#QuarantineCookbook: Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada

Which Filipino dessert does everyone in your family looked forward to when you were young?

Mine was the Brazo de Mercedes.

This scrumptious meringue roll with a thick and rich custard center is actually named after Mama Mary, the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes or the Virgin of Mercy.

It is said to date back to the Spanish colonial period when Filipinos sought to repurpose discarded egg yolks when builders at the time would use the egg whites for mortar and plaster for houses and structures.

Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada
Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada

Whenever my parents brought home a roll of Brazo de Mercedes, my brothers and I knew that something wonderful was waiting for us come dessert time.

Despite both my mom and I being both home bakers, it took us a while to attempt to make Brazo de Mercedes, primarily because the egg whites need a high-powered mixer to become a fluffy meringue.

Thankfully, Hubby gifted me with a KitchenAid 5QT Artisan Stand Mixer which made making this dessert a breeze.

Now that the meringue won’t be a problem, I know the custard won’t give me any worries either, thanks to Jolly Cow Condensada.

With its rich, creamy texture and right amount of sweetness, it helped make the custard filling of my Brazo de Mercedes absolutely Creamy Sarap and so irresistible.

Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada
Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada

Ingredients:

Custard:

  • 1 390g can Jolly Cow Condensada
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Meringue:

  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada
Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada

Procedure:

Combine egg yolks, condensed milk, vanilla and lemon zest in a double boiler over low heat. Cook while stirring regularly for about 30 minutes until mixture thickens into a spreadable paste. Remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool.

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl and mix at slow speed until they form a thick foam. Add sugar in small amounts while continually beating, gradually increasing speed until stuff peaks form and the mixture is smooth and glossy with no sugar grains.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and lightly grease it. Spread the meringue evenly on the sheet to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 350 deg F (177 deg C) for 20 minutes until the meringue is set and the top has turned light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Using a light mesh sieve, lightly dust the meringue with powdered sugar. Cover with another sheet of lightly greased wax paper the gently invert to transfer the meringue onto the new wax paper and peel off the wax paper on top.

Spread the custard mixture evenly on the 3/4 of surface of the meringue. Starting from the side with the custard, carefully roll the meringue into a log.

Cover both ends of the log with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada
Brazo de Mercedes with Jolly Cow Condensada

My son has declared this his “Number 1” favorite dessert (among the many sweets I’ve made for him so far), and I know I’ll have lots more for him to sample with my pantry fully stocked with Jolly Cow Condensada.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Gear up for baking

KitchenAid 5QT Artisan Stand Mixer
KitchenAid 5QT Artisan Stand Mixer
La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven
La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven

Stock up on ingredients

Jelly’s Picks
Jolly Cow Condensada 390g

#QuarantineCookbook: Cheesy Baked Macaroni

My mom’s Cheesy Baked Macaroni has always been a family favorite.

She used to make it for the fam during special occasions such as birthday dinners or holiday feasts. We would sometimes bring it as our contribution to our clan’s potluck parties.

Later on, when I got married, Hubby would request a tray of Baked Macaroni from my mom for his birthday.

What makes this version different from other Baked Macaroni recipes is the flavor and aroma from the red bell peppers. Coupled with the melted cheese, it helps make a truly mouthwatering dish!

Baked Mac Recipe
Baked Mac Recipe

It took me a while to gather up the courage to cook this dish given the sheer weight of expectations surrounding it, but I’m sure glad I did!

I was able to piece together the recipe, thanks to my memories from years of helping my mom cook this, as well as a few phone calls to my mom, just to make sure I’m on the right track.

I’ve made this dish three times in as many weeks so far, a testament to how much my fam loves it.

Check it out!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/2 kg ground beef
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups milk, heated
  • 220g cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Baked Mac Recipe
Baked Mac Recipe

Procedure:

To make the tomato meat sauce:

  • Saute garlic, onions and bell peppers in oil for up to five minutes until fragrant.
  • Add in the ground beef and cook until it is evenly browned, then stir in the beef cube.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, stir and bring to a boil.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Toss in the bay leaves, and allow to simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

To make the cheese sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for about two minutes until a paste forms.
  • Pour in the milk and stir constantly until the flour paste is fully dissolved.
  • Add in the cheese while continuing to stir until the cheese has melted and blended into the mixture, then remove from heat.

