Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brazo de Mercedes

Brazo de Mercedes is a meringue roll with yellow custard filling and very popular Filipino dessert. It is very easy to make and ingredients can easily be found at any grocery stores. It took us about a total of 35 minutes to make (and bake) from start to finish. Last time I had this was probably a decade ago and I remember Goldilocks makes the best Brazo de Mercedes, hands down! ... Here's our attempt to make a homemade custard meringue roll...

Ingredients (Meringue)

10 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F
In a big bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar using an electric hand mixer
Gradually add sugar, continue mixing until it reaches it's thick and stiff stage
Spread the mixture on a greased wax paper on top of a baking pan or cookie sheet
Bake for 22 minutes or until golden light brown

Ingredients (Custard filling)

10 egg yolks
1 can condensed milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract

In a saucepan, mix egg yolks, vanilla extract and condensed milk until thoroughly combined and keep stirring over a medium heat until mixture thickens. Set aside and let it cool.

Once meringue is done, let it cool for few minutes and sprinkle powdered sugar on top
Flip it over on a cookie sheet with wax paper and spread the mixture evenly. Roll it carefully from one (longer) side to the other and transfer on a larger plate or cake box. Slice, serve, share and enjoy! ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons (Filipino Style) is a dessert that is simply made from sweet shredded coconut, condensed milk, eggs, butter, vanilla extract and sugar. They are baked using a mini-muffin pan with mini paper liners. It is very popular in the Philippines as well as in the States. You can easily find these ingredients at any local grocery stores. It is easy, delicious and definitely a treat for sweet tooth. Growing up, we always have this as an appetizer or dessert only on special occasions. My Mom makes it and it is by far one of my favorites. As we were making it, I remember how excited I was whenever my Mom cook or bake. She would let me measure and mix the ingredients. Today, seeing my son enjoying it just as much is very heartwarming. 


14 oz. of shredded coconut
14 oz. can condensed milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup butter
½ cup light brown sugar
3 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a big bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add condensed milk, vanilla extract and eggs. Using an electric mixer, mix for 30 seconds in lowest setting. Finally, add the shredded or desicated coconut and blend using a spatula. I highly suggest using a mini muffin pan with liners and fill it with the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Puto Molds: Plastic Steaming Cup Moulds

Puto Molds / Kutchinta or Rice Cake Molds

Please remember, this lot comes in different colors OR you may receive all 10 molds in one color

  • Made of Plastic
  • Best for Steaming only
  • Small size cup measures approx. 1.25"
  • Medium Size measures approx. 2.25" 
  • Large Size measures approx. 3"
  • Brand new cups
  • Imported from Philippines

This Mold is Best use for Filipino Desserts: 

 What is Kutchinta? Kutchinta are small jello-like rice cakes that are sweet. They are best served with with dried grated coconut meat on top



What is Puto Cheese? Puto is the generic name for a rice cake made from galapong (rice flour), slightly sweetened and steamed. It is a very popular snack in Philippines


What is Pichi-pichi? Pichi Pichi is a dessert made out of grated cassava and sugar coated with grated coconut


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Friday, January 11, 2013

Siopao Asado

Siopao Asado is a filipino version of Chinese steamed dumplings with a sweet pork filling. Siopao is a Hokkien term for bāozi which means steamed buns. In Thailand it is called Salapao and in Philippines it's called Siopao. It is definitely one of my favorite snacks when I was in the Philippines. Coming home from work late afternoon, I remember my Dad would bring home some siopao for snack and this will fill us up until dinner time. The recipe I found online didn't include hard boiled eggs but I remember vaguely that that's my favorite "bonus" filling in my snack, so I made sure to add it in our home-made Siopao.

My little chef is too eager to start with the dough and I kept telling him that the filling has to come first.  But before we start, I explained to him our kitchen safety rules and most importantly, our work area & counter must be thoroughly cleaned and our hands as well.

