VIETNAMESE BLACK SESAME CREPE

Vietnamese Black Sesame Crepe

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon (or vanilla extract)

2 tablespoon black sesame

 

Directions:

Whisking two eggs in a mixing bowl.

 

Adding the rest of ingredients into the bowl and whisking well until the mixture become smooth.

 

Choosing a medium size of non-stick pan and warm up the pan at medium heat. Slowly pour a full spoon of crepe mixture into the non-stick pan, and make sure the layer of crepe is as thin as it can be.

 

When the edge of the crepe in the pan turn golden brown, flip it upside down to make sure both sides getting golden brown before taking  out to roll.

 

Using a wooden chopstick to take the crepe out and placing on a clean surface.

 

Slowly rolling the crepe with that chopstick to make a tube shape.

 

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Repeat the whole process with the rest of crepe mixture. Rest on a cool rack. When the crepe cool down, it will become crispy and tasty.

 

 

Happy cooking! Happy blogging!

 

 

GORDON RAMSAY’S CLASSIC FRENCH MADELEINES

Madeleines

I am a big fan of Gordon Ramsay. I think he is a very talented, passionate and generous man in creating beautiful foods. After watching his video clip on Youtube, I decide to try out his delicious recipe, Madeleines, and it turns out so fluffy with light golden brown colour and extremely tasty. The only one thing different in my madeleines are that they only have flavour of creamy butter and lemon zest because I run out of poppy seeds (I know…I really wish I have it so the madeleines will even tastier, but it is okay because I can see myself keep making more and more madeleines in the future. To be honest, in my opinion, madeleines are much easy to handle compare with classic French macarons)

After baking, remove the madeleines from the oven and make sure let it cool for 2 minutes before tapping to let those madeleines off the baking tray. Making madeleines is a new experience for me in baking, but they are my husband’s favourite childhood snack. We have something similar in taste and texture as Madeleines in Vietnam, called Bong Lan cake and you can find it anywhere on the street.  

Here is video and recipe on Gordon’s Youtube site. It is very easy to follow step by step and the final results just fabulous, come out exactly what he shows us. 

Happy Baking! Happy Blogging!

VIETNAMESE-THAI SWEET FRUIT DESSERT

Che is the best thing in the world and Vietnamese sweet fruit dessert would have to be my favorite out of them all. It is simply because there are all kinds of fruits in this recipe, especially jackfruit. All of my families and closed friends know that I am a big fan of jackfruit, and I could finish a whole big jackfruit in just a couple of days by myself.

There are many versions of this sweet dessert; some people would add coconut milk for extra creamy taste; others would mix vanilla flavour or add more variety of fruits, etc. This is a great party dessert to serve a big crowd when you don’t have enough time, just mix everything together and chill in a fridge until serve.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Green Pandan or Black glass jelly (diced into small cubes)
  • Half and half cold milk
  • 1 can of Toddy palm
  • 1 can of Jackfruit (cut jackfruit into thin slices)
  • 1 can of Chestnuts (diced into small cubes)
  • 1 can of Coconut gel
  • Durian pieces (if you don’t like Durian smell or taste, you can skip this)
  • Tapioca pieces 

Direction:

Mix all ingredients together in a big cocktail bowl, except milk.

Scoop into a nice clear glass/ mason jar. Add half and half milk and crushed ice when ready to served. Stir well all ingredients again and now you have a cold, colourful and tasty glass of sweet fruit cocktail dessert. Enjoy!

Happy cooking. Happy blogging!

SHORTBREAD COOKIES (TRADITIONAL WAY)

Shortbread Cookies

This recipe is adapted by CANADA Corn Starch via Joyful Jollies cooking blog. I have eaten  a lot of shortbread cookies but this is the best recipe of shortbread I’ve ever made and tasted. It is so easy to handle with only 4 ingredients and couples of kitchen tools

Shortbread recipe from Canada corn starch
[….] 1/2 cup Canada corn starch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, softened [….]
I use fork to gently press down on top of the dough for making simple design
I use fork to gently press down on top of the dough for making simple design

The cookies come out so fine, smell so good, taste a bit like (edible) sand when eating right away but it becomes even better on the next day. I don’t usually bake so much compare with cooking foods, but after researching the BEST shortbread recipes on the Internet – some recipes don’t need corn starch, other ones need many more ingredients….but come down to it….Grandma’s foods are what I am looking for because it always taste good, so I decide to give it a try.

