I love mixing Western style desserts with Asian flavours and here I found a recipe from Just One Cookbook that combines that creamy and light French Crème Brûlée with Japanese Green Tea flavour for that slightly bitter tea note. Perfect!
Green Tea Crème Brûlée (adapted from Just One Cookbook)
360ml Thickened Cream
360ml Full Cream Milk
1 tbsp Green Tea Powder
5 Large Egg Yolks
100g Caster Sugar, plus 1 tsp for each serving
1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
2. In a medium saucepan, add the thickened cream, full cream milk, and sifted green tea powder and heat over medium heat. Stir the mixture often, until it’s very hot to touch but not boiling. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Start to boil a kettle over the stove.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks until the mixture becomes pale in colour.
5. Add the milk mixture a bit at a time to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously so that you avoid cooking the eggs.
6. Once it has all been mixed together, place a sieve or a cheesecloth over a large bowl and strain the mixture.
7. Pour the strained mixture into 6 medium sized ramekins, then place the ramekins into a deep baking tray or pan.
8. Pour the boiling water into the baking tray or pan until the water comes up to halfway on the sides of the ramekins. Place the tray in the oven. Bake the crème brûlée for around 30 to 40 minute or until the crème brûlée is set when shaken but the middle still wobbles. Remove the ramekins from the oven and then allow to cool to room temperature before cling wrapping the ramekins and refrigerating for at least 2 hours (up to 3 days).
9. Take out the ramekins at least 30 minutes before caramelising the sugar on top. Then add one teaspoon of the caster sugar on top and move the ramekin around so that the sugar coats the entire top of the crème brûlée and discard any excess sugar. Using a kitchen blowtorch, melt the sugar until the sugar caramelises and browns. Leave the crème brûlée ramekins for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Getting in on the Soft Serve ice cream popularity is Tsujiri on Swanston Street in the Melbourne CBD. Tsujiri is a tea brand originating from Japan that excels in all things Matcha/Green Tea. With locations in UK, Canada and Asia, it has now opened in Australia. Tsujiri’s menu offers a wide range of Matcha and Houjicha flavoured drinks, as well as snacks such as cream puffs, swiss rolls and glutinous rice balls.
Tsujiri’s signature sundae you can order mixed (Matcha and Vanilla), Matcha or just Vanilla and it comes with the glutinous rice ball and sweet potato ball on top, Sakura flavoured wafer, red beans and roasted rice. Tsujiri certainly doesn’t skimp on the flavour of the green tea as it’s stronger than you would have at Rice Workshop or Nene’s Chicken. I also loved the subtle floral notes of the wafer, and the roasted rice for a lovely crunchy texture. The only thing I didn’t like was the price where it’s leaning towards $10 and especially for the price.
While Tsujiri excels in green tea, its pricing is on the higher end and I question whether it’s worth it even if it’s good.
146 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Want a deliciously, warm and sweet treat for the cold weather? These Chinese dumplings or Tang Yuan are perfect for a cold day. The ginger sugar syrup has a lovely subtle ginger flavour, not too overpowering and the oozy black sesame is always a winner in my book. These dumplings can be made with fillings or without, and that’s really the fun of it all. Well, apart from eating it!
Black Sesame Dumplings (Tang Yuan) (Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Black Sesame Dough
230g glutinous rice flour
1-2tsp black sesame powder (optional)
200g glutinous rice flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
Black Sesame Filling
60g black sesame seeds
45g caster sugar
45g unsalted butter
1200ml water (reduced to 4 cups after boiling)
180g rock sugar
4 slices ginger
2 pandan leaves (tied in a knot)
Black Sesame Filling
1. Lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium heat until it’s aromatic. Take off the heat and let it cool.
2. Use a mini food processor to grind the black sesame seeds until it becomes a fine powder.
3. Place the cooled ground black sesame into a saucepan and heat over low-medium heat, and add sugar and butter and stir well to form a thick paste. If it’s too dry, add more butter. Place the paste into a bowl and let cool in the fridge so it’s easier to fill the dumplings later on.
Black Sesame Dough
4. In a big bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with water (adding the optional black sesame powder too) until it forms a smooth paste and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide it equally into 16-20 balls (the bigger the balls, the easier it is to fill) Note: The coloured dumplings follow similar steps, just add the sugar when adding the water.
5. Flatten each ball in your palm, and then spoon in the black sesame paste and lay it in the middle of the flatten ball. Fold the edge to seal the dumpling. Lightly roll it into a ball shape using both palms, very gently and delicately. Set aside.
6. Boil the water on medium-high heat.
7. Add the ginger, pandan leaves and rock sugar into the water and boil for 10-15 minutes with medium heat. Lower heat to simmer and reduce to about 4 cups of water. Add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough.
8. Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop the dumplings into the hot boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, transfer them out and into a bowl of the ginger syrup. Turn off heat and serve the black sesame dumplings immediately.
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 recipe for Passionfruit Meringue Tarts is one of my favourites. I absolutely love the slight acidity and tartness of passionfruits while the flavour of the passionfruits being so bold and refreshing. The pastry also as this lovely butteriness to it with a hint of orange zest. You also can’t go wrong with fluffy charred meringue on top, now can you? The recipe was a combination of a few recipes and tweaked slightly so thank you to Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie for the Passionfruit Curd recipe, Jo The Tart Queen for the pastry and The Tasty Bite Blog for the Italian Meringue!
Passionfruit Curd Tarts
Makes: 14 Mini Tarts
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Passive Time: 8 hours
205g Passionfruit Pulp
30ml Lemon Juice (Optional)
100g Caster Sugar
190g Unsalted Butter, Cubed
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
250g Plain Flour, Sifted
125g Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature and Cubed
100g Caster Sugar
60g Egg (Roughly One Large Egg)
1 tsp Orange Zest
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Egg Whites
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
140g Caster Sugar
30g Toasted Coconut Flakes (Optional)
1. Stir together the passionfruit pulp, caster sugar, butter and eggs in a heatproof bowl. Add in the lemon juice if you find the curd isn’t as acidic as you would like.
2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Stir for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
3. Pour into a bowl, and cover the surface of the curd with cling film so that the curd doesn’t form a skin when it cools.
4. Place in the fridge until slightly set, about 2 hours or overnight.
5. In a food processor, combine the butter, plain flour and caster sugar until it forms breadcrumbs like texture.
6. Add in the zest, eggs and vanilla extract into a food processor. Pulse until it the ingredients all come together.
7. Take out the dough from the food processor and roll out the dough into a flat disk. Cling wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes.
8. Dust flour over the dough and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to around 3mm thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out a small circle and then place onto a mini muffin tray and gently press together so it holds its shape.
9. Gently prick the dough with a fork and then rest the dough in the tray for around 15 minutes before baking.
10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
11. Place a sheet of crumbled baking paper over the top of each tart shell and add in a few baking weights or uncooked rice/beans. Make sure you don’t add in too many as it can make the base of your tart uneven if it’s too heavy.
12. Blind bake the tart shells in the oven for around 20 minutes. Take the tarts out of the oven and remove the baking weights and baking paper, and place back into the oven for around 5 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.
13. Fill the cooled tart shells with the cooled and set curd. Chill the filled tarts in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Serve with a sprinkling of flaked coconuts or pipe Italian meringue on the tarts before serving.
14. Place the caster sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
15. While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form.
16. Bring to a boil until a candy thermometer registers 120°C, around 5 minutes then take off the heat.
17. Gradually add the syrup in a small stream into the egg white mixture and beat until the mixing bowl is cool to touch, around 7 minutes. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
18. Place the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled filled tarts. Lightly brown with a blowtorch and serve.