Category Archives: hearth-witchery

Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

Filipino-style mocha cake with coffee buttercream and dark chocolate coffee bean candies and sprinkles

The cake I sent with Rhys for his birthday. Delicious and was devoured to rave reviews, despite its’ flaws.

So, I made a Filipino-style mocha cake for Rhys’ birthday, that he took to work. It was delicious; but because I kept getting interrupted (by external reasons, lots of phone calls, etc) it ended up a bit denser than normal. Apparently everyone got excited seeing the cake and thought it looked at tasted ‘absolutely amazing.’

However, both Rhys and I knew I could do better. So I made a devil’s food cake, (2 layers, 8 inches each) and decided that it should have a marshmallow meringue frosting, and dark chocolate drip ganache topping it, that he will take with him to work.

Devil's food cake with marshmallow meringue frosting and dark chocolate ganache

Better effort, with Rhys decorating it this time.

 

Rhys got keen on frosting the cake to be brought along, so he did the frosting on this one that I’ve taken a photo of up top. The chocolate ganache is pooled at the bottom ‘because yum.’ I love that man. ^_^

I had Vincent make a cake for practice a few days ago, to teach him the correct order in which one adds melted butter into a cake, versus accidentally cooking the egg added into a cake and it tastes awesome, but was very crumby (it’s also devil’s food cake). The leftover marshmallow meringue frosting is slathered on top like a fluffy sugar cloud. Kiddo’s learning a lot this school holidays; baking cakes, cooking dinner, assembling a whole workstation class computer from scratch with very minimal help (only putting on the liquid cooler and the thermal paste) – and it worked perfectly!

Devil's food cake with marshmallow meringue frosting

Son’s practice cake, now with frosting =9

But, as you can see, it makes a lot of frosting (that’s a 10 inch single layer cake) so it probably has enough for a 2 layer 9 inch cake.

I like using a little bit of cream of tartar to get the egg whites started on frothing before I put them in the double boiler, but other recipes don’t include it, so you may omit if you like.

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Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
Use as a frosting, or as a layer on top of a cake and then cover with ganache, use on top of a mousse or top and sear with a kitchen blowtorch, or pipe, or blop on for a casual, fluffy but engaging frosting style! Makes enough to frost 2 layers of a 9 inch cake, with enough to spare.
Course dessert, frosting
Servings
Ingredients
Course dessert, frosting
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start by boiling water in a large saucepan, enough to heat the bottom of your bowl. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
  2. Mix together the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla, until lightly frothy, in a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer with the whisk attachments. For ease and sanity, I tend to use the same mixing bowl that my stand mixer uses. When slightly frothy, place bowl in the water.
  3. Moving the speed of your mixer to high, mixing all the while, add the sugar, either shaking it in gradually from your bowl or 1/8 cup at a time. Make sure it is dissolved.
  4. Mix for 7 minutes, on highest speed, moving your mixer's whisks around to make the marshmallow white and silky.
  5. Immediately move the bowl to your stand mixer, tapping out the leftover meringue from your whisks into the bowl. Beat on the highest speed your stand mixer can do for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Use as desired; on your cake, sear with a kitchen blowtorch on top of your pie or mousse, etc.
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Pineapple Chicken

This is a lovely, summery dish that goes for a savoury sweet flavour instead of the usual sweet-n-sour. Unusually, it also uses evaporated milk as part of the broth, yet doesn’t end up soured. In the Philippines, we call this pininyahang manok. I think it makes a good midweek dinner; and my kids definitely agree.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Cake With Coffee Buttercream


I loooove coffee walnut cake. Luckily for me our grocery chain Coles has them for less than 10 AUD and it is omg scrumptious. I loooove coffee walnut cake. Luckily for me our grocery chain Coles has them for less than 10 AUD and it is omg scrumptious.

But for my birthday, I wanted a bit more Ferrero Rocher-ey taste; more chocolatey, maybe a bit of Nutella… I still wanted the coffee buttercream though. But for my birthday, I wanted a bit more Ferrero Rocher-ey taste; more chocolatey, maybe a bit of Nutella… I still wanted the coffee buttercream though.

I made this cake for both my birthday and again for Easter, which is why the above cake has mini Cadbury Creme eggs nested in the middle. I made this cake for both my birthday and again for Easter, which is why the above cake has mini Cadbury Creme eggs nested in the middle.

Maybe someday I’ll remember to take a photo of a cake slice instead of going ‘om nom nom’ right away.

Maybe.

Until then, have a recipe!

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Battered Eggs

When I was a teenager, I encountered deep fried, battered hard boiled eggs for the first time. Mom and I were on our way home one afternoon and I smelled something delicious being fried at a street vendor’s cart. There was a mound of orange bunlike things and he was heating up a couple for another customer. The odd orange tinted things were tokneneng.

Since I was curious, and they would make a fine afternoon merienda, Mom bought some, and selected the seasoned vinegar. We brought them home, eggs soaking in vinegar in plastic bags. After pouring them out into bowls we broke into the eggs with our spoons and swirled the hard yolks into the vinegar before taking a bite.

