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BATANGAS DELICACIES

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If there are some things that Batangas is famous for, it is usually the “balisong” or pen knife that sometimes goes by the name of the place it was made in. The area is also popular for very strong coffee, the unique accent of residents, and a number of savory delicacies that is constantly associated with this part of the country. There are also a few items that are considered baked delicacies, and here are some of them:

Londres – this is a cake-like treat that is both soft and crumbly, but not overly sweet. This is a perfect partner for coffee, and for hot chocolate. This is great for breakfast or for snacks. This is a twice baked delicacy that is similar to baked mamon since it starts off as a soft slice that is crisped up with baking and with the help of sugar plus frosting.

Pianono – one thing that Filipinos love is the cakes and pastries that have been inherited from the Spanish, and pianono is one of them. These small cake rolls are also available elsewhere in the country, with each locale adding their own twist or spin to the old-time favorite. This mini-roll comes with a custard filling and is dusted with sugar on the outside. In Batangas, you can get this in Bauan, at Ka Idro’s Bakery, and these are sold by the box or per piece.

Tamales – this is primarily known as a Mexican treat, however the city of Ibaan in Bulacan has its own version of this savory treat, that is technically not baked but cooked in a bain marie, which is a steamer type of cooking method that uses the oven and the steam in the pan to cook the banana leaf wrapped packages. These tamales are made using sticky rice flour, boneless chicken strips, salted egg, and atsuete. These are square shaped, much like those packages you see being used for fresh goat cheese, and are also tied with string.

These are some of the baked items that people mention after a visit to Batangas. The area does not have much in terms of such treats, but they do have a very long list of savory items that you can enjoy and these include bulalo, lomi, kaldereta, and a plethora of cured meats such as tapa, longanisa, and the like.

They also have dried fish, smoked fish, and peanut brittle or panutsa to add to this list. What other Batangueno baked delicacies do you know of that we do not know about? We would like to hear from you.

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BAKETECH AIMS FOR TESDA ACCREDITATION FOR BAKING SEMINARS

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One of the things that Baketech believes in is in giving people the chance to create a better life for themselves with the help of skills and trainings that will enable them to earn a decent living. Baking bread, cakes, and pastries can help them do just that, and to help such individuals to get the kind of jobs that these skills can be used in, we are striving to get these accredited by TESDA. Getting accredited means that you can use the certificates gained at these seminars as official documentation of trainings that are government certified.

Of course, it is not easy to get this done despite the extensive knowledge of our facilitator Chef Jed, and the use of industry accepted tools and equipment. We are taking the move to get this done one step at a time, and hopefully with God’s good graces, we can get the TESDA seal onto our certificates in due time. Till then, keep learning how to bake those breads and pastries via our various workshops like the basic bread baking, advanced bread baking, cake baking, pastry making, and many more. We will keep you posted on the progress of this endeavor.

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BASIC BREAD DOUGH RECIPE

 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

PROCEDURE:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast and let the bubbles develop, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, sift together flour and salt.
  3. Add the oil to your yeast mixture.
  4. Create a well in the middle of your flour and pour in the wet ingredient mixture. Mix well until the dough is soft and sticky.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
  6. Grease a clean bowl and form the dough into a ball. Roll this ball gently in the greased bowl to ensure that all sides are coated. Let sit in the bowl for an hour and a half to let rise. Cover with either plastic wrap or a slightly damp clean kitchen towel.
  7. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half, shape into rolls or loaves and place into their pans to rise a second time, this time for half an hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake your bread for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the shape.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. If cooking loaves, remove from pans before cooling.
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EASY RECIPE FOR THE WEEK – YEMA CAKE

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INGREDIENTS

Chiffon Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Yema Frosting:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 large can evaporated filled milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PROCEDURE

Chiffon Cake Procedure

  1. Preheat your home or bakery oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl, then sift. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix egg yolks, 1/3 cup milk, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Whisk this on low until a smooth mixture is made.
  4. Still on low, slowly add your flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Continue mixing on low until smooth and well blended. Set aside.
  5. In a separate cake mixer, or with the use of a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until this becomes very frothy.
  6. Slowly add in the 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, and continue beating until you see stiff peaks forming.
  7. Fold in the white mixture into egg yolk and flour mixture. Mix until well blended.
  8. Fold in the 1/4 cup oil.
  9. Line your cake pan bottom and side with parchment paper before pouring in the batter.
  10. Bake your chiffon cake for 40 to 45 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
  11. Once cooked, remove the cake from the oven, let it cool on a rack. Once slightly cooled, remove the chiffon cake from the pan and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the yema frosting.

Yema Frosting 

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the yema frosting in a saucepan and slowly heat mixture until it starts to thicken. When thick enough to resemble thick cream, set aside and get cooling cake from fridg.
  2. Slice the cooled chiffon cake horizontally, making sure you have two equal parts.
  3. With the top side of the top half facing up, ice the surface with the yema. Place the other half back onto the iced half, and cover the whole cake with the remaining yema frosting.
  4. You can decorate the top with grated cheese if you want. You can also chill the cake in the fridge before serving.
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DIFFERENT THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH STALE BREAD

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Every now and then, you find yourself indulging in either a baking spree or a shopping spree that leaves you with a few stale loaves or pieces of bread. Don’t worry about spoilage or having to throw these out because nobody wants to eat bread anymore. There are a number of things you can do to repurpose bread, and people will love you for these.

Here is a list of some of the things you can do with stale bread:

Bread pudding – probably one of the most common uses for stale bread is for the creation of bread pudding. This may be because it is one of the easiest things to do, and moisture can be easily added to the usually dry bread with the addition of such ingredients as milk and eggs. This can be made in many different ways as well, with some recipes calling for sweet ingredients and other having savory elements added in.

Bread crumbs – there are a lot of recipes that call for breadcrumbs to be added as coating, so instead of using store-bought crumbs, why not create your own and store these in an airtight container for use with your breaded chops, breaded chicken, and other breaded recipes? All you need to do is to toast your stale bread until crumbly, then process in your food processor until you get fine crumbs. You can also turn these into seasoned bread crumbs by adding in herbs and spices, plus salt and pepper, while processing.

Croutons – if you love salad and want a little crunch as well as a little carbohydrate in the mixture, croutons can be considered. You can make your own easily by cutting stale bread into little squares and toasting these in your oven until crispy. You should coat these lightly with olive oil before toasting to give it that perfect brown color plus flavor that goes well with any salad.

Biscocho – for a quick and crunchy snack that your kids can grab from your cookie jar anytime, biscocho using your stale breads can be made. You can choose to simply coat the top (or both sides if you want) of your stale bread with butter and sprinkle this with sugar, or to coat one side with sweetened condensed milk before toasting in your oven to a crispy, biscuit-like texture. You can also opt to create variations, like using cinnamon sugar instead of plain sugar with the butter or to top your condensed milk with desiccated coconut for that tropical touch.

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PALAWAN BAKED DELICACIES

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Palawan is known internationally, and even locally, as an island in the Philippines that has pristine beaches, untouched rainforests, and numerous attractions that can make people wish that they can stay there forever. It has also been listed as one of best beaches in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, for El Nido, ranking number 4 this year.

Aside from these accolades, the island is also known for a number of delicacies that people love. Here are some of the baked goodies that tourists and locals alike enjoy on this island paradise:

Hopia Ube – while this is generally found everywhere in the country, one bakery in Palawan seems to have a following when it comes to this flaky pastry, and this bakeshop is called Baker’s Hill. This hopia, along with other variants like hopia munggo (mung bean), is considered one of the must-tries in the area. These are not as expensive as some people may think, despite its fame, and goes for around P40 to P50 per box of 10 pieces.

Pianono – still from Baker’s Hill, this baked delicacy is light and moist mini roll cake, which goes great with hot cocoa or “sikwate”, and coffee. These miniature chiffon rolls come with a custard filling, and instead of having frosting on the outside, it is dusted liberally with granulated sugar. This gives it a sweet taste without going over-the-top, which is what might happen if these small rolls were coated with icing. These are also reasonably priced at P45 per pack.

Honey Nougat – while not necessarily a pastry, this still makes its mark as part of your dessert options in Palawan, and is one you will not want to miss. Made out of local wild honey, and local cashew nuts, this treat can be ordered at La Terrassee Restaurant Café, and comes to your table on a plate, sliced in bite sized pieces, ready for you to enjoy.

Chocolate Bacon and Cheese Bread – the name says it all, and who would not love a combination of all of these three – chocolate, bacon, and cheese? These breads are also available in Baker’s Hill, which is one of the most popular destinations in Palawan for those who have a craving for savory and sweet treats. These are unique breads due to the fact that these cannot be found elsewhere.

Roasted Cashews – while these are just technically nuts, roasting is still a type of oven cooking, so it makes this list. These cashews are locally grown and can come in plain roasted form, or roasted then mixed into a sugary concoction that will result in the sweet and crunchy cashew brittle that Palawan is also famous for.

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BAKETECH BLOGGER OF THE MONTH CONTEST

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Want to get a free pass into one of our advanced baking workshops? Do you have an active blog? If you are a blogger with an active blog that talks about baking, or basically anything that interests you for that matter, then we have a contest that is right up your alley. Baketech Solutions is holding a monthly blogging contest for those who want to get additional exposure for their blog PLUS a free advanced baking seminar to boot! How do you join? Here are the mechanics:

  1. Must have an active blog that is at least 6 months old and has freshly posted blogs at least every week.
  2. Must write a blog about baking, bakery equipment, cooking, and anything kitchen or food related.
  3. Must like and be a follower of our Facebook Page.
  4. The blog that is to be entered in the contest must have a backlink to our site www.baketechsolutions.com, and the backlink must be contextual. (Contextual backlinks are links that are within text, like this – “I ordered my bakery oven from Baketech Solutions, and I am extremely happy with it.”) Just choose from the many pages our site has to link to.
  5. Once you have posted your blog with the link to any of our site pages (you can have a maximum of 2 links to our site in your post), submit the blog post’s link to us via PM on our Facebook Page, or message it to us via our site’s contact us page.
  6. There is a limit of two blog post entries per month for each blogger for this contest.
  7. We will then pick the top 5 blogs for the month before the month ends, and we will post these on our site in a resource page type post that will lead back to your own blog.
  8. Winning blog will get top billing on this particular page, PLUS a free pass to an advanced baking seminar the following month (this is transferrable). Winning blog will also be mentioned in the Monthly Newsletter and will also have a backlink in the same newsletter to the blog itself.
  9. Runners-up will be guaranteed a free slot in any of the basic baking workshops for the coming month (Date is subject to availability of the person and the seminar date’s number of registrants. This is also transferrable.)
  10. All top 5 blog links will also be posted on our Facebook Page, which has over 100k followers.
  11. Deadline for submission each month is every 24th.
  12. All submitted blogs will be judged by Baketech Solutions management, and all decisions will be final.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your writing caps on, start blogging (and linking back to our site) today to win that free pass to any of our advanced baking workshops with world class baker, Chef Jed, and get your blog noticed by over 100k individuals at the same time.

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EASY RECIPE FOR THE WEEK – BAULO DE ZAMBOANGA

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup rice flour (or all-purpose flour if rice flour is not available), sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange soda (Royal Tru Orange or Mirinda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

PROCEDURE:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. In your mixing bowl, beat the three eggs until frothy. Slowly add in the sugar while continuing to beat at medium speed.
  3. Once the sugar has been totally incorporated and the mixture is a sticky, light yellow consistency, add in the vanilla extract.
  4. Next, add in the flour a little at a time until fully mixed.
  5. In a measuring cup, mix together the cooking oil and orange soda. Still on medium speed, add these liquids into the batter while beating.
  6. Once fully blended, incorporate the desiccated coconut into the batter.
  7. Grease your baulo molds (you can use small muffin tins for this) and fill each one with this batter up to 3/4 of the way.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes or until the baulo is golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly in the molds.
  10. Remove the delicacies from the molds and let cool on baking racks. You can dust these with powdered sugar before serving.
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HOW TO ENCOURAGE KIDS TO BAKE

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Cooking and baking are two things that everyone should be able to do. After all, people do need to eat regularly and if there is no one there to cook for you, how can you feed yourself good food? Learning how to cook and to bake can be inculcated at an early age, and as a parent (or a guardian), you can help encourage kids to learn how to do these with the help of these methods.

Make cooking and baking fun – while most people see these as chores (which they actually are), you can make kids think of these as fun activities that ends in them eating what they created. In order for you to make baking and cooking fun, you should start with recipes that are fun to do. Recipes that involve dough, which results in shaping, rolling, kneading, and the like, should help do the trick.

Invite their friends over for a bake-off – another thing you can do is to make baking or learning how to bake into a group activity. Invite over a few of their friends for a baking activity where the best baker gets a prize. Of course, the prize does not need to be expensive, but has to be something that the children will want to try their best for (coloring books and crayons, or other similar prizes will do).

Have them help you when they need baked goodies for school – you can also encourage your kids to bake when they need to create goodies for activities in school. They can “brag” to their friends that they made or helped make whatever it is that they bring to these activities. Some of the best baked goodies for this include cookies, cupcakes, and cake pops.

Enroll them in a kids cooking or baking camp – there are a number of summer programs that help encourage kids to learn how to cook or bake, and these are usually hosted by businesses that specialize in equipment for these activities. Kids will enjoy learning at these camps because they will be doing so with other kids like themselves.

 

Have them try mini workshops like those sponsored by popular stores – some stores that you can tap for this include Krispy Kreme and Goldilocks, which hold mini seminars where kids are shown how donuts and cakes are made. The kids are then given hands-on training in cake and donut decorating after these tours.

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ZAMBOANGA DELICACIES

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When you head to the southernmost region of the country, you may find yourself in Zamboanga, which is on the southwestern edge of Mindanao. The city of Zamboanga is home to almost a million people and is the third largest city by land area in the country. Aside from this distinction, it is also known for a number of tourist destinations that are too good to miss.

