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 #46: THAI CHICKEN SATAY with PEANUT SAUCE & CUCUMBER RELISH

Perhaps, one of my biggest regrets while living in Thailand was not being able to blog about my life there. But then again, I also wanted to detach myself from the usual things that I did before I left Manila. I wanted¬†to experience living in another country with a certain level¬†of immersion into a culture¬†that is similar yet¬†so different from my own, away from the familiar crowd and scenes. Besides, that’s one of the many¬†reasons I decided to take refuge in the¬†the land of smiles anyway.

So, yeah, why regret.

Now¬†that I’m back, and while I can still remember snippets of my¬†life in Thailand, I’ll probably share one or two Thai recipes that I really enjoyed¬†(and definitely going to miss) while I was there. Let’s start with one of my favorite street foods — Thai Chicken Satay.

Thai Satay 1

Here’s the thing — satay or sate (pronounced as sa-t√©) is not originally from Thailand. Its¬†country of origin is in fact¬†Indonesia, historically akin to the¬†Indian kebabs.¬†But because Thailand’s cuisine is more popular than its neighbors,¬†satay¬†became more associated with¬†Thailand.

A photo posted by GJ Coleco (@gjcoleco) on

Thai Pork Satay sold as a street food in Thailand

Aside from Thailand and Indonesia, satay is also a well-known street food in Malaysia and many parts of Southeast Asia. Yes, it can also be found in the Philippines, in the south where it is known as satti.

Just like in any culinary adaptations, ingredients and preparations vary from one region to another. In Thailand, chicken and pork satay are common where it’s served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. But in Islamic¬†countries, chicken and beef are more¬†preferred, although pork may also be found in non-halal food establishments.¬†

Try the recipe below and let me know what you think:

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Recipe #43: BANANA TURON (Valencia)

Last Sunday, my father and I prepared the perfect merienda¬†for the family — Banana Turon. Actually, it was my mother who asked us to cook¬†Turon¬†to be sold outside our house as an afternoon street snack alongside my sister’s Halo-halo. But I discovered some vanilla and ube ice creams in the freezer, so I think the family practically ate half of the Turons that we made.

Turon is a sweet roll of saba banana and jackfruit (langka) coated with caramelized sugar and enclosed in lumpia wrapper. In my native town Malabon, it is locally known as¬†Valencia, and the Turon the we have always known has a munggo filling instead of banana. It is usually served as an afternoon snack, although some posh Filipino restaurants serve it as a dessert “a la mode” which sometimes comes with an unreasonable price tag.

Banana Turon Recipe

Most of the ingredients of Turon are actually inexpensive. Saba bananas are cheap and nutritious. You can buy jackfruit flesh in tingi (small portions). In fact, we sell one piece of Turon for only P15. However, preparation can be hard labor, especially if you’re not used to rolling and wrapping and keeping everything neat and tidy.

Before you start cooking, here’s a few notes in buying the fruit ingredients: make sure the saba bananas are ripe, possibly with black spots on the skin, soft to the touch, but not mushy; jackfruit flesh must be golden yellow and sweet smelling. Using unripe fruits may result to a gummy bite which is not very appetizing.

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