I was hooked. Continue reading

Pork Sausage with Apples n Onions

 

This is an adaptation of the apples n’ onions recipe that I read about in Farmer Boy back when I was in grade 5. it makes for a very straightforward and flavorsome meal. My husband prepared this while he was out field and he proudly reported that some of the guys came back for thirds – everyone, apparently had seconds!

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Elven Bread v2

 

So, over the holidays, I remembered to finally cook up some elven bread to share with my in-laws; taking advantage of the fact that my brother-in-law has a lovely wok to deep fry with. I try to cook dinner at least once or twice when we visit, and that night I commandeered the kitchen for a full dinner, and while it was cooking, whipped up dessert for that night (chocolate cake), a leche flan as a gift to my brother in law, (he also got the recipe) and a batch of elven bread to leave to rise overnight.

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Gamer Wife Hamburgers in Gravy

This is one of my ‘I’m busy and I need to get food on the table’ go-tos. I usually make this with home made hamburger patties; but I reckon you could do well with store-bought. With a hearty gravy with mushrooms, I almost never have leftovers – and if there are any, it’s meant for my hubby’s lunch the next day. Well, if he leaves any – he’ll walk in through the door and one of the things he’ll ask me is when it’s ready to eat.

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Arroz Caldo

 

Everyone has a favorite type of congee. I love the Filipino version, called arroz caldo, which in typical Filipino form, can be eaten at all times of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, or merienda (well, more like a small meal between meals. Hobbits would love us!), or snack or as a side dish or opening item!  My family’s version is very garlicky and ginger-y. If you want to reduce the salt, use a low-salt chicken broth and omit the chicken broth cubes. Some folks like putting toasted, crispy garlic and onions on top, or chopped up green onions, or, in my case, cubed, fried tofu. Experiment with toppings if you like, but you might find that my recipe is flavorsome enough.

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Honey Mustard Chicken Bake

 

My family looooves this, because it results in such a flavourful and tender meat dish. It’s also a bit expensive because of the use of whole jars of ingredients (at least, over here in Australia) so it’s a treat. For folks who are looking for a quick, easy main to serve for a crowd of guests, this is a good recipe to go for (and is similarly easy to scale down.)

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Rory’s Rum Balls

Back when I lived in the Philippines, we would make rum balls. We experimented with different methods, but the one we liked best was the one made with ground up and crushed chocolate cream wafers. We found that the wafers absorbed the alcohol best, and after a few days of resting in the fridge, they were absolutely divine! Making these was a social activity, not too different from making dim sum as a group, and we’d chat away while working at crushing the wafers and later, shaping the dough. Continue reading

Gamer Wife Beef With Carrots and Capsicums

beef_carrots_capsicums

Sometimes you need a simple meal that, as Rhys puts it, ‘fills the hole.’ This took a bit more proper cooking than the previous Gamer Wife recipe, but really, didn’t take that much effort either.

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Gamer Wife Chicken Bake

chicken_carrots_beans

I make no secret of the fact that I am a gamer, and that a lot of my work also requires me to be in front of the computer (or Cintiq) and sometimes, the work here is very hard to interrrupt! Or the party grind session.

I call this chicken bake this because I realized one afternoon, after immersed in Lineage II that I hadn’t thawed any meat and the children had just come home. This meant – oops – that dinner would need to be ready, or at least cooking by the time Rhys got home! My darling man would be tired and hungry, and my pride refuses to not at least have some food warm and ready!

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Chicken Sopas

chickensopas

Quick, light and easy, this soup suits both cold nights and summer days back in the Philippines. Some versions include using diced Tender Juicy Hotdog (which resembles the red-covered frankfurter, but tastes different) or diced ham. This is the simplest version in the family and is also a nice side dish, especially if the chicken is cut into even smaller cubes.

It can also be made with chopped up store-bought roast chicken meat, cutting down the cook time even more.

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Nilagang Baka

nilagang_baka1

Nilagang Baka, or “boiled beef” belies the very delicious and richly satisfying soup that results from the ‘mere’ boiling. Best done with cheaper soup bones with meat still clinging to the bone and with cheaper cuts of beef, my prefered method is to add all the ingredients together and simmer for at least four hours in a large stew pot.

Because I have a large family, when I make this it’s a huge batch, with leftovers that the kids like to have later on. You can reduce the amount of ingredients as needed (Or, for single-person amounts, 1 osso bucco, 1-2 corn cobs, a handful of cabbage, one large carrot, a handful of beans, and two medium potatoes, 1 beef broth cube!)

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Sour Cream Apple Muffins

Delicious treats

Delicious treats

I promised to make Rhys apple muffins for Father’s Day (it’s in September, here in Australia) but I missed it by a day because that Sunday was eaten up by errands. I made these on the same day as the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake so you see the unfrosted cake sitting in the background at in one of the photos.

applemuffin06 Continue reading