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Recipe File: Chefs China & Gino Gonzalez share holiday feast secrets |

Sunday Lifestyle

Recipe File: Chefs China & Gino Gonzalez share holiday feast secrets

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Bite into this season’s festive goodness with chef Gino Gonzalez’s Potato Cheese Balls.

With Arla’s Natural Cream Cheeses, chef Gino crafted a treat that highlights all that is best in natural additive-free dairy. Topped with sprouts and drizzled with a mouthwatering paste of sautéed garlic, onions and tomatoes, each delectable scoop of chef Gino’s deep-fried potatoes is expertly infused with Arla’s Natural Emmental and Gouda slices.

Savor a burst of natural pineapple flavor with chef China Cojuangco’s delightful confection. Baked to creamy perfection, her Pineapple Upside-down Cake features frosting made from a tub of Arla’s Natural Pineapple Cream Cheese. 

Arla Foods makes it easy for Filipinos to go natural with a completely new line of dairy products, all made from natural milk and ingredients.

The Arla Milk Goodness line is all-natural and not reconstituted like most of the milk in the market today. The milk, delivered straight from the farm, undergoes ultra-heat treatment, which kills any microbiological organisms, ensuring safety in every drop and allowing all Arla Milk Goodness variants to have a 12-month shelf life.

Chef China’s pineapple upside-down cake


 1/2  cup unsalted Lurpak butter

 1   cup  packed brown sugar

 20  pcs. fresh pineapple rings,  sliced into half

 3  cups cake flour

  2  tsps baking powder

 1/2  tsp  baking soda

  1/4  tsp salt

  1  cup  Lurpak butter

  1 2/3  cups granulated sugar

  1 1/2 tsps. vanilla flavor

  1/2   tsp pineapple flavor

   4 pcs eggs

   1 cup sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease three 9” x 5” x4” rectangular loaf pans with butter (or use muffin pans.) Set aside.

2. Brown unsalted butter in a saucepan.  Add brown sugar.  Allow to melt then add pineapple rings in batches.  Cook until slightly softened.  Cool slightly then arrange in the bottom and sides of pan and pour syrup.

3. Sift together dry ingredients.  Cream butter and granulated sugar until light.  Add vanilla, pineapple flavor, yellow food color then eggs.  Alternately add dry ingredients with sour cream.

4. Pour into pineapple lined pan.  Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until done. 

5. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert.

(Arla pineapple cream cheese frosting)


2 cups pineapple tidbits, drained, retain chunks

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp butter

Dash of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

450 grams Arla Pineapple Cream Cheese

450 grams unsalted butter, cubed

3 cups confection sugar


1.  Cook the pineapple bits in butter and sugar. Add in cinnamon and salt to cook until caramelized. Drain and set aside.

2. Whip cream cheese and butter together. Slowly add in the confection sugar and continue mixing until proper consistency.

3. Add in the caramelized pineapple.

Chef Gino’s Arla potato cheese balls


For the mashed potatoes:

500 grams potatoes

6 tbsp butter

2 cups Arla full-cream milk

Arla cream cheese

Arla Emmenthal or Gouda, finely chopped

1/8 tsp nutmeg 

1 tsp paprika picante or bilbao

2 tbsps. fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper

For the filling:

Mozzarella cheese formed into ½- inch cubes

Salt and pepper

All-purpose flour


Japanese breadcrumbs

Curly parsley, finely chopped

For the sauce:

1 cup whole peeled tomatoes

1 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pc  bay leaf

Pinch Italian seasoning

White wine

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped


For the sauce: Sauté garlic, onions and tomatoes. Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add fresh basil last.

Boil potatoes. Drain and while it is hot, add Arla Full cream milk, cream cheese, emmenthal or gouda, nutmeg, paprika bilbao. 

Cool down completely and form into 30 gram balls.

In a scooper, make an indentation using your finger. Put 1 tsp stuffing and form into a perfect ball. Add some mashed potato mixture if necessary to seal.

Dredge in APF, Dip in egg whites & breadcrumbs mixed with curly parsley.

Deep fry balls until golden. Make sure inside is not cold. 

Serve with sauce and top with sprouts.

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