Tuesday, April 21, 2015

White Chocolate Mousse

With Raspberry Napaju

DSC_6433For me, a good place to immerse myself in deep thought is definitely a book store especially a Japanese book store. If they have a place to sit, that will be ideal….I take some cook books and go over to the children’s book section to browse-study… I mean to get inspired for my next blog post until my behind gets sore from sitting on the tiny wooden chair…

I came across this dormy…I mean dreamy dessert recipe by Yuuko Kumagai in her cook book, “Decoration method for Petit Gâteau” But where can I buy the dome shaped mold?  I stopped by my other favorite (usually just looking) store, Sur-la-Table to see if they have one…they did! The store clerk asked me what I am going to do with it…uh…hopefully to make mousse? It looks awfully difficult…but I was optimistic! I also checked their clearance sale corner to make sure I don’t need anything else I can’t live without…I must say their clearance pricing is leaving much to be desired…oops, did I say that out loud?

I mostly followed her recipe except napaju (shiny transparent coating)

Ingredients and Instructions to fill 4 - 3 inch diameter molds (Print Recipe Here)

For Biscuit – skip this process if you’re using store purchased sheet cake.

Equipment: rimmed cookie sheet, parchment paper or printer paper. Hand held mixer. Note: I doubled the biscuit recipe for a 12x 9 inch sheet cake.

  • 1 egg white
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30g low viscosity flour (薄力粉) sifted
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Beat egg white until cloudy at low speed with hand held mixer then add sugar. Switch to high speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add egg yolk and stir lightly with rubber spatula. Sprinkle in the flour. Scoop batter up from bottom and gently fold until the flour blends in.  Do not over mix.
  3. Spread batter to 10x 8 freeform on the parchment paper, Place on cookie sheet then bake for 8 - 9 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Wrap in plastic paper while the cake is slightly warm to prevent drying.DSC_6381DSC_6383

For Mousse

Equipment: 4 stainless steel molds   I used dome shape. Get ready for ice bath (ice and cold water in large bowl)

  • 200g milk
  • 30g sugar
  • 7g (1 packet) powder gelatin, soak in 50g of water -: pour water first in shallow bowl then sprinkle gelatin. DSC_6387
  • 100g White chocolate shaved and put in a *medium bowl (A) *1 size smaller than ice bath bowl
  • .DSC_6385
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 drops orange extract or 1 Tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
  • 180g heavy cream, beat till very soft peak
  • 50g frozen berries mix combine with raspberry jam below
  • 15g Raspberry jam
  1. Put milk and sugar in a small saucepan and heat till it just boils at medium heat. Remove from heat, add soaked gelatin and combine well.DSC_6388
  2. Pour half of the milk mixture in to the bowl of white chocolate A. Whisk well to combine. Add rest of milk mixture and mix well. Add lemon mixture and orange extract or Cointreau combine well.DSC_6389
  3. Carefully lower the white chocolate mixture bowl into the ice bath so that water will not get into the chocolate mixture.Whisk gently to thicken the chocolate mixture.
  4. When the mixture is thick (but still loose), add very soft peak heavy cream in two separate stages. Continue to whisk till it thickens but is not solid and pourable. If it gets too thick then add heavy cream or milk (2-3 Tablespoons) to loosen.
  5. Pour in the molds 2/3rd way up. Gently push1 Tablespoon of frozen berries mixed with raspberry jam in the center of mousse.Note; see the pic below, I put in too much! Aarrgh! Spoon in more mousse to cover the berries. Cut out biscuit cake one size smaller than mold. Place with the top side of the cake on bottom of the mousse, press. Put in the freezer until solid, 4-5 hours.
  6. When the mousse is frozen solid, stick a fork in the middle. Grab the fork and directly heat the mold all around for about 20 seconds (the mold will start sweating). Support with the palm of your hand under the flat side of mold and slide the mousse out gently with the fork. Decorate with fruits, Chantilly cream, gurasaju or napaju (recipe below). Refrigerate for about 1 hour to defrost

For raspberry napaju

Whisk 100g of raspberry jam and 1 Tablespoon hot water and 2 Tablespoons corn syrup. Strain through a mesh to make ultra smooth napaju. Set up a wire rack over the rimmed pan. Pour the napaju over the mousse. Keep in the refrigerator to defrost about 1 hour. Note: there are many napaju methods available online.  DSC_6416Mine looks less dreamy I know…I made a few mistakes but it was good challenge! And délicieux!

Last week’s  Today’s TAPAS Instagram posts (#todaystapas)  were slanted towered dessert…heck…probably not so good for you…The churros I ate with fruits for a balanced diet!IMG_3406 

Mango pudding topped with mango puree was for a friend who is on the mend. IMG_3502

We attended an Emergency Preparedness Fair coordinated by our church last Saturday. It was very educational event…how to store food and water safely, how much food we need to survive first 72 hours etc.…There were scratch and sniff card at the Northwest Gas Company booth… do you know how bad natural gas leaks smell?…gag…it wasn’t me!
I thought this Mt. St. Helen eruption photo from 1980 was something! IMG_3503

May 18th, 1980, my husband and I looked up the direction people were pointing out and saw the massive cloud of black smoke, visible in Portland… It was a really frightening sight.

Thank you for visiting, always grateful for your kind comments. Pleasure to know you through your fantastic blogs. I just want to say, keep going…you may not be aware of it but you are inspiring someone today with your message.

