Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chocolate Jam Cake

With Polka Dot Collar

<Note: Once again Livewriter and Blogger are not working with each other so if this post looks a little off, my apologies>
The day has come to post my final blog. I get emotional leaving the blogging world and don’t know how to go about it…not quite ready to say goodbye so I will just say that I’m taking a long vacation…in that way, I can come back if I miss sharing the wonderfully, spectacular, amazing recipe I find on my vacation, right?

This has been a pretty busy year. The family room remodeling we started back in June finally finished last week, yay!  Four trips to see our grandchildren plus the contractor took a three week over-sea trip as well (we didn't see him for 5 weeks and I was a little worried) delayed the finish. During the extra hectic six months, I was just so ready to quit, however, I wanted to see the 5 year blog anniversary which came on December 4th. Now it’s time to do something new. 
I have made some great dishes, many were good, a few were so-so and the rest were nasty. I posted them all because I didn’t have a back-up. My readers are so kind leaving very nice comments each week. I’m truly grateful for that.
This recipe I chose for my last entry is Italian cake from my old cook book, somewhat dense though, the polka dots resemble falling snow…great fit for Christmas scene (don’t you think?) and has nostalgic mayonnaise cake like flavor.

Ingredients and Instruction for 1 nine inch cake pan (Print Recipe Here)

Necessary equipment – food scale, stand or hand held electric mixer, sifter, 9 inch round with at least 2-1/2 inch depth cake pan, parchment paper
For cake -
  • 125g butter (1 stick and 1 Tablespoon), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1/3 cup self rising flour*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder*  Note: Combine all asterisk marked ingredients and sift 3 times, do not skip this process
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Grease inside of the pan with butter or oil. Cut parchment paper to fit bottom and side inside (1/2 taller than the pan) of the pan. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with mixer until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition. Then add strawberry jam, mix very well.
  3. Fold in pre-sifted flour mixture alternately with buttermilk with large spatula. Stir until smooth but avoid over mixing.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 45 minutes until wooden skewer comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool. Peel off the paper.
For White Chocolate Icing -
  • 150g (4-3/4 oz) white chocolate, cut in small pieces though, not necessary if using round melts.
  • 125g (4oz) butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup cream 
  1. Combine chocolate, butter and cream in a small pan. Stir oven low heat until melted. Transfer into small bowl to cool, stirring occasionally. It will be semi-solid in about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Transfer cake to serving plate. Spread sides and top of cake evenly.
For Chocolate Collar – measure the height , circumference of cake with ruler. Cut parchment paper accordingly.
  • 40g (1-1/3oz) white chocolate, shaved
  • 80g (2-2/3oz) dark chocolate, shaved
  1. Melt white chocolate in double-boiler on low heat until creamy. Drop melted chocolate randomly on prepared paper strip and smooth  to flatten a little bit. Allow to set, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Note: over-heating chocolate make the chocolate grainy so do not go beyond 120F. 96F is ideal temperature. I recommend to use instant read food thermometer.
  2. Melt dark chocolate the same way as above. Working quickly, spread the chocolate evenly over the entire strip.
  3. Immediately  wrap the chocolate side of paper around cake. Wait for the chocolate to set. Carefully peel the paper off. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Dust top with cocoa powder.
I put strawberry Santas on for seasonal effect – I loved that each Santa has his own character…’みんな違って、みんないい' We are all different and all wonderful!…famous quote of Misuzu Kaneko the Japanese poet.

Like I said, every blogger is different and all are wonderful! I come to enjoy each one of you and your gifts. I was inspired, got misty eyes and laughed out loud.
Thank you, thank you very much! I’m thankful for my husband also for huge part of creating, without him and his support this would have never happened. I will continue to follow you as much as I can. I am wishing you the very best…you all are awesome!

First time in three years, I put up a Christmas tree…the vaulted ceiling makes the tree look so small…but cute…

 I sincerely hope the season will bring you peace and love.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pumpkin Rolls

From Tedo’s Kitchen


Tutorial YouTube videos are fascinating especially in the food genre…a black hole of video after video, you could spend hours until your brain is overflowing with information like how to make tiger sushi roll (which I will probably never attempt)…nonetheless mesmerizing, entertaining with catchy music.

My favorites are Chef Devaux, a sushi guy, his technique is amazing! With an English speaking dog (really?) host Cooking with dog is kind of silly but she has I mean they have many followers. I recently discovered Tedo’s Kitchen by accident. I really like his low key closed-caption presentations.


I was busy getting ready to leave for Hawaii, so my husband stepped up to this task of making the rolls. He revised Mr. Tedo’s recipe just slightly. See above link for original YouTube recipe version. There is no English subtitle but it’s not difficult to follow instruction and his dog is darling!

Ingredients and Instruction for 6 rolls (Print Recipe Here)

For dough -

  • 300g Bread flour
  • 5g salt
  • 25g dark brown sugar
  • 20g white sesame oil
  • 150g soy milk
  • 20g live natural yeast or dry yeast
  • Vegetable oil or butter for greasing muffin tin

For Pumpkin paste -

  • 150g pumpkin (kabocha variety) Note: buy smallest kabocha you could find.
  • 20g butter
  • 20g Kibi sugar (きび砂糖) or other sugar of your choice

For syrup - 

  • About 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water

Black sesame seeds for topping

  1. Mix bread flour, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.DSC_7591
  2. Heat soy milk to 86F(lukewarm) in a small sauce pan, add yeast and stir, add to the flour mixture then add sesame oil. Mix well and knead until it comes together by hand. Cover with plastic or large lid. Raise to double in size. 1-2 hours.
  3. While the dough is rising, make the pumpkin paste – put whole pumpkin in a microwave. Microwave for 5-6 minutes on 60% power or until soft. Insert skewer to check doneness. Quarter the pumpkin and remove seeds, skin and reserve about 150g. Mush the pumpkin while it’s hot, add butter, kibi sugar, mix until creamy. If you like smoother paste, strain through fine mesh. Set aside. Note: Mr. Tedo steams the kabocha pumpkin (see the video for more detail).
    DSC_7593 DSC_7601
  4. When the dough has doubled, roll out to approximately 13x9. Spread the kabocha pumpkin on top leaving about 1/2 inch space on one long end. Roll the dough from opposite long end. Now you have a log.DSC_7615DSC_7617DSC_7619
  5. Grease the muffin tin, cut the log in 6ths. Insert each piece in a muffin tin and let raise again.
  6. Heat oven to 356F. Put in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes.DSC_7631
  7. On the center of about a 10x10 sheet of plastic wrap, mix powdered sugar and water. Gather the edges together and twist the top to secure. Poke a hole with toothpick and glaze the just baked rolls.  Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top while the syrup is still wet. DSC_7627DSC_7629DSC_7637


Heee! the pic is awful! but I wanted show you my version of pumpkin (left over from above recipe) ‘œuf pudding’ of Quatre. #todayssweets, instagram post. IMG_5935

Killer Kalbi recipe from Jalna’s blog. Her blog is full of charm, laughter and sincerity. My husband and I loved this recipe…tender, juicy and flavor packed (#todaystapas).IMG_5958

The 20 foot tall golden chain tree in our back yard fell taking the roots with it. Our kind neighbor and his son came to help clear the tree limbs. We appreciated their help.IMG_5944

Surprised to find strawberries in the chilly rainy weather…not expecting it to get ripe though, I can’t help cheering them. IMG_5942

The reason that I’m going to Hawaii is to meet this fellow. My daughter delivered him two weeks ago. 11223685_10153630647370042_2163542592326194562_n


I’m deeply saddened by an another terrorist attack in Paris. Sorry for your pain and my prayers are with you. Dieu soit avec vous.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Persimmon and Chicken Teriyaki

Recipe adapted from Today’s Cooking


My husband’s co-worker gave us persimmons harvested from her own tree…my favorite, Fuyu variety with no seeds. As child, I would climb on a stone fence and snatch one…maybe two from neighbors. Some persimmon varieties are very astringent and inedible yet I knew the way to remedy the problem – peel the fruit leaving the stem intact then string it to dry in the sun. They turned very sweet…where did you get those? I don’t know why my mother bothered asking the question when she already knew the answer? I’m sure the neighbors would have gladly gave us of the abundance of the fruits since they can’t eat them all but perhaps pretending to be a shinobi (忍び /incognito) girl was thrilling…occasional scratches and bruises were part of the occupational hazard.


I like to eat these like an apple, maybe with cream cheese though,  I would like to venture out for savory dish. Again I’m on the internet, search for savory persimmon recipe. Today’s Cooking caught my interest. Luckily, I have almost everything to make it happen and it seemed very easy. I also love the speedy clean-up at the end of the meal!

Ingredients and Instruction for two servings (Print Recipe Here)


  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons mirin
  • 4 Tablespoons sake
  • 2  teaspoons sugar

Other ingredients

  • 10-12 green beans, cut both ends off, then cut in half
  • 300g boneless chicken thigh (about 2 chicken thighs), cut in one inch cubes.
  • 1 Tablespoon flour or cornstarch for gluten free version
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 fairly firm persimmons (Fuyu variety recommended), cut in 4ths, peel skin (remove seeds if they have) then slice in 1/2 inch slices so that it will be a triangular shape.DSC_7535
  • 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, roughly chopped if they are whole
  • Juice from 1 kabosu (かぼす)  Note: I was not able to find this type of citrus, I substituted lime and satsuma orange.DSC_7544
  1. Mix sauce ingredients in a measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside
  2. Ready ice cold water in a bowl. Blanch green beans in salted (approximately 1 Tablespoon salt to 3 cups of water) boiling water about 1 minute. Drain water then quickly submerge the green beans into the prepared cold water bowl. When the green beans get cold, remove the beans. Set aside.
  3. Lightly coat chicken with flour or corn starch. Heat oil in large non-stick frying pan at medium heat. Brown chicken until golden in color. DSC_7540
  4. Push the chicken to the side of the pan and spread persimmons in the rest of the pan. When browned, flip over to brown the other side, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Add blanched green beans and walnuts to the pan and stir.DSC_7553
  6. Pour in the prepared sauce, simmer at low heat until sauce thickens. It takes only 1-2 minutes so keep an eye on it so as to not let it burn.DSC_7558
  7. Squeeze lime and orange juice in. Stir. Serve warm.DSC_7561Voila!DSC_7573

 Other persimmon recipes we tried and  I posted on Instagram(#todaystapas,#todayssweets) are great I think.

Caramel persimmon and banana bread…next time I have to double the recipe and would like to share with neighbors…I follow the Japanese recipe and barely filled 3x5 pan. No-wonder Japanese people are skinny (me not included).IMG_5885-2

Persimmon Bread by my husband….so many persimmons so little time. Next stop - Angie’s Persimmon StreuselIMG_5896-3

We like persimmons yet a change of pace was inevitable….oven baked cheesy meatloaf in a kabocha bowl.IMG_5876-2

My mischievous Shinobi girl days are long gone…I can’t climb any fence over 3 feet tall now.