Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ma'amoul

This nuts filled cookie-like pastry is a popular treat at festive times in Lebanon and some other Middle Eastern countries. The authentic recipe uses a special wooden mould to shape the dough. Unfortunately, I didn't have the mould not anything similar that I could use, so this time I shaped the cookies with my hands.

To be honest, it was bit tricky as my hands are quite small, and the dough was quite crumbly. All in all, I managed to shape them ok, and most importantly, they tasted pretty awesome. It is like a chewy shortbread. A rich flavour of nuts and orange filled my mouth nicely.... yum..:)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Lebanon.

Wattalapam

So far, I've already tried some puddings for The World of Sweets. Here is another one from Sri Lanka called "Wattalapam". It's a spicy coconut custard pudding.

Ooh, I loved it... this might be the best pudding I've ever tasted... huh? do I always say the same thing when I eat a pudding?... well, who cares, it's just so simply GOOD!  ops sorry, I got bit too excited...

Every spoonful you'll be hit by the spices and the sweetness of raisins hidden in the smooth coconut custard. And of course, don't forget the golden syrup. This guy really plays an important role here since it adds more character to the already-rich pudding;)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Sri Lanka.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cocadas

I love eating macaroons, making macaroons, or even looking at them makes me smile:) Today, I opted for Bolivian coconut macaroons, Cocadas. Humm, what a cute name...

Those coconut macaroons are quite different from the french style macaroons. I personally prefer those coconut macaroons. They are more hearty, taste warmer and less professional in a good well... if you know what I mean... They are also easier to make;)

The only sweetness is from condensed milk, there is no sugar... does that mean those addictive goodies won't make me feel too guilty when I finish them all accidentally (or intentionally...)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Bolivia.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Aebleskiver

 Last day of my stay in Japan, I borrowed my mum's Takoyaki pan to make Danish pancake called "Aebleskiver". It's nothing like those flat pancake, but unique cute ball shape. It a nice finger food and pretty addictive...

I really had to try this cake white I was in Japan because I don't own a Aebleskiver pan myself but I knew my mum's Takoyaki pan would do the job. (Ah, just a quick reference, Takoyaki is a savory ball shape pancake-like thing from Osaka that has a small piece of octopus inside.)

So, I did... Oooh, yes. It came out just I expected, really well :) This only thing was I had to turn the cakes quite quickly to keep them from burning. I guess you shouldn't bake too much at once because you might end up burning some...

They are not sweet, so have them with some jam or sprinkle of sugar ;)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipe, Denmark.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to my sister and me...

In the beginning of spring, a bit chill day like today, my sister was born and shortly after her arrival, another little one was pushed to this world... that was me...
It was a big surprise to everyone, even to my mum and dad because no one knew that the big monster baby that everyone had thought my mum was carrying were actually twins.

It's been 26 years since then. Although we don't live in the same house anymore, don't share the same sir name anymore (oh, my sis even has a baby now!), I'm very grateful that we can still share the birthday treat together:)

This year, it's a three tier creamy mousse. The smooth little white mountain was destroyed by us in seconds! Happy birthday to my sister & me :D And specially, thanks to my mum and dad.

Monday, March 21, 2011

春よ来い… come on spring

It's been a hectic week, and a lot of people are still living in much axiety and confusion in Japan. With a massive pray and hope for Japan, today I made what I call "Come Spring Cookie".

Although it is still cold (ooh, in fact it was snowing a few days ago...) I can feel a bit of warm spring breeze in the air every now and then. I hope that a warm peaceful spring will wipe a bitter cold winter and embrace Japan soon...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Red Nose Day

It's "Red Nose Day" today in the UK. The whole country, especially lots of comedians, get together and are doing something funny to raise money for those poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa.

Red red red red... nose... red nose... I couldn't make an actual red nose, but I did make red Ichigo Daifuku and put that on my nose.... and ate it.. no, not from my nose... had I done that, that would have be quality.., damn it..I should have... anyway, it looked pretty, tasted juicy, sweet..., simply delicious.


Comic relief really has inspired me, and made me want to do something for people in Japan who are in the disaster zone. There is so little I can do, but I'll bake cakes, make desserts, try sweets, and tell everyone that Japan needs support.

The World of Sweets website added a link to "Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund".
Please tell your friends and get as much support as possible.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WOS gift for little ones

My mum asked me to make something that she could take to her friends and their kids. I remembered that when I made the carrot cupcakes with animal sugar crafts on top (have you seen it?), Skyla was very pleased. So, I decided to use the same trick, "Animal", again.

This time, animal biscuits! I used the same recipe as the scone, so it's not so sweet and lighter than buttery cookies, which I suppose is better for kids to eat lots...

I hope my mum's friends' little ones enjoyed finding their favourite animal:)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Scone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Banh chuoi nuong... for banana lovers

Banh Chuoi Nuong is a Vietnamese style banana cake. Although the name means "baked banana cake", it is a bit different from the bready type banana cake. The unique, sort of sticky texture remained me of more like a pudding.

The interesting ingredient in the recipe is "French bread". However old and hard the bread is, it's fine as far as it's not moldy;) Same thing applies to the bananas. I, in fact, prefer using those really ripe bananas as they give the cake much richer and sweeter flavour. This time, I used brown dotted very ripe ones, and my mum even thought I put some liquor in the cake!

I had it cold, but it's nice warm too:)

Not only is this Vietnamese banana cake addictively yummy, but also it's a great way to use up the left over bananas and bread! Try it when you have old bread and bananas looking at you in the kitchen;)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets, Recipes, Vietnam.

Monday, March 14, 2011

晴太郎 Cake

My sister gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy a week ago, and they came back home from the hospital today. My lovely nephew's name is 晴太郎 (Harutaro), which means a boy born on a fine spring day. Nice name,  right? I named him ;D

To celebrate my sister and her baby's return, I baked a little three tier cake with his name on it. ...Yes, I know... he can't eat it yet, so it was for my sister who did a great job in bringing a beautiful life to this world.

Harutaro, Happy birthday again! Sleep well, eat well, grow well!
And, congratulations again to my sister and her husband;) Look at them, so sweet:D

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cake for Japan

Everyone must know by now what happened and is happening in Japan.   I was happened to be back in Japan to see my family and I felt a shake in Osaka which luckily was affected little by the earthquake and tsunami.

I'm terribly shocked. I can't put this in words, ... but... Japan really needs supports. Many people have already been found to be killed. Thousands people are still missing, and waiting for rescues.

...with this Japan-shaped cookies,  I just wanted to express my thoughts to Japan which is indeed my country and pray for those who are fighting in the worst areas.

"被災地の皆さん、がんばって下さい。"

Following are the site that are supporting the disaster relief and donations.

American Red Cross
Canpan Fields
NGO Jen
Save The Children
Paypal
合同会社コーズ・アクション

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Petite tofu cakes

Yesterday I bought a baking recipe book, which came with a pretty silicon cake mould. In fact..., I wanted the cake mould... that's why I bought the book... Anyway, I'm a sort of person who wants to try new clothes, shoes, etc immediately, and a cake mould isn't an exception.

I wanted to do something Japanese... I thought... "what can I use..?"  The answer was in my mum's fridge! Tofu, yes..., Tofu! It might sound wired to those who aren't familiar with this soy based food, but the tofu cakes and desserts are consider to be healthier option and popular in Japan.

So..., let's try it... Since tofu has a lot of water and give a cake unique texture and flavour, I decided not to use any oil. It already sounds healthy, right?

The tofu cake mixture was very fluffy. Even when the cakes were still in the oven, I could smell of soy and maple. After 15 minutes, they came out... looking good..., light and soft, nice texture. Immediately, I tasted the piece...
"Oooh, tofu worked!"
Yes, it was indeed a success:) Thanks, Otokomae tofu Ken-chan! (that's the name of tofu I used. it means "Handsome tofu Ken-chan..., funny name...)

Try it when you can get tofu;) Good for breakfast too:D

Ingredients;

Tofu 120g
Flour 100g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Egg 1
Sugar 2 tsp
Maple syrup 2 tbsp

1. Preheat the oven to 180º. Mix egg and sugar until it's fluffy. Add Maple syrup, mix well.
2. Add tofu, mix well.
3. Sift flour and baking powder into 2.
4. Pour the mixture in to the mould. Bake in the preheated oven (180º) for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

豆花 (Douhua, Tofu pudding)

Asian dessert Part 2, a Taiwanese pudding called 豆花 (Douhua).  It is one of the simplest Asian dessert we can try at home. Although I describe this dessert as a pudding, it's not like those eggy puddings such as creme brulee but more like panna cotta.

There is an interesting ingredient in the recipe, which is... "Agar, in Taiwanese, 菜燕 (Chhai-ian)". It's a gelatious substance made from particular plants. Agar is similar to gelatin, but since it's from plants instead of animal, it is suitable for vegetarians. Agar is also low in calorie and high in fiber... sounds good huh? And... don't forget about the soy milk! It's usually known to be a healthy alternative to cow milk. So..., this Taiwanese treat is not only easy to make but also seems to be good for our health too:)

The rich flavour of soy and smooth texture melted away in my mouth and the sweet brown syrup followed them into my stomach... This is the dessert to have after a big meal;)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Taiwan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pancake Day (どら焼き Dara yaki)

Today is Pancake Tuesday. Is everyone making pancakes?

