Friday, October 12, 2012

Cinnamon Buns

Any kind of cinnamon bun has a special meaning for Ronny, because it's apparently a big part of a Swedish childhood.  A good Swedish mom is supposed to have these baking in the oven when the children come home from school and his mother apparently baked them a lot.

This is not a recipe for an authentic Swedish cinnamon bun, but me playing around with a poppy seed dinner roll recipe. I watched this video more than a few times and took some notes.  I think they forgot to mention how much water you should mix with the yeast in the beginning and some commentators thought it was maybe 1/4 cup so I went along with using as little water as I could.  In reality, I think it was 1 cup, if you follow this recipe to a tee.

I don't have the exact amounts calculated out yet as part of the dough still lies in my refrigerator (around 1/4 of it), so I will update this when I know.  However, in general, I think you could follow this recipe without mixing any poppy seeds into the dough, and putting a generous amount of cinnamon sugar between the layers.  Don't forget to brush the tops with butter and sprinkle them all with more cinnamon sugar after the second rise, right before they go into the oven!

Cinnamon Buns - Adapted from Poppy Seed Rolls


4 Tsp Yeast
1/4 Cup Luke Warm Water
1/4 Tsp Sugar
2/3 Cups Warm Milk
1/4 Cup Sunflower Oil
1 Medium Egg (room temperature is better)
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
Pinch of Salt (I forgot to put some but they turned out ok)
2 Sticks (226g) Unsalted Butter
4 Cups Flour (or more)
1 Cup Cinnamon Sugar (I made mine, but you can use the ready made type)

Step 1:  Mix the yeast, 1/4 tsp sugar and luke warm water in a bowl and let it sit until foamy.

Step 2:  While you are waiting for this to get frothy, cut into the 4 cups flour, all of the butter just as though you were making a pie crust of scones.  Use a cutter or your fingers.

Step 3:   By the time you have finshed Step 2, the yeast should be frothy.  Add 2/3 cups milk, 1/4 cup oil, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, pinch of sea salt and mix well.

Step 3:  Then add the flour butter mixture into the yeast and stir with a dough hook until you have a pretty wet batter that does not stick too your fingers.  If you think the dough needs more flour, add a little more.  However, the dough will still look sticky.  It will not be a smooth looking dough.  Please see video for how it should look.

Step 4:  Cover this with a dish cloth and then let it rest until it is twice it's size.  Mine took a lot longer than 30 minutes.

Step 5:  Knead it until it is smooth and divide it into 4 portions for manageability.  You will end-up using most of it to fill-up the IKEA muffin pan which is used in the video and which I used as well.

Step 6:  Basically you will need to roll the dough out either using a rolling pin or your fingers to make the dough into a rectangle.

Step 7:  Cut them into strips with a dough cutter, and make six layers, brushing them with melted butter first and then putting a liberal dose of cinnamon sugar in between them.  Don't be afraid to pile the cinnamon sugar on.  It will taste better if you use a lot rather than less.

Step 8:  Once you have made six layers you can cut them to a size so that they fit your muffin tin and you lay them down cut side down.

Step 9:  Let them rise until they have expanded sufficiently and then preheat the oven to 350F/176C.

Step 10:  Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle more cinnamon sugar.  Don't be shy and pile it on!

Step 11:  Bake them in the oven for 25 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


My favorite recipe for Chivda comes from Padma's Kitchen.  I make mine in smaller quantities (maybe half recipe of the original) and don't use dalia and use dried curry leaves (since I can't get fresh ones here), but other than that, I follow the recipe pretty much to a tee and it has turned out very nicely each time I made it.

If you live in my area, all the ingredients are available at the Asian Grocery in central Torremolinos.   

Ronny loves this and can't keep his hands off this when I make some.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thai Green Mango Salad

Growing-up in the Philippines, I ate a lot of green mangoes, and I miss them sometimes, as they are not easily found in many countries.  Luckily, a grocer in Torremolinos had a pretty hefty cargo of mangoes and some of them were pretty green.  These weren't imported ones, but locally produced Malaga mangoes.

In the Philippines, I used to just eat my green mangoes with salt, but since this was not perfectly green and the wrong variety of mangoes for eating this way, I decided to make a Thai Green Mango Salad.  My primary reference was this recipe from Globe Trotter Diaries.

Thai Green Mango Salad - Adapted from Globe Trotter Diaries
Serves 4-6 or 2 people who want to eat a lot of mango salad.


1 Big Green Mango (Thinly julienned)
1 Shallot (Thinly sliced)
2 Small Red Chiles (Bird's Eye preferrably, but if not any fresh red chilies to taste)
1/4 Cup Peanuts (Toasted in a pan)
1/4 Cup Dry Shrimp (Toasted in a pan)
1 Lime (the juice)
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Fresh Cilantro (to flavor and garnish)

Step 1:  Julienne the mango.

Step 2:  Toast the peanuts and set aside.

