Archive | February, 2011

Kenya AA

28 Feb

This is Kenya AA coffee.

*The photos are taken earlier this year before I stopped drinking coffee or any caffain contained drink temporarily*

My husband got me this coffee bean at Bangsar Shopping Complex. It seems like new coffee beans shop opened there recently. I cannot wait to check it out!


Kenya AA coffee beans; looks mediam roasted

When pouring the hot water, the small bubbles on a surface tells you how freshly brewed the coffee is. I suppose this coffee bean was brewed quite recently.

Kenya AA coffee had a strong taste both bitter and sour so I prefered drinking it with milk to soften the taste a bit. The aroma was nice too!

Gateau Chocolat

25 Feb

I baked Gateau Chocolat for my friend today. This cake has been one of my favorite recipes for the last 10 over years! Not only it tastes good, gateau chocolat is liked by almost everyone so it’s safe to bake as a gift. It also lasts long (in fact, it tastes better after a couple of days) and is easy to handle that I don’t know how many times I baked this cake for my friends…

melt chocolate & butter in a bowl

Outside looks crispy and fragile but inside is moisture and soft. Room temperature (or 15min. after taking out from the fridge) is the best time to eat this cake. I like to enjoy each slice every day with a cup of coffee.

Maccha Rollcake

23 Feb

In Japan, Rollcake has become one of the most popular cakes in the last few years. Everyone from famous patisserie chefs to housewives started baking various kinds of rollcakes. There are some shops just specialized in rollcakes that opened in Tokyo and other areas in the last couple of years.

Housewives will write in their blogs what kind of rollcake they baked on the day and how well they could roll the cake (because appearance is another important thing for this cake), and they comment with each other on how good it looks and so on.

At first I didn’t care much about rollcake, but because it was just so popular that I also started baking various kinds of rollcakes and came to appreciate its simple yet refined taste!

This rollcake I made is Maccha Rollcake with Strawberry inside. Actually it’s slightly more complicated than it looks. I added citron taste to the cream and the green leaf-looking thing below strawberry is maccha ganache (maccha mixed with white chocolate). It all unites in your mouth, hmm…

I used expensive ‘maccha powder’ that I brought back from Japan. It really makes a big difference in taste whether you use a good maccha powder or not. The good one is in vivid green, not brownish, with good maccha fragrant. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a good maccha powder here yet. If anyone knows the way to get good maccha powder, please tell me! hehe…

Baked Cheese Cake

22 Feb

I baked cheese cake today.

I like any kind of cheese cakes but my favorite is N.Y. cheese cake and baked cheese cake like this.

I put banana at the bottom and it matched very well. Pear seemed to be nice too… want to try it next time.

I had it with Rooibos tea, a non-caffained herbal tea produced in South Africa. It tasted a bit like wood or soil(haha) but it’s very good for your health!


20 Feb

With the leftover crust from the other day (of which I baked the apple tarte), I made kiche for lunch!

Tarte can be kept frozen in the mold so once you have that in your stock it is so much easier for you to bake. You just have to take it out from the freezer and make the filling only. The fillings I made this time was with onion, bacon, pumpkin, spinach, enoki mushroom and cheese. Basically you can use anything you have in the fridge.

Kiche just taken out from the oven taste so good…

By the way, there are 2 types of tarte – Pate Sucre and Pate Brisee. Pate sucre is what you normally refer to as a tarte whereas pate brisee uses more butter and less sugar. Pate brisee tastes in between pate sucre and pie (Pate Feuilletee) and is almost non-sweet that it is also suited to kiche. It was pate brisee that I made the other day for apple tarte.

I also made egg tarte with the same crust. It was awesome!

Cranberry & White Chocolate Scone

19 Feb


I started to like scones 2 years ago when I had the very first “good scone” in baking class. It was fresh, soft and sweet! (This is almost around the same time I started appreciating English tea. As you know, tea and scone goes very well.)

Until then, scones for me were very dried pastry neither cookie nor cake… But the freshly baked scones were just so good! that it opened up my mind to scones. Since then I tried out scones in many cafes in Tokyo and in KL (although I hardly see scones here). I also baked various types of scones on my own.

