Made some dimsum to satisfy my cravings. Just kidding, these are little meringue cookies, shaped like dimsum! 🥟 Here we have some bao, dumplings (could be hargow), lo mai gai, and shumai. It’s currently quarantine still where I live and I miss being able to go to Cantonese places on the weekends and getting dimsum straight from the carts, but this will have to do in the meantime until quarantine ends.
This cake is inspired by one of my favorite desserts, mango sago. Mango sago is a dessert soup from Hong Kong that is served cold. It is normally made of mango, evaporated milk, and tapioca. My cakified version has mango Swiss meringue buttercream, vanilla chiffon cake, mango chunks and sago in the filling. The cake is delightfully fluffy and delicious. The mango chunks make it so refreshing to eat, a perfect summer dessert.
I chose chiffon cake for the sponge base because of how wonderfully soft it is. The chiffon recipe is originally by Magic Ingredients. Here is the original recipe below. I modified her recipe to work for this cake. The video is great for troubleshooting and guidance on making chiffon.
Tiramisu is one of my all time favorite desserts, and I made a version with black and Irish cream. I just love how the mascarpone cream melds with the soft, fluffy ladyfingers and the bitterness of the cocoa powder.
My version uses black tea instead of espresso, and Bailey’s Irish Cream instead of marsala wine. The best part? It tastes kind of like milk tea! It’s a tiramisu milk tea– it’s a milk tea tiramisu. I used a Sun Moon Lake variety of black tea. This dessert is so good with a cup of tea or coffee. So addicting.
Can I also say that homemade ladyfingers are way better than the store-bought ones? I definitely recommend making your ladyfingers from scratch. Try Bigger Bolder Baking’s recipe or Binging with Babish’s recipe.
1 cup of strong brewed black tea (cooled to room temp)
2 tbsp + 3 tbsp of Bailey’s Irish Cream
Prep a 7in springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
For the sabayon (egg yolk mixture), prepare a double boiler. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches water. Set over medium heat, and bring to simmer. Place a heat proof bowl on top.
In the top bowl of the double boiler, add in the egg yolks, 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Whisk until the the egg yolks triple in volume. You should also heat the egg yolks through to a temperature of at least 140 degrees F to pasteurize. Once the egg yolks reach this stage remove from the heat.
While the egg yolk mixture cools, whip up the cream. Place the cream and remaining sugar into a bowl and whip until stiff peaks, About 3-5 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix until smooth
Add some of the whipped cream/mascarpone into the warm egg yolk mixture. Mix gently until homogeneous. Add this back into the whipped cream/mascarpone. Whip the mixture until it is thick, spreadable, and smooth.
Prepare a shallow dish and add 3 tbsps of Bailey’s and the black tea. Stir until combined.
To assemble the tiramisu, dip the ladyfingers into the tea mixture. Make a layer of dipped ladyfingers in the tin. Cover ladyfingers with the mascarpone cream. Repeat and make three alternating layers of ladyfingers and cream.
Mini strawberry cookies, flavored with matcha and strawberry and shaped to be little berries. These cookies are known as tamago boro (卵ボーロ) in Japanese or 蛋果子/小馒头 in Chinese. Growing up I remember eating these out of a bright orange red tin. I had a blast shaping these little strawberries and decorating them.
Into a bowl, add the egg yolk and sugar. Whisk vigorously until the mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume.
Sift in potato starch. Stir until combined.
Add in milk and stir.
In the case that your dough is too dry, add more milk. If your dough is too wet, add more starch. You are aiming for a smooth dough that slightly tacky to the touch, and doesn’t slump.
Divide 1/6 of a dough into a small bowl. Add in matcha powder and green food coloring and knead through. If you don’t wish to flavor or color your dough, feel free to skip this step. In the other bowl with the remaining 5/6 of the dough, add the strawberry powder and red food coloring. (I used grounded up freeze dried strawberries). As you knead it through, be sure to keep an eye on the consistency of the dough. Feel free to adjust the amounts of strawberry powder and matcha powder. Add your flavoring powders a little at a time, so that you do not overwhelm the dough. If you feel like you’ve added enough, do not continue to add anymore, lest it ruins the consistency of the dough. The best way to tell if you’e added enough if to do a sniff test.
Pinch a small ball of the strawberry dough and taper off one end. Pinch off small leaves from the matcha dough and roll it between your fingers to make leaves. Add about 5-7 leaves per strawberry.
Spray down the pan with the cookies with water. Bake for 12-15 at 325 degrees F. (or 350 for a tastier dark biscuit)
Once cool, use the black food pen to draw little strawberry seeds.
Genmaicha is one of my favorite tea flavors. It has a mild, fresh flavor with the nuttiness of the roasted rice kernels. The genmaicha flavor is infused in the filling of eclair. I decorated these with a marbled effect and some leftover kohakutou candy I had from a previous project.
Eclairs are so delicious to eat, but difficult to make. This recipe is a standard choux recipe. As you make this, be sure to check that your eclairs have nice hollow insides and crisp golden brown outsides.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pan with parchment or silpat.
Into a saucepan, put the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter.
Heat until it boils. Once it boils, turn off the stove.
Add the sifted cake flour in. Begin stirring. Once the dough comes together and leaves a film on the pot, transfer into a bowl.
