Category Archives: recipes

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.

Print Recipe
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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Portabello Mushroom Cream Sauce

There’s a restaurant who has a small ‘fast food’ version of their pub food at our local mall. I love the place. They make delicious steak, and it’s got a mushroom sauce that they have with the thick sliced chips… oh, heaven. I love the stuff.

They’re local to the state I’m in though, so I figured I’d try to reverse…uhm… engineer? their sauce. I probably should have chopped up the mushrooms into much smaller pieces, to better get a mushroom flavor throughout. I am not too far off, mostly because I’m erring on the side of caution on the saltiness (I’m kind of aware at the moment that my sense of taste is a bit off thanks to a recent cold) but that’s not too bad, all considered.

The amount of butter is essential though, as is the cream, because you want a creamy, smooth sauce.

Print Recipe
Portabello Mushroom Cream Sauce
A lovely sauce with chopped up portabello mushrooms, that's really good to have with steak and for dipping with thick-cut chips (French fries). You can refrigerate the rest!
Course sauce
Cuisine sauce, Western
Keyword sauce
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course sauce
Cuisine sauce, Western
Keyword sauce
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, melt half the butter and brown the onion and the garlic.
  2. Add the mushroom and cook through, until you smell that lovely 'cooked mushroom' meaty smell.
  3. Pour the cream, stirring vigorously, then add the water.
  4. Stirring all the while, add the cheese, 1/4c at a time, Season with the salt as you stir.
  5. Allow to come to a boil, as you stir. When it is boiling, add the flour slurry while stirring quickly. Keep stirring as the flour thickens.
  6. Add the other half of the butter, stirring until it melts through. Taste and season the sauce to your liking.
  7. Serve with steak and chips/fries, or have as a dipping sauce with chips. Refrigerate leftovers in portions/freeze for later eating.
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Mocha Chiffon Cake Filipino Style

Double layered mocha chiffon cake with mocha meringue buttercream

Mocha Chiffon Cake Filipino Style, aka ‘Goldilocks Style’

Mocha Chiffon Cake – Filipino Style aka “Goldilocks Style”

This is my own version of the Filipino style Mocha Chiffon Cake that I did a roll cake of the last time.  I use more coffee in the mix,  as I found that the flavour was a little too mild otherwise.

The little coffee bean chocolates came from the Phiippines, and are basically ground coffee granules, in very dark, very coffee-infused chocolate. They are yum.

I like my cakes moist and buttery, so you may want to experiment and reduce the butter on the recipe of the cake. Have fun and enjoy!

Print Recipe
Filipino-Style Mocha Chiffon Cake
A moist, yet fluffy chiffon cake filled with surprisingly light coffee flavor, covered in smooth meringue buttercream frosting.
Course dessert
Passive Time 4 hours to overnight
Servings
8 inch 2 layer cake or 1 roll cake
Ingredients
For the chiffon cake:
For the meringue buttercream
Course dessert
Passive Time 4 hours to overnight
Servings
8 inch 2 layer cake or 1 roll cake
Ingredients
For the chiffon cake:
For the meringue buttercream
Instructions
Make the cake:
  1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until pale yellow and creamy
  2. Dissolve coffee & cocoa powder in a tablespoon of hot water, stirring. Pour into egg mixture with melted butter, and beat until well combined.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and fold in with wooden spoon or with the stand mixer's paddle attachment.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites & cream of tartar on high until they form stiff peaks. Fold into mocha batter, until just incorporated.
  5. Divide into 2 prepared 8-inch cake pans. Place each pan onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade, for 20-25 minutes or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  7. Cool on a wire rack, for 10 minutes, before removing completely from the baking pans to cool on wire rack.
  8. Cool completely (even overnight) before frosting.
Make the frosting:
  1. Set your mixing bowl in a pan of simmering water (for ease of use, use your stand mixer's bowl) and whisk egg whites and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy, marshmallow-like and hot. You may need a separate hand-held electric hand mixer for this.
  2. Remove bowl from heat, scrape the handheld's whisks free of marshmallow meringue, and then using your stand mixer, beat the meringue for another 5 minutes with the whisk attachment.
  3. Add half the butter and beat until smooth. (You may opt to use the paddle attachment for this, or stay with the whisk attachment) Add the rest of the butter, beat until smooth again. Scrape sides, stir buttercream mixture quickly, then go back to beating for 6 to 10 minutes.
  4. Dissolve cocoa, coffee and vanilla extract in a very small amount of hot water, stirring vigorously.
  5. Add to buttercream and beat on high for a further 2-3 minutes, scraping as needed.
  6. Use to put a layer of buttercream between the cakes, and to frost and decorate the cake.
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Blockout

So, WordPress.com’s official position to people who don’t want that banner is “Fuck you, we do.” I’m not joking.

This is WordPress.com’s official stance, you are not allowed to remove it and requests to remove it will not be accommodated.

https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/rainbow-banner-6?replies=10#post-3012709

Specifically, they say that: “We absolutely respect your right to publish the content you choose to your site, but the navigation bar styling reflects WordPress.com’s stance as a company, and can not be disabled on request. ”

One of the more hostile responses shows up here. Staff responses have been to pretty much say ‘this question has already been answered, and the thread will be closed.’ It is very clear that WordPress.com – which is in control of the ‘log in with WordPress’ part and includes the reader banner – considers that the rights of other people are not as worthy of consideration as a certain group’s. Here’s an example of staff response that pretty much is ‘get lost.’

As per Sight Magazine’s article on this matter:

The banner, which was spotted on sites over the weekend, appears at the top of sites when users are logged in. In comments sent to several WordPress users who raised the issue via the organisation’s online support service, ‘rootjosh’, described as a member of staff, said that to “show our support for marriage equality, we’re showing the rainbow bar to all our Australian visitors”. He added that it would remain in place until the survey results are released.

“We absolutely respect your right to publish the content you choose to your site, but the navigation bar styling reflects WordPress.com’s stance as a company…” he said. “If this causes you to choose to leave WordPress.com, we’re sorry to see you go.”

So in other words, ‘Fuck you, and feel free to fuck off.’ (Oh and if you are moving, they’ll help you move!)

Comments to the above article of note are as follows:

I was so confused, I thought it was my browser playing up. I personally fully support SSM but I really don’t think that this is what a commercial business should be imposing on their customers especially as I pay for my subscription. I would have thought a far better approach would have been to ask us to opt in to the scheme – how difficult would that have been?

Another comment says outright that this action will push them to vote ‘no’

I don’t intend to leave WordPress, but I may end up voting No *just because they did this* – because it shows the coercive and arrogant way in which these campaigns for social transformation are being conducted, and also the extent to which they emanate from outside Australia, which has been digitally colonized by the American “cloud”.

But you see, opting in is not an option that was ever wanted – Support or else! There are others opting to leave.

The irony is, the SSM supporters actually didn’t want the postal vote to happen. Some of the reasons include monetary concerns, while others include purely political ones. As I noted in my previous post, my own reason for not wanting the banner were actually physical – by straining my eyes and dragging it up involuntarily away from the text that I am either reading or typing, simply because the splash of unexpected and distracting color. I’ve been having such severe headaches and eyestrain that actually kept me from doing work, sleeping well, and eating properly for days. I’m only starting to get over it.

All because dissent is considered wrong, people with valid reasons that have nothing to do with politics or SSM will be driven away from any sort of support.

So the Housemate came up with a perfectly valid solution, for those of us – including myself – who are not versed in code wizardry.

No problem.
Do this to have that banner gone forever (or until they work out a way to stop this from working):
Get the Add-On called “Stylish” for Firefox or Chrome from here:
WordPress is a speech platform designed to empower its users to have their say online without knowledge of code or fear of censorship. It is not the place of WordPress – no matter their personal views – to impose their beliefs or banners on anyone.
You can’t be a speech provider and then take sides in a debate. If you exist to provide people with the right to speak, you have to accept they may say things you won’t like. By forcing this banner to appear over the top of sites such as Church groups or this one, you are saying that speech is only okay as long as you agree with it. If that’s the case, WordPress is not a speech provider. It’s a propaganda provider.
I wasn’t even going to bother voting in the plebiscite before (I didn’t really care) but I will certainly vote “no” now.
EDITED TO ADD GLORIOUS DESCRIPTIVE COMMENTARY FROM HOUSEMATE: “The actions of WordPress are as offensive as an arse-fisting while unconscious during a visit to the dentist. You didn’t consent, and you had no opportunity to decline. You came for a dental job and received an anal invasion.”
Certainly, it is the way that dissenting opinions and options have been denied that only proves John Howard’s point on the matter.

The former Prime Minister told The Australian any changes to the social institution of marriage will result in wider consequences for the country…

Howard believes marriage equality is not about a “single” right and has called for the proposed same-sex marriage legislation to be produced before the postal survey closes in November to ensure the protection of parents, religion and free speech.

“People are entitled to know there are sufficient protections for people affected by those changes and the public is entitled to know what those protections are,” Mr Howard told The Australian.

He warned proposed protections for the rights of other Australians would be given “scant regard” if the ‘Yes’ vote succeeded and legislation was pushed through parliament.

The attitude of the ‘Yes’ supporters are showing that he’s right about the scant regard being given to others.

Personally I’m somewhat surprised at how vocal the ‘No’ side is being – I rather thought that the whole thing would show who the actual majority is when the vote happens. From discussions happening RL I’m hearing more people say outright that they will vote no – and the implication is they don’t like the implicit thought policing, opinion denying, and screaming at people who do have valid objections. They don’t like being forced to care.

update:

One of the valid objections that have been held about SSM is that agreeing to it will open the doors to being forced to agree about other forms of relationships, such as voluntary group marriages and incestuous relationships. I remember being told that this was a fearmongering view, and that trying to argue even on cautionary terms was bigoted and wrong minded.

Well, funny how that works out because in the trend of all the cautionary discussions I’ve had, I’m being proven right yet again.

Christians are now being asked to accept polyamory.

Sooooo in other words, being made to accept Islam’s polygynous marriage? Oh wait, that’s not what they want, right? It’s just ‘equality’ – except that it’s not as easy as they make it out to be, and certainly far, far more complicated than they want us to think.

The thing that most people might find strange is I think the decision to have an open marriage is a decision a married couple should have on their own. I don’t think they should be legalised simply because it doesn’t just affect the adults involved, but also children and property – say, in the case of a divorce from a group, who are the parents? How is parenthood defined here? Etc. But with the current system, it’s clear that parenthood lies with the biological ties, unless one gives up custody (see, successful step-parenting for examples.)

Getting the legal system involved here would make it very, very messy, even messier than current divorces and custody disputes currently are.

Currently there is nothing to stop say, two married couples from moving in together and having whatever sexual arrangements they want. They are able to designate power of attorney if they so wish, to the other couple, but that’s just touching on the legal complications of having four people involved. This example is assuming that there are no children and they have no intention of having children, but I figure that will not remain true forever. Where does the individual’s legal status end, and the group one take over? And again, what about children, and properties, as well as custodial and inheritance issues?

They haven’t thought it through.

Burger a lot

One of the things I like to take the time and effort of making is making my own hamburger. Not on the level of slaughtering my own cow and pig or from chunks of meat and fat to my own specifications, but at the least from mince. I’m not fond of ‘just meat’ burgers; I like my burger seasoned. I also don’t just have beef burger; my burgers are a mix of beef and pork ground meat – 2 kg beef to 1 kg pork. (So this will always be a minimum of 3kg meat.) This was a recipe that my parents used to make, and we lost at one point, until I decided to try recreate it. I remember my mother soaking slices of bread in milk while preparing the other seasonings, but I use breadcrumbs instead.

Since I usually make this as a large batch, the proportions of everything else is ‘per kilo.’ The last batch I made was 9 kg of meat.

Maybe I should have pre-mixed the pork and beef first, or at least pulled it apart in chunks and sort of distributed them a bit more evenly, but I was rushed. That’s a huge metal basin; I’m really happy I found it in Costco. The Housemate didn’t think I would need something this big, but The Husband knows about my periodic urges to ensure the freezer is stocked with something delicious, so… It’s only fortunate that this just fits the bottom of my fridge too, because this has an overnight marinate time before I shape the patties.

For this particular batch I did something that I thought might make the burgers yummier when cooked, which was cut up chunks of butter and a cube or two in the middle of the patty.

I reform the meat into a ball again and flatten into a patty.

Which I then put onto a tray lined with baking paper for freezing. I usually put two layers of patties before putting them to freeze.

For a batch as large as the one I made (I sat in front of the TV to watch while making this, so I had newspaper spread on the carpet) be prepared to set aside at least two days of prep work. For the smallest possible batch, you won’t need as long – start in the morning, marinate through the day, fry up burgery goodness for dinner! I’d suggest making smaller, flatter patties than the steaks I made though for putting between buns! I tend to cook these up in the oven with a sauce as a boneless alternative to steak (like my Gamer Wife’s Hamburger in Gravy.)

You can also make large batches of meatballs with this, or make patties and meatballs, to give you even more dinner options!

Print Recipe
Rory's Burger
You'll need at least 3kg of meat, so the proportion of the patty is up to you! Freeze any patties you don't think you'll need for future meals. The proportion of beef to pork I use is 2kg of beef to 1kg of pork, and this is the base recipe.
Prep Time 2-4 hours
Passive Time 6 hours to overnight
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 2-4 hours
Passive Time 6 hours to overnight
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Open packages of minced meat and divide into smaller clumps. Place the clumps into a large bowl, distributing the beef and pork into more-or less even proportions.
  2. Add the bread crumbs. Set aside the bowl.
  3. In another bowl add all other ingredients except the sweet pickle relish. Mix it all together with an electric beater or in a blender.
  4. Pour the mixed seasonings on the meat and breadcrumbs. Add sweet pickle relish.
  5. With gloved hands, work in the seasonings into the meat and breadcrumbs until well incorporated and everything looks mixed evenly.
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Length of time depends on the amount of meat used. If it's the minimum 3kg, 4-6 hours of marinate/sit time; more than that will need overnight at least to allow the meat's flavour to absorb into the meat.
  7. Prepare baking trays: line trays with baking paper. If choosing to add butter cubes, start cubing butter.
  8. Set out your workarea with the bowl of meat and trays.
  9. Take into gloved hands the amount of meat mix you want for your patty. If you want butter in the middle, place a cube in the middle of your ball of meat, reform the ball and press slightly into patty shape.
  10. Place patties on the prepared trays. If wished, place another layer of baking paper on top and another layer of patties; no more than two layers of patties. Place another layer of baking paper on top to protect the patties and put in freezer, if freezing.
  11. Freeze for at least 8 hours, before removing burger patties to zip lock bagged portions.
  12. Use burger patties as you wish. Recipe is also good for meatballs (freeze in the same way.)
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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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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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