Sweet Pork Filling Ingredients

2 lbs pork, cut into small pieces
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 large red onion, minced
1 tsp cornstarch, diluted in 1/4 cup water
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce 

Dough Ingredients

Yeast-sugar-water mixture

2 cups warm water
1 pouch dry yeast
2 ½ tbsp sugar 

Flour Mixture

½ cup sugar 
½  cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tbsp baking powder
6 tbsp shortening

Let's cook the filling shall we?...

  • Heat cooking oil in pan.
  • Saute the garlic and onions.
  • Add pork and cook until the color of the outer part turns light brown.
  • Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, Hoisin sauce, and sugar then mix well.
  • Simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is tender.
  • Add Diluted cornstarch in water and mix until sauce becomes thick
  • Turn off heat, Set aside.

Now, it's time to make the dough...

  • To make the dough, first prepare the 2 cups of warm water in a bowl then add the yeast and sugar and mix well.
  • Leave the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes

  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, shortening and the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Knead the dough until it becomes fine.
  • Set aside for an hour in the mixing bowl and cover.
  • Knead the dough again and make form a tire shape then cut into individual slices
  • Form the cut dough into a ball and flatten using the rolling pin.
  • Put a spoonful of the Asado filling in the middle of the flattened dough and pinch the edges until sealed on top.

  • Put a wax paper underneath and place it in the steamer.

  • Steam for 15 minutes. Do not crowd the Siopao. They will rise and become bigger after steaming.

By the way, this is not my recipe. I made few tweaks to the original recipe I got from Panlasang Pinoy website to make it work for me. I reduce the sugar and oyster sauce and added more flour since it was too soft and sticky. You can definitely adjust size and change meat-filling as well. Freeze left-overs. So whenever you crave for it, just pop one in the microwave! :)ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Suman sa lihiya

To start this year easy and simple, we decided to make Suman. There are many variations of Suman but this particular one we chose is the simplest of them all. Suman sa lihiya is a Filipino delicacy made of glutinous rice or sticky rice with lye water and wrapped snugly in a banana leaf. When I was little, every day during holy week my Grandma takes me to a local Market and she'll buy a lot of Suman, sweet ripe yellow mangoes and Sikwate (Hot cocoa). Suman is best eaten with latik (a coconut milk residue), brown sugar, white sugar, fruit jams or nutella!

Here are the ingredients:

2-1/4 cups glutinous rice
1 teaspoon lye water
2 cups water
1 package banana leaf, cut and size 8x10

Cooking Procedure

  • Place the glutinous rice in a large mixing bowl then pour 2 cups of water and let it soak for 3 hours.
  • Drain excess water. Add the teaspoon of lye water and mix thoroughly.
  • Prepare banana leaf. The bigger leaf should measure about 8x10 while the smaller is 3x5.
  • Arrange the banana leaves by placing the larger leaf first in a flat surface then put the smaller leaf in the center, diagonally.
  • Add a spoonful of the rice mixture and place it in the middle.

  • Fold the leaf in half twice and close each side by folding toward the center about two inches.
  • Set aside with the flap down and continue to make another wrap.

  • Put together both of the folded banana leaf, flap facing each other and secure it with a kitchen twine on each side.

  • Once done wrapping all the rice mixture in the banana leaf, arrange them in a cooking pot and fill in water.
  • Turn on to medium high heat and boil for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Turn off and drain water.
  • Carefully open and transfer to serving dish. Enjoy! :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Get Your Kids Cooking

My fondest memories as a kid were in my Mom's Kitchen. I'm always amazed by her cooking skills. She's very creative and can cook many dishes without following any recipes. She just knows what to do. Now that I am a Mother, I want to share those skills I learned with my son. Luckily, kids are enthusiastic about cooking as early as 4! My little guy always calls it "Our cooking show"... Why Cooking? It is perfect for Children. It offers them the opportunity to learn a valuable skill and, of course, it is a form of bonding time between Parents and their kids and that's priceless.

Caution: Children at work!

Safety tips for your little helper

Children love to play and help in the kitchen. Teaching your child to cook can be a terrific memory for both of you, as well as a valuable learning experience for him or her. But cooking can also be very hazardous. Kids need to know the rules right away. Here are some guidelines to help you keep your budding chef safe and healthy in the kitchen. Even the smallest helpers, aged 2 to 3, can learn safety rules if they are simple and repeated patiently as often as necessary.

  • Make sure long hair is tied back out of the way and sleeves are rolled up.

  • Children of any age can be taught to wash hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food. Teach them to avoid sneezing or coughing in the direction of the food.

  • Be clear about when it is okay to lick fingers and when it is not.

  • For younger children, let them know that stoves and ovens are absolutely OFF-LIMITS, as well as sharp objects such as knives, graters and food processors.

  • Have a step-stool in the kitchen for your child to stand on to reach counter height. Even very young children can wash fruits and vegetables, add ingredients to the bowl (that you have measured out for them), and stir.

  • Utensils should be large enough for a child to grip easily with their whole hand, but small enough for them to maneuver.

  • Do not let small kids help you cook anything on the stove or help while you use the mixer.

  • Teach kids to clean up messes and spills promptly when they cook. Spills on the floor become hazards for slipping. Counter messes are not only unattractive; they can make your work surface and utensils slippery, and they are a breeding ground for unwelcome bacteria. On the other hand, realize that cooking with kids is naturally a messy business. Keep your sense of humor.

  • As kids get older, they can take on more responsibility and can learn new skills in the kitchen. With these skills come new rules.

  • Do not ever stick anything in the bowl while the mixer is running, especially your fingers.

  • Once they are using the stove and oven, remind them to always use an oven mitt, and that microwaved containers may be quite hot.

  • When chopping, keep fingers of your holding hand tucked in to avoid the blade.

  • Always turn pot handles away from yourself on the stove.

  • Never plug in or use appliances with wet hands.

  • Cooking with kids should be fun. Use these safety guidelines to keep your little chefs safe.

No Bake Cheesecake!

It's easy and yummy to the tummy!

"Cheesecake Factory Open for Business": As what he calls it. He never seizes to amaze me with his imaginative mind, working as we make our favorite desert. Cheesecake! This is nothing fancy, I buy the JELLO: NO BAKE CHEESECAKE with Strawberry toppings. The crust is a little hard for him so I try to do it while my little guy works his magic with the electric mixer and spread them evenly over the crust then we place it in the refrigerator 2 hours. After which, he then adds the ready strawberry toppings. he is a natural! ...


Nothing is sweeter than a cupcake


Some days, my son just lies around, plays games on my iPhone, or watches TV; and still sighs and says "I'm Bored, Mom!" So it's always good to have a cake mix. It comes handy in times like these. Baking with your kids is a fun-filled activity and very easy to do. While the oven is preheating, we're on to the next task: gather the ingredients and baking utensils and place them on the work counter. I always assign him to mix the ingredients using an electric mixer. Safety is important. It always helps to keep reminding your little ones to stay away from the oven. As he lines up the paper liner in the cupcake pan, I make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Then together we spoon the batter and fill the cupcake paper liners 3/4 full. Once finished, I then place them in the oven and he sets the timer. When the cupcakes are done, we let it cool down prior to putting frosting on it. We usually buy the ready made frosting and then top it off with colorful sprinkles.

Wrapping Things Up!

Kitchen is now close...

Kids nowadays spend so much time in front of television and playing video games at the expense of playing sports or spending time with family or friends. Among many others, cooking is one of the best activities you can share with your kids. It is a beautiful experience that will be remembered and savored long after the goodies are gone.

Like my Mama always says, "Kitchen is the heart of the house". She always makes it fun so cooking doesn't seem much of a chore. Cooking comes with a lot of benefits, for both parents and kids. Kids learn valuable skills: the most obvious is they will actually learn how to cook! And that's a gift that keeps on giving. They will learn Math, Science, improve their motor skills, and time management. It also encourages their creativity to be developed. Cooking gives the Child a sense of accomplishment and pride and helps them build self esteem.

Well, for parents, this is our chance to help our little ones learn these basic skills; to become a better person in the future. With time spent together, it encourages communication and creates beautiful memories...