I know I’ve pulled another disappearing act on this blog. Hopefully, most of you have tried the simple roast chicken I had in the previous post. What? No? Come on guys, I’ve got one about to go into the oven as I type and it took me less than 15 minutes to prep (okay, I did wash and dry it earlier).
So where have I been? Back to the Philippines, this time to attend a wedding! Me and my family debated around the idea about me making macarons for the event. First dilemma was where to bake them; it turned out that my sis-in-law’s bakeshop was too busy and she only had humongous mixers – and I mean industrial size. My brother’s home kitchen was the obvious next choice until a friend of ours, Mitos Yniguez, offered the use of her brand new restaurant kitchen which had a separate pastry area.
But my biggest unknown was my ingredients. Because of darn luggage limitations of 50 lbs. I also decided against bringing my own ground almonds and when you change an ingredient like your almonds, all you can do is pray.
I guess I didn’t pray hard enough.
And I remembered why I like grinding my own almonds and stay away from almond meal.
Anyway, meet Mitos. Proprietress of Baguio’s newest "it" restaurant, "The Hill Station."
And guess what, I even had two assistants.
The all important step of weighing your ingredients carefully is what I taught first. Yes, I brought my own weighing scale.
And without my trusty beer pitcher to hold my piping bag, it took three of us to transfer the batter.
I noticed that the batter was too thick to beat but this was further confirmed when I piped them out and the peak did not flatten. You can normally rectify this with a damp finger but these were REALLY stiff.
Because the oven wouldn’t go below 325F, this was what happened to one batch. This phenomenon is what I call "duck beaks"
I did not have enough iteration of batches to finally eliminate the peak by reducing the almond flour, but I solved the oven problem by sticking a wooden spoon between the oven door so it wouldn’t run too hot.
Heck, at least they didn’t crack and they had feet!
While waiting for the macarons to dry and bake, I got to sample some of Mitos’ "Hill Station" offerings. Her five-spiced chicken fingers were delicious!
They make their own bread, which makes this charbroiled-burger doubly scrumptious…
The right bread is also what’s important for their version of the Vietnamese Bahn-Mi which Mitos calls Saigon Steak sandwich…
Even the staff meal of Chicken curry was flavor-packed.
So remember folks, when you get the chance to visit Baguio drop by:
Going back to the macarons, I did manage to make 150 pieces despite the stars not aligning exactly. Though they didn’t look ideal, they were made with love and for my beloved niece…
Isn’t she a vision….?
For more wedding pics…
I did manage to wangle a portrait shot from my brother. After all, why waste the hair and make-up?
While the bridal portraits were being taken, we decided to have merienda at the veranda at the club.
We’re a camera-happy lot…
I wonder if my brother was tired or the beer knocked him out?
Views of the grand ballroom of the Baguio Country Club.
I laugh so hard with the grand entrance below…
…of the soup brigade. Leave my niece and nephew to get the waiters to dance. I believe they rehearsed this the night before….
It’s now customary to get wedding rituals like cake-cutting done first thing.
So everyone can start goofing off.
And the young ones kept the party going…
For us oldies .
The dancing was so infectious even my mom joined in on the fun. And so we danced…
Next post… Bohol! When the whole family did the unforgivable and joined the bride and groom on their honeymoon!