The top photo is the most recent scone I baked – cramberry & white chocolate chip scone.

This is Earl Grey Tea scone.

This is scones with rasin.

And this is Plain scone with marmalade jam on top.

Scone goes very well with tea and jam, so choosing tea or jam that goes well with the scone is another joy for my tea time!

Apple Tarte

16 Feb

Tarte is my most favorite kind of cake. Whenever I go to cafes and have choice of cakes, I always feel like going with tarte especially those with caramel or chocolate. Some people may try out different types of cakes in each visit, but I find myself having the same kind over and over… haha.

This is an Apple Tarte I baked the other day. It’s a very simple tarte with creme d’amande (almond creme) and fresh apple on top. I like to caramelize the fruits inside-like apple and banana, but this time I used the fresh one. Instead I added some pieces of butter and caster sugar on top to make the tarte juicer and tastier (sugar will melt and become caramel).

These simple and basic baked cake gives me somewhat a relieved feeling whenever I bite into it. Perhaps it reminds me of my mothers’ home made cake…

Happy Valentine’s day!

14 Feb

Did you know that in Japan, Valentine’s day is for men? This is the day that men get chocolates or chocolate flavored sweets from women! I guess this is a strategy of Japanese chocolate venders because women like shopping much more than men… smart.

So this is kind of a big event in Japan and every woman will give chocolates to the person she cares for including her own father. Even the elementary kids do this. Although I myself was too shy to give chocolates to anyone but my father!

There are 2 types of chocolates, Honmei and Giri chocolate. “Honmei” is the important one; expensive chocolates for the guy you have a crush on (blush), your boyfriend or your husband. “Giri” is just for those like your boss, your colleagues and your normal guy friends. So even if you don’t have a girlfriend, at the very least most guys will get Giri chocolate from their colleagues and friends!

Everyone has bitter and sweet memories I’m sure…

So following Japanese customs, on Valentine’s day this year I baked 2 types of chocolate cake for my husband.

One is rich in cocoa and is more like a sponge cake, the other rich in chocolate and is thick taste.

Of course this was my Honmei!

Darjeeling Tea (Second Flush)

10 Feb

I started enjoying drinking English tea about 2 years ago when I learned about tea in cafe business class.

The history of English tea and the kinds of tea leaves were interesting to know.

Since my family prefers coffee and my house had so many stocks of English tea that we got from someone or we bought somewhere, I started drinking them one by one comparing the taste. I was shocked to see some of the very rare and high quality leaves, which perhaps my dad got from someone, sitting there without opened until it was expired way long time ago. I still opened and tasted them but the scent was mostly gone…

Ideally, both coffee and tea should be consumed within a month after brewed(coffee) or opened(tea), however, I think it’s difficult to do so especially for tea.

Anyway, this is Darjeeling tea I got recently at my favorite tea shop in Japan.

This is the shop Tea salon G-clef. I’ll talk about this shop later.

Darjeeling tea has 3 seasons; First flush for spring (Mar.~Apr.), Second flush for summer (May~Jun.) and Autumnal for autumn (Sep.~Nov.). First flush picked up during spring is a young bud and tastes very light and fresh almost like greentea. The production is limited and is valuable. Second flush has the rich tea taste and is called “champaigne of tea” or “muscatel flavor”. At last, autumnal has darker and bitter tea taste.

Although I might still prefer coffee, I came to appreciate tea as much as coffee. English tea is more of a social drink than coffee and can take time to drink, so it’s more relaxing and is good to drink while chatting with your friends. You can choose which to drink depends on the situation!

My favorite space in the house…

6 Feb

I spend a lot of my time at home in the kitchen, so I try to keep the area nice and cozy.

The cabinet and shelves are filled with my favorite items and cutleries.

So just standing in that area makes me relaxed and comfortable…

Keeping the house clean and having this kind of relaxing space makes a huge difference in life for women. It might sound exaggerating for men… in fact my husband seems not understanding this feeling but whenever the house is messy I feel frustrated and whenever the house is clean I feel fresh, happy and positive. So it is very important for me to keep the surroundings nice and clean.

Anyway, to keep you away from additional stress in life, I recommend you to have this kind of cozy space at home!