Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Summer 2012 was the time Camden outgrew his chicken egg allergy. I did the food test myself, using my food elimination diet method. I baked him a cake with chicken eggs. He ate it and had no reactions.

I was super happy because I didn't have to drive 45 minutes to shop for quail or duck eggs at the Asian supermarkets any more. By the way, that's 45 minutes to an hour one way. Yup, a mini vacation!!!

I hadn't tested Camden for dairy or corn allergy. My cooking and baking were at that time still dairy and corn free. So I posted a question to a group of people with corn allergy, and one person recommended Eggland's Best. This was great news because I was using their eggs long before I cooked and baked without chicken eggs.

Having been on a strict diet with limited foods and resources, I've learned to make sure that I don't waste any food. If I know I'd end up with egg whites, I would to make meringues. Whipping egg whites is easy, right? Well, yes, but only after I knew a few tricks and tips to it.

Here's the must-do for whipping egg whites:
  1. Anything touches the egg whites need to be cleaned AND dried. This includes the bowl and the hand mixer.
  2. The bowl should be large enough so the egg whites don't splatter as they are whipped.
  3. The egg whites need to be at room temperature.
  4. No egg yolks. If egg yolk is accidentally dropped into egg white, use the egg shell to scoop it out. (This was Ina Garten from Barefoot Contesssa's tip.)
  5. Cream of tartar is optional. Some days I whipped the egg whites without it, and they still whipped to firm peaks with no problems. I do notice that egg whites firm up faster if cream of tartar is added.
  6. The peaks: Soft peaks form when the mixer is lifted upward and the whipped egg white falls back. Firm peaks form when the mixer is lifted upward and the whipped egg white holds the shape.
Now that you know the tricks and tips, let's whip up some egg whites and make meringues. One more thing, if you feel adventurous, add chocolate chips to the whipped egg whites before scooping them into a baking tray. You can also drizzle the meringues with melted chocolate. Perfect little something sweeter!

make 24 (2 Tablespoon full per meringue)

3 egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
4 Tablespoons (2 oz) granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F degree. Line the baking tray with the parchment paper.
  2. Separate the egg whites into a clean, dry, and large bowl.
  3. Using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy, about one minute.
  4. Add the cream of tartar, if using.
  5. Whip the egg whites for another minute.
  6. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar then whip the egg whites.
  7. Repeat step 6 until the sugar is all added into the egg whites.
  8. Whip the egg whites until firm peaks form.
  9. Using a medium scoop, scoop the whipped egg whites on to the prepared baking tray.
  10. Bake 30 minutes.
  11. Lower the oven temperature to 225°F degree.
  12. Bake 30 minutes more.
  13. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven over night with the door closed. In the morning, the meringues should be crisp. If not, turn the oven on at 225°F. Once the oven is preheated, turn it off. Leave the meringues in the oven and check for crispiness after an hour.
  14. Store the meringues in an air tight container at a room temperature. Enjoy them within a week. NOTE: If the air hits a meringue, it will be sticky and lose its crispiness. 
Allergy Info: This meringue recipe is free from or can be made without dairy, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, nuts, and fish. Basically, it has egg whites and sugar.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Banana and Apple Fritters

A few days ago, I was thinking what to bake for the afternoon snack. Nothing. I didn't want to bake anything. I've been making doughnuts, so there was a pot of cooking oil that I really needed to use up. I spotted one large banana and remembered how I luv my dad's deep fried bananas.

When my dad made the batter for the fritters, he didn't measure the ingredients. He would make the batter and made adjustments to the batter as he deep fried the bananas. He did tell me once that using rice flour will make the fritters crispier and using coconut milk will make them aromatic. My dad also deep fried sweet potatoes and taro roots, cutting them into 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch thick .

I decided to use William Sonoma's banana fritters recipe as a guide. I also tested the batter with apple slices. I added ground cinnamon and a pitch of nutmeg into my batter, but these two spices can be omitted. If seltzer water is not available, just substitute it with coconut milk. I also fried up some avocado slices, and they tasted really creamy. Since I sprinkled sea salt on them, I'd consider serving them up as appetizer. The fritters turned out to be a very satisfying deep fried dessert.

Banana and Apple Fritters
serves 4-6
adapted from William Sonoma's Banana Fritters

vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup (1.25 oz) all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
1/4 cup (1 oz) rice flour (Erawan - 3 elephants)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (Feather's Weight)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon grounded cinnamon
pitch of grounded nutmeg
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 Tablespoon palm sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) coconut cream (Aroy-D)
1/4 cup (2 oz) seltzer water
1 large banana
Half of 1 large granny smith apple
confectioner's (or powdered) sugar for dusting
  1. Pour vegetable oil (about 2 inches deep) into a wok or a pot.
  2. Heat the oil until the thermometer register between 350°F to 360°F degrees.
  3. While the oil is heating, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Without shaking a can of coconut milk, open the can then scoop out the top layer (the coconut cream) into the flour mixture. Whisk until the batter is thick.
  5. Add seltzer water and whisk until just combine.
  6. Peel a banana and slice it diagonally to 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.
  7. Peel, core, and half an apple. Then slice the it to 1/4 thickness. Set aside.
  8. Once the oil is ready, coat each banana or apple slice with the batter.
  9. Drop it into the hot oil and fry 1 minute per side. Note: Only fry 4 to 6 slices at a time. Keep checking the thermometer, making sure the oil is between 350°F to 360°F degrees.
  10. Take the fritters out of the oil and on to a cooling tray to let them drain.
  11. After the oil registers between 350°F to 360°F degrees, repeat step 8 to 10. Note: If there is still leftover batter, drop it randomly into the oil to make crispy batter. Seriously yummilicious!!!
  12. Dust the fritters with powdered sugar and enjoy them with a glass of lemonade or ice cold water.
Allergy Info: My fritters are free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), nuts (not coconut), and fish. Keep in mind that if the apples are waxed and the bananas are gassed, then they are most likely not corn free. What I learned from people who have severe corn allergy is that it is best to buy fruits from the local farmers who might not wax or gas their produce.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

S'more Pops

When I made moon pies, I only made twelve pies and still had a lot of homemade marshmallow left. I thought about experimenting with the freshly whipped leftover marshmallow. Decision! Decision! I decided to make s'more pops.
These s'more pops are super cute. I used bamboo skews but lollipop sticks, appetizer sticks, or other types of bamboo skews will work as well.

I've used different molds to make pop shapes. I also cut the marshmallows into square.  Be creative with the pop designs. Remember they will taste great no matter what they look like because they are something sweeter after all.

S'more pops
makes 24 or more
non-stick cooking spray
Maple Syrup Marshmallow (leftover from Moon Pie recipe or freshly whipped)
confectioners' (or powdered) sugar for dusting
melted chocolate (leftover from Moon Pie recipe or melted 10 oz chocolate chips in a double boiler)
5 to 10 honey graham crackers, crumbled (New Morning)
  1. Spray a mini cupcake or cake pop pan with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place a non stick mat or a parchment paper on a baking tray.
  3. With whipped marshmallow in the piping bag, pipe the marshmallow into each cavity of cupcake or cake pop pan.
  4. Dust the marshmallows with powdered sugar.
  5. Place a dry towel over the marshmallows and let them sits at room temperature to firm up, about one to two hours.
  6. Heat or melt the chocolate, using a double boiler.
  7. Dip the wooden skews or the lollipop sticks into the melted chocolate and stick them into the marshmallows.
  8. Place the marshmallow pops into the fridge until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. If time is limited, place them in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Coarsely crumble the honey graham crackers. Place them on the plate. Set aside.
  10. Take the marshmallow pops out of the refrigerator or the freezer.
  11. Hold the tip of each pop and dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate.
  12. Sprinkle the crumbled graham crackers right away.
  13. Set the s'more pops onto the prepared baking tray.
  14. Place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set, about an hour.