Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2009/18)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2009 #18

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The sultry heat and torporific humidity of a Japan summer are heavily upon us. Fret not, though, for the most refreshing and revitalizing antidote to this seasonal languor is being released tomorrow: Baird Cool Breeze Pils 2009.

Cool Breeze Pils 2009 (ABV 5.5%):

Brewed annually, Cool Breeze Pils is Bohemian in style, cleanly malty in body, coquettishly floral and spicy in aroma, and crisply dry in its snappy bitter finish. Cool Breeze Pils registers on the imbiber like a fresh ocean breeze does on the perspiring body of a mid-afternoon sunbather. Cool Breeze Pils is dry-hopped in tank, unfiltered, and re-fermented and naturally carbonated in package where it has undergone a 6-month maturation. The result, we believe, pays handsome tribute to the glorious history of this storied lager beer style.

Cool Breeze Pils begins pouring from the taps of our Taprooms in Numazu and Nakameguro, as well as at other fine beer establishments throughout Japan, on Friday, July 24. 633 ml bottles also are available for purchase through our fine network of Baird Beer retailing liquor stores in Japan. Also, we have lagered a small portion of bottles from the 2008 batch of Cool Breeze Pils for vertical taste comparison. We highly recommend this fun and instructive method of comparison.

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan

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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Japanese Dessert: Matcha Anko Roll/ Matcha Tea & Sweetmeats Roll Cake


The “East meets West” expression has been used so many times that it has almost become corny, but this particular (and simple) cake definitely deserves the appellation!
Matcha & Anko Roll Cake:

INGREDIENTS: for 8 cakes/2 sponge sheets baked in 15 cm square mold

-Eggs: 2
-Flour: 30 g
-Sugar: 30 g
-Matcha: 2 small teaspoons
-Anko/Sweetmeats: 15 g x 8=30 g (See Recipe here)


-In a large bowl, break the eggs and mix the sugar, half at a time. Beat until the mixture turns whitish and fluffy. Only then add 1 tablespoon of water and mix.

-Add tea half at a time and beat it in.

-Place cooking paer inside an oven square mold and pour half of the cake mixture. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 8~10 minutes. Repeat with the second half of the cake mixture.

-Take the ckae sheet and its cooking paper out. Turn sheet upside down onto a piece of cellophane paper. Once completely cooled down, take the cooking paper out carefully. Trim the sponge cake and cut into four 5×10 cm pieces (three along and one across).

-Place a ball ofanko in the middle of each piece of sponge cake and “lock/wrap” the sponge cake around the anko. Press the ends togeteher to make sure tey don’t open again. If they keep opening seal ends with syrup.

To be enjoyed with cold or hot green tea!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 13: Kabotcha/Pumpkins


Just found this recipe to please vegans (and others) with a sweet tooth:
Japanese Cake/Wagashi: Pumpkin/Kabotcha Wagashi!

INGREDIENTS: For 5 cakes
-Pumkin paste: 20 g
-Rice flour: 30 g
-Sugar: 12 g
-Water: 50 ml
-Sweetmeats/Anko (See Recipe here)
-Cornstarch: enough for operation
-Pumpkin seeds or pine nuts: 5 (for decoration)


-Peel skin from pumkin and heat pulp inside microwave oven until soft enough to make paste. Let cool down completely.

-In an oven bowl mix well punpkin paste, rice flour, sugar and water until it becomes bubbly. Cover with cellophane paper and heat for 40 seconds at 700W inside microwave oven.

-Work the paste until smooth.

-Using cornstarch to work paste more easily as it will easily stick to yor fingers, divide the paste into 5 identical portions.

-Divide sweetmeats/anko into 5 identical parts and fashion them into small balls.
Coat your fingers with a little cornstarch and completely wrap sweetmeat/anko ball with pumpkin paste as shown in picture.

-Make indents around the ball with a wooden sticks to shape the ball into a small pumpkin.

-As soon as the ball is finished, gently brush away whatever cornstarch is left on the surface.

