Bibingka Notes

Posted by on Nov 12, 2008 in Baked, Biscuits, Breads & Cakes, Eggs, Filipino, Rice | 6 comments

The modern bibingka

One of the things that I have wanted to do since even before I started food blogging is to recreate the old-fashioned bibingka. Today’s rice cake is quite fluffy, almost like bread. I still dream of the bibingka from Da Luming’s stall, beside the San Vicente Chapel (in Sta. Rita, of course). It was thin, used pure galapong (ground rice), didn’t have much eggs and some didn’t even use any baking powder. The cake was chewy and light.

More than a year ago, I interviewed someone from Becuran (my grandmother’s barrio) who knew how the old-style bibingka were made. She confirmed that they indeed didn’t use much eggs, if at all.

Soon, soon… I hope to get right back to the research. I’m digging up all my notes now.

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LP XV: Yemas-Mais Muffcakes (Recycled, Reloaded)

Posted by on Nov 10, 2006 in Baked, Biscuits, Breads & Cakes, Dairy, Eggs, Hocus Pocus, Lasang Pinoy, Perfectly Sweet | 6 comments

Yemas-Mais muffins cupcakes maize corn custard

Leftovers? What’s so appetising about leftovers?

Everything! That is if you’re in the Filipino kitchen.

It’s the perfect time to have all those leftovers for Lasang Pinoy 15: Recycled, Reloaded, which Mike is hosting at Lafang. I am also perhaps one of the best persons to talk about leftovers since they make up some of my best childhood memories.

Many Filipinos, rich and poor alike, hold celebrations for a child’s first and seventh birthdays. I really have not dug up the significance of these years but I suspect they have something to do with the transition from one stage of a child’s life to another which also correspond with their growing consciousness (from “wala pang muwang” or a total innocent to “may isip na” – capable of thought). To a certain extent, both the first and seventh years are rites of passage for both the child, whether male or female, and the parents.

It is for this reason that birthdays on these years are big events, not necessarily extravagant but certainly something planned and awaited. Relatives, neighbours and friends drop in on the party, more often than not also bringing food which means the celebration might stretch for days.

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A cupcake or a muffin?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2006 in Baked, Biscuits, Breads & Cakes | 0 comments

Banana cupcakes

In many neighbourhood bakeries, from Luzon to the Visayas and even in Mindanao, I notice how they sell ‘cupcakes’ that are actually muffins. I do not have the heart nor the nerve to tell them of their false advertising or mistaken identification. I suppose not many people care for the difference either.

Is there really a difference? Yes there is. To put it simply, a cupcake has a lighter texture, with its batter containing a higher oil, sugar and eggs to flour ratio. From the mixture, cupcakes have a slightly rounded top with icing but nowadays there are un-iced cupcakes and iced muffins. In the UK and Europe, cupcakes are also known as fairy cakes, and are more spongy in texture.

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Non-traditional empanaditas

Posted by on Oct 28, 2006 in Baked, Biscuits, Breads & Cakes, Filipino, Perfectly Sweet, SHF | 9 comments

empanaditas pañaritas

If you’re wondering what sort of picture composition is that and what kind of unidentified globule is that in the middle of the plate, well, just read on.

Still reeling from my meringue-custard disaster, what was I doing carving limes and think I’d finish in time for Jeanne’s SHF 24? Well, I thought I could have a glacé fruit post but didn’t realise how much of a challenge it was for this particular example.

In any case, just for the spirit of the event, here is a platter of empanaditas or diminutive empanadas. These little morsels are also known as pañaritas, still from the word empanaditas.

Many countries the world over has its own version of the turnover. The Philippines has the empanada, courtesy of the Spanish conquest. These are palm-sized savoury pastries with meat and vegetable fillings. In my province, there is a small version, thus the name empanadita, but these are sweet and filled with fruit preserves or cheese. The dough for the miniature turnovers is different from the flakey savoury pastry though. Instead, they have a more crumbly texture.

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LP XIV: My sweet disaster (La Espanyola)

Posted by on Oct 15, 2006 in Baked, Capampangan, Dairy, Lasang Pinoy, Perfectly Sweet | 10 comments

Ningnang mais brazo de mercedes eggs custard

Ningnang mais (grilled maize/corn) confection

Looking at the picture, I can’t help but cringe. My only (flimsy) excuse is that I’m making this by myself for the first time. It does taste like how it should but aesthetically, I’m sure to get a failing mark if this were a graded exercise. Perhaps by the time I use up two dozen eggs, it will look better. But as always, I’m getting breathless and much ahead of the story.

When Purplegirl volunteered to host Lasang Pinoy 14 with the theme La Espanyola (spelling is deliberate, just to show how Filipinised it is), I was excited and thought it would then force me to sit down and write my thoughts on Spanish-influenced food.

I have read and heard it asserted that 80% of Filipino food is Spanish in origin. Instinctively, I question the basis of that assumption. How did they come up with that estimate? Has there been a systematic study that gave them such a result? Well, I may have to track that down sometime in the future but I believe it is worth noting that even in my province, which has been highly Hispanised, 80% would be too high an estimate. Even old rich families do not eat Spanish influenced food everyday.

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LP V: Sopas… not soup?! (Pinoy Christmas Around the World)

Posted by on Dec 31, 2005 in Baked, Biscuits, Breads & Cakes, Capampangan, Lasang Pinoy, Perfectly Sweet | 26 comments


A little Christmas food mystery

This has always been a curious bread for me. For that matter, it’s more cake than bread and its name “sopas” can be confusing. How a bread or cake can be named for a thick, chunky soup is beyond me but it is how this delightful confection has been known for generations. It is one of the staples of Christmas in our town. How do we explain this mystery?

For the December edition of Lasang Pinoy, Mike over at lafang chose the theme Pinoy Christmas Around the World. Filipinos are known to pull all stops when celebrating and this is all the more apparent during the Christmas season. The nine-day Novena Masses formally prepare us for the day itself but the common practice is, our holiday season begins in September, when households and even radio stations start playing Christmas carols. Manger scenes or what we call Belen and Christmas trees soon come out of storage. Read Mike’s announcement, which is a fitting summary of the Filipino Advent tradition. Mike asks Filipinos all over the world how they celebrate Christmas. For those of us in the country, we can talk about how we celebrate traditions that have been passed down through the ages. What an opportunity to discuss sopas!

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