Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tiramisu Cupcake 提拉米蘇杯子蛋糕

Believe or not, this is my first post on cupcakes. Although cupcakes have been popular for such a long time, for some reason I am not into this trend. My food critics at home have been bugging me to make cupcakes for a long time. I yielded to their requests when I saw this recipe on King Arthur's blog. It is a twist on the classic tiramisu, building on a cupcake.

I modified the recipe quite a bit and made it my own version with significantly less sugar. I call it an adult cupcake.


Ingredients to make 12 cupcakes 做一打蛋糕的材料:

85g unsalted butter, room temperature 無鹽牛油,室溫
105g sugar 糖
1 egg, large 大蛋
162g unbleached all-purpose flour 中筋/普通麵粉
1¼ tsp baking powder 泡打粉
114g whole milk 全脂牛奶
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 雲呢哪香油
¼ tsp salt 鹽

Coffee for soaking: 浸泡用咖啡
1 tsp instant coffee or expresso 即溶咖啡粉
½ cup hot water 熱水

Tiramisu Frosting:
112g heavy cream 重奶油/忌廉
18g powdered sugar 糖粉
57g mascarpone cheese 義大利芝士
tsp unflavored gelatin powder 無味魚膠粉(又名吉利丁/明膠)
3-4 tbsp coffee liquor 咖啡酒
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting 無糖谷古粉

1)  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin or cupcake tin with paper liners.
2)  In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt).
3)  In another bowl, cream softened butter with sugar using either a handheld or stand mixer for a few minutes until creamy.
4)  Add the egg and vanilla extract to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat until incorporated.
5)  Add half the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until no dry flour is seen.
6)  Add milk and mix until the batter is smooth.
7)  Add the rest of the dry flour and mix. Stop the mixer when there is no dry flour. Do not over mix.
8)  Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, each cup about ⅔ filled.
9)  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
10) Prepare the coffee for soaking while the cupcakes are baking.
11) Let the cupcakes cool for about 5 minutes on a rack. While they are still warm, use a fork to poke some holes in each cake.

12) Soak each cake with 2-3 teaspoons of coffee. Continue to let them cool on the rack.

13) Make the frosting by whipping the mascarpone cheese by hand until it looks creamy.
14) Sprinkle gelatin into a small bowl with 2 tsp of water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then microwave it for a few seconds to dissolve.
15) Whip cold heavy cream with powdered sugar to soft peaks.
16)  Add the whipped mascarpone cheese and coffee liquor. Beat to combine.
17)  Add the dissolved gelatin with the beater on medium speed. Mix thoroughly.
18)  Put the frosting in a piping bag. Pipe on each cooled cake. Dust with cocoa powder and refrigerate until ready to serve.

1) Gelatin is used to stabilize the frosting.
2) I do not like soggy cupcakes and therefore only used 2-3 tsp of coffee. Adjust the amount of coffee to soak the cakes to your taste. Soak the cakes while they are still warm.
3) Do not over beat the mascarpone cheese. It will turn grainy.

1)  預熱焗爐至350度。在杯子蛋糕的盤上放蛋糕紙。
2)  在一小碗內加入麵粉、鹽及泡打粉。
3)  將室溫牛油與糖用攪拌器打幾分鐘至幼滑。
4)  加入蛋及雲呢哪香油,攪勻。
5)  將一半粉類加入,攪至沒有乾粉便可。
6)  加入牛奶,攪勻。
7)  加入其餘粉類,攪拌至沒有乾粉,然後平均放入盤內,約三份二滿。入爐焗廿至廿五分鐘。
8)  準備咖啡溶液。蛋糕焗好後放架上待涼約五分鐘後,用叉在蛋糕面上刺幾下,然後用茶匙將咖啡慢慢倒入蛋糕上,約二至三茶匙。
9)  將義大利芝士攪打至滑身。
10) 在一小碗內放二茶匙水,魚膠粉灑上面,幾分鐘後放微波爐加熱溶解。
11)  重奶油加糖粉打至六成,加入咖啡酒及芝士攪勻,再加入魚膠溶液,攪勻後放入唧花袋。唧在已涼的杯子蛋糕上,再灑上谷古粉作裝飾便成。

1)  魚膠粉是用來穩定奶油芝士。
2)  咖啡溶液的份量可自行調教。要趁蛋糕還暖的時候倒入才容易吸收。
3)  義大利芝士只須手攪至順滑便可,攪太多會變成牛油。

