Archive | August, 2011


29 Aug

You blink your eyes and it’s already the end of August! Hari Raya holiday has come and people go back to their hometowns. Got any gifts or snacks to bring back to your family members?

By the way, these are Yakigashi sets I made the other day (previous post on yakigashi). I like to bake cookies and small baking items in one go so that I can munch on many kinds at a time!

These are the kinds I baked this time;

Gallete Bretonnes: A thick round cookie rich in butter, originally from Bretagne region in France.

Maccha Madeleine: Petit madeleine with maccha taste, using maccha from japan.

Vanilla Sable: Simple cookies yet rich in vanilla taste. Melts in your mouth.

Cocoa Sable: Using black cocoa powder, it tastes like oreo.

Osatsu Sable: Osatsu (sweet potato) paste rolled inside vanilla cookies.

This is Osatsu Sable.

I baked them a lot and kept them in air-tight containers. Just put them on a dining table and it already looks nice! You can serve like this to the guests or,

you can pack them in a box like this and give it to your friend!

Want some… ? ^^

Kaya making & Confiture!

20 Aug

Today I leanred how to make ‘mooncake’ (jelly type), ‘Talam Seri Muka’ and ‘kaya’ in my mother’s church event. I was so excited to learn some of the local specialities!

I was especially curious in making kaya because I like them and was always wondering what it is made of. The kaya taste reminds me of custard cream yet custard doesn’t last in room temperature like kaya, so it was my big question for the last couple of years.

Sure, the process was similar to custard making but it had lots of coconut milk! You have to continuously stir it on a boiling water until it gets creamy. If are able to see, the green leaf at the bottom of the photo (near the hand) is a pandan, which gives the kaya its fragrant. Unlike the kaya you buy in stores, this was made with all fresh ingredients so it tasted excellent!

Speaking of kaya (malaysian style of jam), I happened to make two kinds of confitures (jam) yesterday – Espresso confiture and Earl grey tea confiture! The base for these confitures are milk, sugar and fresh cream. I then added hand dripped espresso and early grey tea for each flavor.

The colors are almost the same but the left one is espresso jam and the right one is tea jam. I liked the earl grey tea flavor but my husband and my father seemed to like the espresso. They both tasted quite good, though.

I baked scones and had them together for breakfast!

Birthday cake!

16 Aug

As I was talking in the previous post, I didn’t do anything special for my husband’s birthday. But after a few days I felt bad so decided to bake a ‘belated birthday cake’!

Traditionally Japanese families celebrate birthdays with strawberry shortcake, so same as last year I baked one too.

Soon after I finished decorating the cake, we had them for tea break. It tasted so good that the entire cake was almost gone within a day (I forgot to take the photo of the whole cake).

The tea we had together with was Afternoon Earl Grey tea from Whittard of Chelsea.

For me, preparing the drink is also one of the pleasures of tea time!

Even though my husband previously told me he didn’t need any cake, I was so glad to see him enjoying the cake.

Next year I will try to prepare it on his birthday!!!


Espresso Machine!

10 Aug

Last week I bought an espresso machine! I’ve always wanted one in my house and finally the time came! My husband found this Delongi model ECO310R with reasonable price online so I decided to go for it without giving much comparisons with other models. This color and the size looked perfect for me too!

On the very day the machine came, I made espresso for breakfast!

Even though it’s a small sized machine for domestic usage, I was excited to see espresso crema, a small foam on the surface of the cup. Having crema is one of the important elements in making good espresso because this means that you could ‘tamper’ the coffee beans properly.

Another way to tell whether the coffee is properly tampered is by measuring the time the water takes to run through the machine. The water should come out in about 25 seconds. If not, the coffee will taste either thick (more than 25 seconds means coffee beans were tampered too hard) or diluted (less than 25 seconds means coffee beans were too loose). However, in case of this machine I had to manually stop the water so I could not really tell whether the ‘tamper’ process was ok or not.

We enjoyed the first cup of espresso with home made bagels!

I also made cuppucino!

I’m excited to get used to this machine and make good espresso and espresso based drinks…

Hattifnatt Cafe in Tokyo

9 Aug

Another cute cafe in Tokyo!

There are two Hattifnatt Cafes. They are located in Kichijyoji and Kouenji, cities 20 minutes away from Shinjuku. Above photo is Kouenji branch and below is Kichijyoji branch. I went to both with my friends.

It looks like a normal cafe from the photos but actually everything is in small size, like for kids. We have to hunch to get through this door like Alice in wonderland… (I should have stood there and taken some photos!)

These are tables and chairs on the ground Floor.

The stairs are steep too. We decided to stay on the 1st floor because there were less people.

Very cozy space…

We had lunch and some cakes with tea.

I ordered this pumpkin tarte. So cute!!!

And my friend had this cake with a whole pudding inside!


We stayed there for a couple of hours but nobody bothered us. It was good to catch up with my good friend.

By the way, I found this menu funny.

Drole cafe in Tokyo

5 Aug

It’s Friday night again… My Friday nights have been rather quiet since Hanae was born, but I guess that’s okay too. Spending time with your family. Oh today was my husband’s birthday. I normally bake something for him and get him some gift, but this year I didn’t have time to do anything; Well, I asked him whether he wanted a birthday cake and he said ‘no’. haha. He seems to have caught a cold and was not feeling well. So instead I cooked him a healthy japanese dinner!

Anyway, today I’d like to show you one of my favorite Japanese cafes in Tokyo. This cafe is called Drole and is located in Nakameguro, a trendy area near Shibuya. (They have branch in Shibuya and Daikanyama, too.)

In Japan, these kinds of cafes are quite common but this drole was especially cozy and I liked it very much! It’s good to chit chat with your friends, sometimes spend time on your own, or you can even bring your baby. It’s quite spacious inside so you can bring your stroller. And in front of this cafe is a very nice river, Nakameguro River, so many couples take a walk with their babies.

I like their wooden furniture and how they display things.

They serve light meals, drinks and cakes.

One day I went their on my own to have some lunch.

Bagel sandwich

The next time I went there with my friends for tea. I liked their tarte!

Pistachio and grape fruites tarte

Orange and chocolate mousse my friend had.

Banana chocolate tarte

Yummy~! I wish to go back there again with my family!


3 Aug

I’ve been making various kinds of macarons these days!

These are some of the macarons I made.

Rose macaron with rose butter cream / chocolate ganache

Caramel macaron with caramel butter cream

Chai Macaron with chai butter cream

This macaron is quite unique! I put earl grey tea leaves, cinnamon and ginger spice into both macaron and ganache. It would have been better with cardamon spice but still tasted pretty good!

Macarons are so lovely and precious-looking like jewerly…

And these are Chocolat macarons with chocolate ganache / caramel butter cream

I used black cocoa powder and that’s why it’s so dark. I like how they look…

All the macarons tasted pretty good! My favorite one was caramel macaron because I like caramel flavor^^.

I’d like to make other kinds!