The first batch of shortbread cookies come out so nice.
The first batch of shortbread cookies come out so nice.

After I mix all ingredients together, I put the dough into a large plastic wrap to make a roll then store in a fridge for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile I pre-heat the oven at 375 degree. I don’t have to spend too much time on rolling the dough out or use cookie cutters to make shapes. I just have to open the plastic wrap, use sharp knife to cut the roll into smaller round shape, place on cookie tray and make some simple design with fork. Here is the result:

Shortbread cookies
You may realize some cookies are gone because I eat them during taking pictures 🙂

Now is your turn to give it a try to this recipe, guarantee you will be successful right at the first time of trying.

Happy Cooking! Happy Blogging!

VIETNAMESE SWEET CORN PUDDING (Chè bắp)

Corn

Ingredients:

Sweet corn pudding

  • 4 corn cobs
  • 1/3 cup white sticky glutinous rice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 cups water

Coconut milk

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. fat flour or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pandan extract (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to serve

Directions:

For the sweet corn pudding

  1. Remove the husk and silk from the corn cob. Cut the corn kernels with a sharp knife.
  2. Wash the sticky glutinous rice with cold water and strain until the water is clear (about 3-4 times).
  3. Add 4 cups water and sticky glutinous rice in a medium saucepan to cook at medium heat. Make sure to stir constantly every 5-7 minutes.
  4. When the rice expands (after 20 minutes cook), add corn kernels and sugar. Stir pudding constantly every 5 minutes until the rice has puffed and sticked to the corn (there will be a very little liquid remain in the saucepan)

For the sweet coconut milk

  1. While cooking sweet corn pudding at step 4, add coconut milk, water, sugar, salt and pandan extract in another small saucepan  over low heat. Bring boil and stir coconut milk to mix all ingredients well.
  2. Combine the fat flour with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and stir to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. When coconut milk at boil, slowly pour the bowl of fat flour mixture in the saucepan while stirring constantly the coconut milk
  4. Continue stirring until the coconut mixture starts to thicken. Take off the heat.
  5. When both corn and coconut milk are done. Serve warm sweet corn pudding in small bowls and topped with full tablespoons of sweet coconut milk and toasted sesame seeds.

Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding

*Store extras in a fridge. Sweet coconut milk is good for two days in the fridge.

Enjoy! Happy Cooking!

CANDIED PINEAPPLES AND GRAPEFRUITS FOR LUNAR NEW YEAR

As I said in last post, Lunar New Year is fast approaching in a couple of weeks, I planned to make a few traditional dishes to celebrate Tết. Mứt, candied fruits are sweet treats cannot be missed out on this big festival. I have decided to make dry candied grapefruits and pineapples for this year; I will show you how to make those yummy snacks today 🙂

Vietnamese Candied Pineapples (Mứt Thơm)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large pineapple, skin and “eyes” removed, cut into slices, about 0.5 inch each slice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (if your pineapple is too sour, use 1 cup brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Place pineapple slices in a cooking pot and then add brown sugar on top. Cover lid for 5 hours.
    Place pineapple slices in a cooking pot and then add brown sugar on top. Cover lid for 5 hours. 
    After 5 hours, you will see a liquid of sugar and pineapple in the pot. Cook at low heat.
  2. After 15 minutes of cooking, add vanilla and lemon juice in the pot. Use chopsticks or tongs to turns pineapple pieces up side down to make sure they all coat sugar evenly.
  3. Let it simmer until there is no more liquid in the pot.
  4. Take those pineapple slices out and place nicely on  baking trays at 200 degree for 1 hour 
    OR - [Place on dry racks close to windows hot sunny day; but it takes about 4- 6 hours to dry if you don't want to use the oven)
    OR – [Place on dry racks close to windows hot sunny day; but it takes about 4- 6 hours to dry if you don’t want to use the oven)
  5. Put those candied pineapples into a clear jar, cover lid at cool temperature or in a fridge.

