Taiyaki is one of my favourite Japanese snacks. I remember trying it for the first time in a Japanese mall in the USA and absolutely wowed over the crispy exterior and fluffy dough with custard oozing out. So when I came back to Melbourne, I tried to find a good one here but to no avail as yet. I was so tempted to buy a Taiyaki pan on eBay but the cost of shipping would have set me back quite a bit, however, I was fortunate enough to come across a really light one on this street that sells all these commercial kitchenware in Asakusa, Tokyo. I found this recipe from Just One Cookbook that has a nice Taiyaki recipe which is easy enough to follow, and tastes great too.
Taiyaki (By Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook)
Makes: 5 Pieces
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Passive Time: 1 hour
150g Cake Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg, Beaten
3 tbsp Caster Sugar
100g Red Bean Paste
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda.
2. Add the caster sugar to the flour mix whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add the milk and whisk until well combined.
4. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry mixture and whisk well. Place the batter in the refrigerator for at least an hour to rest.
5. Take the mixture out of the fridge and pour the batter into a measuring jug. The batter should be around 1 1/4 cups.
6. Place the Taiyaki pan over the stove, and heat the pan on low medium heat. Brush the pan with the vegetable oil.
7. Pour the batter into the mold to around 60% full. Make sure the batter covers all around the mold.
8. Roll the red bean paste into a cylindrical shape and place into the centre of the mold. Pour batter on top to cover it. Close the lid and immediately flip.
9. Cook the Taiyaki for around 2 to 2.5 minutes each side. Then flip and cook for another 2 to 2.5 minutes. Open the pan to check if the Taiyaki is golden in colour. Remove the Taiyaki from the mold and allow to cool on a wire rack.
This is one of my favourite baked cheesecake recipes. It has a crunchy hazelnut base, a layer of black sesame filling, a layer of green tea filling, a green tea powder on top and it doesn’t feel very rich like some cheesecakes are. I’m so glad I found this recipe on Oh Sweet Day, who has some amazing looking recipes that I can’t wait to try too.
Green Tea & Black Sesame Cheesecake (by Oh Sweet Day)
Makes: One 8-inch Cake
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Passive Time: 1 hour plus overnight
Hazelnut Shortbread Crust
150g Hazelnuts, Toasted
85g Unsalted Butter (Cold), Cubed
125g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
Green Tea & Black Sesame Cheesecake
450g Cream Cheese, Softened
210ml Sour Cream, Room Temperature
180g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
4 tbsp Matcha Green Tea Powder (27g)
45g Black Sesame Powder
1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line an 8-inch spring form pan.
2. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and then add to the food processor.
3. Place the unsalted butter, plain flour, caster sugar and salt into the food processor with the hazelnuts. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Place the crust mixture into the lined spring form pan and press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan so it is all combined. Bake the crust for 15 to 18 minutes or until just browned. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature down to 145°C.
5. In a standing mixer, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, caster sugar, vanilla extra until combined.
6. Add in the eggs one at a time. Mixing until just combined before adding the next egg. Blend for another 2 minutes until well combined.
7. Divide the batter into two equal portions. Add two tablespoons of the matcha green tea powder to one and black sesame powder to the other. Mix until well combined.
8. Pour the black sesame batter into the pan. Then pour the green tea batter on top.
9. Position the rack in the centre of the oven and place the cheesecake on it. In a shallow pan, fill it with water and place it on the lower rack in the oven. Bake for an hour, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the centre is wobbly and wet looking. Turn off the oven with the door slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool completely. This may take at least an hour. Remove from the oven and chill in the fridge overnight.
10. Dust the remaining matcha green tea powder on top of the cheesecake just before serving.
I grew up drinking Milo and sometimes as a kid I’d just eat a spoonful of the stuff. I love the crunchiness and malt chocolate taste of it. It also goes great as a topping on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Though I haven’t yet tried making Milo Ice Cream, the next best option was to make a Milo Panna Cotta. I love the smoothness of this dessert, and you can definitely taste the Milo which I was happy about. It’s also pretty easy to make, the hardest part is waiting for it to set!
