dessert

Leche Flan

I have a confession to make… we are blessed once again with another angel! I am currently on my 18th week and have already passed the rough days (and nights) of nausea, heartburn, and food aversion. Now, we’re just very excited, just like the first time.

Everytime Alexa sees my growing tummy, she would blurt out, “hi baby!” and would give my tummy a kiss and lots of love. She is such a darling, but at times, she can be an unstoppable toddler. She would run here and there, and would (baby) talk or scream nonstop. And that’s why mommy’s often exhausted.

During the weekend, I had more energy.. plus I have eggs and milk in the pantry! So I made leche flan!

Leche flan, also known as caramel custard, is one of the top desserts in the Philippines. I remember my lolo (grandfather) who used to make leche flan for his grandchildren, and my sister who would unselfishly save a very big piece for herself!

Leche Flan

Ingredients:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 small can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar

Procedure:

  • Beat all egg yolks in a big bowl with a fork or egg beater.
  • Add condensed milk and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour in evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Mix well and set aside. (You can strain the mixture using cheesecloth or a fine strainer to make a smooth leche flan)
  • Put about 2 tbsp sugar in the mold (llanera). Place over the stove and heat over low fire until the sugar turns to caramel (light brown liquid). Spread the caramel evenly on the mold. Let cool a bit, about 5 minutes. (For the mold, I used three 8 x 4 inches aluminum loaf pan)
  • Pour the egg and milk mixture on top of the cooled caramel. Cover the mold with aluminum foil.
  • Steam for 30-35 minutes. After steaming, let the temperature cool down then refrigerate.
  • Serve for dessert.

It is so delish as much as it looks good on the photo, I swear! And it is so easy to prepare.

My sister has already requested me to make some leche flan for her when she comes over next month. She will have the whole llanera for herself!

Thanks for dropping by!

Alexa’s Mom

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Ice cream is my kitchen project this past week. I know, I missed to do it in summer, but rainy days cannot stop me!

I have watched several shows where ice cream was done using an ice cream maker. Well, good news! All you really need is a whisk to whip up your favorite ice cream!

This recipe from Rasa Malaysia has been sitting in my phone’s web browser for I think a month now, waiting to be tried and tested. Finally, I did.

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Prepare to make whipped cream. In a large bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks formed.
  • In a seperate bowl, whisk sweetened condensed milk, butter, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract.
  • Mix well and fold in the whipped cream.
  • Pour into a 1-quart container, covered and freeze for 6 hours or until ice cream is set. Ready to serve as is, or on ice cream cone.

The taste is a perfect treat for cinnamon lovers, but it turned out to be a bit thick and dense. It took overnight for the ice cream to set. I searched the net on what went wrong and found these great tips which I would definitely try when I make ice cream again.

The Food Lab: Real Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine.
How To Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

 

Enjoy and thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Choco Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I am not a fan of oatmeal per se, but when they are turned to cookies, I LOVE!

Why haven’t I thought of making this recipe earlier when, every time I open the kitchen cupboard, I would see that big bag of quick cook oats! Thanks to Erwan Heusaff’s website for featuring this perfect oatmeal cookie recipe. I didn’t do his flavored version, but I did add some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Be warned: Erwan is sooo hot that you would want to play his videos over and over and over again!!! I did, haha!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from The Fat Kid Inside

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp low fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup instant or quick cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat oven at 180 deg C.
  • Mix all ingredients except oatmeal, flour and chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl
  • For crisp cookies, do not put in milk. For chewy cookies, add 1 tbsp milk. (I opted for the crisp cookies)
  • Gradually add in the oatmeal and flour. Once well-combined, add in the chocolate chips and mix until distributed evenly.
  • Drop about tablespoonfuls of dough onto a greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
  • Bake until light brown for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

I love the crispness of the cookie, with just a hint of sweetness to it. I also made a version of it without the chocolate chips, so we have some snack variation.

