Sweet Treats

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Sweet Treats

Blackcurrant (Ribena) Sponge Cake

 

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake

The reason why I decided to make Blackcurrant Sponge Cake was that I was reminded of Ribena the other day when my friend asked me if I want some Ribena gummy (Blackcurrant Pastilles). Why not recreate a recipe using the flavour of Blackcurrant? That inspired me and hence, the recipe was created. 

When it comes to frosted cakes, I don’t like my slice of cake to have full of frostings.  If you like, you could decorate the entire cake with the blackcurrant cream. The recipe makes just enough to cover the cake. However, I like mine to be decorated just on top of the sponge cake as I don’t like my cakes to be full of cream. Something simple like this is what I crave for my everyday food.

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake

One good way of decorating a cake is to use white chocolate buttons. It does make it looks more sophisticated as if you got it in a Japanese bakery. Just before serving, sprinkle the top with some icing sugar to give that wow factor! You could even use snow powder instead to prevent it from melting off. If you can’t find snow powder but would still want your icing sugar to last for long, you could blitz some icing sugar and white chocolate in a food processor and use that for dusting. It works extremely well too! 

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake

If you don’t like the taste of Blackcurrant, free feel to swap with other flavours of your choice. The recipe is very versatile and simple to make. When the cake is being cut, it reveals that beautiful purple shade of the sponge cake. You will be intrigued to give it a taste!

Blackcurrant Sponge Cake

Servings 6
Author Zong Han Chua

Ingredients

Egg White:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. of caster sugar

Egg Yolk Batter:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. of caster sugar
  • 60 grams of plain flour
  • 15 grams of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. of blackcurrant powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 5 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • 35 grams of blackcurrant jam
  • 3 tbsp. of water
  • 1 tbsp. of blackcurrant concentrate

Blackcurrant Whipped Cream:

  • 100 ml of whipping cream chilled
  • 50 ml of natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. of blackcurrant powder
  • 1 tbsp. of blackcurrant concentrate
  • 1 tbsp. of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of gelatin powder mixed with 2 tsp of water

Instructions

Sponge Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk in egg yolks, sugar, blackcurrant jam, blackcurrant powder, and blackcurrant concentrate until well combined.
  • Next, drizzle in water and vegetable oil.
  • Stir in plain flour, corn starch, and baking powder.
  • In another clean bowl, whip egg whites and vinegar until frothy. Sprinkle in caster sugar while whipping on high speed until stiff peaks.
  • Fold in both mixture together and bake it in 6 inch removable round cake pan in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes.
  • Let it cool upside down.

Blackcurrant Whipped Cream

  • Microwave gelatin powder and water together got 5 seconds until it heats up. Let it cool.
  • Whip chilled whipping cream, caster sugar, blackcurrant powder, and blackcurrant concentrate until soft peaks.
  • Then stir in gelatin mixture and yogurt. Continue whisking until stiff peaks.
  • Pipe the cream onto the cooled cake
  • Decorate with fresh berries, mint leaves and white chocolate buttons. 
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Sweet Treats

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe (抹茶飓风瑞士卷)

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

Hurricane Swiss Roll is essentially a swiss roll that swirls layer that looks like a hurricane and hence the name. It is very popular in Indonesia, and when I first heard from my mum about it (who saw many beautiful pictures from her Indonesian relatives), I told myself that I am going to recreate these beautiful swirls. Luckily, it was fairly simple!

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

For this recipe, I am pairing up the flavour of Matcha and Cream Cheese as it goes so well together. The bitterness of the Matcha powder complements the tanginess of the Cream Cheese, making it light and refreshing.

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

Feel free to change the flavour profile to your liking. If you like Chocolate flavour, substitute Matcha Powder with Cocoa Powder. You can even add some melted Dark Chocolate to the Cream Cheese if you want it to be extra chocolaty.  

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll Recipe

The recipe is fairly simple to make as long as you are patient. There are a lot of components and waiting time to this recipe. Make this on a lazy Sunday and share it with your colleagues the following Monday! Do serve it chilled! The cream does not stand up very well our hot and humid weather in Singapore. It would not be a good idea for you to bring this on a picnic. However, if you like to, switch up the cream to something more stable like a fruit jam or buttercream. 

 

Matcha Hurricane Swiss Roll

Servings 1 roll cake
Author Zong Han Chua

Ingredients

Egg Yolk Batter:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 40 ml of milk
  • 40 ml of vegetable oil
  • 40 grams of plain flour
  • 15 grams of corn starch
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Egg White Batter:

  • 4 egg whites (160 grams)
  • 85 grams of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of vinegar

Matcha Paste:

  • 8 grams of matcha powder
  • 30 ml of water
  • Green food coloring optional

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 60 grams of Full-Fat Cream Cheese soften at room temperature
  • 30 grams of salted butter soften at room temperature
  • 85 grams of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin and 2 tbsp of water microwaved for 20 seconds
  • 120 ml whipping cream, chilled

Instructions

  • To make the egg yolk batter, in a measuring cup, whisk egg yolks, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and milk till thick and volumized.
  • Next, fold in plain flour and corn starch. Set aside.
  • To make the matcha paste, stir in matcha powder and hot water together until smooth.
  • I like to add some green food coloring to enhance the color but it's optional. Set aside.
  • To make the merginue, in another clean bowl, whisk egg whites and vinegar on high speed until frothy.
  • Then gradually add in caster sugar while whisking until stiff peaks.
  • Once it reaches stiff peaks, whisk in a dollap of merginue into the egg yolk batter. Then slowly fold in both mixture until they are well combined.
  • Portion out 160 grams of the batter into another clean bowl, then stir in the matcha paste we made earlier on.
  • Once it is well combined, transfer to a piping bag and set aside.
  • At this point of time, preheat your oven to 170C.
  • Transfer your white batter into a 9.5 inch square pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper.
  • Then pipe your matcha batter accordingly.
  • Drop the pan a few times to even it and use the back of a spoon and make vertical lines across the batter. Then flip it 90 degree and make another set of vertical lines across the batter again.
  • Bake it in the oven for 14 to 15 minutes.
  • Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes, then flip it over on a clean parchment paper. Let it cool with the pan for a few minutes before making a few insertion onto the cake and roll it up.
  • Let it cool completely while you whip your cream cheese frosting.
  • To make the cream cheese frosting, whip softened cream cheese and butter until combined.
  • Then stir in icing sugar, and cornstarch.
  • Once it has been well combined. Drizzle in chilled whipping cream and whip it up till the mixutre is fluffy.
  • Whisk in the geletin mixture and put it in the fridge to let it set before using it.
  • Once your cream has been chilled for a few hours, gently unroll your cake and spread across it.
  • Roll it up and use the parchment paper to tighten the roll. Put it in the fridge to set overnight.
  • Cut the roll accordingly and serve chilled.
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Sweet Treats

Min Chiang Kueh (面煎粿) / Apam Balik

Min Chiang Kueh

Min Chiang Kueh (面煎粿), which also can be known as Apam Balik in Melayu is a traditional turnover pancake filled with fillings. It is thought to be common to find these sold on roadside streets throughout Malaysia and Singapore (Well, it’s 2019, you can only get these at a hawker centre now). While it’s fluffier than the American counterpart, Min Chiang Kueh is like the little sister of the Indonesian Martabak Manis, which still holds in place at the top for its rich variety of fillings and mighty thickness.

Min Chiang Kueh

In the article, I’ll be sharing two types of filling I would typically go for, the traditional classic that calls for crushed peanuts and sugar, and Nutella cheese. While there are a wide variety of fillings you can choose from to incorporate (even making it savoury), these two are my ultimate favourite as it always rings the bell of comfort in my tastebud.

Min Chiang Kueh

You can make the batter ahead of time (up to 2 days), and put it in the fridge to rest. The recipe is also very easy to make, I think anyone can easily recreate this recipe without any problem. The key thing to take note is the heat applied when frying. You have to make sure that the pan is preheated over LOW heat. Too hot and you will burn your pancake without cooking it fully. I also liked using a good nonstick skillet as it helps me to lift the pancake up easily without a problem. If you like the crust of Min Chiang Kueh, swirl around the pan to give that crisp edge.

Min Chiang Kueh (面煎粿)

Servings 3 servings
Author Zong Han Chua

Ingredients

Batter

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup starch
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup warm milk

Peanut-sugar filling

  • 1 tbsp. of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of crushed/grounded peanuts

Nutella-Cheese filling

  • 2 tbsp. of Nutella spread
  • Handful amount of shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a bowl, whisk in all the dry ingredients, plain flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and yeast together.
  • Next, crack in an egg, drizzle in vanilla extract and warm milk. Whisk the batter until is smooth.
  • Let it rest for at least an hour in room temperature or in the fridge overnight if you are planning to make ahead of time.
  • Preheat your non-stick frying pan over low heat. Add in about 2/3 measuring cup worth of batter.
  • Once the batter starts to dry out, sprinkle in your choice of fillings.
  • Fold the pancake in half and transfer to a platter.

Notes

If you like the crust of Min Chiang Kueh, swirl around the pan to give that crisp edge.
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Sweet Treats

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

My sister gave me a bottle of dried Lavender recently. I have never played with the flavor of Lavender so I was interested to see what I can do with it in the kitchen. To understand the flavor profile further, I made some Lavender tea with some honey to sweeten the taste. It has a pleasant aroma, almost distinctive smell of its own which, made me felt relaxed and calmed. 

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

This brings me to the next question, “how can I incorporate Lavender with baking?” Since the scent relaxes me, I think it would be great to pair with something basic in order not to complicate things. Butter cake instantly came to my mind and I decided to make the French way, Madeleines. 

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Lavender Madeleines with Panasonic Cubie Oven

Boy, the result was so good! When it was baking, my house filled with lovely buttery and floral aroma. It felt like I was in a field filled with fresh Lavender while having a piece of butter cake and coffee. You got to try this! What great about this recipe is that it is so easy to make. You can even make the batter up to a day in advance. So let’s say you have friends coming over for tea in the afternoon, you can make it in the morning and leave it in the fridge to bake when she’s here. You can never go wrong with freshly baked classic butter cakes. The Panasonic Cubie Oven is small and compact, yet is large enough to put two trays of madeleines into the cavity. It also preheats quickly since it is so compact, making it great if you are making for a smaller crowd.

Lavender Madeleines
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 60 grams of white sugar
  2. ¼ tsp. of salt
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp. of honey
  5. 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  6. 50 grams of plain flour
  7. 10 grams of corn starch
  8. 3/4 tsp. of baking powder
  9. 60 grams of butter, melted
  10. 1 tsp of dried lavender
  11. 1 teabag of english breakfast tea
Instructions
  1. Melt butter with dried lavender and english breakfast teabag.
  2. Let it sit in for at least 5 minutes before removing the teabag.
  3. In a bowl, whip whole eggs, salt, sugar, honey, and vanilla extract using a hand mixer until well volumized.
  4. Sift in plain flour, corn starch and baking powder and fold in using a whisk.
  5. Then, drizzle in melted butter and gently fold it in quickly.
  6. Leave it to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 200C.
  8. Grease madeleine pans well with the paste.
  9. Transfer the chilled batter into a piping bag.
  10. Pipe the batter onto the greased pan until full.
  11. Bake it in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes.
  12. Remove from pan immediately after baking. Let it cool completely.
Notes
  1. Swap out lavender with orange zest for a different flavor.
  2. Batter can be made up to a day in advanced.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/
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Sweet Treats

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

I love the scent of a fresh loaf of bread early in the morning. However, making bread can take up a lot of time, not to mention that it is also very tedious too. The fact that I am going through my internship right now, it is even harder for me to find time to bake. Luckily, I was introduced to the Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104 recently and it was such a fun experience making different types of bread so easily. 

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

The Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104 has up to 13 auto menus for you to chose from, today I will be using menu 8 to make this recipe. Menu 8 allows me to manually add the filling into the dough just before baking. You could use menu 8 to make Hong Kong Pineapple Bread, Cinnamon Roll, and even more! 

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

 I got challenged to make a simple yet elegant bread after I was told by my friends that bread maker is a waste of money as it only makes boring old-school white bread and nothing else. This recipe requires minimum effort with the help of the bread maker. All I needed to do was to add in all the ingredients into the pan, set the setting and let it do its job. When it was time to add the filling in the dough, the machine beeped to inform me that the dough is ready for my own creation. I quickly took it out to roll it into a rectangular shape, spread the filling, roll it into a log and tie it into a knot to reveal the beautiful swirl.

If you are just making a bread with nuts or raisins, simply just put the filling into the raisin dispenser. 

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka) with Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104

 
Chocolate Swirl Bread (Babka)
Yields 1
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Dough
  1. 200 grams of Bread Flour
  2. 3 tbsp of Caster Sugar
  3. 20 grams of Salted Butter, softened
  4. 1 tbsp of Milk Powder
  5. 90 ml of Water
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast
Filling
  1. 90 grams of Salted Butter, softened
  2. 3 tbsp of Cocoa Powder
  3. 45 grams of Caster Sugar
  4. 35 grams of Shaved Chocolate
Instructions
  1. In the bread maker, add in all the ingredients except instant yeast into the pan to make the dough.
  2. Add in the instant yeast into the yeast dispenser compartment located on the upper lid of the bread maker.
  3. Set to menu 8 and let it run for about 55 minutes until a beeping sound occur to indicate that the dough is ready.
  4. To make the filling, mix in all the ingredients together until it is well combined.
  5. Once the dough is ready, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape with a rolling pin on a floured surface, spread the chocolate filling evenly.
  6. Roll the dough into a log and slit it into half using a sharp knife. Tie both into a knot and put it back the dough back into the bread maker.
  7. Click the start button so the machine can continue its job to proof and bake the bake.
  8. Let it cool in the machine for awhile once its done before carefully it with a glove.
  9. Slice the bread when it is completely cool to ensure the bread does not fall apart.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/
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Sweet Treats

Kueh Dadar with Panasonic MX-V310 Blender

Kueh Dadar

Kueh Dadar with Panasonic MX-V310 Blender

Making Kueh can be very easy with the right equipment. At first, I was intimidated by Kueh Dadar. The pandan skin can be a challenge to make as you need to find a way to extract the fragrant of the pandan from its leaves while making sure that the batter is smooth and silky. With the Panasonic MX-V310 Blender, I could able to make Kueh Dadar quickly thanks to the way the unique blades are designed to blend ingredients efficiently. It has upper blades and lower blades to give you the ultimate blending performance!

Kueh Dadar

Kueh Dadar with Panasonic MX-V310 Blender

The blender has 6 auto menus to choose from with just 3 settings to select. It even has a cleaning mode to help you to clean the interior of the jug easily.

 

Retailing in-store for only S$109, the Panasonic blender is versatile to make any of your favourite recipes! I have been using it to make my morning smoothie everyday, while my mum uses it to make her homemade curry paste for dinner using the glass mill attachment. 

Kueh Dadar

Kueh Dadar with Panasonic MX-V310 Blender

While like usual, I like my recipes to be fuss-free and simple. So to make the batter, simply just blend all of the crepe ingredients including the pandan leaves together in the blender until smooth. Your crepe batter is done!

Kueh Dadar with Panasonic MX-V310 Blender

Kueh Dadar with Panasonic MX-V310 Blender

The crepe is filled with grated coconut that has been cooked with Gula Melaka to give that wonderful delicious sweet caramelized flavor that Kueh Dadar is known for. To make the fling, I actually used desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut flakes. It is easier as I can store it in my pantry and use whenever I need. But, to make it usable for this recipe, you will need to steam the desiccated coconut with some water to soften it up first. Thankfully, I have my trusty Panasonic Cubie Oven which, could quickly steam it up, making it soft and fluffy in no time.

Kueh Dadar
Serves 8
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Crepe
  1. 1 egg
  2. 125 ml of coconut cream
  3. 125 ml of water
  4. A few drops of pandan paste
  5. 85 grams of plain flour
  6. 8 pandan leaves
Filling
  1. 100 gram desiccated coconut
  2. 1 tbsp. of water
  3. 135 gram gula melaka
  4. 100 ml of water
Filling
  1. Steam desiccated coconut and a tablespoon of water for 15 minutes until softened.
  2. Shave gula melaka and transfer them into a saucepan.
  3. In the saucepan, dissolve gula melaka with water on medium low heat.
  4. Once the desiccated coconut have been steamed, transfer them into the saucepan and stir-fry till everything is well combined and golden in color.
  5. Let it cool while you make your crepe batter.
Crepe
  1. In the blender, blend all of the ingredients together for a minute.
  2. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve.
  3. Using a 20 cm frying pan, lightly grease the oil and preheat it on medium low heat.
  4. Once the pan is preheated, add in about ¼ measuring cup worth of batter into the pan and swirl evenly.
  5. Let it cool until the surface is dry and the edges start to shrink away from the pan and flip it using a splautla.
  6. Let it cook for 15 more seconds and transfer to a plate to cool.
  7. Repeat until the batter is used up.
  8. To wrap, add in about 2 tablespoon worth of filling onto the side of the crepe and wrap up carefully.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/
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Sweet TreatsLemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I have been pretty busy but would still want to have something delicious to start my day. Lemon Blueberry Muffin comes to mind and it is really very easy to make! Make it the night before and enjoy it on the go the next morning! I often bring extra to school to share with my friends and they loved it. It’s such an easy recipe to make, literally, you could make this with just one large bowl. Yet, how comforting it could be in the morning, especially when you know your day will be busy.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

If you ask me, muffin or cupcake, I would always go for muffins. They are simple, delicious and buttery. I never like the rich and greasy cream of a cupcake and muffin is the way to go. In the past, I tried to create cupcake recipes for my viewers as they request. But, I never really enjoy having it. To share a recipe, I feel, must come from the heart. If I share something I don’t like, why bother sharing? 

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I hope you will enjoy making the recipe as much as I do. Being able to share a recipe that I really love, is my way of showing how I live my life and how I cook in the kitchen. I hope it will always inspire you all to eat well and stay happy. 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Yields 12
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Muffin Batter
  1. (125 grams) 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  2. (185 grams) 3/4 cup of white sugar
  3. 3 eggs, beaten
  4. 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp of lemon extract
  6. (170 grams) 1 1/4 cups of plain flour
  7. 1 tbsp of corn starch
  8. 3/4 tsp of baking powder
  9. 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  10. (65 ml) 1/4 cup of yogurt
  11. (200 grams) 1 cup of blueberries
Lemon Glaze
  1. (125 grams) 1 cup of icing sugar
  2. Half Lemon Juice
  3. Zest of one Lemon
To make the muffin
  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. In a large bowl, mix in all the wet ingredients, melted butter, white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and yogurt.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients, plain flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Fold in half of the blueberries into the batter.
  5. Transfer into 12 muffin pan lined with paper liners.
  6. Scatter the rest of the blueberries on to the pan evenly.
  7. Bake it in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown and skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let it cool completely before glazing.
To make the glaze
  1. In a bowl, mix icing sugar, zest and juice of a lemon until it turns into a thick liquid.
  2. Make sure not to add too much lemon juice else it will be too runny.
  3. Spoon the glaze over the muffins to enjoy.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/
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Sweet Treats

Nutella Muffins

Nutella Muffins

Nutella Muffins

Nutella, who doesn’t love the hazelnut-chocolate spread?

