Archive for August, 2008

Making melonpan is not the kind of thing an otaku would do

It’s not difficult, really. If one has made bread or steamed buns or anything else that is round and made of yeast dough, it’s very easily feasible. As for myself, I am 100% happy with the way the inside of the melonpan came out, yatta! In fact, taste and consistency-wise, it’s the perfect melonpan: the outside is very crunchy and the inside very fluffy. The only sad thing is that the melonpan structure has disappeared from most of them, except for a few. Mainly this is because the cookie dough wasn’t solid enough and I should have added more flour. I’ll keep this in mind for next time :3

And here I present: The nicest melonpan of the lot!

I have been browsing different sites and came up with this variation of a recipe. From what I did today, this is what I believe would make a great melonpan, and the instructions are detailed to cover the most as possible. So here’s my recipe. (The instructions only sound long, and perhaps there are quite a lot of things you find obvious already.)

But first, more pictures:


The inside. The holes are a little too large, but next time, it will be even better!

Continue reading ‘Making melonpan is not the kind of thing an otaku would do’

An alternative Omnivore’s 100

So, as I have mentioned, I actually felt rather sad that there were so many things on the Omnivore’s 100 list that I have not eaten. That made me wonder if my culinary life really is so boring that I haven’t eaten so many of these things? Sure, a majority of it is really special to american or non-chinese asian food and I have barely eaten all of it that was european, but still O.o (Oh, for this matter, I just found a little statement on Very Good Taste about this.)

Therefore, here is my version. I (or Pixelmatsch) have eaten everything on this list, and we actually do think that this would be an interesting contribution to the ‘original’ list, which serves as model for this list. Quite obviously, it’s rather focused on german, austrian, chinese, polish, italian, korean and japanese food plus some general fast foods and drinks and is supposed to be rather personal. Oh, of course most of these things are rather cheap food or plain unusual. I don’t believe in extremely expensive food and especially beverages, ugh.

1. Dobos tart
2. Stinky tofu
3. Winter melon
4. Crème brûlée
5. BN’s smiling chocolate cakes
6. Berliner/Pfannkuchen
7. Lamian
8. Ginseng tea
9. Vegetarian curry
10. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
11. Viscera
12. Shepherd’s purse
13. Pierogi with cheese
14. Steamed buns with sweet red bean filling
15. Peking duck wrap at KFC
16. American cheesecake
17. Rubing
18. White rabbit candy
19. Kaiserschmarrn
20. Youtiao and rice congee for breakfast
21. Braised pork
22. Zhaliang
23. Bulgogi in salad
24. Crêpe suzette
25. Mont d’or
26. Oscypek
27. Cream cheese “Eva” by Brunch (it’s a limited edition though)
28. Ruß’n
29. Grilled chicken from the street
30. Spaghetti puttanesca
31. Apple juice with Amaretto
32. Self-made pizza
33. Long Island Ice Tea
34. Sachertorte
35. A table full of banchan
36. Glühwein at a Christmas market
37. Jajangmyeon
38. Onigiri
39. Apple sorbet
40. Golabki
41. Dolma
42. Chicken Teriyaki Subway sandwich
43. Calpis
44. Okonomiyaki
45. Paella
46. Bienenstich
47. Cholent
48. Galette des rois
49. Ramune
50. Kvass
51. Poached eggs
52. Leberkäs
53. Panna cotta
54. Morchella
55. Zurek
56. Profiteroles with chocolate sauce
57. Lobster
58. Savory soufflé
59. Kaszanka
60. Miód pitny (some kind of mead)
61. David Rio tiger chai tea XD
62. Eggnog
63. Red Bull Cola
64. Ratatouille
65. Macarons
66. Ginger taste chocolate
67. Hamburger at a canteen in Berlin
68. Fried ice cream (japanese style)
69. Cordon bleu
70. Häagen Dazs Bailey’s
71. Aloo Tareko
72. Hot white chocolate
73. Carrot coconut cream soup
74. Green tea ice
75. Inarizushi
76. Korean cinnamon tea
77. Carpaccio
78. Sweet mustard
79. Yak butter tea
80. Bouillabaisse
81. Shikarni (no, a Wikipedia article for this doesn’t even exist!)
82. Almdudler
83. Ouzo
84. Prosciutto
85. Natto
86. Bread with butter and chocolate sprinkles
87. Every possible miso dish
88. Melonpan
89. OK. There is this black vegetable that looks like dark hair when prepared, and it grows in chinese deserts, which is why they are not available anymore and endangered. Don’t ask me for the name, but I have loved it. Oh, I found it: Fat choy.

As you can see, we ran out of ideas, lol. Well, I think it won’t be too difficult to fill it up to 100, but perhaps you have better ideas? And which ones of these have you eaten before?

I think this is my father’s favourite cake

But now I’m not sure anymore. He actually didn’t say he liked it! >< Last time I made the cake he said that he did, hmm! Well, at any rate, this is the welcome back cake for my father’s return to our sweet home :3

It’s supposedly one of the easiest cakes, but the yeast dough made me go @.@ In fact, I failed it really badly at the beginning and I also had the impression that it didn’t rise too well. My hands were sticky like hell and I think I wasted 1/3 of it because I had to clean my hands. Aaah. I suck. But then, at some point, at least the dough looked like something and we were able to spread it over the whole area of the baking tray.

Nothing special, I guess. I even didn’t bother to use my D40 XD

Finally, the taste was actually really good (I made sure to put on lots of sugar onto the plums), and the sprinkles ended up really good as well. The only thing that was a little sad was the whole dough became watery because there was lots of fluids coming out of the plums. What the heck happened, that wasn’t like this last time, ahaha. It doesn’t matter, at the end everything was fine :3 The only thing I worry about a little bit is that I still fear to be unable to handle yeast dough ^^;;

Internet memes are so great!

Everybody and their kiwispoon at food blogs is doing this now. (I want a kiwispoon!) I’ll just copy paste what is on Very Good Taste:

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison (deers and rabbits, that is)
* 2. Nettle tea
* 3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (ladies and gentlemen, in case your education in the english language is just as bad as mine: this is blood sausage aka Blutwurst)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
* 10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
* 12. Pho (vietnamese food typically is not my taste?)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
* 31. Wasabi peas
* 32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
* 33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
* 35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
* 39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal (Are you going to kill me?)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (No thank you?)
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
* 49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (This is fast food, so… I don’t care about it?)
60. Carob chips
* 61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (What the heck is this supposed to be?)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
* 66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
* 69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
* 71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (I, err, drank it just like that. So I guess it doesn’t count.)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum (Okay, I also don’t like thai food *cough*)
* 82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. (Original idea, but nothing for me I suppose.)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare

87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
* 91. Spam (I don’t necessarily want to try it – but two years later I did XD)
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
* 94. Catfish
* 95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Goodness, only 32 of 100, I am so bad T_T So, ladies and gentlemen, it’s your turn! actually I think there were quite a lot of delicious things here. I want to try most of them!

Would you consider curry fast food?

Sometimes I really am wondering what people consider fast food and what not. It’s true that hamburgers and french fries made in fast food restaurants are unhealthy, but I don’t think that applies to all fast food. And just because curry is popular and seemingly easy to make does not make it fast food for me – au contraire, I have encountered japanese curry the first time in Addicted to Curry, so I automatically have gotten the impression that curry actually is a very diverse type of food.

Ramblings aside, onto to my newest “creation”. I was making a vegetarian curry, because Shii does not eat meat. In consequence, I put quite a few random things into the curry and was a little afraid at the beginning whether it would turn out well. Also, I am not exactly a big fan of roux (it has a nice consistency but doesn’t contribute to the nutriments much), so I would always sauté vegetables until they smell good, keep the liquid and then let it the whole thing simmer for awhile so that the sauce turns out much more fluid than sauce normally should be. And this is the result :3

Can you imagine from this picture what is inside the dish?

It’s been exactly one week and one day since I have made this curry, and honestly I am now wondering what I have put inside. This is what my memory tells me:

  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • one red bell pepper
  • some leftover morchella and zucchini (which means they were spiced with soy sauce)

In terms of spices, I have put in:

  • miso sauce for the potatoes
  • a bit of tomato paste and tabasco
  • a little cup of yogurt
  • some kind of chinese chives we grow in our garden
  • curry powder
  • honey
  • salt and pepper

I must admit that the whole thing looked quite questionable at the beginning indeed. Especially when I have put in the broth it looked like the whole thing would never turn out as some kind of sauce, but looked more like a soup. Finally, the water vaporized away for the most part and we had a nice sauce with well-spiced vegetables. I am so glad XD
Despite the fear of getting some weird result, I think I will always be unable to cook a curry after some recipe. I think curry really calls for creativity, ehehe.


Youshoku are great – an attempt at making Castella

Recently, I have a set up theory: I like japanese food the most that is actually not originally japanese. Yakisoba and ramen are variations of chinese fried noodles and noodle soup, curry rice is most obviously inspired by indian curry, miso is… well, when I brought miso home, my parents were amazed and went “Oh, they sell these pastes in Paris! Now we don’t have to import them from China anymore!” Apparently several regions in China use miso paste (under another name) very frequently as well. Compared to curry rice, ramen and miso, I like sushi actually less – and I even prefer gimbap over sushi. I also don’t find japanese food all that healthy, except that fish and algae plays an important role. Tempura doesn’t look very healthy to me (and I don’t like it as much), donburis are delicious but I miss the vegetables in them. In general, however, I really like dishes that are the product of the “japanification” of western or chinese or dishes. Castella is definitely one great example.

Looks quite pretty, hm?

I really liked the looks of the castella, and you can barely see all the mistakes I made, hahaha. Basically I put a little bit of starch in, resulting in a horrible large cake, and so my cake form was actually too small, ahaha. However, the shape went back nicely, and both colour and taste ended up great.

I used this recipe which also provides background information on castella – it was quite brilliant! I can only make a guess but I think that this recipe really gives the kind of sweet bread that castella is supposed to be.
Indeed, castella is incredibly sweet and has a weird, slightly bread-ish consistency. I generally don’t like the consistency of sweet bread so I had serious doubts whether I would like it. Very quickly, however, I found that I find castella incredibly delicious when
a. consumed together with japanese green tea, or
b. with a little bit of butter.

Considering how easy it is to make castella, I’m pretty sure I will make it again. On the other hand, I still like my Sandkuchen much much more. I crave for having it again, and I think I’ll make a marble cake out of it next time – we have so much cocoa powder left too *_*

Why do these things always take me two hours to cook?

And so, here I present my next project, a potato gratin with zucchini and ground meat. *cough cough*

You can easily see the different layers (from top to bottom): potatoes, zucchini, ground meat and potatoes.

Unfortunately, our oven is hotter on the inside than near the door.

Basically, the whole process took me so long that I got extremely tired and thus ended in making the same mistake as my very first attempt at cooking: I forgot to put in salt, ahahahaha. The ground meat was well spiced and the zucchini as well, but I completely forgot to spice both the potatoes and the sauce! ><

One piece of gratin – they always look horrible on the plate, huh XD

And finally, a section view!

San mensou no keeki! (The Cake with Three Faces!)

 So, this is how it was supposed to look like.

As the princess is unable to write, I have the great honour to introduce the Cake with Three Names!

  1. It is the Village Cake, because the ladyfingers look like a palisade. If you want to go over the top, you could even call it the Italian Village Cake, because of it’s straciatella-like center.
  2. It is the Dentist’s Cake because it’s cake after all and accidentally there are exactly 32 ladyfingers, just as many as there are teeth in an adult’s mouth. Have a look at this picture, where it even looks like teeth.
  3. It is the Stonehenge Commemoration Cake. Quite obvious this one.

The cake in itself is just ladyfingers arranged around a sea of pudding sprinkled with chocolate. Really no rocket science. And no baking at all!

This is how it really turned out, way too thin, in fact, ahaha.