There is no Pancake day in Japan, but I'm doing it anyway:) I made a type of Japanese pancake called "どら焼き (Dora yaki)". They are like pancake sandwiches which have Annko (sweet azuki bean paste). The pancakes are normally thick and soft sponge-like texture. The traditional Dorayaki has Annko in it, but recently a number of varieties can be found... with whipped cream, cream cheese, custard... almost anything...

Making Dorayaki at home is simple. Just make American style thick pancake with a bit of honey in it, and sandwich anything you like! Be creative, make it modern!

Ingredients;

Flour 80g
Rice flour 20g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Egg 1
Sugar 30g
Milk 100ml
Honey 1 tbsp
Annko (As much as you like)

1. Mix flour, rice flour, sugar and baking powder well in a bowl.
2. Add eggs, milk and honey into 1 and mix well.
3. Heat up the pan and spray oil.
4. Make pancakes one at a time. Cook both side.
5. Rest the cooked pancakes for 10 minutes. Sandwich Annko.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tapioca banana pudding

Next few weeks, I'm borrowing my mum's kitchen to try out some Asian recipes (and of course, some sweets from other places too;D). So..., we're going to start with a full of exotic flavour and texture, Tapioca Banana Pudding!

Those dried tapioca that we find in super markets look quite different when it's cooked. When I put the tapioca in a pot, I knew I shouldn't put too much because it will soak up water and get bigger (A bit like pop corns in a way....) However, I couldn't help myself and put a little too much and ended up a pot full of tapioca! Anyway, I love its' unique texture popping in my mouth. Humm, yum yum;)

This is called pudding but it's not like the egg based pudding such as creme brulee or caramel pudding. Tapioca pudding is more like a thick soup. Bananas and tapioca give this desserts a real stickiness and coconut milk brings all together.

The Tapioca pudding recipe is not too strict. Adjust the sweetness as you like as well as the amount of bananas;)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipe, Cambodia.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Super traditional Japanese wedding

Today, still chill but a beautiful sunny spring day, was my cousin's wedding day. They celebrated one of their most memorable days in very traditional Japanese wedding. The bride wore a pure white Kimono and my cousin worn Haori Hakama, a formal male costume. They looked absolutely gorgeous.

The ceremony was so different from the western style. It was very formal, in fact, it was so formal that everything looked so well planed. Pretty different from our one!

Even though their wedding was a super traditional one, they still had cake cut :) The cake was a lovely square sponge with cream and lots of fresh fruits on top. I was wearing Kimono so I couldn't have much food, but of course, Cake IS exceptional, right... It was soft, fresh and sweet, perfect for a newly married couple;)

Happy wedding to my cousin and his new wife! Thanks for such a wonderful wedding :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

雛祭り (Hinamatsuri)

March 3rd is called "雛祭り (Hinamatsuri) in Japan. It's a celebration day for girls, also known as the festival of dolls. When my sister and I was born, my grand parents got this set of dolls, each of which dressed up in an ancient Japanese court costume. Girls used to dress up in a nice Kimono and play with cards, eat some sweets and enjoy themselves. Nowadays, it's just another celebration day, and doesn't seem to be considered as a big deal. In fact, it's getting more and more rare to have a full set of five or seven tires of dolls and display them. ...Anyway, end of a culture lecture...., shall we?

Today, on Hinamatsuri, I got back in Japan, where my parents live, and those dolls are there even though both the girls have already (my sis & I) left home... According to my mum, my dad decided to put them out  and he said..."I don't care if the girls are here or not! I'm getting them out nicely anyway!" Yes, he's as stubborn as me, I know... I guess that was the lonely dad's best gesture... well, they are beautiful, dad:)

To show my appreciation to my dad's effort, I made Japanese sweet called "三色だんご (Sanshoku Dango)", meaning rice ball sweets in three colours". It's normally comes in pink, white and green, tasting cherry blossom, plain, yomogi (or mugwort) respectively. However, I didn't have necessary ingredients so I just used food colourings to make them look like it. They may taste not the same as the authentic ones but they look cute and yummy anyway!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3x celebration!

Everyone! Have you realised that this post is my 100th post of The World of Sweets Diary! Lots of nice treats and some failure, I'm so happy to come this far. Of course, I'm aiming for thousands and thousands more posts to tell you about the World of Sweets Kitchen affairs:)

So, the 100th post is one of 3 celebration of today. The second is, it's my "Mum in England" (that's what I call her), Louise's birthday. Happy Birthday Louise, xxx! I've sent her lots of love with this cute cupcake:)


The Third is... maybe not as big as the last two, but I've completed my 30days of Bikram yoga session without failing any single day! I've got to be a bit aware of being fit so that I have a bigger cake hole... anyway, this is for me an amazing achievement, and I think I should give myself a little treat.....

Well, well, well, so far so good, let's run forward to 1000s post!