-On top of each pumpkin cake place a seed for decoration and effect!

-That is how your “pumpkin” will look when you cut it!

You can sieve the pumpkin pulp first for a finer texture.

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Dessert: Ricotta, Orange Peels & Chocolate Tart


Italy and France can make up for some great combinations with a little imagination.
Here is a failry simple recipe that should please quite a few people as it includes cheese:
Ricotta, Orange Peels & Chocolate Tart!

INGREDIENTS: For 6~8 persons/20 cm wide mold than can opened.

Flour: 200 g
Butter: 150 g (not too cold, please!) + a little for the mold
Milk: 1 large tablespoon
Egg yolk: 1 small
Sugar: 30 g
Vanilla sugar: to taste
Cinnamon: a large pinch
Salt: a little pinch

-Cake filling:
Ricotta: 600 g
Mascarpone: 100 g
Eggs: 2 whole + 3 yolks
Sugar: 90 g
Black/dark chocolate: 90 g
Orange peels (preserved): 35 g
Vanilla essence: 1 small teaspoon


-Prepare the pastry ( a little in advance if possible):
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Add the butter in small pieces and knead with your finger tips until you obtain an homogeneous sable pastry.
Beat the egg yolk with the milk and mix quickly to the pastry to “link” it.

-Spread the pastry on a working boarded on which you will sprinkled some flour (to prevent sticking).
Insert into the mold. Cut out whatever pastry is over the rim. Keep inside refrigerator for 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

-Prepare the filling:
Cut the orange peels in small pieces. Chop the chocolate very finely.
In a large bowl mix the ricotta and mascarpone, the whole eggs and egg yolks, the vanilla essence and the sugar. Mix well. Add the orange peels and chocolate. Mix well.

-Take the the pastry inside its mold out of the refrigerator.
Fill it with the cake garnish and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes~ 1 hour 30 minutes.
Check with a knife that the garnish is properlu\y cooked in its centre.
If the surface colour gets too darke cover it with a sheet of foil paper.

-Let cool completely before serving!

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Honey and Mint Pizza


Who doesn’t like pizza?
Just found this interesting recipe in my notes to please vegetarians:
Honey and Mint Pizza!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Pizza bread: enough for one large pizza. Excellent pizza bread can be bought through the Internet. Of course, home-made is best. I’m sure everyone has his/her own preferred recipe!
-Tomatoes]: medium big x 2
-Peeled tomatoes: 1 can
-Tomato puree: 2 large tabelspoons
-Ricotta cheese: 2 large tablespooons
-Mozzarella bi Bufala: 2 balls
-Fresh mint: 2 sprigs
-Honey (liquid): 2 large tablespoons
-Olive oil (EV)
-Ground pepper
(no salt needed, unless you are an addict!)


-Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius

-Cover the bottom of the oven late with cooking paper brushed with olive oil.

-Cut the tomatoes into slices. Discard as much pulp as possible. Put aside.

-Drain the mozzarella balls with kitchen paper and cut into thin slices.
Wash and dry the mint leaves.

-Spread (unroll) pizza bread onto oiled cooking paper (yopu may think of 4 small individual pizzas, too!).
When you garnish the pizza bread, keep in mind to leave some room around the rim for crispy look!
Spread the tomato puree first, then peeled tomatoes. Add the ricotta as uniformly as possible. Cover with tomato slices. Sprinkle with olive oil and bake in oven for 15 minutes.

-Take out the pizza and place the mozzarella slices. Put back into oven for 5 minutes.

-Take out of the oven. decorate with mint leaves and pour the honey over the whole pizza as uniformly as possible.

-Eat at once!

This is a basic suggestion.
Some people will like to add garlic, basil and so on.
I kept it as simple and healthy (no salt) as possible!

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/49)


Yesterday’s bento was typically Japanese in concept and ingredients.
The Missus tried to make it more “stamina-like” as they say in Japan, but at the same time, keeping the calories in check.


The “musubi/rice balls” were of two types: one with sweet konbu/seaweed” the other with “sweet umeboshi/pickled Japanese plums”. All balls were wrapped in “shiso/perilla” leaves.


