Two shades of ‘ume’. Plums from the rains.

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The rainy season we have now in Japan (mid-June ~ mid-July in Kansai) is married with the plums. It’s called the “plum rains”. So these ume are the “rain plums”.
You make think they are not ripe on this photo. It’s true they are very sour and hard. But that’s at this stage of maturation that they are picked and used to make umeboshi (pickled plum).

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When they reach this color they are too mature for the salted pickle. When they become soft…they are not sweet, still as sour and less fragrant. Well, mines are yellow and still hard.

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Good to make jam !

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With kurozato black sugar.

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I’ve just put the whole plums, blocks of sugar and water in the home-bakery. Lazy… but I was punished : that splashed and then cleaning the machine was a hell !

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On the little plate, ume pesto (see here).

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Mitarashi tokk

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Matcha and wagashi. Tea and cakes. That’s an informal tea ceremony with a Korean twist.
The model is mitarashi dango, skewers of mochi balls in a sweet sauce. But these are sticks…

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I’ve used Korean mochi (tokk). I have no idea if that exists elsewhere than in Osaka, but you can see this version here. It’s very convenient to prepare.

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Boiled them till soft (10 minutes).

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Put on skewers. Passed a little sesame oil around.

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Grilled the skewers.

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I’ve made a sauce by melting a small block of kurozato black sugar in water, adding a little soy sauce, a pinch of hot chili and a little potato starch to thicken.

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Reheated the sauce and painted the skewers with it.

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Served with matcha green tea.

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Sesame black sugar mousse is luscious

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Schluuuuurrrrpppppp…
Mmmm. Sorry it’s over, there is none left ! Make yours it’s quick and you need only 3 ingredients.

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That’s extremely simple. In a mill, process the sesame into paste, or use paste you already have (tahini, nerigoma).

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Mix it to silky tofu (about 2 tbs of paste per cup) and a little kurozato black cane sugar. Whip well. Add a few drops of vanilla essence and a little brandy for flavoring (optional).

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Transfer into cups.

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Mix some more sugar and water, stir till it gets a black syrup texture.
Pour half of the syrup on top, and refrigerate at least one hour.

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The syrup went down around the cream, so pour the rest just before serving.

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Simplest and laziest galette des rois au chocolat

Belated due to technical hiccups… I had to eat 3 such galettes to post one, but I’m really devoted. Or too gourmande. I couldn’t resist. So here is a 2013 vintage galette des rois (French kings’ cake for “King’s day” on January 6th). It’s filled with chocolate.

That’s far from the classic one with butter pastry like here. It takes 10 minutes to prepare, and it’s quite healthy, dairy free, vegan. But it does taste decadent, don’t worry.

Just mix boiled azuki, sugar and cocoa.

No puff pastry, but quick and crispy pastry : about 1 cup of flour, baking powder, kurozato (black sugar) to taste, a little turmeric for gold reflects, 3 tbs of olive oil. Then add just enough hot water to get a very soft dough.
Don’t forget to hide a fève (token) in the filling.

Paint with oil, bake gently, caramelize the top.

Serve warm. Cut. Ask the youngest person to dispatch the wedges. The one that finds the token is a king or a queen for a year. He or she will have to pay next year’s galette.

Rose petal and cranberry for a romantic panettone


Let’s have a bite of dolce vita

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Blog-checking lines: The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

Yes, the flavor has just been invented. Sweetened dry cranberries, soaked in a little Christmas tea and dry rose petals. I added a little orange blossom water to the dough and that’s all.

Yep, broken. I tried to hang it to dry. Well, never again. LOL.

It’s very “cake-like”, maybe next time, I’ll use bread flour. But besides, it’s delicious for me. I wouldn’t trade it for those industrial ones like M*tt*.

My recipe. I mix in my home-bakery :

For 3 mini panettoni

A
25 cl lukewarm water (or skim milk)
2 ts dry yeast
350 g cake flour
1/2 ts sea salt
B
60 g black sugar
0.5 ts dry yeast
1 tbs orange blossom water
3 egg yolk
90 g softened butter
C
1/2 cup dry sweetened cranberries
prepared tea
dried roses

Day 1 : Mix A and knead. Let overnight.
Day 2 : Add B, knead. Let double. Add C. Let triple.
Bake a 160 degree Celsius.

Nonnettes et flocons de neige, fluffy December sweets


Double dessert, but so light that they could fly…

Plain nonnettes, the soft ginger bread. (recipe here).
These are not filled, only glazed in a syrup of kurozato black sugar.

Mini Flockensahne tortes, topped with sesame seed streusel. It’s light low-fat plant based cream and vanilla for the whip.

Coucou Saint-Nicolas ! Nonnettes aux kakis

It’s Saint-Nicolas today, in the tradition of North Europe. So let’s make those nonnettes (ginger-bread small cakes).
For a quick nonnette recipe click here.
This year’s is made over 2 days, but it takes only 5-10 minutes of your time.

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It’s my belated participation:

Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

The filling is made of kaki (persimmons).

Passed in the blender (after taking away seeds), they become that paste. I’ve added dry mikan orange peel too, but no sugar.

Sugar is added to the batter. It’s Okinawan black cane sugar. It already has a spicy taste.

Simple batter :
-kurozato black sugar, lukewarm water, yeast, let 10 minutes
-add bread flour, salt, more lukewarm water with diluted sugar to get a very soft dough, stir with chopstick.
-let raise 1 hour at 28 degrees (oven dough program), then overnight in the fridge (or the kitchen, it’s the same here)
-stir a little, flavor with cinnamon

In muffin molds, the dough stuffed with kaki.

After they raised, I baked at 180 degrees C. Well, I could I filled them less.

The other side. I’ve cut the excess to get the cylindric shape of nonnettes. And painted with water + kurozato sugar.

They are not too sweet and very soft inside.