05 Dec2005

This is the first of several posts on incredibly delicious, egg yolk laden, sugar rich toc1and artery clogging desserts for the holidays. Tocino del Cielo (Bacon from Heaven!) is not something you would eat too often unless you wanted to join your creator sooner than statistically warranted… it is just simply over the top. Introduced to us by the Spanish, it is a really simple, yet incredibly rich dessert. Scent of Green Bananas has a brilliant post on it worth reading if you are curious. I basically used the recipe of Gene Gonzalez in his book Cocina Sulipena, though I notice it is remarkably similar to other good recipes from several different sources. This is not leche flan but a smoother, richer, milk-free confection that is sublime…

To make, first caramelize some sugar and coat the bottom toc2 of the small tocino del cielo aluminum pans (available from good groceries before the holidays, streetside in Divisoria all year round or specialty bake shops) as you would leche flan pans. In a clean stainless steel pot (not Teflon or non-stick) put 3 cups sugar, ½ cup of water and ½ tablespoon of dayap juice. Boil this over medium high heat until the syrup is brown, don’t take it out too soon or the tocino will be sickly sweet. Don’t wait too long or it will become a bitter mess. This is what you use to coat the little pans.

Boil 5 cups of sugar with one cup water until it is at the “soft ball stage” toc3when dropped into some cold water. This is roughly 234 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a good stovetop thermometer. Cool this mixture, which will take several hours. When the syrup has cooled, add 25 large egg yolks about 1/2 pound of butter that is very soft and mix gently; strain if you prefer a smoother tocino de cielo. Pour into the prepared molds and put them in a bain marie or pan with some water that goes up ½ way up the tocino molds in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven, for roughly 50-65 minutes, covered with foil or a baking pan. Once set, shut off the oven and let the tocino rest for a while. Pass a small knife around the sides of the tocino and turn it over onto a plate. A 2 inch diameter serving is more than enough for most diners…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. edee says:

    this is the first time i’ve heard of this, i only know leche flan….25 egg yolks!!!…..very rich indeed…..how many tocino del cielo do you make from this? ……and what do you do with the egg whites? i make pavlova when i make leche flan :)

    Dec 5, 2005 | 11:00 pm

     
  2. molly says:

    this is my husband’s favorite dessert. the best i’ve tried is from the grocery of the Lazatins in pampanga. yours look and sound just as yummy. if you were tamad to make some, where would you order your tocinos MM? thanks

    Dec 5, 2005 | 11:12 pm

     
  3. Pete says:

    my arterys just started to clog reading this article. I will have to make this for Christmas.

    Dec 6, 2005 | 12:18 am

     
  4. joey says:

    Ooof! Why am I always drawn to artery cloggers? This is a definite favorite of my family’s, although no one makes it…thanks for sharing the recipe :) If I attempt this I will be swimming in brownie points…

    Dec 6, 2005 | 1:13 am

     
  5. Dexie says:

    I agree. This is something you can’t eat everyday. Not even once a week. I only make this dessert for Christmas dinner. My family and I love it on top of our apple pie :).

    Dec 6, 2005 | 2:17 am

     
  6. Anna says:

    Thank you so much MM! My husband just loves tocino and when we came to the States about 10 years ago we asked around at oriental/Filipino stores and everyone would laugh at us as we explained that the tocino we were looking for was not a breakfast meat but a dessert. I’ll give the recipe a try and hope that my hubby will love me for it!

    Dec 6, 2005 | 5:22 am

     
  7. Skunkeye says:

    I’m going to try this when I host my family for a Christmas-time meal later this month…
    however, i’m going to try to bridge cultures and use Vermont maple syrup instead of five cups of sugar (yikes!)
    I’ll let you know the outcome!
    During dinner at my folks’ house last night we were totally enjoying regional pasko music. My mom and my sister are die-hard Miso de gallo devotees – for years have treked out to Pampanga – and were lamenting that we don’t have it in DC! I think they just miss the breakfast afterwards.
    whatever… I just like my Pasko music.
    My goal is to make a parol this week. thnaks for the post and instructions.
    I mentioned to mom that i might want the plug-in light-up parols for my downtown house (last christmas was chaotic for us – the folks had just moved back to the US – so they did did not emerge out of storage ). Methinks they will be going to the beach house when we spend the holidays there. i have grand notions of clasy parols shining in my city house windows – so I’ll make my own.
    by the way, all my personal holiday decorations are Filipinia – the best in the world!

    Dec 6, 2005 | 5:22 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Skunkeye, sounds like you need a dose of Manila! Coming up in the weeks ahead are several more food ideas for your christmastime dinner… test beforehand to get the hang of any new recipes…

    Dec 6, 2005 | 5:31 am

     
  9. Marketman says:

    Edee, this made about 16-18 small tocinos… egg whites went into a sans rival I will feature soon. Lenguas de gato and merengue and pavlova are other good uses. Molly, I have never ordered these from a vendor or store… it’s easy enough to make if you have the time… joey, just make sure your sugar syrup is at the right temperature and you cool it before you use it with the egg yolks… Dexie, on top of apple pie?!? Yikes, talk about over the top, that sounds amazing! Anna, glad you have found an old favorite. American eggs tend to be bigger, you may only need to use 23 or so yolks or add sugar instead. The small pans are essential…

    Dec 6, 2005 | 6:12 am

     
  10. Anna says:

    Great…thanks for the last minute tip. I wouldn’t have even thought about the size of the eggs here. I’ll give it a try and hope I am successful at the first try!

    Dec 6, 2005 | 7:11 am

     
  11. Maricel says:

    This recipe was taught to me by an “adopted” lola after much pleading from my Mom. I was the only one she taught this recipe to with the caveat that I keep her secret. In her younger days, her husband literally carted her (on a “Caritela”) from Bulacan all the way to Pampanga whenever she would prepare this so that no one here in Bulacan would learn how to make it. I am glad Marketman is very generous in sharing his recipes. I especially love tocino del cielo when it has been sitting in the ref for a few days when the texture turns a bit chewy or a more descriptive Filipino term “makunat.”

    Dec 6, 2005 | 8:22 am

     
  12. Mila says:

    This recipe sounds like yema but in a mold. I’ll have to try the commercial version and a homemade version (two dozen eggs! 5 cups of sugar! wow).

    Dec 6, 2005 | 8:34 am

     
  13. Dexie says:

    Marketman, yup, that’s why we only do it on Christmas day :). One day of the year we get to indulge with this particular dessert :).

    Dec 6, 2005 | 9:32 am

     
  14. Gigi says:

    This is enlightening for me. Tocino del cielo is often interchanged with leche flan. I think I’ll have to just lick my computer screen for now for a quick fix. Great post, MM! Hey, I hope you’re in some fitness regimen!

    Dec 6, 2005 | 11:29 am

     
  15. gonzo says:

    Too much for me, sugar and egg yolk overkill. I grew up with tocino del cielo from my grandmother’s house; as a kid all i could manage was a small bite or two. today i would never go near the stuff. yuck.

    I can eat leche flan though, esp the kind with the ‘air holes’ in it (i.e. not the ultra rich & creamy kind), and with the sugar syrup just on the side of ‘slightly burnt’.

    Dec 6, 2005 | 12:50 pm

     
  16. lori says:

    I have an ongoing love affair with the egg. No other food is more perfect for me. As for the tocino del cielo, personally, I can eat three in one go without batting an eyelash or needing a heartburn pill! :P

    Dec 6, 2005 | 12:56 pm

     
  17. bugsybee says:

    I don’t care if these clog my arteries, give me more unwanted pounds or keep me up the whole night because of acid reflux. Yummy!

    Dec 6, 2005 | 9:46 pm

     
  18. fried-neurons says:

    Wow. That sounds incredibly sinful!

    Dec 6, 2005 | 10:39 pm

     
  19. lori a says:

    my first time to post here. i’d like to thank you in advance for posting this yummy recipe! i must try this. soon. will tell you all about it. can’t wait….

    Dec 8, 2005 | 3:56 am

     
  20. Marketman says:

    lori a, thanks for the post, I hope your tocino works out. The key is getting the sugar syrup just right… fried neurons, this dish should be called “clogged arteries” rather than bacon from heaven… lori, those egg photos you linked are brilliant. I am so jealous as I can’t take a decent photo for the life of me…plus I shake too much… gonzo, I like leche flan with a dark caramel as well, in the days ahead look out for the leche flan post!

    Dec 8, 2005 | 5:59 am

     
  21. cathyv says:

    Hi Mr. Marketman,
    This tocino del cielo recipe looks sooo yummy and i will definitely try it one time especially this holiday season. I just want to make a correction ( if you don’t mind) about the “soft ball stage” temperature. According to my CIA Baking and Pastry textbook, the correct temperature for “soft ball stage” is 240 degrees F(not Celsius as stated) or 116 degrees Celsius. One way of testing this that I learned from my Swiss-born Chef-Instructor is to have a bowl of ice with water next to you and when the bubbling sugar syrup is slightly thickened (with no color)put a drop of it on the iced water, the syrup becomes a soft mass but still very pliable. Thank you and good luck!
    Sincerely,
    Cathy V
    CIA Culinary Student
    Hyde Park, NY

    Dec 11, 2005 | 3:39 pm

     
  22. Marketman says:

    Cathy, thanks so much for catching that…you are right…its F not C and I always confuse them when I write, you could say I am only dylexic with temperatures…will change that. this is actually the “soft ball stage” of the sugar because as you metnion it feels like a soft ball in the cold water… Thanks so much for this input and for visiting marketmanila.com — enjoy your grueling year or two at the CIA!

    Dec 14, 2005 | 6:53 pm

     
  23. karashokit says:

    Hehe, malamang pamatay sa sarap ito. to die for, haha!

    Apr 13, 2009 | 11:30 pm

     
 

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