Let cool for a little bit. In the meantime, whisk together your eggs in another bowl.
In 4-5 additions, begin adding the eggs. Every time you add some egg, mix the dough until the egg is absorbed. By the end, your choux pastry should be soft enough to easily pipe but also firm enough to hold a peak.
Use a large French tip to pipe lines of choux pastry onto your baking tray.
Spray the tray with water. Pat down tips.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. The outsides should be crisp and golden brown.
Genmaicha Creme Pat
This consists of two parts: the custard and the whipped cream.
415g of milk
1/6 of a vanilla pod
4 genmaicha tea bags (if using loose leaf tea it’s about 4 tbsp)
4 egg yolks
85g of sugar
20g of cornstarch
15g of cake flour
A pinch of kosher salt
115g of heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp of sugar
2 genmaicha tea bags
Into a saucepan, put the milk, vanilla pod, and genmaicha tea bags. Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds out. Add the pod and seeds into the milk. Cut open the genmaicha tea bags and pour the tea leaves into the milk. Let this come to a boil.
Turn off the heat and let the tea and vanilla steep for about 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, add egg yolks and sugar to a bowl. Whisk until the mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume.
Sift in the cake flour and cornstarch into the egg yolks. Whisk together.
After steeping the tea in the milk, turn the heat on again and let it come to a boil.
Remove from the heat, and stream 1/3 of the mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk that together before adding the remaining 2/3 of the milk. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and pass it through a sieve as you do so to remove the tea leaves and vanilla pod.
Add kosher salt to the custard mixture. Cook for a few minutes until the custard thickens. If your custard boils, it is a sign that it is done. Stir constantly while you do this.
Put the custard into a container and cover with plastic wrap so that it does not form a skin at the top. Let cool in fridge.
Now for the whipping cream. Place the whipping cream into a clean saucepan and add the genmaicha tea bags. Bring the whipping cream to a simmer and immediately turn off the heat.
Let the tea steep in the whipping cream for about 10-20 minutes.
Strain the tea leaves from the whipping cream and refrigerate the whipping cream.
Once your custard and whipping cream are nice and cold, take both out of the fridge
Put the whipping cream and 2 tbsp of sugar into a clean bowl and whipping until medium peaks.
In another bowl, add the custard and stir it with a whisk until it loosens and becomes smoother.
Add the whipping cream to the custard and stir until combined. Fill piping bag with cream patisserie. I used a small round nozzle for this.
Punch 2-3 holes in the underside of each eclair. (I used another small piping tip to do this) Then fill with the cream patisserie. You should feel the eclair expand slightly as you fill it.
Skip this if you wish. This glaze is essentially royal icing. You can use chocolate ganache, whipping cream or frosting to top it as well.
35g of egg whites
195g of powdered sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice
Add egg whites, powdered sugar and lemon juice to a shallow bowl.
Whisk together. Add food coloring. The glaze should be thick enough to coat smoothly and opaquely.
Dip the eclair into the glaze and pull it out. Tap off excess and let dry.
I really love eating ichigo daifuku mochis, which are mochis filled with red bean and strawberry. I made it into a roll cake form, sort of. It’s a vanilla Swiss roll, red bean whipped cream, strawberries, and mochi bits. This cake is such a delight to eat. Soft fluffy cake, fragrant whipped cream, and chewy mochi pieces. Give it a try!
Calpico, or Calpis, is a Japanese drink made of tangy yogurt. It is similar to Yakult, but a little more unhealthy. There’s a version of it that has soda that also really delicious. Growing up, I always drank Calpico, and it’s one of my favorite drinks to this day.
Since I’m at home due to COVID-19, I haven’t been able to go to Asian supermarkets to get my usual fix in a while. Luckily, I had all the ingredients necessary to make a homemade version at home. The great thing about it is that it’s healthier, customizable, and has more probiotics.
If you do try to make, feel free to adjust the ratios! They are merely a suggestion. My family likes it tangy and less sweet.
In a cocktail shaker, add the sugar, lemon juice, and kefir. If you cannot find kefir, greek yogurt is a great substitute. Kefir is more watery than greek yogurt, so add less if you choose to use greek yogurt.
Add the water (or soda water) and shake vigorously. You may add more water depending on how diluted you want it to be.
These are furikake cheese biscuits, a take on the Brazilian cheese biscuit, pao de queijo. This recipe is based on my friend’s family recipe for pao de queijo. Unlike most pao de queijo recipes, this one does not require you to cook down the dough before rolling it and baking it.
The result? A delightfully chewy and delicious biscuits— almost mochi-like in texture. The first time I made a test batch of these I thought it would pair so well with furikake (Japanese seaweed topping), and thus, furikake cheese biscuits were born.
In a medium bowl, put the water, salt, butter, tapioca flour, eggs and cheese.
Mix the dough together. You should get a stiff oobleck like consistency. The dough should hold together and not slump or liquify. If the dough is too stiff and dry, add more water or eggs. If the dough is too liquid, add more tapioca flour.
Portion dough out into 25g (about 1-1.5 tbsp) masses and roll into balls.
Next, roll the dough balls in the furikake.
Place on ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to space out the dough balls with 2-3 inches in between.
Refrigerate the baking sheets for about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown.