The next birthday cake in this year’s line-up is a cheesecake with matcha and black sesame layers. This rich dessert showcases two of my favorite Japanese flavors for sweets together in a visually impressive cake.
I had extra cream from the Sailor Uranus cake, so I decided to try a cream scone recipe. Cream scones use heavy cream in place of the egg and butter, which makes them light and airy–and there’s no need to deal with cutting flour into cold butter. Very easy.
I photographed a batch I made with pecans, but you can use pecans, almonds, walnuts, or a mix of these nuts. I tend to use whatever nuts I have left over from other recipes–Right now I’m enjoying a batch of almond scones.
I offered to bring tarts to a dear friend’s family Thanksgiving and found this recipe as I was considering my repertoire. Also, geeky-dessert talk: I’m a huge fan of Ikeda Riyoko’s The Rose of Versailles (Beru Bara) fan*, so how could I pass up the tarte bouquet de roses?
This tart looks and tastes elegant: the freshness of the (mostly) uncooked apples with the creamy maple custard and soft walnut crust creates a great combination of flavors and textures. In Alain Passard’s version, he cuts the apples with a machine into long strips, but those of us without mandolins can (carefully) slice the apples into paper-thin, translucent pieces.
Happy Halloween, readers! How about a spooky chocolate-pumpkin cake with cupcakes that you can make in Japan?
A nice bright salsa to end the summer (never mind it’s been over for a month). This recipe is very simple, and I love the way the flavors and textures work together.
I like to serve this with homemade tortillas (or rice or quinoa), avocados, and roasted kabocha tossed with cumin and cayenne.
And oh, how I have waited for goat cheese and fresh beets.
One of my go-to breakfast recipes is Heidi Swanson’s baked oatmeal (via Lottie & Doof). Extremely versatile, you can swap in any seasonal local fruit you like–in Japan, I often used persimmons, apples, or figs instead of bananas on the bottom; diced apples, raisins, or mikan mixed in when blueberries were out of season; and, best of all, it fit in a moven in a 20×20 cm (8×8 in) pan. The recipe will always remind me of my Kanazawa kitchen.
I wasn’t expecting to have to adapt this one in the US, but lacking access to my kitchen equipment– no brownie/cake pan– and wanting to make this recipe more portable for post-gym breakfasts enroute to/at work, I decided to revamp it as portable oatmeal by using the muffin tin, which actually turned out to be great for grabbing while dashing out the door on the way to the gym before work.
I’ve noticed a lot of people find my blog by searching for bamboo shoot recipes. This year, I wanted to develop a new recipe to add to the list and to make something other than bamboo-rice with the shoot I bought. My friend and temporary roommate mentioned that she had seen a bamboo and kabocha curry at a festival over the weekend, and–
The more I learn about cooking and food culture, the more I’ve become fascinated with cultural concepts of portable foods. As I’ve written before, Japan’s main example is onigiri, rice balls, but in the Shinshû/Nagano region, it’s oyaki, the steamed buns often made with savory fillings and soba-flour dough. Combine oyaki with another one of my favorite foods, kabocha, and you have a delicious, healthy addition to your bento that is easy to make and transport.
ね、知っている？(Hey, did you know?)
These cupcakes may be the simplest of the geeky/nerdy (it varies…) birthday cakes I made this spring.
My husband loves Mameshiba, which is… well, as the song goes, they aren’t quite beans and they aren’t quite dogs; and everyday they bring you a bit of trivia–
You know what? This is like trying to explain Doctor Who to someone who’s never seen it. Just check out the videos (in Japanese with English subtitles) on the Mameshiba site. Problem solved.*