Friday 28 October 2011


It's Halloween once again. The celebration here in the UK is very quiet compared to America. Although of late there are more Halloween stuff in the shops, the trick or treating is not a happy affair. There are just a handful of kids going around. I still prepare sweets though, so as not to disappoint those who knock at our door. 

Tuesday 25 October 2011


One of my favourite Southeast Asian flavouring is the pandan leaf. It adds a very fresh, aromatic twist to both sweet and savoury dishes. When added to steamed rice, it imparts a very fresh, newly harvested scent and taste.

Friday 21 October 2011


Not the usual pancake from IHOP. This is a savoury and exciting pancake with mussels. This pancake has all the exciting flavours of the Orient. The best feature is a whole egg in the middle. Eggs feature a lot in Oriental cuisines, often in fried form. Everything seems nicer when served with eggs. Fried eggs are so seductive when the liquid yolks ooze out, don't you think so? If in doubt, just add fried eggs. That seems to be the running culinary motto.

Wednesday 19 October 2011


After using 8 egg yolks for the leche flan, I was left with a lot of egg whites. I know it is the other way around for the macaron bakers but since they are no where near me, I can't donate my egg whites to their awesome cause. On the first try, the egg whites were made into meringues and unsuccessful macarons. This time I decided to make angel food cake because it is dead easy and it is one of my favourite simple cakes.

We decided to reunite the yolks with the egg whites by eating the cake together with the leche flan. They tasted so great together. Why not? Isn't floating islands egg whites with egg yolk sauce? The caramel sauce on the flan was the best part though and it just made this good dessert fantastic. 


1 1/2 c. egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. almond essence
2 tbsps. of corn flour + plain flour to make 1 c.


Pre-heat the oven to 380° F/ 180° C. Put the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together in a mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks form when the mixer is lifted up. Add in the almond extract. With the mixer running, add in the sugar a little at a time. Sift the flour and corn flour over the egg whites then fold in until combined. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch tube pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert the pan and leave to cool. Run a sharp knife along the sides and tube of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Serve on its own or with custard, fresh fruits or, best of all,  with the previously made leche flan.

All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011. 

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Monday 17 October 2011


Leche flan or creme caramel bridges the gap between all taste borders. It is loved by all people no matter where they are from. No matter how different the food from counries are, there always is a flan of some sort. 

Friday 14 October 2011


We are well and truly into autumn. Food that warms both body and heart are what we should now cook. Isn't it just nice to smell the aroma of delicious food as it slowly cooks? The anticipation mounts and is instantly gratified when the food is finally served.

Tuesday 11 October 2011


Autumn has finally come. Having had a shabby summer once again, we were elated with the sudden burst of warmth and sunshine here in England in the beginning of October. We were hoping that the weather will turn tropical forever but of course that was not to be. The amount of leaves in the garden says it is definitely autumn. The garden has to be prepared for spring so armed with my trusty tools and assistant (code named husband) I tackled the dreaded task. 

Friday 7 October 2011


We can never do away with classic good old recipes. The reason why they have become classics is because we go back to them again and again.

Tuesday 4 October 2011


This blog is 1 year old today! Time flies ever so swiftly especially when you are blogging. I can't believe it has been a year and I'm still here. At the beginning, I often wondered if I was going to get tired of blogging at some point. Thankfully, it hasn't happened yet. It's been wonderful so far. There has been so many rewards and the most important one is gaining like-minded friends from across the globe. 

I am very thankful that people have showered me with so much support and encouragement. I don't know how to thank you all. I do dedicate my blog to all of you who come by regularly and know that my posts are made with you in mind. I hope the blog will continue to interest and entertain and maybe be of help sometimes. 

I have made a special cake for my blogversary. It is a sinful caramel filled chocolate cake. Let us indulge to mark this important milestone. This has been one of my family's favourite cakes and we've been making this for years now. It is my children who usually bake it. If they can do it, anyone can. 

