This article, You say tomato, I say dessert from The Globe and Mail, got me really interested. Tomatoes in something sweet?! Isn’t that unthinkable? Well, I guess if one isn’t used to thinking out of the box.
More than a month ago, there was news of trouble for banana farmers because China imposed stringent standards before our bananas could enter their market. Although the Philippine government tried to remedy the potential catastrophe by looking for another market, one option that they were looking into was to sell the export-quality bananas to domestic consumers. I was excited by that development because that meant Cavendish bananas would be sold for a lot less than they are usually priced.
My first instinct was to mentally list down how I could make use of the fruit. Banana bread, banana pancakes, banana muffins and banana cupcakes. Someone even suggested banana chips. Then I realised I had a tried-and-tested foolproof banana cupcake recipe that is known to always please.
One of the recipes that I have long wanted to try out was that of dulce de leche, but from scratch – not the one made by boiling a tin of unopened condensed milk. Rather, I thought I’d make use of a bottle of fresh carabao (buffalo) milk. Of course, I haven’t gotten to that yet, amongst other things on my ever-growing wish list.
Earlier this evening, I found a recipe on the Globe and Mail for alfajores de dulce de leche, a South American delicacy. I thought it simple enough do undertake one lazy evening. It may even merit some granules of my precious fleur de sel.
Again, I’m putting this on my blog as a reminder for me to go get the baking pans!
Every once in a while, something catches our fancy and the fascination does not usually last. But now and then, very, very seldom, what captures our imagination keeps on getting better and never fails to surprise us with something fantastic each time it crosses our paths.
In the case of fancy or art cakes, I was never much of a fan. However, when Kensei Yonzon started posting pictures of The Bunny Baker‘s creations on Facebook, I couldn’t help but be in awe. Kensei’s wife Aila, is the main cake artist – he helps her run The Bunny Baker and they’re Quezon City-based (bordering San Juan). Their cakes are so cute because of the attention they put into the details. You should see the cartoon character cake toppers. You’d think they jumped out of the TV. But their cakes are not just cute! They can also produce realistic-looking toppers such as wine bottles, cheese, olives and of course, my most beloved comic characters, Asterix & Obelix! Seems like art for art’s sake and it happens to be edible.
Full disclosure (in the light of the current food blog controversy): no payment in any form was received to write this post. Though I went to school with Kensei (we were sometime blockmates in college), that has no bearing on my writing this blog entry.
Perhaps a common ‘ailment’ of many food bloggers is that we can’t resist tinkering with recipes. Even an excellent recipe can still be improved or tweaked to create another one. Speciation, culinary style, I suppose.
After my last experiment on an instant chocolate cake baked in the microwave, which in turn is based on a recipe from the BBC, I thought that I had been choco’d out since I am an unapologetic non-chocoholic. Well, ok to dark chocolate per se but not to what goes with it. I found the last recipe ok, as long as you don’t eat it in one sitting. It is definitely chocolatey, dense and resembles a French gateau more than a light sponge or chiffon cake. However, I found that using one egg for the miniscule proportions was still too heavy for my taste.
As soon as I sampled the first cake, the cogs in my brain started turning. The recipe needs to be slightly revised to cut down on the richness. Sweeten it up a bit to make it more palatable to others. How about using orange instead of vanilla extract?
And so here goes the revised cake recipe.
Somebody has been pestering me to bake a French chocolate cake for a bit of time now. I have been meaning to but I’m not in a baking mood. However, I promised that person that I will try something easier as a prelude to that rich, chocolate cake.
I am positive that almost everyone has received a copy of the chocolate cup cake that is baked in the microwave. It has been going around for years! Not being a chocoholic (and I won’t apologise for that), I never got the motivation to try it – until now.
No scheduled meeting and the rain making me too lazy to read, I thought of tinkering in the kitchen. Why not the chocolate cake? After all, it’s only a double serving. If I won’t like it, it won’t take a day or two to finish. And if I do like it, it will be easy to replicate! And so I checked the different versions of the recipe and decided on this one from the BBC. I decided on a few revisions though.