Filipino Custard Cake

Filipino Custard Cake

Back home we call this Custard Cake Flan. It looks like a chiffon cake with sweetened milk and egg mixture on top. At first glance, this could be mistaken as a giant Leche Flan. Guess what? The topping of this cake is definitely Leche flan and the only distinction is the soft cake below. In the Philippines, this is usually available by the slice in local bakeries.

But how did it happen? First we only have Leche Flan (from leche, Spanish for milk), it’s a caramel custard, made with eggs,milk and sugar and flavored with vanilla. It originated from the regions along the border of France and Spain and was brought to the Philippines at the time of Spanish colonization. The ingredients are mixed and poured in an oval or round pan which is then placed in a larger pan of water and cooked on a stove or in an oven. The dessert, once firm, is chilled before serving. The sugar, after cooking, turns into a caramel syrup that coats the custard.

Theres no record how did it becomes a Custard Cake Flan in our place. Probably when the Americans came to our place we adapted and made a fusion between a cake and a flan because we are so in love with desserts. We are known for our sweet tooth. I thought of adding some rum next time..lol! Silly me..I love rum cake so much that I bake it anytime of the year.. yes I am talking of custard cake, sorry…me and my mind is desperate once again. 

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:7]

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Seriously, this is one ugly duckling…look at that, it got me so worried at first but I mustered enough courage and prayed a thousand times..no, what I mean is three times..lol! 

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Oh, this is it.. the ugly duckling has just come out and shall I say..she is not ugly anymore. I looked and I found her gorgeous and tempting.  In my mind I thought of making a new one in a heart shape..

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Truly life is not a piece of cake,then lets go to the pleasantries of life.Lets eat!  This is my son’s favorite cake back home. Actually,it is one of my favorite too. I guess my son gets to like it because I always buy this cake whenever I got the chance.

Before I leave, I am thankful again my Kocina De Coffee Cake has been been featured by my two favorite places here in blog land. I started my foodie blog last Jan 2010 but it was on and off since I went  back working again. But I truly miss the wonderful world of blogging so the start of Jan 2013, I came back, fully revived and determined..

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Chaya from My Sweet And Savory has always been a favorite place since I started blogging. When I came back, I went to find her place and I was that happy becuse she has never forgotten me. Thank you Chaya for featuring my Kocina De Coffee Cake on My Meatless Monday. You made my week because its not a beautiful cake but it is so good.

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Another place I used to visit before is the Hearth and Soul by Swathi. Its a place that once you entered..you will feel the warmth and coziness. I truly admire how she presents her food…in awesome simplicity snd I know they taste good.. I wonder how she made it to appear so easy..its a talent..its a gift. Thank you so much Swathi for featuring my Kocina De Coffee cake.

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Pichi Pichi (Steamed Sweetened Cassava)

Pichi Pichi (Steamed Sweetened Cassava)

As a young child I rarely eat Filipino Delicacies , I prefer bread or bread and bread alone. But nowadays I crave for them. I have continous cravings so I decided Im gonna try make them one at a time. First on my list is one traditional food that we enjoy nowadays. Pichi Pichi is one Filipino Delicacy that is so easy to make. It is made of grated steamed cassava shaped into little balls (the size of a jackstone ball). To make it more attractive, we usually add colors..and we do play with colors. I missed that opportunity here because I ran out of my favorite food colors…too bad! 

The most beautiful thing here is to use fresh grated cassava but in case you cant find any, then you can also use frozen one. I read that in some countries they do have that. Honestly I havent saw one yet and Im so curious and Im dying to use that because it will save me from grating which I find time consuming and tiring. There are some who use cassava flour and oh my..I tried it and the result was kinda like gummy bear…I will never experiment on it again. Fresh cassava is always better.

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:3]

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My daughter  Shannen (about 10 years old here), I made it for her and will keep on making until she find her wings and learn to fly. She really loves Pichi Pichi. Amazing how she got into it because I never liked it during those days..one day a friend came and brought some..that started her love affair with Pichi Pichi..she was about 4 years old then.