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Library Cooking Programs

Below is the line up of open-to-the-public Los Angeles county library cooking programs for the first half of the year  :

1)  January 31 Saturday 2pm Red Bean Pastry 紅豆酥 at Asian Pacific Resource Center in Rosemead Library

2)  March 28 Saturday 1pm Egg Tart 蛋撻 at Paramount Library

3)  April 18 Saturday 2pm Bo Law Bao(Pineapple Bun) 波蘿包 at Leland R. Weaver Library

4)  April 25 Saturday 2pm Char Siu(Barbecued Pork) 叉燒 at Leland R. Weaver Library

5)  May 9 Saturday 2pm Red Bean Pastry 紅豆酥 at Walnut Library

6)  May 16 Saturday 2pm Char Siu and Egg Tart 叉燒及蛋撻 at Carson Library

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taro Cake with Eight Beans 八寶芋頭糕

It's almost the time of the year during which Chinese families' kitchens are filled with the fragrances from all different kinds of New Year food. My kitchen now is filled with the pleasant aroma of Chinese five spice powder. This taro cake with eight beans and peas is a healthy vegetarian dish. (chick peas, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, red beans, mung beans, etc)

This recipe is a bit different from my previous Spiced Taro Cake by the way the taro is prepared and cooked.

一到農曆新年期間,各家各戶都忙於做不同的應節食物,家中都充滿著各種香味,我的廚房現在便滿是五香粉的味道。這味八寶芋頭糕是全素,除了芋頭外,另有八種不同的豆類:紅豆、綠豆、眉豆、雞心豆、黑豆及紅腰豆等,非常有益健康。這食譜與之前的五香芋頭糕 有別,一半芋頭蒸完壓成蓉,另一半煎香才加入其他材料蒸,提供口感,別有風味。

Ingredients 材料:
2-3 pounds/700g taro 芋頭
340g mixed beans 八寶豆
300g rice flour 粘米粉
150g cornstarch 粟米粉
1300g/5.5 cups water 水

Seasonings 調味:
3 tsp salt 鹽
2 tsp chicken essence (optional--omit if you are a vegetarian) 雞粉
1 tsp white pepper powder 白胡椒粉
2 tbsp sugar 糖
2 tsp five spice powder 五香粉
2 tbsp sesame oil 麻油

1)  Soak the mixed beans overnight or at least for 4 hours. Use a pot filled with enough water to cover the beans. Boil until the beans are soft. (It can take any where from 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on how long they have been soaked.) Drain and set aside.
2)  Peel taro and divide into two portions: one cut into big chunks and the other into smaller cubes.

2)  Steam the chunks in a steamer for 15 minutes until soft. Smash with a fork and set aside. Meanwhile, put about a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the smaller cubes until they are golden brown.

3)  In a large bowl, mix all the seasonings and flours and add water. Mix the batter well.

4)  Add the beans, taro paste, and cubes. Mix well. Put the batter into a deep dish for steaming.
5)  Depending on the size of the dish, steam until a chopstick stuck into the cake comes out clean. 30 minutes to an hour.
6)  Cut into thick pieces after cooling and slightly fry in a pan before serving.

1)  The recipe can be reduced or increased proportionally according to your needs.
2)  Half of the taro is fried (or deep fried) so that they remain intact to provide texture.
3)  Any combination of beans can be used. It is imperative to soak the beans thoroughly at least for a few hours to reduce cooking time.

1)  用水將豆浸至少四小時,最好浸過夜。然後煲至軟身,盛起。
2)  芋頭去皮後分兩份,一份用大火蒸十五分鐘至軟身,用叉壓成蓉;另一份切粒,煎至四面金黃,備用。
3)  在一大碗內放入所有調味料及粉,加水開成漿。
4)  加入豆,芋頭蓉及粒,攪勻後放入蒸盆,用大火蒸。
5)  視乎蒸盆大小,如插入筷子後取出沒有粉漿,便成,約三十分鐘至一小時。

1)  食譜份量可隨意按比例增減。
2)  煎至金黃色的芋頭蒸後不會容易爛,有口感。或炸也可。
3)  任何種類的豆都可以替換,最重要是煲之前要浸透。

Monday, January 19, 2015

Macaron Class and Library Demonstration

Macaron Class:

Date: Feb 14, 1-4pm
Fee: $35 includes all the ingredients, recipe and a box of macarons to take home
Location: Diamond Bar, California

This is a hands-on class and I will show you step by step how to make this delicious and crowd pleasing French cookies. No experience required. Class limits to 8 students.

Sign-up or questions: phoebechow@morethanbread.net

Free Library Demonstration Program:

January 31, 2pm at Asian Pacific Resource Center in Rosemead Library: Red Bean Pastry 紅豆酥

(More demonstrations are pending. Check often for update)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mango Cheesecake (Baked) 芒果芝士蛋糕

Are you a cheesecake lover? Do you like mango? If your answers are both positive, then don't miss out on this mango cheesecake. What makes this cheesecake different from all others is the concentrated mango pulp mixed into the mango cheese filling. As you bite into it, you experience an intense mango flavor.

This recipe is adapted from the newly published Baking Bible by renowned baker and cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winners of Giveaway

Three lucky winners are drawn for the Christmas and New Year Cookbook Giveaway sponsored by Tuttle Publishing Company:

1) Sushma P
2) Alex Hui
3) Christine Lui

Congratulations ! Please send me (phoebechow@morethanbread.net) your mailing address. If I do not receive your address within 48 hours, you will be replaced by another participant.

Merry Christmas to all of you !

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sriracha Honey Popcorn 是拉差爆谷

The popularity of this hot sauce is quite the phenomenon. There are not a lot of products that only rely on word of mouth and reach such a level of success. People who love Sriracha put it in almost everything they eat. There are even Sriracha mayonnaise and ketchup in the market.

So when I was flipping through the pages of a new cookbook named The Kitchn (without an "e"), this recipe for Sriracha popcorn caught my eyes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas and New Year Cookbook Giveaway 食譜免費送贈活動

I should say this giveaway is killing two birds with one stone. The holidays are approaching, making it a great time for a giveaway. This event is also a way to reward my readers who have been so supportive in following my blog. I was so busy lately that I forgot to celebrate my blog's fourth anniversary.

What have I been busy with? Here are some pictures (visit my facebook page for more):

During the last week of November I was honored to cater a wedding with over 200 guests. It was a great challenge and I am thankful that it went well with very good responses from the hosts and guests.

To celebrate the holidays and my blog's fourth anniversary, I am giving away Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low and The Ancient Art of Tea by Warren Peltier, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing Company. Three winners will be chosen to receive one copy of each book.

1) Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low. Bee is also a Southern California blogger (rasamalaysia.com). This cookbook has a lot of easy-to-follow recipes and many tips for novices in making Chinese food.

2) The Ancient Art of Tea by Warren Peltier (Chinese name: 夏雲峰) Mr. Peltier is an expert on tea. He spent years in China studying the history and culture of tea. In the book, he will show you how to brew an amazing cup of tea. 

For more information on the books, click on the links.

Instructions for the giveaways:
1) Like my blog page on Facebook (skip if you already did)
2) Follow my blog either by directly subscribing or signing up for updates by email (skip if you already did)
3) Comment on this post (with your full name) on what you like about this blog.

Deadline for submission: 12/17/14 midnight PST

I will generate the results on Random.org and announce the winners on 12/18/14. There is no geographical limitation. The publisher will send the books to the winners worldwide.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for reviewing the cookbooks or holding this giveaway. The giveaway is courtesy of Tuttle Publishing Company.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Walnut Cinnamon Swirl Bread 核桃肉桂麵包

I always get excited about learning, no matter if it is new knowledge, technology or, of course, new recipes.

Until recently, I did not know about this kind of bread, called Povitica. It is a Croatian sweet bread. For Croatians, Povitica is a very common gift between friends and families. This culture is very similar to gifting of mooncakes during Mid Autumn Festival for the Chinese.

Although Povitica is similar to cinnamon rolls here in America, it has its own characteristics. The dough needs to be rolled out as thin as possible and it does not need a lengthy second rise as in making regular yeast bread.

And the filling is decadent: lots and lots of ground walnuts with cinnamon and cocoa powder, all of my favorites. Perfect choice for the Holidays.

Please read the recipe and the notes at least once before you begin for best results.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Raspberry Tart with Almond Cream 紅桑子杏仁醬撻

Raspberry is often referred to as the king of berries. It is often used to make all kinds of yummy desserts. When it is paired with the other king of nuts--almond, it makes a superb tart.



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