Filipino Snacks/Desserts

Biko (Filipino Rice Cake)

Biko

Biko is a Filipino Rice Cake which is really easy to make and sooo Y-U-M-M-Y!
You usually get to taste this sweet treat at most of the Filipino occasions or get-togethers.

This native delicacy is so highly addictive! Even my 7 year old son who grew up here in Germany can’t get enough of this sticky sweet treat!

I’ve tasted a lot of versions of Biko and you really can experiment with different toppings or essences in this recipe.
You can line your baking pan with banana leaves to make it even more authentic.
I just didn’t have any at home but you can purchase banana leaves at every Asian stores. It gives this rice cake an extra exotic kick!
I was just so excited to make these goodies and my Mom has been craving for them for a long time already. Therefore, I simply ditched the banana leaves!

As you can see on my pictures, I used Latik as a topping.
Latik are solids that form when coconut cream is cooked down until it releases its natural oils. These toasted crumbs add more flavor and crunch to your Biko.
You could also just use toasted coconut as a topping which is easier to make and also tasty.

No matter what topping you decide to put on your Biko, I’m sure that you won’t regret giving this treat a try! Don’t miss out on this delicious Filipino delicacy! 🙂

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Biko
Yield 16 Slices

Ingredients:
2 cups Glutinous Rice
3 cups Water
2 cups Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar

Latik (Topping):
2 cups Coconut Cream

Directions:
Latik:
In a small pan , add the coconut cream and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid starts to thicken.

When the oil starts to separate and solids begin to form, regularly stir and scrape sides and bottom of pan to prevent the coconut cream from burning.

Continue to cook and stir until the Latik turns brown.

Drain the Latik from the oil in a sieve and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Biko:
Grease a baking pan that suits your liking! It can be a round or a square baking pan. Anything will do!

Wash the glutinous rice, set in a pot and add the water; bring it to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer until the liquid is fully absorbed by the rice.

In a medium pan, dissolve the brown sugar in the coconut milk, let it boil until thick.

Add the cooked rice and mix until very thick consistency.

Spread the sticky sweet rice onto your prepared baking pan and sprinkle some Latik on ypur Biko.

Let cool and serve!

Finger Food

Easy Tuna Pockets

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Hey guys! I just made a super easy snack to brighten up your sunny sunday! Ahhh!…I love spring! Finally the sun is showing itself over here again.

After a great sunny walk together with my family, we just wanted to go back home and chill on the couch with some great snacks and a cool movie.

I wasn’t really in the mood to make something complicated today. So, I just got my store-bought puff pastry out of the fridge and took a look in our kitchen to see what I could fill them with.

We had a lot of apples lying around but I was more in the mood for something savory.

We always have cans of tuna in our pantry, therefore I decided to go with the tuna for my pastry pockets today.

I must tell you guys…these pockets were so easy to make and my family ate them all at once. If you’re looking for an easy finger food recipe, this is definitely something you should give a try. Cheers to a great sunday! 🙂

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Easy Tuna Pockets
Yield 15-17 Pockets

Ingredients:
2 cans Tuna flakes (about 2x 185 g)
4 Tbsp Butter (56 g)
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 Stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 Medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup Cream
180 g Grated cheese of your choice
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
Store-bought puff pastry
1 Egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water for egg wash

Directions:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a tray with parchment paper.

In a small pot, melt butter.

Add the chopped onion into the melted butter and cook until translucent for approx. 1 minute.

Add the chopped carrots and chopped celery into the pot of onion and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the tuna and give everything a good stir.

Add the cream and cook until smooth for about 2 minutes.

Add the grated cheese and cook until melted completely.

Season with salt and pepper.

Set the tuna mixture aside and let cool completely.

Cut the puff pastry in squares and add about 1 generous Tbsp of filling onto each square of puff pasty. Make sure to fill them one one side so that you can fold the pastry over. (I like my pockets shaped like triangles you could also just fold them to rectangles).
Press down the edges of the pockets with a fork to seal the pastries.

Brush the top with egg wash and bake for about 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown.

Cookies & Bars

Classic Fudgy Brownies

Classic Fudgy Brownies

May I introduce my ultimate Classic Fudgy Brownies?! They are so insanely delicious and so easy to make!

I’ve been experimenting a lot in the kitchen to finally find the perfect brownie recipe. There are tons of brownie recipes out there, but having your personal favorite is hard to find.