Do try this recipe out! Other easy dessert recipes that I recommend for you to try are my brownies and chocolate crinkles. They are my go-to recipes whenever I am in need of a fast sweet fix.

Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Olive Oil Lemon Cake

Christmas is just around the corner. It’s our 3-month old baby Alexa’s first Christmas and what’s the best way to celebrate it but with our big family back home. Everyone’s excited to bite those cheeks!

Yes, THOSE CHEEKS!!! ^^

As early as the first week of December, everybody’s calendars are already booked for Christmas parties and a lot of Christmas shopping. Lighted trees and decors are up, and Christmas music fills the air.

“The tree is up, and the bestest gift is underneath it.”

Two weekends ago, we had our yearly Christmas gathering with friends. It was a potluck dinner. Our share of food were pancit palabok, brownies, and olive oil lemon cake.

This post is to share with you the Olive Oil Lemon Cake that I made. I love lemon squares, so I thought I could give this cake recipe a try. You can check out the source in my Pinterest board, Desserts.

Olive Oil Lemon Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • fresh squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon, strained
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar for topping cake

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Line an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Place 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a heat-proof bowl – preferably the bowl of a stand mixer – combine eggs, sugar and zest, and place bowl over pot of simmering water, whisking until egg mixture is warm to the touch.
  • Remove bowl from pot and attach to mixer fitted with whisk attachment. If you’re not using a stand mixer, place bowl on counter and use hand mixer. Beat on medium until mixture thickens and becomes pale, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, cream and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • When the egg mixture has reached appropriate thickness, drizzle olive oil mixture over it and mix until combined.
  • Turn mixer to low and add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in melted butter.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth batter and sprinkle with tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake until top of cake is golden, about 50 minutes.  A bamboo skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then remove to rack to cool completely before cutting.

It’s an easy and delicious recipe. I love the rich, lemony flavor, and that it sounds so healthy (lemon + olive oil!). You should try it.

Gotta go, Alexa’s about to wake up… feeding time!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Fake Betty Crocker Brownie Mix

This morning, my aunt and uncle arrived from Manila to stay with us for some time to help take care of Baby Alexa. I’m so thankful that they can spend time with us, no work or other obligations back home to worry about. For first time parents like us, it’s a huge relief to have family around who would know what to do when the “big day” comes and everything that comes after that.

Anyway, last night I wanted to try another easy dessert that I found on Pinterest. Since before I had my oven, I had been collecting interesting and easy-to-do recipes in my Pinterest boards, Desserts and Meals and Other Edibles.

That easy dessert that I’m talking about is the Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies.

Well, it’s somehow like this boxed mix that you can find in the supermarket, but what I tried is the FAKE one, made from scratch. Thanks to Heather Bea for the idea, and the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together and dump them in a Ziploc bag. On the bag, write the following instructions:

Add:  2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract. Bake @ 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes in a 9×9 pan.  

But of course, I did not put them in a Ziploc bag ‘coz I was just too excited to try them out!

I dumped all the ingredients in a medium bowl and just used a wooden spoon to mix them all together, without realizing that I do not have a 9×9 inch pan!

I read from the comments that if you use a 9×13 pan (which I have), it would turn out thin and crunchy. I wanted to double the amount of ingredients but I have only 2 eggs left. So I just settled with using my mini muffin pans and made 24 pcs out of it.

They were baked for 30 minutes (that’s when the toothpick came out clean when inserted), and they looked like cookies, haha!

But believe me, it was SOOOO GOOD!!! Especially the chewy but crunchy top! And it was so easy to prepare that it would take you no more than 5 minutes to whip it up.

I’m stocking up on bags of this mix so I can have them again anytime. And I will make sure that I have the proper pan size, or make a double of the recipe to fit my 9×13 pan so I can have the fudge brownies that do look like brownies (like the ones on the Betty Crocker box).

Btw, you can add nuts (like I did) for that extra crunch, or some white or milk chocolate chips for extra sweetness.

