Archive | April, 2011

Cafe Study in Japan!

20 Apr

In 2009 I went back to Japan for about six months to learn more about cafe and baking.

Although baking has always been my passion and I had spent a lot of my time in it since young (I belonged to a cooking club in elementary school, joined the cooking club in high schools for 5yrs and becoming its president  in the final year), this was my first serious step towards considering it as a career path.

I wanted to study more about coffee and tea as well, so I took an intensive cafe business course in Tokyo to get official certification in the cafe industry. This course took 6 months and I learned from Ms. Tomita Sanae who runs Cafe Kitchen, a cafe business school in Tokyo and is a pioneer of cafe business courses in Japan. I also took several  baking and coffee making courses and acquired several certificates in skills related to baking. All in all, it was a great first step in achieving my goal!

This is me with Ms. Tomita Sanae during graduation. I’m holding my ‘diploma’.

The menu book I created in the course

And this is me making a latte art with world Latte Art Champion Ms. Layla Osberg!

(the person in the suit is a reporter who was covering the event)



I learnt so much in this period and have so much to share with you!

I hope to write about them in my blog, so please look forward to it:)

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Anniversary Cake!

17 Apr


Five years have passed since I moved to Malaysia! I moved to Malaysia on Apr.16th 2006. Still cleary remember the day – my family sent me off to Narita Airport (except my father who took off to NY the previous month), and 7 hours later I was warmly welcomed by my husband’s family in KLIA.

People normally say “Time flies” and I do too, but trying to look back what I’ve done in the last 5 years and can barely remember some of the memories, I feel that it was quite a long path for me.

By the way, this cake I’m showing you is what I baked at the end of last year (not yesterday) for my 4th wedding anniversary!

I started keeping Japanese blogs when I moved to Malaysia. It was quite a personal blog mostly for my family and friends to update my status here, and reading my posts sometimes make me surprise of how I’ve thought at that time and how I’ve changed in this period.

I guess 25-30 years old is a time of big change in life, and now that I’ve become 30 years old (and a mother too!) I feel like I’m entering a different stage of my life; with more responsibility and matureness.

I still wonder how much I know about Malaysia and its culture and how much I could adjust to it, but one thing I can say is that I really appreciate my husband for understanding me and being by my side all these years with love and care, even in the times of hardships, and also his family and friends around that supported us.

By pursuing my dream (which is to make baking into my career), I’m hoping to learn more about this country, becoming more independent and find my comfortable position in this country.

Religieuse

15 Apr

This cute little cake is called Religieuse, meaning ‘Nun’ in English. It is made of two sizes of choux (cream puff), bigger at the bottom, and the colorful butter cream decorated around represents a collar of their shirt.

In French this cake is one of the most common cakes you will see in the display case (perhaps displayed next to eclaire), but it’s not traveled so well outside of the country. Even in Japan where pastries are heavily influenced by French, this cake just started to get popular in the last 1~2 years.

Because of its cute shape, you don’t feel like eating it?

I made two types of flavor Рvanilla and chocolate. It became sweeter than I thought!  But still yummy!

Iced Tea from Water

12 Apr

I made iced tea from cold water. As you know, we normally make tea from hot boiling water, but this one uses cold water. It takes longer time but is easier to make, so I recommend this way if you are lazy to even boil water!

Just prepare 5~6g of tea leaves (depending on the size of the leaves, in case of fine leaves you only need 5g) and pour that into a tea pot together with 500ml of cold filtered water. Put this into the fridge over night (8~10hrs.) and the next morning you can enjoy a fresh cold tea for breakfast!

Compared to the tea using boiling water, this tea will taste milder and less bitter. So if you don’t like the bitterness of the tea, this way is good too. Earl grey tea, oolong tea and the flavored tea are suited for the cold tea. This tea I made is Rose Pekoe (BOP) which is filled with lovely rose fragrant.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

10 Apr

 

In related to Okuizome celebration, I baked Red Velvet Cupcakes.

This was my first time baking this cake since Red Velvet Cake doesn’t really exist in Japan. I guess this vivid red color is not so suited to Japanese pastries…

 

Anyway, I do like this cake and I’ve been trying out many Red Velvet Cakes in cafes recently (I found out that Malaysians like this cake, ya?), so I wanted to bake it on my own!

 

The frosting needs to be a bit more thick and creamy, but as a first time it was pretty good!!!

 

100th day Celebration!

9 Apr


Today I celebrated my daughter Hanae’s 100th day anniversary! (Her actual 100th day was on the 4th.)

In Japanese culture we call this date Okuizome which literally means the first meal, although the babies normally start having meals around 6th months. The tradition is to wish the baby have sufficient food for the rest of their lives, and to celebrate their growth, so that their teeth will grow soon!

 

I tried to prepare as proper meal as possible for this celebration. Which is;

Red snapper (Whole fish) – Grilled with salt.

Red bean sticky rice

Broiled vegetables – Yam and Lotus

Osuimono soup

Plum and vegetable (vinegar taste)

 

Hanae seemed to be not interested in the food, but it’s ok… At least I could celebrate this date for Hanae and that’s more than anything a mother can wish for!

 

See previous post of Japanese tradition Ohinamatsuri on Mar. 3rd.

 

Luwak Coffee

9 Apr

The other day my mother gave me a rare coffee bean called Luwak coffee.

Have you ever heard of this coffee bean?

It’s actually a coffee bean made from the beans eaten and digested by Asian Palm Civet, some kind of cats that exist in Indonesia. It is considered to be the most expensive and low produced coffee beans in the world.

When I first heard of this coffee bean, I was a bit disgusted thinking that it will look like a cat shit. But it actually looked like a normal coffee bean and smelled good. The beans were relatively small and hard, and it was arrabica kind.

The taste was… hmm… very sourish for me. Tasted better and milder with some milk.

But it was a good experience for me.