Tuesday, August 31, 2010



Known as the "sweet of thousand layers," this dessert consists of layers upon layers of paper-thin pastry called Phyllo dough or Fillo dough with sweet-spiced nuts between the layers and is drenched with honey syrup after it is baked.

Pictured above was my test recipe. How did it turn out? not bad at all, in fact it turned out quite good, considering it is a Greek food made by a Filipina. But ifyou look very closely at the picture, you'll see that the pastry isdrowning in a pool of syrup, which means I used quite a bit of syrup which was the amount called for in the recipe I originally used. Good thing I managed to save the pastry by immediately transferring it onto a platter.

The following recipe is for Jane and other FB friends
who requested the recipe.
Sorry ladies, it has taken me a while to post it.

This is basically a recipe from the back of the
Fillo dough package with a little bit of tweaking.

5 cups shelled nuts, chopped (pistachio, almonds, walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 lb. Phyllo dough
1 cup butter, melted
Whole cloves

1) Combine the nuts, sugar and spices, (excluding the whole cloves) and set aside.
2) Brush 9"x13"x2" baking pan with butter.
3) Layer 10 sheets of Fillo in the pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle about 1/3 of nut mixture on the dough. Place next 8 sheets of dough, nuts mixture and buttering each layer.
4) Repeat one more time, then top with remaining 14 sheets of Fillo.
5) With a sharp knife, score fillo into 1-1/2 " diamonds or squares. Brush with remaining butter.
6) Stick a whole clove in the center of each piece.
7) Bake in pre heated 325 degrees oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown.
8) Make sauce while baklava is half way into baking. (Recipe for sauce or syrup below)
9) Remove baklava from the oven and immediately pour hot syrup evenly over it. Cool completely, about 6 hours before serving.

Honey syrup recipe:
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
2 tsp. lemon juice
5 whole cloves
peel of 1 lemon
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp. pure vanilla
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain.

If you're interested in the history of baklava click on the link below:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

#250_Food Art by Mario

These are just some of edible art works by Mario Cagaoan which he created while playing around with his ingredients and at the same time whipping up a meal. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

#249_The Perfect Cheesecake

Cheesecake with Oreo crust

Cheesecake with spongecake crust

New York cheesecake

What makes a perfect cheesecake?

A reader of this blog sent me an e-mail and asked me if I have a recipe for a cheesecake that is moist, rich, dense and doesn't crack while baking. Sounds like these are the qualities of a PERFECT cheesecake. Mine sometimes cracks, and sometimes doesn't. I guess it depends on how I bake it. Prepping is the real easy part of making cheeses cake, i.e. mixing the ingredients, pouring batter into the pan, etc., but baking it is another story. The cheesecake batter becomes temperamental (like a human being) as soon as you place it in the oven. Oven temperature and timing are critical factors to baking a perfect cheese cake.

I promised Myrna that I will post my recipe here the first time I will have a chance to blog, unfortunately, I don't blog that much anymore because of my hectic schedule, so I will reveal my secret and refer you to a site which helped me perfected a recipe. Here's the link:

and here's the link to the recipe I used for the cheesecake in the middle picture:
( I didn't use a hot knife to slice them that's why the sliced pieces are not so smooth)

To Myrna and everyone else who reads this blog, I hope this info helps, but remember, practice makes a
not the oven! (jk!)just kidding!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#248_Cream Cheese Frosting

Rolls frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here's how to make Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. (or half a brick) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, very soft but not melted
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tbps. warm milk or orange juice ( add a little more if needed)
1 tsp. vanilla
Zest from one orange

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.
Mix well until smooth then blend in the orange zest. Drizzle on the rolls while they are still warm,but not hot right out of the oven.

Use this frosting to frost cinnamon rolls.