Tag Archives: Honey

Holidays Baking-Cinnamon Morning Buns w/Orange Zest and Pecans

1 Jan

Happy New Year!!!!! What a way to ring it in. Dim sum with family. Actually today was rather quiet. New Year’s Eve was better. Why? I spent the last day of the year snow shoeing on Cypress Mountain. It would be my first time and I enjoyed it. There was something about the glistening snow covered trees and the crunching of snow underneath my feet that brought me smiles. Perhaps it was the serenity and peacefulness that only nature could bring. I didn’t even mind the cold. All that was missing was a cabin in this winter wonderland.

The night before the actual adventure, I was all in a tizzy. Being a beginner, my mind was racing in all directions. Would I cramp up and have an accident? My nerves were a bit calmer on the day of. I was excited as my friends and I started up the trail. It was absolutely spectacular being on the mountain. The air was crisp, clean and cold and I marveled at the beautiful surrounding. Up and down we went admiring nature’s wonder. When we reached the look out point, the view was breathtaking

Nothing could be complete than something to nibble on the way to re-energize. In this case, it was my favourite bread of all time, the cinnamon bun. I had remembered a recipe that captured my attention before and decided to make it. Unlike most cinnamon buns whose components were fresh brioche, cinnamon and sugar and cream cheese frosting. This recipe added a warmth to it. It called for orange zest and honey. The orange zest added complexity to the brioche’s flavor profile and honey made the brioche less sweet. One bite and I was in love.

Cinnamon Morning Buns w/ Orange Zest and Pecans (adapted from here)

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup honey
4 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
4 cups flour (I used all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 sticks butter
find sanding sugar for sprinkling

Notes: I had used a mug to measure the milk thus had a softer liquidy dough. As a result I increased the flour to approx 7 cups and by doing so, I approx. doubled the other ingredients with the exception of the eggs. For the filling, the butter was only softened and mixed with the honey, cinnamon, cardamon and sugar to make a creamy mixture in order spread onto the dough. Proofing required approx 3 hours. Results were fabulous. ***Make sure the dough is pliable and not sticky. A keeper of a recipe!

Matcha Honey Buns with Chestnut Cream

6 Nov

What a drag, its raining again in Vancouver. With all this rain and gloomy weather, I decided to bake again to warm up the house and my tummy :0. Yummmmm….bread gain. Nothing beats the aromas of warm bread in the household. One can’t go wrong when making bread and since I have a few packages of matcha and some freshly made chesnut cream, I decided to be adventurous and make some mathca honey with chestnut cream buns.

To make the buns, made a poolish. This consisted of warming up some milk and adding some sugar, 1/2 cup of the flour and yeast as a starter. Proof the poolish for about 1/2 an hour. After the poolish has proofed a bit, I added remaining ingredients to it. The remaining ingredients consisted of the remaining flour, sugar, green tea power, butter, milk powder, egg and honey. Once they are mixed together I began to knead the dough. Bare in mind, the recipe is quite moist thus add more flour if need be. I actually added another 1 1/2 cups of flour to 2 cups for the dough to be manageable. Thus use discretion. Once the dough kneaded enough and less sticky to the hands, proof the dough for 1 hour.

Once proofed punch down the dough. Knead again for about 5 minutes and divide the dough into 8 pieces. One could divide the dough into 10 pieces for smaller buns. Pat the dough flat and spoon the chestnut cream in. Squeeze the edges to seal the cream inside the dough after which roll them into balls.


Decorate with black and white sesames


Proof the buns for another 30-45 minutes until double in size.


Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Once done brush with egg glaze.


Matcha Honey Buns

250 g bread flour
3 g green tea powder
8 g yeast
130 g water
20 g fresh milk (I used all milk)
10 g butter
10 g milk powder
1 egg
40 g honey


This recipe is a keeper. The chestnut cream played well with the matcha. As a suggestion for next time, dougle the sugar, egg, honey, matcha and milk powder in relation to the extra flour used.

Happy Bread Making.

Bouchon Pistachio Madeleines

14 Sep

This was a fantastic week with lovely summer weather. The mercury was hitting the mid 20’s and everyone was basking in it like summer. I had always loved long walks around English Bay and admired the sunsets. Sunset Beach had a lovely addition, an apple tree. It was obvious the apple tree loved its surroundings; little sun kissed red and green apples shone in the blue sky like rubbies and emeralds. Hello Sunshine!!! Just around the corner, there were other exciting additions as well. Sweet, plump, round and juicy cherry tomatoes stunned their neighbours; a visually healthy rhubbarb with dark green leaves. The was clear the landscape around the beach was changing and beautifully I must say. Vancouver was becoming more greener; an initiative started by the mayor. Take take global warming and litter.

With the warm and sunny weather staying, I decided to make some madeleines as a gift. Bouchon madeleines had been on my do list for. To make the madeleines, the ingredients were first measured. Eggs and sugar were whipped to a ribbon stage. Flour, salt, baking powder was then added to the egg mixture. The recipe called for pistachio paste. I chose sicilian pistachio paste. Prized for its colour quality, the sicilian paste was dark green and aromatic. The mixture should be well homogenized when the butter and dark brown sugar was folded in. Spoon the batter into the madeleine moulds and bake at 350F for 8 minutes.




Pistachio Madeleines (adapted from Bouchon)

All purpose flour 57 g
Baking Power 19 g
Kosher salt .5 g (I used table salt)
Eggs 69 g (I used approx. 79 g)
Granulated sugar 46 g
Unsalted butter 55 g
Dark Brown Sugar 8 g (I used muscovado sugar)
Clover Honey 8 g(I used orange blossom honey approx 4 g)
Pistachio Paste 46 g (I used Sicilian Pistachio paste)

Result: It was very good light and fluffy. The pistachio flavour really shone through. Next time, I will insert a raspberry into the madeleine. Happy Madeleine Baking!!!

Chocolate Entremet

2 Sep

Fascinated by the scintillating and beautiful photos seen in books by Pierre Herme and Hidemi Sugino, I have always dreamt of making a entremet myself. Hesitation always played a part as it was very taxing and time consuming since there were various steps involved. Sure Herme made it sound easy; he’s practically the king of pastry after all. With a wave of his magical whisk, another masterpiece arises. Here you have little old me, wide eyed and twitchy nosed like a mouse peering at these photos. While the popular choice was to purchase an entremet at Thomas Haas, a wonderful chef with a flair for beautiful creations, the thought lingered on the back burner; I really wanted to try my hands at it. The opportunity arose when students had to prepare a cake for decoration as mentioned from the previous post.

I first made the milk chocolate mousse by creating a sabayon. Eggs and sugar were mixed on top of a double boiler till luke warm and then whipped to light and frothy. The gelatin was then placed in cold water while the chocolate was melted. With all these mixtures taking place, it was then time to whip up the cream. The mixtures were then assembled. Gelatin sets quickly so work quickly. Next came the white chocolate mousse. The method was just the same as the milk chocolate. When it came to assembling the cake, I poured the chocolate mousse and then the white chocolate mousse. The cake was placed in the fridge to cool. Making of the chocolate glaze came next. Milk and cream were first heated up and then poured onto the dark chocolate to make the ganache. The key to glazing the entremet was to let the glaze cool but still smooth enough to coat the cake. As a tip, one could use a ladle and pour the ganache onto the cake. Once one ladled the smooth ganache onto the cake, work fast as the glaze sets rapidly on the cool cake exterior.





I had a large cake left too. Guess what that meant :). This time I caramelized some hazelnuts to make pralined hazelnuts. Macarons were then added to create a border.




Chocolate Glaze

200 ml Cream Whipping
60 ml Milk
110 g Sugar (I used approx. 50 g)
300 g Dark Chocolate
110 g Glucose Sugar ( I used honey)
110 g Butter

Ebi Mayo

10 Jun

Japanese restaurants serving Japanese bar food and appetizers have been popping everywhere in Vancouver in the recent years. I have went to Guu, Happa Izakaya and Ebisu. One of the dishes which caught my palate was the Ebi Mayo and almost every time I have ordered it. The crunchy exterior complimented to the juicy interior and the sauce really hit the spot with me as it teased my senses. It was a combination of sweet, sour and creamy all together.

Curiosity got the better of me as I began to scour the net for images and recipes. Alas I found a website and recipe from a blogger. To make the dish, I first marinated the shrimp with sake and salt. While the shrimp was marinating I made the sauce. I combined the japanese mayonnaise, honey and ketchup. Once the sauce was completed, I then turned my attention to the shrimps. Patting them dry and coating them with corn starch for frying. To access the oil from the shrimp have a napkin already. As a final step, bring the shrimps back to the pan and coat them with the sauce for about a minute. As a garnishment, I just tried some onions and red bell peppers. Next time I would probably slice up some green onions to add for a contrasting colour to the dish.

