Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day of Confession

Strawberry mousse cake

DSC_3516I love St.Valentine’s Day in the US. As always, my old fashioned husband had a dozen red roses delivered to me. We usually go out for fancy dinner. We have odd number household this year and I felt leaving my still wounded (from divorce) son home alone is pitiful so off to plan B. I make dinner and we just have a nice quiet time watching shows we DVRed, particularly  the ‘Once upon the time’ which is destroying my beautiful fairy-tale images for sadly ever after!DSC_3494DSC_3380DSC_3375

My husband informed me the night before Valentine’s Day that my son is going to Portland Trailblazer game with friends. Really? That’s kind of important information isn’t it? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I just got the memo too, he said. Shoot! It’s too late for dinner reservation thus Plan B still move forward.

I spent entire Valentine’s Day afternoon preparing special feast (not really). I was thinking while making the dinner “how come Japanese celebrate this day so differently than the US?”  On Valentine’s Day in Japan, girls/women are allowed to confess their love with a gift usually chocolate. When I was in middle and high school I gave chocolate to popular, out of my league guys too. These chocolates are barometer of how desirable they are. For popular guys, it’s a day for celebration and for others, just painful reminder that life is not fair.

I confess that I’m so glad that March 14th was not invented back then (this is the day which boys confess their love back with cookies and is called White Day). If no boys gave me any cookies then it would be a huge disappointment and an empty stomach. I probably wouldn’t do Valentine’s giggly thing for fear that I won’t receive return of love on White Day. Last year, I blogged about the same subject and my husband gave me Godiva cookies. You really, really love me! I had no idea!

Ingredients for Strawberry mousse cake

15-1/2 X 11 rimmed pan lined with parchment paper that reaches above the pan about 2 inches

Acetate film-purchased at The Decorette shop or other cooking supply store

Scotch tape-I did not have but invisible tape look prettier.

Candy thermometer

Cocoa sponge cake

  • Egg 420g about 8 large eggs
  • Sugar 210g
  • Cake flour or weak power flour 160g sifted with cocoa powder below.
  • Unsweetened cocoa  powder 25g
  • Milk 40g- heat in small sauce pan and add butter below to melt. Do not boil.
  • Unsalted butter 40g
  1. Mix egg and sugar in a double boiler and warm the egg mixture to 100F.
  2. Put egg mixture into the bowl of stand mixer and mix on high until doubled in volume and light in color; 3-4 minutes.
  3. Lower the speed  to low and mix about 2 minutes.
  4. Add flour and cocoa mixture and fold it in with rubber spatula.  Make sure to combine well.
  5. Pour in melted butter and milk mixture. Combine well.
  6. Pour in batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake in oven for 12 minutes at 410 F. Check for doneness.
  8. Lift up by paper and place on top of cooling rack and peel off paper.

Make syrup by combining 3 Tablespoons of water and 3 Tablespoons of fine sugar in small microwave proof cup and microwave to melt (about 20 seconds ). Add 2-3 Tablespoons of rum after cooled (optional). Set it aside.

Ingredients for custard cream. Enough for 6 cake.

  • Milk 125g
  • Heavy cream 125g
  • Vanilla beans half DSC_3444
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Fine sugar 30g
  • Unflavored gelatin 3g
  1. In a small sauce pan, combine milk and cream. Add vanilla bean and scrape in the seed. Put shell in the it too. Warm up to just before boil. Set aside
  2. In a bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar until light yellow color then add milk mixture a little at a time. Discard vanilla bean shell.
  3. Strain the mixture and put back in the small sauce pan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat.
  4. Sprinkle in gelatin and mix well with whisk.
  5. Put ice in a large bowl, then put the saucepan on the ice and stir to thicken and cool.


  1. Cut out circle from cocoa sponge cake ( I used 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter).DSC_3442
  2. Brush sponge cake with syrup. You do not use all the syrup.
  3. Wrap the sponge with acetate film and over wrap by an inch and tape the end.
  4. Pour custard over and place another sponge on top. DSC_3446
  5. Chill in refrigerator.

Ingredients for Strawberry mousse

  • Heavy cream 110g
  • Strawberry puree 150g and 100g for jell- make your own by using blender or food processer.
  • Gelatin 5g
  • Sugar 25g
  1. Whip cream until soft peak.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine strawberry puree 150g and sugar then cook just until boiling point. Remove from heat.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin and mix well to dissolve.
  4. Cool by putting ice and water in a large bowl, then placing the saucepan in. Stir while cooling until it thickens a little bit. Remove from ice water- the puree should still be runny.
  5. Add to whipped cream and fold to combine.
  6. Scoop onto the assembled cake.DSC_3451

Strawberry Jell

  • In a small sauce pan, cook 100g of strawberry puree and sugar 15g –do not boil.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring (optional).
  • Add gelatin and mix well. Let it cool in pan. 
  • Pour on the assembled cake and chill for a couple of hours.DSC_3456
  • Decorate with fruits and sweetened whipped cream.DSC_3526DSC_3481

DSC_3501Salad with parmesan cheese crisps

DSC_3475Shrimp and vegetable baked in parchment paper

DSC_3512Main course – garlic pepper and thyme rubbed roast beef with roasted vegetables

DSC_3528DSC_3537I made fresh chocolate (生チョコレート) for friends.


Pink roses are my favorite. Just so lovely!


  1. Replies
    1. Jalna, For you I do! Thank you for your comment.

  2. Wow. This is kind of crazy. When did you become an amazing pastry chef????

    1. Mariko, Thanks! It was time consuming dessert but I will make it for you and Jalna.

  3. 美味しそう〜〜


    1. ちびかーちゃん、とっても面倒なケーキ。でも喜ばれたらまた作ってあげたくなるね。

  4. With a beautiful dinner like this why would you need to go out to a "fancy dinner"?! :-)

  5. You are truly amazing and talented! Paul and I send our best to you, Kirk, and your family!
    Love The Paul Abbotts

    1. Thank you so much. Long time no see but I'm so glad to reconnect with you and Paul. I hope you and your family are doing well.

  6. 素敵なムースですね!こんなお菓子いつか作れるようになりたい!お料理も美味しそう!!!

    1. なみちゃん、ちょっと面倒だったけど、美味しくできました。 先日きゅうりとわかめの酢の物を作ろうとしたら、わかめがなかったの。このところ日本料理を作ってなくて、ストックが悪いです。なみちゃんは日本女性の鏡ですね。