All posts filed under: Sweets

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 …

Classic Pavlova

Pavlova is a classic Australian dessert that involves baking a large meringue that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, and then covering it with cream and fresh fruits. INGREDIENTS serves 8 225 ml egg whites 330g sugar 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar 375 ml heavy cream 1 cup fresh raspberries 2 cup cherries, stems intact powdered sugar for dusting DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.  Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 30 seconds between each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whisk for a further 6 minutes or until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add the vinegar and whisk for 4 minutes or until glossy and combined. 2. Pile spoonfuls of the meringue onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and using a spatula, shape to form a 20 cm mound. …

Japanese Matcha Macarons with Azuki Bean Filling

INGREDIENTS Italian Meringue Macarons Meringue 50g egg white 20g sugar Sugar Syrup 45g water 120g sugar Almond Mixture 160g almond powder 140g powdered sugar 2 tbsp Uji matcha powder 60g egg white a pinch of salt Azuki Bean Filling (Tsubu-an) 400g tsubu-an (chunky type) 1/2 cup cream DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, sift the almond powder, powdered sugar and matcha powder together. Set aside. Sugar Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over medium heat, cook until sugar syrup reaches 235 – 240°F on a candy thermometer. Meringue: Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set it to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and continue whisking the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Pour in 60g of egg whites into the powder mixture and mix together to form a paste and season with a pinch salt. Gently fold the meringue mixture into the …

Gingerbread Men Cookies

Only a few days left until Christmas!!! One of the best parts about celebrating Christmas is all of the yummy treats – and no holiday cookie tray would be complete without these cute little guys! Learn how to make these simply delicious Gingerbread Men Cookies for you and your family.  INGREDIENTS makes 24 350 g flour 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 140 g brown sugar 120 g Kuromitsu (a Japanese sugar syrup, literally “black honey”. It is similar to molasses, but thinner and milder) 1 egg 2 tbsp water 2 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground allspice 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt DIRECTIONS Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a large bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed until well combined. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a smooth ball, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. …

Strawberry Scones with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Dip

Perfectly baked scones with fresh strawberries dipped in rich and creamy vanilla bean cream cheese. Another sweet retreat to enjoy with family and friends! INGREDIENTS makes 8 Strawberry Scones 3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and cut into pieces 2 cups flour 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1 stick butter, chilled and chopped 1/2 tsp salt 120 ml heavy cream or milk Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Dip 1 stick vanilla bean, seeds scraped 8 oz or 1 package of cream cheese 1-2 tbsp honey 1/4 heavy cream or milk DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease or line the baking pan with parchment paper. Wash strawberries and remove stems. Cut into pieces. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Toss chopped butter into flour mixture and combine it with a pastry scraper and your clean fingers until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add cream and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined. Slowly and gently fold in the strawberries. 3. Transfer dough to a floured surface and shape …

Cranberry Tart with Almond Cream

With the holidays looming around, December is definitely the best time of the year for indulging in desserts with less regrets. Try one of my christmas sweets recipes – an absolutely very berry delicious tart! Have a slice of this festive deliciousness and pair it with your favorite tea. Sip and melt into bliss! Special equipment: You will need a 9-inch tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom) for this recipe. INGREDIENTS serves 8 Sweetened Cranberries 3 cups fresh cranberries 30g strawberry jam 1 tbsp sugar Almond Cream 50g almond powder 50g powdered sugar 5g flour 50g butter, melted 1 egg, room temperature, beaten 5g rum 1/2 stick vanilla bean, seeds scraped Shortcrust Pastry 200g all-purpose flour, sifted 100g butter 1 egg 5g sugar 2g salt DIRECTIONS Shortcrust Pastry: In a mixer bowl, beat the butter until softened. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until evenly incorporated. Add flour and salt, stir until just combined and a soft dough forms. Refrigerate in plastic wrap for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured board, roll …