Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Birthday to Steve!

Happy Birthday to Steve!
It was my brother-in-law's birthday yesterday so I baked this cheese and herb bread ring.

It has grated Parmesan cheese in the dough and some herbs and black pepper, and cream cheese inside. I thought the savoury taste of this ring would go well with the beers and nuts we gave him. ;)

Hope you had a great day, Steve!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

- BON APPETIT. - The very first recipe...

As I mentioned on my previous post, my first illustrated recipe is now available online!

Visit BON APPETIT.!

I choose 'Basic Swiss Roll' as BON APPETIT's very first recipe to share. The reason why is because I love Swiss roll!, and as a 'Thank you' to everyone who visit my blog I wanted to share one of my all time favourite recipes to start with!




More illustrations are coming soon. I'll keep you updated!

Monday, March 25, 2013

- BON APPETIT. - The illustrated recipes

Sneaky peek of my recipe book...

Lately I've been working hard on my first recipe book. It is quite unique. I'm presenting my favourite recipes through my illustrations instead of long complicated sentences. I'm aiming to have a very simple but fun and pretty looking recipes that make you even want to put them on a wall.

The illustrations are coming along nicely, and very soon I'm going to publish each illustrated recipe on my blog page.

Watch this space! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday to me & my sister!

So so so, it's our birthday today! Happy birthday to my sister and me! Unfortunately we cannot be in the same place but I'm sure she's had a fantastic birthday too.

I baked my birthday cake myself... Some people might think 'what? you made your own birthday cake?' But I love it because I get to bake exactly how I want it.

This year was kind of special for me because it's the first time we celebrate my birthday with my daughter, so I wanted to make something that she can have some too as well as Andy and I can enjoy. So, I went for one of my favourite, Swiss roll, again! (I did that for my dad's 60th birthday, didn't I...) But I made the sponge without sugar but substituted with banana, which worked amazingly well. Then added unsweetened cream and fruits in the middle. That was one heavenly birthday cake for me.

I had the whole thing for dinner. After all, it's my birthday, let me eat cake!

Thanks to all my family and friends who made my birthday such an amazing day, and specially thank you to my mum and dad who brought me into this world.

お母さん、お父さん。また誕生日がやってきました。ラナが生まれて初めての誕生日、あらためて誕生日の’ありがたさ’を感じてます。いつもなかなか言葉にして言えんけど、色んな意味で、ありがとう。

Monday, March 18, 2013

Matcha and sweet beans bread

Green tea and sweet beans...This is my ultimate Japanese bread! Some people might already know but I LOVE green tea, and that's definitely a taste of home for me.

I added green tea powder into a soft Japanese style bread dough. Even a small amount of green tea powder is enough to make the dough beautiful green and you will immediately start to smell the distinctive flavour.

I also kneaded in sweet kidney beans to make it proper Japanesey. :)

I finished baking bread just in time for breakfast, and it was simply awesome... The sweet beans were spread nicely and blended with the aromatic green tea flavour so perfectly.

Nothing can beat freshly baked breads and a taste of home...

Ingredients:

Strong flour 245g
Matcha powder 5g
Yeast 3g
Salt 3g
Egg 1 + Milk =200g
Butter 30g
---
Kidney beans 1tin
Brown sugar 50g
---
Egg for glaze

1. Place the beans and sugar in a sauce pan, cover with water, and cook until the water has reduced and become sticky. Cool it aside.
2. Put all the ingredients except butter and cooked beans in the standing mixer, and knead for a few minutes.
3. Add butter and beans. Keep kneading for 10 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and rest it until it has doubled in size.
5. Punch the dough to let the air out. Divide into 10 pieces and make them into balls. Cover with cling film and rest for 10 minutes.
6. Gently reshape the balls into the shape you like and place on a baking tray. Rest until they have doubled in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Egg wash the bread and bake for 15 minutes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chestnut twist bread

I still have a few pots of chestnuts jam left in the freezer, so I thought I'd make one of my favourites, chestnut bread.

This time I went for the twist. I rolled out the dough and folded the jam in before I did the twist.

By varying the shape and spreading the jam instead of putting it inside, they looked totally different from the rounded buns. And the good thing was that the stick shape was great for dipping in tea or coffee, and also very easy for Lana to eat. ;)


Friday, March 15, 2013

Rum raisin cake

I realised that lately I've been making lots of breads and not many cakes, and yesterday I had a sudden urge of doing those delicate and gentle movement of cake making.

