I must admit, pastry is one of my weaknesses as a cook. But I like to challenge myself, as a Chef, I should be able to perform and cook in all aspect.
This Black forest cake with German origin is one of the many cakes you can find all over the world as well as in the Philippines where I am from. It is a classic masterpiece. Everybody’s favourite.
Black forest is made of multiple layered of sponge filled with cherry fruits soaked in kirsch.
When I took pastry in school, this is one of the main recipes I had to perform to pass my culinary course. First, whip egg yolk with sugar (fast speed) and wait until it’s at a ribboning stage. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl with the same amount of sugar until it foams (medium speed and adding sugar slowly), when the two mixtures are ready, slowly and always fold the light mixture into the heavy mixture,.. slowly, because you want to avoid creating air bubbles. Transfer to a baking tin and simply bake for 20 minutes over 180 degrees.
Big air bubbles are bubbles that form in cake batter during the mixing process, these air bubbles if not avoided turns into holes in the baked cake. So always mix your batter in a medium speed just make sure it is mixed enough.
For the final touch, slowly build up the cake by layering it up with the sponge, a bit of caramelized cherries and whipped cream. Once you have achieved your desired cake height cover the cake with the remaining whipped cream, and top it up with shaved chocolate, press into the sides.
To make it very fancy, finish it off by topping it up with fresh cherry fruits dust with icing sugar and et voila… you have a sinfully delicious black forest cake!
Just very recently I travelled to Banaue and ended up in Batad. Batad is a Unesco world heritage listed village in Ifugao, Philippines. To get there is a pain, but once you reached the place you’ll see why its worth the long and winding journey.
The beautiful pristine village of Batad nestled in between the carved mountains of well-irrigated rice paddies, rice paddies built by the indigenous people of Ifugao, Philippines. The man-made, and I shall say “très magnifique” masterpiece is said to date back to 6000 years ago. Because of its beauty, Batad or the town of Banaue, in general, is one of the many top tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Leaving the unbearable heat of Manila at 1am, it took 8 hours drive to get to Banaue, Ifugao. Banaue is a municipality in the province of Ifugao and Batad is one of the many small villages of Banaue.
These little villages or barangays as we call it in the Philippines, are built around the mountain which makes it tricky to reach by any vehicle. On foot is the way to go to get to Batad. We drove up to the end of the not so well paved road from Banaue town, we were able to park the car at a makeshift carpark, and it was about half an hour walk from the end of the paved road to Batad village.
Immediately you will be surrounded by rice paddies, even walk among, along with it at its greenest. As we visited towards the end of September, it was rainy but that did not stop the adventure. A local served as our tour guide, tipped him a small amount for helping us with our bags all the way down to our accommodation for the night.
We spent the night at the village, we rented a room at one of the local mini-hotels in the area. They have breakfast to dinner menu or à la carte. It was good but the only thing that surprised me is they did not have a lot of local dishes to choose from. Actually, the menu was all pasta and meat. Probably to cater to foreigners as they did have 5 international guests the same time we’re there.
Apart from Chicken Tinola, Ssauteed Vvegetables, I also tried Chicken Adobo with white rice, the dishes are very commercialised for being a staple. Adobo is actually known as the main dish of the Philippines, anywhere in the world, a Filipino will always cook adobo with pride, love and care. It is a real culinary treat, a comfort food of a typical Filipino home and it must be promoted along with the other Filipino dishes.
The images above are some of the many pictures I have captured during the trip. The top photo is moi holding a dirty ice cream. The reason behind why it is called dirty ice cream is maybe because of the unsanitary process of making it. Dirty ice creams are mainly homemade by its vendor and not factory made. Ice cream vendors would then come around on colourful mini bicycles or decorated carts, selling ice cream. It’s a local treat come in different flavours, most Filipino grew up with this ice cream as it is without a doubt a dirty treat indeed!
The last few photos are our morning view the following day while sipping a cup of coffee, we had this picturesque view behind us. We head back to pick up the car, spend a little time at the public market and got some local bread ready for another long drive to our next destination….. Vigan, Ilocos Sur. To sum up this trip, It was definitely a very different adventure, perfect for people who love landscape and to experience a bit of rural life. Part II of this trip will be up soon 🙂