Step 3:  Toast the dried shrimp and set aside.

Step 4:  Slice the red chilies, shallot (or red onion) and toss them into a bowl with the mango.

Step 5:  Season and toss with the rest of the ingredients, adding more chili, fish sauce or brown sugar to taste.

Step 6:  Serve garnished with some extra cilantro.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Austrian Apple Strudel

Austrian Apple Strudel

I wasn't going to post this at first because I wasn't entirely happy with the results, but after my friend Martin Puhr had some kind words to say about this, I have been encouraged to post it after all.  He tells me his only complaint is that there isn't enough cinnamon in the filling...and I agree.

To be honest, I have never had genuine Austrian apple strudel.  From the references I have gleaned that it does not have a usual 'crust' and the aromatic filling is wrapped in many layers of very thin pastry.  You can either make this yourself, buy the ready made pastry if you are in Austria, or use phyllo as a substitute.

After looking at my primary reference and watching this video, where a master chef makes the pastry, I decided that I would opt for using phyllo pastry.  

Here is my adapted recipe in a smaller portion than the original.

Makes 25 cm Strudels x 2 

4 Cups (700g)+  Apples - around 4 green small ones
8 Phyllo Sheets
1.3 Tbsp (20 ml) Golden Rum
2 Tbsp (30ml) Golden Raisins
3 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon 
1/2 Cup  Sugar
150 g Butter  (for brushing the pastry)
1 Cup Bread Crumbs + 2 Tbsp butter
1/3 Cup or 50g Toasted  Coarsely Chopped Walnuts
Confectioner's Sugar (for sprinkling)

Step 1:  Melt your butter in the microwave and let it cool down.  I usually remove it before all the butter has melted and stir it so that the rest will melt.  Soak the raisins in the rum.

Step 2:  Core, peel and slice the apples in 3 mm or 1/8 inch slices, and then slice them again in two.  Put them in a bowl.

Step 3:  Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl (keep 6 Tbsp of the cinnamon sugar separate) and mix the rest in with the apples and let it sit.  

Step 4:  Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan and toast the bread crumbs until golden brown.  Remove the phyllo pastry from the refrigerator so that it is at room temperature at this point.  Everything should be at room temperature before you start.

Step 6:  Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F (200C).

Step 7:  Put a baking sheet on top of a hard thin board that you can use to slide the strudels onto the oven tray.

Step 8: On a floured surface lay down the phyllo sheet making careful it does not rip, and paint it with butter, sprinkle some of the toasted buttery bread crumbs and place another sheet on top of it.  Repeat until you have a total of 4 layers.

Step 9:  You are going to roll these lengthwise now, so spread the walnuts in an area around 3 inches/8 cm from the short edge of the phyllo in a strip keeping in mind that you are going to roll this up.  

Step 10:  Drain the liquid from the apples.  Then pour the rum raisin mixture over the apples and toss.  Mix in as much bread crumbs as you can leaving a little bit to dust another 4 layers of phyllo.  Place this now moist but not soggy mixture over the walnuts.  Finish this off by sprinkling it with an extra 3 Tbsp cinnamon sugar.

Step 11:  Now roll this up, tucking in the edges, and place this on top of the cooking sheet that we prepared earlier.  Then brush it with butter before putting it in the oven.

Step 12:   Keep your eye on the strudel.  After 15 minutes or so you may want to move it to a lower rack and cover it with aluminum foil (let the foil float above it so that it's not really touching the strudel very much) if it is brown enough.  When you let it brown too much, it will look like a giant lumpia, rather than a strudel.  

Step 13:  Bake for around 30 minutes.  

Step 14: Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and sprinkle liberally with confectioner's sugar and serve!

Note: You may want to prepare the rum raisin mixture before hand and mix this in with the apple cinnamon sugar mixture to get rid of excess moisture hours before you start.   It's very important that the filling does not have excess moisture in it or it will ruin the texture of your strudel.  This recipe is still a work in progress and I will be revising it when I have another go at it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

We've been baking sourdough bread for a number of years now and this is our latest loaf.  I love the way they come out different every time.  For the recipe please click here.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Metropolitan Granola Cookies (CHOW)

I bought some pretty awful chocolate granola from Carrefour yesterday.  It was on sale and there was 750g of it.  I didn't relish eating it as it was, so I looked for a cookie recipe that used granola and found the recipe for Metropolitan Granola Cookies. 

My egg wasn't large and even if it was, it would have been a large Spanish egg, and not a large American one.  I guess this is why my cookies ended-up a little crunchier than they should have been but they were really good anyway!

If you ever buy a bag of granola you're not too happy with, I recommend this recipe for getting rid of it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kurdish Rice Flour Cookies (Gluten Free)

I saw some fascinating rice flour cookies in Taste of Beirut some time ago and had been wanting to make them.  I, however, have the distinction of being a food blogger and not owning even one cookie cutter.  Am I slacking off?  Maybe.