To assemble and bake:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 deg F (190 deg C).
  • Divide the meat sauce in half.
  • Mix in the cooked macaroni to half of the meat mixture.
  • Coat the bottom of the baking pan with a thin layer of cheese sauce.
  • Add a layer of macaroni, then meat sauce and top with another layer cheese sauce. Repeat the three layers if the baking pan can accommodate.
  • Make sure the top is covered by a thick layer of cheese sauce.
  • Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil.
  • Bake with the foil cover for 15 minutes, and without the foil cover for another ten minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve.
Baked Mac Recipe
Baked Mac Recipe

Try this recipe for your Noche Buena spread or your New Year’s Eve feast.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Gear up for cooking.

La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven
La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven
La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven
La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven

Stock up on ingredients.

Jelly’s Picks
Del Monte Salad Macaroni 1kg
Jelly’s Picks
Del Monte Tomato Sauce Original Style 1KG
Jelly’s Picks
Dari Creme Classic 200g
Jelly’s Picks
Jolly Cow Pure Fresh Milk 1Lx3
Jelly’s Picks
Eden Filled Cheese 165G/160G

La Germania dishes must-have kitchen tools for the holidays

Given the growing number of items on your holiday to-do list, staying ahead of the curve by doing your Christmas shopping in advance can save you a lot of time, stress, and money. It can be such a nuisance when you’ve already figured out the perfect gift for your loved one, but get beaten out by the influx of last-minute holiday shoppers and delayed deliveries.

That’s why La Germania is dishing out their must-have kitchen tools you absolutely need during the holidays. Not only do these choices help make you a whiz in the kitchen, but they elevate your home cooking experience.

For the aspiring baker

La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven

La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven

Gifted in the art of pastry making? Take your baking skills to the next level with the La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven. Tiny yet mighty, this portable electric table oven will help you bake pastries and other food items to perfection. Plus, it’s compact size makes it optimal for those who have smaller kitchen spaces.

For the foodpreneur

La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven

La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven

Running your own food business can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s why you should invest in a multitasking kitchen appliance like the La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven. Equipped with three gas burners and one electric burner, a gas thermostat oven and an electric grill, this multi-tasking range can help you elevate your menu, and make cooking more efficient and hassle free so you can keep your customers coming back for more!

For the growing family

La Germania Range 84cm FS8041 30XTR oven

La Germania Range 84cm FS8041 30XTR oven

Preparing enough food for a big family can also be difficult, but having the La Germania Range 84cm FS8041 30XTR oven can make your life in the kitchen so much easier. Armed with a plethora of functions such as one turbo, one large, and two medium gas burners, one electric hotplate, a gas thermostat oven, and a gas grill with rotisserie, you can cook up a storm with this sleek kitchen appliance for a lifetime of delicious meals and family bonding moments.

For the serious home cook

La Germania Electric Range 60cm FS6004 40XTR oven

La Germania Electric Range 60cm FS6004 40XTR oven

If cooking is your passion, you can’t go wrong by investing in the La Germania Electric Range 60cm FS6004 40XTR oven. Packed with four electric hotplates, an electric thermostat oven with an electric grill, and a rotisserie function, cooking your noche buena extravaganza will be so much easier with this heavy-duty kitchen tool.

For big families

La Germania Range TU140 71CX oven

La Germania Range TU140 71CX oven

Home cooking never looked this good! Function and style combine in the La Germania Range TU140 71CX oven. Excellently designed with four aluminium gas burners and a fan-assisted gas oven with an electric grill, this particular model is packed with a lot of safety features. What’s more, it’s stainless finish will blend seamlessly into your chic home.

For the chef of the party

La Germania AMS96L 61LAX oven

La Germania AMS96L 61LAX oven

Cooking for a crowd is no easy task, but with the La Germania AMS96L 61LAX oven on your corner, you can prepare all your dishes to perfection. This super-duty kitchen appliance is armed with 6 brass gas burners and electric multifunction 9 settings oven, making it fit for the demands of a seasoned chef.

When it comes to preparing dishes for the holiday, it’s important you use good quality kitchen equipment like La Germania. Built according to the highest European standards in terms of construction and design, La Germania appliances allow you to prepare delectable dishes for the holiday season in an efficient and easy way. With guaranteed durability and superior quality, they’re a good investment for you to channel your inner chef, and unleash your kitchen genius.

