Tag Archives: Sesame

An Eventful Weekend and Chinese Favorite Dessert

1 Oct

This was one of the better weekends I had in this month apart from the miserable weather. I won tickets to VSO’s opening courtesy of News 1130. What a treat, as we were seated in the centre section. This year marked VSO’s 95th Anniversary. No words could describe the beauty of the Orpheum. Inspired by European Opera Houses, the interior was a marvel. From the rich red carpeting to the beautifully brightly lit chandeliers and intricately detailed ceiling, it represented passion, grandeur and refinement; traits one sees in Europe. If you listen even more closely, one might even hear Beethoven, Mozart’s music resonate. :). The highlights were by Dame Evelyn Glennie who gave a spectacular performance and my favorite Bolero. I could literally feel my heart beat to Bolero from the softer beginning to a powerful finale. Everyone who attended was awe stricken and VSO received a standing ovation to a much deserved performance.

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Besides going to the VSO this weekend, I also ventured to Science World. Like a girl scout undeterred by mother nature, I braved the weekend’s nasty combination of torrential down poor and wind in order to attend the exhibits. Science World had free admission all weekend. Guess what that means? Yup, long line ups of eager awaiting kiddies and their families. First stop DINOSAURS….why…hello there, Mr. Rex and Pterodactyl. Mouths agape, everyone was in awe as evident by the flashing cameras. Giddy as school children, adults were eagerly taking a photo with their new found buddy, Mr. Rex. Dino exhibit definitely hit the spot for me.

The Jenga exhibit was another crowd pleaser as it showcased Architecture. Individuals of all ages raced around their creations while carefully laying down each piece to build a masterpiece. Imagine their glee when the jenga pieces started to wobble and well…you know what came next….CRASH heheheh. Here are the photos of the exhibits.

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Finally… nothing could be better than a nice warm dessert. I reverted back to my favorite, Black Sesame Pudding. A classical dessert that never looses its appeal to Asians, it was actually delicious and nutritious too :). The mighty black sesame packs a powerful punch in minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, copper, vitamins and antioxidants. Instead of the store bought instant mixes, I decided to make it the traditional way. Say hello to Mr. Blender.

The key to making a smooth Black Sesame Pudding was making sure that the rice was soaked thoroughly first. Similar to cornstarch, the rice serves as a thickening agent. For a strong toastier taste, toast the black sesames and finely grind them. Almonds were also a tasty addition so soften some too.

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Methodology: Blend the almond and water until you get a smooth consistency. Then add the ground sesames, again making sure the mixture was granule free. Incorporate the rice last. Boil about 4-5 cups of water and gradually add in the sesame/almond/rice mixture. Stir continuously until smooth and break any occuring lumps. As the mixture thickens add in enough sugar for sweetening.

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Enjoy!!!

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Lovely Long Weekend and Truffles

5 Aug

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As one could see I had an amazing long weekend filled with festivities. Normally I would write about it but as they say, a pictures worth a thousand words.
To top it off, I made chocolates again. Being enamored with chocolate from the very beginning. I always sought out ways to better improve myself thus I decided to toast the nuts and sesame seeds for a even better pronounced flavor. I also grounded up some freeze dried berries as well. The ganache was white chocolate rolled with an assorted of nuts and berries. What did I get? A colourful flavourful array of white chocolate truffles. Yum. 🙂

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Ganache:
White Chocolate
Cream
Butter
Toppings: Black Sesame, Almond, Coconut, Pistachio, Strawberry and Raspberry.

Looking forward to the rest of this long weekend.

Sadaharu Aoki-Financier Au Matcha Sale

22 Jun

I have been eyeing this pastry chef for a while now. According to Paris Pastries Blog, Aoki was one of the top pastisseries in Paris. Sadly to say, the net only had a few of his recipes posted; nevertheless, now I am the proud owner of his magazine and recipes.

Having a profound fondness of financiers, I tried Aoki’s Financier au Matcha Sale found from Travellingfoodies. To make the financiers, I first browned the butter in the saucepan and toasted some almonds to ground. Next I measured the flour and whipped up the egg whites and sugar. The flour was then sifted into the egg white/sugar mixture. To dissolve the matcha, I combined the matcha with the browned butter. When the flour, egg white and sugar mixture was completely emulsified, the toasted ground almond meal along with the matcha/ butter was added.

Note:
Unlike Herme’s and Laduree’s financiers, the recipe had no baking powder; with that in mind, the egg whites and sugar were beat to med-stiffness. Remember to fold. Because matcha oxidizes during baking, a trick I learned was to create a paste first to retain the beautiful green colour. I chose the browned butter. Browned butter was just basically melting the butter in a sauce pan until it caramelizes in colour. It imparted a nutty caramelized flavour to the pastry.

To enhance and contrast the appearance, black and white sesames were toasted and sprinkled on top. Baked the financiers at 350F for about 20 minutes.
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Sadaharu Aoki’s Financier Au Matcha Sale (Recipe found here)

Egg White 90 g
Caster Sugar 100 g
Trimoline 10 g (I opted out, it’s invert sugar)
buerre noisette-90 g
50 g Almond powder (I toasted the almonds and ground them)
10 Hazelnut powder (I opted out this time)
30 g Cake flour (I used all purpose)
Matcha powder 4 g
Black sesame
White sesame
Salt

When done, the financiers maintained their gorgeous green colour. I found that there was good matcha taste but found it a bit strong hence will tweak it. Overall, I found the recipe to be a keeper. Not to sweet but with a nice matcha kick. As for the next time, I will try hazelnuts. Enjoy these financiers.

Truffles and Rochers-Jean Paul Hevin

8 Jun

I have been craving truffles again. I recently visited Thomas Haas and found myself oogling their goodies by that I meant their chocolates. Yes, I am a sucker for chocolates, I’m sure my dentist would love me for it too heheh. Like superman with his kryptonite cookbooks were for me. I bought a chocolate book called, Cooking With Chocolate, the year before and succumbed to a recipe by Jean Paul Hevin, a renowned chocolatier in Paris.

The recipe that really caught my eyes was the Rocher. I was first tried it on an splurge at La Maison Du Chocolat while vacationing in Europe, the economical way and was hooked on them eversince, line and sinker. Silky smooth, crunchy, crispy and sweet best described the chocolate; imagine my delight when I found the right recipe. To recreate the little chocolates, I roasted the almond slivers first. The chocolate ganache was made by boiling cream and using it to melt the chocolate. Hevin used feuilletine, which basically is wafer like biscuits. IMHO, these biscuits added a crispy texture to the chocolate as well.

When the ganache was set, I pipped them into balls and prepared the praline. Praline typically consisted of hazelnuts but I opted for pistachio instead. The ganache was then enrobed in the pistachio praline and set aside. Instead of combining the feuilletine with the ganache like Hevin suggested, I left them till the end as they became soggy. I first rolled the ganache balls in the feuilletine prior to coating them with chocolate and roasted almonds. They were then coated with chocolate again. Voila, you got the Rochers.

Kee Ling Tong, owner of Kee’s Chocolate, also inspired me. Customers raved about her chocolates. The sesame truffle caught my eye and interest therefore I aspired to make my own version of them. I first roasted some black and white sesame seeds and melted some dark chocolate. I then rolled the ganache onto the sesame seeds. The sesame truffle was a crowd favourite, rich, nutty and chocolatey. The toasted sesames complimented the ganache beautifully providing flavour and texture. I was quite pleased with the outcome of both truffles as they were a first try. There was no doubt in my mind, I will be trying more of Jean Paul Hevin’s recipes or being inspired by Kee Ling Tong.

Rochers
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3 1/2 oz (100g) milk chocolate (I combined milk and dark chocolate for the ganache)
9 oz praline (I used homemade pistachio praline)
1/3 oz crumbled crepes (I used feuilletine)

Coating
3 1/2 oz chopped almonds (I toasted mine)
1 lb bittersweet chocolate or milk chocolate (I used only milk chocolate)

Sesame Truffles
Ganache, Dark Chocolate and Toasted Sesame Seeds

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
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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.

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