Anyway, last year, Ann Low of Anncoo Journal sent me a set of Mooncake molds and I thought that I might be able to use these to cut the cookies.  In fact, when I read all the comments under the recipe, Joumana (Taste of Beirut) said that she used mooncake molds she bought at China town herself.  This was just great.

I decided to go ahead and make the beautiful cookies.

I didn't have rose water so I used orange flower water instead.  Other than that, I followed the recipe to a tee, and the cookies didn't disappoint.  They were very delicately textured and flavored and just lovely.  What a nice way to spend the afternoon!

Kurdish Rice Flour Cookies - Taste of Beirut


300g Rice Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
130 g Sugar
1 Egg
125g Melted Butter
2 Tsp Orange Flower Water
1 Tsp Cardamom

Step 1:  Mix the rice flour and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.

Step 2:  Beat the sugar and butter in a big bowl, then add the egg and orange flower water and beat until fluffy.

Step 3:  Add the rice flour slowly, beating it slowly and add incoporate the cardamom at the very end.

Step 4:  Wrap the dough in plastic and keep in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 5:  Flour the board with corn starch and flour your rolling pin as well as the dough can get sticky.

Step 6:  The dough should be around 5 mm in thickness.

Step 7:  Use the mooncake mold to cut the cookies and place them on oven paper.

Step 8:  Bake for 15 minutes at 160C.  The cookies should be done but still pale.

Please do go to Taste of Beirut to see the original recipe and the very interesting post about it. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Egg-less Bibingka (Gluten Free)

Bibingka is a Filipino cake that is usually made with rice flour, which could either be glutinous rice flour or plain rice flour. The variety that is made with glutinous rice flour is called Bibingkang Malagkit. The variety made from plain rice flour is called Bibingka Galapong. There are other varieties with small tweaks in the ingredients.

This egg-less Bibingka I made was not made with an egg-less recipe in mind. I simply forgot to put the eggs in. Note to self: Do not bake when you're still half-asleep!

However, the egg-less Bibingka turned out to be quite delightfully delicious and that is why I'm posting the recipe.

The original recipe for Bibingka Galapong comes from Panlasang Pinoy. If you want to make it normally, please go here for detailed instructions.

Egg-less Bibingka


1 Cup Rice Flour
1/8 Tsp Sea Salt
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
3 Tbsp (42 g) Butter + some extra
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/2- 1 Cup Aged Irish Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
1/2 Cup Dessicated Coconut

Step 1: Preheat oven to 190C (375F).

Step 2: Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk so that they are well-combined.

Step 3: Melt the butter and put it in a big bowl.

Step 4: Whisk the butter with sugar and then add the coconut milk and milk. Whisk some more.

Step 5: Add the flour until well mixed and pour into a container lined with oven paper.

Step 6: Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with shredded cheese.

Step 6: Bake for 15 more minutes. If the cheese is starting to brown cover it lightly with aluminum foil.

Step 7: Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.

Step 8: Let the cake cool down a bit then brush it with melted butter and sprinkle dessicated coconut over it generously.

The original recipe has a salted duck egg in it. This is put into the cake at the same time as the cheese, but I have omitted it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yellowtail Bourguignon & White Radish Steak

I have been too busy to blog, but I managed to get Shizuka Kimura to share her excellent culinary skills with us. Shizuka spent her formative years in Paris and she now lives in Tokushima Prefecture. This recipe is something she learned from Yoko Shimauchi who gives lessons on 'table coordination'.

This recipe is a variation of the traditional yellowtail & daikon cooked in soy sauce.

Here's the recipe:

Yellowtail Bourguignon & White Radish Steak (Serves 6) - Yoko Shimauchi


6 Slices Yellowtail
6 x 2 cm Slices White Radish (Daikon)
4 Button Mushrooms
2 Shiitake Mushrooms
1/2 Cluster of Shimeji Mushrooms
1 Clove Garlic
300 cc Red Wine
1/2 Medium Sized Onion
1/2 Large Carrot
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Unsalted Butter
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Step 1: Peel and cut the Daikon into 2 cm slices. In 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, braise the Daikon on low heat, 6 minutes on each side. Set these aside.

Step 2: To make the sauce, braise the thinly sliced carrots and onion with butter until soft and then add the red wine. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Dice the mushrooms into 1 cm squares. Heat-up some more olive oil, add a dollop of butter to it. Then add the chopped garlic and when fragrant, braise the diced mushrooms. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Step 4: Cut the yellowtail into pieces that are around 4-5 cm, sprinkle salt on them and let them sit for around 10 minutes. Rinse them with water quickly and then dab them with kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.

Step 5: Coat the fish with flour and braise them in olive oil - around 2 minutes on each side over a medium flame. Quickly spoon the sauce over the fish and let it thicken a bit. Do this at low heat.

Step 6: Carefully place the Daikon on a plate, followed by the slice of yellowtail, and then the mushrooms. Pour a little sauce over it and around it artistically.