Month: February 2016

Cherry Blossom Baking Essentials from Cuoca Shop in Tokyo

Jiyugaoka is indeed one of my favorite places in Tokyo. It’s classy, chic & laid-back like Daikanyama. Close to Jiyugaoka Station (自由が丘駅) is a classy dessert paradise (building complex) known as “Sweets Forest”. There are several small sweets shops from which you can satisfy your sweet tooth. The 1st floor has only one shop and it doesn’t sell cakes or crepes, but instead sells everything you need to make them yourself. This specialty store is called Cuoca Shop Jiyugaoka. This store is essentially geared for baking enthusiasts ー it specializes in all sorts of cooking supplies and ingredients. It’s an excellent resource for those who love to bake. The most impressive part of the store is that they have a “chocolate cellar” specially designed to keep high-quality chocolate at just the right temperature. I was introduced to Cuoca by a friend who also loves to bake and my culinary school in Tokyo (Le Cordon Bleu). I fell in love with this shop because they have almost everything I need for baking…plus its location!  I go here every year to hoard some sakura …

Classic Lattice-Top Apple Pie

This is a classic homemade apple pie with a scrumptious filling and buttery flaky crust. Learn how to make a lattice top crust step-by-step. It’s easier than you think, and the results are as impressive as can be. INGREDIENTS serves 6 Pie Crust 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling 200g butter, chilled 1/2 cup ice water 3 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt Filling 5 apples (peeled, cored & sliced) 1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 ground nutmeg 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp salt DIRECTIONS 1.) Pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the butter, pulsing 10-20 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can do it by hand, too! Although it is best to make your crust with a food processor to make sure the ingredients don’t have time to come to room temperature, but if you don’t have one, you can do it by hand with the “fork method”. Stir together the dry …

How to Make Sushi Rolls

Makizushi 巻き寿司 or “rolled sushi” is made by wrapping up a variety of ingredients in vinegared rice and nori seaweed. Since makizushi are wrapped in nori, they are also called Norimaki 海苔巻き. Makizushi is rolled in a flexible bamboo mat called Makisu 巻簾. There are four traditional types of maki and a more contemporary one: Hosomaki (細巻き, thin roll) is thinly rolled maki sushi with only one ingredient Chumaki (中巻き, medium roll) is a medium-sized rolled maki sushi usually containing several ingredients Futomaki (太巻き, thick or fat roll) is a thick rolled maki sushi containing multiple ingredients Temaki (手巻き, hand roll) is a cone-shaped maki sushi Uramaki (カリフォルニア巻き) is a contemporary style of Maki sushi that is described as a roll that is inside out—with the rice on the outside—and has an outer layer of tobiko or sesame seeds. This style was developed in the United States to entice Americans to try sushi despite its unfamiliarity. Sushi comes in all shapes and sizes but sushi rolls are the most popular form and these rolls might include a variety of vegetables like cucumber and …