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Fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend and Slow-cooked Beef Brisket & Vegetables

Our Memorial Day weekend turned out to be all about cooking, partying and spending time with good friends. It was a bit exhausting, but we definitely had fun!

Saturday was our goddaughter's birthday. She had a "Spring Tea Party" themed birthday celebration, and for that, I baked Inipit and Food for the Gods, which I wasn't able to take pictures of. But here are pictures of the birthday girl and my girls during the Tea Party. All the girls were really so pretty in their spring dresses and hats.

Then Sunday, after attending mass, we spent a few hours at our friend's lake house for a pre-Memorial Day celebration. I brought some Filipino Egg Rolls and Inipit. I was kinda in a rush so my inipit was a little more toasted than it should be. :)

Sunday was also the birthday of our dear friend, Melo who is Cherlin's godfather. We prepared a simple dinner for him and invited a couple of friends to come over. I cooked Filipino Egg Rolls and Pancit Canton. Ryan grilled some pork chops, pork belly and bratwurst. I didn't have enough time to make an elaborate cake...but I wanted his birthday cake to be homemade, so I decided to just make a simple strawberry shortcake which the kids really liked.

Yesterday, we decided to just stay home the whole day and take some rest while enjoying some good food. Ryan cooked Fish and Chips for lunch. He used White Bass fillet from the dozen of White Bass he caught last week when he went fishing at the lake.

And for dinner, we had Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket and Vegetables. This is one of my daughters' favorite slow-cooked dishes which I love making because of the ease of preparing and cooking it--- no basting, no flipping...It’s the kind of thing you can throw together and just allow to cook on its own.

It's so easy and delicious that I want to share the recipe with you...
  • 3 lbs beef brisket, cut if necessary to fit in pot
  • 6 medium- sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 medium-sized carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner's New Look and Seafood Pancit Bihon Guisado

When I thought of creating Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner in January, I really didn't have the chance to give my page background and blog header much consideration. I love roses so when I saw the rose background on blogger, I decided to use it and adapt its color for my blog header and fonts as well. I simply wanted my header to be something related to cooking, with my picture on it to make it more personalized (LOL), so that's how I designed it, and my blog came out with this look.

Today, I'm saying goodbye to my old header and background as I try to make Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner a better reflection of myself - A Filipina (Pinay) who's loving her life in Texas but will always be proud of where she came from! My new header shows both the Philippine and Texas flags which now makes it more descriptive of my chosen blogging alias "Pinay in Texas". I still haven't decided on the background that best suits my blog...but for the meantime, I'm using this vector waves background with a mixture of blue and green which are both my favorite colors. 

Despite the new look, Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner's mission will remain the same, and that is to provide you with mouthwatering Filipino recipes and some non-Filipino ones which I modify to suit the Filipino palate. :)

Today, I'm sharing with you another "pancit" recipe.  Pancit is the term for noodles in Filipino Cuisine. I've featured other pancit recipes before like the Pancit Canton & Pancit Palabok. This time, it's Pancit Bihon Guisado which like the Pancit Palabok makes use of bihon or rice noodles. The difference between them lies in the cooking method and the special sauce used to top Pancit Palabok. Pancit Bihon is simply sauteed with vegetables, meat or seafood and flavored with soy sauce, fish sauce and broth. Like the Pancit Canton, it is very flexible that you can add whatever ingredients you want. Whether you add in plain meat, vegetables or seafood or all of it, it will still be good. 

This  Pancit Bihon Guisado that I'm going to share with you is my seafood version, and I just used fish sauce and shrimp broth to give it a real seafood flavor. I also didn't use vegetables which I usually do with my pancit. In this one, I just used more garlic for added flavor and green onions to give it a hint of green color. 

*I'm sharing this on Food Trip FridayFoodie Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Friday Potluck@EKat's Kitchen and Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home.

Prep Time: ~20 mins               Cook Time: ~25 mins                Servings: 4-6            

  • ½ cup white onion,chopped
  • 3 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 14 oz. bihon noodles (rice stick), soaked for at least 15 minutes then drained
  • 15 pcs. shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 15 pcs. mussels, boiled and shells removed
  • 10 pcs. squid, innard removed and sliced into rings
  • 6 pcs. squid balls, quartered
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shrimp broth (I made this from shrimp heads mashed using mortar and pestle then mixed with 2 cups of water and then strained, then boiled with salt and a pinch of pepper.)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pcs. lemon (optional)

Peanut Butter Cookies

I must say up front that I am not a huge fan of peanut butter...but Ryan and Clarise are! That's why we always have it in our pantry...big jars of them! They both love it in sandwiches...Ryan with cheese and Clarise with strawberry jam. She enjoys using it as dip for carrots & celery too! And if there's one kind of cookie that Clarise can't live without, I think it would be peanut butter cookies!

I usually don't like making food that I know I won't enjoy myself...but because it's my daughter's favorite, I have no choice.  This is why I really love this effortless peanut butter cookie recipe! It's so fast and easy to make! You'll have delicious homemade peanut butter cookies in less than 20 minutes! No sweat!

If you love peanut butter cookies as much as Clarise does, this one's for you...

Prep Time:~10 mins              Cook Time:~10 mins               Yield: 36 pcs.                    

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ cup white chocolate morsels

Pakbet Tagalog and Some Awards

Whenever I cook, I am always reminded of the Philippines...not just because I got my love for food and cooking from there, but also because I miss the fresh produce that are always available in local public markets. Filipinos aren't used of stocking food in their refrigerator because any time of the day, even if you don't have your own backyard vegetable garden, you can surely get fresh and naturally grown fruits and vegetables at a not so expensive price. Fresh meat and seafood are also available all the time. I can say, getting the freshest products is truly one of the simplest pleasures you can get in the Philippines...and that's something I miss now that I'm here in TX!

Filipinos love combining fresh produce to create delectable meals that could surely satisfy anyone's palate. One of the most popular dish that is a combination of vegetables that are rich in color and nutrients is the Pinakbet or Pakbet which originated in the Ilocos region. It came from the Ilocano word Pinakebbet which means "shrunk" or shriveled". It was named that way because in the original Pinakbet, the vegetables are boiled over low heat until almost dry and shriveled. The authentic pinakbet cooked in Ilocandia is simply boiled vegetables  with fish bagoong (fish paste) topped with either bagnet (deep fried pork belly chunks) or dried fish. It became popular in the whole Philippine archipelago that other regions came out with their own version. One of them is the Pakbet Tagalog. Unlike the original pakbet, Pakbet Tagalog is sautéed vegetables with shrimp paste and has kalabasa (kabocha squash) which is not commonly used by the Ilocanos in their pinakbet.

Whether Ilocano or Tagalog version, pakbet is a vegetable dish, packed with vitamins and minerals that makes it really worth trying.
* I'm linking this up on Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mangia Mondays, Hearth and Soul Hop Hub, Delectable Tuesday, Tuesdays At The Table and Made From Scratch Tuesday. 
Prep Time: ~25 mins               Cook Time: ~35 mins                Servings: 4            

  • ½ lb pork belly, sliced in 1/2 “ thick rectangles
  • 10-12 pcs shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 2 pcs eggplants, bias sliced
  • 12-15 pcs string beans, cut into 2 inches long
  • ½ medium sized kabocha squash, cubed
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, crushed
  • 2 pcs tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) – I used 2 Tbsp sweet shrimp paste and 1 Tbsp salted shrimp paste
  • 1 ½ cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or pork oil
  • ½ cup dried sardines (In a skillet, dry roast the dried sardines until crunchy then set aside.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
You can also add 10 pcs okra (cut into 1 ½ inch length) and 1 sliced ampalaya (bitter gourd). My daughters aren’t fans of these vegetables so I usually don’t use them for my pakbet.

