Buko Pandan

Buko Pandan

Hello Everyone! We’re on our second last day of Festive Filipino Foods! If you have been living under a rock and basically haven’t been following my blog for the past week and a half, I have been posting a recipe every single day for the past 10 days now (tonight will be the 11th of 12 posts) cooking up recipes leading up to Christmas Day. Tonight, I will be sharing one final dessert recipe before I close this series for the month of December. I have saved the best savoury dish for last tomorrow, and if you’d like to take a stab at what I’ll be making, here are some clues: Spanish-inspired with lots and lots of seafood including prawns, clams, mussels, and calamari.

But enough of the seafood talk, that will be for tomorrow – tonight I will be sharing with you a recipe for a dessert that is a classic Filipino favourite known as Buko Pandan, that originated from the island province of Bohol in the Central Visayas region. It is a dessert dish found on the tables at every fiesta and family gatherings. The two main ingredients for this dessert are buko, which is a young coconut, and screwpine leaves which are locally known as pandan leaves. You can find these leaves in most Asian grocery stores, but if you’re a lucky duck like me, you might have a neighbour that grows these leaves and you have full access to it for free. However, you can use bottled pandan extract if this is more convenient for you.

At first glance, this sumptuous dessert can be mistaken for Buko Salad because of the similarity in texture and dairy ingredients used. However, the green gelatin which contains the aroma and flavor of the Pandan gives the distinction. — Vanjo Merano from Panlasang Pinoy

The dessert is usually topped with pinipig (immature grains of glutinous rice pounded until flat before being toasted), but I just went for what I had in the pantry, which is cornflakes and it’s just as good because you get that crunch in the dish anyway from it too. Rice Krispies may be used as well. I don’t think it is really added, but I like my Buko Pandan Dessert with large sago pearls, which is why I have added it to the dish. I’ve read that you can also add palm seeds or nata de coco in your dessert too if you like.

ps: before I move on to the recipe, I’d like to first apologise once again for a later than usual post. We’ve had a busy morning/afternoon cooking up a storm in the kitchen for our Noche Buena, and I only had time to write this post in between cooking/waiting times, and after all the cleaning up after our dinner.

Buko Pandan Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 90 MINS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 young coconuts, flesh removed and cut into strips
  • 1L water
  • 1 packet (200ml) crème fraîche
  • 1/2 can (190g) condensed milk
  • 1 packet (10g) unflavoured green agar-agar powder, or simply just gelatine powder
  • 1 cup large sago balls
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp pandan extract*
  • Handful of cornflakes

*You can extract your own from pandan leaves, and here’s how you can do it: Place the pandan leaves and water into a blender (1 bunch (12 leaves) to about a half cup of water). Blend until the leaves are chopped very finely. Pour contents through a fine sieve and press against it using a spoon to draw out any extra juice. Discard the leaves. Tip: if you keep the extract in a sealed bottle, you can keep it for up to one week in the fridge. Do not freeze though.

METHOD

  1. Dissolve the agar-agar powder in 1L of water. Add the sugar, stir, and bring to a boil over low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Once done, pour into a large square mould (about 10″ in size) and leave it aside to cool down before placing it in the fridge to completely set.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, about 2L. Once boiling, add the large sago balls in and cook until tender – mine took more than an hour to cook through, about an hour and 20 minutes to be exact.
  3. While the sago is cooking away, mix all the ingredients together (except for the cornflakes) in a large bowl. Check to see if your gelatine has set, and once it has, cut it into small chunks and mix in the bowl together with all the other ingredients.
  4. Once the sago is done, drain and add it to the mixture. Give it once good final mix and then place in the fridge for about 3-4 hours before serving.
  5. Serve chilled, topped with cornflakes, or anything crunchy, and enjoy!

Buko Pandan

Buko Pandan

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam)

Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam)

 

Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is a dessert that is made from grated and boiled purple yam which is locally known as ‘Ube’ in the Philippines. Besides the purple yam jam (Ube Halaya), many different desserts such and pastries such as ice cream, tarts, and cakes make use of this root crop. Halaya (en español: jalea), directly translates to jelly or jam, but it is hardly a traditional jelly or jam.

Ube Root

I know I basically say this is every post that I upload, but let’s face it, if it not one of my favourites then I wouldn’t be posting the recipe online! Anyway, this is also one of my favourite Filipino desserts besides Leche Flan. Here in Brunei, you can find this root crop in the local markets known as ubi belayar ranging from $3.00 to $5.00, and sometimes even $7.00 per kilo especially if it has been newly harvested (you just have to shop around to find the stall that sells for much cheaper). We managed to buy some from an old man selling them for $3.00/kg and the root still looked fresh.

Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam) Process

Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam) Process

I am not sure of how readily available the purple yam is in various countries, but I am aware that you can buy ready-made boiled and grated purple yam in Asian stores. Having a prepared product such as this definitely saves time in the kitchen, but if it’s definitely available raw from the markets, I definitely recommend making it from scratch and burn some calories in the kitchen with this dish! In the past, I have found that by just grating and pounding the flesh, you still get lumps of the yam in your end result, and therefore not as smooth. We therefore pass the flesh through a sieve as well to get rid of any remaining lumps. A lot of work, but a stellar end result; smooth and creamy lump-free halaya!

Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam) Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.5kg purple yam, skin on, thoroughly washed and scrubbed
  • 1 can (395g) condensed milk
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled

METHOD

  1. Submerge the purple yam in a very large pot (the largest you have!) of hot water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the purple yam for 30-45 minutes or until the yam is soft and tender. If you don’t have a pot big enough to fit the yam, you may cut it on half (or quarters if needed).
  2. Once tender, remove from the pot and set aside to cool down before peeling the skin off.
  3. Working it batches, finely grate the purple yam. Once you’ve done that, get out your mortar and pestle and get pounding! Once you’re done with the pounding, get you sieve out and press the mashed purple yam through the sieve. This ensures that your ‘jam’ is smooth and there are no lumps in your mixture. This is probably the most labour-intensive part of the recipe!
  4. Next, heat a large cooking pot on low and add in the butter to melt.
  5. Once the butter has completely melted, add in the condensed milk and stir well. Add the purple yam in and stir occasionally so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the texture or the mixture becomes really thick (about 20-25 minutes). When cooked, turn the heat off and let it sit in the cooking pot for another half hour before transferring them into moulds/containers.
  6. Refrigerate for at least two hours, then serve and enjoy with family and/or friends!

Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam)

PS: It was very hard as to not resist the temptation to wrap this yam jam in spring roll wrappers as an experiment to see if they would work just as well as wrapping leche flan. Guess what? It was successful! There’s this phrase in Tagalog that you would use when you have too much of something that you get fed up, but it’s quite the opposite when you have it wrapped in spring roll pastry; it becomes “hindi nakakasuya”. Anyway, basically add about a teaspoon or two of purple yam jam on top of a spring roll wrapper together with a few strips of fresh coconut; then fold, locking the wrapper on each side. Freeze it overnight before frying and viola! Crispy Fried Ube Halaya. You’re welcome.

Cripsy Fried Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

 

Hello Everyone! Today’s post is a special one as this is my 100th recipe on the blog! I wanted to make something special, for my 100th recipe post, but I wasn’t in the mood to bake a cake for it because I baked one just last week, and I will be baking one this coming Thursday ready for my Mom’s birthday on Friday!

Fresh Fruit Salad

Anyway, today’s recipe is a classic dish that you will find on every Filipino’s table during Noche Buena (the eve of Christmas) and/or Media Noche (New Year’s eve) feasting celebrations. ‘Fruit Salad’ is a general term referring to a dish that is typically composed of an assortment of fruits, fresh or canned. The Filipino version of the fruit salad consists of these fruits, condensed milk, and table cream, making the dish a rich and sweet dessert. I personally don’t like the use of canned fruits just because of the amount of preservatives in them. Anyway, there are plenty of fresh fruits that can be bought at the local markets – and Philippine mangoes are in season right now so why substitute that for canned fruit cocktail?! However, buying a can of fruit cocktail is definitely cheaper for the average Filipino.

Here’s what you’d get if you use canned fruit cocktail to make your fruit salad; not as vibrant as the one above right? Also, by using fresh fruits, you get to play around not only with the type of fruit but with the many colours as well, for example vibrant green kiwis or bright orange mandarins/papayas? Take your pick! Just don’t forget to include bright yellow mangoes and definitely those luscious red dragonfruits.

Fruit Salad

Now, I’ve had a look at a few recipes online and none that I have come across add cheese in their fruit salads. From what I know, or I guess what my mom has told me is that, since this would normally be a dish served during Christmas and New Year’s time, a fruit salad would not be complete without the addition of pieces of queso de bola. Queso de Bola (translated: “ball of cheese”) is just Edam cheese, traditionally sold in spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat of red paraffin wax.

Other than fruits, fresh or canned, and cheese, palm seeds and nata de coco can also be added. I love nata de coco; I’d always fish these out from the serving bowl! Nata de Coco, for those of you who don’t know, is produced by the fermentation of coconut water. It is translucent and has a jelly-like and chewy texture.

Fresh Fruit Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 young coconuts, flesh removed and shredded*
  • 1 can (380ml)  Nestlé cream
  • 1 can (570g) palm seeds, with syrup
  • 1 jar (340g) nata de coco, drained
  • 1 red dragonfruit, cut into chunks
  • 1 green apple, cut into chunks
  • 1 red apple, cut into chunks
  • 1 ripe Philippine mango, cut into chunks**
  • 1/2 block (125g) cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 large pomegranate, peeled and deseeded
  • 3 tbsp condensed milk
  • Handful of small black and red grapes

*The best thing about using fresh young coconut is that you get to have a nice tall glass of fresh coconut juice! The best thing in the world especially if you’re living right on the equator and experiencing high 30s all year round!

**You can use any other kinds of mango i.e. Kensington Pride mangoes, but honestly, Philippine mangoes are simply the best!

METHOD

  1. Combine all the fruits (except the dragonfruit), cheese, palm seeds with syrup, and nata de coco in a large serving bowl. If you add the dragonfruit in now and mix everything together, its colour will bleed into the cream and make everything pink!
  2. Add the condensed milk and cream and mix well, being careful though so that the fruits still remain intact and do not get crushed when mixing. Once everything is mixed, top with the dragonfruit chunks.
  3. Chill in the fridge/freezer for at least three hours.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com