Two more work days to go before my maternity leave starts. Yay! I can finally get that much needed sleep and rest before I join the motherhood club!

Coconut Macaroons

A rainy Thursday to everyone!

Today, let’s do something web-trendy. How about a “Throwback Thursday?”

I will be sharing with you one of the desserts my sisters and I love having while growing up. When we were kids, our father would buy freshly grated coconut from the market and extract the milk to mix in with meat or veggies for our meal, or to make coconut oil for our hair. The desiccated coconut will then be for the coconut macaroons. It is a very easy recipe that anyone can whip up.

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces (about 400 grams) Sweet Shredded Coconut (or desiccated coconut)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 pieces raw eggs
  • 14 ounces (1 can) condensed milk

Procedure:

  • Place the butter in a big bowl and cream using a fork.
  • Add-in the brown sugar and mix well.
  • Add the eggs and condensed milk then stir/beat until all ingredients are blended. (I used the electric mixer at this step ‘coz the ingredients just don’t mix well when I do manually. I want to use as little muscle power as possible to avoid stressing myself out, hehe..).
  • Put in the shredded coconut and distribute evenly with the other ingredients in the mixture. (I used a spatula here to avoid over beating the coconut).
  • In a mold (with paper cups if possible), place 1 tablespoon of the mixture on each of the cups (Fill about 3/4 of the mold/cup. I used my muffin pan here. I did not use paper cups ‘coz I forgot and was too lazy to go out again and buy. But I recommend using paper cups because the bottom would be moist and will be breaking without any support.).
  • Pre-heat oven at 190 degrees C for 10 minutes
  • Bake the Coconut Macaroon mixture for 20 to 30 minutes or until colour turns golden brown.
  • Serve.

Hubby’s friends came over last Saturday for lunch, and I served these for dessert. It was a hit! (I made two batches of the ingredients just to make sure that we have enough for everyone. I’m glad I did.)

It was served together with the Chocolate Crinkles, which was equally delish and was a hit as well!

Everybody’s wondering why hubby is growing some tummy like me. I think you can easily guess why…

Have a great day!

Chocolate Crinkles

As I am writing this post, my feet is up ‘coz it’s already swollen from all the walking and standing, and I’m feeling all the extra weight on my feet and ankles. (Note to hubby: feet massage, pretty pretty puhleeezzz!)

Anyway, I’m sharing with you the 3rd and last part of my baby shower dessert table. My personal favourite, the chewy chocolatey chocolate crinkles.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used the regular cocoa powder)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (I only have vanilla powder, so I used 1 tsp of that)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar

Procedure:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool. (I leave mine on the cookie sheet to cool before transferring to avoid breaking the bottom of the crinkles.)

So far, this is the best among all the recipes I tried to bake. Taste and texture is excellent, even kids love it!

Here are some tips that I got from the comments in the recipe:

  • Place your cookie sheet on the second to-the-top rack and only bake one cookie sheet at a time. The hot heat at the top of the oven enables the cookie to crack. – Abby15
  • Make sure to coat them with enough powdered sugar to get them to “crinkle.” -Elttaes
  • In a tropical country like Singapore where the weather is always warm, put the dough back in the fridge to cool. The more chilled the dough is, the easier it is to roll into balls. – tip from my sister M (she makes delicious crinkles too!)

Just in case you missed it, here are the links to the other desserts that I made for the baby shower:

Enjoy!

Crodos

Since I started baking, my little sister B has always been asking me to try to make Cronuts. I was like, “Cronuts? What’s that?” And then, I googled…

CRONUT 101

What is a Cronut™?

Described by many as a half croissant, half doughnut — this pastry hybrid by Chef Dominique Ansel is taking the world by storm. After its launch on May 10, 2013, Cronut fans spanned the world from Berlin to Singapore, making it the most viral dessert item to date.

