Rei-kishimen, fresh noodles for a tropical lunch

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We are now having a nice Summer weather, as during official Summer, we were inside a sauna. So it’s ideal to lunch with rei men (chilled noodles) and enjoy hot weather fruits.
You don’t see the noodles ? It’s because they are hidden under.

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They are kishimen, a type of flat udon particularly popular in Aichi, the region of Nagoya. (read more)
Served cold, they remind some white Chinese noddles they serve in Pekin’s streets.

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Salmon slices ready for sashimi (it has to be frozen, don’t forget if the fishmonger didn’t do it).

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Ceviche : I just covered with kabosu citrus juice cut at 50% with water, kabosu zest, a little sea salt. Let only a few minutes. The more you wait, the more your fish will be cooked.

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My grandma’s technique to cut parsley thinly (yep, with scissors).

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4 layers :
-a bed of grated cucumbers and minced parsley, slightly salted and later pressed to get out excess water
kishimen noodles, boiled, refreshed in iced water
-onion slices (salted, let, rinsed) and kikuna chrysanthemum greens
-salmon kabosu ceviche

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Mix and you have a very fresh salad meal.

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Dragon fruit and litchis for dessert. Natto-wasabi as a side :

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Postre de las tres leches, coconut style.

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The tres leches cake is very popular in Latin America. It’s classically soaked in tres leches (3 milks) : condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream. I had never eaten any. That was this month’s challenge :

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Blog-checking lines: Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!

I made 3, this one PLUS :

DSC09042-001matcha tres leches (coming soon)

DSC09607-001 Momo mitsu-nyu, a plant based tres leches with peach (coming soon)

I’ve put the classic recipe at the end. I drifted away, using a second coconut version.

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My biscuit is flavored with lots of vanilla powder.
For soaking : condensed milk + coconut milk + coconut cream + rum.

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I garnished with orange, litchi and whipped coconut cream, unsweetened.

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Fruits are between the 2 layers of biscuit and around. Then dry coconut and sweet cinnamon :

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Sponge cake for Classic Three Milks Cake:
Source : Daring Baker

Servings: 12

Ingredients for the vanilla sponge cake
5 large eggs (separated)
½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) (5 oz) (140gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)

-Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Prepare a square 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan
Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
-Beat the egg whites on medium speed, 3 – 5 minutes.
When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches.
Whip until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. Set aside.
-In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become pale colored, creamy and puffy. Stir in vanilla.
-Pour the egg yolks over the egg whites, gently fold until just combined trying not to lose any volume from the mixture.
Fold in the flour little by little in the form of rain. Mix until just combined (over-beating will result in a denser, flatter cake).
-Pour the batter into the prepared 9”x9” (23cmx23 cm) square cake pan or 9” (23 cm) round cake pan.
Bake in the preheated moderate oven for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool.
-Once cool, split the cake in half, flip the top of the cake and place it on a base. Poke using a fork holes all over the cake to better absorb the three milk soaking liquid.

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Classic Three Milks Cake:
Source : Daring Baker
For three milks syrup
1 can (14 oz) (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) (340 gm) evaporated milk
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (about 35% fat) or 1 cup of half & half or 1 cup milk
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons (10 ml) rum (or other flavoring)

Topping and filling
2 cups (500 ml) of whipping cream (about 30% fat)
½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar
Canned or fresh fruit (to fill and decorate the cake)

-Three milks syrup
In a saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove it and let it cool.
Once it is cool, add the rum or any other flavoring you are using
Gradually brush all the milk soaking liquid into all sides of the cake (including the cut surfaces) until all absorbed. Best to rest the cake in the fridge overnight to complete the soaking process.
-Topping
Whip the cream, when soft peaks form add the sugar little by little, continue whipping until stiff peaks form about 2 mins. Layer some whipped cream on the bottom layer and cover with canned or fresh fruit and decorate the top layer with whipped cream and the fresh or canned fruit.

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Salty Gourmande, quenching hottest day thirst

It’s so hot and humid, you sweat so much…

…that you even crave for salt ?

Tonight, prepare yourself a refreshing cocktail, a Salty Gourmande. Don’t worry it’s not very loaded in alcohol and you can even make it without. I can’t drink anything strong.

First, let’s make the base.
Juice a handful of litchis (or like me squeeze them and shred the rest of flesh). Add 1/3 lemon juice, 1 ts of black sugar and about a liter of water.
Store a few hours in the fridge. You get a tasty lemonade that you can enjoy on its own.

Salty Gourmande :

Wet half of the edge of a glass and stamp it in a plate of natural sea salt. Half, ahem… I’m training at it !
Put a litchi in the bottom of the glass.
Pour a “finger” of apricot liquor.
Complete with the litchi lemonade.

It’s Shinluchu, Chinese apricot liquor. It’s not very strong. Any apricot liquor can be used. Or you can skip.
The salt is compulsory. That’s natural sea salt, the wet one, because it’s so much tastier. That would be easier to decorate the glass with dried table salt, but you’d lose in taste.

Degustation :
Start drinking from the side of glass without salt and turn a little to grasp a few grains of salt between sweet sips. The contrast brings the freshness.
Finish by eating the litchi in the bottom.

A silky Chinese dessert, annin doufu

Soothing shades for a refreshing dessert. There are 100 versions of these almond milk jelly cubes, the Chinese blanc-manger. Annin doufu is literally almond tofu but it’s so often made with soy like today. In Japan, dairy versions are common.

I jellified with agar some soy milk cut with water. It’s flavored with cane sugar and bitter almond extract.

Cut in cubes.

Serve chilled.

Let’s add a typical seasonal Chinese fruit : litchi.

Mango sherbet and litchees

When I said it was hot, that was true. Now, it’s hotter. Not even hottest…
Some refreshment was necessary.

Mango sherbet.

Pearly litchees.

Melty.
Another (soft serve) mango sherbet made with the ice-cream maker. I don’t use it today because it’s too hot.