How Proud We Are To Be Filipinos and My Bibingka Recipe

Two weeks ago, Clarise told me that she really wants our family to participate in her school's Multicultural Day presentation. She said she wants to share our culture to her classmates and schoolmates so that they will know that she is proud to be from the Philippines. I am truly so amazed of her eagerness to join the said event. Being able to instill into our children the love for our native country is one thing that Ryan and I always try to do, and I am glad that we're seeing good results. Clarise speaks Tagalog (a dialect in the Philippines' Metro Manila area and Region IV where our national language, Filipino was based from) quite well and we can see in her that she's always proud to tell anyone that she's a Filipino. She's even teaching her friends some easy Tagalog words. Cherlin, on the other hand, is doing her best to learn Tagalog. She tries very hard not to forget saying "po" & "opo" (words that are use to show respect when talking to older people). The other day, she said "Mahal po kita, Mommy" which means "I love you, Mommy", and she seemed very proud of herself for being able to say it. Just like Clarise, she was so excited about participating in the Multicultural Day. She helped me prepare our display boards. She tried to find stuff she got from the Philippines when we last went home in 2007, and she gave them to me saying "These will be good proof that we are from the Philippines, Mommy!". It really feels good to see that the love for the Philippines has grown in our daughters' hearts.

Yesterday gave us another meaningful experience as our family once again represented the Philippines. It was our second time to do this...but first time at Robertson Elementary since we moved here in Little Elm last year. Though we didn't have that much visual display to show, just being there to share about WHAT THE PHILIPPINES IS" and "WHO WE, FILIPINOS ARE" is something to be proud of. The presentation was done during the day so all the students from K-5 were there to learn about our culture. Wearing our Pilipinas shirts, we gladly showed more than 600 students how proud we are to be Filipinos. My whole family truly takes pride in taking part in such activities because it's a very good opportunity to show other people the Philippine Culture, which many Filipinos are not willing to do. To many, the Philippines is nothing but a third world country who's progress has always been impeded by graft and corruption. There are even some who won't even admit that they are Filipinos, as though the Philippines was struck by a plague that they don’t want to be associated with. There are some who would just keep on speaking in English even if you start talking to them in Filipino. Others would usually give you a litany of why they do not like to go back, like pollution, traffic, poor roads, poverty, etc. 

There's just one thing I can say about this: No matter where we go and no matter how much we try to adapt ourselves to other culture, nothing can change the fact that we are Filipinos. So instead of being ashamed about it, why not do something to make others see that the Philippines is not just a poor country in Asia, but a very beautiful one with wonderful people and a very rich heritage. Sino pa ba ang magmamahal sa Pilipinas kundi tayong mga Pilipino (Who else will love the Philippines but us Filipinos)? As for my family, we may not be in the Philippines but there's one thing that won't ever change: We are from the Philippines, and we are proud to be Filipinos!

I want to share with all of you some pictures from yesterday's Multicultural Day at Robertson Elementary. Included in our display are the following:

* A display board showing some facts about the Philippines: National Symbols, President and Vice President, Philippine Map, Currency, Famous People, Filipino Traits, etc.

 * Wooden ref magnets, key chains, bracelets and necklaces with pictures showing the Philippine forests:

* My necklaces and earrings made from shells with pictures showing the beautiful El Nido Resort in Palawan:

* Islands Souvenir shirts and some bags and fans made in the Philippines:

 * And of course, my Filipino recipe books!

Clarise proudly joined in the national costume fashion show wearing the "saya" (Philippine traditional dress) which one of our friends let her borrow. 

We also brought Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino Egg Rolls) and Bibingka (Rice Cake) to share with the teachers, which they loved so much! I've shared the Filipino Egg Rolls recipe before. If you want to check the recipe, click here.

Bibingka is a type of rice cake native to the Philippines. This is traditionally made from galapong (milled glutinous rice), coconut milk, margarine, and sugar. During dawn masses on Christmas season, side street vendors are a common sight preparing and selling this delicious rice cake.

The traditional way of cooking Bibingka is unique and quite time consuming. The mixture is poured on a clay pot lined with pre-cut banana leaf. A special clay oven known as “Bibingka oven” is needed to bake this rice cake. The clay pot is placed between the layers of the Bibingka oven and lit charcoals are placed below and above the clay pot to evenly cook the mixture.

