I have never ate a mochi cake. I was intrigued and thus today was my first attempt on baking a mochi cake. The ingredients are easy to find and the steps in making the cake are simple. Nothing complicated like whisking egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks. The cake tasted very good but not advisable to finish all by yourself. Because you are consuming glutinous rice flour, you would feel super bloated if you were to eat more than 2 big slices. But it is hard to resist the yummy mochi cake!
Ingredients (for one 9in round pan):
1 lb glutinous rice flour
2 Tbsp matcha powder
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups milk
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1. Coat the pan with cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add melted butter and eggs into a large bowl. Mix well.
3. Add one cup of milk and one cup of sugar into the egg mixture. Mix well. Repeat the step with another cup of milk and another cup of sugar.
4. Add glutinous rice flour one cup at a time into the egg mixture. You may also add the 1 lb of glutinous rice flour into the egg mixture at one go but it will be messy and difficult to stir.
5. Add in the matcha powder into the mixture and stir well. The mixture should be smooth and liquidity.
6. Pour the mixture into the pan. Place the pan into the pre-heated oven and bake at 350F for an hour. Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.
7. Wait for the cake to cool down completely before attempting to take out the cake.
Enjoy the cake!
So I challenged the most difficult dessert on earth that many chefs are afraid of (as said by Gordon Ramsay) – soufflé.
After my first attempt on this dessert, I must say it is indeed the most difficult one I have encountered so far. The texture, sweetness, and the technical steps have to be precise in order to make a successful soufflé. I would not say the one I made was a complete success despite the soufflé was well-risen. This is because there are many areas where improvements could be made. For example, I find that my soufflé’s texture could be smoother. Nonetheless, this dessert is definitely worth all the hassles. I am lucky to get it right on my first attempt and would definitely bake a matcha soufflé again when the matcha craving kicks in.
- Unsalted butter at room temperature
- Granulated sugar
- 150 ml milk
- 100 ml heavy whipping cream
- 3 large yolks
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp matcha green tea powder
- 3 egg whites
- 4 Tbsp granulated sugar
- Coat the ramekin with unsalted butter and pour a tablespoon (use more if required) of granulated sugar into the ramekin. Cover the inside of the ramekin with sugar. Set aside.
- For the custard, beat the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.
- Sift flour into egg mixture and mix well.
- Heat milk and heavy cream in a saucepan on high heat for about 3-4 minutes or until they are almost boiling.
- Add the hot liquids into the egg mixture and whisk till well combined.
- Put the custard back into the saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Continuous whisking the custard in the saucepan to get a thick mixture.
- Transfer the thickened custard into a bowl and refrigerate it.
- Add the matcha powder when the custard has cooled down.
- For the meringue, whisk the egg whites for about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar one tablespoon at a time to the egg whites and whisk for 4 minutes. Stiff peaks should form after whisking.
- Add one-third of the meringue into the custard and mix.
- Fold the rest of the meringue into the custard gently.
- Pour mixture into the ramekin. Use your thumb to run a circle inside of the ramekin to enable the soufflé to rise. (Watch how Gordon Ramsay does it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O_-HD2P9pc at 1:50)
- Place the ramekin on a baking tray and put it into the preheated oven. Bake for 15-17 mins at 390F. Do periodic checks on the soufflé when it is in the oven. Make sure that it is well-risen.
- Dust the soufflé with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Recipe adopted from: http://www.justonecookbook.com/green-tea-souffle (But I made slight changes to it)
I love shortbreads and especially those dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. The best shortbreads I have tasted are those sold by Marks & Spencer. They are so fantastic. The shortbreads are so soft and crunchy. The chocolate used is definitely not of an inferior quality. The half-coated chocolate shortbreads are perfect for daily snack! Since I couldn’t get Marks & Spencer’s shortbreads here, I made some homemade ones instead. It turns out that the ingredients required are easily available and not expensive, and the steps to make the shortbreads are simple and easy to follow. Nothing complicated. But of course, to make high standard shortbreads, I will have to keep trying to perfect the recipe. For now, the below recipe suffices my craving.
Recipe (adopted from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe0705jmvOg but I made some changes to it)
¾ cup of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cup of All Purpose Flour
¾ cup of Powdered Sugar
½ tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1) Spray a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, and set aside.
2) Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy.
3) Add the flour and salt, and mix. You may use your hands to mix the mixture (which I did) too.
4) Press the dough into the lined pan and make sure it is evenly spread out. Using a butter knife or a bench knife, cut the dough into bars of any sizes you want.
5) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden. As soon as you take them out of the oven, run your knife through the cut lines (this will ensure easy removal of the shortbread pieces) and let them cool completely. Remove from the pan and dip them in melted chocolate.
