How to Make Tsokolate Sauce for Suman

Ingredients:

four chocolate / tabliya tablets, about 60 grams in total
two glasses of water
one half kilogram washed sugar

pure chocolateProcedure:
1) Bring to slow boil the two glasses of water. Setting the fire too high will cause too much bubbling and spillage of water cocoa mixture.

2) Add the chocolates. Stir occasionally until well dissolved. It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.

boiling chocolate3) Add sugar slowly while stirring continuously. Keep stove flame low to prevent both sugar scorching and liquid spillage.

4) The sauce is ready when all sugar is dissolved. Time to get that bite size suman and enjoy.

choco sause suman readysuman dipped in choco sauce

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

How They Wrap The Spirally Wrapped Suman?

I am not interested on suman. What I am interested in is how they are wrapping it. I find wrapping the regular suman sa lihiya hard, using a relatively narrower leaf would be harder. I say it is more of an art rather than science, a method that cannot be duplicated by any machinery. Maybe it is only hard for the start and eventually becomes easier as one gets used to it.

suman 1

The outermost covering is a plastic string. Perhaps gathered from a rice sack, the cheapest and readily available source of tie for holding suman wrapping together. It is hugging on four sides and meeting on the center forming an easy to untie ribbon.

suman sack plastic tie

I am guessing this is the tip, end wrap. It is bent and held by the plastic tie. Removing the tie gives access to leaf end which unwrap the food easily and fast. It is way easier and way faster than unwrapping a suman in banana leaves. It is what we call “easy open” in modern packaging. The kind preferred by consumers and taking advantage of by manufacturers.

suman coconut leaf end wrap

I thought it was a coconut leaf broken into halves. It is actually a whole leaf, flattened and stick removed. It was carefully removed not to separate the two parts apart.

young flattened coconut leaf

And, this fold is the start. The packaging is formed by making a fold like this at the start and continue turning the leaf around until a tube capable of holding a raw glutenous rice mixture is achieve.

suman coconut leaf start wrap

Maybe coconut leaves are better suman wrapping. However, they are harder to get, not to mention banana trees are small and leaves are almost within reach.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Young and Mature Banana Leaves For Wrapping Suman

This rice cake was brought to office by Julius. This was the one and only remaining. Or, maybe it was the only one. Perhaps he brought it as his breakfast. He gave it to me immediately upon arrival. He said it was good, in fact he often buy for snack.

It was indeed good. A mildly sweet rice cake. It suited my taste bud perfectly. I like mild tasting sweets.

While opening the rice cake, I noticed the banana leaf wrapper. It was thin but extraordinarily strong. The leaves we have been using for making suman were never this strong.

strong suman banana wrapper

Here are some past observations:

The dried banana bracts are brittle and weak. It cannot be used for tie purposes. It breaks easily when pulled or twisted. However, it is becoming more than ten times stronger when soaked in water.  It was my educated guess. It could be way more stronger.

Younger banana leaves are thinner than older leaves, have lighter color but are stronger and more flexible. As the leaves get older, it become thicker, color become darker and turn more brittle. A leaf is broken apart by mild blowing wind turning it to comb like structure.

Extreme care is exercised while harvesting leaves. Holding while cutting the petiole to prevent falling. And, or the place where the leaves fall is a pure grass land. Each leaf half is separated from petiole with a very sharp knife. Folded, stacked and transported with care. Any drastic movement might cause leaf breakage.

Then, each leaf are gently heated over fire. It changes the green color to a different shade, still green. Perhaps the cause is degradation of chlorophyll.  It becomes softer and stronger. Heat causes evaporation of cellular water resulting to reduced turgor pressure and more space to resist bending and pulling forces.

Fresh young leaves are stronger than mature. Then, perhaps, fresh heated young leaves are stronger than heated mature leaves. Maybe, using the first is better than the latter.

Cooking the rice cakes in water makes the leaf wrapper even stronger.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

From Plain Pinipig to Pinipig Pops

Wow! Pinipig!

pinipig one

Where did they get their pinipig? I rarely been to market place ever since I started working again. I am not sure if there are plenty of pinipig there. If ever, I am going to ask my wife to buy a kilo for a buko con pinipig. I felt a sudden crave for the native food concoction.

What is pinipig?

Base from hearsay, pinipig are flattened rice or whole rice flakes. Made of young green glutenous rice. Rice are pounded until sufficiently flat, either in large mortar and pestle, “wooden lusong” or by passing them through series of mechanical rollers. I am not sure about the latter but there is a high chance of possibility.

Pinipig can be eaten as is. A tough and flat tasting flakes enjoyed by many but not by me. I still want my buko con pinipig.

Roasted. Roasting process removes the toughness resulting to crunchy with slightly burnt edges. Better than the first but not as enjoyable as banana and potato chips. I am referring to enjoying the crispiness and not to taste properties.

Buko con pinipig. The flattened rice is allowed to softened in mixture of buko juice, buko strands, milk, sugar and ice.  A very refreshing snack and drink.

Sumang pinipig. A rice cake recipe using pinipig instead of regular glutenous rice. The first and last suman pinipig I ate was so good. However, I have a question about the process. Why do the maker needed to pound the young glutenous rice before turning it to suman? A plain young glutenous rice will do.

Pinipig pops. If there is a popcorn, there is a pop rice too and so there is a pinipig pops. Correct me if I am wrong.

She was telling me, it is just a regular pinipig similar to what vendors are selling in nearby public market. Confusing! All the pinipig soaked in hot oil became significantly bigger, crispy and very enjoyable to eat. It is pinipig pops.

pinipig pops

I asked where did she get the pinipig but I failed getting exact answer. She just keep on telling me a vague location.

Hope to find it soon!

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

How to Make Sweetened Suman Taro/Gabi

I did try the cassava suman procedure for making the taro version. The sugar and grated taro mixture was too fluid that it was flowing out of banana wrapper. I devised a procedure with a slight modification.

Here it goes…

1) Get taro corms. Avoid corms with grown shoots or cut apex. Corms with apex removed probably had grown shoots too. Those are not recommended for cooking purposes.

2) Wash to remove adhering soils and dirt. Peel off the skin and immediately soak in water to remove latex and prevent browning.

3) Grate on stainless steel grater. Weigh. Mix one part sugar for every two parts grated gabi. Adjust ratio according to taste preference.

4) modification comes here: Place the mixture in pan over a low heat. Stir continuously until a jam consistency is attained.

5) Get banana leaves, should be young, whole or with few teared parts. Softened it by heating gently over flame. Cut to desired sizes.

6) Wrap portions in banana leaves. Scoop out mixture. Place on banana leaf. Roll. Then fold all four sides to close.

7) Arrange neatly in casserole. Half fill with water. Place weight on top to prevent bulging of banana wraps. Boil for 30 minutes or until done.

Boiling suman directly in boiling water never did well. Taro gelatinization was slow that it allowed water to break through. Only the superficial layer was hardened. The inner part remained soft due to water absorption.

Corrections made:

Proceed to step “5 & 6” after step “3”. Arrange in a double boiler and steam for 30 minutes.

Or

After step “3”, place the mixture in llanera and steam for 30 minutes or until a consistency similar to taro cake is achieved.  Proceed to step “5 and onward”. In step “7”, 15 minutes boiling is enough.

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As suggested by dennis. Thanks to you friend!

Marvin,

Glad that you like the Taro Cake (suman na Gabi). I noticed that you only steamed it for only 30 minutes.And you did not put coconut cream (gata sa niyog). I would assume for the short steaming is your time constraint. hehehe. Antok na. This would make your taro cake more delicious and have a longer shelf life if a longer cooking/steaming has been done.

To eliminate the fluid in making the taro cake, you can do either the following:

1) after grating, place the grated taro in a clean cloth and squeeze most of the liquid (slimy fluid) or

2) sun dry it for several hours.(I would like to try total sundrying to attain the powder form – for purposes of storing). Maybe you can experiment on it too Marvin and post the end result.

In this way you eliminate most if not all the liquid or moisture content of the grated taro.

Best to use as sweetener is granulated sugar. But also good to use coco honey/syrup for diabetic individuals, though, you will not attain the consistency of dryness in wrapping.

Again, you can try it some other time at balitaan mo ako.

Thanks,

Dennis

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.