Ube Cupcakes, with Yema and Coconut Buttercream

Variation on the same theme as the one earlier, this time using yema as filling instead of the ube halaya.  We gave these for friend J’s birthday!

I think I like this variant better than the first one!

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Ube Cupcakes, with Ube Filling and Coconut Buttercream

In case no one has noticed… I LOVE UBE!  Cakes, halaya, pastillas… even savory dishes!!!

Here’s one of my experimental cupcakes… I keep thinking that I can make a better ube cupcake so I keep trying.  And I want to use real ube, not some flavoring…

The recipe for this –

Combine and set aside –

1-1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 to 1 cup sugar

Stir together –

1/2 cup (cooled) boiled, mashed ube
1/3 cup milk

Mix together, using a hand mixer –

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup soya oil
2 large eggs

Add the dry ingredients to the egg-butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the ube-milk mixture.

Scoop the batter into 12 paper-lined cupcake tins.  Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Don’t over bake.  Cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cooled, place a small mound of ube halaya on top of each cupcake then pipe coconut buttercream swirl to cover the cupcake and the ube halaya.

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!

Bibingka!

This is not the first time I made bibingka… truth is, I’ve been experimenting on and off for years.  The first relatively successful one did not look all that nice but it was ok.  This latest experiment is the most successful one, I think (a slightly different recipe from before).

Bibingka is a local “cake” made from rice flour.  I’ve seen many recipes for bibingka without using rice flour and to me this is plain cheating!  It is not bibingka if it is not made from rice flour!  Now, there are many kinds of bibingka – the fluffy kind (which is the kind this one is), a heavier pudding-like concoction, another kind made from cassava… it seems that there are as many kinds of bibingka as there are provinces or regions in the country!!!

The other “secret” to bibingka is the banana leaf lining.  For some reason, it does not quite taste like bibingka unless its bottom is covered in banana leaf!

There are special bibingka “ovens” where several can be cooked, in a “tower” with “drawers” where the bibingka pan is placed.  It is difficult to describe but it is the best I can do.  Google has many images of bibingka ovens for those who want to get a visual picture.

My version of bibingka is the one that I personally like.  I don’t know if it is any one of the variants of any region but what I can say with honesty is that the inspiration for it is the bibingka from Via Mare Cafe.  I “upgraded” my version by including real coconut flakes in the batter. The recipe also has cake flour because I found that the bibingka has a softer bounce to it with cake flour in the mix.

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled

tender/moist coconut flakes, about 1/2 cup

sliced kesong puti (local white cheese made from carabao milk)
1 salted egg, coarsely chopped

butter or margarine to serve (margarine is preferred locally)

grated coconut to serve

Preheat oven to 435 to 450F. Prepare a 2 7-inch bibingka pans by buttering the pan, fitting a banana leaf on the bottom of the pan and buttering the banana leaf.  In my case, I used 1 bibingka pan and 6 large muffin tins to make mini-bibingka.

Note – my bibingka is baked in my convection oven, with the fan on, because I will not buy a bibingka oven!!!

Stir together dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in coconut flakes (or actual coconut strips but make sure that actual coconut strips have been patted dry).

Pour into the prepared pans, top with kesong puti slices and chopped salted egg pieces.

Bake 20-25 minutes for the big pan and about 15 minutes for the muffin tins.

Brush with melted butter straight from the oven.

Serve piping hot with more butter and grated coconut on the side.

Buko-Macapuno Muffins

I have a basic, standard muffin recipe but I decided I was ready to try another recipe.  The one that caught my fancy was the “Anything but Basic Muffin Recipe” by Broma Bakery.  There’s many variants of the muffin but I wanted to make a variant with a local flair – hence this Buko (coconut) Macapuno (mutant coconut!) muffin.

Mix dry ingredients together –

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix wet ingredients together

2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup melted butter-flavored Crisco (because I discovered too late that I ran out of butter!)
3/4 cup coconut milk (originally buttermilk)
1 teaspoon each vanilla and coconut extract

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet; mixing only until just combined.

Fold in 2/3 cup coconut flakes (the moist, tender kind, not desiccated).

Scoop into muffin tins lined with paper cups (I got 6 large muffins and 8 mini-muffins).   Spoon macapuno (I used chunky sweetened macapuno that came in a bottle) on the top.

Bake in a preheated 375F oven (I did not follow the oven instructions!).  For the large muffins, bake about 25 minutes.  For the mini-muffins, bake about 15 minutes.

We shared the muffins with friends and the consensus is – IT’S GOOD!!!!

