Tag Archives: Dessert

French/Japanese Dessert: Pear Madeleine

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Just discovered this intriguing little cake called Pear Madeleine by a Japanese friend. American friends would definitely find another name including the word “cupcake”!
Incidentally my own mother’s name was Madeleine! Coincidence?

INGREDIENTS: for about 12~13 cakes
-Butter: 125 g
-Egg: 1 large
-Sugar: 70 g
-All-purpose flour: 100 g
-Baking powder: 1 small teaspoon
-Almond powder: 20 g
-Walnuts: 20 g
-Pears: 4 cuts from halved pear can
For the nappage/topping:
-Water: 100 ml (half a cup)
-Sugar: 40 g
-Agar agar: 1 g

RECIPE:

-Cut half of the pear slices into small bits for the cake pastry. Cut the rest of the pears into thin slices for topping. Crush walnuts into bits, roast them lightly and put aside.

-Beat butter until it becomes whitish. Add sugar and mix well. In a separate bowl break egg and beat into light omelette. Add and mix with butter mixture little by little.

-Add in the following order: almond powder, flour and baking powder, mixing them in with spatula.

-Add and mix in crushed walnuts and pears bits. Leave in refrigerator overnight.

-Transfer cake mixture into cup of your choice with a spoon. The paste will be a bit hard, but try to put the same amount in each cup. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

-Bake inside oven for 5 minutes and take out. Place a pear cut on each cake and put back into oven for 20~30 minutes.

-Nappage: Pour all ingredients in a bowl and heat over a light fire. When completely dissolved, brush syrup on the cakes.
When completely cooled down, preserve them so as they do not dry up.

NOTE:
The cake mixture will somewhat feel too hard/solid but it will melt in quickly inside oven.

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Japanese Cheese Cake: The Basic Recipe

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I have been recently asked a lot of questions about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 33 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!

Here is the basic recipe as far as it goes in this very country.
It should provide a base from which one can create more sophisticated desserts!

INGREDIENTS: For an 18cm-diameter cake
-Cream cheese (philadelphia style): 250 g
-Fresh cream: 1 cup/200 ml
-Eggs: 2
-Sugar: 80 g
-All purpose flour: 3 large tablespoons
-Lemon juice: 2 large tablespoons
For the base:
-Biscuites (or crackers of your choice): 90 g
-Unsalted butter: 40 g

RECIPE:
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-Put biscuits/crackers inside a tight seal vynil pouch. Close. Crush until fine.
Take crumbs out and mix with melted unsalted sugar.
Lay cooking paper inside a cake mold.
Spread crumbs on the bottom . Press with masher for uniformity and solidity.

-Soften cream cheese inside microwve oven for 30 seconds~1 minute.
Divide into 3 or 4 parts.

-In a mixer/blender drop eggs, sugar, lemon juice and flour. Mix well.

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Pour in fresh cream and then cream cheese little by little. Mix well. Stir with a spatula from time to time to help.

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-Pour the cheese cake mixture over the crumbs.
Preheat oven at 170 degrees and bake for 40~45 minutes.

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The colour should be a nice brown-orange. In Japan they say “kitsune iro/fox colour”!
Leave inside the mold.
Let it cool completely.
Leave inside the fridge at leat 12 hours. before unmolding and serving.

For better cutting, wipe the knife clean after every cut!

If the cake attains its colour before the cooking time has elapsed, cover with foil paper and put back into the oven.
In the case colour does come quickly enough raise the oven temperature.

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French Dessert: Lemon and Cointreau Souffle

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I thought all day about having a go at Jenn, Kamran and other friends’ sweet tooth and I came with that old sweet souffle recipe of mine:
Lemon and Cointreau Souffle!
It is easier than it sounds! You might have to keep the kids off it, though (LOL)

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Almond powder: 50g
-Sugar: 100g (+ 30g for coating inside of molds)
-Flour: 50g
-Milk: 250cc
-Butter: 50g (+ 20g for coating inside of molds)
-Cointreau (or orange liqueur): a quarter of a cup/50 ml (more is no problem!)
-Eggs: 4
-Lemon (clean!): 1
-Glazing sugar
-Salt

RECIPE:

-Coat insides of molds of 4 small souffle molds with butter and then sugar.

-Preheat the oven at 6 (180 degrees Celsius).

-Grate the lemon skin and press out the juice. Put aside.

-Separate egg yolks from whites.

-In a saucepan, on a small fire, melt butter, mix on flour and cook, stirring gently all the time for 2 minutes, making sure the colour does not change.
Add milk and mix on a stronger fire until thick.
Take off fire. Add sugar, almond powder, grated lemon skin, lemon juice and Cointreau, and last the the egg yolks one by one and mix well.
Beat the whites with a pinch of salt until very firm. Fold the whites in the mixture delicately with a soft spatula.
Pour mixture inside molds up to their rims.
Cook for 20 minutes.

-Take out of the oven, sprinkle with glazing sugar and serve at once.

The next dessert will be the recipe for the basic Cheese Cake, Japanese-style!