As for the garnish, the Missus aded “chikuwa/fish paste tubes” filled with fresh cucumber.
Home-made cucumber pickles were also included.


Sweet and sour chicken “dango/balls” she had coated with black sesame seeds beforehand.


And of course “tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette”!
Mini tomatoes for the Vitamin C and plums (not pictured) for dessert.

Bewteen you and me, I felt pretty satisfied!

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Smoked Salmon Nems in Vodka Cream Sauce


When Summer comes, one is looking for light but sophisticated food to go with all those cold drinks!
Here is recipe that marries concepts from South East Asia and Northern Europe:
Smoked Salmon Nems in Vodka Cream sauce!

INGREDIENTS: For 6 persons

-Smoked Salmon: 6 thin slices (fairly long)
-Mascarpone: 250 g
-Fresh cream: 150 ml
-Vodka: 50 ml
-Lemon juice: 1 lemon
-Chervil: 6 sprigs
-Ciboulette (very thin leeks): 12~ sprigs
-Baies roses/whole pink peppercorns: 12 roughly broken
-Red hot chili/Espelette: to taste
-Salt: a little (to taste)

Vodka Cream sauce:
-Fresh cream: 150 ml
-Vodka: 50 ml
-Lemon juice: 1 lemon
-Baies roses: 6
Salt and pepper (to taste)


-Cut the smoked salmon slices into squares approximately 10×6 cm.
Put each over a cellophane paper piece and keep in the fridge.

-Cut the chervil and ciboulette finely.
In a bowl, beat very cold fresh cream into Chantilly cream (solid, but carful! stop before it turns into butter!). Add slowly and carefully Mascarpone into the cream, then lemon juice, vodka, chopped chervil and ciboulette and broken baiese roses, and last slat and chili pepper.

-Place this filling over the salmon slices. Roll them into nems. Wrap them tightly into cellophane paper and leave them inside refrigerator.

-Grind the beaies roses.
In a bowl mix fresh cream, vodka, lemon juice and ground baies roses with a whisk. Season it if needed and mix again. Leave in refrigerator.

-Just before serving, take nems/rolls out of the fridge. Cut each extremity for better effect (this will allow to taste them beforehand!).
Place them on plates. decorate plate with Vodka Cream Sauce.

They look even greater served mounted with some salmon roe and ciboulette sprigs!

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Herb-roasted Potatoes and fine Ratatouille


The Missus asked for a simple dsih tonight after the great lunch we had in Mochimune Harbour in Shizuoka City. Today was a National holiday, meaning i had to treat the Missus to lunch and help her with dinner!

I’ve always been a “keep everything simple” fan when it comes to cooking,
After all, one can attain any heights with a lot of money and time on hand.
That is the work of epicurean specialists! “Little people” like I, will find more pleasure cooking something simple, but with character for cherished company (my oher half is never going to believe the latter!).
Here is a favourite simple dish I concocted for fun (for the second time)!

INGREDIENTS: (for 2 people):
Small turnips: 6
Small potatoes: 6
Wide rashers of bacon: 6
Fresh rosemary (to taste)
Salt, white pepper (to taste)

Fine Ratatouille:
Medium-large onion: 1
Shallot: 1 large
Garlic: 2 cloves
Aubergine/egg plant: 1
Courgette/zucchini: 1
Red sweet pimento: 1
Yellow sweet pimento: 1
Olive oil: 50cc (a quarter of a cup)
1 lemon juice
Fresh herbs (finely chopped): basil, Italian parsley (to taste)
White wine or Noilly Prat: 50cc (a quarter of a cup)
Pastis/Ricard/Pernod: a “bottle cap”
Salt, pepper, nutmeg (to taste). Add chili pepper or other spices if you wish!


1) Fine Ratatouille:
Chop onion, shallot, aubergine and courgette in small cubes. Crush garlic cloves and chop fine. Heat up the olive oil in a deep pan. Once oil is hot enough drop in all the above chopped vegetables and fry, stirring regularly, until onions become translucent. Turn down fire to low. Drop in chopped pimentos, chopped herbs, lemon juice, wine, Pastis, salt, pepper, nutmeg and whatever spices. Stir the whole, cover with lid and let cook until all vegetables are sufficiently soft.
This can prepared well in advance as reheated ratatouille is even better! Don’t worry if you have made too much of it as this can be used for all kinds of dishes such as omelette garnish, on cold crostini, and so on!

2) Boil potatoes in salted water until they are 80% cooked. Take them out of the water and plunge them in cold water for a while. This is a simple trick to prevent them from breaking up later! Put them on a cloth or kitchen paper to absorb water.

3) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (level 6/7)
Peel potatoes. If they are new with a very thin skin, do not bother peeling them! Wrap each one in rasher of bacon. Secure the bacon around the potato by skewering them with a thin wooden toothpick. Place them on an oven plate coated with olive oil. Sprinkle a little pepper on them. Salt is not needed as plenty is contained inside bacon! Abundantly sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Bake until bacon has reached a nice crispy state.

4) Peel turnips and cut into four wedges each, leaving a little of the stem for good effect.
Boil them in slighted salted water just long enough for them to get tender. This should not take very long. Bear in mind that over-boiled turnips will get mushy and crumble away!

5) Once the potatoes are cooked, on a large plate you have kept hot either in hot water or inside the oven, first pour a good amount of ratatouille in the middle. Then place turnips around as shown on picture. Last, carefully pull toothpicks out of the potatoes and place the latter above the ratatouille.

Enjoy with a great beer or strong white wine (red wine is fine, too. LOL)

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Safran Cream Mussles


Mussles a re a favourite every where, but especially in the north of France, Belgium and Flanders.
The safran adds an exaotic note to this simple delicious recipe:
Safran Cream Mussles!

INGREDIENTS: For persons
-Mussles: 3 litres/2.5 kg
-Safran: a few filaments
-1 very fresh egg
-Dry white wine: 150ml
-Fresh cream: 200 ml
-Garlic: 1 clove (peeled)
-Bouquet garni
-Salt (to taste)
-Pepper (to taste)


-Brush and clean mussles under running cold water twice.

-Drop the mussles inside a wrought iron dish (le Creuset style) with the wine, garlic, andbouquet garni. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook on a medium-high fire. Shake mussles around regularly for uniform cooking. Cook until all mussles are open. It will take about 10 minutes.

-Drain them over a bowl. Filter the “juices”.
Take mussles out of their shells.

Take the

-Heat the juices with the fresh cream and safran added on a medium-low fire, stirring all the time. Check taste and season if needed.

-Separate yolk from white. (store egg white for another recipe).
in a separate bowl whisk the egg yolk with a little of the safran cream.

-Away from the fire, pour all the juices and the egg yolk into the wrought iron dish. Mix well. Put dish over ow mediumfire again.

-Put back the mussles inside the dish as soon as the sauce is hot enough.

-Serve the mussles as soon as they are hot enough into bowls or deep plates.
Serve either as a starter or with rice (steam or buttered)

Enjoy with a strong white wine!

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Blueberry Yoghurt Bread


Still have plenty of those blueberries left? Dry them!
As for me, I eat them with yoghurt for breakfast.
Which reminded me of a simple recipe for breakfast bread:
Blueberry Yoghurt Bread!

-Bread flour: 250 g
-Whole wheat flour/Graham Flour: 50 g
-Plain yoghurt: 150 g
-Unsalted butter: 13 g
-Milk: 80 ml
-Sugar: 1 large tablespoon
-Salt: 1 small teaspoon (you may want to reduce that)
-Dry yeast: two thirds of a large tablespoon
-Dried blueberries: 40 g
-Bluberry jam: to taste
-Beaten egg

In an appropriate bowl or recipient, drop and mix bread flour, whole wheat flour/Graham Flour, plain yoghurt, unsalted butter, milk, sugar, salt, dry yeast, dried blueberries. Let ferment as you woulddo with any bread.

-Once leavened, knead to let gas out. Form a bowl and cut iinto 6 equal parts.

-Cover with cellophane paper and let rest for 20 minutes.

-Stretch each ball with both hands first, then using a wooden roll stretch more on the picture.

-Brush one side with a little bluberry jam and roll with the jam inside.

-Place the balls as in picture inside a 19 cm wide baking paper mold.

-To help with second fermentation, place inside a microwave oven for 20 minutes at 40 degrees Celsius.

-During that time, preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius.
-Take out bread out of microwave oven. Brush with beaten egg.
-Lower oven tempearture to 190 degrees Celsius and bake for 20 minutes.


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Japanese Vegan Udon, Dried Shiitake and Konbu Salad


I’ve been looking around me recently for ideas so as to help my vegan and vegetarian friends with new ideas. Here is a simple one I just found for a healthy and tasty salad:
Japanese Vegan Udon, Shiitake and Umeboshi Salad!

INGREDIENTS: For one dish

-Udon: 1 pack of boiled udon ready for use
-Dried Shiitake Mushrooms: 4
-Salad Oil: 3 large tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Mirin/sweet sake: 50 ml
-Real mineral water: 100 ml
-Cucumber, lettuce, mini tomatoes: as per taste

-In a pan, drop cut dried shiitake, cho@@ed konbu/seaeed and oil. Fry gently.

-On a low fire add soy sauce and mirin.

-When you are satisfied that the shiitake are soft enough, drop the whole into mixer,nlender. Add water and process unti you obatin a sauce like in the picture.

-Boil udon quickly. Cool them under running clear water. Drain throuroughly and place on a dish.

-Arrange lettuce, cucumber on top of udon as on the picture, showing up enough of the udon.

-pour the sauce on top and decorate with mini tomatoes.


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French Dessert: Tarte au Cafe/Coffee Tart


Here is a simple but elegant cake recipe I found in my notes to please everyone in the family!
Tarte au Cafe/Coffee Tart!

INGREDIENTS: For 6 persons
Flour: 250g + 20 g for the mold.
Butter: 125 g ; a little
Sugar: 3 large tablespoons
Egg: 1
Milk: 3 large tablespoons
Instant coffee: 1 small teaspoon
Salt: a pinch

-Coffee pudding:
Mascarpone: 250 g
Eggs: 4
Sugar: 180 g
Liquid coffee extract/essence: 4 small teaspoons
Powdered hazlenuts: 20 g
Ice sugar: 20 g

Ice sugar: 1 large tablespoon
Coffee beans: 4

-Preheat oven to 7 (210 degrees Celsius). Butter and flour the tart mold.

-Prepare the tart pastry:
Mix flour and butter with the tips of your fingers. Add salt, sugar and egg, milk and instant coffee. Make a bowl. Spread it and insert inside tart mold. Stab the pastry with a fork at regular spaces.
Put the pastry and mold inside freezer for 10 minutes.

-Whisk mascarpone and suar inside a bowl. Add and mix the eggs one by one and last coffee extract.

-Cook the pastry inside oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with ice sugar and hazlenut powder. Slowly pour the pudding mixture inside the tart pastry.
ower the oven heat to 6 (180 degrees Celsius) and cook for 50 minutes.
If the color over the surface of the tart colours up too quickly, lower heat to 5 (150 degrees Celsius) and bake a little longer.

-Leat tart cool off before taking it out of its mold. Sprinkle it ice sugar and finely broken coffee beans.

-Serve lukewarm or cold.

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Peach Clafoutis


Peaches being in season, it is only a queation of finding enough recipes to accomodate them!
Here is a simple recipe:
Peach Clafoutis!

INGREDIENTS: For a baking mold of 15 cm diameter
-Sugar: 6 g
-Rhum/rum: a little (to taste)
-Peach: a large one, 200g
-Egg: 1 large/52 g
-Fresh cream: 45 g
-White chocolate: 45 g
-Ready-made 15cm tart (of your choice)

-in a frypan drop in sugar with some butter and heat slowly until they turn into caramel.

