Saturday, July 23, 2011

if you're here....

you are a friend of mine.
i transferred this blog to the worst host that could possibly be allowed to operate in the www....basically baby rambutan got kidnapped for ransom and now i'm agonizing about whether i should keep it up, in the long arduous process of transferring and keeping up her presence on the web i feel like i'm a fish swimming against the current.
there might be a grizzly waiting to devour me.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

a new space

..with lots of counterspace and storage, state of the art appliances, and a fresh clean start.
the new babyrambutan kitchen awaits you...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

upside down cake

this is the first cake i remember eating. my ma must have perfected it and served it as her signature mainstay eye popping dessert to countless family parties. i remember that her sisters (she has seven!) all had almost similar versions: canned pineapple slices which come out on top of a sponge cake base as you flip the pan over.
i haven't made this in a very long time--so long that my resident cake critic(#1 son) couldn't remember when was the last time.

i'd plucked a plump pineapple out of a very fragrant batch of Chiquita's at a very low price*, and when i sliced off its top the perfume was just so juicy sweet, i was tempted to eat it fresh. by myself heehee.
but no i resisted because i'd read it in another cookbook that upside down cake made from fresh pineapples is incomparable. i also used a buttery cake batter.

prepare a 10-inch pan by lightly greasing with butter. preheat the oven to 350F.
make the topping: in a heavy sauce pan, melt 4 tbsps. unsalted butter with 1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar . mix well until blended and syrupy.
spread the topping on to the greased pan. arrange slices of pineapple with maraschino cherries (make sure the fruits are well drained and patted dry).
set aside. (additional toppings, which i omitted for my finickydiscerningly tastebudded children: raisins, pecans or almonds.)
whisk together in a bowl 1 & 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 2 tsps. baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
mix together 1/4 cup rum, 1/4 cup pineapple juice (if using canned, use the drained unsweetened juice, or from the carton, or orange juice), and 1/4 cup buttermilk.
in the bowl of your mixer, cream 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, with 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar until fluffy. add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl. beat in 1 tbsp. pure vanilla and 1/2 tsp. orange extract or Grand Marnier (orange liqueur).
add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in thirds, alternating with the rum juice mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
blend well until flour is well incorporated and batter is smooth.
scrape down the bowl.
pour the batter over the fruit in the pan.
bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick inserted in the cake, but not down to the fruit, comes out with a few moist crumbs.
let cool in a rack for 10 minutes. set the serving platter on top, flip, and let rest for 10 minutes more. remove the pan. if some of the fruit is stuck to the bottom, just gently lift out w/ a thin spatula and rearrange...

(based on debbi fields' great american desserts. i omitted the addition of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves and used a simpler sugar topping).

*fellow Filipino foodfloggers...if i say my sentence above out loud, you will find out why i'm shy about speaking American English. apter a while my p's and f's and b's and v's get all wonky!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

homey pizza

i have to post this most delicious pizza dough that i found from "baking with julia."
it never fails to receive standing ovations from my favorite patrons...i think the thinner you can manage to roll it out on a nice stone peel (pizza pan thingy) --the crustier. i don't have one of those though...i just use 2 metal nonstick pans--one is perforated with holes and it comes out really crunchy, the other one just plain solid comes out softer and thicker.

the method seems involved and arduous but it really isn't. all it takes is timing: start the dough about 4 hours before you plan to serve. this recipe is enough for 2 10-inch pizzas. one kid friendly and one adult.

1 1/2 tsps. active dry yeast, i used Fleischmann
1 & 1/2 cups tepid water (80F--use an instant read thermometer, this is important to have the temp right
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 & 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, such as King Arthur's

this is the sponge or starter dough.
sprinkle water into the yeast in the bowl of your mixer. stir well until yeast starts to get creamy and let stand 5 minutes.

mix in olive oil and pour in 2 & 1/4 cups flour gradually until dough is blended well--texture will be loose and sticky. let rise in a warm place--85F--until doubled, about 1 & 1/2 hours, covered with a kitchen towel, undisturbed.

punch down dough with a spatula and in the mixer with a dough hook, add 2 cups flour and 3 tsps. salt on low speed. increase speed to medium and beat 4 to 5 minutes until dough is soft and sticks only a bit to your hands as you work it--add up to a 1/4 cup more dough by the spoonful until it is of right consistency.
set on a bowl that has been wiped with olive oil lightly and then turn around and around to coat evenly with the oil. cover with towel again and let rise until double, about an hour and a half more.

divide dough into two, and bake pizza one at a time.

preheat oven to 475F. roll out pizza on a cool surface (such as a marble slab) and roll out thinly to a round that fits the pan. allow the dough to rest every few minutes as you stretch it out.
spread your favorite pasta sauce (we like Classico Roasted Garlic), cover with grated mozzarella, parmesan, or romano, then pepperoni. my kids' all time favorite!

(my adult pizza toppings: thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, torn up anchovies, thinly sliced basil and oregano fresh from the garden, thinly sliced fresh mozzarella ball, thinly sliced red onion slivers and freshly ground black pepper. optional: crushed red pepper flakes. ahh! it was heavenly.)

bake for 13 minutes until edges are slightly puffed and deeply golden....
well worth the extra effort for the freshly baked dough.