Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Copyright 2014 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This is my second post of this native treat but this post is mostly just to gush about how delicious this small dessert treat is and nothing more. I have yet to find the perfect recipe for the base of the dessert which is made from nothing more than rice flour and water mixed to a consistency of a paste. There is no exact measurement to this and is usually done by feel. This is the tricky part because depending on the rice used, the proportions will vary a bit so experience is more important in this case rather than technique. 

In our region, it is referred to as Inday-Inday (literally Girl-Girl) but in the northern provinces, it is called palitaw. "Litaw" means to float or appear out of thin air which is a bit more  appropriate since the glutinous cake is cooked by blanching in hot water and it floats up to the surface when cooked, just like a gnocchi. It is then scooped out of the water, drained and placed on a banana leaf. The natural oils of the leaf acts as a natural greasing agent and prevents the patties from sticking. Once cooled, a generous scoop of freshly grated young coconut is placed on top of the patty. Before serving, a scoop of raw brown sugar is added to taste. 

When I was younger, this was sold all around our subdivision in the early afternoon hours to be eaten as an afternoon snack. They actually used to coat the whole patty in the grated coconut before wrapping them up with the banana leaf but I think in terms of aesthetic, having a scoop of coconut of top of the patty makes it a bit more presentable. I found mine in the city from a vendor who just setting up to sell his wares. I bought 10 because I knew that if I bought less, I will be craving for more. It was definitely the best I've tasted so far since I came back two years ago. This had me inspired to go back to the drawing board to try and do this at home but I may have to hunt down that vendor to buy some more later this week.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cucumber Cooler

Copyright 2014 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Summer is here and unless you are Olaf, summer is the time when you have to be careful about staying too long out in the sun. Another important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. And speaking of hydration, what better way to do it than with an ice-cold glass of cucumber cooler. 

I first took a sip of this refreshing drink in a Vietnamese restaurant in Iloilo. The place is called Cilantro and they serve this wonderful beverage all year round. Actually, I wouldn't mind drinking it all year long. It is that good. For the lemonade lovers out there, this might prove to be a welcome twist to your regular drink of choice. After all, this drink is nothing more than lemonade mixed with cucumber juice. The trick is to get the proportions right. A blender is not a must but is most convenient. However, I'm going to write the recipe expecting you to have your own blender. 

Cucumber Cooler

6 - 8 ripe lemons, halved
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cups water
4-6 cucumbers, peeled
ice cubes

1. In a small pot, melt the sugar in the water over low heat without stirring.
   Once melted, let cool and set aside. 

2. Juice the lemons and measure about a cup of fresh lemon juice. Mix with 
    the sugar syrup. 

3. Peel the cucumbers and dice into half-inch cubes. Blitz with 1 cup of 
    water in the blender until smooth. Pour the cucumber over a fine sieve 
    and collect the juice. You should have about 2-3 cups of cucumber juice. 

4. To serve, combine half of the lemon/sugar mixture with half of the 
    cucumber juice. Add enough ice and check for sweetness. You can serve 
    it a bit sweeter or if you prefer, add more ice to taste.

5. To serve, pour into tall glasses and garnish with a slice of cucumber if 
    desired. I prefer to serve it simply.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Double Chocolate Crinkles

Copyright LtDan'sKitchen blogs 2014
In a bid to get this recipe out of the way, I took the time to actually write this very simple yet decadent version of chocolate crinkles. Adapted from the Hershey's Cocoa Crinkle recipe, I added my own twist to the already yummy recipe with the addition of melted chocolates. The result is, as my friends now say, "Bake us some crinkles, stat!" I may have found the perfect treat to replace my Food for the Gods but I may inadvertently have created another breed of monster, albeit equally delicious.

My preference when it comes to crinkles is more on the fudgey side. There are the cakey ones which I've made a long time ago using some random recipe I found on the internet but I never liked them. There are also the crunchy ones. Those, I like the least. This new recipe for some cosmic reason looked like the one that was going to be the grand poobah of all the crinkle recipes I've made. For one, it is the only one I've seen that uses vegetable oil in making the batter. Butter is tasty on its own but in cookie making, butter is used when you want something crunchy, not fudgey.  So this alone made me think that this will be it. Also, most recipes call for melted chocolates. Since this new one requires cocoa, I figured the addition of melted chocolates won't hurt. This time, I did get it right. 

Double Chocolate Crinkles - Adapted*

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Cocoa powder, dutch processed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 oz. dark chocolate, melted
Powdered sugar

1. Combine granulated sugar and oil in large bowl. Add the cocoa, beating 

    well until blended. 

2. Add the eggs one at a time to the melted chocolate mixing well after each 
    addition. Add the vanilla.  Pour in the oil mixture and using a wooden 
    spoon, mix until well blended.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to cocoa 
    mixture, mixing well with the wooden spoon.

4. Cover with clingfilm and freeze for an hour or two until dough is firm 

    enough to handle.

5. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape dough

    into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar to coat and place about 2 inches 
    apart on the prepared cookie sheet.

6. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when 

    touched lightly and tops are crackled. Do not overbake. Cool slightly. 
    Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies.

Hershey's Kitchen: Cocoa Crinkles.