Thursday, September 08, 2011

Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Italy!


Xin Chao everyone!

Hope it's not the last time to say this greeting after leaving Vietnam last week. Yes you heard it right! After the long saga of waiting my Italian student visa, it arrived 6 days before I left Saigon. I had sleepless nights prior to that because of the uneasy feeling that I may not be granted one. Though, I am confident that they will because UK issued me a new visa, so I assumed another Schengen visa wouldn't be a hassle. But we never know 'til we get the stamp on our passport. And I am glad that they gave me one! It was very tiring packing my stuff from my apartment in 10 boxes and bidding goodbye to everyone.

My last cooking buffet in the cafe where I work as weekend chef was a big success. Unexpected number of guests arrived to avail the buffet menu as I bid farewell to my Vietnam culinary and advertising adventures. I can't thank enough all the people who manifested their heart-felt support in every little thing I do. So that's probably one of the things I would miss in Saigon.



I arrived Milano at Malpensa airport last Sept 3 at 7:30 in the morning. My former Creative Director/friend from Philippines is currently based in Milan and he picked me up in the airport and I stayed at his place for two days. His cousins are very warm and accommodating in the house where I stayed. They even brought me when they went to outskirt of Milan to attend a Sunday mass with a massive Filipino attendees. The name of the church is Caravaggio, named after famous painter Michaelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio who was born in Lombardy, Milan. I surprisingly had fun attending the mass because the homily was very nice and it was hosted by an Italian priest who spoke three languages at that time. He delivered the entire mass 90% Filipino and 5% of English and Italian. That totally amazed me!

After two days I left Milano on Sept 5 to move to Firenze, Italia--where my culinary study will take place. I will tell you next time the beginning of my Florentine life story in the next posts I will be having. In the meantime, I would like to share all of you the first ever successful cake I baked. This successful baked cake is a milestone for me since I am not into baking but I guess the world of culinary is not just about cooking but baking as well.



MATCHA & CARAMEL SPONGE CAKE

Ingredients:

• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
• 4 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons warm water
• 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla
• 2 cups cake flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 tbsp Matcha powder (diluted in hot water)
• 1 pack Jello caramel
• Milk
• 1 cup cream
• Butter (of course)

Procedure:

Put the sugar and matcha liquid in a blender or food processor. Add this mixture to the softened butter. Beat with a mixer on medium until fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the eggs to the sugar and butter one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Add the water and vanilla. In a different bowl, use a whisk to mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Mix on low. Then add the rest of the flour mixture.

Now beat at medium speed until the cake batter becomes shiny. The mixture should also turn a white color. Do not skip this step or reduce the mixing time. The longer you mix the batter, the more air bubbles you create. This is what makes sponge cake recipes light and fluffy. This step of the sponge cake recipe should take about 15 minutes.

Pour sponge cake batter into two round cake pans that have been greased with shortening well and liberally floured. If they haven't been greased and floured thoroughly, your sponge cake recipe will stick to the cake pans.

Bake Matcha sponge cake in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. The sponge cake should pull gently from the sides. It will be golden in color and spongy to the touch. It should spring back when touched. To be sure the sponge cake is done, test the center with a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. Do not open the oven while the sponge cake is baking. Remove the Matcha sponge cake from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the cake pans. Let the sponge cake cool completely before putting the caramel pudding mixture. Just follow the instruction of jello pack when adding milk in the mixture then add some cream and butter and put it in a piping bag then top the sponge cake.

I dedicate this post to the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary...

Buon Contempleanno Vergine Maria! :-)


big hug,
joanie xxx

6 comments:

Joy said...

Wonderful news! Ao exciting to be able to follow your adventures! Say ciao to Italia from me!

Phoebe said...

This looks amazing! I am looking forward to trying this out... thank you for sharing!!! Oh, and best wishes for a wonderful time in Italy!

Debbie Martin said...

Such a fantastic cake!!! hows it goin in Florence so far? looking forward to the italian food blog you will be having :p

Joanie said...

Grazie Joy! And Phoebe thanks for visiting my blogsite, yours is fantastic as well. Will check it again :)

Debbie, it's up for Dolce! :p

RJ said...

I am so curious... how and where did the Italian priest learn Filipino? Of course I am not expecting you, Joannie, to answer this. U

'Though I can see photos of your green cake, the words in this post remind me of the Star Cinema movie- Milan.

By the way... tell me: Australia or Italia? o",)

Joanie said...

Yeah situations of Filipinos in Milan is very much like the movie :p I would say it's so surreal to live for good in Italy... the place is beautiful but I don't know if it would financially support me in the future. Australia is HOME and home is where the heart is :-)

But who knows what the future brings :P