Easter Treats

I have made chocolate dipped strawberries for various holidays and occasions in the past years. This particular treat is now a favorite of mine. I have always used Ghirardelli candy making and dipping bar till I discovered Candiquick. This candy melting chocolate gives great consistency and finish and is not difficult to handle.

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For this recipe, I used a package of strawberries, vanilla candiquick and orange gel food coloring. Melt candiquick according to package directions. Add your food coloring and stir until you get your desired color. Dip your strawberries to coat and lay on wax paper until it sets. This does not take too long. With the back of a spoon or a piping bag drizzle your strawberries with candimelt to create lines.

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No child or adult can resist when you serve them this veggie treat.

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Happy Easter !!!

Buko Pandan Shake

You can make your own Buko Pandan shake with the following ingredients. Coconut water, Shredded Young coconut, Agar-Agar bar (gelatin), Pandan leaves, Sugar and Milk.

Buko (Young Coconut) Juice is what we call coconut water here in the Northeast. You can always get it fresh right out of the coconut shell from the market or even at the mall nowadays in the Philippines. It really taste far better than the ones sold in cans and cartons. For this recipe I used this brand of coconut water since it’s closest in taste to the Buko juice back home.

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The Meat of young coconut can be bought frozen and it usually contains a bit of coconut water. Defrost and drain the meat before using.

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Agar-Agar bar is the typical gelatin used but for convenience you may use the powdered gelatin mix available in the market.

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Pandan leaves (screwpine) is widely used in Southeast Asia as a flavoring agent. It is used not only for sweets but for savory food as well. It has a fresh and sweet fragrance that compliments well with this drink.

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First make your pandan gelatin. Chop or cut into tiny pieces about 3-4 stalks of pandan leaves and place in a blender with a little bit of water then puree. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve. Set aside. Into a saucepan, break into pieces the agar-agar bar, add 3 cups water and about 1/4-1/2 cup sugar. Cook over low heat until everything is dissolved. Add 1-2 tablespoon of pandan extract. Strain mixture into a wide and flat container and let it set. Then cut into small cubes.

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Into a blender add frozen coconut water (you can freeze it in an ice tray) and milk and blend. You want it slushy and not liquid.

To serve, in a tall glass add some cubed gelatin then pour in your coconut water/milk mix and top with young coconut meat. If you want to get creative you can layer the gelatin, young coconut and coconut water/milk slush in your glass.

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Strawberry Daifuku Mochi

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In celebration of Spring I decided to make Strawberry Daifuku Mochi. Mochi is primarily made of glutinous rice flour. There are two kinds of glutinous rice flour you can find in the market. The first one is the “mochiko” or sweet rice flour and the second is “shiratamako”. Both are used in making all kinds mochi based sweets but shiratamako will give you the elasticity that you need in this mochi.

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For this recipe you will need red bean paste (koshian), strawberries, shiratamako. potato starch, sugar and water. You can make your own red bean paste but I just bought mine pre-made. You can find this in the refrigerator section of any Asian foodstore.

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First, wash and remove the stems from your strawberries and pat dry. Divide your red bean paste into 6 equal sized balls. Flatten each ball and wrap the strawberries in it tip side down. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

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Get a baking pan or any wide and flat surfaced container and sprinkle some potato starch on it. Set aside.

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Combine the shiratamako. sugar and water and mix well, make sure that everything is well combined and your flour is dissolved. Place in a heat proof dish and steam for 15 minutes.

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Remove from steamer and give it a few stir using a spatula dipped in water. Pour mixture in your prepared pan and sprinkle more potato starch on top. Warning, the mixture will be very hot. Work quickly and divide the sticky dough into 6 equal portions.

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Take one and flatten it into a disk then wrap the red bean coated strawberry, again with the tip side down. Smoothen the outside and set aside. Repeat with the remaining strawberries.

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