic cooker for another 2 to 4 hours.

To cook in a slow cooker –  Simmer over low for about 4 hours or until meat is tender.

To cook in a pressure cooker –  Pressure cook for about 25 minutes. Wait for pressure to dissipate before opening the pressure cooker.

After the pork is cooked until tender, use tongs to gently transfer the pork leg pieces to a serving dish.

Cook the sauce over low-medium heat and simmer until reduced to desired consistency. Check and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Hubby liked the dish very much!


Mocha Roll

Today is an extraordinary day… two of my childhood best buds came over for lunch – that’s not unusual at all.  What is special today, however, is the fact that I am NOT cooking!!!!!  It is one of those rare times when someone volunteered to cook for me!!!!!!!  And I really, really appreciate it!

Of course I could not be “ungrateful” and contribute nothing to the feast, so I took the opportunity to bake a cake roll with my “new” electric oven…

Since I had a lot of time, I cooked custard for the filling too… and while I was at it, I experimented with a different buttercream – a more stable one, as suggested by a friend of mine.  These days, because of the heat and humidity, my buttercream always, always melt!  So I wanted to see if her secret (not so secret anymore I guess) technique would work wonders for me!

Basically, to stabilize my buttercream, she said, I had to use a bit of Crisco (butter flavored) with the butter.  To be honest, when I heard this, I was hesitant because I have always felt an unpleasant mouth-feel when using Crisco.  But my friend said that I could use about 1 tablespoon of Crisco for every half cup of butter and it would not be noticeable at all!  So, what the hey, it was a day for experimenting…

Well, guess what?  it worked!  and I did not notice any weird mouthfeel at all!!!!


Ginataang Langka at Mais

Ginataan means cooked in coconut (milk or cream).  It could be savory or sweet.  This is a sweet one.  I previously posted one for Ginataang Mais at Sago, this time it is langka (jackfruit) and mais (corn), but it still has sago and bilo-bilo, which are sticky rice balls…

4 cups coconut milk
1/3 to 1/2 cup muscovado, or to taste
a lot of langka (jackfruit), sliced in bite-sized pieces
1-1/2 cups shredded sweet corn (canned is okay)
about 20 pieces bilo-bilo (sticky rice balls)
1 cup thick coconut cream
1/2 to 1 cup cooked sago (tapioca)

Mix coconut milk and sugar together in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium fire. When the mixture boils, add the langka (jackfruit) and reduce the heat to low-medium, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes, then add the corn kernels and bilo bilo. Cook until the bilo bilo float (this means they are cooked already). Add the coconut cream and sago. Let simmer a few minutes. Adjust sweetness, if desired. Serve hot.

I think I like the ginataan with langka best of all… if only langka was not expensive!!!!!


Kamote Buns stuffed with Ube

We had some kamote (sweet potatoes) left.  Actually, I did it on purpose and asked everyone in the household to leave some for me to make bread!  I followed the recipe by Fleischmann’s, although I formed them into buns and filled them with ube halaya (purple yam “jam”)

I loved them!!!!  But the kid didn’t really care for them…  She thought it was a bit weird!