Friday, September 15, 2017

Custard Mooncake Class 奶黃月餅班

Custard mooncake class is back by popular demand. 

Date: 9/23, 2:30-4:30pm in Diamond bar, California. 

Fee $50, include all the ingredients, one set of mold and a box of six cakes to take home.

Email to if you are interested. Class limited to 6 people.

日期:9月23, 2:30-4:30pm. 
地點:Diamond bar, California.
費用$50, 包所有材料,一套月餅模,一盒六個月餅。如有興趣,請盡快給我電郵:。只收六個學生。

Friday, September 1, 2017

Walnut and Date Tartlet 合桃棗蓉撻

This is a great finger food for parties because it involves minimal preparation. All the ingredients are store bought--date paste, puff pastries, and walnuts. I call it semi-homemade. The date paste is made with 100% dates, no sugar added, so it is naturally sweet. It is very convenient to use and work with and can be found in Mediterranean/Middle Eastern or international grocery stores. Puff pastries are also available in the frozen section of most American grocery stores. I always keep some in my freezer. The spices in this recipe--nutmeg and cardamom--are best whole, and freshly ground right before being used.

Ingredients to make about 48 tartlets:

½ pound frozen puff pastry sheets, or 2 ten-inch square sheets
one 13 oz pack baking date paste
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tbsp freshly ground cardamom
2 tbsp butter, melted
½ cup walnut, halved

1) Thaw puff pastry sheets according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) Mix nutmeg, cardamom and butter with date paste until combined. Divide into 48 portions, about half to three-quarters of an inch in diameter.

3) Cut the puff pastry sheets to 2x2 inch squares.

4) Place each square into the cups of mini muffin pan and poke holes into the puff pastries with a fork to prevent the dough from rising too much in the oven.

5) Place a portion of date paste into each cup and top with a walnut. Slightly press it in with your finger.

6) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.
7) Let it cool completely. These pastries are best served the same day. If needed, keep in an airtight container.

1) A mini muffin pan usually has 12 cups. The recipe can be halved or even quartered if you only have one pan. Otherwise, you can bake in batches using the same pan.
2) Make sure to cut the puff pastry sheet no smaller than 2 inch squares.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mango Sago with Pomelo 楊枝甘露

I use mangoes the most in making desserts, especially during summer--ice creamjellypanna cottamochimille crepespuddingsouffle. Yet this one is a bit different from the rest. It is in liquid form, much like dessert soups common in Asian cuisine. Unlike baking, dessert soups are very forgiving and easy to make. There is almost no way to mess up or fail. Adjust the amount of sugar or use sugar substitute according to your palate.

Using mango puree and dice mangoes together increases the mango flavor and it matches so well with coconut milk and sago. I wonder why I haven't made this before!

Ingredients to make about six 8oz cups:

4 ripe mangoes
one third pomelo or grapefruit
50g sago
half a cup coconut milk, unsweetened
half a cup evaporated milk or ½ & ½
50g rock sugar
1 cup water

1) Put 2 cups of water in a big pot and bring it to a boil. Add sago and let it boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let it sit for 15 minutes or until the sago is transparent. Drain and use cold water to rinse a few times. Drain and set aside.
2) Cut the meat of 2 mangoes and puree in a blender. Set aside.

3) Dissolve rock sugar in a pot with one cup of water. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
4) After peeling the grapefruit, remove the skins or membranes and take out the meat.
5) Dice the meat of the remaining 2 mangoes.
6) In a large bowl, mix the rock sugar syrup, mango puree, coconut milk, evaporated milk and sago. Taste and add granulated sugar according to your taste. Add diced mango and grapefruit. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mango Panna Cotta 香芒奶凍

If you like mango pudding, then you might like this dessert with panna cotta for an extra smoothness and richness. What a way to beat summer heat!

Ingredients to make about ten 50 ml glasses:

Panna Cotta:
150g heavy cream
50g whole milk
33g sugar
 tsp unflavored gelatin
¼ vanilla bean

Mango Mousse:
150g mango puree
120g heavy cream
1 tsp unflavored gelatin

First Layer: Panna Cotta
1)  Slice open the vanilla bean with a paring knife and scrape the seeds out. Put the seeds and the pod with heavy cream, whole milk, and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let it steep for 15 minutes. Remove the pod. Rinse, dry, and store for another use.

2)  Sprinkle the gelatin into a small bowl with 2 tsp of water. Let it bloom for 5 minutes, then microwave briefly to dissolve the gelatin.
3)  Add to the warm milk and mix well. Pour into the glasses and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

Second Layer: Mango Mousse:
1) Sprinkle the gelatin into a small bowl with 2 tsp of water. Let it bloom for 5 minutes, then microwave briefly to dissolve the gelatin.
2) Beat cold heavy cream until soft peaks form.
3) Add mango puree and mix well.
4) Add melted gelatin and mix well.
5) Pour onto the set panna cotta layer and refrigerate until set. Serve cold.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Almond Biscotti 意大利杏仁脆餅

Traditional Italian biscotti, cantuccini or biscotti di Prato, are very hard in texture and are meant to be dipped into coffee or some other accompanying drink to soften before eating.

The American version of biscotti is big, buttery and softer in texture, more like sugar cookies.

This recipe is a hybrid: a cookie with a texture that is not so hard but imbued with great flavors that can be enjoyed with or without dunking into coffee.

Ingredients to make 30 cookies:

1¼ cups/200g whole almonds, lightly toasted
1¾ cups/218g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs and 1 egg white
175g sugar
4 tbsp/57g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
2) Pulse 1 cup of almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped, about 8-10 times. Remove to another bowl.
3) Process the remaining quarter cup of almonds until finely ground, about 45 seconds.
4) Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the finely ground almonds. Transfer to another bowl.
5) Process the eggs for about 3 minutes. With the motor running, add sugar and process for about 15 seconds.
6) Add melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla. Process for another 10 seconds.
7) Transfer the egg mixture into a big bowl and add the flour mixture and the coarsely chopped almonds. Fold gently with a spatula until combined.
8) Divide the dough in half and shape into a log.
9) Bake until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack, 25-30 minutes.
10) Let the loaves cool on the sheet for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into about half an inch thick. Lay them out, cut side down, on the same baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden, about 35 minutes.
11) They can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container for about a month.

Recipe reference: Cook's Science by Cook's Illustrated

Monday, May 29, 2017

Molasses Oats Bread 燕麥麵包

Molasses is a thick and sticky by-product of the sugar refining process. It is more nutritious than granulated sugar because it contains iron, vitamin B, calcium, and magnesium. Usually unsulfured molasses is used in baking or other cooking recipes. Avoid blackstrap, which can make the baked goods bitter. Oats are a common breakfast staple. Besides using it to make oat meal, it is widely used in baking such as bread, cookies, granola, etc. The molasses lend the bread a sweet flavor, moist crumb, and crunchy crust, and the oats compliment the bread by giving it a hearty texture. It is great toasted and spread with butter or used as sandwich bread.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Egg Drop Sweet Soup with Fresh Water Chestnut 蛋花馬蹄露

Although the calendar says it is May, the weather in Southern California feels like summer for a week and winter for another. This Chinese dessert can be served warm or cold, which is perfect for the season. Fresh water chestnuts are available year round. It is a versatile ingredient. Besides using it to make water chestnut pudding/cake 馬蹄糕 during Chinese New Year, it can be used in other savory dishes to provide a crunchy texture.

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.

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!

Friday, March 17, 2017

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