Tag Archives: Cake Shops

LE CAFE-LABO: Classic Cakes (12)-Acapulco

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It had been some time since I checked on that great confectionery institution in Shizuoka City, LE CAFE-LABO, so yesterday afternoon I paid a visit to their shop In Isetan Department Store to find out if they had a new creation on display for my students!

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In fact they did!
The cake is called “Acapulco”.
I refrained buying two of them, otherwise my lady student might miscontrued my intent! LOL

It is very feminine and luscious not only in looks and concept, but also in taste and texture.
The base is a chocolate joconde short cake with a layer of cassis mousse surmounted with a small chocoate macaron inside. The whole is covered with a “mound” of green apple mousse overlaid with a thin layer of cassis jell.

Perfect for the summer with a cold glass of tea!

LE CAFE-LABO
424-0886 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Kusanagi, 46
Tel.: 054-3441661
Also available at Isetan Dept. Store, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-Cho.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 7: Creation 3-Hanabira Mochi

WAGASHI-HANABIRAMOCHI

Here is another traditional Japanese Cake/Wagashi: Hanabira Mochi (菱葩餅 in Japanese)!
Hanabiramochi is a Japanese sweet usually eaten at the beginning of the year. Hanabiramochi is also served at the first tea ceremony of the New Year.

The name “hanabiramochi” literally means “flower petal mochi”. The original form of Hanabiramochi is Hishihanabira, a dessert that was eaten by the Imperial family at special events coinciding with the beginning of the year.

Hanabiramochi was first made in the Meiji Era (8 September 1868 – 30 July 1912), but it is now a familiar New Year wagashi.

The exact shape of hanabiramochi is strictly defined by tradition. The white mochi covering is flat and round, folded over to form a semicircular shape, and must have a pink color showing through in the center of the confection, fading to a white at the edge. Unlike a daifuku the mochi must not completely seal the insides.

In the center of a hanabiramochi is a layer of anko, a sweet bean paste, commonly the white kind made from sweetened mung beans. In the very center is a thin strip of sweetly flavoured gobo (burdock root) which protrudes from the mochi on both sides.

Each element of the hanabiramochi is significant.

The red colour showing through the white mochi is not only appropriate to the celebration of the new year but also evokes the Japanese apricot/plum (ume) blossom, which in turn represents the purity, perseverance, and renewal associated with the New Year.

The gobo represents pressed ayu, a fish exclusive to East Asia, and a prayer for a long life.

A vegan way to celebrate the New Year!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 6: Creation 2/Sakura Mochi

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Sakura Mochi (桜餅) is a variety of wagashi, or Japanese confectionery consisting of a sweet pink mochi (rice cake) and red bean paste, covered with a leaf of sakura (cherry blossom).

Sakura Mochi (桜餅) or Cherry Blossom Mochi has been popular all over Japan since the beginning of gastronomy in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The style of Sakura Mochi differs from the regions in Japan.
Basically, the east of Japan such as Tokyo uses shiratama-ko (白玉粉/ rice flour) and the west side such as Kansai uses dōmyōji-ko (道明寺粉/glutinous rice flour) for “batter”.

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Anko is folded inside a mochi sheet and again inside an edible cherry tree leaf.

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Here the anko is inside white mochi, then folded in cherry tree leaf and topped with an edible cherry flower.

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A smaller, very cute Sakura Mochi: the coloure mochi contains anko and is presented inside an edible cherry tree leaf.

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Sakura mochi as sold over the counter in the Kansai/West Japan Region.
They are also called Sakura Dango/Cherry Balls (no comment, please!LOL)

SIMPLE RECIPE
This recipe is for making Western-style sakuramochi. Serves 8.

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup glutinous rice flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup red bean paste
red food coloring (optional)
8 sakura leaves pickled in salted water

PREPARATION:
Wash pickled sakura leaves and dry.
Boil water in a pan.
Mix glutinous flour in the water.
Cover the pan with a lid and leave it for 5 minutes.
Place a wet cloth in a steamer and put the dough on the cloth.
Steam the dough for about 20 minutes over medium heat.
Remove the steamed dough to a bowl.
Mash the dough slightly with a wooden pestle, mixing sugar into the dough.
Dissolve a little bit of red food color in some water.
Add some of the red water in the dough and mix well.
Divide the pink mochi into 8 balls.
Flat each mochi ball by hands and place red bean paste filling on the dough.
Wrap the filling with mochi and rounds by hands.
Wrap each mochi with a sakura leaf.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 6: Creation 1

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Here is an example of what could be done by a Japanese chef as Wagashi/Japanese Cake!
This particular Birthday Cake creation is the work of Chef Maeda at Kouseido in Osaka City!
Will look around and post other creations whenever I can!

Here is a breakdown of the above:

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-MOMO

“Momo”/Peach

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-MIKAN

“MIkan”/Orange

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-TSUBAKI

“Tsubaki”/Camelia

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-SAKURA

“Sakura”/Cherry Blossom

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-ICHIGO

“Ichigo”/Strawberry

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-MELON

“Meron”/Melon

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 5: Recipe-Kinako/Roasted Soy Beans Powder

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Abekawa Mochi from Shizuoka, one served pasted inside red sweetmeats/anko and the others with kinako powder.