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These are little balls of goodness and the name itself is crazy…I know I know.. I also wonder where it got the name. Previously I posted Bicho-Bicho  and now here comes Pichi-Pichi. Only in the Philippines you can find such names and we even have nicknames like Ding-dong, Ron-Ron, John-John, Pat-Pat, Lyn-Lyn etc… hilarious, isnt it? lol! Now Im laughing my heart out…. ha ha ha…

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Anyway, I am truly honored and flattered because my Filipino Egg Pie  is being featured today at My Meatless Monday. Please do come and visit this place, the author and blogger Chaya is one of my favorites here in blogland. I guess her heart and compassion touches me the most. There are things that you could only comprehend in the silence of writing ..be it food or thoughts.. and I am so happy Chaya..thank you.

Lets eat.Lets giggle and lets be merry…Have a great week to all.

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Filipino Egg Pie

Filipino Egg Pie

After the long-awaited break from working, now I am back and have just started again. It means that I’m gonna be absent from my blog from time to time but I promise to myself that I have so many things to post  and I wanted to finish them all. I wont fail myself and I know I wont.. ha ha ha!  My blog is one great therapy to make me sane and functional in my oh so stressful world….

Anyway this is one yummy dessert/sweets/merienda that my hubby and my daughter both liked. In fact, for his birthday, my hubby even requested it. It turned out my daughter would also be a great fan. I made it again last father’s day and guess what..its presence is always heartwarming and now its  a mainstay in our fridge. Back home I love those that I can buy in a local bakery, theyre  sweet, soft, warm and packed with eggy goodness that no matter how I reminded myself not to indulge too much..in the end I would eat 3 or 4 slices..imagine that..

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1/3 cup+1 tbsp caster sugar

1 cup+2/3 cup plain flour

1 egg beaten

1-2 tbsp cold water

To make the pastry:

Combine flour and sugar in the bowl. Cut in the butter with two butter knives or a pastry cutter. Then rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in lightly the egg and knead the dough until it just about comes together. If the dough seems dry, you may add cold water. Knead for a while and form into a ball. Remember not to over knead  because it will gonna be difficult to roll out. Wrap it in cling wrap and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then roll out thinly on a floured tabletop to a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Line a 23 cm pie pan making sure to press the pastry well into sides. Bake in a preheated oven 350/180 for 15 minutes. Trim the excess pastry from the edge. Set aside.

For the filling:

2 1/3 cup fresh milk

4 eggs separated

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch

To make the filling:

In a bowl, mix: flour, sugar and egg yolk. Stir in the milk into the mixture. Whip the egg white to soft peaks and fold gently into the milk/egg yolk mixture with a spoon. Pour the filling on the prepared baked pastry. Bake at 350/180 for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly brown. Then bring down the oven temperature to 250/110 and bake for 1 hour more until the custard is just set. The center should wobble a little. Remove from oven and let it cool.

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The first time I ever attempted to make own crust and yes I did not fail..its simplicity, its magic and its a delight

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Upon seeing this, I could not help myself from laughing..yes I laughed with my excitement…lol!

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Oh, I found this disturbing and it gave me doubt, I silently wish at least it will turn out edible..seeing the bubbles on top made me apprehensive.

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Oh goodness, it was not really the way I wanted but I think its good..It brought a lot of memories..now I miss everything about home….

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 Here’s a slice of joy and there will be more slices of joy in my kitchen as long as I have the power to make it. The egg pie which is a part of our childhood is just right here and I couldn’t help myself..my thoughts went back down the memory lane. I can only smile and enjoy… Have a great week to all. Lets eat. Lets giggle and let’s be merry.

 

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Bicho-Bicho ( Filipino Donuts )

Bicho-Bicho ( Filipino Donuts )

I would never understand why it is called Bicho-Bicho. I tried  to find its history and why it was called like that and I couldn’t find any. I also read the word Bicho has different meanings and lets say I will just go for the spanish meaning in its nicest way..it is used as a term of affection .. mi bicho ( referring to a husband) or mis bichos ( referring to your children) …so I would like to think, since we were under Spanish ruling for quite a long time, that is the start and Id like to think also that somehow a certain food was introduced to us and then we created our own fusion that later on resulted to our favorite Filipino Donuts or Bicho- Bicho.