-Cut peach in appropriate sized wedges and fry them coating with the caramel.

-Just as the edges of the peach wedges start losing shape pour in rum.
Switch off fire and let cool.

-Drop egg in a bowl and beat well into a uniform omelette.

-Add fresh cream, beat. Heat and melt white chocolate inside microwave oven for 30 seconds.

-Pour in the egg/cream mixture into the bowl containing melted white chocolate and mix well.

-Place peach wedges inside tart.

-Pour clafoutis mixture onto peaches.

-Bake at 120 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until you are satisfied.
Let cool completely and chill before serving.

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Japanese Vegan Treat: Cha Soba/Tea Soba


Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated for its green tea all the World.
It grows no less than 50% of the national crop.
Vegetarians (and vegans!), rejoice!
A company called Ikejima Foods in Hamakita Ku, Hamamatsu City has come up with Tea Buckwheat Noodles/Cha-soba! (or Tya Soba)!
Tea comes from the Kawane area which produces some of the best tea in the Prefecture.
The noodles contain no preservatives, and neither the noodles, nor the tsuyu/soup contains any animal extracts whatsoever (no milk or egg products).
One pack contains enough for 4 small or 2 medium portions.


As for cooking, here are simple instructions:
Cold Noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup in 100 ml of clean water.
In one big pan heat 2 litres of water. Bring to boiling point. Drop in noodles. Lower fire to small. Stir with long chopsticks. The noodles are ready when they readily come to the surface. Wash them rapidly under running cold water inside a “zaru”/small basket or inside a bowl full of cold water until noodles are cool enough. Drain water and place on a flat dish over a bamboo net if possible. Eat noodles by dipping them in tsuyu/soup to which you can add freshly cut raw leeks and wasabi (or any spices you fancy!)

Hot noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup into 230 ml of hot water.
Cook noodles as for cold style. Drain and drop into bowl full of tsuyu/soup. Add vegetables, freshly cut raw leeks and spices to taste.

“Meicha Soba”
Ikejima Foods
Hamamatsu City, Hamakita Ku, Terajima, 2351
Tel.: 053-587-1025

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Blueberry and Red Wine Ruby Mousse


Here is a seasonal dessert for adults with a wicked liking for wine!

Blueberry and Red Wine Ruby Mousse!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 cups (to share?)

-Blueberry Mousse:
Powdered gelatin or agar agar: 5 g
Water: 2 large tablespoons
Plain yoghurt: 200 ml/1 cup
Honey: 40 g
Frozen blueberries (or fresh in season): 7
Lemon juice: a little
Fresh cream: 50 ml

-Red wine jelly:
Red Wine: 100 ml
Sugar: 15 g
Lemon juice: a little
powdered gelatin or agar agar: 2.5 g
Water: 2 large tablespoons

-For decoaration:
Blueberries: to taste
Mint leaves


-Blueberry Mousse:
Pour water into a bowl, add gelatin and mix in (in that order, please otherwise you will fail!)
Drop yoghurt, honey (liquid) and blueberries in a mixer/food processor. Mix until smooth.
Beat up fresh cream until it “horns” stand. Add to mousse mixture. Season with lemon juice.
Dissolve gelatin in water by gently heating it. Add to Mousse mixtureand mix. Pour the the blueberry mousse into 4 recipients of your choice and leave inside fridge for 30 minutes or until properly solidified.

-Wine jelly:
As for the bleberry mousse, add gelatin to water.
In a small pan heat red wine and sugar together to dissolve. Stop fire as soon as you think that the alcohol has evaporated. Season with lemon juice.
Let cool completely.
Dissolve gelatin in water by gently heating it. add to red wine jelly mixture and let cool completely.
Pour jelly over Blueberry Mousse and put v\back into refrigerator to solidify.
Only when the whole mousse and jelly are firm enough decorate with blueberries and fresh mint leaves.

Make a point to scoop both parts for top enjoyment!

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