It’s Mooncake Season
at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Exquisite mooncakes available at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Exquisite mooncakes available at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

THE Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is here, and so it is Mooncake Season once again. The second most celebrated event next to Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes place when the moon is in its fullest state, symbolizing harmony and prosperity. People back then believed that the behavior of the moon affected the production of local goods, so, during this day, gratitude was expressed and sacrifices were offered through a special delicacy called the mooncake.

This practice has survived the test of time and the celebration continues to this day, and one of those at the forefront of the Mid-Autumn Festival observance is Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. The hotel heralds rich tradition and culture with exquisite mooncake gift sets as presents to share with loved ones, family and friends.

Mooncakes in gift sets of four pieces and six pieces

Mooncakes in gift sets of four pieces and six pieces

Inspired by the Orient’s traditional flowers, these authentic mooncakes are imported directly from Hong Kong and symbolize luck, prosperity and honor. For this auspicious time, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila offers mooncakes in two gift boxes—Plum Blossom, which is a set of four pieces, available at Php2,588; and Peony, which consists of half a dozen pieces, at Php3,588.

Aside from mooncakes, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila encourages families to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by sharing an auspicious meal at the hotel’s award-winning Cantonese restaurant, Lung Hin. A team of highly experienced Chinese chefs has put together a well-defined menu of Cantonese specialties, including dim sum, roast meats and seafood, specifically for this season.

 

(Lung Hin is located at Level 44 of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, which can be found at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number (632) 720-7777.)

 

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Langka Truffles
(Chef Gene Gonzalez)

Langka Truffles by Chef Gene Gonzalez

Langka Truffles by Chef Gene Gonzalez

DSCF1416THE distinct flavor of langka (jackfruit) embraced by the creamy goodness of white chocolate in a delightful bite-sized treat called Langka Truffles… It is one of the featured recipes in Chef Gene Gonzalez’s newly launched cookbook called Modern Philippine Confections: Tropical Island Flavors and Treats. It was also on the merienda buffet of Café Ysabel during the recent book launch.

1-1/2 cups white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. langka flavor
3 Tbsps. butter

1. Melt chocolate over simmering water or in microwave oven.
2. Remove from heat and add all other ingredients.
3. Stir until melted. Place the mixture in a mixer and cool.
4. Chill for 15 minutes, then mix again.
5. Chill to set.
6. Scoop to desired sizes.

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Chocolate Malo
(Chef Gene Gonzalez)

Chocolate Malo by Chef Gene Gonzalez

Chocolate Malo by Chef Gene Gonzalez

CHEF Gene Gonzalez’s latest cookbook, Modern Philippine Confections: Tropical Island Flavors and Treats, shares a number of recipes of delightful Philippine confections. One of them happens to be Chocolate Malo, which guests got to sample during the recent book launch held at Café Ysabel.DSCF1416

1/4 cup powdered gelatin
2-1/3 cups water
2-1/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsps. chocolate flavor concentrate
cocoa powder for dusting

1. In a mixing bowl, combine powdered gelatin and one-third of the water. Set aside. This will allow the gelatin to bloom.
2. In a saucepan, mix chocolate flavor concentrate, sugar and remaining water. Bring to a boil and let the temperature of the mixture reach 220˚F.
3. Switch on electric mixer. Using paddle attachment, gently pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture until mixed thoroughly.
4. Once the sugar mixture and gelatin mixture are completely combined, change to wire whisk attachment and whisk at high speed for 10 to 15 minutes. When the mixture is fluffy, add food color, salt and chocolate flavor. Whisk until light and fluffy.
5. Dust with sifted cocoa powder.

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Chef Gene Gonzalez Launches
Two Exciting Cookbooks

chef gene gonzalez's two new cookbooks-DSCF1424CHEF Gene Gonzalez, easily one of the country’s most accomplished chefs, recently launched two exciting cookbooks—Modern Philippine Confections: Tropical Island Flavors and Treats; and Breads, Cakes, Pastries and More—in the new location of his restaurant, Café Ysabel, along M. Paterno St. in San Juan.

Chef Gene Gonzalez in front of the new Cafe Ysabel along M. Paterno St., San Juan

Chef Gene Gonzalez in front of the new Cafe Ysabel along M. Paterno St., San Juan

Langka Truffles

Langka Truffles

Choco Malo

Choco Malo

Authored by Chef Gene, Modern Philippine Confections is a collection of 60 recipes representing Chef Gene’s interpretations of favorite international confections. These include French macarons, chocolates and marshmallows. Chef Gene gave them tropical island flavors, ube (purple yam), langka (jackfruit), calamansi and sampaguita.

Especial Pan De Sal de Baliwag

Especial Pan De Sal de Baliwag

Beautiful Babka

Beautiful Babka

Crispy-Crusty Pan De Sal

Crispy-Crusty Pan De Sal

The other book, Breads, Cakes, Pastries and More, is a collection of recipes by the late Efren Bunquin. Most of the recipes in the book came from Bunquin’s Golden Treasury of Baking, which was first published in 1963. The others were sourced from research work done by Chef Gene on Bunquin. Chef Gene got interested in Bunquin four years ago when he met Raymond Bunquin, Efren Bunquin’s son, in an event he attended. They got to talk, the younger Bunquin told him about his late father’s cookbook and promised to send him a copy. When Chef Gene finally received the copy, he flipped through its pages right away, and what he found was a treasure trove of precious recipes that he thought should be shared. So, he talked to his publisher, Anvil Publishing, and asked if it would print the cookbook if he kitchen-tested the recipes and wrote annotations on each. He got an affirmative answer and started kitchen-testing some 400 recipes with Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS) students. He wrote annotations on each kitchen-tested recipe and put them together in a cookbook which became Breads, Cakes, Pastries and More. Recipes include Especial Pan De Sal de Baliwag, Beautiful Babka and Crispy-Crusty Pan De Sal.

Samples of recipes from both books were prepared by Café Ysabel and CACS students for the book launch, so guests had their fill for their afternoon snacks.

Both books are published by Anvil Publishing and are available at National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches at Php195 for Modern Philippine Confections and Php525 for Breads, Cakes, Pastries, and More.

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Enjoy a Chocolate Symphony
at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee

Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee

CHOCOLATE! Who does not like it? We just differ in the way we like our chocolate. Some like it dark, others prefer milk chocolate, and then there are those who enjoy white chocolate the most. But no matter how you like your chocolate, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Chocolate Symphony at Café Pronto is sure to please.

Perfect partners for Café Pronto’s vibrant selection of coffee, tea and smoothies is a cacophony of choice chocolate treats crafted by the coffee shop’s dessert makers.

Salted Caramel Dome

Salted Caramel Dome

Café Pronto offers a medley of desserts to please even the most discriminating palates. The Salted Caramel Dome, Chocolate Amara Tart, Fruity Nutty, and Mini Hazelnut Caramel are three of the ultimate chocolate lover’s fantasy come true this whole month of July (201Smilie: 8).

Then there is Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée, which features melt-in-your-mouth brownie chunks in a silky smooth blend of crème brûlée and chocolate truffle ganache.

Chocolate Haven

Chocolate Haven

Star of the chocolate show is Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s signature creation, Chocolate Haven. This dessert has three textures of succulent dark chocolate flavors in its sponge, mousse and glaze. Enjoy a slice of special crème brûlée layer to complement the deep cocoa flavor. You just cannot help but give in to sweet surrender.

Café Pronto is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It also serves a variety of freshly-made pastries, breads, gourmet sandwiches and savory delights.

 

(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number 720-7777.)

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