Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lemon Mini Cupcake with homemade Limoncello 檸檬小蛋糕


With an abundance harvest of lemons, I have been searching for ways to make use of this citrus fruit: Lemon Bar 檸檬巴, Chicken pot with Preserved Lemon 惹味雞煲, Ginger and Lemon in Vinegar 八珍陳皮檸檬薑, Lemon Chiffon cake with Ginger Mousse 薑汁慕絲檸檬蛋糕, and Lemon Cream Tart 檸檬撻

This year with homemade lemon liquor, I made this refreshing treat.

Ingredients for 24 mini or 12 regular cupcakes:

Cake Batter:,
85g unsalted butter, room temp,
65g sugar
1 large egg
162g all purpose flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
114g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp limoncello, optional
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp salt

Lemon Frosting:
114g heavy cream
18g powdered sugar
57g mascarpone
⅔ tsp gelatin
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp limoncello, optional


Limoncello: use the zest of 10-12 lemons. Pour in a bottle of Vodka and let it infuse for about a week. Strain in and add simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water) to your taste.


Lemon Cupcakes:

1)  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin or cupcake tin with paper liners or 24 mini cupcakes.
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, vanilla extract, lemon zest and optional limoncello 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 for regular size cakes and 15-20 minutes for mini ones.
10) Let the cupcakes cool completely on a rack.


Lemon Frosting:

1) Whisk mascarpone cheese until creamy.
2) Sprinkle gelatin in a small bowl with 3 tsp of water. Let it bloom for a few minutes. Microwave it on low power until dissolve. Set aside.
3) In another bowl, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks formed.
4) Add mascarpone, zest and limoncello. Mix until incorporated.
5) Add dissolved gelatin and mix well.
6) Pipe onto cooled cakes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.







Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dill Bread using Tong Zhong 香草麵包



The recipe for this bread originates from a small Jewish community near Tunisia. I figured instead of making egg-related foods for Easter, I would make this bread. The aroma of onion and fresh dill is irresistible!


Recipe modified from: Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking by Uri Scheft . (The use of tong zhong is mine : ) )

Ingredients:
260g all purpose flour
4g instant yeast
60g water
16g sugar
5g salt
1 tbsp milk powder
25g unsalted butter, room temperature

120g tong zhong (20g flour+100 water)
2 tbsp yellow onion, finely chopped
15g fresh dill fronds, finely chopped


1) Make tong zhong and let it cool to room temperature. (Click here for my recipe for tong zhong)
2) Put flour, yeast, water, sugar, milk powder and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead on low until a dough forms. Add salt and continue to knead for about 5 minutes.
3) Take the dough out and cut into ten portions so it's easier for the dill to be incorporated into the dough. Return to the stand mixer and knead the chopped onion and dill into the dough until they are fully incorporated.
4) Let it rise until it doubles in size.
5) Deflate the dough and shape it to your desire. For braiding: divide the dough into two or three equal portions. Roll them out and braid.


Be creative in shaping:



7) Let the dough rise again and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until it is golden brown.








Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Crème brûlée 法式燉蛋


Three simple ingredients--egg, cream and sugar--make this an incredible popular and yummy dessert. The addition of vanilla bean or extract (and liqueur, like rum or Grand Marnier ) makes it more flavorful. Just in time to make it for your Valentine!

Another aspect which makes this a welcome dessert is that it can be made ahead of time. Just add sugar and burn with a torch, then a caramelized crunchy top and silky custard is ready to be enjoyed!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Cooking Demonstration Programs



The new year is a time for reflection and planning for the days ahead. As I looked back the past 5 years of doing cooking programs in LA county libraries, I am thankful for all the opportunities to share my passion for cooking with everyone who attended. With support from many libraries and their patrons, I was able to do over 60 programs with approximately 2100 in attendance.




As for plans for the new year, below is a list of future programs. Some have been confirmed while others are still in the planning stage. Visit or like my Facebook page to stay updated. Or visit Los Angeles County Library website.


1) Jan 28 Saturday at Temple City: Street Foods of Hong Kong: vegetarian lo mei and black sesame roll 香港街頭小食:齋鹵味、黑芝麻卷

2) Feb 9 Thursday at S. El Monte: Snowy Mooncake 冰皮月餅

3) Mar 4 Saturday at Clifton M. Brakensiek in Bellflower: Street Foods of Hong Kong: egg waffle 香港街頭小食: 雞蛋仔

4) Apr 8 Saturday at Maywood: Street Foods of Hong Kong: egg waffle and steamed rice cake 香港街頭小食: 雞蛋仔、缽仔糕

5) Apr 22 Saturday at Rosemead: Goldfish Niao Gao (new program) 錦鯉年糕()

6) Apr 29 Saturday at La Verne: Red Bean Pastry 紅豆酥

7) May 1 Monday at Los Nieto in Whittier: Pineapple Bun/Bo Law Bao 菠蘿包

8) May 6 Saturday at Hawthorne: Street Foods of Hong Kong: egg waffle and steamed rice cake 香港街頭小食: 雞蛋仔、缽仔糕

9) May 17 Wednesday at Sunkist in La Puente: Street Foods of Hong Kong: banana flavored roll 香港街頭小食: 香蕉糕

10) May 20 Saturday at Willowbrook in Los Angeles: Street Foods of Hong Kong: egg waffle and steamed rice cake 香港街頭小食: 雞蛋仔、缽仔糕

11) May 27 Saturday at La Mirada: Vegetarian Lo Mei and Pineapple Pastry 齋鹵味、鳳梨酥

12) June 10 Saturday at Leland R. Weaver in South Gate: BBQ Pork/Char Siu and Bo Law Bao 叉燒及菠蘿包





Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Steamed Crab with Egg and Chinese Wine 花雕水蛋蒸蟹



Out of the many cooking classes I took in Hong Kong, I think this is the most simple and yet very delicious one. The flavors of the crab and egg blend very well together and the addition of the Chinese wine adds complex flavor! It will definitely wow your family and guests. You can twist the recipe a bit to suit your tastes and needs. Follow the tips and tricks below will guarantee you a silky and smooth steamed egg.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Journey of 365 三百六十五之旅


Long time no post! I think this must be my longest stretch without a post. Am I quitting? No, I am not giving up this blog....yet : )

I have been away to my homeland, Hong Kong. (Thanks to the historically low airfare--$365 non-stop round trip from Los Angeles to HK.) This month-long trip served a few purposes. One of them was to continue my culinary education. I had the opportunity to learn from the best chefs in HK.

Some of the classes I took were to learn how to make HK style milk tea 港式絲襪奶茶、Pan fried bao 生煎包、Chiu Chau Marinade 潮洲滷水、Hand pulled rice noodles, etc 布拉腸粉,等等....

"The more I learn, the more I know I don't know" 學而知不足

Hopefully I will have the chance to share with you in the near future, after I recover from jet lag.




Monday, September 26, 2016

Apple Cake (no added sugar) 萍果蛋糕 (無添加白糖)


This is my first time baking without granulated sugar and the result is surprisingly good. Maple syrup gives the cake a fine and moist crumb. A good choice for Fall dessert.

It is a straightforward recipe and easy to follow. It uses the simple muffin method which the dry ingredients are mixed in a bowl and the wet in another bowl then they are mixed together and bake.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Lemon Bar 檸檬吧



One of the benefits of living in Southern California is the abundance of sunshine. Many people have backyards with different types of fruit trees: lemon, peach, orange, loquat, pear, passion fruit.....Even though I don't have any, I am blessed to know friends who do : )

What can I with so much fruit, especially lemon, other than making lemonade? Here is a great recipe to make lemon bars with the right balance of sweetness and tanginess.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Handmade Steamed Rice Roll 布拉腸粉



What should be the quality of a good rice roll? Silky smooth, thin, soft and warm. And don't forget the dipping sauce. Some like plain soy sauce while others like a combination of soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame paste and some like to add hot, spicy sauce as well. A good rice roll, well combined sauce and a sprinkle of roasted sesame are a match made in heaven!

No matter what you prefer, it is a breakfast staple for many Chinese around the world. It is also a common and popular street food in Hong Kong. In dim sum restaurant, there are a variety of rice roll available: shrimp, minced beef and char siu. Many people also like the one wrap with Chinese fried bread stick (aka: Chinese donut)


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