The recipe comes from a Filipino book called The Best of The Maya Kitchen: Cakes and Pastries. This is my baking bible because all my favourite Filipino cake recipes are here. I have used their recipe for Natilla Filled Chocolate Cake but used my own recipe for a caramel custard instead of the natilla filling (egg custard). I especially like the chocolate fudge icing of this cake. Those little squiggles that I've used to decorate are fudge pieces that I've rolled into balls, then to those drop shapes. I don't usually use butter except for special occasions but since this is one then real butter has to be present. I know that a lot of people have a quest for the best chocolate cake. I'm not saying that this is it. All I'm saying is I like this one a LOT.

Ingredients for the cake:

2/3 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. plain flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. butter
3 eggs
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. 

Line the bottoms of 2-9" round cake pans. 

Sift the first 6 ingredients and set aside. 

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. 

Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the water while beating, until smooth. 

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another minute until well blended. 

Pour into the 2 prepared pans. 

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. A longer cooking time was actually specified (40-45 minutes) but mine was done in 20. Invert on cooling racks.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Icing:

1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. instant coffee
2 c. evaporated milk
1 c. condensed milk
1/4 c. plain flour
2 tsps. baking soda
1/4 c. butter


Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a heavy bottomed saucepan. 

Cook on low heat until thick (about 25 minutes). Drizzle a trail on the surface. It should stay for a few seconds before disappearing. 

Add the butter and mix thoroughly. 

Transfer to a bowl and set a disc of greaseproof paper directly on its surface to prevent skin from forming. Leave to cool completely before using.

Ingredients for the Caramel Custard Filling:

1 can of condensed milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 tbsps. of honey
1/4 c. fresh milk
2 tbsps. plain flour
3 egg yolks


Mix the condensed milk, brown sugar, butter and honey in a pan. Stir on low heat until the brown sugar melts and the mixture becomes hot.

Mix the milk and the flour in a bowl, then whisk in the egg yolks. Add a little bit of the hot condensed milk mixture and whisk together. 

Strain back into the saucepan and continue to cook, while stirring, until the mixture is thick. Like the chocolate icing, it should leave a trail when drizzled on its surface. 

Transfer to a bowl and set a disc of greaseproof paper directly on its surface to prevent skin from forming. Leave to cool completely.

To Assemble:

You will also need vanilla fudge for decoration (optional).

Cut them into quarters (or any size you want). Shape into balls. Roll each ball on one side with your index finger to form tips. Flick the tips up.

Fill the cake with the caramel custard. 

Frost sides and top with the chocolate icing. 

Decorate with the vanilla fudge.

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Last summer, blogger friend Ray of Wok with Ray tagged me in the seven links challenge. I was on a break at that time and had to postpone taking on the challenge. Now that it is the anniversary of my blog, I though it was just timely that I look back at my posts and see how I've done and how I should continue in the coming year(s).

Here are the seven categories and the links to the post I have chosen for each one.

1. The most beautiful post, in my opinion is the Crema de Fruta Gateau. I choose  this because it pleases the eye as well as the palate. It is one of my favourite cakes to make and eat.

 2. The most popular post is the Chicken Ala Jao (Chicken Adobo in Liver Sauce). It is my late Mum's recipe and I am sure that she would have been very pleased to know that it is my most read post.

3. The most controversial post is Baked Tilapia with Lemon, Garlic and Parsley. No one contested the fact that it is delicious but I didn't realize that some people are repulsed or even scared of whole fish! 

4. The most helpful post is Roast Prime Rib of Beef and Yorkshire PuddingAlthough not very well read, this post gives all the instructions on making a perfect rib roast and yorkshire pudding.

5. The post that was surprisingly successful was Patatas Bravas. These  oven baked version of the Spanish tapas favourite was posted as an accompanying side dish to Sloppy Jose but became more popular than that.  

6. The post that did not get the attention it deserved was the Almond Cream Puff. This was my 100th and Easter post. It is probably one of the most delicious things I've ever made but sadly that is only my own opinion.

7. The post I am most proud of is the Lumpiang Shanghai. I am very proud and pleased that a Filipino dish is one of my most popular posts. I didn't realize that a lot of non-Filipinos actually know and like this dish. I thought we were only known for our adobo.

I have to pass on the challenge to 5 foodie friends. I have chosen:

Lilly of Fuzz Free Food
Lyn of My Little Messy and Cheeky
Malou of Skip to Malou
Biren of Roti and Rice
Dudut of My Twisted Recipes

Thanks for dropping by. It would be nice if we could meet up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER