Friday, July 25, 2014

New Classes 又有新班啦

Custard Moon Cake 酥皮奶皇月餅

Date: 8/23/14
Time: 1pm~3pm
Place: Diamond Bar
Fee: $30

In this hands-on class, you will learn how to make this popular moon cake at home. Moon cake mold and special gift packaging boxes are available for purchase.

Snowy Moon Cake 冰皮月餅

Date: 8/16/14
Time: 1pm~3pm
Place: Diamond Bar
Fee: $30

This popular class is back by demand. Learn how to make this simple, easy-to-make and healthy moon cake. Moon cake mold and gift packaging boxes are available for purchase.

Each class is limited to 8 students. Questions and registration:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moon Cake Mold 月餅模

This year's Mid Autumn Festival is on Sept 8, less than two months away. In order to make homemade moon cake, either the baked traditional kind or easy-to-make snowy moon cake, you will need an indispensable tool. This plastic moon cake mold is so much easier to use than the traditional wood mold that it makes the whole process a breeze.

Each set has six interchangeable disks that allow you to make cakes (63g) with six different designs. They are easy to use and clean. Each set is US$12+ $3 shipping (within US). Send me an email for inquiry or purchase:


每套有六款設計,可以輕易轉換,做出六款不同月餅(63g)。每套售價十二美元,加三元郵費 (美國境內)。如有問題或興趣購買,可以用電郵與我聯絡

Free Demonstrations in LA County Libraries

Don't know how to make snowy moon cake? No problem. If you live in Southern California, come to these free demonstrations sponsored by Los Angeles County Libraries:
August 2nd in Live Oak Library, Arcadia
August 30th in Duarte Library
Sept 6th in Temple City Library

(These molds are available for purchase after the demonstrations.)

Private Hands-on Class 

If you prefer to have a hands-on class, I will arrange a class on Aug 16 in Diamond Bar. Fee is $30. Moon cake molds are available for purchase.

Send me an email for registration. Class is limited to 8 students.



八月二日在Arcadia市的Live Oak Library
八月三十日在Duarte Library
九月六日在 Temple City Library 



另外,有實習機會的班會在八月十六日在Diamond Bar舉行,學費三十元,月餅模另計。


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sliver Thread Roll 銀絲卷

"Fun to eat and easy to make" is the best description of this dim sum bao. A variation of mantau, the sliver thread roll is made by cutting the dough into many thin strips and wrapping them together in a bundle. The most common way to enjoy it after breaking open the outer layer is to pull out and eat the threads one by one. Some people like to dip it in condensed milk. I like the deep fried version: the outer layer is crispy while the threads inside are still soft.

I have been searching for a good English translation for the name of this bread: sliced roll, bread roll, etc, but I've given up and am now using my own translation.

For a successful roll, please read the whole recipe and pay attention to the notes below.



Ingredients to make about six small rolls:

250g bleached all-purpose flour
4g instant yeast
30g sugar
125g water or milk
15g vegetable oil
pinch of salt

vegetable oil

1) Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, oil and water in a large mixing bowl until it forms a ball. Then add salt.
2) Knead the dough for a few minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
3) Divide the dough into two portions, about 155g and 265g (3:5). Cover the bigger one with a plastic wrap and set aside.
4) Use a rolling pin to roll out the smaller dough into a rectangle with a thickness of about 2mm. Dust it with cornstarch to prevent sticking.
5) Make a letter fold (see below).

6) Cut it into thin threads. Unfold and brush with cooking oil. Cut into 6 portions.

7) Divide the bigger dough into six portions. Roll out each one and put one portion of the thin threads on top of each and wrap (see below).

8) Line the steamer with parchment paper. Put the rolls in and let them rise for about 30-45 minutes at room temperature (depends how warm or cool it is).
9) Heat up the water until it boils then set a timer for 12-15 minutes and lower the heat to low.

