Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Posts tagged “black sesame

咸蛋黄年饼 Chinese New Year Salted Egg Yolk Cookies

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Chinese New Year is barely 2 weeks awauleft and there is still so much to be done! Not started on spring cleaning yet and I’d planned a whole list of CNY goodies to bake but it looks like some of them have to be shelved to 2017! I saw folks baking these salted egg yolk cookies 2 years back and gotten round to bake a really small batch of them (half recipe) last year. They were really melt-in-the-mouth but at the same time really fragile to handle. I guess that kinda stopped me from baking them again last year. Just last week, a friend, Cecilia brought up the topic of these salted egg yolk cookies again, for she too faced the same problem of the dough being too soft to handle and also the final product being really crumbly and difficult to store without some “casualties”, e.g. broken pieces. Not really a nice thing to gift someone broken cookies and crumbs yeah? That prompted me to look into the recipe again and true enough, it can be easily re-written to make the cookies much easier to handle yet without losing the coveted melt-in-the-mouth texture. Read on to find out how…

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桂花酒釀芝麻汤圆 Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Osmanthus Sweet Broth

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Yes its the time of the year again…a time for reflections, a time for revelations and a time for new resolutions. As the end of the year draws near, one can’t help but look back at what has happened over the last 12 months. This is the time of year when people relax, unwind, preparing for the holidays and festivities to come.  However, this is also the time of the year when the rains visit us again, the skies are grey half the time and sometimes, our moods follow as well.One of life’s many ironies.

Today we celebrate the winter solstice, 冬至. This is an important day on the Chinese lunar calendar as it marks the coming of winter proper. This is when families prepare themselves for the harsh cold to come. However, Singapore knows no seasons. But my family, being rather traditional, celebrates the day with offerings to the gods, most symbolically in the form of tang yuan, 汤圆 glutinous rice dumplings. When we were young, preparation started early in the morning, as my mother would knead the dough from scratch as my sister and I pinched off pieces from it, rolling them into balls, getting ready to dunk them into a hot pot of boiling water. Another pot looked on, exuding a sweet jaggery and gingery aroma from the broth that was bubbling along. Being Hokkiens, we enjoy tang yuan in hot ginger broth sweetened with raw brown sugar. My mother accentuates that we daun pandan. I remember being told by my grandmother when I was young that we had to eat the number of tang yuans (kueh ee she called it) in accordance to our age! Her little “ploy” to make us children eat more I guess!

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Sadaharu Aoki’s Financier au Mâcha Salè 青木定治のフィナンシェオ抹茶

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Sadaharu Aoki, a name that is prominently featured in my blog. Yes, I’m a big fan of his work, and more so, his determination and perseverance to excel and be the best. Not an easy feat, especially for a Japanese who didn’t speak a word of French when he first landed in Paris at the age of 21 more than 20 years back But he was determined to make it big and went through a lot to bring himself to the level of international recognition and fame which he enjoys today. When his contemporaries like Hidemi Sugino and Hideki Kawamura chose to remain in Japan after winning international pastry competitions like Coupe du Monde, Aoki made his base in Paris instead. Seemingly what a Don Quixote would do, most would think, to make a name for himself in the epicentre of pastry making, where so many others have failed. The odds of succeeding were slim but that challenge suited him best. An urban fairytale for any pastry lover…

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