Dessert ingredient: Taro

We mark our 10th anniversary this year (wow). It was a small wedding; we chartered a yacht and a live jazz trio for a brunch cruise around New York Harbor with just our closest friends and family. Great memory. Our wedding cake (first photo above) got rave reviews. And now I want to recreate it, but I'll have to experiment a bit because I lost our records. I wasn't a cake fan. We considered doing without one but we found a pastry chef who, back then, was still practicing and perfecting her craft, so she was open to ideas. The typical western cake flavors weren't very inspiring. I wanted tropical mixes - using real fruits and roots, not powdered versions or syrup flavoring or extracts. She was quite accommodating, and agreed to experiment … [Read more...]

Filipino food: Arce Dairy has got the BEST tropical ice cream flavors

I love ice cream. One of the things I was looking forward to most when I went back to Manila after being away for over 20 years is  the ice cream. Mango, ube (purple yam), macapuno (a type of mutant coconut with soft meat inside instead of water), atis (sugar apple), nanca (jackfruit), pinipig (pounded glutinous rice) - just to name a few of the more interesting tropical flavors. Back when I was a kid there the brand to get was Magnolia, but the line seems to have faded a bit. Towards the end of our stay in Manila I had to binge on this one premium brand, Arce Dairy. It's less sweet but packs a denser taste than other brands cuz (or so I'm told) it's made with carabao milk and more natural ingredients.   … [Read more...]