June 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
I gravitate towards desserts that have fruit on it and blueberries are an absolute favorite. On my recent trip to Sagada, they were in season and I got around 4 cups worth of blueberries and wished I got more. These wild berries lack sweetness and the skin is on the tart side when eaten fresh. Make them into a jam or in my case, compote and they are to die for. Lovely on yogurt or pancakes.
With the remaining compote, I made trifle. I initially used store-bought rum cake in lieu of sponge cake. It was either the cake was too dense and didn’t soak up the blueberry sauce or pound cakes are just too heavy for a trifle. It was dry and heavy. I also omitted the Grand Marnier because I didn’t have any.
Credits: Quickpage by K Pertiet
So on my 2nd attempt, I used broas, our local ladyfingers, which is airy and light. I liked this version better. Lighter and fruitier. I remembered that I had a 2 cl bottle of Kirsch, it was fabulous. It added a dimension to the trifle and actually brought out the flavor of the berries. What came out was a light enough fruity dessert to end a similarly light meal of fish or chicken.
(Adapted from Joy of Baking)
What you need:
- 8-10 ladyfingers (depending on its size)
- 1 tablespoon Kirsch
- 1 cup Blueberry compote or sauce
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 2/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4-5 crushed Amaretti cookies
What you do:
For the Mascarpone Cream:
- Place the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Whip until soft peaks form.
- Arrange ladyfingers in the bottom of a clear glass bowl or trifle glass (if you have).
- Sprinkle ladyfingers with about 1 teaspoon of the spirit.
- Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of the blueberry compote/sauce on top of the ladyfingers.
- Cover the sauce with a few of the fresh blueberries.
- Place a large dollop of the mascarpone cream mixture on top of the berries.
- Repeat the layers, starting with lady fingers.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4-24 hours to allow the flavors to mingle.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with some crushed Amaretti cookies. It will give it a good crunch.
June 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
I remember dreading breakfast when I was growing up. My mom would wake up each morning, prepare our breakfast and make us finish our bowl of oatmeal every single school day till I graduated from grade school. “The oatmeal”, she said, “will keep us full till recess”. Albeit not lacking in creativity because aside from the usual oatmeal with milk and sugar, we’d have Choco flavored oatmeal or at times the dreaded oatmeal combined with eggs, my palate however needed more than these variations to stir up some excitement in this department.
When I was old enough to make my breakfast, I stayed away from oatmeal for a very long time. Unwittingly though, it got me started on this breakfast obsession and had me come full circle with me eventually loving oatmeal.
My mom was right about breakfast but more than it being the most important meal of the day (I soon found out), I now love the comfort that breakfast food brings. Time permitting; breakfast is a daily affair that I dare not miss. My morning picks are usually
yogurt (Greek-style preferably), eggs and bacon,
French toast is a favorite too, sometimes it’s just toast, jam and a lot of butter,
and yes, most days it’s oatmeal done many ways.
Although breakfast is my comfort food, I hardly have time to slave away in the morning to make breakfasts more special – except on Saturdays, when I’d occasionally make pancakes with bacon or breakfast sausages on the side.
That makes breakfast out of home always a thrill as I get to experience new takes on all-time favorites or new flavors and dishes altogether. Some breakfast jaunts that I had on recent trips that serves as inspiration for that day in the kitchen.
Eggs Benedict are always a favorite simply because I love eggs and bacon. And well, this is really just a more sophisticated way of having your eggs and bacon don’t you think?
Sometimes I’d go for a fancy scramble, eggs being the top choice most of the time.
I like trying variations of something I’m very familiar with such as this pancake. Dutch pancakes is a cross between a regular pancake and a crêpe.
Or if I feel like something local, these would be my top choices.
Built My Own Burger
June 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
Credits: J Sprague 8×10 Photo Collection v. 1, Moninda Fall Meditation papers
I am a fan. I rooted for him. Although he lost to Rick Bayless the title of Top Chef Masters, I remain a fan. So when the opportunity to check out Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar at Macy’s in Union Square came up, I just had to go. It wasn’t hard to convince the rest of the pack since who can really say no to burgers? The menu had a whole array of burgers, one that piqued my fancy was a Burger to his name – supposedly his favorite, which had, Buffalo meat, caramelized onions, baby spinach, blue cheese on a ciabatta bun. But no, I ended up making my own burger from a whole list of ingredients that he made available on his Build Your Own Burger menu. I eventually chose a simpler version of his favorite. I had Angus beef with blue cheese on a ciabatta bun – a combination of favorites. Happy.Burger Bar San Francisco Macy’s Union Square 6th Floor San Francisco, CA (415) 296-4272