Recipe #50: MACAPUNO LECHE FLAN

It’s my 50th recipe! Wouldn’t it be awesome to celebrate it with my favorite Filipino dessert‚ÄĒLeche Flan! ūüôā

Christmas is also a time of indulgence, and there’s probably no dessert more indulgent than the¬†leche flan. Although it’s made from simple, everyday ingredients, I think¬†leche flan is the most decadent local desserts, bar none.¬†It’s simple and delicate, yet rich and addicting!

Macapuno Leche Flan

In case you’re not familiar,¬†macapuno is a sweetened coconut preserve¬†while¬†leche flan (literally milk flan) is akin to cr√®me caramel or caramel pudding which has so many versions all over the world. Interestingly, both macapuno and leche flan are key ingredients in making another popular Pinoy dessert‚ÄĒhalo-halo. I’m topping our leche flan with sweet strings of macapuno because it adds a sweet bite to the otherwise plain flan.

In the Philippines, leche flan is typically made from egg yolks (lots of it!) and condensed milk. Either whole milk, evaporated milk, or cream is added to tone down the sweetness and boost the creaminess. It can be cooked with only three ingredients, but a few drops of vanilla extract and dayap (lime) zest can be added to enhance the flavor.

Beware, weight watchers! This dessert is practically made from sugar and milk, so just imagine¬†its calorie content. But hey, an occasional bite or two would be fine, I suppose. ūüôā

Macapuno Leche Flan

In this recipe, I replaced evaporated milk with coconut cream or kakang gata as it complements our macapuno sweets. Surprisingly, the flan itself once cooked does not have any distinct coconut taste, but its texture is so much creamier compared to using evaporated milk or regular milk.

I also cut down the number of egg yolks to six. Normally, a single batch needs about 10 to 12 egg yolks, but I think it’s a tad too much, not to mention, costly. Well, guess what, I tried it with six‚ÄĒno negative effect on the taste or quality!

Leche flan is normally steamed, but baking is also a popular option. I personally prefer baking as it gradually reduces the moisture content of the flan which results in a denser, firmer texture.

Of course, to make my life easier, I’m using my new Breville Smart Oven. It has¬†user-friendly features and preset functions which any kitchen novice can follow. Plus, I don’t have to worry about overcooking because it has an auto shut-off timer.

Seriously, you must try this recipe! Watch and grab the recipe below:

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Recipe #49: CRISPY PORK BELLY ROAST

I finally got a new oven! And it’s not just any oven, it’s the Breville Smart Oven!

YAYAY! I’m so excited!

I couldn’t be any happier since I got my hands on this gorgeous gadget. God knows how long I’ve been wanting to buy a new oven as I’ve been itching to learn how to bake. Yes, I’ve baked cookies and pasta before, but I’ve never really taken serious time to explore more intricate baked goodies. This means more exciting recipes ahead, so brace yourselves! ūüôā

The¬†Breville Smart Oven is a serious must have if you love baking, but I’ll tell you more about it some time next week. For now, let me share with you this delicious pork dish, which is absolutely one of my favorites¬†in my Asian trips.

My Crispy Pork Belly Roast recipe is actually inspired by a popular Chinese pork belly dish that is usually served in the streets and restaurants all over Asia. I’ve tried so many variations of this dish, which is sometimes served with rice or stir-fried noodles. Many times, pork belly is deep fried to a perfect crisp. But today, we will roast it in the oven.

Crispy Pork Belly Roast

The original Chinese recipe uses five-spice powder, but I replaced it with garlic powder and paprika for some Filipino touch (I personally love the aromatic flavor of five-spice, but some people may not like it).

Hey, use any kind of spice that you like! However, the trick to turning the skin into cracklings is by making sure that it’s free from moisture. Score (or prick) the skin so that the vinegar will be absorbed which will make it ‘pop.’

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Recipe #48: LUMPIANG SHANGHAI (Filipino Pork Spring Rolls)

Among the Filipino foods that are served during birthdays, gatherings, and holidays, there’s nothing more addicting than¬†the tasty, crispy¬†Lumpiang Shanghai. Nope, neither the iconic¬†lechon nor the childhood-favorite fried chicken can beat the allure of the humble pork spring rolls in a buffet popularity contest. Lechon may be the king, but Lumpiang Shanghai is the star.

Why do we love Lumpiang Shanghai so much?

It’s not exactly the easiest dish to prepare, mind you. The mixing part is¬†not that difficult, but it takes a certain level of skill (and courage) to roll and wrap the meat mixture with a¬†lumpia¬†wrapper¬†and to keep them from breaking and unrolling.

Lumpiang Shanghai

But the tedious task does not end there; you also have to carefully heat up a panful of oil, which you will use to deep-fry these glorious rolls while dancing the cha-cha to avoid the scorching hot oil from splattering all over you.

You see, every Lumpiang Shanghai piece was made with love. It may not be as popular as Vietnamese or Chinese spring rolls among the international audience, but for the Filipino palate, it is pure joy.

Lumpiang Shanghai can be served as a main course, a side dish, an appetizer, or as a pulutan (beer food). Learn how to make them by following these steps:

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