Anyway, these fried donuts comes in different shapes, we have the mini log, the knotted ones and of course the famous donuts shape. Here, I tried to make knotted and oh goodness, I thought it was easy but its not. Next, I made the mini log shape and ..oh la la..with so much laughter, I just cant get it. You know the feeling when the result was awful and funny. So, in my singlish accent to humor myself and talking to myself… ok lah, never mind anyhow.. This time I made the right choice, I went for my donuts cutter.. I was so crazy not to have thought of using it the first time…saves time and effort, Lol!  Making these donuts was somewhat hilarious and we have fun eating in the end.

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:1]

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Here are the precious rings in a platter. It took me at least 4 hours to make this, including preparation, kneading, waiting, frying and all… and you know what, in not even 10 minutes, they’re all gone. I wanted even more… 

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My precious, imperfect rings…but I don’t mind. These are rings of joy to me…sugary sweet, soft and chewy and yummy in my tummy. Have a great week ahead to all.Lets eat, lets giggle and lets be merry.

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Filipino Leche Flan

Filipino Leche Flan

Leche flan (from leche, Spanish for milk) its a caramel custard, made with eggs, milk and sugar and flavored with vanilla. It originated from the regions along the border of  France and  Spain and was brought to the Philippines at the time of Spanish colonization.The ingredients are mixed and poured in an oval or round pan which is then placed in a larger pan of water and cooked on a stove or in an oven.The dessert, once firm, is chilled before serving.The sugar, after cooking, turns into a caramel syrup that coats the custard.

My recipe for today is one of our old time favorite, the Filipino Leche Flan. This is one of our legacy although it was passed to us by the Spaniards. Leche Flan is our constant companion in the dinner table especially during family gatherings. Adults and children love  it. Whatever the occasion is, you will never miss Leche Flan. It started as plain and simple egg custard but nowadays it comes with young coconut or yam. There are times it has preserved fruits inside. But I always like the plain one…just the egg yolk, milk and caramelized sugar. There is nothing better than that. Cooking Leche Flan is easy and the traditional way is to steam it for about 30 to 40 minutes in a medium fire. 

Here is the recipe. I don’t steam my Leche Flan instead I bake it.

Ingredients:

1 can  evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

10 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp lemon juice

For the caramel:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

In a pan, mix water and sugar until there is no lump.

Heat and wait until it boils then turn the heat to simmering mode.

Simmer until the caramel is thick. 

Cool slightly and transfer to aluminum moulds.

Mix well the egg yolk, condensed milk and evaporated milk by hand.

Then add vanilla and lemon juice.

Use wooden spatula and mix gently until well combined.

Strain the mixture and gently pour on to the prepared moulds with caramel.

Fill only until  3/4 of the moulder.

Cover with aluminum foil and place the moulds on a larger baking pan half filled with very hot water.

Bake at 350 or 180 for 1 hour.

Cool and then set aside in the fridge.

To serve: run a thin knife around the edges of the mould to loosen the Leche Flan.

Place a platter on top of the mould and quickly turn upside down to position the golden brown caramel on top.

Note: You can also cook Leche Flan by the steamer, in a medium fire for 45 minutes to one hour.

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Leche Flan should be thick with dripping caramel sauce. Though its soft, it should not break easily when you slice it. Hmmmnn…lovely squares of joy!

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And the lovely thing to do..play around with shapes, you can use any size and shapes and I tell you the finished products are amazing. Here I used a heart shaped moulder and actualy is a cake pan. I love the outcome…

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I realized I dont have a proper platter for it…oh crazy me…quite disappointing but alright..still its pretty and looks so good and I think its kinda romantic provided you use the necessary details needed…Hmmmnn..better luck next time, for now you are just terrific, irrisistible and in no time at all, youre gone!!! Cheers to all and have a great weekend. Lets eat Lets giggle and Lets be merry.