The city has a lot of historical tourist spots that history buffs will love to visit, and these include Fort Pilar and the city hall. For those who love nature, islands, waterfalls, and caves abound here. For those who are certified foodies, you will find that not only are there many places for you to eat here but there are also a number of delicacies that you can enjoy taking home with you as well.

Here are a few examples of these homegrown treats that you can take home as pasalubong (and eat there as well):

Lokot-lokot– also called tagaktak by some, this delicacy is not baked but fried and looks like noodles that have been crisped up to become a snack. It is also called Zamboanga rolls by some and is actually made using rice flour that is poured into hot oil using a strainer-like contraption which is what forms the net-like treat that is then rolled into a tube before it cools into this shape.

Baulo – another delicacy concocted using rice flour, baulo is actually the local version of the mamon or sponge cake in muffin-like sizes and shapes. The usual mixture consists of rice flour, orange soda, eggs, and sugar. These are poured into molds to get the shape that the baker wants, although more-often-than-not, these come in irregular shapes due to the fact that improvised molds are used to create these treats.

Alfajor de Zamboanga – another treat that you can get from this part of the country is the alfajor, which is a cookie that is also found in Latin countries like Argentina and of course, Spain. This is a sweet cookie that usually has a dulce de leche filling in the middle and covered in grated coconut, if you are to try the Argentinian version. The local version however is made using sticky rice made into flour and baked into these cookies.

 

Chikalang – another favorite of the locals and visitors alike is this treat that comes in the shape of a twisted rope. Sometimes this is made purely out of glutinous or sticky rice that is made into a flour, and at times people mix in purple yams into the dough to create a unique treat.

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EASY RECIPE FOR THE WEEK – QUICK AND EASY PIZZA DOUGH

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

PROCEDURE:

  1. In your mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients to incorporate well. Turn your mixer to low in order to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl.
  2. Once the dry ingredients have been mixed, let rest. In a measuring cup, mix together the olive oil and the warm water.
  3. Turn the mixer back on to low and slowly pour in the liquid mixture. Let the ingredients combine until you get a sticky but rough ball of dough.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixer and place on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a dry towel and let rest for ten minutes.
  5. After ten minutes, remove the towel, flour the top of the dough lightly with flour and start kneading. To knead properly, pull dough into an elongated shape, fold over, then push forward with the heel of your palm. Rotate and repeat a few times.
  6. Knead your pizza dough until it is generally smooth and elastic. This usually takes around ten minutes.
  7. Form your kneaded dough into a ball, oil a clean glass bowl with some olive oil, roll the dough ball in it to cover the entire ball with oil, then rest in the middle of this bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with a slightly damp, clean towel and let this rise for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the size of the dough has doubled.
  9. Punch down and divide into two balls before wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating for future use. You can also create two pizzas with this dough immediately after.
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WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE TIME FOR BAKING

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Some people enjoy baking because of the yummy goodies that they produce from this endeavor. Others do so because they view is at a way to earn a living. Still a few more do so only when they need to create cakes, pastries, and other yummy baked items for special occasions, like Christmas, birthdays, and the like.

There are a few however who bake because they love doing it. Some people who do enjoy this activity try to make time for it whenever they can despite their very busy lives. Why do they make time for baking and why should you consider doing so as well, if this is not a way for you to make extra money or to earn a living? Here are some good reasons why baking is good for you:

Baking is good for mental health – did you know that baking is actually good for your brain? It is because of the fact that baking follows a very specific set of rules and is centered on precise measurements that make it a rather meditative form of activity. When you bake, you follow specific steps, and you concentrate on these steps in order to get things baked right. This routine helps you focus and thereby makes your brain think more about what needs to be done rather than on dwelling on negative thoughts.

Baking is therapeutic – feeling rather agitated? Want to take out your frustrations on something other than people and things? Why not bake? Baking things that need to undergo the process of kneading can actually help alleviate feelings of anger, frustration, and angst. You can take out your anger and your animosity on the dough that you are kneading for bread or even for pizza. The kneading will also wear you out, which in turn can make you want to rest or sleep, which is also very helpful when you are in an agitated state.

Baking unleashes your creativity – while baking does make you follow very specific steps and measurements, it does leave you a bit of room for your creativity. You can decorate and ice cakes according to your whim. You can also add alternative ingredients to your creations to change the texture and flavor of what you are baking. You can even tweak recipes a bit to make these taste better or look better.

 

Baking makes you generous – when you bake, you don’t bake for yourself. You will find yourself creating two dozen cupcakes, an entire layer cake, or even a few loaves of bread, which you cannot finish on your own. You will usually end up giving these to friends and family, which makes you feel good inside since you shared the fruits of your labor.

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