Archive for dessert

Plaetzchen

Yusuke was jealous of my sister-in-law’s baking pics, so we decided to make chocolate plaetzchen (plätzchen?). Not sure if the name matches an actual German word, but that’s what they’ve been called as handed down in family history.

Ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, grated chocolate, shredded coconut, vanilla, baking powder.

They don’t look like my mom’s, but they taste ok. We avoided our usual baking fail! Plus, we have the satisfaction of having made them without an electric mixer (or even a hand mixer). Many hours of labour…I’m not sure why people bake for fun more than once or twice per year! 😉

cookies

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Choco

Exquisite chocolates, sent by my mum-in-law a while back. Too pretty to eat?

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Chocolat de plus

dôme

…and these were acquired in a week-after-Valentines sale.

This time it was dômes. And I quote:

1. Our “old fashioned” caramel infused with natural orange oils and chopped bits of orange peels from Valencia, Span, then covered with a dark chocolate dome.

2. Caramelized roasted hazelnuts blended into our 60% dark chocolate and then covered with a milk chocolate dome.

Le mariage parfait des textures: une onctueuse ganache enrobée d’un dense chocolat au lait, noir ou blanc.

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Valentine chocolates

Sea salt chocolate

Bof. I’ve been neglecting this blog. However, here is a picture of the chocolates I gave Yusuke for Valentine’s Day, from Suite 88 (aka heaven).

The mosaic box set includes:

  • Amaretto
  • Caramel anglais (English caramel)
  • Espresso
  • Érable (maple)
  • Fleur de sel (sea salt)
  • Florentin (with orange and honey)
  • Limoncello
  • Rhum raisin
  • Praline
  • Thé vert (green tea with white chocolate)

I also bought some truffles: green tea, praline, and milk chocolate, but they didn’t stick around long enough for a picture.

In Japan, it’s customary for girls to give guys chocolates for Valentine’s Day. There are two categories of giving: 1) 義理チョコ (giri-choco) or “obligation chocolates” for people you don’t really care about, and 2) 本命チョコ (honmei-choco) for your “real” Valentine.

The guys return the favour with gifts to women one month later on White Day (conveniently close to my birthday).

Mosaic chocolates

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Other gratuitous holiday food pics

Here is some stuff that we ate for around Christmas time.

A nice light salad.

Beautiful roasted root veggies. I love you, parsnips.

Turkey. No comment.

Cookies!! Good thing we had some cookie monsters around.

Apple pie, made by mom, photographed by my talented sibling. Click to visit his blog.

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Happy (belated) birthday

I’m very tardy in uploading documentation of the wonderful pineapple upside-down cake that my mom made for Yusuke’s birthday. It was his first experience with this dessert, and it was delicious.

Just don’t count the candles.

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Dessert at Jun-i

No superfluous Jun-i pics this time, as we had some of our usual stuff, but this was a new dessert: mille-feuilles style cream-layered crêpes. Wow. Very tasty and not too heavy at all. The accompanying bananas were coated in what appeared to be a coffee-caramel sauce.

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French toast, Japanese style

french toast with kinako and anko

This was an awesome breakfast-for-dinner meal: French toast, Japanese style. We used our favourite yumbly multi-grain bread, which was coated with a mixture assembled from four eggs, 200 milliliters of soy milk, and a tiny bit of brown sugar sauce.

We used the latter instead of syrup. Yusuke described it as a homemade mitsu sauce: 100 milliliters of water, 100 grams of brown sugar, and 100 grams of superfine sugar, simmered together in a pot until sticky.

In addition to the mitsu, we topped the French toast with fabulous anko and a dusting of kinako (soybean flour).

But don’t worry if you think we actually consumed a non-healthy meal. In addition to the French toast, we also ate a nice thick soup with tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and bean sprouts. We thus covered the key food groups: fruits (i.e., tomatoes), veggies, grains, and anko.

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A simple dinner for friends

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting some friends for a home-cooked Japanese meal. Yusuke wanted to focus on subtle flavours and fresh food that’s typical of a meal in a Japanese home. The menu was as follows:

raw oyster mushrooms

mushrooms with daikon

The first side dish was hiratake mushrooms (in English, oyster mushrooms). The mushrooms were boiled in water with a bit of dashi. They were then mixed with grated raw daikon and served with soy sauce. I’m always amazed how raw daikon can be so sweet—surprising for a radish. The mushrooms were a decent texture, not too chewy. Good work, Marché P.A.

raw asparagus

black sesame asparagus

For side dish two, Yusuke prepared a mixture of ground black sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, and a tiny bit of dashi. He then rolled slices of boiled asparagus in the mixture until well coated. Very tasty.

tilapia

tilapia

The centerpiece of the meal was steamed tilapia. My mother-in-law recently sent us a little steamer basket, which was perfect for this fish. Yusuke placed the fish on top of a big strip of kombu (a type of seaweed), splashed it with white wine (sake would also work), and placed it in the basket over a pot of boiling water.

We didn’t take a picture, but we also had fantabulous mixed rice. The rice is cooked with mirin, sake, and soy sauce and then mixed with sauteed veggies, in this case: takenoko (bamboo shoots), shitake mushrooms, and thin strips of abura-age (a deep fried tofu sheet).

We also neglected to take a picture of the soup, which was miso with silken tofu and green onions.

shiratama

Yusuke rather outdid himself with the dessert. The base was a green tea jelly, which he made by brewing extra-strong tea, mixing it with kanten (agar agar powder), and then leaving it to set for several hours, until reaching a jello-ish consistency.

He also made his own anko, a wonderful sweet bean paste. The trick is to avoid overpowering sweetness; again, delicacy and subtly is the key. Yusuke is incredibly proud to have achieved a very excellent anko.

Perched amongst the anko and jelly was shiratama, which was easy enough for me to prepare. Shiratama is powdered mochi rice, and conveniently, it comes in a package that we can get at the local Japanese grocery. In other words, it’s like instant mochi. 100 grams of powder is mixed with 100 mL water (or a bit more) and then kneaded together until nice and smooth. The texture is supposed to be like your earlobe. A very accurate description! Next, the “dough” is rolled into small balls and plopped into boiling water. The dumplings sink to the bottom at first, but once they’re cooked, they rise up through the water and float on the top. Awesome. Then they’re plunged in cold water to set.

The last touch on the dessert was a sprinkling of kinako (a very tasty soybean powder). We all had seconds (and thirds…) of the anko as well. Yum.

green tea jelly dessert

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Razbanero ice cream

The razbanero jar and website have a rather radical suggestion: putting the sweet-hot pepper spread on ice cream. Hmm. Yusuke decided to try it out with the remainder of his Häagen-Dazs matcha ice cream. It turned out to be quite tasty. Who knew that habenero pepper, raspberries, and green tea would be complimentary flavours? The world is a marvelous place.

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