Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Library Cooking Programs

Go to this link for address of each library.

1) January 23
Saturday 2pm
Custard Mooncake
2) February 6
Saturday 2pm
Red Bean Pastry
3) February 11
Thursday 6pm
South El Monte
Pineapple Pastry
4) February 13
Saturday 2pm
Chinese cooking: Pearl Shrimp Ball and Wife Cake 珍珠蝦球、老婆餅
5) February 27
Saturday 2pm
El Monte
Street Foods of Hong Kong
6) March 5
Saturday 1pm
South Gate
Street Foods of Hong Kong
香港街頭小食:: 缽仔糕、雞蛋仔
7) March 12
Saturday 2pm
Bell Gardens
Street Foods of Hong Kong
8) March 26
Saturday 2pm
Clifton M.Brakensiek, Bellflower
Char Siu/BBQ Pork and Custard Mooncake
9) April 9
Saturday 2pm
Street Foods of Hong Kong: Steamed cake in a bow, HK Egg Waffle
香港街頭小食: 缽仔糕、雞蛋仔
10) April 21
Thursday 4:30pm
Chet Holifield,
Char Siu/BBQ Pork

11) April 30
Saturday 2pm
Street Foods of Hong Kong: HK Egg Waffle, Tofu Pudding, Curry fish ball

12) May 11
Wednesday 6pm
Sunkist Library,
La Puente
Bo Law Bun/Pineapple Bun
13) May 14
Saturday 2pm
West Covina
Street Foods of Hong Kong: Black Sesame roll, HK Egg Waffle
14) May 18
Wednesday 4:30pm
Chet Holifield,
Street Foods of Hong Kong

15) May 21
Saturday 2pm
Sorensen Library, Whittier
Char Siu/BBQ Pork, Egg Tart
16) May 25
Wednesday 6pm
Sunkist Library
La Puente
Snowy Mooncake

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Debut of a New Program

I am happy to announce the launching of my new library program: custard mooncake. Please join me this Saturday at 11am in Hacienda Heights Library . If you miss this one, no problem. There will be another one in Rosemead Library on January 23, 2pm.

Recipe and free samples will be served. See you there!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Kabocha Squash Spice Cake (no added sugar) 日本南瓜蛋糕 (無添加白糖)

Kabocha is a variety of pumpkin which originates from Japan and can be found commonly in many Asian supermarkets. It is small and more meaty compared to other huge pumpkins. The flesh is creamy and sweet which makes it good for pairing with savory dishes like steamed spareribs or making desserts. The skin is also soft and edible after steaming or cooking.

In addition to the sweetness of the kabocha, this cake is also sweetened with Medjool dates. The dates give the cake a natural sweetness. Vegetable oil is used instead of butter, which makes it as healthy as ever.

This may be a good choice for your pumpkin pie alternative this season!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Japanese Black Sesame Cheesecake with Tofu (No Bake) 日式黑芝麻豆腐芝士餅 (免焗)

People always ask me this question: How do you keep your weight under control with all the yummy desserts and breads you make? I usually will reply with a big smile : )) It is a secret!

Actually, there is no secret to keep a healthy weight while enjoying the foods you like. Recently I read a cookbook on Japanese desserts. The author claimed that she lost a total of 80 pounds while eating Japanese desserts using the recipes in the book over a period of 7 years. And the fact that she is an Italian, not Japanese, made me want to find out more. Of course, eating just any dessert would not make you lose weight. But eating the right kind of desserts--not excessively sweet, not too high in calories, and eating them in moderation--can satisfy your cravings without making you put on some extra pounds.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pork Sung Roll 肉鬆麵包卷

I called it the Taiwanese version of cinnamon roll. Instead of using sugary filling and glaze, it is replaced by pork sung and topped with shredded cheese. Any type of bread dough, like tong zhong, whole wheat or all white, etc, could be used. Perfect option for those who prefer savory instead of sweet bread.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mooncake Mold On Sale! 月餅模大特賣

$15/set, free shipping within US. $12 for local (Diamond Bar, CA) pick up. 15% off for 3 sets or more. Size: 63g . Four designs to choose from with limited quantity. Email me if you are interested: phoebechow@morethanbread.net

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Steamed Pandan Coconut Multilayer Cake 班蘭椰汁千層糕

The first time I had this dessert, I thought it was made from glutinous flour because it was soft, chewy, and starchy. But how wrong was I! There is another kind of flour which produces a very similar texture. It is tapioca flour. Being a very popular flour in Asia, it is used in various kinds of dishes, especially in desserts. For people living in North America, the word tapioca is synonymous with boba. The pearl-like balls, usually black, are commonly found in milk tea and other drinks. If you like them, then you will appreciate the texture of this Indonesian dessert.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Coffee Bun 咖啡味墨西哥包

It is often said that we eat with our eyes. I totally agree with that. Presentation, plating and color coordination enhance the appeal of a dish tremendously. Yet another important factor that attracts our attention is aroma.

This coffee bun is an good example. I am drawn to this bun not only by its aesthetic but by its strong coffee aroma. I seldom drink coffee but its aroma is so attractive that it makes me want to take a bite. This bun is similar to the bo lo bao/pineapple bun, except the crust is not as crunchy.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Red, White and Blue Panna Cotta 三色奶凍

Happy 239th Birthday America! 

Strawberry mousse, panna cotta and blueberry mousse--made with fresh fruits, vanilla pods, fresh cream and milk. A great way to celebrate with this wholesome and refreshing dessert!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Portuguese Egg Tart Recipe Comparison 葡撻大比拼

Ever since I posted the Portuguese Egg Tart recipe a few weeks ago, I have been thinking how I can make improvements on it. After doing more searches and experiments with different recipes, baking temperatures, etc, I am very pleased with the final results.

All the tarts in the following experiment have been made using the same store bought puff pastry as the crust.

Recipe references: dimcookguide.com (with video); "The Birth of an Egg Tart" by Egg Tart King ( "一個蛋撻的誕生" 蛋撻王著)p.40-41; morethanbread.net Portuguese Egg Tart

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Panna Cotta 紅桑子朱古力奶凍

This is my take on the classic Italian dessert panna cotta. It means "cooked cream" in Italian and is very much like a Western version of a popular Chinese dessert, steamed eggs with milk. By adding two other flavors--raspberry and chocolate mousse--I have created a new combination that compliments each other and at the same time adds depth to the flavor. With the right amount of gelatin to firm up the liquid, the texture of the panna cotta becomes delicately smooth and silky. They are served in small glasses of the perfect serving size. Mmm....yummy!

Since there are three layers and they all need to be refrigerated and set before adding another one, a bit of patience is needed. It can be prepared one to two days before serving.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Portuguese Egg Tart 葡撻

A few years ago when I took a trip to Hong Kong, I also had a chance to visit Macau. The infamous Portuguese custard tart was the number one food on my list to try out. My friend in Macau brought me to Lord Stow's Bakery, which is extremely popular with the tart. The multi-layered puff pastry is crispy and the filling is silky and full of egg flavor.

After coming back to Los Angeles, I tried tarts that were made in different local bakeries and restaurants. They were very disappointing and did not come close to the original and authentic ones so I decided to do some research and experiment on my own.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Magic Chocolate Custard Layers Cake 奇妙多層朱古力蛋糕

The original name of this cake is prajitura desteapta which means "smart cake" in Romanian. This cake is also often referred to as magic cake because there are different layers and textures baked from one single batter. As you bite into the cake, you will be amazed by the different textures. I was intrigued by it and started to search for the rationale behind it.

The way it is prepared is basically the same as any chiffon or sponge cake. The eggs are separated from the yolks, which are mixed with the sugar, fat, liquid and flour while the whites are beaten to stiff peaks. Then the two are reunited and baked.

What makes it different from ordinary cake is the temperature of the oven and the amount of liquid. I am always amazed by how understanding the science can make one a better baker.

Knowledge is power!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chocolate Almond Cake 香濃朱古力杏仁蛋糕

How can I describe this cake? It's moist and light. It melts in your mouth and is full of chocolate flavor. The addition of almond gives it a nutty flavor, and the cake isn't too sweet....in one word: delightful!

The original name of this cake is called Queen of Sheba. The recipe is one of the renowned chef Julia Child's. But unfortunately I forgot which cookbook it was published in. : (

I did make some adjustments, not to the ingredients, but as to how they are put together.

Buy the best chocolate you can get your hands on as it is the major ingredient and it does make a big difference to the quality of the cake.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Chestnut Tartlet 小栗子撻

These bite sized mini tarts are perfect to be served at a party without the hassle and mess of cutting a whole tart. Many people seem to enjoy finger foods more! The tart crust can be prepared one to two days ahead of time and the filling can be piped in the same day of serving.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake (No Bake) 草莓芝士凍餅

This has been the longest stretch since my last post on 2/10/15. What I have been doing for the past month? I took a vacation to visit family and meet some friends whom I have lost contact with for more than two decades. It is a great feeling to reconnect with old friends and catch up with each others' lives. 

What is most precious is after all these years we still treasure our friendship. 

Genuine friendship can pass the test of time!

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.

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)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Macaron Class and Library Demonstration

Macaron Class:

Date: Feb 14, 1-4pm

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

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