Some like their brownies caky or chewy. I like mine really fudgy with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!…mmmhhh…a never fail dessert! I haven’t met anyone yet, who doesn’t like brownies!

You can add nuts or even dried fruits into your brownie batter to give some kind of special touch to it. Brownies are just simply the best!

My brownies don’t even last a day at our place! They’re gone with the wind! They also make a perfect treat for work, school or picnics.
These babies with a glass of cold milk on a lazy day is just perfect! You must give it a try! 🙂

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Classic Fudgy Brownies

Ingredients:

400 g Sugar
280 g Butter
175 g Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 large Eggs
125 g All-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 °F/165 °C. Grease and line your brownie baking pan (I use an 11 x 7-Inch pan).

In a large bowl, add the sugar, butter, cocoa powder and salt; place the bowl in the microwave until the butter is completely melted and the mixture feels very warm to the touch (Check mixture every 1 minute and give it a good stir).

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add in the flour and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Let cool completely in the pan, then transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares.

Finger Food

Pão de Queijo

Pao de Queijo

So, I’m back from my mini blogging break but I surely haven’t stopped experimenting in the kitchen. I must say that I have a great feeling about this year. I have so many creative ideas in my ambitious mind which I would love to share with all of you great foodies out there.

What’s better than cheese? (Okay, besides chocolate…DUH!).
I love cheese! Everything that contains cheese is heaven for me! I love having finger foods for movie nights at home. Of course, along with other snacks like chips, cookies, chocolates, gummy bears paired with a can of soda…omg! Totally my kind of “date” with family or friends.

Okay, daydreaming aside! I found the probably greatest cheesy finger food out there! “Pão de Queijo” are mini Brasilian cheese bread which are really super easy to prepare. The taste and texture of this simple bread is out of this world! They’re best served while still hot. You can also warm them up the next dayand they still will taste delicious!

These mini cheese bread are made with Tapioca starch which you can find in every Asia store. They cost me like 99 cents per pack. These are the ones I buy.

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This is what I love about most of the Brasilian baked goods: They are so easy to make, since you will only be needing an electric mixer to blend all of the ingredients together. Very simple but the outcome is sooo tasty! You have to give these babies a try! Trust me! 🙂

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Pão de Queijo

Yield: 24 Pieces

Ingredients:

1 egg
2/3 cup Whole milk
1/3 cup Corn Oil/ Canola Oil
150 g Tapioca Starch
1 tsp Salt
100 g + 50 g Grated Cheese (any cheese of your choice; I used Emmentaler and Cheddar Cheese)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F/ 200°C.

Grease one mini muffins tin with oil or butter.

Add all ingredients and only 100 g grated cheese into a blender and mix until batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the greased mini muffins tin about 3/4 full.

Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and bake for 18 – 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and and serve! It tastes better eating them while still warm.

Casual Cakes

Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake

Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake is one of the most requested cake in my family. Even our friends always ask me to bake Chiffon Cake when I pay them a visit. It’s simple, light as air and not to sweet. It has definitely become our classic coffee cake for tea time or how you would call it over here in Germany “Kaffekränzchen”.

The best part of this cake is that you can bake them in a lot of variations. You could make a classic Marble Chiffon Cake by just adding cocoa powder to the mixture or you can even add dry fruits to make it like some kind of Christmas fruit cake.

I decided to try adding Pandan essence to make this simple Chiffon Cake a little bit more interesting. I love that the Pandan flavor is not overwhelming. You can just taste a hint of the Pandan in this Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake. And I just love the color of it! You could also add red food coloring to make it a Christmas Chiffon Cake.

My son NJ calls it the “Zebra Grinch Cake”. 🙂

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Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups Cake flour
1 cup Sugar
3 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Cold water
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
2 tsp Vanilla extract
5 Egg yolks
7 Egg whites
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Pandan essence

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Prepare UNGREASED tube pan. Set aside. (I recommend using an Angel Food Pan).

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center and add the water, oil, vanilla and egg yolks. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks.

Fold in the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites just until blended.

Divide the mixture into half; add the Pandan essence into one half of the mixture and gently fold until well combined.

First add the Pandan mixture and then the plain mixture into the tube pan. Using a skewer, gently run through the mixture making a marble effect.

Bake cake in preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours until top springs back when touched lightly.

Immediately turn pan upside down. (Table top will do. The legs of the tube pan will keep it from touching the surface).

Let cool completely.

Muffins/Cupcakes

Easy Moist Apple Muffins

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Our place never runs out of apples! Simply, because apples are one of the few fruits which my NJ likes taking with him to school in his lunch box.