Coconut-Rum Cupcakes with Ube Halaya Centers and Ube-Coconut Buttercream

Coconut is never my first choice when thinking of baking cupcakes.  But I had leftover coconut cream in the fridge, as well as coconut flakes… so for hubby friend’s birthday, coconut cupcakes it is.  And, since I had leftover ube halaya, the cupcakes got an ube halaya center and ube-coconut buttercream on top!

Of course I did not have a coconut cupcake recipe on hand!  Thank goodness there’s a number of them on the internet.  I picked one from Brown-eyed Baker.  As usual, I changed a few things…

my adaptation –

1-1/4 cups flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
1/2 cup butter (I used butter flavored Crisco)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream (well-stirred)
2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Place paper cups in cupcake tins.

Stir flour, baking powder, salt and coconut flakes together (I did not process the coconut flakes); set aside.

Beat Crisco and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat to mix well.  Add vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the coconut cream and coconut rum.

Scoop mixture into the paper cups.  Place a small teaspoon of ube halaya in the center of the batter.  Bake for about 18-22 minutes; rotate pan midway.

When the cupcakes have cooled.  Frost as desired.  I used ube-coconut buttercream for mine.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup ube halaya
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut cream (well stirred)

For the frosting – Beat butter and halaya until well combined. Gradually add powdered sugar (adjust according to personal taste). Add coconut cream by tablespoons, beating well after each addition.

 

 

Tortang Alimango

This is a simple dish, IF the crab meat has already been removed from the crabs!!!!

BTW, as opposed to the English language where the term crab encompasses everything, in our local language there are specific terms for crab – alimasag for the salt water blue crab, alimango for mud crabs, talangka for salt water shore crabs, katang for fresh water crabs.  We also have coconut crabs (dunno the local term for this one), and recently I’ve come across what was labelled “ocean crabs” whose shells are thick, and whose flavor in dishes is very pronounced but the crab itself has very little meat!  (got a couple of dishes made of these in future posts)

Anyway, the recipe for Tortang Alimango or Crabmeat Omelette is one that was given to me through oral instruction.  Any crab meat may be used and I have, on occasion, bought canned crab meat and frozen flaked crab meat to use.  Traditionally though, we collect the meat found in the “legs” because those tend to be discarded at the dinner table and it seemed a waste!

For every 3 pieces of egg, use about 1/2 cup crab meat.  For a family of 6, we use 6 eggs, which meant we had to collect 1 cup of crab meat – which is definitely NOT easy so if we were short on the crab meat we augmented with diced potatoes.  These days though, I use kani, or Japanese crab sticks (cut into smaller pieces of course) to augment…

Back to the recipe – sauté diced onions and tomatoes (should be proportionate to the size of the omelette) and add the crab meat, stir fry for several seconds.  Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Stir in the slightly cooled sautéed crab meat.  Pour into a heated, non-stick pan.  Cook until done (both sides).

Serve hot with ketchup!

 

Pork Sinigang sa Batwan

Sinigang is a popular sour soup made with pork, beef, fish or seafood (mostly shrimp).  The usual souring agent is sampalok (tamarind), but other souring agents, such as kamias (bilimbi?), calamansi, even green (unripe) mango, can be used.  I’ve even heard of sinigang using bayabas (guava).

But in my mom’s hometown province, they use batwan!  What is batwan???? Mmmm, there’s a few articles of it online – just type batwan or batuan in Google.

I got lucky when A-te J brought some with her when she came back.

Even luckier when she cooked sinigang with it!!!

How is it used as a souring agent in sinigang?  Well, according to A-te J, just throw 5 to 10 pieces of batwan into the pot with all the other ingredients (half kilo pork, water, tomatoes, etc.) and let it boil until the batwan is soft, then lightly mash the batwan to bring out even more sourness…

We usually start by sautéing ginger and tomatoes then stirfrying (cleaned, rinsed) pork rib pieces.  Broth or water is added, as well as the batwan and gabi (taro) if using.  Let the pot boil and add the veggies as desired (sitaw, kangkong, puso ng saging, labanos, etc.).  When the batwan is soft, mash lightly and stir.  The soup will thicken slightly.  Adjust seasonings as desired.  Serve hot!

Ube, Ube, More Ube!

Who knows if ube is uniquely or exclusively a Filipino food.  What I do know is that it has traditionally been considered as Filipino.  And we grew up with it!  Ube jam, ube cake, simple boiled ube with melted butter… ube ice cream… ube kakanin… there are even ube dishes that are savory!

More importantly, I don’t know anyone (consider though that my world is small!) who does not like ube!  I do know that most of my friends love it… and they love it even more when I make ube cake.

This particular one, however, is not the usual ube chiffon cake that I make.  For friend J’s birthday, I decided to go for a heavier cake – an ube pound cake, filled with ube halaya, and garnished with ube rossettes topped with macapuno balls.

It was a big hit and everybody loved it!