I discovered a real yummy Belgian chocolate lace cookie baked by Joyce Urieta, thanks to my nephew Miguel Villadolid who gave me some.
Hers are very thin, wafer-like laces that, when bitten, ooze soft chocolate.
The discovery of her cookies led me to ask how she started to bake. I later realized that apart from making cookies and cakes, she also specializes in wedding cakes. I like the way she decorates—nothing stiff, not rigid.
Before she decided to bake full time, Joyce opened a trading company that dealt with excess goods and services. She realized, however, that baking would ultimately make her happier.
“I was in denial for a while, afraid that baking wasn’t going to be enough to support me financially,” she said. “But because there was a demand, and I was getting big clients, I decided to give it a try—despite being insecure and scared.”
Joyce enrolled in a three-month course in pastry arts at Enderun because she said she needed to know the fundamentals, “especially since I decided to take baking seriously.”
She also took an internship with Maggie Austin Cake in Virginia last April. Austin is one of the most sought after cake artists in the East Coast. She caters to high-profile clients, even the White House. “It was during this internship that my eyes opened to play around with flavors and to break the rules with baking,” said Joyce.
She came home with her recipe for Manchego Curado cheesecake. “Coming out this summer is my CPR cake—Camembert, Prosciutto and Rosemary cake—and the white chocolate and pistachio seven-layer cake.
“I also came home knowing how to make exquisite sugar flowers. Maggie Austin is known for that. And as a baker, I learned to give importance to the cake, not just flowers. So, for weddings, I have 10 different flavors. And each cake is made with thick layers of Swiss buttercream.”
If you’re getting married, Joyce could be just the bridal baker for you. Call Joyce at 0917-5778365.
There’s another cookie lady, a young baker named Claudia Tagle, who bakes for play.
I am told that she usually runs out of cookies every time she joins a bazaar. The kids can’t seem to stop buying them.
“My cookie recipes are mine and the one I want everyone to try is my Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel,” said Claudia.
The Chocolate Chip was her first ever cookie recipe that she adjusted so many times before she perfected it. It’s special to me because I tailored the recipe to my palate, it’s done exactly the way I like it, she added.
The Salted Caramel is everyone’s favorite. Her other cookie flavors are White Chocolate Cranberry, White Chocolate Macadamia, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter and Lemon Butter.
Her secret is she never skimps on ingredients and bakes them fresh, each and every time. For orders, call 0915-6920278.
Catering to one’s cravings
The weather has really been so unpredictable. Just when I was craving for all sorts of ice creams yesterday in the heat of the afternoon sun, all I can think of right now, in this downpour, is a delicious bowl of rice porridge.
Perhaps I’m not the only one craving for something like this right now, which is why I am sharing one of my favorite congee recipes by Hai Shin Lou’s chef Tommy Yau. It’s delicious and very easy to make. I suggest you clip this. It will come in handy on a rainy day.
Pork Century Egg Congee
To make the congee (good for five persons):
250 g jasmine rice
2 tsp oil
Water, enough to submerge the rice
Combine ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes.
Bring 20 cups of water to a boil.
Add rice and cook for one hour, the first 30 minutes on high fire then the remaining 30 minutes on low.
Turn off the stove when you have reached your desired consistency.
According to chef Tommy, cooking it this way results in congee that’s silky soft with a nice consistency.
Apportion congee into five servings. Add marinated pork, century egg and seasoning to taste.
50 g shredded pork loin, seasoned with a pinch of salt, chicken powder (optional) and white pepper
Marinate pork for at least five minutes. Add the pork to the congee and cook for three minutes.
Season to taste. Garnish with one whole century egg, sliced and onion leeks.
Season with salt and a pinch of chicken powder (optional).
Another congee recipe
Here’s another rice porridge recipe I want to share with you. I taught this during one of my livelihood seminars at the Erda Tech Vocational School. Like chef Tommy’s congee, it’s delicious! It’s not high-brow but it’s comforting and very tasty!
½ kg tripe
1 kg beef bones
20-24 c water
Brown beef bones in a pan with a bit of oil. Set aside.
Clean tripe well.
Bring water to a boil and cook tripe for 15 minutes. Throw the water, remove the tripe and wash it once again.
Boil a fresh batch of water.
Add beef bones and tripe. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until goto is tender.
Slice tripe into small strips.
Strain broth. Set tripe and broth aside.
3 tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 slices ginger
1 large onion (sliced)
2 c glutinous rice, round variety, soaked overnight; or 1 ½ c malagkit—1 ½ c regular rice soaked overnight in water
2 beef cubes
4 tbsp kasubha
2 tbsp patis
1 tsp vetsin, optional
Saute garlic until brown. Add ginger and onions. Add soaked rice, broth and kasubha. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally.
When rice is cooked:
Season to taste.
1 c oil
1 c garlic, pounded
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vetsin
Heat oil. Fry garlic until golden. Add chilies and salt. Transfer to a container and serve alongside the goto.
For a copy of my new cooking class schedule, call tel. 9289296, 4008496, 0908-2372346 or 0917-5543700.