Doux Cafe is a newly opened (February 2016) cafe in Houston. It is spacious, clean and neatly decorated. Doux Cafe is a to-go cafe for chocolate lovers, and for people who love crepes and waffles. I was greedy on my first visit because I ordered a brownie crepe and a waffle all for myself. I was alone in the cafe on a weekday late morning and I thoroughly enjoyed the quietness while I dug into my sweet treats.
The brownie crepe was awesome. I am not a big fan of brownie but the brownie tasted good with it being stuffed inside the crepe, and the crepe was coated with white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. I finished the crepe fast and furious!
The triple chocolate waffle was fantastic too! However, after a few bites, I tasted sour flour in the waffle. The manager’s timing could not be more than perfect. He asked how was my waffle and I gave him my feedback that it tasted sour. He was shocked and insisted that I should stop eating it. He snatched the plate away from me and threw it into the garbage bin despite my assurance to him that I was totally fine with it. He then made a new waffle for me and added a scoop of ice cream (additional scoop of ice cream costs $1.99) as a complimentary dish. The manager told me that their food is made fresh everyday and the sourness comes from a spray, which was used on the waffle machine. I was very grateful that he provided such good service. Many thumbs up!
My complimentary triple chocolate waffle with a scoop of Dreyer’s vanilla ice cream. No more sour taste!
I would definitely go back to Doux Cafe again and again and again to get my chocolate fix!
865 Dairy Ashford Rd
So I have tried making molten chocolate lava cake. This time I took up the challenge to make one of my favorite desserts – matcha lava cake. This cake is impossible to find in Houston and maybe in U.S.A. The matcha lava cake is a very delicate cake to make and requires a lot attention. However, all was worth it when I tasted the end product. It was sweet, full of matcha flavor, and it was everything you could wish for for a dessert. Serve this delicious cake with a scoop of Haagen-Dazs green tea ice cream. OooHhhh green tea goodness!!
Ingredients (one 10oz ramekin):
1/3 cup white chocolate morsels
1/6 cup unsalted butter
1/6 cup granulated sugar (1/4 cup sugar would be a little too sweet)
1.5 tsp high-quality matcha powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Butter the ramekin and put aside.
- Melt the butter either in a microwave oven or over a pot of simmering water.
- Melt the white chocolate morsels over a pot of simmering water ensuring that the bowl of white chocolates does not touch the pot of water. You could also use the microwave oven to melt the white chocolate but I prefer the former method. This is because melting white chocolate is very delicate and white chocolate solidifies easily.
- Add sugar and melted butter into the bowl of melted white chocolate morsels.
- Add the egg into the mixture.
- Add the matcha powder.
- Add the flour.
- Stir well to make sure consistency in the mixture. The mixture should be in liquid form. If the mixture becomes semi-solid, put the bowl over a pot of simmering water and keep stirring. The mixture will turn into liquid form.
- Pour the mixture into the ramekin and refrigerate it for 30mins.
- Place the ramekin into pre-heated oven immediately after taking it out from the refrigerator.
- Bake at 455F for 8-9mins.
I had previously posted on Oui Desserts on their macarons. On that same trip, I also shared a plate of traditional beignets with my friend. The beignets were deeply fried (visible burnt marks) and they were served with sweet vanilla bean cream (which was unusual). The beignets were not too bad but in my opinion, they were not as good as the ones I tried at Crescent City Beignets. However, the vanilla bean cream was fragrant and tasted good with the beignets (sugar overloaded!).
I also bought a Napoleon or commonly known as mille-feuille for myself. The mille-feuille was so so good! The pastry is flaky and the custard is sweet and smooth. Though it is a little pricey but it is worth it because of the good quality.
These pastries are definitely great for afternoon high tea!
3411 Kirby Dr
My friend and I were looking for a central cafe for high tea. We decided on Oui Desserts after reading the good reviews on Yelp. The cafe is spacious, clean, and inviting. The menu is written on a chalkboard hanging on the wall. The available pastries are neatly displayed in the covered shelf, and various cookies are contained in cookie jars. My eyes were naturally drawn to the beautifully colored macarons.
There are 13 different macaron flavors. Each macaron are sold at a different price. This concept is new to me because the cafes which I have been so far, sell their macarons at a standard price. The macarons’ price varies from $1.50 to $.175. However, Oui Desserts has a special promotion. Buy a dozen for $1 each! So I decided to get 12 macarons! This is by far the cheapest price I paid for macarons!
The macarons are petite and have bubbly surface on the cookies. I wonder why… The flavors I bought were pistachio, hazelnut, strawberry, blueberry, rose, lemon, lavender, chai, raspberry, chocolate, salted caramel, and vanilla. The only flavor I did not get was the mint chocolate as I am not a big fan of mint chocolate. The macarons are wonderful! The flavors are really good and the cookies are so crunchy. My favorite is the pistachio flavored macaron. I can’t get enough of Oui Desserts’ macarons!
3411 Kirby Dr