Imagine your double chocolate chip muffin comes with a pleasant surprise on the inside, especially when you heat it up. When you bite into the middle, warm and gooey flow of Nutella oozes out. Yum, this is to die for!

Nutella Muffins

Nutella Muffins

Be warned! You will be using almost the entire jar of Nutella spread when making just a dozen of muffins. Sinful…

Nutella Muffins

Nutella Muffins

This isn’t your typical muffins, I’m sure you know by now. Hurry up and get yourself the ingredients so you can make yourself a decadent treat! My family and I quickly devoured the muffins right after I finished my photo taking. It was gone in minutes! 

Nutella Muffins
Serves 12
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Ingredients
  1. 200 grams of plain flour
  2. 6 tbsp. of cocoa powder
  3. 1 tsp of baking powder
  4. 1 tsp of baking soda
  5. 125 grams of white sugar
  6. 65 grams of unsalted butter
  7. 65ml of oil
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  10. 100 ml of milk
  11. 24 tsp. of nutella
  12. chocolate chips for sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced.
  2. In a bowl, add in butter and cream on high for about 30 second.
  3. Add in sugar and cream for another 30 second.
  4. Add in vanilla extract and cream for another 30 second.
  5. Add in oil, beat on high until homogeneous, scrape down if needed.
  6. Add in egg, one at a time on high.
  7. Add in milk and mix on high until combined.
  8. Stir in plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda into the batter, mix on low until just combine.
  9. Transfer the about a tablespoon of batter onto your muffins pan with liners. Then, dollop Nutella spread using a teaspoon in the middle. Cover it with another tablespoon worth of cake batter.
  10. Top up with some chocolate chip.
  11. Bake it in the oven for 22 -- 25 minutes.
  12. Let it cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes transfer to a wire rack
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/
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Sweet Treats

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ – Japanese-Inspired

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ - Japanese Inspired

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ – Japanese-Inspired

I was very inspired to make a strawberry recipe after my strawberry picking in Japan. Last month, I went to Fukuoka and the strawberries there were amazing! It was so sweet and juicy. I was like thinking, why not let’s make some strawberry recipe. The way I make cheesecake is a little different from others. Though I have conventional cheesecake recipes, I like to incorporate yogurt and agar agar powder into my cheesecake. Instead of heavy cream, yogurt enhances the flavor of the cream cheese, giving a little more sharpness to the cheesecake. I also like to use agar agar powder instead of gelatin as my dad’s a vegetarian. Hence, this recipe is also suitable for my vegetarian readers.

If you are interested in my strawberry picking experience in Japan, make sure to check out this short travel log!

 

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ - Japanese-Inspired

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ – Japanese-Inspired

However, it can be tricky when it comes to agar agar powder. Unlike gelatin, agar actually sets around 40 – 45°C, which is just above room temperature. It gels much quicker than gelatin. Thus, you have to be quick when using it in a cheesecake recipe! What I did was that I actually cook down the fresh fruits, while making sure all my other ingredients were at room temperature. Then I quickly incorporate it with a blender before pouring it over into the mould. 

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ - Japanese-Inspired

Strawberry Cheesecake ストロベリーチーズケーキ – Japanese-Inspired

Strawberry Cheesecake
Makes 6 inch round cake
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Base
  1. 80 grams of Lotus biscuit
  2. 20 grams of toasted almonds
  3. 50 grams of salted butter, softened
Cheesecake
  1. 125 ml of plain yogurt
  2. 200 grams of cream cheese, softened
  3. 65 ml of water
  4. 1.5 tsp. of agar agar powder
  5. 6 tbsp. of sugar
  6. 300 grams of strawberries
Jelly layer
  1. 3 tbsp. of sugar
  2. 65 grams of strawberries
  3. 65 ml of water
  4. ½ tsp of agar agar powder
Instructions
  1. Blitz biscuit, toasted almonds and softened butter in a food processor until it turns into a wet sandy mixture.
  2. Press evenly into a 6 inch round cake pan with a removable bottom.
  3. Put it in the fridge to set while you make your cheesecake mixture.
  4. In a saucepan, add in water, sugar and agar agar powder. Bring it to a boil and throw in strawberries.
  5. Let it simmer for 5 minutes to extract the flavor of the strawberry.
  6. Shut off the heat and drizzle in plain yogurt.
  7. Transfer the mixture into a blender, alongside with your cream cheese and blend until smooth.
  8. Sift through a sieve to remove the strawberry seeds.
  9. Quickly pour into your chilled cake mould while the mixture is still warm. Let it cool in the fridge for a few hours the mixture sets up.
  10. To make the jelly layer, in a saucepan, dissolve sugar, and agar agar powder with water. Bring it to a boil and stir in strawberries.
  11. Simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes and shut off the heat.
  12. Sieve through the mixture with a sieve to remove the fiber of the strawberries.
  13. Let it cool for a bit.
  14. Scratch the surface of the chilled cheesecake and quickly drizzle in the mixture, swirl around to evenly coat and cover the surface.
  15. Let it cool in the fridge overnight before you serve.
  16. Top it off with fresh strawberries and mint leaves.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/

 

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Sweet TreatsRed Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan)

Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan) 水ようかん – Japanese

Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan) 水ようかん

Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan) 水ようかん

I was intrigued when I heard about Red Bean Jelly as I have never thought about the making it into jelly before. Red Bean has always been on the heavy side for me when it comes to dessert as it’s usually very rich and sweet. While as for jelly, I always depict it as light and refreshing, perfect dessert choice after a heavy meal. When I got to try out Mizu Yokan (Red Bean Jelly) in Japan, I was amazed! The flavor of the red bean was strong, yet it was still refreshing.

I was told that the Japanese love their jelly during the summer. Apparently, there are a few different variations of Yokan in Japan. Some would make the jelly with strained red bean paste (like I do here) to give a smoother texture, while some would add in whole soft-boiled chestnuts or use unstrained red bean paste to give texture to the jelly.

 

My experience staying at a traditional Ryokan was amazing. Make sure to check out my travel vlog where I got to try out being in the hot spring and Japanese traditional multi-course dinner, Kaiseki. This was also where I got to try out the traditional dessert, Mizu Yokan for the first time. I just had to recreate the dessert for you guys!

Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan) 水ようかん

Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan) 水ようかん

I couldn’t find Japanese red bean paste in Singapore, so I made it using local red bean paste that was pre-made ready for Chinese bao. Indeed, the type of paste you use here will determine the color of your jelly. I believe you will get a darker and less opaque end result if you use Japanese red bean paste. As there was higher oil content in my local red bean paste, my jelly a little different. I would highly recommend you guys to find Japanese paste for this recipe if you can. I did have to make some adjustment to the recipe to perfect it as I feel I don’t like my jelly to be too rich and too sweet. But, feel free to actually change it up to your liking! The recipe is actually very versatile. If you like your jelly to be firmer, just add a little more agar agar powder. Omit the extra sugar if you think it is too sweet. For me, it’s perfect.

 

Red Bean Jelly (Mizu Yokan)
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Ingredients
  1. 400 ml of water
  2. 200 grams of red bean paste
  3. 2 tbsp of sugar
  4. 2.5 tsp of agar agar powder
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar and agar agar powder.
  2. Bring it to a boil to dissolve the agar agar powder completely.
  3. Stir in red bean paste and keep mixing until the paste have melted completely.
  4. Sift through a strainer to ensure the mixture is smooth.
  5. Transfer into a container or a square mold. Let it cool down to room temperature before chilling it in the fridge for at least 4 to 5 hours.
  6. Un-mold the jelly and slice them into bite size pieces.
  7. Serve chilled with Japanese green tea.
Notes
  1. Adjust the ingredients according to your preference.
  2. Add in canned chestnuts or use paste with red bean skin on if you prefer.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/

 

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