The way I cook my bibingka is an alternative to the traditional one. Instead of rice flour, I use all purpose flour. I've tried using rice flour before but I really like the texture of the one made from all purpose flour better so I prefer using it. Since I don’t have clay pots around and it is impossible to find Bibingka ovens in our local Home Depot, I used ordinary cake pans and my kitchen oven instead. I usually make my bibingka in rectangular pans like this:

But to make it look more like the real bibingka I thought of using my flower molds instead. I only have 12 of them, so I used an ordinary  muffin pan for the rest. It was a hit!

*I'm sharing this on Fat Camp Friday, Friday Potluck@EKat's Kitchen, Foodie Friday, and Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home.

Prep Time: ~15 mins               Cook Time: ~35 mins                Yield: 24 pcs.             

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ½  cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup finely grated cheese
  •  8 oz. Cream cheese
For topping:
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ cup grated cheese

Classic Turon (Banana Rolls)

Last May 5, Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner was offered to be one of the blog-tour stops for “Vegan Family Meals: Real Food For Everyone”, a new cookbook by Ann Gentry, Hollywood’s #1 Vegan Chef and owner of chic LA restaurant, Real Food Daily. I said YES, of course! I'm not a Vegan...but I feel that this is such a good opportunity to try Vegan food.  

The blog-tour will run from mid-June to mid-July. I chose to do recipe duplication of her Lasagna Rolls which I will share with you in the week of July 11.  I'll be posting details of the blog tour in the days to come, so watch out for it! Meanwhile, for those of you who would like to know more about Ann Gentry, visit her blog, Real Food Daily.

Yesterday, I was so excited to receive my complimentary copy of "Vegan Family Meals" cookbook! 

I found some recipes that I would love to try, aside from the Lasagna Rolls (which I will be doing for the blog tour) like the Sesame-Shiitake Tofu Frittata and Black-Eyed Pea & Red Pepper Soup. But I'm not ready for that yet...I have to get the needed vegan ingredients first! For now, let me share with you my Classic Turon (Banana Rolls) which I guess both vegan & non-vegan will love. :)

Turon(Banana Rolls), which some call Banana Lumpia(Banana Spring Roll), is a favorite Filipino snack made of sliced banana & jackfruit, dusted with sugar and wrapped in spring roll wrapper and then fried. Some also use mango, cheddar cheese and coconut instead of jackfruit. Well, I still prefer using jackfruit. The ripe Jackfruit itself has an amazing taste, aroma and texture that when combined with Cardava Bananas create a more satisfying flavor. Here in Texas, I buy it frozen or canned. Jackfruit contains many vitamins and minerals, and offers numerous health benefits. It has isoflavones, antioxidants, and phytonutrients which means that it has cancer-fighting properties. If you haven't seen or heard of Jackfruit & Cardava Bananas, here's how they look like:

Try this very simple and easy to prepare snack and you'll see what you've been missing...

I'm sharing this on
What's on the Menu Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Foodie Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Miz Helen's Country Cottage's Full Plate Thursday and It's a Keeper Thursday.

Prep Time:~15 mins              Cook Time:~10 mins               Yield: 12 pcs. turon      

  • 8 pcs. Saging na Saba (Cardava Bananas) or Plantain Bananas cut lengthwise into 2 or 3 depending on thickness
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup fresh or canned ripe jackfruit cut into thin strips
  • spring roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil

Another Award and Chicken & Cream Cheese Egg Rolls

Last Saturday, which was my blog's 4th Monthsary, was a lucky day for me. Finally, I got my Red Gold Cookbook which was the raffle prize I won when I joined A Latte with OTT,A's March Iron Challenge. I've waited for almost a month to get it...the first one OTT,A sent got lost in the mail...and the 2nd one took two weeks to get pardon me if I seem so excited! I'm just happy to have another addition to my cookbooks! :)

I also got a message from one of my favorite bloggers, Elisabeth of Food and Thrift Finds that she has another award for me --- The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! She's so sweet to be thinking of me and once again choosing me for an award. Thanks so much Elisabeth!

