March 20, 2017

Green Sweets

I made the Matcha cake at the coffee shop, too!

I made a Matcha (green tea) cake at home the other day, and took a few pieces of the cake to the coffee shop I work for.  They liked the idea and we made the same cake for St. Patrick's Day!   The design on the top of the cake is in homage to an Irish film "The Wind that Shakes the Barley", but I just labeled them as "Matcha Cake", because something simple is easier to order for the customers.
I made some other interesting sweet treats for St. Patrick's Day, too.

先週金曜日はセント・パトリックス・デーだったので、それに因んだお菓子を職場で作らせてもらいました。
先日、家で作った抹茶のオペラも、さっそく、商品としてお店で作らせてもらいました。
Biscuit joconde with Matcha powder,
Matcha Buttercream using pâte à bombe,
and Matcha white chocolate ganache. 

The Matcha pastry cream for the mille crêpe I made at home.

 The Matcha mille crêpe.

This is made of layers of crêpe.
I put Matcha pastry cream and 
whipped cream with a hint of kirschwasser between each layer. 

I liked the Matcha-flavored pastry cream.

 Here is the Matcha financier made with the egg whites,
which I kept when I got egg yolks for the pastry cream out of the whole eggs.

We put some shamrock leaves on the top of each macaron
for St. Patrick's Day.

Here is the shot taken right after they were out of the oven.

The filling was peppermint white ganache.

On St. Patrick's Day, I made Italian meringe buttercream
with peppermint white chocolate flavor for the cupcakes.

I made some buttercream shamrock leaves, too.

Here is the latest macaron I made at the shop.
Matcha white chocolate ganache in each shell.

I hope people will like these.

March 9, 2017

Gâteau Opéra (Opera Cake) - Matcha and White Flower Cake Decoration

Matcha version of Opera Cake.

I made matcha (green tea) flavor Opera cake this week at home.
I have got a bag of matcha powder at a local Asian grocery.  It was 17 dollars or so for 100g.
It was pretty expensive for me, but it is actually the one from Japanese tea leaves, and it tastes exactly like the one you can get in Japan!
I found a beautiful picture of this kind of cake made by a famous Japanese pastry chef.  The cake is called "Bamboo".  I just got a hint from that, and improvised it.

よく行くアジアスーパーで抹茶を購入しました。
さっそく、抹茶味のオペラを試作。生地にも、クリームにも、ガナッシュにも、シロップにも抹茶を入れて、がっつり抹茶味のケーキに仕上がりました。
職場に持っていて味見してもらったらなかなか好評でした。

 Biscuit joconde with matcha powder.
This is a kind of cake using quite a portion of almond flour.

Matcha ganache.
I used Ghirardelli white chocolate and added some matcha.
The white chocolate has a really strong milky flavor,
so I used a lot of matcha to match the milkiness.

Matcha buttercream.
I made this buttercream with pâte à bombe
to add some rich flavor of egg yolk. 


4 layered cake with matcha ganache, matcha buttercream. 

The darker green is Matcha ganache,
and the lighter green is Matcha buttercream.

I put some matcha syrup on each layer of the cakes
so that it would be nice and moist.

Here is the decoration for the ordered Birthday cake today at the shop.
I made some roses and English roses.
I hope the customer will like it.
お店で誕生日ケーキの依頼があったので、
デコレーションさせてもらいました。


March 5, 2017

New Job and Another Experiment!

Hamantaschen with Prune Filling.
I made these Jewish cookies for the coffee shop I started working.

Finally, I have got a new job here in Fairbanks!
I started working as a baker for a decent coffee shop in Fairbanks last month.
The job in this shop is what I have wanted for a long time.  It is an ideal place to work for me.
I have been making several kinds of cookies, eclairs, French macarons,and so on.
On my off day, I also bake something we want to eat at home as usual.
And sometimes I brought some samples to the shop and share some new ideas.
It is pretty fun!

先月からフェアバンクスにあるコーヒーショップで、ベイカーとして働き始めました。
これまで家で自分たちや友人たちに作っていたのが、実際に、こうして仕事につながって
本当にうれしいし、楽しいです。

Chocolate mille crêpe with caramel whipped cream.
I brought some pieces to the shop to share this as a new idea.
It is quite popular among Japanese, but 
most of the people here in U. S. have never heard about it.

I could have put more cream in each layer.

The kitchen manager in the coffee shop gave me a present!

He keeps 2 quail hens and these are their eggs!
I haven't seen the fresh quail eggs since we left Japan.
職場のキッチン・マネージャーからウズラの卵をもらいました。
2羽、自宅で育てているそうで、新鮮なのを頂きました。

They are all pretty!

Here are some Alaskan shrimps
we got from the guy selling shrimps by the street.
He was selling 3 pound bags, but
when we asked him to sell by smaller portion, 
he just gave 1 pound of the shrimp for free!
They all have eggs, too.
道路脇のトラックでアラスカ産エビを販売しているおじさんから、
1ポンド分、ただでもらってきました。
ホタテも安く売ってもらいました。

Here are the quail eggs after boiled.
日本を離れてから初となるウズラの卵。

The inside of the shell was pale blue
and it looked pretty.

We had the eggs with boiled shrimp.
The quail eggs was so rich in flavor! 
黄身の味が濃厚で、おいしいです!

These cupcakes were the ordered ones at the coffee shop.
Their request was something navy, teal, and anchor,
so I made some blue flowers with some accent of 
yellow, peach, lavender flowers,
and white anchor with Italian meringue buttercream.
I prepared 4 different kinds of frosting on top of the cupcakes;
Vanilla, Lemon, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter. 
お店で、カップケーキの依頼があったそうで、
デコレーションさせてもらいました。
希望のテーマは、「ネイビー、ティール、錨」
とのことでしたが、いまいち濃い色に踏み切れず、
ブルーの花を基調に、
黄色、ピーチ、ラベンダーで挿し色にしてみました。

February 21, 2017

More Moose! (February 8th and 20th)

The moose was eating lunch by Chena Hot Spring Road!

We have been seeing some moose in our property now and then this winter.
We went to Chena Hot Spring as a late St. Valentine's Day gift from my spouse yesterday,
and then we encountered a pair of moose (probably a mother and a child) on the way to the hot spring and also on the way back home!

バレンタイデーは、凍った雨が降っていて外出を控えていたので、
昨日、バレンタイデーのプレゼントとして、チナ温泉に行ってきました。
露天岩風呂でとてもリラックスできたし、温室で栽培してるレタスを使ったおいしいサラダも食べたし、
やっぱりここは最高です。
そんな温泉の行きと帰りに、またもやムースに遭遇しましたよ。

A moose was eating breakfast right by our drive way.
February 8th.

It was digging the pile of branches we made
after cutting down some trees in our property last summer.

Here are the mother and the kid of moose we met
by CHSR on February 20th.

The child one.

It was eating buds of bushes.

Here is the mother one...I guess.

She got the gorgeous brighter color fur.
It looked nearly orange.



Isn't it cute?
It was trying hard to reach the higher branch.

Experiment on Some Sweets


Macaron with lime buttercream.
初マカロン!

Here are some pictures of the sweet treats I made last week.
I have never made French macaron before, so I made it for the first time.
I also made another French-style sweets called "Tart Conversation" for the first time.
I used some kumquat in them.   I love kumquat!  Too bad that they are pretty expensive here in the U.S.  About 89 cents for 5 little kumquats!  I used to buy some at the farmers in our neighborhood in Mitaka, Tokyo.

バレンタイン・デーに作ったケーキと初めて試しに作ってみたお菓子2品。
作ったことないものを作るのって楽しい。
マカロンはいろんな失敗をやらかしてしまいました。また再挑戦ですね。

Chocolate layered cake for St. Valentine's Day.
I just fixed this from what we have in the fridge
so that I could use up some remains of heavy cream and mascarpone cheese.

4 layered chocolate Genoise cake with:
chocolate ganache with orange zest and Meyer's rum,
hazelnut spread mixed with mascarpone cheese,
and apricot jam for a little bit of tart flavor.

Here is the mistake #1:
I didn't use any parchment.
Nor did I grease the oven pan!  Duh!

They looked fine from the outside.

Here is the mistake #2:
Huge air pocket on the top of the macarons.
I didn't bang the oven pan hard enough 
on the table before setting it to dry the surface.

So, only 60 % turned out to be usable for sandwich.
We ate all the broken ones anyway, though!
I am not gonna waste anything!

I put some buttercream 
using pâte à bombe (egg yolk whipped with boiling syrup)
added a little bit of lime zest and juice. 

Here are the puff pastry called "Tart Conversation".
It turned out to be great and tasty!

I used some quicker way to make the puff pastry,
but it still took me a couple of hours
because I had to roll and fold the dough 3 times 
and needed to rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes between each process.

On the top of the puff pastry, 
I put some royal icing (egg white/icing sugar mix) before baking it,
which gives you nice and crusty texture on the top of the tart. 

Here is the inside of "Tart Conversation".
The composition is (from the top layer):
royal icing,
puff pastry,
almond cream with Meyer's rum,
raspberry jam and Canadian whisky flavored kumquat,
and puff pastry at the bottom.
金柑が売ってたので早速、使ってみました。
高いのでちょっとだけだけど、格段においしくしてくれます。