The official website of L.A. Renigen http://larenigen.com/2010 Mon, 12 Dec 2011 05:18:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.2 Filipino Leche Flan http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/256 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/256#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2011 04:27:00 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=256

 

Filipino Leche Flan

 

  • 12 Egg Yolks
  • 1 can Condensed Milk
  • 1 pint Whole Milk
  • 1 T Vanilla

For caramel:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water

 

 

Dissolving Sugar

Place the sugar and water in a pan and heat on med high until it bubbles and slowly turns amber in color, approximately 7-10 minutes. I like to take my caramel super dark, almost burnt (in fact, I always think I burn it, but it’s just right). I always pull it right at the last second right before it’s the darkness I want because the sugar will still continue to cook after you take it off the heat.

Turning nice and amber

 

Immediately pour into cleaned and prepped molds.

 

Perfect Coloring

 

While the sugar is cooling down, beat the egg yolks, condensed milk, whole milk, and vanilla together.

Pour through a fine sieve (or my grandma used cheesecloth) to ensure the custard will be silky smooth with no egg particulates.

Filled just shy of the rim

Pour into molds and cover with foil. I like to cover each one individually.

 

Individually foil wrapped

 

Place the pan in the oven and THEN pour water into the pan, about 1/3 to 1/2 up the sides of the molds.

 

Filling in the oven is easier than putting it in the oven full of water

Bake at 375 for about an hour or until firm. I like to check on it after the hour mark and take the foil off.

Usually, I will bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the middle of the flans don’t jiggle so much.

Perfectly cooked flans

Cool at room temperature for a few hours, then place in fridge for 4-5 hours before unmolding, giving the flans ample time to set. Trust me, it’s worth it.

 

 

 

 

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Thumbprint Cookies http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/201 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/201#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 10:18:27 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=201

Thumbprint Cookies

  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 2 c Flour
  • 2/3 c Sugar
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 1/2 Vanilla
  • Jams of your choice. I use seedless raspberry and apricot.

Cream butter and sugars together.

Add salt, flour, and vanilla.

Roll by teaspoonfuls into balls and make an indent in the center with your thumb.

Spoon jam of choice (I use a piping bag) into well.

Bake at 350 degrees F 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies, or until just golden brown.

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Tiramisu http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/186 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/186#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 00:48:59 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=186

Tiramisu

Recipe Courtesy Allan & Joyce Manalo

Yields one 8×8 inch pan

 

  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 2 EggWhites
  • 2 containers Mascarpone cheese (450 ml- preferably Belgioso)
  • 1 heaping C. Baker’s Sugar
  • 1 capful Bacardi Rum
  • 8-10 oz. strong, fresh pulled Espresso
  • 1 pkg (2 dozen) Ladyfingers (not the soft baked, Vicenzovo is recommended)
  • Cocoa Powder for garnishing

Whip egg yolks and sugar to ribbon stage. Should be pale, fluffy, and fall into ribbons.

Add mascarpone and mix until smooth. (No lumps!)

In separate bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks, adding a pinch of sugar or cream of tartar to help.

Gently fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture in three additions, careful not to over mix. Add Bacardi. (Just a capful!)

Coat bottom of serving dish with very thin layer of mascarpone mix- just enough to hold the ladyfingers in place. Take each ladyfinger and quickly dip into espresso. Do not over soak! Arrange ladyfingers on top of mixture in dish.

After first layer is complete, add a layer of mascarpone mixture to cover ladyfingers. (Save enough mascarpone for the top layer!)

Arrange the second layer of dipped ladyfingers the opposite direction as the first layer. (This way, you’ll have a nice criss cross pattern when you cut into your tiramisu.)

Finish with the remaining mixture of mascarpone.

Cover and refrigerate overnight (minimum!) to allow the flavors to meld together and become harmoniously happy.

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Tres Leches Cake http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/173 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/173#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2010 22:26:00 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=173

Tres Leches Cake

CAKE:

  • 1 c sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c AP flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

MILK SYRUP:

  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 c sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp dark Cuban rum

350 F. Butter 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

CAKE:

Beat 3/4 cup sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Fold in milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks, add cream of tartar. Add remaining 1/4 c sugar slowly until firm peaks.

Fold whites into yolk mixture.

Bake about 30-45 minutes. Let cake cool completely before piercing all over with a fork.

MILK SYRUP:

Combine milks. Whisk. Pour over cake.

This cake is best served when allowed to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours, so the cake and milk syrup have time to get to know one another and bond.

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Chocolate Cake http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/161 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/161#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2010 22:09:00 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=161

Apologies for the measurements in grams. I haven’t gotten around to converting yet.

  • 204g  Water
  • 51g     Cocoa Powder
  • 225g   AP Flour
  • 315g   Sugar
  • 2g       Salt
  • 8.5g   Baking Soda
  • 178g  Buttermilk
  • 150g  Grapeseed oil (or canola)
  • 1.5      Eggs
  • 1t        Vanilla

Boil cocoa and water. Let cool.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Once completely cool, combine all the wet ingredients together.

Add to the dries and whisk.

Bake at 350 degrees F. 18-20 minutes for cupcakes, 25-30 mins for round cakes.

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Fruit Fly http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/136 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/136#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2010 11:19:17 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=136

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Colma the Musical http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/131 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/131#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2010 11:14:04 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=131

View the Trailer:

http://www.colmafilm.com/trailer-page.html

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Now Blog it Out… http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/91 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/91#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 10:27:32 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=91

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French Macarons http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/75 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/75#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 09:32:22 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=75

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Red Velvet Cake http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/48 http://larenigen.com/2010/archives/48#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 08:32:16 +0000 Administrator http://larenigen.com/2010/?p=48

One Cake to Rule Them All

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on it.

My grandmother’s country kitchen. 2003. Her sister, Annie Ruth was in town; her Southernness reflected even in her name. She, unlike my grandmother, was busying about in the kitchen when I happened to walk by. I froze. My head slowly turned. Sitting atop the counter in quiet contemplation was a four layered cake. It’s color was a fresh blood red, crisp snowy icing a stark contrast to the magnificent hue I had never before encountered in cake form.

“Whaaaaaaaaa…?”

I carefully approached it, like a commoner viewing the Crown Jewels on display at the Louvre, feeling unworthy, yet titillated. I circled it, closely examining the crimson crumb, following the swirly sugary frosting enveloping its quiet inhabitant.

“It’s a Red Velvet Cake,” Annie Ruth said, clanging around pots and pans, tasting this and that.

“Whaaaaaaaaa…?”

I looked up at her with wide, wondering eyes. If I were a Disney character, they would have welled up and twinkled.

“It’s a Southern Specialty,” continued Annie Ruth, swirling a sauce, adding a dash of salt.

I was overcome with giddiness and squealed out of the room. I couldn’t WAIT to tear into that cake after dinner. I would be heartbroken, though. For as gorgeous as that cake was, I remember my disappointment when my first bite revealed a rather bland cake and sickly sweet frosting. I was dumbfounded. How could a cake so brilliant looking, taste like nothing?

Trickery! Misrepresentation! Foul Play! This cannot be! Surely this cake among cakes can not be so disappointing as this?! I expected a bold flavor, one of which I had never tasted before, to match a cake that had no equal. My cake dreams had come crashing down in one terrible bite. A low point in my life, indeed. Sorry, Annie Ruth.

The upside, though, is that I became obsessed with this cake. (Can an obsession be an “up?”) I was determined to find a Red Velvet cake that tasted as magnificent as it looked. Turns out, it was not so hard to do. I found a wonderful recipe by the Lady herself, Paula Deen, that worked very nicely. Usually, Red Velvet is paired with a cream cheese frosting, and I have included one which I love. Traditionally-traditionally, like back-in-the-day traditionally, I have heard it’s really supposed to be paired with a cooked milk frosting. Hey, whatever floats your boat. Traditionally-originally, Red Velvet Cake was made with beet juice. Now we use food coloring. I know. Whatever. I got over it.

My perfect Red Velvet has a dense, but soft velvet crumb (hence, the “velvet”) with a nice vanilla flavor, and a slight hint of cocoa. Annie Ruth’s crumb was too moist and kind of all sank together. The red velvet cakes I usually find in bakeries have big airy crumbs. (Yes, I am a Red Velvet snob. You will be too, after this recipe.) Some are nice, but it’s not Red Velvet in my book if it’s just red colored cake. You know the texture once you have it, and when you do, it’s hard to accept anything else. (My life of good food has RUINED me!!) Make sure to use Cake Flour, and the buttermilk also gives it a nice tang.

I am not a Southern Girl, nor did I grow up anywhere near it. But I have made this recipe many times and it never fails. People go mad for it. North, South, East & West. A tried and true Georgia Boy Chef said it was the best Red Velvet Cake he’s ever had. And he’s VERY hard to please. Hopefully, you’ll go mad for it too.

Grandmother Paul’s Red Velvet Cake

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Cake:

  • 2 c Sugar
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T Cocoa Powder
  • 2 oz. (2 bottles- yikes!) Red Food Coloring
  • 2 1/2 c Cake Flour
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 c Buttermilk
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 T Vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.

Mix cocoa and food coloring together, then add to sugar mixture; mix well.

Sift together flour and salt.

Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk.

Blend in vanilla.

In small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture.

Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) or 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.

For cupcakes, fill lined cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until done.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I LOVE this Cream Cheese frosting. The secret ingredient is Coco Lopez cream of coconut. I’ve cut it down from the original recipe from 1/2 c to 1/3 c because it can get a little too runny. You can fix this by adding more powdered sugar, or less cream of coconut.

  • 2 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) Butter, room temperature
  • 2 c Powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 c canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez*)
  • 1 t Vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until fluffy. Add butter and beat to blend, no lumps. Add sugar, sweetened cream of coconut, and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.

* Canned sweetened cream of coconut is different than coconut milk, and can be found in the liquor section of most supermarkets.

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