California Raisins

Celebrating Christmas in the Philippines is one of the most awaited events, ever. As a culture that traditionally observes the practice of giving, why not express your affection for your loved ones through food?

Let me tell you how California Raisins can revive the spirit of meaningful giving. I’m not just talking about any edible gifts, but yummy and not to mention nutritious ones as well.

In collaboration with Chef Michael “Miko” Aspiras of Le Petit Souffle and Scout’s Honor, California Raisins encourages healthier Noche Buena and Christmas feasts with two special bread and dessert dishes that I am relieved and excited to say, are full-flavored and nourishing at the same time.

Just reminding you guys, California Raisins are fat and cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and naturally sweet—so you can reduce the amount of sugar that is usually used in breads and cakes.

Monday Makati traffic was no match for my eagerness to attend this event. Along with other media friends, we were welcomed with numerous scrumptious dishes by New World Hotel, made more special with California Raisins.

What a feast for the eyes (and later for the tummy), as tables were lined up with mouthwatering Beef Pastrami And Farmer Ham; Pasta Salad (with Smoked Chicken Coriander Pesto, Black Olives); Country Style Potato And Egg; Roasted Abalone Mushroom with Balsamic Dressing for starters; Wok Fried Garlic Rice; such good looking main dishes like; Beef Tenderloin with Black Pepper Sauce; Pork Rib, Peppered Herbs Honey, And Apricot Sauce; enticing desserts like Crumble Tart; Opera Rum Slices; Mango And Mousse Cake; and Pecan And Bread And Butter Pudding, among others.

Am I making you hungry yet? We haven’t gotten to the best part.

California Raisins and Chef Miko presented a live demo for two exceptional holiday treats: the Bombolini with Rum Chantilly and Crispy Topping and Modern Christmas Cake. What makes these more special is that you can effortlessly make them in your own homes!

We were all delighted with how easy (it looked) to prepare these special creations but Chef Miko said that it really doesn’t have too be all too fancy but providing your own personal touch, can make it more endearing and appetizing to your family and friends.

Excited now? Here are the recipes:

California Raisins Bomboloni with California Raisin Rum Chantilly and Crispy Topping

For the brioche

86g Stiff levain

366g Hard levain

55g White sugar

176g Water

116g Whole egg

  1. With hook attachment, mix all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Cover with a cling wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Dough #2

250g California Raisins (pureed chunks)*

936g Hard flour

55g White sugar

24g Yeast

486g Whole egg

590g Butter (softened)

18g Salt

  1. Combine all dry ingredients and egg on rested dough, mix until the dough sticks on the hook.
  2. Slowly add small amount of butter, mix until butter is combined.
  3. Continue adding butter until completely incorporated, then add raisin puree.
  4. Keep the dough in an oil coated container, transfer the dough, fold four sides, cover with cling film, chill overnight before using.

*For the California Raisins

310g California Raisins

70ml Rum

160ml Water

45g White sugar

  1. Cook sugar in water until it turns into light syrup; add in rum remove from heat.
  2. Soak raisins in rum, soak overnight.

Dividing the dough

  1. Remove cling film, flour working table and top of the dough, turn the container upside down, slowly lift the container until the dough falls down.
  2. Lightly flour the dough again, divide the dough in a form according to desired weight.

Shaping

  1. Pinch the sides of the square dough like a dumpling, then seal.
  2. Place the seam side on the working table, place your palm on the top of the dough and shape into a ball doing a circular motion.
  3. Place rounded dough in a baking tray seam side down, cover and let rest for 45 minutes.

Pipe top with crisp topping batter**.

Baking

  1. Preheat oven at 200°C.
  2. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

**Crisp topping batter

200g All purpose flour

4g Baking powder

4g Salt

200g Unsalted butter  (softened)

100g Confectioner’s sugar

4 large eggs (beaten)

15g Vanilla extract

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  2. Using clean, dry mixer bowl and paddle, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until light, pale, and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. With mixer running, gradually add eggs, then vanilla; mix until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl, and then fold ingredients by hand to mix fully. Transfer mixture to piping bag with a round piping tip, do not refrigerate.

Assembly:

  1. Make a 1-inch incision at the bottom of each cooled buns, fill with Chantilly.
  2. Dust with powdered sugar

California Raisin Rum Chantilly Cream

400g Dairy whipping cream

400g Non-dairy whipping cream

100g Raisin puree

Vanilla beans

Whip all ingredients together until stiff.

For the cake:

240g California Raisins*

330g Good quality unsalted butter

125g Caster sugar.

300g Eggs (or 6 medium-size eggs)

45ml Fresh milk

350g Cake flour

3g Salt

3g Baking powder

3g Cinnamon powder

3g Garam masala

5g Lemon zest

5g Orange zest

45ml Orange juice

*For the California Raisins:

200g California Raisins

35ml Rum

100ml water

25g White sugar

  1. Cook sugar in water until it turns into a light syrup, add in rum remove from heat.
  2. Soak raisins in rum, soak overnight.

Procedure:

  1. Grease, line with parchment paper, grease again and flour 4 6 by 3 by 2.5 height loaf pans.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together.
  4. Strain and remove excess syrup from raisins, set aside, save the syrup.
  5. Using a planetary mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Add in eggs one at a time.
  7. Add in milk, then the orange juice.
  8. Fold in dry ingredients, then the raisins.
  9. Pour or pipe into the prepared loaf pans.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes or until baked through.
  11. Remove from oven, pour in excess syrup from soaked raisins.
  12. Cool down to room temp, and then freeze.

For the Crispy California Raisin and Chocolate Dip coating

55g California Raisins (chopped)

55g Toasted walnuts (chopped roughly)

200g White chocolate

40g Red cocoa butter

40ml Vegetable oil

  1. Melt the chocolate, temper, add color, temper again, and then add the oil.
  2. Fold in raisins and walnuts.
  3. Dip the frozen cakes until fully covered.
  4. Finish by decorating with Christmas ornaments and marshmallows.

These California Raisins can be availed in a number of stores around you. Some notable household brands include Sun-Maid, Heritage and Mariani.

So let the baking magic happen and whip up these treats for your dear ones! These special treats from California Raisins and Chef Miko will surely make Christmas more memorable and ‘fruitful’.

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Always Hungry PH