Now you have tasty sweet-sour candied pineapples, you can serve to family and guests at any time, or just enjoy them by yourself with a cup of hot beverage; guarantee you will love it!

Vietnamese Candied Grapefruits (Mứt Bưởi)

Candied Grapefruits

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Asian white grapefruits (or 3 small red grapefruits)
  • 1  cup pure honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup wine (optional, any kind)

Directions:

  1. Peel grapefruits skins and place in a cooking pot filled with water.Bring to boil
  2. When the water is boiling, leave grapefruit skins cook for 5 minutes then pour water out and fill new water into the pot to cook again.
    When the water is boiling, leave grapefruit skins cook for 5 minutes then pour water out and fill new water into the pot to cook again.
  3. Repeat step 2 three more times
  4. Soak grapefruit skins to salted cold water (3 cups water + 1/2 cup salt). Leave it soak over night.
  5. On the next day, cook again grapefruit skins with water, bring to boil to completely remove the bitter taste. Dump water out and drain the skins
  6. Cut grapefruit skins into thin slices, 4 inches lengthwise
  7. Add into a cooking pot 1 cup of fresh grapefruit juice, fresh orange juice, 1 cup pure honey, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and grapefruit slices at medium-low heat. Cook until there is no more liquid in the pot.
  8. Take grapefruit slices out and place nicely on  baking trays at 200 degree for 30 minutes
    Take grapefruit slices out and place nicely on baking trays at 200 degree for 30 minutes
  9. Add 1 cup sugar powder into a zip-lock plastic bag, put all grapefruit slices in, zip the bag and shake it up side down to make sure coat evenly sugar on the grapefruits.
  10. Take grapefruit slices out and place nicely in an empty clear jar. Cover tightly with lid and store at a cool place.

Related post: Kumquat Jam & Recipes For Lunar New Year – Pickles Week

Happy Lunar New Year!

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

KUMQUAT JAM

Ingredients:

1 cup  kumquat

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. lemon juice

What would you do with some leftover Kumquat?How to make Kumquat Jam Kumquat Jam

Directions:

Soak and wash Kumquats with ½ teaspoon sea salt in a bowl

Cut each Kumquat in half and then take all seeds out

Blend all Kumquats in a blender until smooth

Pour back Kumquat mixture into a cooking pot. Add half cup of brown sugar, stir around and cook the mixture at medium heat (about 10 minutes)

After 10 minutes, you will see it starts bubbling up, turn the heat down to low and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Constantly stir the Kumquat mixture during cooking time to avoid burn around the edge and at the bottom

Wait for all sugar melt and blend well with Kumquats, the mixture will get thicker and a bit sticky.  At this time add 2 teaspoon of lemon into the mixture to give sour flavor into Kumquat jam (I just add lemon because I find it taste better with sweet and sour flavors, but you can skip this step if you prefer only sweet taste.)

Stir lemon juice and cook for 5 more minutes before turn heat off.

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Canning:

Rinse all jars in hot water, and dry them in an oven at 100 degree

Add Kumquat jam and seal the jars with lids, leave them cool down in room temperature

Store those yummy ready-to-eat Kumquat jam jars in a fridge when done.

Enjoy!!

*********

SALTED CARAMEL TOFFEE

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It starts to look like a white Christmas in Canada with snow although there are still 14 more days to go. People go crazy with shopping, decorating and making special plans for the holidays. This year I have decided to make some homemade foods such as Salted Caramel Toffee for giving away to family and friends – nothing can beat homemade comfort foods.

Salted Caramel Toffee ingredients

Caramel ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whipping cream (you can use condensed milk to cut cooking time)

1 cup granulated white sugar

2/3 cup natural Coconut sweetener (I try to keep somewhat healthy but you can use brown sugar)

1/3 cup pure honey (Corn syrup or Maple syrup is fine to use too)

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or kosher salt)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Other ingredients: parchment paper (I have never seen anything that stick on parchment paper), square or triangle mold, spatula, an ice water bowl, and a cooking pot (in large size)

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Directions:

Over medium heat, put whipping cream, granulated white sugar, coconut sweetener and honey in the cooking pot. Stir gently and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes. During the cooking time do not stir the sugar mixture.

 

Now this is an interesting but important step – Use a teaspoon to get some caramel sugar liquid and drop into an ice water bowl.  The ice water will make the caramel sugar drops cool down quickly; feel its texture. If caramel is firm but still somewhat soft and chewy, that’s the right texture you should get (we don’t want it too hard like rock or too runny)

 

Add unsalted butter, sea salt and vanilla extract, and then stir to blend all ingredients well together. Cook for 5 more minutes, the caramel should have an amber dark brown color.

 

Turn off heat. Carefully pour on to a mold that was covered with parchment papers. Leave it cool down in room temperature (usually it takes about 3 hours).

 

When the caramel completely cool down and has a firm, smooth and soft texture, cut it into bite sizes and wrap carefully in parchment papers.

 

Store in cool place, but if you want to keep for couple months, I recommend you to store in a fridge.

 

 

It has a sweet taste with a little twist of salt, which make Salted Caramel Toffee become tastier and balance in flavors. You can win anyone’s heart who has a serious sweet tooth (Trust me! It works all the time)

Salted Caramel Toffee #chopstickspoon

If the Salted Caramel Toffee doesn’t turn out the way you want, just don’t give up. It takes me couple times to meet the right texture, and I find candy thermometer won’t help much, it may even make you more confused. It is funny that I have to go back to the basic of how to cook with caramel I had learned from my grandma. In fact, she can use chopsticks to dip in caramel liquid, tries to rub the tip of chopsticks together, and then she knows if it ready or not. However, I have to use the ice water method; I guess I am not that professional in cooking like my grandma yet.

Having yourself joyful, lovely and happy Holidays with your love ones!!

STEAMED LAYER MUNG BEAN CAKE

“Steamed Layer mung bean cake is one of my favorite childhood snacks, and is a dessert cake for Vietnam, especially in the South. My grandmother used to call “Pig skin cake” and I still don’t why. Time has passed, maybe it fades away many things but I will never forget my memory of seeing my grandmother makes a layer mung bean cake for me back then. For a long time I haven’t tried any mung bean cake made my grandma since we are far apart half way around the world; but I am grateful that she is still alive and lives healthily in Vietnam. Today I made this steamed layer mung bean cake again to hope get back some memories of my dearest grandma”

 

INGREDIENTS:

  •   2 cup tapioca starch
  •   1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1  1/2 can coconut milk (1 can for Pandan flour batter, 1/2 can for mung bean mixture)
  •   Pandan extracts flour (or green food coloring)
  •  1 cup and 3 tsp. of sugar (1 cup for Pandan flour batter, 3 tsp. for mung bean mixture)
  •   1 tsp. salt
  •   1/2 cup of dry mung bean

 

MUNG BEAN MIXTURE

1. Cook mung bean in a rice cooker.

2. Blend mung bean with 1/2 can of coconut milk and 3 tsp. of sugar in a food processor (I used Magic Bullet so I could clean easily after finishing)

 

PANDAN FLOUR BATTER

1. Sift the tapioca starch, rice flour, and salt in a bowl.

2. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 can of coconut milk

3. Add 1 tsp. of green Pandan flavor (or you can use green food coloring)

4. Stir the mixture well

 

 

DIRECTIONS OF STEAMING LAYER CAKE

1. Put a non-stick container inside a steamer (or you can use a small bowl like me if you don’t have), cover lid for 2 minutes.

2. Pour first layer of Pandan flour batter into the non-stick container. Cover lid and wait for 2 minutes

3. Add a layer of mung bean on top of the Pandan layer. Cover lid and wait for 2 minutes

4. Then pour another layer of Pandan flour on top of the mung bean layer. Remember to cover lid

5. And continue do the same until the non-tick container is full filled.

 

SERVE

  •  Make sure to let the non-tick container cool down before taking the Steamed Layer Mung Bean Cake out and cut.
  •  You can make a cup of hot tea or coffee while enjoying this delicious mung bean cake. Enjoy!!