You can make so many easy and great cakes, cookies or muffins with apples. Especially, now on autumn/winter season, I enjoy making all kind of different recipes with apples. Actually, I love baking with apples because of the heavenly smell which fills your home…and the touch of cinnamon…mmmhhh…I love that combo!

This Easy Moist Apple Muffins recipe of mine is so simple to make and a great snack to put into your lunch box. They’re packed with great flavors and you can experiment with the ingredients in this recipe. If you don’t like putting nuts into your muffins you can completely leave them out or add raisins instead. You can also just cut the sugar if it seems too sweet for your taste.
This recipe is so uncomplicated and foolproof.

I made these with my 7 year old son and the 20 muffins didn’t last very long on our kitchen counter. I personally think that they taste better the next day after storing them in an airtight container.
My Mom likes eating them right after baking while still hot.
Either way, these are a great and quick snack which I’m sure many of you will enjoy! 🙂

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Easy Moist Apple Muffins

Yield: 20 Muffins

Ingredients:

500 g Apples, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
200 g Butter
150 g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
150 g Sugar
4 Eggs
300 g All-Purpose flour
3 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
100 g chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
3 Tbsp Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F. Line regular-size muffin tin.

Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the apple chunks and toss together.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla extract together.

Add one egg at a time to the butter mixture and mix until well combined.

Sift all-purpose flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the batter and mix until everything is combined.

Add the nuts and apple chunks into the batter and gently fold into the batter with a spatula or a wooden spoon.

Fill the muffin forms and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Let cool and dust with confectioners sugar.

Dessert

Super Easy Crêpes

Super Easy Crêpes.jpg

It’s Crêpes day at our place! I always used to go to the city or to a fair to eat Crêpes with Nutella! My Crêpes always failed and became more of a pancake which was thicker than an usual Crêpe.

I always thought that I had to go and purchase some sort of Crêpe machine to perfect it but all you need is a medium nonstick pan and the right technique!

Your pan has to be very hot when adding the Crêpe batter and immediately even the batter out in circular motion with the back of the ladle. This process don’t take very long. Remember: Crêpes are really thin and delicate, therefore you won’t be needing to cook them for too long!

They can be filled and topped with various sweet or savory toppings.

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I love to fill my Crêpes with Nutella and drizzle with even more Nutella. I like to sprinkle them with chopped hazelnuts and a bit of powdered sugar.

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They taste really good with any type of shredded cheese filling.

Super Easy Crêpes

Yield: 25 Crêpes

Ingredients:
1 liter Milk
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Canola oil
1 Tbsp Sugar
A pinch salt
1 tsp Baking powder

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with an electric hand mixer or a wire whisk until well combined and lump free.

Heat a medium nonstick pan on high heat. The pan has to be really hot!

Using a ladle, add the Crêpe batter to the hot nonstick pan and even the batter out immediately in circular motion, using the back of the ladle.

Your Crêpe should be very thin.

Cook both sides until golden brown, for about 30 to 60 seconds on each side.

Spread with any kind of fillings.

Poultry

Easy Peasy “Coq au Vin”

Easy Peasy Coq au Vin

For everyone who don’t know my cooking style yet:
I love to keep it quick, easy and simple! I work full time and have three different shifts but still make time to keep the tummies of my family full and satisfied.

I read lots of magazines, blogs and cookbooks. I Often find that there are way too much ingredients which are sometimes even hard to find. Every time I see a “fancy” recipe I’m just thinking to myself: “How should I possibly be able to find the time to make this?” I just take a quick look at it and try to simplify a recipe and experiment with other great herbs or seasonings.

As a breadwinner of a five head family, I must cook on a budget. Just cooking noodles or rice isn’t an option for me. I want my family to taste as much of new recipes as possible, especially my son NJ. Alternating meals are very important to me. I hate preparing the same five meals every time, again and again. 

“Coq au Vin” is something really common here already, served at many restaurants or catering companies. I never thought that something that sounds so fancy can be so easy peasy to make. My version require only a few simple ingredients but the flavor is just sooo GOOD!

We usually eat it with dark rustic bread or sometimes even with rice or potatoes. It works well with lots of different side dishes.

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Coq au Vin

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:
60 g All-purpose flour
6-8 Chicken legs
100 g Bacon
1 Medium red onion
4 Medium carrots
400 g Mushrooms
4-5 Tbsp Cooking oil
600 ml Chicken broth
300 ml Red wine
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
4-5 Twigs of fresh thyme
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
Season chicken legs with salt and pepper then coat them with flour. Set the remaining flour aside.