I'm so glad that in my four months of blogging, I've found people who despite of our differences in culture, language, traditions, and tastes, have been so nice and supportive of me...people who I can consider my blogosphere sisters. I really do appreciate how much they've all made me felt so welcome since my early blogging days. With all their frequent visits to Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner and all their kind words, I feel I belong, and I'm so glad to be sharing this Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award with them:

Chris of Gourmet Fashion
Eizel of Eizel's Everything Cullinary
Kankana of Sunshine & Smile
Katerina of Cullinary Flavors
Lin-Ann of Vittles and Commitals
Lu of Cusina Di Casa Da Lu
Manu of Manu's Menu
Nava of Nava-K
Sarah of Homestyle Cooking Around The World
Sharlot of E-Sharlot

♥♥♥ Thank you ladies for all the love and support you never fail to give me! ♥♥♥

About a month ago, Miriam of Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters featured a recipe which caught my attention --- Cream Cheese Egg Rolls. Egg rolls are my family's favorite and I always make them! I've already posted two Egg Rolls recipes here: the Filipino Egg Rolls (Lumpiang Shanghai) and Vietnamese Egg Rolls. I've also done cheddar cheese egg rolls in the past...but cream cheese in my egg rolls is something I haven't tried. I wanted to try it...but I knew that there's no way I can make my husband eat plain cream cheese egg rolls! So I decided to add chicken and vegetables in the recipe. I made Chicken and Cream Cheese Egg Rolls instead! My turned out awesomely delicious! Thanks to Meriam for the idea of using cream cheese on egg rolls! The cream cheese and yellow onions plus the celery taste so good together...and combining it with chicken and carrots make it perfect!

Crispy on the outside and so creamy in the inside! Definitely a must try!

* I'm linking this up on Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mangia Mondays, Hearth and Soul Hop Hub, Delectable Tuesday, Tuesdays At The Table and Made From Scratch Tuesday.

Prep Time:~30 mins              Cook Time:~10 mins              Yield: 22 pieces                   

  • Spring Roll Wrapper (150mm x 150mm)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 ½ cup chicken breast (sprinkled with salt & pepper, cooked and flaked)
  • 12 oz cream cheese (1 ½ packs)
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot, julliened
  • ½ cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

    My Blog's 4th Monthsary and Crema De Fruta

    Time really flies so fast...especially when you're having fun! It seems it was just yesterday when I started Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner...but four months have actually gone by!  With over 200 followers via GFC & FB & 155 via Twitter, and with 16,895 Pageviews( based from Google Analytics) since the day I started, I feel I am doing quite good. I know some others have done better within the same span of time, but for a first time blogger, I guess it's good enough! I've been invited to take part in a book blog tour which will happen in July...I've also won 2 recipe challenges and I got nominated on Babble's TOP 100 FOOD MOM BLOGS 2011, so I feel that I'm going somewhere! I'm a "work-in-progress" blogger, and so far, I can say that the progress is going on well!!! By the way, if you haven't voted for me on  Babble's TOP 100 FOOD MOM BLOGS 2011, please do so...and help me stay in it! I'm currently in #81!

    From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you who never fail to show me some love and support! In my four months of blogging, I've learned a lot and that includes the fact that "Only true friends will always be there for you in whatever endeavor you take". Believe it or not, blogging  has thought me that sometimes those people you consider your good friends aren't really what you think they are. It's kinda disappointing when you don't see any form of support from those people you expect to get it from! But I'm glad --- now I know who my real friends are! Thanks to blogging! (^.^)

    Unlike my blog's first 3 monthsaries where I shared noodle dishes, today I'll share a cake recipe. In celebration of Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner's 4th Monthsary, let me share with you my CREMA DE FRUTA which was inspired by Adora of Adora's Box who I found in the blogosphere recently. Adora is a Filipina foodie who lives in London with her husband and two kids. She shares her wonderful collection of recipes through her blog. Last week, she posted her Crema De Fruta Gateau recipe on Adora's Box...and I tell you, it looks so good that I wanted to make it that same day! But it was Mother's Day weekend and I didn't want to spend my time in the kitchen, so I didn't! But last Wednesday when it was all rainy here in Little Elm, I suddenly craved for it. So I checked her recipe again to find out if I have the necessary ingredients. Well, I had most of them, but I didn't have plain flour, corn flour, powdered unflavored gelatin and canned peaches...but I really wanted to make it! Since I didn't want to go out on a heavy rain, I just substituted. Instead of plain & corn flour, I just used all-purpose flour. I substituted the canned peaches with Del Monte Mandarin Oranges in light syrup, and the powdered gelatin with agar-agar. I also added some grapes for topping. I only have two round cake pans, so instead of 3 layers, I just made 2. I must admit that Adora's version looks better...but mine came out good too! :) I'm sharing with you the recipe with the substitutions. If you want Adora's recipe, click here... and do check her other recipes cause they are all awesome!

