It’s no longer summer but this was a tasty summer treat that can still be enjoyed if you can find some peaches. It’s super simple. Peal and slices peaches into wedges. Toss with some honey and cinnamon. Grill on medium heat until caramelized (light grill marks). Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
This summer was a tart filled summer. Tarts are surprisingly easy to make and turn out pretty fluted edges with no effort. You can make all types of tarts because there are so many types of crusts that be used. Flaky butter pie crusts for sweet or savory tarts and graham, shortbread or cookie crusts for sweet tarts. Plus, most of the time you only need to bake the crust and not the filling so it’s very easy. The pan I used in California was a scratched up 9″ aluminum pan I got for $2 at the thrift shop. I have a non-stick 10″ pan with a removable bottom at home in NY. I totally recommend the latter. It was a Christmas gift purchased from Crate and Barrel in my annual Cousins Secret Santa. Thanks Lisa!
I made a lemon tart following this recipe. It’s basically a pudding thickened with corn starch and egg yolk with lemon juice and sour cream stirred in. It’s really simple to make, especially if you use a store bought refrigerator pastry crust like I did. The result was tasty but didn’t look amazing. The zest is visible and it was difficult to smooth out the filling. It also didn’t set well at all. We drove this to the final destination and one hard stop caused the filling to shift out of the crust. Tasty but not very presentable.
I made the chocolate satin tart for a friend’s birthday party. I let him pick a dessert and he said anything with chocolate! It’s kind of funny because chocolate would have been the last thing I would have chosen but I have to accommodate the birthday boy! It took me a long time to decide what to make because it had to be a chocolate dessert that was portable and would survive a hot car ride to New Jersey. Chocolate cake/cupcakes would have been too fragile, cheesecake/mousse/puddings would have melted, and brownies weren’t special enough.
The recipe I used turned out to be perfect because the filling was very sturdy. That’s probably because it’s mainly chocolate! It’s almost like a firm chocolate ganache tart. The crust was made from shortbread cookies, butter and sugar. The recipe is very easy. The only thing I changed was to replace the rosemary/mint for a tablespoon of instant coffee granules. Coffee brings out the rich chocolate flavor.
The birthday boy loved the dessert. He also got a store bought cappuccino birthday cake but this 10″ tart was able to serve ~14 people. Since it’s so rich, a smaller slice is preferable. Milk is highly recommended!
What chocolate dessert would you have chosen to make?
Taiyaki made with waffle batter.
My taiyaki pan finally arrived!! It took a week to get to me. Shipping was a ridiculous flat $10 for such a small pan. I got it off ebay from California. If someone knows where to find one in NYC please let me know for future reference. I searched all over Chinatown with no luck. I DID find a takoyaki pan for $12 at a restaurant supply on Bowery St. which is a lot cheaper than Kam Man on Canal St. Takoyaki =/= taiyaki. Too bad.
The pan looks big but it’s actually not that big.
I tried two recipes. The first recipe was from Cooking with Dog on Youtube. I love those videos! I’ve never had real taiyaki except for the chibi-taiyaki from Sweet Breams in San Mateo, CA so I’m not sure what to look for. The batter from Cooking with Dog’s recipe is not that sweet which compliments the sweet store bought red bean paste inside. I actually messed up and did 100g of water instead of 100ml. The second batter was a simple waffle batter that had milk, oil, all purpose flour, a lot more baking powder and required whipping egg whites to fold into the batter. More work, more fat and actually didn’t taste as good as the Japanese recipe. I did half nutella and half red bean paste in this batch. If you can find red bean paste that’s in the pouch, I recommend that over the can. It tastes sweeter and is mashed not pureed so it’s more authentic. Or you can make your own.
From the Japanese recipe.
I still have to work on cooking it properly to get it to crisp up without burning. Next experiment will be the recipe below with all purpose flour instead of cake flour and the correct amount of water.
Waffle batter with nutella.
100g Cake Flour (3.53 oz)
2/3 tsp Baking Soda
2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 Egg (30g/1.06 oz)
100ml Water (3.38 fl oz)
1. Sift together flour, baking soda and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together egg and water.
3. Make a well in the flour and slowly pour in egg and water while whisking outwards to incorporate all the flour. This will prevent lumps.
My girl cousins in NYC decided to gather and do dinner together so we headed out into the city Friday night after work/classes. We were aiming for Inoteca for some Italian panini sandwiches but the wait was 1 hour so we went over to Essex instead since they had tables. I think our waitress must have hated us because we sat there for what seemed like hours just chatting and talking about our love lives without ordering a ton of appetizers and drinks buuuut it was a great night out. They wouldn’t let me pay because my birthday was coming up. I had the lamb chops with ricotta gnocchi and spinach which was cooked very well and tasted delish. Other dishes at the table included seafood pasta, mussels belgian style (their sweet potato fries were mushy), blackened fish, and duck breast (I love duck). Dessert menu was very unoriginal so we skipped on that.
I kept forgetting to take pictures all night so this is after I ate some already.
Afterwards, we migrated to Ferrara in Little Italy for desserts. We went to the smaller (less famous?) one because we knew they had seats. The carrot cake and tiramisu cake were really good. Other people got canoli and cheesecake but I didn’t taste. Almond cappuccino was also good but was not sweet after eating cake so don’t order them together. Each item was ~$5.. including the cappuccino!
My sister and brother got me the laptop lunchbox!!! Version 2!! I’ve been pining for one for ages but couldn’t bring myself to spend $30 on a lunchbox. It’s bigger than I imaged but I’m so excited to start packing meals in it. =D Thanks Cindy and Jason! I wonder if people will find me weird if I bring that to school.
No bento on Saturday because I went home late, slept late and had work very early. Plus, I usually have lunch with a friend and dinner at home on Saturdays. Maybe I should pack a healthy snack box instead of sucking on a bubble tea all day. Not bringing food usually means unhealthy food as demonstrated by today: hawaiian fried rice (halal style so kinda greasy) and mango bubble tea.
A simple dessert that is super easy to make and super satisfying. The texture of this egg custard is very smooth and can be eaten warm or chilled. Sweetness level can be adjusted to your taste. This Chinese dessert is similar to the Spanish flan!
Unfortunately I ate it before I took a picture. Plus mine were in white bowls so they weren’t that pretty to photograph anyway. Here’s a pic I found online of what they look like.
Steamed Egg Custard Dessert
Makes 4 Chinese rice bowls, will serve 4-6 if using ramekins.
4 extra-large eggs
2 cups milk
~4 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk (optional)
1. Mix all ingredients together trying not to form bubbles. Let mixture sit if a lot of bubbles form so they can pop.
2. For a super smooth consistency you can strain the mixture but I didn’t bother.
3. Pour into bowls/ramekins.
4. Boil water in steamer (or whatever steaming contraption you create). Once boiling, place bowls in steamer and turn heat to medium-low. Steam for 20 minutes. To check if it’s done, stick chopstick into surface of custard, if no liquid custard wells up then it’s done. Custard will feel very soft.
5. Let it sit uncovered until it’s cool enough to grab out of the steamer. Enjoy warm or chill for a few hours until really cold, then enjoy.