Now that the “so-called princess” is back, let’s indulge in the rea~lly complicated process of making these. With the help of my mother, arranging them and cooking the custard took us… 10 minutes? *hrr*

Surprisingly, we managed to put wholes piece onto a plate! XD

Luckily, the dessert itself has turned out really delicious, it’s just that it’s somehow extremely silly. At first, I didn’t even want to blog about my ‘creation’, ehehe. I just wanted to use up the rest of the ladyfingers from the tiramisù and knew that we have custard and chocolate sprinkles left, so yeah, there we are.

This is for our next lunch breaks

Okay, this is the last posting for today. (Shii calls Aiya! my “housewife blog” now, ahaha.)

When I was younger, I actually have made quite a lot of muffins, but they never really turned out like I wanted them, and were never really high. With this background, I have been approaching my dream muffins now!

The insides are actually really fluffy and moist

As you can see, the muffins cracked on the top which was really crusty. From the general idea, I think that these are already great. Next time, I will be making sure to stir the whole dough even less than I did now and try to get even more moistures out of the blueberries (it’s too bad that fresh blueberries are too expensive and difficult to get so I had to use preserved ones in a glass jar). Then my muffins will be perfect, ohoho!

In case you can read german, the recipe I have used for these muffins is this one. But now that I have finally made these muffins, I have realized that most of the recipes are somewhat similar and always include making a dough with the dry ingredients and butter – and then carefully add the moist ingredients and the fruits.

Oh, the missing one. Well, I had to try them, right? :3

So, I have been thinking about the fact that everything I do is always such a half-failure, and think that I can attempt at explaining it ;_; When I think of making pasta or when I just need to sautée some vegetables, I have a perfect idea of how to combine things or how to make the pasta sauce the kind consistency of I want. In fact, when I cook or sautée vegetables, I know how to treat the ingredients and how to save a sauce, because I’ve been doing these things quite often by now. However, if I look back at my last somewhat failed projects (tiramisù, sponge cake, pizza, lasagna and these muffins), I realize that there were always dishes or doughs that I haven’t touched for ages or never did before. I have never known what you have to look out for exactly, I only have a faint idea what it is. So of course, something would always go wrong. One day, when I have gone through all the different cooking and baking processes, I am sure I will be able to make them perfectly, hohoho. Except for soufflés.

So the only thing I make that looks ‘right’ is pasta

What a sad world, hahaha. At least it’s been awhile since I did something that did not taste good, I only need to work a bit more on the presentation side.


I <3 pasta

Whatever, so this is a pasta alla puttanesca. Unfortunately, I was unable to find decently priced anchovies (stupid Germany), so I had to go with sardines, but those were not the most important part of the whole dish anyways. I actually feel really happy that this is a tomato sauce dish that tastes very, very different from what I usually do. This pasta is really easy to make, basically you just put all the ingredients together and let the sauce cook for awhile. What I had were very thinly diced onions (of course), equally small pieces of red peppers (yes, this is not according the recipe, but its taste was marvelous), sardines, olives and capers. The olives and capers add a lot to the taste so besides a bit of oregano and tabasco sauce (of course), I didn’t put any spices in it at all. Also, instead of spaghetti, I actually had to use tagliatelle because my parents have bought an incredible amount of it recently. They like thick tagliatelle a lot it seems.

I knew I would like this pasta sauce since I love black olives so much now, but I never expected this. The result was an incredibly great pasta that makes me wonder if the name of the dish is actually related to the taste and not its origin – eating it really, really makes you feel hot and energetic. An aphrodisiac indeed.

Pasta really is such a problem. On the one hand, I really love it and want much much more of it, on the other hand, pasta is easy to make and since I want to learn new things, I should go on making more complicated stuff. (Like what I am planning tomorrow 😉 ) As I perhaps have mentioned, my goal is to be able to make a french menu, which is hors d’oeuvre + soup + salad + main course + cheese + dessert + wine. Of course, I have long given up on making soufflés, considering how my attempts never turn out how they should look like. Ahem. XD