Autumn leaf daigaku imo

DSC01269-001DSC01247-001

大学芋 Daigaku imo, literally “the university’s potato”, is a street stall sweet. It’s certainly of Chinese origin, but theses sticky potatoes have become part of the furniture in Japan. Osaka has a famous shop that makes some special ones, dipped in crack maybe, as you can’t stop if you start eaten one. I don’t know their secret. Maybe there is none. You take good satsuma imo (Japanese sweet potato), you fry them and coat in a syrup.
And the results depends on the quality of your ingredients and how you master the process.

DSC01229-001
DSC01232-001

Flat and small is easier, so I cut shapes of 5 mm of thickness.

DSC01233-001

I cook them in 3 steps : steaming till they are half-cooked, then I stir-fry them at 160 degrees C till they soften. I put them aside and bring the oil at 180 degrees, to cook them a little more and get crispiness. I put on oil absorbing paper 2 minutes.

DSC01235-001

Syrup : 1 tbs of sugar + 1 tbs of honey or mizuame (glucose jelly) + 2 tbs of water. Simmer till it starts getting thicker. Add a few drops of fragrant sesame oil. Pass the freshly fried potatoes (still hot) in this hot syrup.
Decorate with black sesame.

NB : I fry them in normal neutral frying oil, not the dark sesame oil for seasoning. It’s possible to fry in sesame oil but only if you have a different white frying sesame oil.

DSC01265-001

They have to be soft inside crispy around. They are better if you eat them warm, just after making them.

DSC01239-001

DSC01262-001

Petit baba au chocolat

DSC00238-002

It’s a simplified and quick version, but I really like it. It’s just a cocoa BP biscuit. I shouldn’t say that, but maybe I prefer it to the work intensive rich version. And if you want a plant-based cake, that’s the one.

DSC00249-003

The topping is whipped coconut cream and fresh strawberries.
The syrup is made of kurozato (black sugar) and Japanese brandy (Suntory).

DSC00266-001

It has the perfect mellow sponge texture…

DSC00230-002

A la recherche du baba de Stohrer…

DSC01168-001

DSC01182-001

Maybe it looked like that…
I am not an historian, just playing the costumed dessert game. And I have really love this retro version that I made not very sweet. It’s much lighter and fresher than the average baba.

For recipes to bake the baba/kouglof : click here.

The oldest pastry shop in Paris

In the year of grace 1725, Louis XV married Marie Leszczynska,
daughter of King Stanislas of Poland.His pastry chef Stohrer follows her in Versailles.

Five years later, in 1730, NICOLAS STOHRER opened his bakery
at 51 rue Montorgueil in the second arrondissement of Paris.

In its kitchen, where desserts were invented for the Great Court,king’s delights are still prepared.

DSC01033-001

Thanks to a dry Polish brioche, the King Stanislas had brought back from a trip, Nicolas STOHRER invented the BABA.

Un baba. Un kouglof.

DSC01035-001

The inside. It’s good fresh, but yes very soon, it’s stale.

DSC01064-001

He enhanced the dry brioche by basting Malaga wine, flavored by saffron

The amber syrup : white wine, brown sugar, orange peel and saffron. A little Brandy to punch it up.

DSC01072-001

DSC01164-001

Did they serve crème anglaise (vanilla custard) as a side ? That was very popular. And the orange, if they could afford the precious exotic fruit.

DSC01141-001

DSC01175-001

Minimalist pleasure : poire et chocolat

Pear and chocolate. Take a spoon and enjoy !

Mmmmmmm ! The sweetness and coolness of the pear under the hot bitter chocolate is a marvel.

The crime requires premeditation.

2 minutes before :

Melt chips of cocoa mass. 100% cocoa. Zero sugar. Pure darkness.

2 hours or the day before :

Prepare the vanilla syrup pear. It’s poached in a very light syrup with very little sugar, the skin of the pear, vanilla and a little lemon juice . Cooled.

When it’s time :

Start pouring the sauce…

Beautiful.

Take a spoon and enjo…

Aaaah, a blogger’s life is such a cruel fate ! We can never enjoy the food at the instant…because we are too busy styling, lighting, etc. Don’t lose time taking the photos as the chocolate hardens… Well, I’m lucky because my pear had two halves so I had one left for the perfect bliss.

Kinako-bo and mugi-cha (via Gourmande in Osaka)

LY old sweets

Kinako-bo and mugi-cha There is a surprise in the paper. Kinako (powdered roast soy beans) becomes … These are kinako-bo, sweets made of kinako and honey (or syrup). They taste a little like ginger bread, a little like caramels. (for the set) Cal 344.5 F11.7g C50.3g P17.9g The second surprise-pocket contains : It's roast wheat… oops, no, it's barley, actually. Omugi (barley) and komugi (wheat), 50% chance of error, I plunged. That will teach me to check. It is infu … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

My first : mix nuts and rhubarb baklava, with lavender syrup

A fragrance of almond and lavender is floating around…

It’s for the Daring Baker Challenge of June (click here for recipes and other baker’s cakes):

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

So I made this rhubard, almond, mix nuts baklava.

Rhubarb with a little sugar, almond and a mix of nuts : pistacchio, walnut, cashew.

I’ve let big chunks on purpose.

Fresh from the oven !

I needed some flower water. I remembered I had this lavender syrup. So I mixed it with hot water and almond essence.
That was really good.

But I have 3 confessions to make :
1. I find baklava too sweet… so mine was undersweet.
2. I ate half of it fresh from the oven, not wet. I prefer it that way, but it’s good with syrup too.
3. I cheated on the phyllo recipe. I was unable to make it so I did it with just flour and hot water, very short hand kneeding, like for banana roti. That went smoothly. Then I didn’t roll the sheets, pile them and use later… I extended them (mostly by hand) exactly at the size of my tray, and buttered them and mounted the baklava progressively. No risk to have stuck sheets. That was easy that way.

That was a fun challenge.

Green tea time : kashiwa maison

Yes, kashiwa mochi, the wagashi Japanese sweet wrapped in oak leaves. Home-made this time.
I had kept the leaves. They dried. I soaked them and miracle they revived ! They could bring their chlorophylle flavor to the sweets.

I prepared a small amount of koshian, the sieved azuki bean paste.

Making kashiwa-mochi (from joshinko rice flour)

After adding the syrup. Isn’t that silky ?

Like those from the shop ?

kashiwa mochi from the shop (click on text)

Not too far, eh ? Taste was great. Mines are less sweet, which is good.

Oh, they cracked… OK, aspect is not pro.

With the tsubuan (beans I didn’t bother sieving) and the rest of dough, I made an angoro (wrapped in anko bean paste).

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts.