Sunday, January 29, 2017

I did it! Black Sesame Cardamom loaf cake by Abraço© cafe and bakery


This is a food hack recipe of Abraço© Cafe-Bakery's (86 E 7th St New York, New York) black sesame cardamom loaf cake.

I saw an episode on Unique Sweets tv show when this place got featured. I thought the black sesame and cardamom in a cake would be an interesting taste. I just wrote down the ingredients and then leave the rest to math and science.

I do not know what else to say but this is one of the freaking delicious cake I have ever tasted! This recipe is for keeps. It's crunchy inside and out but moist and fluffy too at the same time.  

TIP: I buy exotic and imported spices like cardamom when on clearance. Or buy online so you can choose the cheapest seller.

And that's the reason why I was able to make this after 2 years of dreaming of making it. 


1 ½ T cardamom powder (read procedure below)
1/4 c black sesame seeds, pulverized
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c milk
2 T vinegar
2/3 c almond meal
1/4 cup whole black sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a 1.5 lb metal loaf pan with parchment paper or brush with oil then sprinkle with flour. Tap off excess flour.

Crush and pound cardamom, continue pounding to pulverize it (powder), set aside.

Pulverize black sesame seeds manual or using an electric grinder; set aside

Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer; add cardamom powder and powder black sesame seeds. Beat to combine well. 

Add eggs, beat until well combined.

Stir in dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt); beat to combine well.

Add wet ingredients (milk, vinegar); mix well.

Add almond meal; mix

Fold in whole black sesame seeds using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Pour equally in the prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 12 minutes at 400° F. Lower to 375° F and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until center is baked through to the bottom using a toothpick or barbecue stick.

Cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and set on a cooling rack. Best enjoyed with coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

NOTE: this can also be baked into a cupcake, muffin or Madeleines.  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Photos only. Purple yam dipped on crushed, roasted peanuts

Recipe here please.

chicken and shrimp Filipino FRESH lumpia; savory crepes

This is a time consuming dish to make because everything is made from scratch: the crepes, the filling and the sauce. so much chopping going on but worth your time the moment it reaches your mouth. It will not disappoint your efforts. 

Originally this is made with chopped or ground pork.

By cooking the filling first, you will be able to let it cool to room temperature. The only thing you want hot with this dish is the black sauce and fresh lumpia wrapper (crepes). 

You DON'T need to make the crepes like how i made it below (open-face, peekaboo crepes pictured on this post) if you can't. I don't have a crepe spreader or crepe pan. But if you do, cook the crepe as you would on a crepe pan.

The flavor profile of this is very simple: garlic, onion, salt, black pepper. What makes this special are the sauce and crushed peanuts.

NOTE: If you can't find jicama or singkamas (it's called so many names from so many parts of the globe but the scientific name is Pachyrhizus Erosus) substitute with water chestnuts or bamboo shoots. If you find them canned, drain it well.  

Interestingly, if you have both bamboo shoots and water chestnuts-they can be added too as part of the ingredients for this dish. It will increase the amount of your filling so you will have to make more crepes. 

More photos here please.       

Equipment: (with substitutions)

large wok OR pan (NOT non-stick)
pastry brush OR paper towel
ladle OR crepe spreader
large, non-stick frying pan OR crepe pan
coffee filter OR clean cut-out paper, 8 x 8
squeeze bottle (optional)



1 lb. ground chicken
4-6 T cooking oil; read procedure.
12 pcs. medium uncooked shrimp, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium jicama, matchstick
1 chayote, matchstick
1 lg carrot, matchstick
handful of green beans; cut in small diagonal small pieces.
3 t salt
1 t cracked black pepper
lettuce (optional)


Preheat a large wok or pan. Add 4 T cooking oil, garlic and onion. Stir fry/saute for 2 minutes on high.

Add ground chicken and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir fry/saute until cooked thru. Add more cooking oil then stir in shrimp, carrots, chayote, green beans. Add remaining salt.

Saute for 10 minutes on high.

Add jicama and continue sauteing for 5 more minutes on high. Remove from heat and set aside.



1 ½ cup flour
2 eggs
3/4 c water + 3 T
3/4 c milk
3 T cooking oil
Cooking oil for applying or brushing on the pan

Procedure: (using a ladle)

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth.

2. Preheat non-stick pan to medium high.

3. Soak paper towel with cooking oil and LIGHTLY coat the pan with it. Or use a pastry brush.

4. Scoop 1 ladle of the batter and carefully pour on the pan. Immediately try to lightly spread the batter with the bottom of the ladle at the same time tip the pan in a circling motion to spread the batter on the sides. Let it rest on the heat to cook.

5. It only takes less than 30 seconds and you can start digging the sides or shake the pan to let it loose.

6. Using a spatula, flip to cook the other side.

7. Set on a large plate separated with coffee filter.

8. Repeat methods #3-7 until all the batter is cooked.

Black sauce.


1 cup chicken broth
2 cups water
4 T cornstarch
1/4 c dark soy sauce
1 t cracked black pepper
3 T sugar
1 ½ t salt
1/2 c roasted peanuts, finely crushed


Place all ingredient in a medium sauce pan and whisk until well combined. Turn heat on high to simmer while whisking continuously until thick. Turn heat to very low when it starts to boil. Continue whisking until it stops simmering. Leave on stove on very low heat. Don't forget to occasionally stir it. 

1. Set the pan with the filling and crepes in front of you.
2. A dinner plate
3. condiment bowl
4. loose lettuce leaves

1. Place 1 crepe on a clean, dry chopping board and scoop 4 tablespoons of filling. Wrap the crepe around the filling. You choose to decide if you want the ends open or not.

2. Set it on your plate. Decide if you want the black sauce separately in a condiment bowl or poured directly on top of your crepe. Sprinkle crushed peanuts on top.


Photos only: Fresh Lumpia

Recipe here please. Thanks for checking out!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

purple yam ice cream

Note: HERE is another better recipe that I whipped up after the post below.


SORRY for the capital letters. Trying to make a point so you get that creamy textured ice cream. No crunchy ice in between 'bites'.

Special ingredients:

gel-based purple yam (ube) extract by McCormick Philippines®. In any Filipino grocery stores in your area or online (eBay, etc..)

gel-based food coloring in purple or violet (OPTIONAL)

Freeze for at least 6-24 hours:

2 large bowls (preferably Pyrex glass or metal);
metal or wire whisk (for the electric hand beater or stand up mixer)
the container you're going to put the finished ice cream (at least 1/2-1 gallon).

In the refrigerator:

Chill the condensed milk and heavy whipping cream; 6-24 hours.
Chill teaspoons and rubber spatula

Purple yam filling (ube halaya):

makes 3 cups.


3 large, purple yams
pinch of salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 can good quality condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350° F

Wash and dry yams; place in a square brownie tray or any heat proof glass or metal tray of similar size

Cover tight with aluminum/tin foil

Bake for 1.5 hours 

Cool to room temperature

Peel skin and mash.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Transfer in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate to chill, 6-24 hours.

after 6 or 24 hours...

ICE CREAM ingredients:

1 good quality condensed milk
2 cups purple yam filling (ube halaya)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup good quality heavy cream
3 teaspoons gel-based ube flavoring as mentioned above
2 teaspoons purple/violet gel-based food coloring as mentioned above

Leave creams in the fridge.

Take out the chilled whisks and 1 bowl from the freezer. Place all ingredients in the bowl and beat on low. Refrigerate.

Wash on cold water the metal/wire whisk. Dry thoroughly.

Take out the creams; take out the remaining frozen bowl.

Beat the creams on medium until you create soft peaks.

Take out the purple yam/ube-milk mixture from the fridge

Pour the whipped creams into the ube-milk mixture and carefully fold.

Do not beat by hand or electric. Slowly fold several times until everything is incorporated.

Transfer into the frozen ice cream container. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Double wrap with aluminum foil.

Chill in the freezer for 12-24 hours.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

creating a recipe out of a transcript from a cooking show: stuffed banana peppers

Long story short-this is inspired by that show with guy fieri running around any nook and cranny of the country, sampling specialty recipes of a restaurant. I'm talking about Diners, Drive-ins and Dives of Food Network. I also like watching his cooking show because the Guy (get it?) can cook and I can really relate to his recipes and flavor profiles. Sorry, I don't watch his grocery game show.

Anyway, in the triple D show, Pizza Junction of Tonawanda, NY was featured. The place has been closed for several years now but Food Network still reruns the show.

The moment the show was over, I totally forgot most of the ingredients and procedure. For some reason, I can't seem to record these **d-damn shows using the remote. So I searched for the recipe on food network to no avail. Not even on youtube or vimeo, etc. I did found the transcript of the show from another site. Yeah-can you believe it? It's a transcript of the show!

I've been meaning to make this since last year-immediately right after I watched the episode. It was around November or December. I had all the ingredients except the peppers and most of the grocery store wasn't selling them so this week-the hubbs and I found them in the best produce store in town and it was on sale! Bought at least 2 lbs = 12 pieces.

So below are the original ingredients from the show as read from the transcript:

olive oil
fresh banana peppers
cloves garlic
white onion
banana peppers
kosher salt
black pepper
hot sauce
grated jalapeno jack cheese
Romano cheese
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
grated Parmesan cheese
chopped tomato

Read below:

Here is my own recipe based from the show/transcript. Really proud of this recipe. I kinda tweak it since I thought i can and so I did!


2 T olive oil
12 pcs banana peppers, cap removed and cored
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves cloves garlic
1 t gran garlic
1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
1 t gran onion
3 jalapeno peppers, pith and seeds removed
half of a bell pepper finely chopped
3 T jarred pimiento, drained and finely chopped
1/2 t salt
1 t cracked, black pepper

1 ½ grated white and yellow cheddar cheese
1 ½ Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 ½ cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Topping (garnish):

grated Parmesan cheese
chopped tomato


Preheat oven to 350° F

Soak the jalapeno in cold water and 2 t salt; 1 hour.

Lightly brush peppers with olive oil shove in the oven preheated to 350° F. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. 

Remove jalapeno from water-salt soak; finely chop and set aside.

Throw the rest of the rest of the ingredients inc chopped jalapeño (except toppings) in a large bowl and mix by hand until well combined. This is your stuffing mixture.

Carefully fill each roasted banana peppers with the stuffing mixture-making sure it reaches the bottom tip of the peppers.

Set on a lightly oiled baking/cookie pan 1" apart.

In the show, the chef said to bake for 350° F, 5-7 minutes (that is for the exact ingredients and measurement he used) so I set it to 10 minutes (since I added additional ingredients in mine) but it seems it just came out heated through. I placed it back in the oven to bake for additional 10 minutes  and the filling burst out (Shown in photos; bad idea.). So I suggest 12-15 minutes would be perfect using MY recipe.

Read below...

This turned out really, really good but using my recipe made it spicy hot! If you can handle it-go ahead use my recipe. Otherwise tweak it yourself by removing the jalapeno in it.