La Germania products are available online through La Germania’s official e-commerce website http://www.lagermaniaph.com and e-commerce platforms on Shopee and Lazada. For more information on La Germania and its products, you may follow the official Facebook and Instagram accounts of the trusted kitchen and appliance brand.

About La Germania

Italian-heritage brand La Germania has been the preferred kitchen companion of Filipino homemakers for 53 years and counting. Its wide array of ovens, cooktops, and stoves is made of high-grade materials and designed to stand the test of time and extensive use. La Germania’s current line of products continues to serve the cooking needs and lifestyle of this generation and the next.

Product photos and details provided by La Germania in a recent press release.

Header photo created by DCStudio – www.freepik.com

Tips for a fresh and clean-smelling home that sparks good vibes and great productivity

Did you know that exposure to scents can affect your mood and productivity?

With many of us working or learning from home, we have seen the need to make our homes more comfortable and conducive to optimal work performance.

Odors do affect how we feel and how we work, primarily through how we associate events and experiences with them. Scents that we associate with good experiences (such as the aroma of freshly baked bread) tend to make us feel good, while scents that we associate with unpleasant experiences (such as the sterile smell of a hospital operating room) tend to make us feel bad.

Odors can also affect how we think and how we behave. For example, people exposed to pleasant odors tend to exhibit higher levels of prosociality, self-efficacy and work efficiency.

With these findings, it is important to ensure that all rooms in the house are clean and sweet-smelling so we can function as we should.

Living Room

Home Scents
Homr Scents

The living room is where we hang out with our household members to relax and unwind. It is also the place where we receive guests and make an impression on them.

To keep your living room smelling good, be sure to check the carpet from time to time. Carpets and rugs tend to trap odors from pet dander, sweat, smoke or mildew. Make sure these are cleaned and deodorized regularly.

It also helps to keep this room ventilated. Open a window to let fresh air in. Avoid overcrowding furniture to give the air some space to circulate. Using fans or air circulators also help to keep the air moving and dissipate most unpleasant smells.

Kitchen

Home Scents
Home Scents

The kitchen is where food preparation and post-dining clean-up occurs, both of which produce food waste which could contribute to foul smells in this area.

Make sure that food waste is properly put away in sealed trash cans and take them out of the house as soon as you can.

Ensure that your cleaning materials themselves – such as kitchen towels, sponges and brushes – are clean. Dry them after use as they will develop odors if they stay damp.

All kitchen surfaces should be cleaned and wiped dry after use as moisture can cause unpleasant smells.

Clean under heavy furniture or appliances such as the range hood, stove or refrigerator regularly as well. These can accumulate dust and grease which can trap bad odors.

Also, make sure that air can circulate when you cook by using fans or opening a window.

Wipe down drawers and shelves in your food storage areas and refrigerator at least once a week. Throw out any food item that may have gone bad or past its expiry date.

Dining Room

Home Scents
Homr Scents

As the place where the family converge to share meals and converse during breakfast, lunch and dinner, the dining room should also have an atmosphere conducive to a good appetite and happy conversation.

Before and after every use, the dining room should be swept and wiped clean and all surfaces disinfected to minimize any possible contamination or possible sources of unappetizing smells.

Bathroom

Homr Scents
Home Scents

As the place where we spend a lot of our personal time, the bathroom should have a relaxing and revitalizing atmosphere.

It tends to be a humid room, so keeping damp towels here is not a good idea. It would be best to dry your towels outside in the sun after use, and store them in another, drier part of the house when not in use.

Ventilation is also key to keeping your bathroom smelling fresh and clean. Open the door and windows to let the air circulate for at least 15 minutes everyday.

Bedroom

Home Scents
Homr Scents

As our haven for rest and recharging ourselves at the end of the day, the bedroom has no room for dank or musty smells.

To ensure a good night’s sleep and the restful tranquility that make the bedroom your place of respite, banish unpleasant odors by changing your bedsheets and linens to freshly washed ones at least once every week and ensuring that your bedroom rugs are vacuumed and deodorized.

As with all parts of the house, proper ventilation and air circulation greatly help in keeping the bedroom smelling wonderful. Allowing some spaces in between furniture and opening the window from time to time to let fresh air in will surely help.

With these tips in mind, you will find it easy to maintain a sweet-smelling home you and your family members can comfortably live, work and study in.