Milo Panna Cotta (adapted from Nestlé Milo)
Makes: 4 -8 servings
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Passive Time: 2-4 hrs
375ml Whipping Cream
90ml Skim Milk
20ml Boiling Water
40g Caster Sugar
60g Milo Powder
1/2 tbsp Gelatin Powder
Extra Milo Powder for topping
1. Add the 15ml of water to the gelatin powder and set aside for around 5 minutes to soften up.
2. In another small bowl, add the milo powder and then pour in the boiling water and mix until it forms a smooth paste.
3. Combine the caster sugar, skim milk and cream in a saucespan and bring to boil.
4. Add the Milo paste to the cream mixture and whisk until combined.
5. Take off from the heat, and then add the soften gelatin to the mixture and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
6. Sieve the mixture to remove any undissolved Milo.
7. Pour the mixture into pudding moulds and allow the Panna Cotta to set in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.
8. Serve with a teaspoon of Milo powder on top.
I love making desserts that aren’t traditional and pairing Asian flavours with Western desserts. I really wanted to try infusing tea flavours into a Portuguese Egg Tart and couldn’t find any recipes on how to do it. So I had to think on how I would normally infuse a milk mixture with tea. Found a nice Portuguese Egg Tart recipe from Not Quite Nigella that I tweaked a bit with the addition of the jasmine tea. The end result was quite good, the Jasmine Tea flavour is subtle yet distinct as Jasmine Tea can be quite intense and overpowering but here it worked really well actually!
Jasmine Tea Portuguese Egg Tarts (adapted from Not Quite Nigella)
Makes: 12 Tarts
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Passive Time: 2-3 hours
2 Egg Yolks
100g Caster Sugar
2 tbsp Cornflour
400ml Full Cream Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Sheet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (300g)
1 tsp Jasmine Tea Leaves
20ml Hot/Boiling Water
1. In a heatproof cup or bowl, pour in the hot/boiling water and then add in the jasmine tea leaves to steep for around 10 minutes.
2. Combine the milk and jasmine mixture in a saucespan and heat over medium heat and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover the saucespan and allow the mixture to cool and steep further for around 20 minutes.
3. Place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and sifted cornflour into a medium sized bowl and whisk together until smooth.
4. Strain the jasmine milk mixture and using a spoon to press against the tea leaves to extract more flavour from the leaves.
5. Gradually add in the milk mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
6. Pour the mixture in a saucespan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally so that the the bottom of the mixture doesn’t overcook, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Do not over stir as that can cause the custard to split. Remove from the heat.
7. Add in the vanilla extract and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling wrap as a skin will form if this is not done. Leave to cool.
8. Grease a 12-hole 80ml muffin tray and preheat the oven to 200°C.
9. Cut the pastry sheet in half, and the place one half of the sheet on top of the other and set aside for 5 minutes.
10. Roll the pastry tightly from the short end and then cut into 12 equal pieces.
11. Lightly flour the surface and roll out each until each is 10cm in diameter and then place the pastry sheets into the greased muffin tray.
12. Remove the cling wrap from the cooled custard and spoon the mixture into the pastry tarts.
13. Place the muffin tray into the oven for around 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry and custard are golden. Leave the tarts in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I have this slight obsession on how many different desserts I could add green tea to. I haven’t come close to what I want to achieve yet, slowly but surely I’ll be finally satisfied! I found this recipe from Anncoo Journal for a lovely green tea (matcha) milk pudding, it isn’t as heavy or rich as a panna cotta would be since it doesn’t use cream and I recommend using full cream milk instead of a low fat option just because it kinda needs that slight richness to it.
Green Tea Pudding (from Anncoo Journal)
Serves: 3-4 people
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Passive Time: at least 2-3 hrs
2 1/2 tsp Green Tea Powder
2 1/4 tsp Gelatin Powder
2 tbsp Water
Cooked Sweet Red Beans (Optional)
1. Add the water to a small bowl, and then add in the gelatin powder and allow it to soak.
2. In a small saucespan, add the milk, sugar and green tea powder and cook under medium heat until almost to the boil.
3. Lower the heat, and then add in the soaked gelatin and mix until the gelatin has completely dissolved then remove from heat.
4. Strain the mixture if necessary and then pour into moulds and allow to cool. Place in the refrigerator to set for a few hours before serving. Optional: Serve with cooked sweet red beans.