As promised here is a simple recipe for kinako/黄な粉, roasted soy beans powder, so often used with Japanese cakes/Wagashi!

MOCHI-KINAKO

Kinako (黄粉 or きなこ), also known as soybean flour, is a product commonly used in Japanese cuisine. In order to create the soybean flour, soybeans are toasted and ground into powder. Its flavor is commonly compared to that of peanut butter.

INGREDIENTS:
Soy beans: 1 cup (200cc)

RECIPE:

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Discard beans showing broken skin or with an unusual colour.

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To make sure of any taking away any humidity, put them inside a clean cloth sack and roll them inside your hands/fingers.

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Use a pan with as thick a bottom as possible. Roast for 12 minutes above medium fire. Stir around with wooden spatula. The soy beans will emit their smell making small “noises” at the same time.

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Transfer to a bamboo basket/zaru or a reipient with small holes to cool off.

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Start slowly processing them inside a food processor/mixer, working 15 seconds at a time, 3 or 4 times. All the beans will probably not be reduced to powder. Transfer powder into earthenware mortar little by little until all the beans are reduced into powder.

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Make sure you get an even powder by crushing it around with a wooden pestle.

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Sieve powder through a fine strainer.

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The powder obtained should be fragrant and almost sweet.

You can turn into a drink if you want to!
Milk: 1 glass, kinako, 2 tablespoons, sugar, 1 tablespoon.

Kinako should be eaten as soon as possible!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 4: Recipe-Mochi

WAGASHI-SAKURA-MOCHI
Wagashi/Sakura Mochi

Here is a simple way to make mochi.
Bear in mind that mochi can be eaten fresh as it is especially with wagashi cakes and that it can be mixed with other ingredients for colouring. It can be aslo dried and grilled and also included in soups and other recipes such as mochi pizza!

INGREDIENTS:
Glutinous rice: 3 go (Japanese measure): 540 cc (2.8 cups)
Kinako (to taste)

Notes on kinako and glutinous rice:

MOCHI-KINAKO

Kinako (黄粉 or きなこ), also known as soybean flour, is a product commonly used in Japanese cuisine. In order to create the soybean flour, soybeans are toasted and ground into powder. Its flavor is commonly compared to that of peanut butter.

Kinako, being composed of soybeans, is a healthy topping and flavoring which contains B vitamins and protein. It can also be used as a drink;. For example, warabi mochi is a famous kinako-covered sweet

I will introduce a recipe soon!

MOCHI-TRADITIONAL

Glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa or Oryza glutinosa; also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous (Latin glūtinōsus) in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.

RECIPE:

MOCHI-1
Wash the rice and let it soak in water overnight.

MOCHI-2
Pour water in steamer. Bring to boil. Set a clean cloth inside. Drain rice. Pour rice inside cloth. Dig a “well” in the middle for better cooking.

MOCHI-3
Steam over a medium fire for 20~25 minutes.

MOCHI-4
Pour hot water inside pestle bowl and leave the wooden sticks inside water for long enough to have all of them well impregnated with water. Throw water away just before next step. This will insure a better mochi!

MOCHI-5
Check rice for an even cooking. No water should be left or the mochi will be runny. If you make a small quantity, softer rice than usual is better as it will tend to dry faster than a large quantity.

MOCHI-6
Now this is the hard part!
You will need three adults to press hard on the rice with the wooden sticks at the same time to crush the rice completely. It might take as long as 10 minutes.

MOCHI-7
Now that the rice has been softened, One can continue on his own or work in shifts. Pound the rice in the middle 10 times. Turn over the rice from outside to inside and continue always around the clock.
Important: always pound in the middle, never on the sides or you will break the bowl!

MOCHI-8
That is how it should look. Make balls by twisting rice out.

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Roll mochi in kinako mixed with sugar to taste. They are ready to be eaten!

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This is how are served in Japan for children (and adults!)

MOCHI-11
If you want to preserve them for a while before eating, roll them in rice powder. Rice powder will come in useful if you want to fashion the mochi into thin sheets or else.

MOCHI-12
That is they look grilled!

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French Cake by Bernard Heberle: Tisane

TISANE

Here’s the latest creation by my good friend, Bernard Heberle, the owner-patissier at Abondance in Hamamatsu City!
It is called “Tisane”, or herb tea infusion.

In his own words:
“Voici un gâteau au nom de ” Tisane ” et pour cause il est a base d’herbe fraîche et plus spécialement de Verveine.
La combinaison Verveine, crème, oeuf, lait et amour se marie très bien surtout en approche de la saison chaude et humide.”

“Here is a caked I called “Tisane” because it is prepared with a fresh herb base, especially Verveine.
The combination of Verveine, cream, egg, milk and love is just perfect as we approach the hot sultry season!”

Abondance
Address: Hamamatsu Shi, Sumiyoshi, 2-14-27 (in front of Seirei Hospital)
Tel.: 053-4738400
Fax: 053-4738401
Opening hours: 10:00~20:00. Closed on Tuesdays.
Homepage

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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