    Crema De Fruta (Cream of Fruit) in the Philippines is a favorite dessert which is layered sponge cake with custard & fruit filling, and fruit & gelatin toppings. Adora made it Gateau version for better presentation, and that's what I did too. It is somewhat time consuming to make, but I assure you that your patience and hard work will be all worth it! :)

    Ingredients for the cake:
    • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup oil
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • ¼ cup water
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
    • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of  two 9" diameter cake pans with baking paper. Set aside.
    2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and 6 Tbsp of the sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and to it add the egg yolks, oil, water and lemon juice. Gently mix with a whisk, beginning from the center and slowly incorporating the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended.

    3. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the rest of the sugar gradually, while beating, until the mixture is stiff but not dry. 

    4. Add a dollop of egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and blend. This will slacken the egg yolk mixture and will make it easier to combine the two mixtures. Add all of the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the egg white mixture and fold gently until well combined. 

    5. Divide the mixture into the 2 prepared baking pans and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

    5. Invert into baking racks and cool in the pans.

    Ingredients for the custard:
    • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 can evaporated milk
    • 1 can condensed milk
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 2 Tbsp butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Mix the sugar and flour in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the milk while whisking. Add the condensed milk and egg yolks. 

    2. Cook on low heat until thick. Take off the heat and add the butter and the flavouring. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with a disc of baking paper to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate when cooled.

    Ingredients for the fruit and jelly topping:
    • 12 strawberries
    • 3 bananas
    • 20 seedless red grapes
    • 2 4-oz cups Del Monte Mandarin Orange in Light Syrup
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice plus 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin (I didn't have powdered gelatin so I used ½ flaked agar-agar bar)
    • ¼  cup water
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 cup reserved mandarin juice or any juice

    1. Cut 8 strawberries into cubes. Slice the bananas and mix with the lemon juice and sugar mixture to prevent from browning.
    2. Slice the rest of the strawberries into quaters.
    3. Set aside 2 Tbsps of the juice for brushing the cake layers.
    4. Put the powder gelatine or the flaked agar-agar in a small bowl and add 2 tbsps. of the water to make it swell. Mix the rest of the water (2tbsp) with the sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Take off the heat and add the gelatine. Stir until the gelatine is fully dissolved then add the juice. Leave to cool and thicken slightly (consistency should be like that of an egg white).

    To assemble the cake:
    1. All the ingredients must be cooled before you assemble. Brush the cakes with the reserved 2 Tbsp of peach juice. Spread 1/3 of the custard on the bottom cake layer and add ½ of the cubed strawberries and 1/3 of the sliced bananas. Since I only have two layers and I have extra custard, I topped the fruit with another layer of custard then topped it again with another 1/2 of the cubed strawberries and 1/3 sliced bananas. Then I top it with the 2nd cake and topped it with the remaining 1/3 of the custard. 

    2. Wrap foil around the cake and fasten with sticky tape or use a cake ring. This will hold everything in place as the jelly sets. Arrange the mandarin orange, grapes, sliced strawberries and bananas decoratively on top of the cake. Make sure the cake surface is completely covered with fruits so that the jelly is not absorbed into the cake. 

    3.Pour the cooled and slightly thick gelatine gently over the arranged fruits. Prick any bubbles with a toothpick. Refrigerate until set. This can be done a day ahead.

    To finish the cake:

    1. Whip 300 ml (about 1 ¼ cup) of heavy cream and ½ cup icing sugar together until thick and fluffy.
    2. Ice the cake part of the gateau but leave the fruit topping bare. You can add more fruits on top for decoration.