My husband and I are heading to Japan soon…see you in a few weeks.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuna Tartar Don(丼)

And Tuna Rice Sandwich



The Maguro (鮪/tuna) I bought was a bit unsightly, un-uniform in color…well I was watching my budget, less expensive than sashimi grade tuna for sure... Still grateful to get fresh maguro block. I decided to make tuna tartar…actually, mincing the meat with seasonings on the cutting board is called tataki (たたき)or namero (なめろ) in Japan. Check out similar recipe on my past blog here


Simple and flavor packed tuna tataki topped on the cooked rice is so awesome! Some of my friends can’t stand raw fish…why?  It’s so good!…But I totally get their sentiment… just like I have strong dislike of beef tartar… totally!

Ingredients and Instruction for 4 servings (Print Recipe Here)

  • 200g of fresh tuna cut in chunkDSC_6321
  • 1 inch ginger, new ginger prefer or 1 myoga cut in small pieces
  • 1 stalk of green onion minced
  • 1 –2 Tablespoons miso paste  If you like heat then use Korean spicy miso paste (1/2 teaspoon) instead.
  • 2 3  teaspoons sake  Note: I boiled to remove alcohol and cooled.
  • 2-3 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • Shiso leaves
  1. Put Tuna, ginger or myoga, miso paste, sake, soy sauce and salt if using on the cutting board and using *two knives to pound to *finely chopped until the meat starts getting little slimy and well blended. You might want to do a taste test at this point and add more seasoning to suit your taste. It is not necessary but I like to put in container, cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. *Texture wise, micro mincing is not recommended. *Heck, you don’t need two knives but it’s cool that way!DSC_6325I should have used a bigger cutting board…DSC_6327DSC_6332
  2. Assembly – Put warm rice in the bowl, topped with tuna tartar and sliced shiso leaves. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi on the side (optional).DSC_6366

For Tuna Rice Sandwich –There are trendy rice balls happening in Japan. Ordinary rice ball is called ‘onigiri’ (おにぎり) but the new style ‘onigirazu’ (おにぎらず) is show off the filling better and is easier to eat.

Equipment: square container – I used 4 inch x 4 inch

  • Warm cooked rice
  • Shiso leaves
  • Tuna tartar (see recipe above)
  • Nori(seaweed) sheet 7-1/2 x 8-1/2 inch
  1. Put about 1/3 cup rice firmly in a square container, make sure to level off.DSC_6339
  2. Lay couple of shiso leaves on top of rice.DSC_6341
  3. Spread about 1/4 cup tuna tartar evenly on top of shiso leaves.DSC_6342
  4. Lay shiso leaves on top of tuna tartar
  5. Put  about 1/3 cup rice firmly on shiso leaves, smooth the top.DSC_6344
  6. Lay nori sheet on flat surface and dump the step #5 on top of nori diagonally
  7. Fold corner to wrap the  ‘onigiranai’, wet with a little water to secure the corner if necessary. Wrap tightly in plastic and leave for few minutes.DSC_6349DSC_6350
  8. Cut in half. Voila! Neat, right? Variation: Make different filling such as tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet).DSC_6351For food safety, keep in a cool place and consume within an hour. DSC_6358

Last week’s Today’s Tapas #todaystapas - Momofuku Pork belly, quick cucumber pickle – My fav…I never get tired of this dishIMG_3387

Mango Lassi recipe from ‘ Thirsty for…’ YouTube video jump over from Linda’s Peaceful Place.blog. Check her feel good blog.IMG_3368

Have a wonderful rest of the week!DSC_6360

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lemon Pots de Crème

Borrowed recipe from fine Cooking

DSC_6317My husband and I love custard dessert, especially Japanese style ‘purin’ but the French custard recipe from ‘fine Cooking’ sounds great and worth a try?

Very rich and creamy…10 egg yolks? Holy macaroni! That’s a lots of des oeufs! (eggs) Kidding aside, lemon somehow cuts down the strong yolkiness…what? That’s not a word?

Warning – this is not low-fat dessert! Not even close. Luckily, we had dinner guests that day.

Ingredients and Instruction for 9,  4 ounce ramekins (Print recipe here) 

Necessary equipment : 6, 6 –oz. ramekins or 9, 4 oz. ramekins, instant read thermometer, fine sieve, foil (large enough to cover the roasting pan)

  • finely grated zest of 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided in 1/4 cup each
  • 3-1/2 cups heavy  cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • Sweetened whipped cream for garnish (optional)
  1. Getting ready - Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the sugar. simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla seed and pod (if you’re using vanilla extract, do not add it yet) and bring to just below boiling. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Heat oven to 325F. Boil a large pot (kettle is easier to use) of water for water bath. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with last 1/4 cup of the sugar until smooth. Gently whisk a ladleful of the hot cream (step #3) into the yolks. Pour this yolk mixture back into the pot of cream mixture and whisk.
    DSC_6298 DSC_6300
  5. Cook slowly, stirring constantly at low heat until the mixture reaches 170F on an instant- read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon syrup (step #2) and strain immediately through a fine sieve. If you’re using vanilla extract, stir it in at this point.DSC_6302
  6. Divide the mixture among the ramekins in the roasting pan. put on the oven rack then pour enough boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover with foil on top. Bake for 25 to 45 minutes until the custard is set but the center responds with a firm jiggle when you nudge the ramekins, and the center of the custards register 150F to 155F on an instant-read thermometer. DSC_6304DSC_6313
  7. Let custard cool to to room temperature in their water bath. Remove the custard from the bath, cover them with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and maybe some fruits. Bon appétit!

Last week in our kitchen…Rats! I forgot to take the just-out-of-the-oven picture…the no-knead French Baguette recipe from Color your recipes we liked!  IMG_3293

April 2nd of Today’s TAPAS Instagram post was Pon–de-ring, the best selling donuts at Mister Donuts. On this day in 1971, 1st. Misudo (nickname for Mister Donuts) was opened in Osaka Japan. #todaystapasIMG_3306

My husband  and I can’t wait to have the real thing soon!