March 19, 2006

coconut jam and rolls

Aside from the usual pandesal ( a traditional Filipino roll ) I also like to make these milk roll version depending on the craving. I have featured this in a previous post with pandesal. The same basic pandesal recipe was used with just a slight alteration to the ingredients. Instead of just water, a combination of milk and water was used, making the dough richer. The bread machine is an indispensable appliance in our kitchen. It does an excellent job kneading the dough and I have always depended on it when making bread. Shaping the dough into smaller round balls and brushing them with beaten egg before baking turn them into more regular-looking dinner rolls. I’ve also made whole wheat versions of these before. They go well with any kind of spread or filling and they’re even good just plain. I grew up enjoying locally available spreads or jams in Manila that may be unusual and unheard of here. A fine example is this coconut jam or spread, which, to best describe it, has the look and consistency of Nutella. But the taste, of course, is far from chocolaty. Primarily made by mixing thick coconut milk and palm sugar or what we call panucha in the Philippines. They’re hard brown sugar discs also widely used in Thai cuisine. The mixture is then cooked over very low heat until thickened. It has a very distinct coconut flavor with a hint of caramelized sugar flavor. Bottled coconut jams are as common as honey in Manila and can be easily found in most grocery stores back there. Found this at the Filipino store and just couldn’t leave it. It instantly brought back memories of meriendas or mid-day snacks. There are just some things I will never forget about.

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