Mixed Plate Friday

Tell me these aren’t the cutest candies ever!!! So talented. The “rice” is made out of rice crispies treat and the “fish” or toppings are either made out of a molding chocolate or the shiny ones are gummy candy!! Don’t these looks great?? My coworker’s SIL makes and sells these, these would make super cute party favors! Check out her instagram here: krispiesbykelli!

We decided to beat the summer heat with a nice refreshing drink from Cowcow’s. I was excited because they had mango sago back in stock. Oh boy, maybe I’m getting older but that drink is way too much for me now. It’s pretty rich, luckily not overly sweet but I don’t think I plan to order this anytime soon. That’s just me! This shop is super cute with the cutest decorations and they are always super busy!

Mixed Plate Friday

Cream Cheese Guava Danish

My wonderful coworker got me this nice morning breakfast treat this week! She got it from Wallflour Bake Shop. Oh my gosh, and I got to try it while it was fresh and it was soooo good. So buttery and flakey and just delicious. I’ve never been to this bakery but if this pastry was an indication, go for it!

Somen Salad

How cute is this? How cute is the spam heart? This was part of the offerings of a cute 15th birthday party. Oh man, the mother put so many details into the party. The decorations and the food, I could absolutely tell she put so much work into the party. It’s really all the little details that count you know? I noticed them all and I hope her daughter appreciated them too!

Spicy Black Bean Jalapeno Dip

I got onto this wagon too late. I know they had this a few months already and finally only got it like a week ago. Well dang it, it is GOOD. Not too spicy but guess what. It’s all gone already. And I see it says limited time so I guess I won’t get to eat it again. Sigh. Now I’m scouring the internet for bean dip recipes, who would have ever thunk it. If you ever see this in stock again, let me know!!!!

The 220 Grille Restaurant Pt. 2 – Diamond Head, HI

I’m back again with yet another 220 Grille Restaurant review! Part 1 can be found here. Last time, I shared it a bit too late so they closed for a bit. They are open again but you only have until the 27th! I am not sure how often their sessions open up, I do hope they have summer menus! Support KCC culinary students and enjoy some nicely priced food!

Pūlehu Island Grass Fed Beef Steak | $14.00
w/ Spicy Shoyu Lomi Tomato Salsa, Steamed Rice & Furikake

Shared this plate with my coworker, we enjoyed it! Very simple salt and pepper seasoning on the steak. What I like is the nice sear and char. They also ask how you want it, we asked for medium rare. The tomato salsa didn’t have a lot of flavor so it didn’t bring a lot to the plate. The veggies were nice and rice is rice. I would order again!

Old School Teri Burger | $10.00
made with Locally Sourced Grass Fed Beef with Sauteed Onions and Mayo served with Fries, garnished with Mari’s Garden Lettuce, Tomato and House Made Pickles

Not my dish but I had it before and this is still the hands down most bang for your buck dish. Huge burger with homemade patty. Where can you get burger and fries for $10? Get down here!

220 Grille Pan Fried Calamari Steak | $13.00
w/ Creamy Lemon Caper Sauce, w/ Kahuku Sea Asparagus, Tomatoes, Edamame, Carrots & Small Kine Farms Mushrooms served w/ Mashed Potato

They had two calamari dishes that day, I kind of wish I got the one on special versus this one. The calamari was nicely breaded and fried, and nice and tender inside! The mashed potatoes were bland, if no more gravy, the mash should be buttery and salty. Not so. The creamy lemon caper sauce was needed for the dish, but was so thick and chunky that it was like a stew. I mean I liked it but are we stretching the term sauce here? Tasted ono!

2 Lady Farmers Pork Cutlet | $13.00
with Gravy, Mashed Potato and Succotash

Not my dish, but it was nicely cooked! And they pack the gravy separately which is great! No soggy pork cutlet!

Warm Pineapple Peach Cobbler | $4.00
with Fresh Whipped Cream

My dessert, I love myself a cobbler. If you want fresh pineapple and peaches, you won’t find it in this. It’s canned for both I think but I don’t mind that. I enjoyed the dessert because I love the cobbler topping. And it’s $4! I wouldn’t mind trying their other desserts though!

Mixed Plate Friday

Deluxe Strawberry Cream Cake (8 inch) | $38.00
strawberry chiffon cake layers filled with strawberry mousse and vanilla creme brulee. decorated with fresh cream, strawberries, white chocolate shavings, and cocoa powder.

My Dad’s birthday is in late October and since my brother also has a late October birthday, we already got our favorite mango cake from Elvin’s. So I made a rash decision to go to 85°C Bakery Cafe in Ala Moana. It was during their soft opening week and I went around 1PM on a weekday. Oh boy, the line was nuts. And the shelves were slim, each time the poor worker came out with fresh goods, people swarmed her like we are all starving.

I didn’t get a picture of it but their egg custard tarts are ABSOLUTELY worth the hype. If you get a chance, go try it. It looks like the custard tarts from dim sum restaurants but the crust is not at all the same. It’s buttery and flakey, light and cripsy. The custard is sweet but not overly sweet. You gotta try it.

Oh sorry, back to the cake. I actually wanted their mango cake but they were all sold out. This was my second choice. It was good. But I don’t like whipped cream so you can kind of guess where I stand with this cake. If you like the description of this cake, you will absolutely love it. And how cute is their writing for the message! The hearts are such a cute touch!

If you ever want to go just to try their drinks, they have a touch screen machine right by the bar so you can order it there and get your drink right there instead of standing in the bakery line. But shoot, if you’re there, get the pastries!

Look at me being all fancy with this shot. I was curious about the puffed granola so I got it to eat with my greek yogurt. It’s pretty good, I mean it just tastes like sweetened rice krispies or something. Just an FYI. 🙂

Tofu & Watercress Salad (add Salmon Katsu) | $17.00
chopped romaine, sumida farm’s watercress, tofu, tomato, cucumber, soy vinaigrette

We love picking up lunch from Hamada General Store and if you follow their instagram, they get some killer daily specials. I am always tempted. For this lunch order, I decided to go somewhat lighter and got this salad. I enjoyed it very much. The watercress was nice and tender. The watercress is raw if that means anything to you folks, I didn’t mind it since it was so tender. I usually like my watercress quickly blanched. The dressing tasted good and the salmon was cooked PERFECT. Not at all dry. I was kind of expecting like a sauce for the salmon similar to Sushi King but that’s only cause I was used to Sushi King. Didn’t need it. They give plenty dressing for this salad so you can dip the salmon in it if you need more flavor.

Amorette’s Patisserie | Disney Springs

Okay, there were two things I had to eat while I was at Disney for this trip. First was the apple crumble tart which I got to try at Epcot (and loved), the second was the 50th celebration petit cake at Amorette’s. The first night we arrived in Florida, we came to this mall but the cake was all gone. It was such a bummer. The last night of our trip, we made one final trip to the mall and guess what? THEY HAD IT. So here is a post dedicated JUST TO THIS CAKE.

50th Celebration Petit Cake | $22.00
Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Celebration Blue Mousse, Blueberry Jam, and Lemon Curd

Do you folks watch the Great British Baking Show? I love that show so much. And when they talk about cakes, they are always talking about chiffon, mousse and LEMON CURD. Look, every part of this cake was my jam. I knew I had to get it. It’s 22 freaking dollars…it’s a petit cake. Maybe a 3 inch cake? But do you see all the beauty? Yes, there are gold flakes on it…alongside with the pretty rock candy (I don’t eat rock candy). The inside of the cake was delicious. I don’t care much for fondant so I mainly ate the inside and it was all worth it. I was sad that it was on our last night so I couldn’t even enjoy the whole cake. Why don’t we have these kind cakes here in Hawaii??

Recipe: Strawberry Roll Cake

Has my baking obsession gone down? Actually, it has. I didn’t bake a single thing or roll a single boba last weekend. My inspiration tapped out. But let’s not forget where the inspiration started, it was with a strawberry roll cake. Isn’t it funny? This type of cake is nothing I would have ever cared for maybe even a year back but for some odd reason, I really wanted to eat this. So, I made it following a Japanese recipe because once again, less sweet. Join me on this journey!

Gotta make my own strawberry jam for the cake! Hello!

Whipping up the egg whites to make stiff peaks! Meringue!

Sift the dry ingredients and gently fold them into the batter…

Once again, I didn’t have the same size pans as the videos. Why is there so many different sized pans all over?? I used the typical baking sheets we have here.

Had a debate with my friend over putting down the jam first or the cream first. The videos I saw put the jam on first. Also, the cream I whipped up for this is too light to support jam being spread on top of it.

Oh yes, homemade whipped cream on top. My pretty…

Yikes, you see the crack don’t you? Why you looking down there for. Haha j/k! Some videos, these guys cut off the ends before assembling the cake. Hello, why are we wasting cake. I’m sure they eat the ends but I am okay with sacrificing beauty to eat this, ugly edges and all.

Not exactly a round roll…more oval. Haha it’s okay, it was my first time and maybe I added too much cream. I am still quite proud of this and it tasted great!

Don’t want to make your own? I don’t blame you. Here’s what I blame for starting my craze, I found this at Don Quijote Kaheka in their new fancy Japanese freezer section. This cake is SO good. So soft, not too sweet and perfect amount of strawberry taste. Highly recommend.

Strawberry Roll Cake

Ingredients 

Swiss Roll Cake:
5 egg yolk
Salt 1g
Sugar 50g
Cake flour 90g
Baking Powder 2g
Vegetable oil 50g 
Milk 50g
Meringue (5 egg white + Sugar 70g)

Strawberry Jam Filling:
10 oz (300g) strawberries, cut into smaller pieces
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 tbsp (15ml) water

Whipped Cream:
500g Strawberry
Whipped cream (600g whipping cream + 60g sugar)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the strawberry jam filling. In a small saucepan put the strawberries, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Press the strawberries with the back of the spoon to speed up the process. Simmer until the mixture is thick, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.
  2. Add 5 egg yolks to a bowl, add salt and mix together. Add 50g sugar and mix with a hand mixer on medium-high until light and foamy. The mixture’s volume will increase and turn a pale yellow color, you should be able to create ribbons as you pull your beaters up. 
  3. In a separate bowl, place 5 egg whites and beat with a hand mixer on high. Add the 70g of sugar in threes (just don’t add the sugar all at once, add sugar in thirds after 2 minutes of beating). Beat until the mixture has stiff peaks, achieving meringue status (took me about 8 minutes).
  4. Add the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture and gently fold the mixture together.
  5. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into the batter and fold in until you no longer see white/flour streaks.
  6. Place vegetable oil and milk in a separate bowl. Add a bit of the cake batter into this bowl (about ½ C or so) and mix until fully incorporated. This step helps in getting the milk/oil mixture to better incorporate with the full batter.
  7. Add oil/milk/batter mixture back to the batter mixture and gently mix until incorporated.
  8. Add batter to a parchment lined pan (12″ x 17″) and spread evenly. Tap the pan onto a hard surface 2-3 times to knock out air bubbles.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 340°F for 30 minutes.
  10. As cake bakes, hand mix heavy cream and sugar together until it forms a whipped cream. Set aside.
  11. Remove cake from oven, immediately tap the pan on a hard surface 2-3 times again. This is to prevent the cake from shrinking.
  12. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack and remove parchment paper to let cool. You can be fancy and cut off the edges if you like, I did not.
  13. Spread jam over the cake. Spread whipped cream over the jam layer. 
  14. Carefully roll the cake, place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe Inspiration:
Home Cooking Adventure (Strawberry Jam Recipe)
Cooking See (Basic Swiss Roll Recipe)

Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Shortcake

As I get older, I tend to favor less sweet things and that includes pastries. Have you noticed that Asian cakes and pastries are delicious without being sickeningly sweet? I enjoy that and well I need that too, gotta watch that sugar. Anyway, I drew inspiration from two different videos to make this cake – Korean and Japanese – best of both worlds!

The hack to cut parchment paper for a circular pan is insane. Do you folks know it? Believe me, it is so easy. If I can do it, you can do it. I suck at cutting circles. The way to do this is like fool proof! Refer to the Tasty Video link below with the recipe if you want to see the trick!

I gotta tell you guys, this is my second batter. I made the first one and messed it up majorly. I forgot the step to mix it for 8 minutes until the batter has thickened and like doubled in size. The cake came out flat like a pancake (hard like a hockey puck). Give me a break guys, this is the first time I made a cake from scratch (not from cake mix kine). Anyway, this is the second batter – I followed the instructions closely this time.

Yay! The cake came out perfect! I didn’t line the sides of the pan because I have a Springform pan. Ha, joke’s on me, it still stuck to the sides. Also, one of the videos instructions to cut the top part of the cake off. Like why? I guess it’s to make the pieces even? Well, I flipped the top part to be on the inside so I still get a flat top and no cake waste!

Just wanted to show you how the cake looks like inside. How’s the crumb structure? I don’t know, I just like watching Great British Bake-off a lot.

I had to make double the frosting recipe! It reflects in my written recipe. I also didn’t have the same size pan as the videos did…ugh! It’s okay, I made do. I think I whipped the cream a bit too much, it’s okay…adds texture to the cake. Just kidding, I won’t whip it as much next time, haha.

Fresh Strawberry Cake
(Strawberry Shortcake)

Ingredients 

190g Egg (4 large eggs)
130g Sugar 
13g Corn syrup
3g Vanilla extract
120g Cake flour 
33g Melted unsalted butter
53g Milk

500g Strawberry
Whipped cream (600g whipping cream + 60g sugar)

Sugar syrup (¼ C Sugar and ¼ C Water is more than enough)

9 inch springform cake pan

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 340°F.
  2. Add Eggs, Sugar, Corn Syrup and Vanilla Extract to bowl over hot water bath and whisk together until temperature of mixture hits 40°C.
  3. Remove bowl from hot water, use mixer to mix until fluffy (light yellow). You should be able to swirl a figure 8 and it stays for a bit (takes about 8 minutes with a hand mixer).
  4. Sift cake flour into batter and gently fold in.
  5. Melt butter and milk in the microwave until butter is melted (about 1 minute). Add a bit of batter into the butter/milk mixture and then add it to the batter.
  6. Line the cake pan with parchment paper, pour batter into the cake pan. Drop the pan twice from a relatively low height onto a hard surface, this helps to knock out any air bubbles.
  7. Place the cake pan into the preheated oven, bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick or skewer, poke center and if the stick comes out clean, it’s done!
  8. Cut fresh strawberries into a small dice, whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar together until it reaches a stiff peak (about 5 minutes). Combine with diced strawberries.
  9. Let the cake cool after baking, cut the cake into two pieces (two layers) right before you are ready to frost it.
  10. Apply sugar syrup to the first layer of the cake. Add frosting. 
  11. Place the second layer of the cake (brown or top side down – I was too lazy to cut the top part off but you can), add sugar syrup to the second layer of cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
  12. Decorate with fresh strawberries and blueberries on top to your liking!

Recipe Inspiration:
Cooking tree
Tasty

Happy Halloween!

I know I know, two weeks too late. I stayed at work until about 6 pm on Halloween to finish up some things and boy was that a mistake. I sat in traffic for almost an hour. It doesn’t sound that bad, but the drive to my place is about 7-10 minutes so it was ridiculous. Every road I turned to was backed up, I should have just taken the freeway. Then I get home and it’s late, I’m cranky from traffic and it’s raining. I promised my brothers I would take them trick or treating but as we walked out – it started to pour. I let out an exasperated sigh and asked if I could just buy them candy and make it a day. They agreed. (THANK YOU LORD). So Longs got a hold of my wallet that night but it was so worth it. Anyway, just wanted to share some Halloween themed items I took part in that weekend!

141114-01Centerpiece for a Halloween Party – I thought it was very cute! Creative and cute, I loved it.

141114-02Dessert from Little Oven. Here is the graveyard ice cream sandwiches. Cute huh?

141114-03Franken Fluff – a chocolate brownie topped with homemade marshmallow fluff. Yum!

141114-04Bloody Lemonade

This was a special for the Halloween weekend. I figured it would be strawberry lemonade but it was actually lemonade with grenadine. Pretty right? How was it? Um…SWEET. Like SUPER SWEET. Like I kept adding water upon water to the drink to make it bearable. I think I must have added at least half a cup of water to make it normal.

Happy Monday!

Can’t think of a better way to start Monday morning than with donuts! I’ve been having a hankering for Krispy Kreme donuts lately. Blame it on the hormones. I even had a chance to grab some last week but resisted but that was mostly because my co-worker talked me away from it (how’s her yeah? J/K.). Anyway, I’ve been seeing these donuts pop up all around Social Media and I just had to try it! They are Floresta Nature Doughnuts and they are sold in the Ranch 99 Food Court. They are actually housed within Kansai Yamato which is a local mochi company. Okay, I can say this because I am Chinese…they get some grumpy Chinese ladies working there. I am actually surprised that this Japanese confectionary has all these Chinese ladies. English is not their first language and customer service is definitely not their priority. It is very true, you can stand around in front of the shop for a while before they acknowledge you. When they do, don’t expect stellar service. If you can get past all that, give their stuff a try. These donuts are PRICEY. At least $2 each, but I keep hearing how they’re better for you…and well it helps that they’re so cute! I don’t quite know the different flavors of these donuts…they are pretty creative. The “ears” on the donuts are actually almonds! I didn’t know the coating of the donuts were HARD, I figured they were some kind of soft frosting. How are they? Well, they taste like healthier donuts. They’re not bad but not great, nothing I would go back for especially for the price. So why don’t we just look at how cute they are…look but no buy (next time anyway).

140929-01

140929-02

140929-03

140929-04

140929-05

Little Oven – Stars and Stripes Edition

The Little Oven opened up on the 4th of July weekend and has been pretty constant since! Get your butt out there to try some desserts before they close again – I warned ya! Anyhow, don’t let this post dissuade you. One bad experience out of many should not be grounds for not trying the place.

Also, my apologies for being lax on the posting. Last week was crazy but luckily I got through it. We had a training on Saturday so I basically worked 6 days…and it was exhausting. I old you know. Haha and yesterday was crazy weather! The high winds, I was scared our roof would be ripped off already! Then the humidity. My god, this weather is terrible. Every time I had to walk out of my office, I felt like the humidity just wrapped around me. I need the rain to come down and push it out! Hope you folks had a good weekend.

140717-01Coffee Cake – $4.00
It was my first time trying this and shucks…it was so disappointing. The cake was incredibly dry. The topping tasted fine yeah, the cake was disappointing. Was I expecting something different? Is it because I was supposed to be drinking coffee as I ate this so the cake would be moist? Ah, I don’t know. I wouldn’t get this again though.

140717-02Milk and Cookies – $5.00

140717-03

140717-04

140717-05

My friend gave me a bit of a ribbing for this one. Milk and cookies does sound a bit silly huh? I figured since it was homemade cookies made by them, it would be good! Well this was Kristian’s dessert, he didn’t seem pleased. He liked them but they definitely were just…milk and cookies, nothing special.

So many Little Oven posts: click here