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Chocolate Blossoms

Chocolate Blossoms

The other day I received a comment from Hella ( hellaD) of http://www.helladelicious.com/ :

I am just getting to know more about Filipino food. I remember visiting Manilla many years ago when I was a child and just loving the food! Sorry to hear about your headache. I used to get them a lot as well and I often found taking a epsom salt bath or a drink of  bentonite clay to be helpful. In my condition it seemed my gut was overly toxic and unable to deal with them. I finally went on the GAPS diet and I rarely have them any more. They used to get so bad that I would end up vomiting and not be able to stop so I really empathize with your condition. Thanks for sharing this post and I would love if you would share some of your recipes on our World Food Thursdays at www.helladelicious.com :)

My response:

I am thrilled to hear from you and likewise thanks for the invitation.You know when someone invites me to post, I really grab it so I have posted my recipe on your website World Food Thursday.. My Simple Custard Flan ( Filipino Leche Flan). I would love to cook Filipino Dish every Thursday.Our cuisine is sadly barely existing in other parts of the world.. its a fact and its a reality. Our country was colonized by the Spaniards, Japanese and American Regime, therefore our food and culture is affected as well. I could say that Filipinos has done a lot of fusion meals which we now consider Filipino Food. Our food has two intricate characteristics. First, the European style and taste is visible because of Spanish influence. Second, we carry on the Malay influence  because Philippines is a Muslim country at first, Spaniards came and most of us embraced Catholic faith. The Americans came and Protestantism became Popular and together with it we welcome American food which we call in the Philippines Western Food. Until now, a part of our country which we call the autonomous region is a Muslim populated area ( Mindanao). 

 

I thank hellaD for her message.I realized that I blog because I am a food enthusiast, that I can bake and I can cook but blogging about food and cooking is also a matter of culture and heritage. 

 

Anyway my post today is very special to me because it’s all about our Filipino cookie called Crinkles. Both adults and the young love Crinkles in our country. I used to do it back home when my kids were very small. In the Philippines you can find Bakery Shops everywhere and most Filipinos enjoy eating. We love occasions such as birthdays, graduation day, anniversaries, fiestas and of course we look forward to celebrate holiday season. As a matter of fact, as early as September, malls are already prepared with Christmas Decor and most Filipino homes are actually putting up their Christmas Tree. I know its funny and absurd but its true.

 

I have a different name for my crinkles. I call it Chocolate Blossoms and I make it differently.I don’t like the bakery type which more often made for mass production so the taste is too sweet or tough and in some cases, dry. ( hate it!) My version is chewy, soft and it melts in your mouth.The trick: be careful with timing and don’t use cocoa powder.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened ( 1 1/2 stick)
2 cups sugar ( white)
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup chopped unsweetened chocolate
1 cup confectioner sugar
 
Put chocolate in aluminum bowl.
Heat some water in wok or sauce pan.
Make sure the bowl of chocolate will fit in.
Once the water boils, shift the heat to simmering mode and put your bowl on top.
Melt chocolate, stir and make sure without any lump. Turn off the heat. 
In  a mixer, throw butter and sugar and mix until soft and fluffy. 
Beat in eggs one at a time until the color is pale yellow. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until blended.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the mixing bowl.
Do not over mix,  the goal is just to mix and make it blend.
The dough is sticky so refrigerate it for one hour.
Drop a tsp or a tbsp and roll in icing sugar. ( I use a tsp..I like small ones..)
Bake at 350 or 180 for 10 to 12 minutes.
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They are soft and fragile when hot but firm and chewy later on. Store in a tightly covered container with wax paper bet. layer. My senoritas will last for about 3 weeks..( I doubt it! surely you will grab and eat )
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My petite senoritas may be crinkled and all..but honestly they are so good..soft, chewy and melts in your mouth.Our cuisine and our palate were greatly affected by Japanese and Chinese also. Nowadays Korean and Taiwanese cuisine were also very popular. So,what more can you ask for? In the end, I can assure you that we have great passion for sweets.. yes we have sweet tooth and we love to eat.. Philippines means hospitality, courteousness and food.