Biko (sticky rice with sweet coconut sauce)
7 January 2010, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Family, Food, Sweets

My late father was a quiet man and only talked when spoken to.  On rare occasions he showed his sharp, amusing side which was often taken for rudeness by some who did not know him.  He was at ease on his own, seated in his favourite chair, and was contented monitoring the ins and outs of his household.  He amused himself by listening to CDs of Frank Sinatra, Handumanan 1 and 2 (A Piano Anthology of Immortal Cebuano Songs), Beethoven Piano concertos, or playing his favourite songs which includes Sentimental Over You, Stardust, Tenderly, Laura, It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, The Nearness of You, Sunshine of Your Smile etc. on his piano or singing the same songs in his head and tapping his fingers to follow the beat.

I have neither seen him cook nor seen him spend even 30 minutes in the kitchen, except when he turned on the water kettle for his morning coffee.  Surprisingly, he often provided suggestions on proportions or techniques for some dishes.

When I started experimenting with biko, he directed that I should base it on 1:1 ratio.  After several trial-and-error attempts, I am sure that my late father‘s response if asked about my version of the biko would be ‘lami’ (tasty).

1 ½ cup coconut milk (400 ml)
1 can coconut cream (270 ml)
1 ½  cups glutinous rice
1 ½  dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt

Cook glutinous rice like how rice is cooked (1:1 ratio).  Allow this to cool once cooked
Boil coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar and salt over a medium fire
Stir constantly until the mixture becomes sticky and thickened
Add the cooked sticky rice and mix thoroughly
Turn off the fire and let it stand for about 5 minutes

Note: The biko is watery at first but dries up when the finished product cools down.The custard topping recipe I found on the Internet did not work out well with my biko (second photo).


Mango Icebox Cake and Cassava Cake
30 December 2009, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Sweets

I have done several attempts to polish these delightful sweet desserts. The cassava cake recipe was given to me by my older sister with a warning not to reveal her secret recipe. The mango icebox cake I found in a Filipino cookbook will be kept as my own secret recipe. On this note, I might hide the recipe book to make sure no one stumbles on it.

30 December 2009, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Sweets

Yema Balls
by: Connie Veneracion, Home Cooking Rocks! (http://pinoycook.net/)

1-1/2 c. of sweetened condensed milk
2 c. of powdered full cream milk
1 50-g. pack of coconut cream powder
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. of butter, softened
a cup of white sugar
small paper cups (bottom should be 1-inch in diameter)

Pour the condensed milk into a small saucepan. Set the stove to medium and heat gently. Do not boil.
Beat the egg yolk in a bowl.
Pour in the half of the heated condensed milk into the bowl and stir to blend in the egg yolk.
Add the coconut cream and stir until smooth.
Pour the egg-milk-coconut cream mixture into the saucepan and continue cooking.
Stir, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. When the mixture thickens a bit
Turn off the heat and cool for about 5 minutes.
Place the powdered milk in a large mixing bowl.
Pour in the egg-milk-coconut cream mixture.
Add the softened butter. Stir until smooth.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill for about 45 minutes. After chilling, mixture will thicken and shaping will be easier.
Place the white sugar in a wide shallow bowl.

Using two teaspoons, form the yema mixture into balls. They won’t look like perfect balls at this point. You will shape them later with your hands. Drop each ball onto the white sugar. Using you hands, roll it gently on the sugar then shape them into balls. Drop gently into a paper cup. Repeat for the remaining mixture.

my two daughters rolled the mixture into balls

For best results, chill the yema balls before serving.