Tuesday, December 21, 2010


My friend is moving to Utah. She is the second Japanese friend to move there. What is so special about Utah? Besides the fact that our church Prophet lives there, the grand Salt Lake City Temple, the awesome Tabernacle Choir, great skiing in Park City Utah, the natural wonder of Zion National Park or the beautiful St. George Temple where my husband and I were married? Why do you want to move there? A place where there is no ocean near by ,,,, Duh, her husband’s new job is in Salt Lake City. That’s a good reason to move. So we had a ‘won’t say good bye but we will see you again someday party”. Another Japanese friend opened up her house for this occasion. Her house is filled with Japanese artifacts and she even had her dining room converted to a kotatsu(コタツ)room with tatami(畳) floor and gorgeous kimono display on the wall gives you sense of being in Japan.
Soon to be Utahan, me in the middle, host
We had Nabe ryori(鍋料理) which you cook any kind of meat, fish, vegetable and tofu in dashi broth in big stone pot. This style of cooking is a staple in winter to fend off cold. Indeed we made ourselves comfortable from warmth of kotatsu and our conversation.
P1010380Yose nabe (よせ鍋)
P1010381Matsumae zuke (松前漬け)
P1010382Kiriboshi daikon(切干大根)
P1010377Kale salad- Host’s black dish make this colorful salad pop!
P1010389Anpan アンパン (bread with sweet red bean filling)ー This is my departing friends specialty. The best!

P1010374And my contribution to the party- chocolate chestnut cup cake. I think I created a good likeness of Japanese cake. Very light chiffon cup cake had my husband’s seal of approval. Chestnut cream was a struggle to make but you can make different topping.

Chiffon cake – makes 12+

  • Flour 50g
  • Corn starch 20g
  • Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder 2 Tablespoons
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 4  large egg yolks, beat well
  • Sugar 100g
  • Oil 50CC
  • Milk 50CC
  • Rum flavor extract 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla 1/2 teaspoon
  1. In medium bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and cocoa. Sift flour mixture three times, set aside.
  2. In electric mixer, beat egg white until frothy.
  3. Pour sugar in a little at a time, continue beating.
  4. Pour in egg yolks and beat well until soft peaks form.
  5. Sprinkle flour mixture in and mix well at low speed.
  6. Pour in oil and milk and mix well.
  7. Pour the batter into cup cake pan lined paper cup.
  8. Bake at 320F for about 20 minutes.



Chestnut cream

  • Chestnuts – I used 1/3 of William Sonoma jar chestnut
  • Half and half or milk
  • Cream 300g
  • Rum flavor extract 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar
  1. In food processer, process chest nuts until fine.
  2. Pour half and half or milk slowly to find right constancy, I used about 3/4 cup milk to reach softened cream cheese consistency.
  3. Add sugar a little at a time - about 2 tablespoons or more to your taste
  4. Add rum flavor extract. Mix well to smooth texture.
In clean, dry bowl beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer to soft peak. Add chestnut cream (I strained it thru a fine mesh to make it smoother) a little at a time (you don’t have to use all of the chestnut cream in this) to your liking. Add more sugar if you like. Beat well until peak form.


Put one chestnut (jar chestnut cooked in sweet syrup available in Asian market) on top of the chocolate chiffon cup cake then pipe the chestnut cream around it to make mount. Shave bar chocolate on top of it. Enjoy.
I am grateful for her friendship, the good times we shared and all those temple trips we made. Thanks for the memories. Good luck in Utah, my friend. Just don’t like it there too much. Oregon is ichiban.!cid_image003_jpg@01CBA0F2                                          Soon to be Utahan, me, another friend


  1. Weird. I thought I left a comment here...
    I want a tatami room, and I want all that food. Can you make it and send it to me? (Or at least the recipes.)
    Was the chestnut cream better this time? It looks very nice and creamy.

  2. i want a kotatsu! yes, even in hawaii it get cold...sometimes