Slice the bacon and chop the red onion, carrots and mushrooms.

In a large skillet, heat oil and cook the chicken legs on both sides until brown.

Add the red onion, bacon, carrots and mushrooms to the chicken legs and cook until vegetables are tender.

Add the chicken broth, red wine, tomato paste and thyme and cover the skillet. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken legs from the skillet and transfer to a large dish.

Add the remaining flour to the vegetable sauce and let simmer until the sauce thickens for about 2-3 minutes.

Place chicken legs on a plate and pour some sauce over it. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Casual Cakes

Brazilian Carrot Cake

Brazilian Carrot Cake

I’m such a huge fan of Brazilian cakes! In Brazil, they have lots of cakes which only require a few basic ingredients, using only an electric mixer! The outcome is AMAZING! Such simple cakes but really delicious, flavorful and moist.

I’ve once tasted this delicious carrot cake at a birthday party of my Brazilian friend. It’s usually called “BOLO DE CENOURA”. I fell in love with it right away and decided to try making it at home. She didn’t give me the exact recipe though because she kept on emphasizing how easy this cake is and that I only had to put carrots, sugar, oil and flour into an electric mixer. Her “BOLO DE CENOURA” had a chocolate glaze which was fantastic. I dust my cake with powdered sugar so that it’s kind of “easier” to eat with your hands. My son loves having a slice of cake in his lunch box sometimes, therefore I find it more practical this way. I also love taking something sweet to my work along with a cup of coffee and this definitely comes in handy.

I always have carrots at home. They’re inexpensive, very healthy and a great snack for kiddos. I love including carrots into a lot of my recipes. Every time there’s a few carrots at our place which nobody want to eat anymore, I make this cake.

My NJ is more of a cucumber kind of boy but he really loved this carrot cake. I bet that most of you already have these ingredients at home. Just simply throw everything into your electric mixer and pour the batter into your cake pan…and voilà! You got yourself a scrumptious homemade cake!

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Brazilian Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
300 g Carrots, cut into small chunks
3 Eggs
240 ml Canola oil
200 g Brown sugar
200 g Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Lemon zest

Directions:
Preheat oven to 175°C/345°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

In an electric mixer, add carrots, eggs, canola oil, brown sugar, sugar and salt. Mix until everything is combined and the carrots should be well mashed.

Add the baking powder and lemon zest.

Pour the batter into your greased bundt pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.

Soups

Meliann’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Meliann's Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s that time of the year again…SOUP SEASON! Yey! 🙂

I love the cool autumn/winter days where you just throw on your fluffy bathrobe and your cozy socks, sitting with your family and enjoying a bowl of soup while watching a great TV show.

This is also the flu season again, where a great Chicken Noodle Soup comes in handy. It’s amazing how a bowl of hot soup can easily make you feel calm and relaxed.

My brothers love going out and having a bowl of Ramen soup every once in a while. I must admit, I like Ramen soup but find it really expensive at most of the restaurants. It’s way much cheaper and easier to make a whole pot of soup at home where I’m sure there will be lots of leftovers for the next cool morning.

I use Asian egg noodles for this soup. You could actually use any kind of Asian noodles but this type of egg noodles have the perfect texture and I love that they’re also thin. The Miso paste gives this soup the something “special” taste therefore I wouldn’t leave this out. You can fine both of these ingredients at almost all Asian stores.
These are the noodles I always have in my pantry.

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I guarantee you that this soup will make your family and friends happy and satisfied especially when someone has the flu or simply to warm you on cold days like now.

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Meliann’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
6 cm Piece of ginger
2 Red chili pepper
2 Carrots
200 g Pak-Choi
2 Pieces Chicken breast, boiled and shredded
600 ml Chicken broth
500 ml Water
250 g Thin Egg noodles
40 g Miso paste
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
4 Hard boiled eggs
Spring onions for garnishing

Directions:
Boil chicken breast until cooked and shred with fork and knife.

Peel the ginger and carrots then cut into stripes (julienne).
Cut the red chili pepper and pak-choi roughly.

In a large pot, bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Add the Miso paste and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add the carrots, ginger, pak-choi, egg noodles and shredded chicken breast into the broth and let cook for 4-5 minutes.

Season with soy sauce and garnish with chopped spring onions, boiled eggs and red chili peppers.