Archive | June, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Sable*

29 Jun

I made Sable au Chocolat et Caramel Sale, chocolate cookies with caramel inside!

This cookie is very easy to make and taste soooo delicious. I put one pinch of French salt on top of the cookies to enhance the caramel & chocolate taste.

The salt that I used here is French sea salt called Guerande salt which is widely used among French and French-influenced Japanese pastries.

Since this cookie is so delicious and easy to bake, I’m thinking of putting up video and the recipe later on! So please look forward to it!

Charlotte au Poire!

27 Jun

Speaking of ‘mousse cake’, I also like to make Charlotte au Poire sometimes, a poire (pear) mousse cake with biscuit base. The name of this cake comes from its elegant look, like a lady’s hat. Charlotte actually means lady’s hat in French!

These are some of the Charlotte au Poire I baked before.


I buy pears in pasar malam and compote them!

Two to three large pairs are used in this cake.


This cake is so nice and easy to eat that I can eat two slices in one go~!

Caramel Chocolate Mousse (with macaron on top!)

26 Jun


Macarons can be used as decoration on cakes, too! It makes the cake suddenly so cute and precious-looking.

These are Caramel Chocolate Mousse that I made.

Close-up!

This mousse is made of chocolate biscuit, chocolate mousse, compoted pear, caramel mousse and the glacage on top. Have a bite on it and everything melts so~ good in your mouth!

I also like to have it half-frozen because then it tastes like ice cream. haha. Yum yum…

Bon appetit!

Macaron*

25 Jun

Macarons! They are becoming quite trendy these days, so I decided to try to make some! I made Maccha and Rose macarons!

Honestly speaking, the ingredients of macaroon and the process of making it are very simple. Make meringue and combine it with almond powder. But in this simple process, you need some kind of ‘skill’ to make a perfect macaron and the failure ratio is very high.

The common failures are usually: cracks on top, holes inside, the batter doesn’t expand and becomes like a buscuit, and no pied (foot in French, the rough looking parts around the edge). So making macarons is quite tricky after all!

There are a few ways to make macarons depending on the type of meringue. I made Rose macaron with French meringue, and Maccha macaron with Italian meringue. Since the surface of macaron needs to be completely dried before putting into the oven (drying process), it has to be in a dried condition. Winter is preferrable in making macaron, so making it in humid summer is quite a challenge!

So as expected, I had to put these macaroons under the air-conditioner for about 4 hours! and still it didn’t get perfectly dried.

But fortunately macarons foamed nicely in the oven.

I had them with ganache.  They were good!

Vienna Coffee!

23 Jun

This is called a Vienna Coffee.

It’s just a coffee with whipped cream on top but a little bit of touch will change your coffee to a completely different one…

Mango Tarte

22 Jun

Mango season is here!!! The other day I made Mango Tarte using Thai mango bought in pasar malam.

I think one of the advantages living in a tropical country is that you can get as many fruits as you want! If you try to get mangos in Japan, it will cost you a bomb and will be individually wrapped so nicely that you have to share one mango with your family members, haha…

The appareil (filling) I made tasted like a cheesecake because of the sour cream I put inside. Mango does go well with cheesecake.

This kind of fruits tarte is good to have with fruits flavored tea!

Coffee Roasting Factory in Japan!

20 Jun

Today I’d like to talk about the Coffee Roasting Factory I visited in Japan in the winter of 2009. Since coffee beans are imported by containers from all over the world, the factory was located near the port. I still remember it was such a cold windy day that we almost froze to death from the cold ocean wind blowing onto our face!

Anyway, this is a coffee tree I saw in the factory. They were just growing it for the experiment.


Coffee seeds are red!

As some of you may know, coffee trees can only be cultivated in a certain climate. The weather has to be warm and windy, and they need to have certain amount of rain. So if you notice, most of the beans (Brazil, Guatemla, Vietnam, Indonesia, Etiopia, Kenya, etc.) are from the region within 25 North/South latitude centering the Equador; which is called Coffee Belt or Coffee Zone. Japan is not within this map so I was very surprised to see the coffee tree in the factory.

There were many coffee roasting machines in the factory. This is one of them.

This is another one that was in operation at that time.

Inside the machine is like an oven and raw beans are circulated (like in a washing machine) until it gets well roasted.

There is this small opening that you can take out the samples to see the roasting process.

And the finishing product will come out like this!

After the factory tour, the coffee expert made us a cup of coffee by hand dripping Columbia beans. It was very nice and made us warm!