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French Dessert: Hot Apple Souffle

APPLE-SOUFFLE

Apples are everywhere on the markets these days. This is a good time to try something different. It might hot and humid now, but one can appreciate a hot dessert, especially when you are confined within an air-conditioned space all day and night!
Souffle has a repution of a difficult dish to realize. Actually it is dead simple. Once you matsered it, you cannot make a mistake!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
Apples: 1kg (green probably best)
Eggs: 6
Butter: 50g
Powder Sugar: 100g
5 Sponge Biscuits or the equivalent in Sponge (Short) Cake
Calvados (French Apple Brandy): 100cc

RECIPE:
-Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
-Wash the apples and wipe them dry.
-Take off stems, cut in four and cook as they are in a covered saucepan inside the oven for one hour.
-Take out and sieve flesh of apples. Pour this compote into a fry-pan and cook on a small fire for 5 minutes to take out excess water.
-Stop the fire and mix in the 6 egg yolks.
-Beat the whites with 50g of powder sugar. Fold in the beaten whites delicately inside the cooled down compote with a spatula trying to achieve the lightest possible mixture.
-Cut the sponge biscuits and imbibe them with the Calvados.
-Butter and sugar the inside of a souffle dish.
-Pour in half of the souffle mixture.
-Then spread the calvados-imbibed biscuits and top with the rest of the souffle mixture.
-Cook for 15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius.

-Take out and eat at once!

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French Dessert: Nectarine Tart

NECTARINE-TART

Peaches are already on the market, and nectarines will appear soon!
These peaches being smaller and a lot firmer, they make for a great fruit in tarts.
Here is a simple enough recipe you could apply for other fruit such as apricots, apples and even mangoes!

INGREDIENTS: (for 6 people):
Pastry:
flour: 200g
butter: 75g
egg: 1
powdered sugar: 50g
water
salt
Filling:
nectarines: 750g
butter: 100g
powdered sugar
almond powder: 125g
eggs: 2
rum: 1 tablespoon
minced pistachio: 1 tablespoon
glazing sugar: 2 tablespoons

RECIPE:

A) Pastry:
In an all-purpose bowl mix eggs with sugar until smooth. Then mix in butter (softened) until smooth. Add a pinch of salt. Then mix in flour little
by little to obtain a homogeneous paste. Mix in water little by little until pastry is “as soft as your earlobe”. Wrap in cellophane and leave in refrigerator for an hour.

B) Take pastry out of refrigerator and knead a little until soft enough to spread.
Spread inside tart dish and punch a few holes with a fork.

C) Preheat oven to 6 (180 degrees Ceslius). Melt the butter and pour it in an electric blender (if you do not have one, use some elbow power and mix in all-purpose bowl), add almond powder, sugar, whole eggs and rum. Blend util smooth and pour on pastry.

D) Clean nectarines in cold water. Wipe and cut them in thin slices. Put them onto almond paste pushing them each a little onto the paste so as to make a nice regular pattern for better impression and easier cutting. Sprinkle with glazing sugar. Cook for 50 minutes.
Take out of the oven and out of its mold onto a dish or cake grill. Let it cool. Sprinkle with minced pistachio before serving.

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Soft Peach and Cheese Cake

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I’ve heard that Japanese Cheese Cakes are very popular in North America.
Since I already Have posted a snack and a chicken dish today, I thought I ought to finish it up wit a dessert before going back to work! LOL
It is also peach season right now in Japan. If you want to use fresh peaches for this recipe, choose them firm or make a compote with them first!

INGREDIENTS:
-Cream Cheese: 250g
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This is the Cream Cheese most used in Japan. Does it exist in North America?
-Fresh cream: 100~130 ml according to preferences
-Canned white peaches: 1 can
-Sugar: 40~50 g
-Canned syrup: 35 g (from the peaches can!)
-Eggs: 2
-All-purpose flour: 30 g

RECIPE:
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Take peaches out of the can. Keeping six slices apart for topping, crush the other peach slices with a fork.

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Soften cream cheese inside microwave oven for 20~30 seconds. Strongly stir it inside a bowl until it becomes absolutely smooth.

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Add sugar and syrup and stir well.
Make sure the whole is smooth and without any “solid” parts left.

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First add egg one at a time and stir until completely smooth. Add flour and stir until completely smooth (important!).

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Add fresh cream. Mix until smooth. Add crushed peaches. Mix until smooth.

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As on the picture above, inside a baking mold/dish place lightly oiled (light vegetal oil) wide strips of kitchen paper. This will help takinf\g the cake out of the mold as it is very soft!
Pour in the whole cake mix and place peach sliced on top for decoration.

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Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.
As all ovens have their own “character”, check the colour until you are satisfied.
Stab with a thin wooden toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready!

Note: The cake might be difficult to unmold as it is soft. Do it carefully.
If you have one, use a mold with a movable bottom.
It’s best to let cool first and leave it in the refrigerator for a night before serving.
The above recipe is for the whole family. Adults can add peach liqueur as a finishing touch!

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Watermelon non-wheat flour mini-Cakes

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This particular recipe is dedicated to This Cat Can Cook who amused me with his comments and has a love for Watermelon.
Now, wheat flour allergics will be glad to know that none of it is being used!

INGREDIENTS: for 9~10 cakes
-Watermelon, red part, no pips: 150 g
-Eggs: 2
-Rice flour/powder: 60 g
-Sugar: 25 g
-Butter: 50 g

RECIPE:
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Cut 100g of the watermelon in small cubes 1x1x1 cm. Blend rest into juice (40 ml).

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Melt butter in electric oven at 5~600W for 40~50 seconds or until it is completely melted. Keep warm.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

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Mix sugar and eggs together. Warm sufficiently until it gets to your “skin temperature”.
Beat up at High Medium speed until it forms a bubbly but fine paste. Continue to beat at low speed for 3 more minutes.

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Add rice flour and delicately with a spatula.

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Mix in melted butter and watermelon juice delicately.

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Pour in molds.

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Place a watermelon cube on top and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

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Let the cakes cool before taking them out of their molds.

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Serve them upside down decorated with mint leaves.

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