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.

Pick big and firm ones because they can turn bad very easily.

It is a very easy recipe to follow and takes less than 30 minutes.

2 large eggs
1 pound fresh water chestnut
38g custard powder
50g cornstarch
200g/1 cup sugar
2 liter water

1) Peel water chestnut and roughly chop into chunks, or smash with a chopper. Set aside.
2) Slightly beat eggs in a bowl and add custard powder. Mix well.
3) Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Reduce heat to low.
4) Dissolve cornstarch in a few tablespoons of water. Add to the pot, constantly stirring.
5) Slowly add the egg/custard mixture while stirring gently. Mix well after all the egg has been added.
6) Remove from heat and add the chopped water chestnut. Serve immediately or cold from the fridge.

1) Custard powder adds a nice golden yellow color to the dessert.
2) Mix very gently while adding egg mixture to the hot liquid. You want to let the egg cook and set instead of blending into the hot liquid.
3) Water chestnuts can be eaten raw. Avoid cooking them so they remain crunchy.
4) Adjust the amount sugar to your taste, or use other sweeteners if you have dietary concerns.

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!

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 2pm 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

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