Since my daughter wasn't going to have the cake, I decided to give it a little booze. I added rum raisins. I soak raisins and vanilla beans together in rum and keep it in the fridge. It's very useful when I want to spice up a simple cake or ice cream.

I have to admit the rum raisin cake was absolutely heavenly... It was sweet, buttery, and not so alcoholic, which was good for morning tea.;)

Dust the raisins with a little flour so that they won't sink on the bottom.

Ingredients:

Flour 90g
Almond powder 10g
Sugar 100g
Butter (melted) 100g
Egg 2
Rum raisin 50g

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Beat eggs and sugar until it's fluffy.
2. Fold in melted butter into 1.
3. Sift flour and almond powder into 2.
4. Fold in rum raisin into 3.
5. Pour the mixture into cupcake tin. Bake in the preheated oven (180ºc) for 20minutes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sweet potapo & Soy bread

Look at this beautiful colour! It's from roasted sweet potato and soy flour. :) I replaced some of the flour to soy flour, which is a good source of protein, and added left over roasted sweet potato.

When I cut into the round loaf, I was very pleased to see the nice yellow colour, and not only that, the bread tasted really good. Roasted sweet potato was a hero! It gave the bread a soft silky texture as well as natural sweetness.

They were so popular in the house that the whole loaf was gone before noon... ;D

Ingredients:

Strong flour 200g
Soy flour 50g
Yeast 3g
Salt 3g
Milk 180g
Roasted sweet potato (skinned and mashed) 200g
Olive oil 1 tsp

1. Put all the ingredients except oil in the standing mixer, and knead for a few minutes.
2. Add oil. Keep kneading for 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and rest it until it has doubled in size.
4. Punch the dough to let the air out. Make it into a ball and rest for 10 minutes.
5. Gently reshape the dough and place on a baking tin. Rest it until it has doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Bake for 40 minutes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Banana milk buns

My daughter loves bananas. She is only 11 months but will easily eat a whole banana... Blood is thicker than water...

Anyway, I made banana buns for her. Because the ripe banana was already sweet as is, I didn't add any sugar. But the bread still had a subtle sweetness and taste of banana but not too over powering.

Andy and Lana kept going back for more. Seeing them enjoy my baking is the best compliment for me. ;D xxx

Ingredients:

Strong flour 215g
Rye flour 35g
Yeast 3g
Salt 3g
Milk 200g
Banana (peeled and mashed) 100g
Butter 20g
Egg for egg wash

1. Put all the ingredients except butter in the standing mixer, and knead for a few minutes.
2. Add butter. Keep kneading for 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and rest it until it has doubled in size.
4. Punch the dough to let the air out. Divide the dough into 7 pieces. Make them into balls and rest for 10 minutes.
5. Gently reshape the dough and place on a baking tray. Rest it until it has doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Egg wash the top. Bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rice flour milk bread

My basic ratio of ingredients for a loaf of bread is 'flour 100%, liquid 80%, + others...' and I like to vary the types of flour or liquid, or add other ingredients such as nuts, fruits and jams.

Today, I mixed rice flour with strong flour. The inside of the loaf was beautifully white and the texture was so nice and soft. I couldn't taste the rice flour much but it had a subtle sweetness of rice.

Next time I'm going to add more rice flour to see if the dough still keeps a good spring and shape. ;)

Ingredients:

Strong flour 200g
Rice flour 50g
Milk 200g
Brown sugar 20g
Yeast 3g
Salt 3g
Butter 20g

1. Put all the ingredients except butter in the standing mixer, and knead for a few minutes.
2. Add butter. Keep kneading for 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and rest it until it has doubled in size.
4. Punch the dough to let the air out. Make a ball and rest the dough for 10 minutes.
5.Grease the tin. Reshape the dough and place in the tin. Rest it until it has doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 190ºc. Bake for 40 minutes.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hinamatsuri. 雛祭り- 2013

Today is Hinamatsuri in Japan which is a day for girls, and this year it meant extra special to me because it's my daughter's first Hinamatsuri. :D

I made these Hinamatsuri dolls for Lana to wish that she becomes a beautiful young lady and has a lot of happiness in her life.

And of course, some Japanese sweets to go with the occasion. I made my take on Ichigo Daifuku. Instead of putting Azuki I put matcha cream in side and put a strawberry on the top (which is much easier than trying to put it in the middle). It's kind of a mix of Japanese and Western. (Oh! that's just like Lana!)

Lana is too young to have the mochi so that is going in mama's belly but she will have the strawberry. ;)