1) Keep the amount of water/milk in the recipe at about 50% to prevent getting a wet dough. Wet dough will be sticky and the threads will not separate easily.
2) Cornstarch has a more slippery texture than regular flour. This will help to prevent the dough from sticking together.
3) Do not use too much oil in brushing the threads or it may soak the dough and discolor the final product.
4) Using bleached flour and milk will whiten the roll better than unbleached flour and water.
5) Do not over-rise the roll. Too much air in the dough will cause the roll to have air pockets which will inflate in the steamer and deflate afterwards, causing wrinkles.

1) 將麵粉、糖、酵母、油及水放大碗內攪勻成團,再放鹽。
2) 搓麵團至三光(手光、桌光及麵團光),靜待五分鐘讓麵筋鬆弛。
3) 將麵團分兩份,一大一小(5:3)。大的用保鮮紙蓋好,小的擀開成長方形,厚約兩毫米,灑上粟米粉防黏。然後對疊 (看照)。
4) 用刀切成幼絲,將幼絲展開掃油,分成六份。
5) 將大的麵團分成六份,每份擀開,包入一份幼絲(看照),包好後放入蒸籠,發酵約三十至四十五分鐘 (視乎室溫)。
6) 冷水開始開火,待水滾後將火轉小,蒸十二至十五分鐘。

1) 麵團的水份維持於50%左右,令麵團比較乾身,有助於做出一絲絲的效果。
2) 用粟米粉來防黏比麵粉更有效。
3) 不可掃太多油在已切絲的麵團上,否則蒸後不美觀。
4) 用已漂白過的麵粉及牛奶能夠蒸出比較白淨的銀絲卷。
5) 不用發酵太長時間,令麵團有過多氣孔。氣孔蒸時會膨脹,但遇冷後會收縮,形成皺紋紋現狀。
6) 要更詳細知道火力、發酵時間等對做饅頭的影響,可以點擊這裏 。

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lychee Mousse Cake 茘枝慕斯蛋糕

Oh summer is here...this means there will be plenty of mangoes, peaches, plums, watermelons, and lychee around. Lychee is a tropical fruit that originates in China. Through global trading and local cultivation, many countries around the world can also enjoy this delicious, flavorful fruit.

This puree I used is imported from France but of course you can use fresh or canned lychee and puree it on your own.

one 9 inch chiffon cake 九寸雪紡蛋糕一個
286g lychee puree, sweetened 荔枝蓉,有糖
390g heavy whipping cream 重奶油
15g gelatin powder or sheets 魚膠粉或片

1)  Cut the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Set aside.
2)  For gelatin powder: sprinkle the powder onto 2 tbsp water. Let it bloom for a few minutes. Dissolve in microwave. For gelatin sheet: soak in cold water to soften.
3)  Heat about 100g lychee puree in a small pot to 185F/85C or right before it simmers. Remove from heat and add the melted gelatin or softened sheets. Stir well. Add the rest of the puree and mix.
4)  Beat heavy cream until it holds soft peaks.
5)  Mix the puree with the cream and mix until well blended.
6)  Put a piece of the cake on the bottom of a springform pan or cake ring. Pour about half of the mousse. Layer another piece of the cake and pour the rest of the mousse until it covers the whole cake.
7)  Refrigerate until set.

1)  Other kind of cake can be used as well.
2)  I did not add any sugar in the mousse mixture because the puree is already sweetened.
3)  Make sure to use cold cream (but not frozen) for effective beating.

1)  將蛋糕打橫切成兩片。
2)  處理魚膠粉:將粉灑在兩湯匙水上,靜待幾分鐘,然後放微波爐加熱至溶。如用魚膠片:放凍水內待幾分鐘至軟身便可。
3)  將約100克荔枝蓉加熱,不須要滾,離火後加入魚膠粉液或軟身的片,攪勻後再加入餘下的荔枝蓉,備用。
4)  將冰凍的奶油打至六成。
5)  加入荔枝蓉再攪勻。
6)  放一片蛋糕於慕絲圈內,倒入約一半之慕絲。放上另一片蛋糕,再倒入餘下的慕絲,蓋滿便可放雪櫃,幾小時後凝固便可享用。