Aside from these practical steps, we also have tool that help us in keeping our home smelling clean and fresh

Albatross deodorizer blocks and scented gels help in eliminating any home malodor in any part of the house. They also come in various scents and colors that suit our preferences and home decor. Shop now at Lazada through the links below to stock up on these for your home.

Albatross Deodorizer Blocks.

Albatross
Albatross
Albatross

Albatross Scented Gels.

Albatross
Albatross
Albatross

Venue for home interior photos courtesy of Alyssa Tuangco.

Kimchi Musubi with Bibimbud, the original kimchi sauce

The sheer amount of time we’ve spent watching K-dramas have surely developed our craving for Korean flavors. Admittedly, the sight of our favorite idols feasting on Korean food got us craving for it too.

Korean cuisine is known for the layering of tastes and textures such that there’s an explosion of flavors in every mouthful.

One of K-cuisine’s hallmark dishes is kimchi. This traditional side dish is made with salted and fermented vegetables and flavored with a variety of seasonings and aromatics such as chili powder, spring onions, garlic and salted seafood, resulting in complex blend of sour, spicy and umami.

Kimchi is ever-present in Korean food culture that you would be hard-pressed to find a Korean meal without it.

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato
Kimchi

That certainly held true for Koreans Steve Song and David Seo, two buddies living abroad who embraced local cuisines but found something missing in their foodie adventures. Deciding to add a taste of home to their meals, they developed a kimchi-style condiment that’s uniquely blended to complement and add that crave-worthy kimchi flavor to practically any dish.

They named their creation Bibimbud, the Original Kimchi Sauce.

Bibimbud
Bibimbud

Made by people who absolutely love kimchi, Bibimbud is packed full with the flavor and goodness of kimchi with no preservatives. The product underwent a natural fermentation process just like real kimchi which allows it to get better with age and keep for a longer period.

It also comes with the health benefits brought by real kimchi such as boosting and metabolism and improving blood circulation and gut health.

With these in mind, why not incorporate Bibimbud to any meal?

Check out this fusion of Korean and Japanese flavors in my version of Kimchi Spam Musubi, made possible by Bibimbud.

Bibimbud
Bibimbud

Spam Musubi is said to have originated in Hawaii during and post-World War II, when the Japanese-American locals incorporated the canned meat into their own cuisines.

The addition of Bibimbud to Spam Musubi gives a new dimension of flavor to this popular snack.

Bibimbud
Bibimbud

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups steamed rice, kept warm
  • 1 can Spam cut into eight slices
  • Teriyaki sauce made with 1 tbsp sugar dissolved in 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 eggs, whisked until homogenous
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 nori sheets, each sheet cut into 4 strips of equal width
  • 2 tbsp Bibimbud, The Original Kimchi Sauce

Procedure:

  • Mix one tablespoon of the teriyaki sauce to the eggs.
  • Place a lightly oiled frying pan over medium to low heat. Add the eggs, cover and let cook for five minutes. When the top is set, slide the eggs onto a cutting board, the two sides into the middle making three layers then cut into eight strips of equal width.
  • Fry the Spam in a non-stick pan over high heat for five to seven minutes until crispy on both sides. When cooked, place the Spam pieces on a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Using the same pan, cook the remaining teriyaki sauce over medium heat. When it begins to thicken, add back the Spam to coat both sides of pieces with sauce.
  • Mix the Bibimbud, sesame seeds and rice vinegar into the rice and divide the mixture into eight equal portions. Press one portion into your musubi mold. (You can use the empty Spam can as a musubi mold by lining the bottom and inner sides with plastic wrap.)
  • Layer an egg strip on top of the rice then top with a piece of Spam. Press the layers against the mold until firm.
  • Wrap the molded musubi in a strip of nori. Seal the end of the nori strip with a bit of water.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Bibimbud

Bibimbud may also be used in flavoring Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Pasta, Bibimbap, Korean-style Fried Chicken and more. For more details about Bibimbud and to check out recipes, visit bibimbud.com.

Given that Bibimbud is in a sauce form, it is easy to adjust the kimchi taste in the food, whether mild to suit newbies, or more intense to suit connoisseurs of Korean cuisine.

So the next time we go on a K-drama binge, we know we can easily have a taste of the flavors our K-idols are enjoying, thanks to Bibimbud!

Bibimbud is available at Lazada in 250-gram packs for Php175/pack.

Disclosure: A product sample was by Bibimbud.