Friday, March 17, 2017

Cinnamon Walnut Braided Bread 肉桂核桃麵包


This is one of my favorite sweet bread. It is good for breakfast, afternoon snacks, or whenever !




Ingredients to make one 9x5 loaf or a 9 inches round pan

Tong Zhong:
75g water
15g bread flour
Mix and heat until it turns to a paste. Let it cool to room temperature. (Click here for more details)

Main Dough:
200g bread flour
145g whole wheat flour
46g honey 
7g instant yeast
1 large egg
135g water
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
5g salt
35g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes

Fillings:
half a cup of walnuts, chopped
cinnamon sugar


Using the same dough recipe, different fillings can be used.

red bean filling



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!

Ingredients:
4 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
⅓ cup/66g sugar, plus more for caramelized top
½ vanilla bean
1 tsp Grand Marnier or dark rum (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 300F.
2) Mix yolks and sugar with a whisk until combined.


3) Using a saucepan, heat heavy cream with the vanilla seeds and pod until it simmers.
4) Pour the warm cream slowly into the yolk, constantly stirring. Remove the vanilla pod. Add liqueur if desired.
5) Pour into ramekins and place them into a large tray.
6) Carefully pour hot water into the tray until it is half way up the ramekins.
7) Bake for 30-35 minutes. The custard should jiggle a bit when you shake the ramekin.
8) Take the ramekins out of the water bath and let them cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
9) Sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar on top and burn with a torch until the sugar is caramelized. Serve after the sugar hardens.




Notes:
1) Slow and low temperature baking in a water bath ensures a smooth and silky custard.
2) Adjust the baking time for your ramekins. Different sizes needs different baking times. Don't overbake.
3) If you do not have a torch to caramelize the sugar on top, you can put the ramekins under the oven broiler. However, it may heat up the cold custard.





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) 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)


Monday, June 6, 2016

Tofu Pudding/Dou Fu Hua 幼滑豆腐花


The texture of a dish is as important as its taste. It will be a big disappointment if a food that is supposed to be crunchy turns out to be soft or soggy. On the other hand, if it should be smooth and silky but it is rough and firm, people might be surprised and wary. The best texture for tofu pudding is smooth and silky, which you can just swallow.

What's the trick to making silky tofu pudding? The temperature of the soymilk is critical. The optimal temperature to mix soy milk and the coagulant is 155F/85C. If the soy milk is boiling hot, the resulting pudding will not be as smooth.

The coagulant used in most of tofu making is gypsum (calcium sulfate). It is a mineral mined from natural rock, not a synthetic chemical.

The correct ratio between gypsum and potato starch in the following recipe gives the best texture and minimal amount of whey.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sweet Rice Balls with Peanuts and Sesame 糖不甩


"Sugar is not rejection" is the translation from Google for this Chinese dessert! Obviously something is lost from translating this classic and well-loved dessert of many Cantonese people. The literal meaning of the name comes from the fact that when the sweet rice ball rolls on the peanut, sesame, and sugar mixture, the coating does not come off. It sticks to the rice ball like this:


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