1)  其他種類的蛋糕體也可用。
2)  我用的荔枝蓉已有糖,所以不須要再加。
3)  奶油要打發得好,一定要雪到冰凍 (但不是凍結)。

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lemon Cream Tart 檸檬撻

When pastry chefs develop recipes, there are a few elements that they always have in mind. Being able to incorporate different textures is important in producing a delightful dessert. Furthermore, it would be wonderful if the dessert also has some acidity to balance the sweetness. Therefore this lemon tart truly satisfies all of the above: a creamy, smooth and tangy lemon curd with a sweet and crunchy meringue topping a flaky tart shell. A dessert made in heaven!!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Seeded Whole Wheat Bread 全麥種子麵包

Since I started making my own bread a few years ago, I have almost exclusively been using the Tong Zhong method. It gives me consistently soft and fluffy bread that lasts up to four or five days at room temperature. However, I learned this is not the only method for soft, long-lasting bread.

I have been exploring new ways to make bread with a higher percentage of whole wheat. Most breads that are labelled as whole wheat in the market are made with only 30% whole wheat flour while the majority is white bread flour. I think the main reason is not so much the cost but the nature of wheat flour.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mango Ice Cream 芒果雪糕

Many of you would probably think fresh mango is the best choice to use in homemade mango ice cream. But contrary to that thought, freeze dried mango is a better option. Fresh fruits are best to enjoy when they are ripe and juicy. However, when they are used to make ice cream, the juice is your enemy. The more juicy it is, the worse it is to make ice cream. That may be the reason why watermelon is rarely used in ice cream even though it maybe good in making sorbet. Juice will turn into ice and make ice cream icy instead of creamy.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tea Eggs with Five Spices 五香茶葉蛋

There are certain things in life that really train or test your patience. If I were to rate which role would be the toughest test of patience, I would vote that being a parent is number one. I think many parents would be on my side. From taking care of an infant to parenting a teenager, there are endless challenges a parent has to face. It is through these trials that we all mature and grow up.

Another role that build up one's patience level is to be a cook. As it is said, no pain, no gain. To make a good meal, you simply have to put in time and effort. I am not referring to instant TV dinners or instant noodles. I have learned much about patience and perseverance through cooking and baking. Making yeast bread takes hours; aged dough takes days to mature; a successful batch of French macaron took me over ten trials to achieve.

Take these tea eggs as another trial of patience. Making hard boiled eggs does not require a lot of time nor patience. But to make delicious tea eggs, there is no shortcuts. In order for the marinade to infuse into the eggs, they have to sit overnight. Without patience, you will just have hard boiled eggs.

Remember, no shortcuts!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chinese Pork Jerky with Fruity Flavor 果汁豬肉乾

I am a big fan of jerky. It is a great snack to have while watching TV or to serve in a party. However, instead of American store-bought flavors I more particularly like jerky styled after Chinese flavors. It is more juicy and flavorful. The last time I visited Hong Kong, I had a great time satisfying my appetite! Too bad meat products are prohibited from entering or leaving the country, or otherwise I would have filled up my bags with them.

Here in America, you can only buy jerky that is made in this country. Those Chinese brands that you see in Asian grocery stores most likely are not made overseas.

Making it at home is far simpler than you would expect, with a low failure rate. You can easily choose a flavor you like without adding sodium nitrate or any preservatives!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pistachio Cake with Orange Flavored Honey Whipped Cream 開心果蛋糕

The Mediterranean diet has been advocated by many nutritionists because it is low in saturated fat and high in dietary fiber. Statistics have also shown that a plant-based diet is good for the heart. Using olive oil instead of animal fat helps to lower cholesterol. Eating less red meat and more fish in addition to regular exercise contributes to a healthy life style.

Although they are high in fat, nuts are a key part in the Mediterranean diet because they contain good fats--omega 3 fatty acids. This cake is loaded with ground pistachios which gives it a lot of flavor and those healthy fats. In addition, the nutty flavor perfectly compliments and is accented by the orange scented honey cream.

What a cake to have to celebrate the arrival of Spring!


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