Ebi Mayo (Recipe found here) DSC_0376

200 grams fresh prawns or shrimp
3 tablespoons white wine or sake
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise ( or 3 tablespoons regular + 1 teaspoon honey)
2 teaspoons honey
1 green onion, sliced very very thinly

Bon Appetit.

Sesame Nougatine

26 May

With the extra time this weekend, I decided to make another treat. My family had always loved crunchy nut pralines and since I had some extra sesame lying around, I decided to use it. As an extra bonus, I got to make it for future dessert decorations as well. I found the recipe from a french blog and was impressed by the other recipes the blog contained as well.

To make the nougatine, I first combined the sugar, water, honey and brought it to a rolling boil. Using a electronic thermometer, I took the mixture off the heat once the temperature reached 115C. I immediately added the butter and the sesames,by doing so, it stopped the cooking process. Once the mixture has cooled, I spooned the mixture into silicone molds and baked it at 350F or 180C for about 15-17 minutes. DSC_0348As a caution, position the rack to the lower half of the oven as I got burnt sesame nougatine for the 1st batch. When the nougatine was golden colour, I set it to cool. Bernard also suggested doing a gianduja filling for the sesame nougatine crisps but I opted out as I thought it would be too sweet; however, it gave me confident that should I need to make any nougatine chocolates in the future,I now have a foundation. As for the taste, it is basically the same as the sesame crisps you see outside but homemade instead.

Sesame Nougatine
(Recipe found here)DSC_0352

100 g of sugar
100 g of glucose syrup (I used honey)
25 g water
110 g white sesame
20 g of butter
As for the Gianduja
160 g hazelnut paste
55 g of dark chocolate
Note: I assume this recipe can also be used for ground almonds for almond nougatine. Enjoy, a light sweet snack or candy.

Honey Walnut Prawns

7 Apr

It’s the weekend again, and went for a visit to UBC.  Its a peaceful environment where I spent tonnes of hours studying for midterms at Koerner Library, or just running along marine drive, which in my opinion was more relaxed than SFU, a dungeon in my opinion.  I’m a biased student hehehe.  But truly, the campus was set in such a beautiful environment from the buildings to the gardens.  One could see the evolving of the campus through the years reflected through the architecture.  From old brick buildings to concrete to state of the art well lit glass buidlings.   Now, the LSI building replaced my studying place.  The LSI was spacious, quiet, well lit and my favorite close to science, anatomy and especially Biology.

Sigh, if only I could see a microscope or a scalpel again…. the memories.  Before doing a 180, I remember taking 1st year Biology courses and labs. I still remember anatomy etc., genetics and cellular mitosis.   Well there was more I remember in 1st year biology, see mom, my brain was not used to grow and fertilize grass and weeds 🙂

Now to the main subject, to prevent my family developing diabetes from sugar overdose, I decided to make a favorish dish of moi’s which was Honey Walnut Prawns.  I first fell in love with it in Seattle and overjoyed when it was introduced in Vancouver.  What makes it a delight was the dressing and the pralined walnuts.  The dressing was basically a mayo dressing w/ honey, condensed milk and lemon juice but enough to contrast the crispy prawns.

I first deveined the prawns and marinated with some salt and pepper.  Then I made the walnuts.  I first boiled the walnuts in a little water to rid the bitter after taste and then fried them a bit for a lighter texture.  Next I whipped up some egg whites until frothy.  I then dipped the prawns into the whites first and the corn starch and fried them.  Next came the dressing.

I really like this dish as it brought back memories to when days were better, my cousin was still here and people weren’t one tracked minded or mental fixedness.  Meaning whatever I say, they will always think its what it they think.  Oh well…I am not out there to solve people’s problems.  But growling problem in my tummy is solved and hopefully who likes prawns.

Honey Walnut Prawns found here as well for method.DSC_0299

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnut halves
oil for frying
1 pound shrimp (peeled and deviened)
1 egg white
1/2 cup corn starch
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice

After eating them with my family, I now have 4 satisfied tummies.  Hehe…enjoy them.

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