Don’t Do This At Home (The Bread Pudding Disaster)

Still high from my first pudding success, I ventured to try another one. I still have a lot of bread and some pineapple chunks left and Rad just came home with a lot of bananas. So this time, I thought I would include the bananas in the pudding. It works on cakes so it must work on puddings, too. And it would have, had I not messed up my recipe.

In my intent to cook a less-egg and ultimately an egg-less pudding, I looked for alternatives and I read about banana being a good substitute.  So, in my chemistry geniusness, I took 2 eggs out and put 3 bananas in.

I was very excited. The pudding seemed to be baking fine. I took it out of the oven. It looked beautiful, firm and of pudding consistency (or what I call “puddingy”), until I cut into it. It was all mushy inside! The bananas were not able to hold the ingredients together and it made the “pudding” sweeter than desired.

If it’s any consolation though, Kaye loved it! I guess, I can still recommend this as baby food after all!

(Note: Perhaps I should not have put the Mangantayon logo in the pic for I didn’t even eat this one!)

Advertisements

Bread Pudding

I came home yesterday itching to make something. I couldn’t go out and shop because I promised myself not to buy more food unless those in the fridge or pantry are consumed. Rad asked me to buy soft bread loaf for Ken though because he likes it with peanut butter. I usually buy 2 kinds- the soft and more expensive one and the brown, harder but cheaper one. The cheaper one is the usual loaf which I always toast and  smear with butter and cinnamon sugar. Lately I didn’t have the energy to put butter and slice the bread so we had a lot of bread left seeking our gastronomic attention.

I searched the internet for recipes but most I saw used more than 3 pieces of eggs and a lot of sugar. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and experimented with my own proportions.

Ingredients

  • About 3 cups of bread
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp fresh cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • About 1 cup crushed pineapple

Procedure

  1. Soak the bread in the milk for about 30 minutes. For a more smoother texture you might want to crush the bread when they are already soft enough.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Mix (1) in (2).
  4. Bake at 180 degrees for 45- 60 minutes.

The result was sweet but not too sweet bread pudding. Just a perfect pair with tea or coffee. The bread I used was thicker than the usual and not very airy so it may have been around 4 cups of torn bread including the crusts. I used an 8-inch diameter cake pan. It was better when it cooled down a bit.

Brownies

Eversince New Year’s Eve, Ken and I have been baking with chocolate everyday. Perhaps this is even the reason why he is so fired up and won’t sleep till it’s very late. We recently baked brownies. I have baked brownies in the past and have experienced using the ready-mix, other’s recipes and from scratch some of which were really good. In fact, I can swear by the yumminess of the fudgy brownie at casaveneracion.com. However it is this recipe from Chef Teranishi that I would like to put on record in this blog.  We followed the recipe except for the chocolate. The recipe called for sweet chocolate but we only have milk chocolate in stock. Nevertheless, it was already sweet enough.

Ingredients:

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 50 g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • almond/nuts (optional)
  1. Mix and sift the dry ingredients except for the granulated sugar. Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate along with the butter.
  3. Beat the egg and mix in the sugar until the color turns lighter.
  4. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix.
  5. Put the dry ingredients into the mixture and mix just enough to wet all the ingredients. Add in the nuts.
  6. Bake at 180 ℃ for 15-20 minutes or when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Be careful not to over-bake.

The end product was chewy and moist and was much more delicious after one day and despite the dry weather,  it was still moist and crusty yet chewy. Oh the ways we describe a brownie. I think we will be using these proportions from now on until a better one comes along!

Chocolate Muffins

More than 2 years ago, Rad and I went to Bagel and Bagel to buy, well, bagels, and on a whim, I added their chocolate-pineapple muffin. I sooo loved that muffin that the memory of it still lingers.  I have been experimenting and researching and trying other recipes since. Yesterday, I tried yet another and I think I finally found it.  I did the the ever popular banana-chocolate muffin but the cake base is perfect for what I was imagining.

Ingredients:

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g  sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp fresh cream
  • 170 g flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  1. Add the dry ingredients and sift. Set aside.
  2. Mix butter and granulated sugar and beat until the mixture turns lighter.
  3. Slowly add the 2 beaten eggs.
  4. Pour the fresh cream. Mix.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix until the dry ingredients are just wet or moistened.
  7. Bake at 180℃ for 25-30 minutes.

The cake was light and fluffy. The normal brown or white sugar can be used though. I tried the normal brown sugar and substituted the butter with 1/2 cup cooking oil and I didn’t notice a very big difference. I tried the confectioner’s sugar too at the same measurement but of course it was less sweet so may have to add more although the texture of the cake was better. For the banana muffin, I just added 2-3 bananas, mashed plus 1/2 tsp vanilla essence after adding in the fresh cream.

Hello 2012! (Gateau Chocolat)

So I bid goodbye to 2011 with lots of culinary experiences but a few post about them. It has been a busy year for me and family. It should be a busier year for us again as we enter 2012 with more plans, resolutions, hopes, and goals.

Our plans to go back to the Philippines have been moved so both Rad and I are back to keeping the tradition of Noche Buena and Media Noche on our own. However, we were concerned on how staying up late would affect the kids’ sleeping pattern so we decided to just have the dinners earlier than midnight. Kaye was cooperative but, Ken was another matter. No matter how much cajoling and coercing we did, his eyes just won’t close. Instead of getting worked up about it, we simply let him take his time. Then Rad began to have a craving for some chocolate ganache.

I started making ganache then, it turned out to be a full-blown baking stint at 12 midnight, And Ken decided to get up and get his hands dirty (or yummy) too.  This time, we cooked Gateau Chocolat.

I have always liked the gateau at Beard Papa’s. It is soooo decadent, just looking at eat gives me calorie fever. I borrowed this recipe book by Teranishi Eriko from our library in school and it has a simple recipe in it. The recipe called for sweet chocolate but the word “sweet” somehow arouses some calorie-guilt feelings so I always stock up on milk chocolate instead (for all the difference it makes haha). Most of the time, I limit my egg usage to just one per cake-baking but this time, I went for all 3.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 80 g  milk chocolate
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 50 ml fresh cream
  • 20 g flour
  • 40 g cocoa (I used Van Houten)
  • a little salt

Procedure:

  1.  Sift all dried ingredients and set aside. Separate the yolk from the egg whites.
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate. You can do this in a bowl over hot water or just pop it in your microwave. (I used the microwave because Ken likes to set and push the buttons.)
  3. Pour half of the sugar into the 3 egg yolks and beat until the mixture is whitish or of lighter color than the original.
  4. Pour (2) in (3) a little at a time and beat/mix well.
  5. Add the fresh cream. Mix well.
  6. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  7. Add the rest of the sugar into the egg whites and beat until you get stiff peaks. (I had to stop midway because the mixer was too noisy. It was already past midnight and Japan does not celebrate New Year the way Philippines do.)
  8. Pour (7) into the batter and mix well.
  9. Bake at 160℃ for 30 minutes (or 40 minutes).  They were puffy when they came out but we shrunk as they cooled. I served it with the ganache. Good thing about it, you can serve it hot or cold!

When I tasted it, I couldn’t help but exclaim over the way it just melted in my mouth. It was not overly sweet like the store-bought ones, in fact, it is not sweet at all. It is sweet enough to keep you wanting for more. My kids do not like overly sweet goods. Ken does not even like Butterfinger or Crunch choco bars but he wanted to eat everything there and then!

He was still pouting when he went to bed but his words when he woke up were, “Mama, I’ll eat my cake for breakfast!”

Happy New Year everyone!

 

>Spring and Strawberries and Toyohashi’s Morning Fair

>
After 6 months in Fuji City, we moved to Toyohashi City last March 28. Although we loved our charming rural neighborhood and our friends there, the convenience and flatlands of Toyohashi were most welcomed. In complete contrast to Hina, we are now at the center of the city where everything is accessible by just a few minutes walk plus the tram runs every 5 minutes for 150 yen! We are in a bigger but cheaper apartment and I can just ride my bicycle to work.

On our first Monday, we went to the city hall for the usual legalities and checked out what Toyohashi has to offer to its residents. I read about its Morning Fairs but it was not only till last Saturday that we had the opportunity to check it out. We woke up early and had a great walk to the site and I was in vegetable shopping heaven and Rad was shutter-excited! Only a small area of the sidewalk was used but after 7 years of doing my veggie shopping in supermarkets where everything has to be in their perfect shapes and so darned expensive, sidewalk vending is such a freshener! Sooo cheap plus you get to see the faces of the people who personally toiled to grow those veggies. It is now more personal and just so charming. It kinda reminds me of home.

Although haggling is not practiced here (except perhaps in flea markets), one old lady gave me a discount for buying the last of her strawberries. She said that it’s because I am not Japanese, I get the discount. I am not sure what that meant but I am not about to question a blessing.

So, those strawberries graced our breakfast plates for two days. On the first, I put them in between and on top some pancakes and on the second day, I made them into muffins. My first time to make muffins with strawberries and I just love how they turned out! Not too sweet and just enough moisture and great texture!

> 

I’ll find more time to write about the Morning Fair soon. Since we moved, our apartment has not really settled yet (read: been cleaned!).

The Move!

Three or four major things happened after my last blogspot post.

First, the latest and the obvious, Mangantayon has moved from blogspot to its new home. And along with it, my sister, Marife, who is currently studying at Osaka University has come in as additional author of Mangantayon.  There is no contest that between the two of us, she is the better cook and writer so I am quite confident to say that posts here will be more interesting and delicious than my usual experiments.

Second, my family and I have also moved to a new city because of a new job. Goodbye Shizuoka and Fujisan! Hello Toyohashi! Until now, our apartment still looks as if the tsunami has just hit (I exaggerate, of course) or close to it. My sister and her husband has also moved to Osaka from Gifu at about the same time. So yes, the reason behind the lack of post is the moving.

Third, I have finally published my papers and graduated my ever so elusive degree. And no, I still do not feel as if people or I have to put the Dr. before my name, not until I have properly made my “aisatsu” and put things into order that is.

Fourth, after the big earthquake that hit Japan, I am glad to tell everybody that we are all safe. This is long overdue, I know. And well, honestly speaking, it was also because of that temblor that writing blogs took a backseat. We were always on our toes last March to the point that we slept with our outdoor clothes on for about 2 weeks till it was time to move to our new apartment. But that is another story. Suffice it to say that we are farther away from the site, and we are praying that no more disaster of that scale will ever hit Japan again.

And that is all from March till May.  Now on with the food!