A belated happy new year to you guys, hope you had a great start into 2013! I started my new year having champagne with my family at 12 and then went to Roppongi, where I had a fabulous new year’s eve with friends. Roppongi – that’s right, I’m in Japan again and of course, I also took a loooot of pictures during the past week and I want to share a few with you in another Sunday’s Seven post today!
There’s something about starbucks seasonal drinks that always makes me want to try all of them – a while ago I had apple crumble latte and I’m still eager to try pumpkin spice as soon as I get the opportunity. Today, I had this Chocolate Brownie Mocha here in Tokyo. It was a cafe mocha with whipped cream, caramel sauce and brownie crumbles on top – yum!
Due to new-year-celebration-related family-meetings I had the chance to meet my japanese step-grandmother (from who I got the recipe for pumpkin pudding, remember? ) for the first time. This time, she let me try some of her home made kuri kinton (a kind of sweet chestnuts paste, on the left) and mame kinton (a sweet paste consisting of beans, on the right) – both really delicious. She also told me how to make these – hope I can find some time to try it out soon!
The obligatory sushi. On another new-year-related family gathering I got to eat at Momotaro in Komazawa, Tokyo once again. The photo shows Anago sushi but I also had Amaebi, Negitoro, Hirame and a few others and everything was delicious, as always.
Ryukyu – an Oita specialty (Oita is a prefecture on one of the southern japanese islands). It’s sashimi (=raw fish) marinated in a sauce of soy sauce, sake, mirin, chopped leeks (or chives?) and sesame. My dad made this for me a few days ago, he chose buri (japanese amberjack), which is in season at the moment, as sashimi and it tasted just great!
A snapshot of the bakery showcase of Dean & Deluca in Shinjuku. Love the way how muffins, scones and cakes are presented – it looks so beautiful & yummy!
Matcha Cruller Donut at Krispy Kreme in Shibuya. It tasted good, I liked that this was not overly sweet although glazed with white chocolate, but “the original” donut (a simple, sugar-glazed Krispy Kreme donut) is still better!
I love the small details of japanese patisserie, like this tiny wooden Tour d’Eiffel (or Tokyo tower?) which is meant to help taking the cookies out of their small separate sections in the cookie box.
A new café, run by students, opened up in my town. It’s not just a café, rather supposed to be a place for hanging out, being creative, meeting people, and having some coffee and cake. About two weeks ago, a friend of mine posted about the opening of this café called Kü-Ché (“küche” means kitchen in german) on facebook, that he was in his way to get there, so I decided to grab my camera and join him last minute.
And this was one of these wonderful spontaneous decisions, of which you are really glad afterwards that you came to them, and of which you think that you would’ve missed a lot otherwise. I had a really great time at the Kü-Ché talking to a lot of interesting people and having cake and cappuccino with soy milk. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try every cake, but the ones I had a piece of – the pumpkin cheese cake and lebkuchen (chocolate-covered gingerbread cake) – were definitely yummy!
The café itself is a pretty cosy place, a dimly lit room with several sofas and rustical-style interior. The furniture seems to be mostly vintage and maybe a little cobbled together, which underlines the comfortable ambience. It’s a place I had been missing in my town until now, a living room-style café for getting to know different people while indulging in some home-baked treats. They offer a different choice of vegan and non-vegan cakes & snacks on monday, tuesday, thursday and friday afternoons. You can even bring your own baked goods – a thing I’ll definitely do sometime in near future
Fall is here. The time for snuggling up in cozy woolen pullovers, enjoying the last few warm days of the year with golden sunlight, time for cooking hot stews and of course for lots of pumpkin!
Semester has started, but fortunately I’m not that busy with studying yet so I still have time for cooking and baking with that lot of pumpkin. My new flat is fine, I have a lot of space in my room, much light because of the big windows, and a great kitchen. I share the flat with three guys, all really friendly and of which one loves cooking as well! In fact, it was him who said that he wasn’t such a huge fan of pumpkin dishes, and ended up telling me about how surprisingly good this pumpkin pudding I recently made tasted.
Pumpkin pudding was my first choice of seasonal pumpkin dishes to make this year. It’s a recipe my japanese step-grandmother send me a few months ago, and I just had to try it out. As I didn’t have a pan inset for steaming the pumpkin on hand, I simply baked the pumpkin (cut it in halves, remove the seeds, put cut side down into a baking pan, cover with aluminium foil and bake for about 1h or until soft at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F), but you could also use canned pumpkin.
| Pumpkin pudding with cinnamon whipped cream
makes 2 18cm/7-inch puddings
500g steamed/baked pumkin, peeled and mashed (or 500g canned pumpkin, see note above!)
80g + 5 tbsps granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 pinches ground cinnamon
a little butter
for the cinnamon whipped cream:
Nope, I’m not dead. And neither is kawaii kitchen! I had never planned to abandon my blog for sooo long, but there were so many things going on in the past few months that somehow time for baking and blogging lacked. For those of you who wanna know – “so many things” refers to exams in June, the fact that I moved into a new flat in July, then left for 4 weeks of traveling around because of a summer job. After that, I stayed at my boyfriend’s, visited him for a few weeks before semester starts again, and I finally found some time for baking again. This time, I decided to try a recipe from a different blog.
My boyfriend loves nutella, and he loves macarons. Three weeks ago was our 5th anniversary, so what did I do? Yep – I baked these adorable hazelnut nutella macarons for him.
These macarons contain not only almond meal but also ground hazelnuts. I used whole ones, roasted them for about 10-15minutes at 170 degrees C to bring out their whole flavour, ground them finely in a food processor and then sifted the hazelnut meal before measuring the weight. For the pretty looks, I decided to make a few heart-shaped macarons and decorated some of the shells with leftover hazelnut pieces.
The result was satisfying, my boyfriend loved those little fluffy heart-shaped treats. For my taste, the nutella filling was a little bit over the top, made the macarons slightly too sweet, so next time I’ll probably substitute it with a semisweet chocolate ganache. But all in all, these macarons tasted good, had the perfect texture – crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle with a creamy filling, and they looked cute. So thanks a lot for the recipe, Gourmantine!
A few weeks ago, I had planned to bake some cupcakes for my best friend. He wanted either some REALLY fruity cupcakes or Oreo cupcakes. So I started to try baking some really fruity cupcakes with fruity frosting, but the results didn’t satisfy me, which made me decide to stay with the good old and foolproof (at least so I thought at that time) Oreo cupcakes. But then, I somehow managed to truly mess up the frosting. It was too sweet and didn’t have the right consistency – kind of flaky instead of creamy, not really tasty as frosting.
So I had to improvise and make another frosting quickly. When realizing I didn’t have enough ingredients for making the oreo frosting once again and shops were already closed, I slightly started to panic … but then, I found these lovely strawberries in the refridgerator. Remembering that should also be some white chocolate somewhere in the cupboard, I started to make a new frosting – a fruity one this time. Luckily, this one turned 0ut to be just the way I had imagined – creamy, refreshing and not overly sweet. The taste of the strawberries fits wonderfully with the white chocolate and because the whole frosting is rather light, it complements the rich chocolate muffin underneath very well.
|Part 1: Oreo Cupcakes (adapted from A Cup Full of Cake)
makes about 15 cupcakes
60g (= about 2 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)
12 Oreo cookies (plus some more, in case you break a few while trying to twist off the bottoms!)
1 large egg (at room temperature)
1/2 cup whole milk
3/8 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 good pinch of salt
1/3 cup water, heated to boiling
|Part 2: Strawberry frosting
makes more than enough for about 15 cupcakes
200g white chocolate, chopped
about 300g strawberries + some more for decorating