Please eat Cronuts immediately as they have a short shelf life. And if you do cut, please use a serrated knife, so as not to crush the layers. Never refrigerate these treats as the humidity from the refrigerator will cause them to go stale and soggy. Since Cronuts are filled with cream, we do not recommend serving them warm.

The Makings of a Cronut™…

Taking 2 months and more than 10 recipes, Chef Dominique Ansel’s creation is not to be mistaken as simply croissant dough that has been fried. Made with a laminated dough which has been likened to a croissant (but uses a proprietary recipe), the Cronut is first proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronutis flavored in three ways: 1. rolled in sugar; 2. filled with cream; and 3. topped with glaze. Cronuts are made fresh daily, and completely done in house. The entire process takes up to 3 days.

(Source: http://dominiqueansel.com/cronut-101/)

The craze is spreading like wildfire. Originally from NYC, versions of it are now available in the Philippines (where my sister is) and Singapore, and everywhere else.

Well, out of curiosity, I invited hubby for coffee (fruit juice for me!) and cronuts last night at Gastronomia Da Paolo in Holland Village. Gastronomia calls their cronuts “CRODOS”, priced at S$4.90 each. Prior to going there, I read in some blog comments that these crodos are sold out as early as 12nn every day. We still went just to check and see if it’s true.

They currently have Crodos in three flavours: Chocolate, cream, and lemon.

When we arrived there, only 3 pcs of lemon flavour are left (it’s the one with the pretty, burnt white meringue on the top photo). We bought one, plus one croissant to compare the texture and taste.

I like the lemon-ey flavour of the cream and the light sweetness of the meringue. The texture of the pastry is in between the flakiness of croissants and the softness of donuts.

Looks nice, and I was quite excited at first, but will I buy again? I think I would, to try other flavours and only when I crave for it. I would still prefer the good ol’ plain donuts and croissants separately.

I’m not sure also if I would try to make cronuts, ‘coz the whole process takes 3 days and yet, it has a short shelf life (refer to quoted text above). But if I find an easy and less time-consuming recipe, why not?

Cronut versions are currently available in Singapore in these stores (click on the link for their locations):

Related articles:

Yema Balls

Ahh, weekend…

Most of the morning was spent just lazing in bed while watching A Baby Story on TV. That, and other TV shows on Discovery Home & Health such as I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant and Bringing Home Baby are my usual programs since I became pregnant. While watching TV, Hubby was hugging my tummy to feel baby’s kicks and wiggles.

Then, house chores were done — cleaned up the room and did the laundry.

The rest of the day was spent in the kitchen, making what I have been craving for since the other day. Homemade Filipino sweet treat called Yema balls, which is made from egg yolks and condensed milk. It’s one of my favorite desserts as a kid.

Yes, I’m kinda missing home.

Here’s the recipe taken from www.acupcakeortwo.com:

Yema Balls

Ingredients

1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of butter
½ cup of nuts – pistachios or roasted peanuts work best (optional)
¾ cup of white sugar

Procedure:

1. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter. Add condensed milk and stir for 1 minute.
2. Add egg yolks and stir. Make sure that you keep an eye on this, otherwise it will burn.
3. Once the milk and egg yolks are mixed well, add the nuts. (I used ground roasted peanuts.)
4. Keep stirring until the yema is thick. Almost like paste.
5. Take this off the heat and let this cool. Once this is cooled, shape into balls and roll in sugar. (I did not roll in sugar ‘coz hubby doesn’t want it too sweet.)
6. Serve the yema balls in paper pattie pans. You can also shape into triangles or whatever form you want and wrap in cellophane.

Tip

Instead of rolling the yema balls in sugar you can dip it in caramel. Combine sugar and water together in a pan and using a thermometer, take it up to the hard ball stage. With a tooth pick, dip each yema ball into the caramel and put it on wax paper.

YUM! Enjoy!

P.S. Egg whites were used for Low Fat Egg Drop Soup which we had for dinner. I did not put rice wine or sherry, and used malunggay/moringa leaves instead of spring onions.